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I’ve tried to write this as if it is something that can be shown to people who are experiencing bullying as a way of encouraging them to conquer the bullies, rather than as if I was a parent or teacher giving advise to another as to how bullying can be stopped - something I have no experience of yet.
I’m not somebody who has studied bullying or was ever somebody with a lot of experience in being bullied but I want to express my opinion on it using whatever experience I have and can remember of any times I felt I might have been what is considered bullied.
A possible solution to help solve the problems of bullying could be to ensure that children are taught from a young age to stand up for themselves (in what they believe in and in a physical manner).
I think the main reasons people are targeted for bullying are:
Because they’re physically inferior (or less developed) when compared to others their age.
Because they’re less strong charactered and less likely to stand up for themselves if they were to be targeted.
Because they’re a stand-out different from the norm, the current fashion or society as a whole.
When I was younger (probably since the first time I complained that I’d had some sort of physical confrontation with another person) my parents always said not to start confrontations but be sure to stand up for yourself if attacked. I completely condone this advice and very much believe in the concept that if somebody is trying to harm you then you have the right and should do whatever you can to stop the assailant in their tracks to the point where you can avoid any more harm coming to you. I will be teaching my future children to never let anybody try and bully them, teach them the basics of self defence and even encourage them to learn a martial art.
In the wrong circumstance in any area of life (such as facing a violent criminal or other opponent you cannot ‘control’ in a greater sense) you’re not given the option as to whether or not the threat should be allowed. It’s a threat, and a threat that only yourself can deal with at the particular time, and maybe the most important thing to keep in your mind at the time, as you should not rely on others to help you. Bullies should be considered threats and are clever in the sense they will pick times they wish to attack you, therefore you should not listen to those who tell you to not retaliate and report bullying (it should be done, but don’t let that stop you defending yourself first).
Now, I’m not being ignorant to the fact that bullying isn’t always physical, it’s often words. What needs to be remembered, as hard as it sounds - is it’s just loose words. Tell them to say it to your face whilst looking you in the eye, and if they do - warn them sincerely that if it continues then you’ll smash them in the mouth; learn a few things to say to people that intimidates them or makes them think twice about attacking you.
There’s two ways of doing this:
First is to actually become combatant. Take up a sport which involves contact such as rugby or boxing so that you’re physically prepared to fight. - More specifically, take up a martial art.
Or - you can develop a side of your personality, an act if you like, who is hard and a borderline bully him/herself. The important thing is to remember is this act is not needed when you’re not under threat, think of them as your war paint that you only put on when you’re under attack. Try to learn some aggressive lines from the bullies themselves so you’re speaking their language or watch a few gangster movies and adopt the expressions (I use gangsters as an example because they’re an example of bullies in every age of modern society and also often a source of [bad] influence for the bully-type, so they’ll see you as something they relate to. They’re also seldom physically fit but still know some dirty fighting tactics.)
From standing up to their insults they’re either going to attack you (which might hurt, but you’re equally capable and entitled to hurt them back which makes the pain a bit more bearable) or carry on talking, of which you can laugh off and walk away from because they don’t have the bottle to follow it up and everybody who’s seen the bullying (it’s usually egotistical and they want people to see) will now see that they’re not willing to back their words up. If it does come to a physical attack hit them to hurt them (there’s usually a ring leader and his cronies, if the cronies get involved go for them too but they’re usually too shocked so you can get away without attacking them), don’t think twice about it and don’t stop until you can get away and then report what happened. If it turns out you’re to blame, at least you’re not getting a beating on your own without doing anything to protect yourself and hopefully taught a bully it’s not wise to bully you.
If you get the better of somebody bullying you in public then hopefully it should make others think twice about trying to bully you in the future. Problem is, there’s always those who want to test your patience and try to draw you into a bad place where you’d be the one to blame. You need to learn how to be a good person with morals and temperament, but somebody who will not hesitate to defend those morals.
The times when I feel I experienced anything close to bullying in my life was when I was purposely doing things out of the norm or fashion of the time (such as dressing in black metal fashion when the fashion of the time was bright pink Lacoste polos and blue tracksuit bottoms). I never changed my beliefs, fashion, hobbies or interests as a result of it not being popular or people finding me weird. What I did was; over time stuck to my guns telling people I liked something because I could and if they had a problem then f**k them. I found a good set of friends who were (and still are) loyal and reliable so that I was rarely on my own and an easy target and I learnt to appreciate and understand things that other people like so that I could relate to and enjoy an array of different interests and friends. You don’t have to be the same as everybody to be socially accepted, what you have to be is willing to do is have an open mind to try to experience what other people enjoy and if it doesn’t work for you, people won’t disrespect you because you proved that you tried enjoying it and it wasn’t for you. If they don’t respect you then they’re people that you shouldn’t be spending any time with and if you can’t avoid them then it should be clear that you don’t appreciate their disrespect and that you will stand up for yourself if they pursue any confrontation. Stay out of their way, or if you can’t and they insist on attacking you in any way, respect yourself, morals and beliefs enough to defend yourself.
You should never feel bad about being a respectful and considerate person, practise this all the time. Even respect a bully enough to walk away from a fight if you get the better of them. Just remember you equally shouldn’t feel bad about defending yourself, in every way.
Disclaimer: If somebody who is being bullied has referenced this in their defence for defending themselves from being bullied and you want to blame me then you’re probably a coward confined to a stupid system which gives you false security and doesn’t protect you, yourself. Are you a teacher? Can you imagine being surrounded by a group of late-teen students who are threatening to attack you physically whilst you’re on your way to your car on your own and nobody is around? Fight or flight response. Do you take the beating and report it later, if you live? Or do you do what you can to defend yourself and get away? Don’t let these systems blind you of the fact you have one life and you have the right to protect it, regardless of what the paper says.
Streamlining Evolution (the concept of evolution occurring based on the adaptation of a species removing assets not necessary for survival in order to make better use of other resources) seems like a dead interesting concept. The only information I can find on it is this though:
“Devolution”, the verb “devolve” and the past participle “devolved” are all common terms in science fiction for changes over time in populations of living things that make them less complex and remove some of their former adaptations. The terminology used herein is nontechnical, but the phenomenon is a real but counter-intuitive one, more accurately known as streamlining evolution. Since the development and maintenance of a feature such as an organ or a metabolite has an opportunity cost, changes in the environment that reduce the utility of an adaptation may mean that a higher evolutionary fitness is achieved by no longer using the adaptation, thus better using resources. This requires a mutation that inactivates one or more genes, perhaps by a change to DNA methylation or a methionine codon. Streamlining evolution allows evolution to remove features no longer of much/any use, like scaffolding on a completed bridge.
However, “devolution” in practice typically refers to changes that occur from a problem no longer existing rather than superior solutions existing. For instance, of the several hundred known species of animal that live their entire lives in total darkness, most have non-functional eyes rather than no eyes. This is due, for instance, to deterioration of the optic nerve. It occurs because mutations that prevent eye formation have low probability. However, several eyeless animal species, such as the Kauai cave wolf spider, who live in total darkness, and whose ancestry mostly had eyes, do exist. Together with gene duplication, streamlining evolution makes evolution surprisingly able to produce radical changes, despite being limited to successive, slight modifications.”
It reminds me of Bruce Lee’s quote: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
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I spend so much time trying to strengthen my character only for one measly thing to come along and cause an avalanche, with each decline stripping away strength and exposing weaknesses.
Obviously I don’t condone Charles Manson’s psychology, to be honest I’ve only just started researching into what he was about. But I just found a weird coincidence that so much of what he was saying in this interview is exactly the same as I watched in this interview with Will Smith later regarding positive thinking…
Will Smith Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUlPVCbKCOo&list=WL75FB4FFED48630E7
We believe that preparation eradicates cowardice, which we define as the failure to act in the midst of fear.
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In self-defense and in defense of the innocent, cowardice is the only sin.
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The magic of art is that you can compensate down to the most minimal of tools if you practice enough.
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As they all are, it’s been a year of lessons based on experiences. The lesson that rings most loudly to me are to avoid toxic people and those that pollute my mind with negative thoughts.
Next lesson is always to have a goal (or set of goals) to focus on & proceed to complete them.
It’s true what they say about experiences making you wise. Unfortunately this year has contained a few to many poor decisions on my behalf, so, although there’s been some bloody good times, it’s been quite stressful on a subconscious level. But on a positive note I’ve also made some good decisions that will hopefully follow me for the rest of my life.
In 2013 I’d like to lose the fear. The fear is of other people being able to ruin my plans out of spite, envy, ego, lack of understanding or plain psychopathy. I want to lose the subconscious stress of having to defend myself from the limitations of other people & proceed to express myself honestly. 2013 will be a year of searching for & facing my inner demons whilst strengthening my character & body. My plan is for this continued focus of bettering myself to lead to confident independence & all the great things that comes with that, and from there enough security in myself to truly devote myself to a lady. - For the sake of my ego (I still haven’t quite conquered getting over the need to stop defining myself), I’m not unconfident in myself or afraid to take risks or challenges, and I appreciate levels of fear will always be there & are good when used as a positive drive. I just want to be sure others do not effect my decisions.
I have my goals for 2013 & won’t be sharing them publicly directly. As the year progresses & the dedication to my goals proves strong you’ll likely see what my goals were. So it is goodbye to the bad stuff in 2012, thank you for the lessons & good times - I will carry those into the new year. Hello to 2013, I hope you don’t mind me bringing a bit of useful luggage from 2012 & I’d like to compliment how green your grass looks.
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I’ve been working on a track tonight, and tonight as is the case many other nights I’ve been working on what I consider a shit tune. You know a tune is shit when it just doesn’t groove properly, the vocals sound cheesy as fuck, the chord progression has too many major chords so it sounds like a kids program theme, you can’t be arsed to mix it and it’s just generally something you’d turn off if somebody else sent you it.
But I carried on making it, and different to previous times when I’m carrying on out of determination to make it better, I carried on for a different purpose tonight. I was enjoying and chuckling to myself over the fact it was so shite. It was good just to have a jam and not worry about the perception of the music itself and focus more on the enjoyment and moment of making it.
In theory it’s all beneficial… Smiling and messy around experimenting (even knowing the track is going nowhere) is still progress. I’m confident that when working in my comfort zone I could have made something much more productive, polished and preferential to my ears but working outside of that comfort zone will be what helps me expand it so that my music doesn’t get too repetitive and samey.
Tonight, as a first I think, I naturally appreciated and embraced making shit music, rather than dwelling on it. It’s the continued ability to learn new things that keeps life and what you do in it exciting and interesting. Although I wish I could be spending more time on music, tonight has helped me realise that as long as I’m inspired to make music and the result is shit, it will still result in better music eventually. I no longer consider ‘the shit music stages’ writers block.
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Elliott Hulse on how being more simplistic will result in more happiness. Strip away the materialism and focus on what your soul is telling you that you want. And the way I’m portraying this personally is this: you can still enjoy the materialistic and tangible things, you don’t have to turn your computer off and read books from a candle if you don’t want to. Just make sure that shit isn’t controlling your life when there’s some sort of itch to be doing something else. Learn how to hear yourself and what you’re telling yourself you need. I look at life as if I’m on a written path and it’s down to my choices whether or not I reach where I’m headed, it’s why I’m with Elliott when he talks about his concepts of being the strongest version of yourself. For me, being the strongest version of myself is insuring I’m guiding my life back to a place of that stripped back happiness, where I can do what the fuck I want to do without any burdens what-so-ever.
I’ve had a very active ‘right brain’ this weekend, my subconscious has been riding high & I’ve been inspired & creative. Because, unfortunately, my mind has also been busy (or to be honest stressed), the combination has resulted in some whacky dreams. But I want to dedicate this post to that groggy hour between being asleep & in logical focus mode for work.
This hour on a Monday feels so groggy for the likes of me as it’s the one where you’re preparing to let go of your free artistic self in order to be your logical robot self for the next five days.
What I hate the most about this hour is the way you were having vivid dreams just before & you can remember still images of scenes from them perfectly, but as the hour goes on & you commit to conscious life again, all of those images fade away back into your subconscious abyss.
Me: Will You Marry Me?
Me: What if I wasn’t joking?
Girl: Josh, you you don’t know me that well… We’ve not even tried to have a relationship, let unknown getting married… We might not be suited!
Me: What if I told you it felt like the whole universe was shifting landscape around me to create a path I could follow that would lead to you? Like there’s a magnetic pull I’m constantly fighting because of modern obstructions, paradigms and taboos and my ‘sense’ to stay sane and not let loose and do something seriously fucking crazy… What if I could let go of my insecure voice inside questioning “what if she’s not into me, what if she isn’t what I thought she was?” - What if we could run away and change everything we thought we were and become who we’re supposed to be together… Frankly I don’t understand why I’m saying these things, it just feels right… And I’m becoming the person who’ll not think twice about doing what I think is right, questioning it doesn’t even cross my mind.
Girl: Is just Josh’s imagination getting carried away with itself.
This week, or maybe the last three weeks, my mind has been hosting some peculiar thoughts. Every now & again these times come around when I feel unmotivated and what I class as ‘off the rails’. I spend a period of time neglecting the things that drive me as a person and instead focus on degenerative things like drinking and ‘socialising’.
Obviously I have no issue with socialising, in fact I love spending time with my friends and even meeting new people. The problem is, as I believe I have mentioned before, in the culture I’ve grown up in and come to know socialising, it always seems to involve extrovert-based ‘antics’.
It’s not so much the actual examples of extrovert choices of ways to pass time that bother me, such as going out to locations full of people and drinking, or spending time with people I don’t know. What is starting to effect me is the mindset & behaviour of the extrovert people I’m with. - Now don’t get me wrong these people are good friends of mine and I’m not in any way judging them for what they do, it’s all socially kosher stuff and I don’t see it as bad, I’m just explaining here how it effects me.
Things that seem small to them are big to me and things that seem exciting to me bore them. Drama is often exciting and driving for them whereas for me I couldn’t care less about the stresses other people are placing on themselves. The way they approach and converse with other people is very different to how I prefer to. - They will often thrive on small talk and use it to their advantage whereas I prefer a knowledgeable or conceptual conversation. I like to spend time recollecting my thoughts and summarising my night the day after a night out whereas a lot of my friends want to go out and do the same again and get annoyed when I neglect conversation with them. - Something I’m never going to be happy about, personally I don’t think a friend should have an issue with me wanting to have time to myself when I spend a fair amount of time with them anyway.
Another example of where our thoughts differ is on women… They’re always insistent that talking to women requires a formulaic confident small talk and if you’re the most determined and confident man then the girl will be yours for the night regardless of any other contributing factors. This is likely the case for the majority of girls who attend the places we’ve been attending, but they’re not the kind of girls I’d be comfortable spending my time with - even if it was time spent in a sexual manner. Question: Where are all of the more introvert girls? I never seem to meet any… But again that could be because I’m always in extrovert-based places…
As I’ve tried to make clear here, I’m not anti-extrovert and can handle extrovert situations and adapt my personality to fit them but I’m starting to feel less comfortable doing it and notice more what’s happening to my personality lately. When I drink too much in these situations - which is often a result of being in them, the extrovert in me is portrayed, and it’s a very strange adaption of an extrovert, it’s a person somewhere he shouldn’t really be. A lost cause. - Or maybe I really am just ‘growing out of going out’.
Just to proof the pudding of how my composure has slipped recently, I have to admit that I’ve been tooting the tommy toke fairly regularly lately and it’s something I gave up before because it messed my head up. I just forgot to what extent, I remember it being a case of paranoia and panic attacks (something I’ve learnt better how to deal with, even when smoking) - I completely forgot about the nasty trips of some sketchy alter-ego version of myself taking control of my psyche and making me question whether or not I’ve been awake for the past few months or if my life is actually existent. So this shit is going out of my life again.
I think all of this rebelling and passive outbursts of behaviour I don’t even condone is the result of repeatedly neglecting my introvert nature, or feeling compelled to be different to who I naturally want to be because some social vampires insist it’s how I should live. Social vampires in my life aren’t working with my naturally introvert personality. No longer will I allow these people to use their manipulation to make me feel guilty for being who I want to be, if these people continue even after I’ve firmly but friendly said no, they’ve got to be moved out of my life.
Looking back at going out doing these things, I’ve been seeing them as an experiment of what I can handle and what I cannot, and what I can’t handle is going out in extrovert situations too often - I lost concept of who I am as a result of not being able to reflect what I’ve done. I’m now going to focus on accepting and living with my introvert nature and avoiding situations and events where I might try and change myself to fit in better. I’m going to pursue telling my extrovert friends that they should no longer expect me to participate until they stop inviting me and if they continue to not even try to understand me, I’ll take great effort in removing their negativity from my life.
My body is just a host between my soul and keyboard… There is no thinking involved, the soul knows how to express itself.
I’m starting to develop an understanding of how we are connected to the universe some more. I often read how we are one with the universe and I’m developing a concept of how this is possible.
The part which particularly struck me in this video was when the psychologist was explaining how the subconscious is a flea where the conscious is an elephant, the elephant will always follow the flea. This got me thinking about articles I’ve read about people who felt like they’d contacted other beings or been in touch with the universe to a more visible degree when using hallucinogenic drugs to allow the subconscious to take over the conscious mind. Maybe it is the subconscious that is most connected to the universe and it’s essentially what some consider the soul. Maybe it’s the subconscious guiding us through our lives and choosing our destiny and if we can learn how to control our subconscious to mastery, we can essentially contact and control the universe…
I know it’s all sounding a bit far out and Avatar but I think with more research there could be something there to study…
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