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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

NEW BLOG!

Hello!

I've decided to return to the blogging world but have moved over to Wordpress and started a new one - What It Be Like

http://samuelejoseph.wordpress.com/

Appreciate your support up to this point.  If you liked my posts on here it would be great if you could jump over to the new blog and follow me there.

See you on the other side!


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happiness is the currency of life.

Money can buy you most things in life.  Houses, cars, diamonds, pretty much anything.

The wealthy are often envied in society.  This is mostly because the culture we live in often values material over emotional richness.

But happiness knows no credit cards, no ATM machines, no wage slips.

I have been lucky enough to experience certain things in my life that without money are difficult, and I have had a great time doing them.

Holidaying in the Maldives for example, was truly spectacular.  Going to different music festivals, amazing.  Et cetera, et cetera...

But these, along with many others weren't solely down to where I was or what I was doing.  They are made by the people I experienced them with.

It's no surprise that the happiest are not always the wealthiest.  Money gives you a certain comfort in life.  But more important than earning money, is earning the love and respect of those close to you.  If you succeed at this no amount of financial hardship can break you.

When you find a person, or people who make you happy at your core, hold on to them, treat them well and respect them, because when you find yourself without them you soon realise just how important they were.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Gary Speed. Sympathy & Suicide.

The news broke this morning that the now late Wales football manager, Gary Speed, has been found dead at his home after apparently taking his own life at the young age of 42.

Shock has of course swept through the footballing world.  Speed played over 500 premier league games, won 85 caps for his country, and after less than a year retired as a player was appointed manager of Wales.

Of course death is a horrific aspect of life, and all deaths deserve to be acknowledged and mourned accordingly.  Speed's death will be mourned across Wales, the UK, and worldwide.  Rightfully so, to an extent.  

Speed has left behind a wife and two children.  Is it right to have sympathy for an individual who has taken their own life?  It is those still here who must deal with the consequences.  Not that I know the exact circumstances of his life, but suicide in my opinion is often an easy way out, in some ways a selfish way out.  Are we right to wear black arm bands and honor a minutes silence for someone who commits suicide, but then brush over the countless individuals who die saving others?  I don't know.

I don't discredit what Speed did as a footballer, and through the countless character references I have heard so far this morning he was obviously a top man.  But if the reports are true, he made a decision, a decision to take his own life.  He was a healthy young man with a family and most likely the job of his dreams.  There are people in the world with a lot less going for them who struggle but still fight for a better life.

I'd be really interested to hear what you think?

Please subscribe/follow my blog if you think I'm worth listening to... 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hovis. The Best Of Both.


This is the first time I have blogged about a topic on request, but it is a topic that is of genuine interest to me and one which raises several questions.

What is life like being mixed race?  It’s great, I love it, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  But, wouldn’t a white, black, brown, yellow or green person say exactly the same thing?  Surely not many people wish they were a different race?  In my experience people tend to accept who they are and the attributes they have been brought into the world with.  You can be jealous of individuals sure, but not of an entire race right?  People are who they are.

My background.  My dad’s family are Dominican and my mum’s Italian.  Unfortunately I haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting Dominica, but I have been to Italy countless times and love the place.  I live with my mum and spend a considerably greater amount of time with her than I do with my dad.  Yet if someone was to ask me to describe myself as either black or white I would most likely say black.  To me that seems strange.  Why black?  Why not white?  I guess it’s simply because of the colour of my skin and how much that influences everything society.  To society I am black because my skin is brown.  Simple as.

There is a strange deep-rooted view in society that a white face is the starting point for human creation and that anything else is a deviation.  Race is treated like adding fruit squash to a glass of water, as soon as the first drop hits the water it becomes something else, no longer pure water.  In fact that is not how it works at all.  We don’t start as anything, white, black or anything else.  We are all unique blends of our parents and that should be appreciated and respected in it’s own right.  I embrace both my cultures as much as possible and would never ignore or disregard part of my make-up.  It’s my belief that at some stage in human development there will be a time where there are no longer strict races, and all people will end up being mixed.  This will go a long way to stopping much of the violence across the world and creating an overall better harmony in society.

To me, being born with parents from different cultures was a blessing.  I gained two sets of beliefs, traditions, and experiences.  It is harder to be labeled and put in a box.  But the thing I love most about being mixed race is, in my opinion, the way in which you can interact with diverse groups of people, from all different races.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one group of my friends are predominantly white and another predominantly black yet I find it easy to fit into both.  That’s not to say that only mixed race people can socializes across cultures of course because that’s not true at all.  I just mean that having a racial/cultural bond with both groups, subconsciously perhaps, allows me to fit in without much difficulty, the same is true when meeting new people.  I would be interested to hear from different people to hear about there experiences.

I'd be really interested to hear what you think?

Please subscribe/follow my blog if you think I'm worth listening to... 

Signing off.
Hovis ‘The Best Of Both’

Friday, 14 October 2011

Life.

Life is a consequence of the decisions we make.

Each decision we make determines the next choice we will be presented with.

Fate, destiny, call it what you like, is a pile of horse shit.  

We all have free will and make our own minds up.  But, there is only one version of reality, so those choices that we do make can only be made once, you cannot go back and change things.

One can only hope that the decisions we make are for the best, not meaningless every day decisions, but the ones that change your life forever.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Is going to University still worth the money?


Firstly, if I have been lucky enough since I started this blog to have gathered any hardcore followers I profoundly apologise for my lack of activity in the past month... I will try and make up for it starting now...

Now then... As a student finishing my A Levels in 2007 I was, like many others, faced with the decision of whether to apply for University.  To me it wasn't much of a question, I was an intelligent guy with the prospect of great grades, no-one in my family had ever been, and every guest speaker I'd ever heard talked about it made quite clear the financial benefits an individual with a degree had over one without.  No brainer right?  The fact that I would be coming out after 3 years over 20K in debt wasn't much of a factor  - everyone is going to be in the same boat, you don't start paying it off until you earn 15K and that's no sort of wage for a graduate right, so the debt would be paid off in no time.

Fast forward 5 years, we are entering the final year before the majority of Universities will be raising the tuition fees nearly threefold to 9K a year.  Now I put myself back in the position I described earlier... Not a no brainer anymore.  Now let me just quickly say that this post is not intending to argue against the fee increases, nor is it looking at affluent individuals who are lucky enough to have their fees paid for.  I am asking the question as to whether or not the University experience and degree which you aim to leave with are worth the money.

Put it this way...  Someone who came out of University before the recession would have left University about 20K in debt and entered a relatively healthy job market with great prospects.  Whereas someone who comes out of University in 2015 will feed into a saturated job market with little opportunity for graduates (hopefully the situation will be better by then) and to make matters worse will be leaving with a debt more like 40K.  More debt but less chance of landing a well paid job.  Not a great equation.

The decision is surely made even more difficult if you are not the most academic person in the world and are applying for Universities not considered to be elite.  There is a big difference paying 40K for a 1st at Cambridge to a 2.2 at UEA.  Even with the fees at what they are now I'm not sure the benefits of paying to go to a low ranked University with poor predicted grades.  I think there are plenty of other paths for people to go down and that most people don't fully consider them because they have been told over and over again from various angles that a degree breeds success.  That is sadly not the case anymore.

Since I have entered the workplace, starting out as an unpaid intern, I have altered my stance on the benefit of a degree.  If you know what you want to do in your career or even simply which area or industry you would like to work in I would seriously urge you to consider going to work for companies for free to build both practical experience and industry contacts.  By the time your University contemporaries leave, you will most likely have 3 solid years of experience, paid work, hopefully permanent, and they will essentially have a piece of paper telling prospective employers that you know a lot or a little about a subject.

Of course I understand the 'extra-curricular' benefits of going to University.  The friends you make, the experiences you have, the self development you go through, as well as all the things that you can't begin to define or quantify.  But as we stand right now, I would give serious thought as to whether there aren't better options than University.  If I was 18 again I probably would pay the money and go but I am one person and each individual should really weigh up all their options when making a decision.

I'd be really interested to hear what you think?

Please subscribe/follow my blog if you think I'm worth listening to...

Monday, 8 August 2011

The London Riots...

Shameful.  Shocking.  Embarrassing.  Childish.  Ignorant.  These are some of the words that come to mind as I watch the news footage of the London riots and subsequent riots across the UK.

On Thursday August 4th, Mark Duggan was shot dead by police who had tailed him in a minicab.  He was said to be carrying a gun and quite obviously had a criminal background and criminal links.  I don't know whether he was rightfully shot or not but quite frankly there hasn't been enough time to find out.  Of course I don't think the police should go around shooting people but for Mr. Duggan's brother to claim that he was a gentle family man is way off the mark - that kind of person doesn't carry a gun.  Also, I read that his wife had said they planned to move out of the Broadwater Farm area and 'start a new life' - it's amazing how many people say that but never do...

From this incident, a group of people gathered outside the police station demanding answers.  Fair.  However, a number of people then decided to take to the streets and cause havoc.  I can't even call it a protest because the only thing I've seen is violence and criminality.  Smashing up cars, setting them on fire, burning down buildings and shops, attacking the police.  None of those are constructive in the slightest and quite frankly have nothing to do with the death of Mark Duggan - his death has acted as a catalyst for what has subsequently happened.

These individuals have gone on to loot shops in Tottenham, Enfield, Brixton, Wood Green, Westfield, and in the short space of writing this I can add Hackney, Peckham, Lewisham, Deptford, Catford and more.  These people in my eyes are worthless, unintelligent scum.  I'd say 99% probably had never met Mark Duggan, yet they have decided to go out and cause as much damage as possible, essentially in his name - thankfully his family have condemned their actions.  These individuals are caught up in some sort of deluded buzz, running around with their hoods up, posting their activity on social networks and taking part as if it's some sort of recreation.  

Any parent of the individuals responsible should be utterly ashamed.  They should feel great responsibility.  You brought these people up with these morals.  You brought these people up to think that this sort of behaviour is acceptable.  I know that even if I walked past an empty PC World with people streaming out with goods in hand that I would walk away - because I know that it is wrong.  People's livelihoods have literally gone up in flames over the past few days, and for what, in the name of what - nothing.

Unfortunately, many (not all) of the individuals I have seen to be involved are black youths (just to be clear I am not at all claiming that it is solely black youths responsible and I do understand the part the media can play in creating these images).  Yet this angers me greatly.  If any of you read this you are giving every law-abiding black person out there a bad name, you are making black people look like criminals, like animals, like ignorant pieces of dirt who have nothing better to do than cause trouble.  Not to the average person out there in the world, but you are provided the casual racist with easy material to add to their hatred.  For this you should be most ashamed.  You are a fucking disgrace.  You all are! Every race, every age, you are a disgrace!  If people cause chaos because they believe it to be a means to an ends I can at least understand the reasoning, even if it is far fetched and unfounded.  Yet the people I have seen in the last fews days have been doing it simply for the sake of it.  Copy cat vandalism and sheer criminality.

Lastly, I am fearful of what lies in store for London in the days ahead.  If the police and the government don't get a grip of this I honestly don't know what might happen.  Why have the Prime Minister and Mayor of London been on holiday all this time?  Why has the army not been brought in to deal with this?  I think that would quickly make these individuals re-think and retreat.  We have been slow to act and what we have done has not been good enough.  If I was a religious man I would be praying tonight.

I'd be really interested to hear what you think?

Please subscribe/follow my blog if you think I'm worth listening to...