Refugees

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One subject I had to blog about this week is the current refugee situation happening in the world at the moment. I am not a huge fan of the word ‘immigrant’ so excuse me if I don’t use it how it is being banded about in the press but I really wanted to share my views on the situation.

I think as a global population we should be doing everything we can to help those that are risking their lives to reach safety after being forced to flee their own homes and homeland due to instability, war and safety concerns. I know for many of us in the west it is so hard to comprehend their plight, as it is something that in the current world we would never have to do, but it is so important that we do and that we help them. If you have the luxury of being able to live in safety and have your own home you are lucky and it is important that as many of us with the capacity to help – do something.

Easy for the privileged

If you have money you can buy a visa or citizenship to another country. If you have had a good education and have unique skills you can get a visa to another country because of those things. Nobody says anything bad about these people wanting to move to another country but it seems that people, who haven’t had those privileges are seen as awful for wanting that same opportunity, but for much more compelling reasons.

As the public of the western world we have to be very careful to not get desensitised to what is going on. At the moment there seems to be so much media coverage of the situation, which is a good thing but we need to be careful about how we respond to it. We can’t afford to let the news and images we see lessen what we feel or let it make us feel helpless.

Don’t hide behind social media

The other thing we have to be very careful of is hiding behind social media. Social media is a great place to share feelings about situations and news about situations but we have to be careful of not getting in to the mind-set that sharing about something on social media is enough and that it will solve the worlds problems. We have to follow it up with action.

I think as a world we need to do something to help those caught up in the current refugee situation to find safety but long term it is important that we all try and stamp out the things that lead to people seeking refuge in other countries. People should be able to live without fear in their home country. If people are to move to a new country it shouldn’t be to flee it should be because it is a decision they want to make.

The one thing we all want regardless of our situations is a better life or the best life and I wan to do all I can to help as many people obtain that.

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Freedom of Belief

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Through my work over the last few weeks and through keeping an eye on the news, I have felt in today’s world that there is an attack at the moment on people who believe in something.

It seems to me that freedom of speech only seems to be granted to those opposing viewpoints, rather than those that have them. I think freedom of speech and belief should be granted to all. Even if you don’t agree with a viewpoint, people should still be allowed to have them and voice them, it’s only by people voicing opinions, that we can really talk about and tackle the issues of today’s society.

Believing in something isn’t wrong

I think the message being pumped out today is that if you believe in something you are wrong and that you are wrong to believe in something. A message that if you follow a religion you can’t be ‘right.’ I have alluded to how I dislike how society seems to view people who are passionate about things in past blogs and this just seems to be that same type of thing, just on a whole bigger scale.

First newsflash – not everyone who follows a certain religion are the same. Don’t judge a religion by the actions and thoughts of a few, as they don’t speak for that religion. Second newsflash – following a religion doesn’t mean that you hate people or judge people who have a different lifestyle to you. Having a belief or having beliefs does not automatically make you intolerant of others.

Tolerance

I thought these things were obvious, but it ever increasingly seems that they aren’t as obvious as I thought. For an educated society in some ways it seems as if we have gone backwards. If anything I think it is the world that has got less tolerant of people who follow religions.

The world we live in has made me and I think many others reluctant to share viewpoints any more, as I think the powers that be want a world where they dictate how we think and stop people from having their own viewpoints. It is however those brave enough to stand up and share their views who will change this world.

Opposing views

Just because someone has an opposing view to you, it doesn’t make them right. Just because a viewpoint has media backing, it doesn’t make it right. Having the strength to keep hold of your beliefs when others are against you is one of the greatest strength’s you can ever obtain.

I think the world is guilty of making people who are passionate about things feel different, not normal or not ‘cool.’ I think they are treated in the way they are because society has been controlled to a point, that they are now inbuilt to try and stop others from standing out. The sad thing is that many don’t even know they are doing it or why they are doing it. As I have said before, I think it will be those that are willing to stand out that will change the world; I just hope people have the bravery to do it.

International Support

Most weeks I will check the stats for the blog to see what people are reading and what subjects have really engaged them. The one section of stats that I absolutely love though is the one where I can see the countries that my visitors are coming from.

At the moment it seems like each week I check my stats there are new countries represented. It would be amazing if one day the stats showed that someone in every country on the planet had viewed this blog. That’s the thing I love about the internet, how when you post something at any time of day someone, somewhere can click a link or type in a web address and read your work.

A Connected World

We live in a world now where you don’t even need to go to a country or place to have a positive impact on it, which I think is super cool. A world where you can change the world in your sleep. We are a more connected world than we have ever been before and the possibilities to share in each other’s life are there for us to take.

I am appreciative of every view this website gets and I thank each and everyone of you for taking the time out to read my blog, regardless of what country you come from, but it does always touch me when people whose first language isn’t English take the time to read.

I wish I was fluent in a second language and had the ability to converse with people of other nationalities in their language and read information from their countries. I am also pretty sure that there are many bi-lingual and multi-lingual people out there who’s English is far superior to mine, which puts me to shame really.

A Thirst for Knowledge

I am though so glad that there is this thirst for information and knowledge that people aren’t letting language be a barrier to obtaining it. I wish I could translate this blog properly and have it available in multiple languages to make it easier for people to read, as I think that would open up some important and big audiences.

More than ever I think many of us now understand how important the events in other countries are and how they impact us all. The world is also a more open and accessible space these days, so I think we should be encouraged to learn and understand other languages. I think the English speaking world has it much easier than most other countries when it comes to conversing with the world due to the number of English speakers, but I think it is important that we don’t get lazy with it and that we appreciate the position it affords us.

Shared Experience

I wish I could be there sitting with one of the viewers of this blog from another country when they read it and talk about it with them. I would love to know what they think about what I am saying and how their opinion or viewpoint might differ to mine because of their background or culture.

No one person can experience everything or know everything. This is why I am so keen to use the Internet to share my thoughts and experiences, but to do it in a way where I can connect with others and learn from them as well. I don’t think there are many people out there that you can’t learn something from.

To the people who have not let language be a barrier to their development, dreams, opportunities and thirst for knowledge, I salute you. In life there are so many things that can stop people from achieving what they were put on earth to achieve, so for those that push through them I will be forever impressed.

Don’t let language or anything be a barrier to success in your life. If there is something you want to achieve, its time to go out there and achieve the things you need to achieve to make it happen. If you want to change the world in a positive way don’t let anything stop you.

So, I’m different! Aren’t we all?

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One thing I love about life and the world is how we are all different. There are not two of us 100% identical inside and out. I think the fact that we have different personalities, interests, thoughts and looks, makes this world an interesting place to live.

One of the ways I stand out is my hand tremor that I have as a result of having Arnold Chiari Malformation. Now I bet you have never heard of it and I hadn’t too until I was diagnosed, so here is a bit more information on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold%E2%80%93Chiari_malformation

Assumptions

Thankfully my symptoms aren’t as severe as most but it has led to a lifetime of meeting people who before getting to know me, were more interested in finding out why my hands shake or making assumptions on why my hands shake.

Some of the most common questions I have been asked by strangers are: “Are you nervous?” “Are you cold?” “Have you taken too much of your inhaler?” or just the simple “Why are your hands shaking?” In these situations I have been made to feel like people think it is more important to find out why my hands shake, than getting to know who I am and what I am about.

Visual People

I think as human beings many of us our visual people and like to question what we can see and we start doing that right away, whether we verbalise those thoughts or not. It normally takes people longer however to start questioning what they can’t see about people and I personally think its what inside of us that is more important, not what’s on the outside.

Because of my hand tremor I stand out and I think the reason people question it, is because we live in a world where the ‘normal’ exists and it seems that there is this pressure to conform to it. I think this unseen pressure stifles a lot of creativity and stops a lot of people from standing out and being the world changers that this world needs.

Standing Out

I’m not making a conscious effort to stand out with my hand tremor; it was just something I was born with, so for that reason I dislike when it is what people notice about me. I want to be noticed for the reasons that I am trying to stand out, not those enforced on me.

I think when you take the opportunity to get to know people on the inside, you get to know the reasons that they want to stand out for, as these maybe quite different than the ways you think they stand out.

I know everyone is different when it comes to the physical ways they stand out from others, some want the chance to talk about it, some don’t want it referenced and some don’t really care. To me I would rather my physical difference was something that I didn’t have to over think, or make a conscious effort to talk about.

Handling Situations

Whenever I know I am meeting someone new, doing a presentation or going for an interview, I have to think to myself whether it is best to bring it up in discussion or not. I can’t just concentrate on the situation in hand by itself. The decision I make whether to bring it up or not, can then impact on that situation which I don’t think is fair. Will talking about it put the people I meet at ease? Will talking about it worry people or lead to more questions? Will people be able to work it out for themselves? These are just some of the questions that go through my mind.

I don’t think anyone with something that makes them different from others should be forced to talk about it. I have experienced this many times in my life when I have either been forced or felt forced to mention it and I think this is wrong. People who don’t have conditions like I have aren’t forced to talk about things that they may not want to talk about, so why should I be?

Sometimes I think my hand tremor is the elephant in the room when I am in social situations, which can affect the atmosphere. I should feel confident to go in to situations and it not be something that I was born with that affects the atmosphere. I also shouldn’t have to tell people before I go somewhere “just so you know I have a hand tremor” but sometimes I feel like I have to. My choosing to talk about my hand tremor or not shouldn’t dominate my life.

After saying everything that I have, I am not oblivious to the difficulty people have when knowing whether or not to bring up someone’s physical difference. Being able to figure out whether or not someone wants to talk about it can be very difficult and you yourself shouldn’t feel bad for not doing the right thing if your intentions were good. I just wanted to put you in my shoes and the shoes I’m sure of some others who feel like I do.

My personal opinion is whenever you want to talk about something that makes people different, make sure it is a thing that person wants to stand out for and not what you think they stand out for.

Change Your World

So how is 2015 treating you so far? Did you make any resolutions? If you did – Have you kept to them?

The start of the year is always a tricky time. It is a time where anything is possible to achieve for the year ahead. It’s a time of coming back to work or school after a rest for many so it can take a little while to get back to firing on all cylinders but already you are being forced to think about plans for the year.

I have been thinking about this first blog of the year over the Christmas break, originally I was thinking it would be “Change the World” but on reflection I think the mission for this year should be “Change Your World.”

Thinking about the possibilities for the year ahead can be overwhelming as there are just so many, like if you were to try and think of a way to change the world, it would be overwhelming. On the other hand I believe changing your world is very possible and if lots of people did it we could change the world together.

Your world is something you are very familiar with. Your world is the people you interact with, the issues that affect your daily life and the places in the world that you live in and that you go to. Your world is easily defined and should be something that you could find a way to influence positively.

The great thing about our worlds is that they all overlap with each other in some way. There are many people affected by the same things that you are, many people living in the same area as you and many people that are friends with or work with the same people that are in your world.

You can be a world changer by making your world a better place. By making your world a better place you can make it better for someone else too and you can make their world better at the same time. I am going to make it my mission this year to change my world for the better. I am going to look at my world, think of ways that I can make a difference then go out and do it. If you want to improve your life and the ones of those around you then you need to change your world.

I want 2015 to be the year where your world was changed for the better. So lets get to it people.