Sad Music, Dark Literature and Positive Thoughts 2

Addressing each of my life choices one at a time

Tag Archives: poverty

2018 Awards

With it being New Years’ Eve, I thought that I would announce my return to WordPress with a 2018 Awards post.

I thought that a post would be a better idea than organising a formal ceremony as I suspect few people would want to attend. Also, I am too tight to hire a venue and lay on catering.

Most disappointing social media presence award

Well, I need to present this award to myself.

At one time I was blog posting weekly and throwing in extra Tweets for good measure. This year has been quite pathetic.

I don’t intend to defend this award during 2019 so I will invite certain others to do their utmost to win this award next year. I give every encouragement to Donald Trump and Piers Morgan to lead the chase for this accolade in the New Year. (Please guys, please!)

Worst country to be a girl award

Unfortunately, many countries continue to clamour for this award.

There continues to be a depressingly high number of countries where the lot of being born a girl is a likely life of neglect and abuse unless you are born into a rich family or your parents believe in fighting for your rights. Sometimes, even this is not enough.

The unfortunate irony of war within countries such as Yemen is that the lot of boys is more equal to the lot of girls in that both have an equal chance of a short and suffering life.

This is all a little depressing, so let’s listen to some music…

Movie action hero award

Chloë Grace Moretz’s turn as Mindy MacReady aka Hit-Girl in the 2010 movie Kick-Ass is a great nomination for this award should it be awarded only once every decade.

However, there are plenty of deserving cases for 2018 that aren’t in the movies.

I am plumping for Trash Girl this year. That is, Trash Girl aka Nadia Sparkes.

The ‘how on Earth do I live in the same country as these people’ award

I realised a long time ago that there are a number of my fellow country people in Britain who are not quite the full packet in the common sense stakes, so to speak.

However, this year demonstrated how even I had underestimated how inept a number of my country folk are.

KFC decided to ditch Bidvest and use DHL to distribute their chicken to their outlets. They didn’t check how many depots DHL had and this led to most of their branches running out of chicken in February during the first week of DHL’s contract.

Well, that was funny until it was headline news how people seemed to be struggling with KFC not selling chicken. Going to another fast food outlet or even heating some chicken up at home seemed to be beyond some people.

Best glass of whisky of the year award

About a month ago, I really enjoyed an evening out with an old friend fuelled by some Jameson Irish Whiskey.

My Christmas Eve tradition of a shot of whisky whilst listening to Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto led to my first glass of Glen Keith Scotch. Interesting drop of stuff.

Both of these share the 2018 award.

Best cultural misappropriation award

Whenever I enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon I think of Catherine of Braganza who, as the wife of Charles II, brought the practice to England from Portugal.

In further irony, my wife’s parents hail from St Helena, an island originally discovered by Portugal and now a British dependency.

…and now for 2019

These awards hopefully get us all in the mood for 2019 and more noise from me.

Anyway, a great new year to you all.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of perspective

I am not going to write one of those inspirational blogs posts telling you to be positive before adding life is what you make of it and that positive thoughts conquer all.

You know those posts that I mean.  Those posts based around those little play on words to convince you that a great attitude will change your life for the better.  Something like there being a mile in each smile…anything like that.

printer_Agony

My printer problems were due to first the orange followed by the red segments of the pie chart.  Hmm, pie…

I don’t think that life can be improved by telling yourself to look on the bright side of anything.

But, please don’t get me wrong.  I do believe that you should try to have a positive attitude because, if my own experience proves to be typical for everyone, you will find life a little more bearable and a little bit more enjoyable.

A better perspective on life certainly reduces your stress level.

This week, a number of things seemed to be going wrong for me.

It has been a great week to look at my World Vision calendar by my bed and read the month’s thank you message from one of the children my contributions have helped.

This month, eleven year old Ayesha is thanking me and all the other Raw Hope contributors for her school equipment.

I imagine for one moment the life that she leads and then realise how insignificant my own problems are.  How thankful to God I should be that my life is so free of trials that I have the luxury to waste time feeling aggravated by my printer playing up or the apparent fault with my mobile telephone SIM card.

So, thank you Ayesha, I have been able to face my problems with more serenity and a better perspective of how unimportant these niggles in my life really are.

Positive thoughts have not improved my life this week.  Little things have kept on happening, a new issue shrieks at me every day it has seemed.

Thinking positive thoughts has led me to feeling a lot less stressed, instead.  Thinking positive thoughts has led to my being an easier person to live with over the last week or so and left me better able to enjoy the next week when things go well for me.

I stayed home and done something

Yesterday was the end of the Amnesty International Write for Rights campaign, which I mentioned in one of my previous posts Stay Home and Do Nothing.  I thought that you might all like to know how I got on with this campaign.

I had planned to write one letter a day throughout the campaign until I reached my pledged target of ten letters with a few days to spare.  However, life did not transpire as I originally planned it.

I spent the first half of December in a state of grief.  No-one died, but I was feeling the loss of someone very dear to me from my life.  I was feeling especially depressed with it being near to Christmas which is a time that should be spent with those dearest to you.

DSC_0002

My letters are ready for posting

Anyway, that is a separate story.  The Write for Rights campaign was the trigger for me to get a little motivation back into my life.  I woke up on Wednesday knowing that I was going to hit my target and nothing would stop me.  I read through all of the campaign material and decided in what order I would approach each of the twelve different cases.

There are twelve cases that you can write letters on.  Amnesty International provide you with a basic letter on each case for you to plagiarise and then write out by hand.  These letters are addressed to the relevant official who has it in their power to help the subject of each case.  And so I found myself writing a number of letters where I was addressing a powerful stranger as ‘Excellency’, ‘President’ or ‘Majesty’.

You should then compose a letter of support to either the victim or their family to show support and solidarity.  There is no sample letter for this but just a few pointers as to what tone the letter should have.

The cases this year range from prisoners of conscience to child brides to victims of torture and rape by a country’s own security forces.

You all probably realise where my particular passions lie and so there will be little surprise that the case that I tackled first was one of illegal child marriages.  In Burkino Faso, child marriage is illegal but nevertheless tolerated by the authorities.  The example that Amnesty International quoted was of one school aged girl who had managed to run away and into their care after being threatened with death by her father if she did not marry a man who is not only aged in his 70s but who already has five wives.

My letter of solidarity was to all of the child bride victims in Burkino Faso.  Writing a short letter to the girls helped to get me into the swing of things, so to speak, for the rest of the campaign.  And so, although it originally seemed that I would not get time to write letters for no more than three cases because of the pressures of work and other obligations, I managed to hand-write letters to officials plus complete the accompanying solidarity letters for the ten cases that I originally pledged.

So, I went to the post office today armed with 19 letters – not 20 as one letter of solidarity was requested to be made via a specially created tumblr account rather than by mail.  There was one young lady serving at the Post Office counter with a sign saying she was in training.  She was very proficient, however, so this sign was a little deceptive.

A lady started queuing behind me and I noticed that she only wanted just one first class stamp.  I gave her one of mine from my wallet and I told her that I still had a dozen letters to get through so not to worry about paying me.

The total postage was less than I thought it would be and so I treated Gloria and myself to a burger at the top of Portsdown Hill.  We’ve now got a Christmas cake in the oven that we’re making for my Mum.

So, will I host a letter writing party next year rather than just do this on my own?  Hmm…I don’t know.  Looking on the map of letter writers, there were only two of us located in a forty mile stretch along the south coast of England.  If every household in Britain contributed just one letter, that would treble the number of letters written worldwide.  More letter writing parties could make this a reality.  Yes, that is a thought – maybe I should host a party next year.

We’ll see what happens.  I can’t promise anything if work is too hectic to assign a specific evening – but I definitely will write letters myself and tell other people about this whole campaign.

Stay home and do nothing

This post is a more serious than normal.  At the end of it I’m going to make a suggestion for anyone reading this that can make a massive difference to the world whilst costing you nothing more than a few moments of your time one evening.

I wish that I could think of something really funny to post this week.  Being able to do so would provide the perfect antidote to the conversations at work.

If people aren’t ranting to release their stress from the multiple projects at work, they’re instead discussing foreign affairs and especially the recent events in Paris, France.

I try to keep out of any discussions at work merely for the fact that political arguments in the workplace can be divisive.  There used to be someone who worked with us who would get quite angry when people did not agree with his views.

As far as I am concerned everyone can do exactly what they want so long as what they do  doesn’t affect anyone else’s freedoms.

Using this basis as my moral code, I know it’s not okay to spend the weekend in a football fan mob physically attacking passers by for no reason but for the love of a fight.  Yes, this obviously affects the freedoms of others.

But it goes further than this.  Everything that each of us decides to do has the potential to affect the freedoms of someone else.

Driving your car above the speed limit in urban areas removes the pedestrians’ right for safety.  Hmmm…a lot of people seem to have difficulty realising this.

And what about buying chocolate or coffee that isn’t fairtrade?  What about the freedom of the coffee or chocolate workers not to be slaves?

And what moral stance robs the helpless more of their freedoms?  Do we ignore the atrocities being committed in Syria, Iraq, Yemen etc?  Do we ignore what happens to girls, women – and men – in these far away countries?  Do their freedoms mean nothing to us?

If their freedoms mean something then we are morally obliged to think of how we give our fellow humans freedom.

By the way, this is not an argument either for or against war.  I do have my own belief as to what we should do but I don’t feel it’s important to try and convince anyone of it via this blog.

Doing nothing is often the greatest way to remove the freedoms of others.  Recent British history is littered with people doing nothing and letting a few famous people continually sexually abuse children.  An extreme example, maybe, but I hope that you get what I mean about doing nothing rather than something…anything.

I’m not going to make a case for or against war on this blog.  What I will say is that I respect those who are ready to go to war as well as those who don’t feel that war is right.  So long as they have sensible reasons for their stance it’s not a simple answer to say that either is wrong.

The most important thing is to be doing something to make the world a better place.

If all you do is talk about what’s right and what’s wrong and not do anything yourself to help anyone else, then what are the consequences of your actions?

To paraphrase a saying that I once heard, evil wins when the good stay home and do nothing.

Right, I started off by writing that I’m going to suggest something that you can do to improve the world without spending more than a few moments of your time.  Well, if you cannot work in a hostel, in a poor country helping the needy or by giving to charity maybe you can write a letter.  And I mean a letter that can literally save a fellow human from being tortured.  Here’s something I’ll be doing.  It’s called Write For Rights and is organised by Amnesty International.

Moan, moan, moan – the British way

I think the one thing that every one of us has in common is that we each have something that we can feel bad about.

Emo Kids - get happy!

Some people never know when they are well off

In some way or other, life is unfair to pretty much everyone.  Well, okay, some people get better breaks than others.  However, a sense of perspective is something that few of us have.

At least I haven’t been born in a country where wrong doings are punished by public flogging.  Nor have I been born a girl to either be married and pregnant to a man old enough to be my grandfather while being still at the an age that is below the age of consent in European countries, or to be raped on the order of an unelected all male counsel for some crime committed by a relative.  And I’m not an elderly person facing starvation because I find it hard to do the only available but poorly paying work because my body is collapsing with age.

I could go on about the life of the majority of the World’s inhabitants, but I won’t.

I watch television documentaries and news broadcasts and see people moaning about their lot while all of the time I watch everything as if through the eyes of one of these people I mention.  They’d love to live on the benefits breadline in Britain if that meant that they lived in a house with a spacious enclosed garden, full indoor sanitation and warm clothes.  Sorry, with this image that I describe I am thinking about a particular family that I saw this year on BBC News.

…Okay, I won’t go into a full rant here.

I do listen to gothic inspired music. One of my five favourite albums is Pornography by The Cure, for example. I can relate to the words as bad things have happened to me in the past. But, I’m not unique in having a bad past. I have a right to feel depressed about things that have happened to me but there is a lot that makes me feel grateful and happy as well.

Let’s just say, caring about everyone else in the World helps you to appreciate the few blessings that you do have.

LiefsCarolien.nl

Inner beauty, Food, Lifestyle and a sparkle personal

THE OBSESSIVE WRITER

Because life is too overrated to ignore

Time hack wizard

time management coaching

BeBloggerofficial

''Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.'' Benjamin Franklin

Alice Wake Up

Give Life a Meaning

beautifulkindofthoughts

Colours of different thoughts

Romy Ras Certified Life Coach

Certified Life Coach, Love Life, Faith, Poetry, inspiration, everyday life, spiritual, Love, Christian, Bible

arne´s comfy couch

Aktuelle Themen

Basketball Greatness

Home of Basketball News and Updates

BENGELLENE

Love That All Matters, Who Emphasize and Rejuvenate Our Passion

Embracing Authenticity

"Don't be ashamed of your story it will inspire others!"

Anything & Everything by Bhagya

It's all about Everything.

simple Ula

I want to be rich. Rich in love, rich in health, rich in laughter, rich in adventure and rich in knowledge. You?

London Wlogger

Walking blogger exploring London's hidden gems, sights and history!

Educational, Inspirational Moral Issues And The Christian Journey

Creation awaits eagerly for your manifestation therefore know your worth!

word and silence

Poetry, History, Mythology

fenlo3399@gmail.com

fenlo3399@gmail.com

bijoux alisoa

Inspired Journalist

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Daily (w)rite

Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.

fonzandcancer blogging to encourage.

Sharing my journey with you.

Chape Fitness

Dreams don´t work unless you do

Dancing with Mosquitoes

Rendezvous with the beauties of life

Real Bold Truth

Genuine Exchange In Christian Experiences

brianfrances's Blog

These are amusing short stories about events like "Walking the dog" or "Manufacturing Jewellery"

RainingReviews

Welcome to the World of Books and Movies

Thought Diary

A tidbit of my mind!

Alluring n Young

Finding Her Voice; Finding happiness.

Girls Not Brides

The untold misery of child marriages

Tales of Chinese Cooking

A Repertoire of Recipes

SPLASHED!!!

Think. Feel. Create

GoanImports.com

Learn Goan and Indian Recipes

Lilua12

Glimpses of Heaven in an everyday life

The Spryte's blog

meandering thoughts, ideas and opinions

H82typ's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Tùy phong đáo thử

Nhai biên ấp thạch xưng tri kỷ - Đài lý tầm thi kiến cố nhân

The Fish Tank

Under Construction

A Sneak Peek On Things I Like

Batman, Random Things & Geek Stuff

Novielle's Blog

What's on my Mind???

coisart's canvas

playing with paint...slinging ink...

der Wandersmann

Mostly photos, with an occasional garrulous ramble

Fuenteovejuna did it

peering into the underworld

Chrysopeleia

The story of my dreams coming true