Day 39: Listen

/ˈlΙͺs(Ι™)n/ : To give one’s attention to a sound. I’m sure you know the definition. But lately, I realised that few of us do anymore. We are good at pretending we are. Like my dad says, we hear through one ear and what’s been said flies out through the other. There’s a short back story to my inspiration for this post.

After a year of using them, my earphones died on Sunday. I was in TK Maxx, doing some shopping (you know it’s therapy), listening to one of my favourite podcasts 3ShotsofTequila and … a sudden silence from my left earphone. Although irritated, I didn’t complain. I couldn’t! Because for earphones that cost me less than Β£13, I had gotten more than full use out of them. The value for money probably ended at 6 months so I’m grateful. Since I was in TK Maxx, I decided to get a cheap option to keep me going till I replace my old faithfuls. When I am listening to more podcasts than music, the sound output is the least of my worries. They’ve been okay so far but I can tell the difference. For Β£5, I cannot expect better. All I need is some barrier between me and the world as I am out there and I am getting some of it. Their shittiness only struck me a few hours ago when I decided to wind my day with some Hans Zimmer (for those that do not know who he is, listen to movie scores, he’s one of the most celebrated composers.) There’s nothing worse sounding though than Classical music coming through lousy earphones. Yes, it’s worse than blending forks.

So yeah, it hit me when I was listening to another favourite, actually it’s number one on my list now, DMD Podcast. Like a tonne of bricks, that so much information is out there for us but we barely use it to our advantage. Maybe we do not want to exert ourselves, we are too comfortable, I don’t know. All I know is there is a lot of ignorance floating around. I don’t know everything! Don’t quote me even, but I have had many a conversation with people that are holding their phones in their hands all the time, have access to the internet, and they still cannot use google to enlighten themselves. Like Skribz said, (I’m paraphrasing here), few want to be students. The fact that the words “I don’t know, can you enlighten me” or “show me where I can find that information” don’t really exist in our heads anymore is disturbing. This is where politicians win. They know the wider public, the one that can force them into change, is okay with being spoon fed information. Whether it is wrong or right, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is has the agenda been pushed?

My dad always made sure we discussed politics and history when I was younger. Whenever I asked him for help with my homework, I got more than I asked for. I was a child then, I found it long of course! Now though, I see and appreciate what he was doing. I remember we had news books (part of the homework) in which we wrote a summary of what struck us most as we read the newspapers. While most of my classmates got away with copy and paste,my old man wanted me to write everything in my own words. He always took the time to explain to me what I did not understand. As time went on, I started discussing with him over coffee or tea. I vividly remember my first cup of coffee. I was 11 (loved the experience but that’s a story for another day.) These discussions are definitely part of what led me to Law school. I was determined to work with the UN or the ICC, be a Judge or something. Till I realised the fuckery that goes on in all these institutions. The laws are made but politics gets in and messes it all up. It does more damage than when you pour juice into a laptop. It’s happened to me before, I had a coursework deadline to beat, it wasn’t pretty!

See when the law is made, everyone is expected to follow it. It should work that way. At least in an ideal world. What is ignored, and I’m sure it’s on purpose, is the fact that one CANNOT follow a law they DO NOT KNOW! It’s no surprise either that a phrase like “Ignorance of the law excuses no one” exists. And it is said proudly by the way. Those that know the law, usually the same that make it, do not give a shit if you don’t know. Politicians and other people in power banking on the ignorance of the masses is something I noticed when I was in Uganda. I was 12. We were studying Civics at the time. Talking about Human Rights and Duties. I remember my dad bringing the up the duty of the State to the Citizen. All they taught us at the time was the duty of the Citizen to the State (of course!) You have to know that when you reach a certain age, you’ll pay the Gov’t a part of your wages whether you like it or not. It’s a given. The government doesn’t want you to really know the other side. It’s cheeky that way. So when my dad brought up the other side, I knew I could not forget it. Something that isn’t as emphasised but is important usually stays in your head.

Ignorance is not bliss. It just reduces your outrage and makes you complacent and easily accepting of anything as long as it is packaged well. Best example of how this works out, is in the rural areas of Uganda (what am I saying, in the urban areas too.) These people are living in absolute poverty. They lack things like medical care, they have some of the highest infant mortality rates, but because they do not see themselves as tax payers, they have no outrage over how fucked the government is. All the President (been the same for 31 years now) and his counterparts have to do, is give them handouts. A little money, about Β£1 equivalent and a t-shirt, a kilo of sugar, and they’re voted again. All the broken promises of the past 5 years are forgotten. It instantly becomes a case of the man cares about us. Another vicious 5 years begins and the cycle continues. If you told these people that for every little sugar, oil, soap, paraffin for the lamps, that they buy, some goes to the government, maybe they would care about the poor services that are available to them.

Fucked up thing is, it is the same damn thing everywhere else in the world. The first world too (no one should lie to you that it’s different.) All that makes it seem better is the fact that the first world has had a longer time juggling this democracy thing so the lies are just more refined. They use numbers and statistics, the media pushes it down your throat for them. This is why we need to listen and eliminate the ignorance. We are given 10% of the information directly or less. We have to get the other 90% ourselves. It might seem hard but take a few minutes off snapping and google something useful. Get into an argument with someone who has different views from yours, don’t make it a nuclear war though, you’re just people, not countries. It works. It is how I made up my mind in the 2015 election and the Brexit one too. I had only been here a few months for the first and a year for the second. I definitely had little to no information on what to vote for. Enlightening myself worked. For the former I wasn’t even sure I cared, I actually didn’t but I know numbers matter. One is too little but if we all put in what we could (walking to the polling station and ticking that candidate) we would see the change, rock the boat with time maybe even have a whole revolution. I’m tired of talking to people who are all about the it won’t make a difference story line.

You DON’T know! You NEVER know! It is all about doing your part for your future.

I’ve talked too much today. 2 hours into my bedtime, but I had to say whatever I have said. Could have said more but I will not tell my manager I was late because I stayed up writing. Till the next entry.

Day 4: Not A Child Anymore

No one will take care of you if you don’t do it yourself.

I know that, you should know it too. It’s a fact! After being taken care of by my parents for a whole 23 years of my life, it’s a fact I learnt the hard way. Going to the doctor alone and having to tell whatever is wrong with me without my mum by my side or having her call in first was one of the hardest. Yes, she was there for my trips to the doctor till I was 23, don’t laugh, I hate hospitals and clinics. But I’ve learnt, and I’m good at it now. 

Yesterday I had to call HMRC because I was being taxed too much. After the call, it hit me. No one cares about you if you don’t speak up. I’m sure if I hadn’t called I would have continued through the year without a clue. No wonder the extroverts of the world always get what they want. They know the key. Always say something, speak your peace and you will get ahead. I’m just learning to do that. It’s a process. Caring about “what they will think of me” has become the least of my worries. I call to ask, complain, make noise if I have to since some people pretend not to get your point even when you’re speaking the same language. Move wrong to me, I shout you out. The pinnacle for me though, will be when I send back a shitty meal or coffee in a restaurant (GOALS πŸ™ŒπŸΎ) We still say that?

Anyway, I see the world differently now. I know why activists exist. I know why they call out everything they don’t agree with. I know they don’t have to (insert eye roll GiF) but we all know that you let something slip once, the perpetrator will take advantage of the situation (side eye the Tories). You can’t let anyone stomp on you and your space. You have to draw the line, let them know that “thou shalt not cross.” 

You’re not a child anymore!” my mother said to me 2 years ago. I’m grown now, I think

Take Care πŸ€—

Day 2: Greatness!

On my way to church this morning, I was telling my aunt how I am done trying to show others that I am awesome and waiting for them to notice me. That I am just going to work on myself and let my awesomeness glow at the greatest levels. Little did I know that the sermon today was going to be about greatness and standing tall with it because that’s what God said He would give us through Abraham.

Genesis 12:2

I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.”

That quote cut me deep. To think that when Jesus died on the cross for my sins, I got that greatness. It’s within but I have doubted myself for so long, suffocating it. Well today, I said, “NOT TODAY SATAN, NOT TODAY!” And I promised myself that I will NOT forget my greatness, the one that I have in Jesus Christ, the one that I inherited as a Child of God, the one I feel whenever I accomplish something. That greatness is within me and it is up to me to let it shine bright. To nurture it to its peak and see how far I can carry it. It’s not a burden, it’s a gift, and like all gifts, it’s meant to be used and enjoyed.

That sermon, that sermon came to me at the right time. It’s the best way for me to start the week. Have a good one, I know I will πŸ™πŸΎπŸ˜Š