Day 421: Don’t get too high on yourself…

Today I had an experience where I pushed myself to do something I had never done before. I have been working with educational software for some time now and today I used it to learn something that I had never learned before, that I never felt confident that I would ever be capable of learning – namely, I was learning a completely new language with a completely new set of symbols that look nothing like English or the European languages. Using the software as a tool, I proved to myself that I could do it, which was rather cool. What happened then was that I got very excited that I did it.

However, I did not stop and consider for a moment that the excitement could have been merely based on the fact that I doubted myself so much in the first place. It certainly did, as I had realized after I did it, how much self-doubt there actually was.

What then happened is that, later on in my day, I ended up wasting a bit of time on the internet looking at sports videos. Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with that, but for some context, this is a habit that I have been working to give up as the real reason I have habits like looking at sports videos is because of all of the self-doubt and resulting poor skills/abilities that I have. This is very common, where people – due to a poor education and their lack of ability to become skilled and affective in their living application – end up developing habits that are basically just forms of entertainment to keep them busy because they feel they are incapable and can’t do much more.

I have always sometimes that ‘energy is a slippery slope’ – meaning that to allow one energetic experience to take over, opens the door for so many more and that is exactly what happened tonight – whereas if I had breathed and simply kept moving, the hour (or whatever amount of time it was) that I wasted watching sports videos could have been another hour that I was making progress, learning new things and being better off overall for it as a human being.

Life should be a constant learning process where we are always taking on new information and challenges, but due to our education system being so poor, so many lack confidence to the point where it almost seems impossible and maybe even pointless to even try and make an attempt to educate and improve ourselves. Imagine if that is all we ever did with every free moment of our days, living to our full potential – LEARNING MACHINES – it is quite uncanny what is truly possible – and that is, after, what we truly are – learning machines. But we forget that and everything about the way our educational system is designed is meant to have us forget that. We put so much effort into it, for so long, and from such a young age that we tend to take it for granted, how deeply this experience has affected us.

When you observe young children – the ones who have not yet been influenced by the forces of our world systems – one can see that they really are learning machines, as they are still in an optimal state at that age. Their capacity for learning is INCREDIBLE and that is something that should really be harnessed and taken advantage of – but rather, children sit in a room in a ‘school’ and have their minds ‘rot’ – that natural learning ability not used/exercised nearly to its full capacity. The is an entire, vast universe outside of that room that they are confined to, and we are not letting them absorb it. That is a crime against life, to say the very least.

We forget ‘who we really are’ as these learning machines, and so it is no wonder we overcompensate and get all excited and give ourselves a pat on the back every time we actually do something for our betterment, because of the circumstances, that has become like a miracle. But the truth is that this is who we are. If we really realized our full potential and lived it, standing equal and one with who we really are in our true nature, we would ONLY know self improvement. After all, machines should only upgrade and evolve, and we are biological machines. if we only knew self improvement and this were everyday, normal life, would we get so excited every time we have a breakthrough and make progress?

Day 420: Breathing life into a dead system
So I’m looking at a point I am facing today which is that, after writing about the tendency to get frustrated and use force/some form of aggression to get things done, and yet, today at school I had a moment with my grade 6 class where I became frustrated with them. So why did I?

Because I have a job to do, and there always exists this underlying fear that there will be negative consequences/experience for me if I do not do what is expected of me. And yet, I am completely certain that, to do the job, to educate the children, this way will not work.

The truth is that I do not control the students desires, wants, habits, interests, actions – nor do their parents – nor does anyone – but the students themselves. One thing I have learned throughout my process is that you cannot make someone else self responsible, you cannot make someone else self directive, you cannot make someone else be self honest. These are responsibilities that must be taken up by each one themselves and this does not exclude the children of our society – in fact it is crucial that they, of all people, learn this point.

All that I am able to do is provide an influence, an example of my own self responsible living application. The same goes for the parents, however the parents play an even greater influential role than I, the teacher does. And then there are greater force of influences such as the media, the government, the religious institutions etc – all play a role in shaping these children, their behavior, attitudes and beliefs.

Like so many societal issues, the tendency is to blame only a select few individuals as culprits. When the children do not do well, the teachers become an easy target, just as when a society is not doing well, the politicians are an easy target – but what about the community which harbored and produced these politicians? Does it bear no responsibility? Are the rest of us all just angels while the politicians are complete anomalies and the only evil doers? No – in fact if most of us were placed in the shoes of the politician, we would be just as self serving. Do you really think that if you had the opportunity to live like a king at the expense of others, your greed and desires would not get the better of you too?

So, to apply this point practically, the fear is of course that parents or supervisors are going to be dissatisfied with the teacher if the teacher does not attempt to use tactics of aggression to have the students submit (even though this doesn’t work). What is stopping me from calmly explaining to them that it is not my responsibility for the students to learn, but rather that of the students and even the parents as the primary care takers of the students? Perhaps it is the awareness that people tend to want to look for something or someone to blame so that they do not have to take self responsibility for themselves – I know this because I am ‘people’.

It may not seem easy, it may be challenging, it may be entering into uncharted waters, into the unknown because here we are talking about imploring people to have a whole new way of looking at things where it is they who are responsible for themselves – and yet, challenging as it may seem, this is the only way to actually make a difference! This is the only opportunity for a real dialogue to open up about how we can actually get real, understand the problems for what they are and be practical in actually doing something about it that will make a real difference – even if it is just a bit at a time – it is much more than repeating the same old patterns and getting nothing done.

The title of my job is ‘teacher’ – not ‘policeman’ or ‘crown control’ – and even if I were a police man or crowd control – how is that system working out for us? The world is in more of a police state than it has ever been and yet, things are only getting worse…

The education system is broken – to put it simply and to understate the severity of the disaster that it is. Like all systems, it is going to take courageous people who have the integrity, self honesty and self responsibility to stand up and make a difference – to offer an alternative that may so far be unseen, and yet, through the certainty of the words spoken that show an understanding of the problem and what must be done in order to correct it, show the soundness of the solution that is being presented. The point is not to rebel – but rather to breathe when the challenges arise – both inner and outer, so that we may allow ourselves to stand as the certainty and soundness that one is dedicated to understanding the problem, taking self responsibility for it – to embrace it as ourselves in order to work out and present a practical solution that is best for all.

Day 419: Using violence in the education system and cats
Today I had some experiences that prompted me to ask myself this question:

Why is it that violence, fear and intimidation cannot be used as a way to get things done? Why do I react when I see others accepting this as a way of living?

Violence, when used on students, is a quick fix solution. It will likely get them to shut up and listen to their teacher because they simply have no choice but to comply or be harmed. However, the fear that is generated within the children will either prevent them from absorbing the information that the teacher then tries to teach them, or, if the information is absorbed, then the child may attach an emotional experience to the information, and, because of the way they experienced the learning of the information, add a negative value to that information or the learning process thereof. Additionally, if the information is absorbed and reproduced successfully by the student, the student may then attach a positive value to such information/the experience of acquiring and processing the information, however, this positive value is only based on the preexisting negative value that was given to the information/learning experience that if the child does not comply, they may be harmed.

The even bigger point is that this experience of learning trains students to abandon their own natural learning ability, their own natural process of discovery and exploration, and the will to do so. This natural desire is replaced by a preoccupation with following commands, to the point where the child, once it reaches adulthood, will have lost virtually all will to live out their natural, continual learning process that would facilitate a natural living experience. The adult then will only move, work and acquire knowledge or skills when it is prompted with a kind of force that ultimately forces them to respond, and will additionally view ‘not learning’ or ‘not working’ as a positive thing because there is a relief from the mental stress that one experiences when they are normally otherwise prompted with words and actions that are meant to invoke the fear that generates movement.

Now, perhaps there is a place where fear could be used effectively to support people to move. There is, after all, ‘fearing what is to be feared’ – meaning that, for instance, if one is living a life where they disregard others and do not consider other life forms as equal and one to themselves, then there are going to be negative consequences and so naturally once should fear that. Fear here, becomes a supportive thing as one realizes that to stop the fear, they must realign themselves and learn that which will make them a better being in the service of life.

However, when the fear that is being used to move students is artificially created, this also fucks up their ability to establish what has value and therefore what requires attention and action. If a teacher is using the fear of failing a test or the fear of not getting a job and surviving (because apparently, if you don’t do well in school, you will not be prepared for the world and you will not do well or not survive) – those are artificial fears, they are not based in truth. Have a look at students that come out of high school after 13 to 14 consecutive years of schooling – are they prepared for the world to live independently as well rounded, capable people who can effectively handle and navigate their reality? Hell no.

Those who choose violence on others and believe it to be a valid and useful expression will be the first one’s to in some form be violent with themselves. This may not be obvious, but if one investigates deeply this can be found. It could be something as simple as judging oneself or having an addictive behavior that is destructive to the body.

When I see violence used on children at my workplace – I react, it is an awful sight to see – why? Do I react? Because this method has also been imprinted on me as a way of getting things done – using force. Why, just this morning I had an experience where my cat was really annoying me because I was limited in my time to get to work on time and my the cat kept on entering into a part of the house that it is not allowed into as it would be end up locked in there without food, water or a place to shit while I am gone at work all day. So the I saw the cat as a nuisance or problem or obstacle and so in my frustration, I reacted in a way that was violent in nature. I did not harm the cat as I do have a conscience and self restraint, but the way in which I reacted and took the cat outside was violent in nature, I had merely suppressed the reaction and desire to be violent.

So in both the instance of teachers with their students, and myself with the cat, there is one point in common: the fear of the teacher and my fear that if I do not do this, there will be negative consequences – and yet, in that fear we try to stave off negative consequences by doing something that is intrinsically negative, and will certainly have even bigger and consequences, eventually inevitably.

The fear that ‘the students will not learn’ is a ridiculous one as learning is a natural, commonsensical and inevitable process as it is in our human nature that we are required to learn in order to be able to exist, live and thrive. The learning process is only forced on children because of the fear that they will not survive within the world system/economy if they do not learn. I don’t believe that is necessarily true, but even if it were, that is only the case because we have created such a system in the first place – an artificial work system and economic system that requires an artificial form of learning.

The case is just the same with my experience with the cat. I was only frustrated and fearful and reacted in a way that was violent in nature because of the circumstances I had created, where, I did not allow myself to have sufficient time so that I could deal with the cat, and I was fearful of the consequences of not dealing with the cat in such a way.

We do not see children for who they really are – we do not seem to remember what it was like to be one of them and endure such awful and horrific experiences. We do not understand their real needs, and nature, we don’t really have a clue what is going on with them. Again, just the same with my cat – I did not allow myself to consider the cat, it’s situation, how it experiences itself.

Put yourself in the child’s shoes. Put yourself in the cats shoes. Put yourself into everyone’s shoes so that you will consider them sufficiently to be able to treat them in such a way where you could live in their shoes and be satisfied with it.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to use violence, force, intimidation and fear as a way of moving myself, others and as a way of getting things done – I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to want and desire to do this and to believe that this is an effective way to get things done and create a consequence that I would want.

I commit myself to stop the belief that using violence and force and fear and intimidation gets things done and has an outcome that is favorable to myself or anyone else – I commit myself to stop the desire to do this as I see, realize and understand that this desire is only based in my misunderstanding of others due to a lack of consideration of others as my equal and the fear that this lack of understanding creates.

Day 418: Fear of being judged/blamed

Currently I am in the first month of a new job and I noticed within my experiences that I have tendency to fear others judging me or blaming me – that, unexpectedly, a co-worker is going to have a problem with me and come attack me (verbally) or maybe gossip about me which may have other unexpected consequences, like my bosses having a problem with me.

Now, as I write this, I looked for a couple of memories that may have influenced me to have this fear – where I experienced a kind of trauma and the resonance of those experiences thus affects how I see and perceive things today.

One memory is of me as a child, where, one day unexpectedly one of my parents became very angry at me and my sister and just started judging us and saying bad things about us, without us having provoked them in any way. Because I took this personally, my reaction was to do what I could to change my parents feelings. The other is of me being at an old job when I was about 22 and suddenly being called into the office, unexpectedly, and being told I was fired, without being given any reason as to why (was really angry and my first instinct was to try and find a way to lash out.)

Sound familiar?

Interestingly, in both instances, I did not understand why this was happening, took it personally, and reacted in a way where I tried to control those who judged/blamed/attacked me. I did not see how I could have contributed to this problem (and thus how I could change myself so that I do not contribute in any way) and I went into a kind of panic, which prompted me to try and control others/what was happening to me. Lastly, I simply did not consider that how they reacted – even if I did contribute to them problem – was about them and how they perceived me. I reacted in ways where I just wanted the problem to go away and thus only looked for the ‘quick fix’ – instead of really taking responsibility for who I am, and how I live as a much bigger points that is dealt with as a continuous process of self change over time.

So if I do not get down to the ‘nitty gritty’ of myself – who I am and who others are as me – then this fear will continue and I will continue to tend to want to deal with the problem in a reactive way, which only recreates the problem – to ‘fight fire with fire’ (that only makes more fire). As long as I have in my mind the option of attacking others back or trying to control/manipulate others as a reaction, then this fear will continue. So my readiness to attack and judge/blame others must also stop for this fear of others doing the same to me to stop, because as long as I do not react, I can direct myself within any situation or event.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear others judging, blaming or attacking me – I forgive myself to fear this having negative consequences on me and I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that such experiences are out of my control and thus go into a panic, only because I may not have understood my role/participation within such a point.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to want and desire to judge/blame or attack others only because I fear they will do the same to me, and that I have not accepted and allowed myself to realize that this is no way of dealing with any situation effectively and will have more negative consequences for me.

I commit myself to not judge, blame or attack others, no matter what they do, how evil they become or how dangerous they may appear/be, as I see, realize and understand that such actions are only based within a fear which is based in the belief that ‘this is who this person really is’ and that I am apparently vulnerable and weak and cannot direct and assist/support such individuals

I commit myself to always find a solution that considers all equally so that I no longer demonize, judge, blame or attack others for who they are and what they do and thus I commit myself to deal with them practically by placing myself in their shoes whenever I react to them so that I may understand them as my equal

Day 417: You want proof? You are the proof.

How to give this blog post some context….?

For some time I have struggled with my process of self change through self forgiveness and self honesty. One of the reasons being that I actually have a belief that change is impossible, which has been formed throughout years of, well, staying the same and not changing. The fact is, it is quite difficult to see beyond what you already know/are already aware of, and while I have given ‘valiant efforts’ at self change, it has not been consistent enough for me to believe in that change being possible as a way of life.

I have tried abstinence (withholding from participation) as a way of change. This did not work and the reason for abstaining was again the belief that I cannot change: believing it is impossible, so I will just ‘try my best’ and ‘hold off with all my might’. I have also tried very hard at times in making a great effort at changing. This also does not work for a few reasons: firstly, the ‘trying hard’ is not necessary, it is again only based within the belief that change is impossible and therefore apparently I must ‘try harder’ – that is not the answer, as consistency in my process, I have found, is the key. Unwavering consistency. Another part of the ‘try hard’ mentality is based in the way  I have been conditioned over the years through my experience in the schooling system, where I would simply ‘bust my ass’ because the task looked difficult and was therefore unwanted, so I would just push as hard as I can, as fast as I can, to get it out of the way as soon as I can. Get it out of the way so I can get back to doing what is ‘fun’.

That is not process. Process is a lifetime commitment because it may very well take that long.

What I realized tonight through writing in my journal is that I will never stop this belief until I stop it – actually, physically stop it. What do I mean by that? Meaning that the proof is something that I have to show myself by living it. There were certain habits that I had not stopped without any leaving any ‘back doors’ open to fall into them again, and so, I kept falling back into those habits, and never gave myself a chance to fully stop.

Committing your life to a ‘higher purpose’, towards something that is truly noble, is a really nice sounding idea – too good to be true? Yes, because it cannot be just an idea, it has to be lived and unless it has been lived fully, we can never expect anything more than what we have given. Commitment is a great word to learn, it entails quite a lot. Consistency. Unwavering. Unconditionally.