How To Vaccinate Yourself Against Small-Mindedness

Do you ever find yourself getting angry about trivial things? Or thinking the entire universe was undeniably created for the use of humans? Or that your current culture is the only way humans have ever lived? Or that your ethnicity, gender or social class is paramount over all others? If you answer yes to these things then it may well be that you have contracted the most common condition to infiltrate the psyche of all homo-sapiens – small mindedness.

It is estimated that more than three in every five people unknowingly suffer from the condition which spreads rapidly when those affected congregate together. Unaware that they suffer from the condition, the sufferers will continue on a downward spiral into the psyche of their minds as they unknowingly construct a psychological cage. The condition is easily contracted and often exacerbated by exposure to common causes such as trashy television, bias media coverage, institutional religions and a lack of education and interaction with the wider world.

Small-mindedness is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces on the path to become a logical, rational and sane species. Scientists are working around the clock to try to cure this insidious and troublesome condition, but until then here are some common ways you can vaccinate yourself from this cancer of the mind.


Astronomy

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Just look on any clear night and you can empirically see it with your very own eyes: a universal painting and firework display of thousands and thousands of burning balls of gas from million of light years away in an infinite universe. You do not have to be an astronomer or have a degree in astrophysics to appreciate such a spectacle – just look up and marvel. As you begin to appreciate how utterly tiny and insignificant we are as a species in the grand scheme of the universe, you will naturally begin to acquire a sense of calmness and humility – two of the best vaccines around against the egotistical condition of small-mindedness.

Travel

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Although people born in rich countries will often have considerably more opportunities to travel due to their economy, it can be noted that travel can even consist of a simple journey to a different region, province, state or county of our own country. As you begin to move around places, you will see how human-beings are capable of living and interacting in an array of diverse ways, habits and cultures. As you soak in the experience of this, the horizons of your mind will naturally broaden as you see that the culture you were born into isn’t the only way people experience this thing called life.

The Scientific Method

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Scientific study is currently the best tool humanity has in the quest to understand the world around us. Relying on vigorous testing, empirical evidence, and peer reviews, the scientific method is a ruthless judge that relies on a theory being faultlessly proven again and again for it to be scientifically accepted. What’s more is that no ego is involved – should a much supported theory be proven wrong, the scientific world happily changes its stance in the light of new empirical evidence. The basic principle is to question and test everything – including what you are reading here. And once more, you don’t need a degree to be scientist – if you want to test your view on something, try it out for yourself! Conduct research, investigate, gather evidence and improve your own knowledge. This vaccine is readily available to all.

Literature

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Any decent library should behold a collection of literary texts from all around the world, beholding centuries and centuries of different ideas, dreams and experiences. Libraries can act as portals to the many facets of the human-mind and imagination. As you begin to read up on scientific principles, sift through historical facts, study different philosophies, entertain yourself with literature from different centuries, and absorb an almost infinite stream of knowledge and ideas from throughout the entire history of humanity, naturally your brain will become substantially better at entertaining different perspectives and applying ideas. Again, another great vaccine to guard your mind with.

A Healthy Relationship with Media

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Without a doubt one of the most common causes of small-mindedness is an incessant dependency on the media to construct a view of the world for you. The media is a business like any other, meaning that its key principle is to make profit for its shareholders and uphold the pyramid of organisation and ownership it supports itself with. Often this means that publications, stations and channels have a strong bias and will look to skew the window to the world so that your view of the world is beneficial to them and advertisers, rather than it being a logical and rational one. To stop this from happening, develop a healthy relationship with the media where you get your news coverage from many different publications – complement this by your doing own individual research. Don’t forget to look for non-mainstream news coverage too and question everything you read. Naturally, this will combat any threat of contracting small-mindedness from your television, radio or newspaper.


The list can go on and on, but these are common vaccines that act as a good introduction to guarding your mind from warped ideologies, lies, dogma, corruption and egotistical tendencies. The world is a dangerous place and the threat of small-mindedness lingers all around us, ready to infect our mind at any given opportunity. With a bit of effort, a bit of study, a bit of experience and a loss of ego, one can forever remain a rational and sane human-being, immune from this condition which sadly continues to affect billions world-wide. Stay safe and get protected now by using these easily-accessible vaccines!

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Life Is An Opportunity: Go All The Way

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Naked and screaming you arrived: a living, breathing organism made of flesh, skin and bones on a rock spinning a thousand miles per hour as it levitates around a giant ball of fire in an infinite universe of exploding stars, black holes and interstellar nebulae. You arrived in your physical form with a body to explore with, a head to think with and time to play with – time that is, to undertake the brief, bittersweet journey that we call life. Planet earth is the stage for that journey – a playground of immense beauty where there are endless possibilities and where one thing can’t be denied – that from the day we are born til the day that we all die: life here is an opportunity.

It is an opportunity for us to come to terms with the mind-blowing scenario of life on this floating rock and decide how we are going to make the most of it. To decide how many of our dreams we are going to follow; to decide how many places we are going to visit; to decide how any professions we are going to undertake; to decide how many people we are going to share our journey with. Life is an opportunity – a chance to make our lives extraordinary and daring; a chance for all of us to push the lever of life down hard, chase the horizon and explore our wildest dreams. Life is an opportunity.

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Yet when one looks at the world and society, how many people can honestly say they are pushing the lever down hard? Who are doing all that they can to make the most of their existence in the universe? Who are either chasing or living their dreams? We are all different, and one person’s version of a life well-lived is different to another’s, but so commonly as individuals we are disempowered and discouraged to neglect our dreams and passions (no matter how ridiculous they are) in order to be moulded and shaped by the cultures in which we are raised to live a life that is just ‘okay’ and ‘safe’. We forget that life is an opportunity and do things not because it’s true to our own nature, but in order to keep up with culture; to do something because everybody else ‘does that’ and because other people expect it of us. 

That is why every now and again, one of us has to come forward from the herd and remind people that they are all individuals; that they are free – free to chase their dreams and dance the ridiculous dance of life in an infinite universe. Free to abandon ideology and a culture that is oppressive to the true nature of the individual self. That they are free to realise once more that life is an opportunity for the artist to create beautiful works of art; for the athlete to set new records; for the scientist to make new discoveries; for the builder to create new structures; for the explorer to explore new places. It is a moment in time where the individual has the brief period of a few decades to make the most of their ticket in the playground of planet earth. And not to let any external force, any culture or any ideology hinder his or herself in any way.

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When Martin Luther King stood up to fight for the freedom of black Americans, he knew that he would put himself in grave danger – but he also knew life was an opportunity; when Mark Zuckerburg dropped out of one of the world’s top universities to create the world’s largest social network, he faced failure and ridicule – but he also knew life was an opportunity; when Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary first ascended Mount Everest they knew the immense dangers involved – but they also knew life was an opportunity. They knew that such an existence is precious and finite – and thus an opportunity to go all the way; to stand up for humanity and push the boundaries of exploration, passion and adventure.

And so, just like them, it is down to each and every one of us to decide at what length we want to explore our passions and dreams – no matter how big or small they may be deemed. It is down to us to look in the mirror, gaze into the eye of self and say: what am I doing right now to live my life the best I can? What am I doing this week that keeps me on track to taking full advantage of this extraordinary reality I am a part of? Ultimately, what am I doing to go all the way in this magical and beautiful world? Because, as far as we know, there is only one life. So push the lever down hard; make the most of it. Explore. Dream. Discover. Create.

This is your opportunity.

Why You Should Consider Travelling After University

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Okay, you finish university this summer and you’re still unsure about what to do with your life. You pick up the rule-book of our capitalist society and flick to the chapter after university. ‘Chapter Five: Post-Degree Life’“You must now apply for a job in a business and field that you can see yourself working in for the rest of your career, nine hours a day, five days a week, year after year.” You read on with trepidation: “you must do this so that you can get a deposit on a house, get a brand new car, a new wardrobe, get those items advertised to you on the TV, and you must get all of this before your peers do”.

All those possessions you could have – the security; the comfort; the routine. If everyone chases these things instantly then surely you have to as well? Surely it’s the only way, right? Well, twenty-one years into my life and in my last year of university, I can safely say that I don’t own a lot of the aforementioned stuff, but the experiences I do have are something infinitely more valuable to my life. Yes, in the past I have threw out the car money so I could stay in Africa one summer working as a journalist and hanging out with a bunch of rastafarians; I threw out the deposit money so I could fly to Australia/Thailand and parachute, sail, cage-dive and party my way around the coast with a bunch of strangers; I threw out the wardrobe money so I could cycle my way through European countries, seeing the sights, raising money for charity and sampling the beers along the way.

The best thing about these possessions is that – unlike the stuff in the capitalist rulebook that I’m meant to obtain – these are things that aren’t mass-manufactured and can’t be lost with bankruptcy, divorce or some gambling addiction. They are locked up within myself, where they can never be compromised. So you have to ask yourself: which possessions are more valuable to you as a person currently in your life? Experiences or ‘stuff’?

In case you can’t work out with side I’m leaning to, it’s most definitely the experience side for me. We live on a crazy, convoluted, messed-up planet and only tread its vibrant soil but once; why would you want to spend it all in one routine, one job, one culture, one house, chasing all the items your neighbours have? Why would you not take this moment in time where the right combination of technology, political stability and infrastructure has allowed us to travel to multiple far-off places for the first time? Stories are created. Strangers become friends. Insights are gained. Experiences become possessions.

Perhaps this phenomenon can be further highlighted by looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – a model that defined the common order people chase their human needs. Although just a theory on a theory, it’s a good way to reflect some possible ideas.

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As you can see, ‘security of body, of employment, of resources, of the family, of the health, of property‘ are some of the basic needs near the bottom of the pyramid that can be possessed in conjunction with work, mortgages, savings and material goods. But what about the self-actualisation and esteem qualities of ‘morality, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts, respect of others, confidence, self-esteem, spontaneity‘ and those near the top of the pyramid? Will you grow those from material goods? Will you develop those immediately getting stuck doing something you have no interest in for forty-five years?

It is obviously dependant on you, your own personal interests, your relationships and what you seek to get out of, contribute and achieve from working in your particular field; however it’s more than likely for a lot of people – still unsure of what career (if any) will fulfil them – that those things can currently grow from the amazing opportunity of travel where you can gain perspective, learn first-hand about the world and experience other cultures, ideas and peoples – rather than sit at at the same desk every day in a job you’re not interested just to mindlessly chase the word ‘successful’. Just remember that the term ‘successful’, used in the context of the working world, is one constructed by a capitalist ideology – the parameters of which are measured by money and market share: things that were again constructed by other people that aren’t you. Don’t be instantly pressured into something you don’t want to do by such a debatable, problematic and relative term.

So go and travel. Go and travel if you still don’t know what to do with your life. Especially if you haven’t been before. Ignore your tutors who want you to constantly chase ‘success’; ignore mum and dad who want to see you ‘grow up’; ignore the TV that tells you to work to buy the latest car. Respond. Respond against a system that can hinder you. Go and catch a plane to an exotic country; go and hike through the expansive wilderness; go experience other cultures; go and party to the early morning on a beach with a bunch of strangers; go and spend your days gazing out at sea and your nights looking up at the stars.

If you don’t have the money then work for a bit, or combine the two and work while you’re away – working visas and teaching schemes are common in many countries and are a part of such experiences. Don’t worry about falling behind – you can still have all those other items and fulfil those other important needs later on in life; just take the lack of responsibility, proliferation of good health and the complete freedom and liberation that this age brings to head off with a flimsy backpack and see our bewildering world. There’s a good chance you will discover what you want to do with your life whilst out there travelling. And if you end up in a mundane job working for the human necessities of family, security and home, at least you took your chance to possess enriching experiences on top of those when you had the chance.

Just remember that after the rule-book is read, the adverts consumed, the paycheck cashed, the garage occupied and the wardrobe full – travel, like education, is one of the few things you buy that makes you richer.

Why Travel Is The Purest Form Of Rebellion

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Rebellion
: an angst-ridden word that brings about images of uprisings, stoic defiances and Bastille-esque overthrows.

In fact defined as  “the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention”, said action or process can be realised in workers’ strikes, protests, political movements or even in fashion and subculture – groups such as Punks, Hipsters or Bikers going against societal expectations in the way they act and the way they style themselves. But when one looks at these things holistically, we can so often witness a way everything spirals around and each one is ultimately fallible to the system. Worker’s strikes can only last for a set period of time before their livelihood collapses; protests can spiral out of control with protesters getting arrested by authority and their voice ignored; subculture styles are capitalised on by advertising and marketing companies reciprocating the trends back to them in order to profit off their rebellion. Through the resistance of it all, so often it ends with ‘the man’ getting his way. However, there is another act of rebellion that has the capability to evade such capture and compromise – a ‘movement’ and lifestyle that resists conventions, control and authority to a much larger degree than any of the aforementioned examples.

Travel. Backpacking. Wandering. The act or process of venturing to new places, new people, new horizons and new worlds. Packing your few possessions into a flimsy backpack and leaving your home, system and conventions behind; setting your eyes to the horizon and relentlessly aspiring to wander to the next place and the next experience. In the act of adventure travel, one becomes distanced from the overarching prism of society where the mechanisms of control and convention may dictate the way for a period of time, but never for the duration. When one uses all their money to voyage to a new place and not on things that tie them to a single society, how can specific conventions, control and authority be a part of that person’s life? When one systematically moves from society to society throughout the years, how can one individual society’s rules and views be implemented onto that person in any effective way?

The answer is that they can’t. Societies and political structures rely on people’s lives being static and still in one place, and if one becomes nomadic in nature and lives a life of physical movement, then the mechanisms of an individual society lose their influence drastically. To travel is to rebel. No monthly mortgage payments; no permanent job and pension scheme; no expenditure being used on consuming advertised or marketed products; no singular exposure to bias, samey media conveying everything one way. A single society’s foundations of control, authority and convention lose their zest when a person exists on a global scale. Yes, travellers adhere to laws and conventions when they are in a specific country, but when that stay is never set or fixed, any long-term hold over that traveller becomes marginal – all they need is a few hundred dollars and then all of it is left behind again.

French philosopher Albert Camus said that “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion” and perhaps travellers/backpackers are the ultimate embodiment of this. A life of movement and adventure is not compatible with the system – after all if everyone were to live a nomadic existence then the conventions, control and authority of single societies would be completely disrupted. The system would buckle, be forced to change to be reborn. And as far as rebellion goes, it can so often consist of violence, intent to destroy and something that eludes a sense of danger – however in travel we see a form of rebellion that is arguably entirely ‘pure’ and harmless.  

Most travellers’ (the good ones) aims and ambitions are to explore, to enrich, to learn, to anew and to experience; many work jobs locals don’t want to do on working holiday visas in countries and many teach languages and spend money they gained from first world countries in third world countries – a direct transfer of money from the rich to the poor empirically bridging the international poverty gap. To associate this kind of rebellion with anything as negative as violence or a clashing of two sides is just not correct; if anything it resembles more of a peaceful protest. A pure rebellion. An act where the world and its people become enriched, thoughtful,  less materialistic, less judgemental and close-minded.

So angry with the system or disillusioned with the lack of options your society gives you? Sick of working a soul-less job for a faceless corporation whose only aim is to line the pockets of their bureaucrat bosses and investors? Don’t destroy, don’t protest, don’t get angry, don’t strike. Travel. Move, explore and experience other societies; engage in other ways of thinking and new philosophies; tread new grounds and gain new perspectives in a true peaceful protest. Reply. Respond. Rebel. Perhaps in a world of chaos, scandals and corruption, it’s the last escape from the corrupted system that free-spirited souls truly have.

When Passion Isn’t Enough – Turn To Obsession

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“Passion. What you need is to find your ‘passion’. If you want to find out what the purpose of your life is then find what you’re passionate about and make it work”.

This is the standard rhetoric told to young, aspirational dreamers with a glint in their eye and a fire in their belly. Passion can set you free; it can drive you to where you wish to be; it can save you from mediocrity and help you reach your dreams. At least this is the standard parental, child-friendly version that kids hear from their teachers and parents. But there comes a point when you look around at the nature of the world and everybody else scrambling to do something they’re passionate about when you realise, ‘passion’ just isn’t for you. It isn’t good enough. It isn’t going to set you free. Nor take you to the mountain tops. It’s too safe – too average.

It’s at this point you turn to obsession. Obsession differs from passion because passion is like a car you drive to try and get somewhere or do something, whereas obsession is not the object being driven; it is the one in control – it drives you; it controls and consumes you – leaving one merely as a vessel in which the great force travels upon. Obsession is what you surrender yourself to when you stand facing out into the abyss of nothingness, mediocrity and emptiness – you know you can’t afford to fall into that blackness so you invite obsession to take over your mind, body and soul, hoping it delivers you to somewhere beautiful.

Those who choose passion but fear obsession sell themselves short. These are the people who let their true interests come out and flourish only to be put back under the stairs when it becomes ‘inconvenient’ or ‘unrealistic’; these are the ones who turn back to security and comfort whenever their passion is taking them to a dark and dangerous place. But to what cost? What lingers over the horizon? Obsession does not fear the dark nor dangerous; it simply is too reckless and has no time to. It launches itself into the total everything – carrying the person of whom is the vessel into the eternal abyss of art and beauty to hopefully find something special. Obsession does this. Obsession is what you need; obsession is what we all need. Obsession. Obsession. Obsession.

‘if you’re going to try,

go all the way.

there is no other feeling like

that.

you will be alone with the gods

and the nights will flame with

fire.

 

do it, do it, do it.

do it.

 

all the way

all the way.’     (Charles Bukowski ‘Roll the Dice’)

From the symphonies of Beethoven, to the writings of Hemingway, to the artworks of Da Vinci, to the adventures of Fiennes, to the olympic medals of Phelps – the great ‘doers’ of all time surrendered themselves to obsession. To go all the way and slip the universe of safety, conformity and security is to space travel to another dimension – a dimension where the wild souls, artists and champions linger. This is what teachers and parents should tell the young – to live and breathe for your passion until it becomes the thing that lives and breathes you. You exist because of ‘it’. You are simply a vessel of this higher energy. Surrender yourself to the tyranny of obsession and hope it leads you somewhere great. It may guide you to the mountain peaks, or it may lead you to death and destruction. But it’s necessary – the world needs obsessed people; it already has enough people living safe, structured and calculated lives. Don’t deprive the world of something great. Don’t be another person who hid from the total consuming everything of a calling obsession. Don’t kill art and sedate the human adventure.

No, stand up; raise up your beacons, make yourself known and let obsession hunt and find you; let it take over your body, let it consume you whole and fling you into the depths of life, creation, art and adventure. Get obsessed, get weird, get living, get channelling and get creating. Passion is simply not enough any more kids – the world needs something better.

Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.” William Cowper

 

The Role of Rebellion: Stimulating the Minds of the Sleeping Masses

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Rebellion – a fundamental part of any decent society. Although connotations of it may evoke images of punk rockers or people with bandannas and Molotov cocktails, it can actually be seen quite simply as an act or process of breaking free from the social and cultural norms and ideals created by a state/society/civilisation. Such ideals and norms may be integrated and imposed upon citizens of a society at a young age through institutions such as schools, universities, media, churches, companies and general government, as well as circulated on the secondary level of friends, parents, work colleagues etc. Through the development of mainstream rhetoric and values regarding how we all, as individuals, live our lives, there will always be those reject such values and rhetoric handed down to them by their cultural and social engineers.

These people may come in the form of counter-cultural hippies, travellers, artists, mavericks, ‘free spirits’, ‘wolves’ or just generally any person who actively seeks to exist and live on the fringes of society. To those in the mainstream centre of society, such individuals may be viewed as ‘outcasts’ and ‘not doing their part’, but their very existence is something that is integral and essential to a democratic state. Because without the individuals who interrogate, dissect and question the mainstream values and social norms handed down to them by others since the day they were born, then a society lacks diversity and becomes incredibly vulnerable to mass cultural and social trickery by those in power. If everybody conformed without any questioning as to what it was they were conforming to, then – like sheep being herded towards the edge of a cliff – the masses are forever in danger of abuse by the elites and governing members of mainstream social and cultural values.

This is why the role of the rebel in society is something of integral and intrinsic importance towards opening up the minds of the sleeping masses to create a better society for all. This can be seen in the past; in the days when people thought the earth was flat, the ‘rebels’ and ‘outsiders’ were the scientists who claimed it to be round like a sphere; in the time when Hitler and Stalin manipulated the masses of Germany and Russia to elect psychopathic, evil lunatics, ‘the rebels’ were the ones who realised the dangers of these individuals and denounced them or fled their states. This is why rebellion is something essential to democracy. Because as soon as we conform to values and norms created by others, our independent ability to sceptically interrogate the morality of a government and society become blurred with bias. As minds become comfy within a social and cultural operating system, they lose their ability to awaken through any illusion and manipulation of an unjust society. With this perspective, it is therefore necessary for the rebels on the outside of society to peer back in and say what it is they see, or what it that they reject about the mainstream to give a fresh take on the lifestyle and culture created by those in power.

These offerings and viewpoints may be rejected by mainstream society or they may just find their way to disseminate into the minds of the masses, creating important social and cultural change for all. 

Breaking the Bubble: Expanding the Horizons of Consciousness and Life

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Life is a fluke. A miracle. An unprecedented phenomenon that can never, or will never, be matched on any imaginable level. The very fact that you are currently conscious reading and understanding these letters, words and sentences is a moment in which its recipe consists of infinite combinations of abstract events happening in the right space at the right time. The optimum position of our planet in the universe; the perfect conditions on earth for life to flourish and evolve; the very fact that your parents went out to the same place on the same day and met each other. Just think: above anyone else that day, in any place, at any moment, they met each other – and you and your ridiculously complex DNA were the result. Just like they were when their parents before them met each other. And their parents. And their parents. The very fact all of these endless combinations of events led to your being on this earth means that your very existence is miraculous – a stoic defiance of the odds and the culmination of a billion unlikely things all gelling together in perfect discourse. YOU are a miracle. So revel in it. Celebrate it. Your life should be a symphony.


But it throws me – life, sometimes. It saddens me even. Amongst this grand symphony of existence on the magnificent stage of planet earth, I look around and I see so many of us consumed by mundanity, recklessly killing the precious time that has been gifted to us. I see so many of us plodding along aimlessly, burying our desires, toiling endlessly in a job that we have no interest in – contentedly dwelling in dead-end towns where nothing ever happens until our minds and bodies become old and weathered. With our precious time on this earth dissipating as we sit comfortably on a sedentary cushion, we so easily fall into the trap of drawing the curtains on our world and perpetually living a systematic and samey routine in which we let days become weeks, let weeks become months, and let months inevitably become years. So many amazing opportunities and experiences drifting on by in the great ocean of time out in this vast world – yet we don’t reach out to explore and experience. And why? Why in a universe of violent bursts and endless movement do so many of us let our lives and horizons become so static and still? Why in a world where we could explore and experience a million different things do we persist in doing the same ones week in, week out?

I don’t hasten to say it, but I believe it to be so –  just because it’s EASY.  It’s easy for us to get accustomed and stay in one place; it’s convenient for us to only ever interact to the same people; it’s comfortable for us to perpetually relive the same week and hold the same views for a lifetime. Due to the impulses of comfort, routine and security, a world can become a bubble – and eventually that bubble can become a world. A world where precious time flies by as we tumble endlessly through the vices of systematic living; a world where comfort and frivolous possessions rank higher than personal growth and experiences; a world where tabloid newspapers open and our minds close. I know this because I’ve seen it, and I see it more vividly now than ever. After seventeen months of travelling around the world, seeing other-worldly sights, meeting hundreds of new people, sharing ideas, thoughts, language and adventures, I return home from this small lifetime to find that very little has changed. People have new shoes, but the same routine; people have new televisions but the same views; people have new cars, but the same conversations. And with the pain and bitterness that comes with being back to square one, I have to look in the mirror and ask myself: is this lifestyle really our final destination? Is this static, comfortable bubble really where you and I want to dwell till the end of our days?


Even after only just a few of years of living a culture of experience rather than one of security and possession, I personally already know my answer to this is forever a resounding
no. Life is not some story we tell ourselves; it is neither a tale of the past or a preconception of of the future – it is the very thing that is happening to us right here – right now. Even as you’re reading this sentence. Now is forever; and if we are to sink into a bubble, stay still and never plot to move forward in any way – nor experience other things, peoples, places and ideas – then we are being short-sighted and condemning ourselves to not taking full advantage of the miracle of life and consciousness that we have all been gifted. And we’re bigger than that; in a time and age where we are more connected and capable than ever before – you and I are bigger than that bubble. Bigger than our small towns; bigger than those tabloid newspapers; bigger than closing our curtains and selves off from the outside world.

Our time is now and our time is precious. It truly is – like a drop in an ocean or a grain of sand in the desert, our brief time period of existence is ultimately nothing against the vast canvass of time in the universe. And this universe will not wait. Life is not a rehearsal; it is not some show on television – it will come to an end and there will be no replay button. Time shall pass; youth shall escape us; our bodies shall age; our lives will come to an end – and we will all die – that is undeniable and for sure. But when the time comes, our sun sets and our miraculous time on this earth comes to an end, the only thing of any importance to me and you will be just how much we ever really lived in the first place.