Sometimes, your job just sucks. It’s repetitive, it’s dirty, it’s boring. You feel undervalued and underappreciated, but you stick with it because it provides a living, comfortable or not. Friday and Saturday are easily the best days of the week, where decompressing from the workweek happens in the couch or in alcoholic debauchery. Monday morning, from the recesses of your brain, thoughts of change come bubbling up, yet the morphine towards the end of the workday sedates those thoughts and pushes them back into their dark cave. You know you can do better, you know you’re worth more, but you live on in complacency, unwilling to make the effort of potentially perilous change. (more…)
Degrees: Pay More, Earn Less
This was the headline of yesterday’s Metro. Between 2007 and 2012, students in the UK have seen their tuition fee rise to an average of £9,000 annually, while their salary upon graduation has decreased because of an increasingly competitive job market. Apparently, we are “the first generation to have it worse than their parents”. And this is the UK, currently the best economy of entire Europe. Youth unemployment is 60% in Greece, 55% in Spain, 42% in Italy. A Lost Generation. I wrote about this before in the context of Europe, where I gave the option to either remain complacent and indeed become a lost generation, or yell to gain attention from policy makers. Today I offer another option, one that makes the previous two obsolete. (more…)
Spirituality is a house with many rooms, each of a different religion. Some rooms are larger than others, some have more books, some have more valuable objects. Some rooms exude tranquility, other rooms are dark and feel oppressive. Everyone walks in the house of spirituality, with many staying in one room for most of their lives. I prefer to walk around and see what the house has to offer. Is it not a good idea to explore this house and understand it better? I have explored Christianity, the Islam and even Scientology and have come to what I now consider an obvious conclusion: there is truth in every religion and, more often than not, many religions have a common foundation. Respect for each other and for yourself plays a very big role in many, if not all, of the major religions. Do not kill, do not steal, be good to your parents, pray for God and cultivate your growth personally and spiritually. Give love and embrace love. These are returning values in many religions. Religious institutions often argue/quibble over which God is the true God, or which Book truly embraces the true religion, but could it not be that God is both Jahweh, Jehovah, Allah, and Buddha? If one is a true disciple of faith, what does it matter what religious institutions say? And if every religion offers a different and interesting angle on life, is it not worth investing some time in all of them and form your own opinion on them? I believe exploring every religion makes one a better person, more in tune with and with a higher tolerance towards any religion. Frankly, it makes one a more spiritual person.
I look at this Tate Modern painting long enough to see it come alive. It is a dragon opening its mouth and lunging towards me. Blank evil eyes look at me and spiders crawl over the canvas, spinning their web of deceit and greed and ever expanding their network. Dollar notes and poison float in the lake of black oil that fills the canvas and drowns the victim in the middle of the painting, behind the bars of the dragon’s teeth. The victim knows he is stuck and does no longer try to get out. He accepts his fate with sadness and reaches for the dollar note instead. White lines scar the surface of the painting and show all its faults, yet also the failed attempts of people to get out.
Does this show the true nature of the system we live in? Or is it a warning not to fall in the trappings of wealth, jealousy and societal pressure? This painting shows money should be used as a means to an end, not as the end itself. Money should be a catalyser for visionary ideas, for art and literature, for the improvement and perhaps survival of everyone on the blue planet. The Western world is driven by a glass window of ethics that is broken with every stone thrown at it, and it is taking over the world. In class, teachers talk about the potential for companies of the three billion new middle class consumers, rather than how those companies could tackle overpopulation, or how they could find new ways to use resources efficiently. I do not consider these challenges unsurmountable, but I miss a sense of vigour in the global leaders and in global companies to tackle and solve them. However, I believe we can find and gather enthusiasm and vigour through social media. Since I strongly believe improving the world and resolving its challenges would start with improving yourself, I will post a daily tweet from today onwards about how I improved myself, someone else, or the world. Step by step, #IImprove.