Fifty Three

SO here I am, all fully transferred to the blog-site that is WordPress! I feel sure I will never be as prolific a blogger as I appeared over the last 3 days, after all 52 blogs in 3 days would be quite an impressive feat! that is not entirely the point, however but it does relate. As I have been transferring my previous posts across it has struck me that there are some recurring themes running through them. Not least of which is the idea of taking responsibility for your own actions. I feel I need to say a little more about this today, and extend the concept to not only taking responsibility for your own actions, but for your life. The inspiration for this post comes from a situation that a very good friend of mine has been in recently, it has now been resolved and that story is not mine to tell but the idea of someone taking advantage of my friends make me angry. So in keeping with tradition, here is a picture of my friends:

I am lucky, i think, that I surround myself with friends and family who are descent and kind people. They would go out of their way to help me if I needed it as I would them. It is beyond my comprehension tha there are people out there who would take advantage of this nature to further their own selfish needs.

I have spoken before about choices and about filling your life with as much as you want to fill it with in a conscious manner rather than coasting through life asleep. These choices are as much about taking personal responsibility for yourself and your life as they are about hobbies. Every one of us chooses they way our life goes at some point. There are some situations that are beyond our control, and sometimes the actions of others have an indelible effect on our own life, but there comes a point (for the most part) where you can choose whether you will let these actions steer your whole life or whether you will actively choose to move beyond them and make yourself into something you want to be.

There are times in most people’s live when they are put in difficult situations, either through choices they have made or through the actions of others. The measure of a person is not how they get into these situations but how they deal with them. It is at these times that there is the temptation to blame other people, make excuses and expect the world to give you everything you need. This is where personal responsibility come in…it is here that you have to stand up and do everything possible to help yourself…If you have to ask people for help, then make sure you are doing as much or more than them to help yourself.

I am attempting not to rant, I am also attempting not to sound like I am telling you how to live your life. I will instead ask you a question about how you would prefer to be though of.

Would you like be a person who has the respect of others, who people could help with the certain knowledge that you would do the same for them?

or

Would you like to be alone with the knowledge that your excuses have driven away your friends?

Would you like to be embittered by the belief that everyone else has done you wrong, an embitterment made worse by the fact that deep down you know you have no one to blame but yourself?

I know the answer I would choose and I know that is why I will continue to live consciously and choose the way my life goes.

 

Thirty Seven: Concerning the notion that everything is not relative

Originally posted on 12th March 2011

Recently, someone said to me “it is all relative”  as I am sure they have said it to you and I am sure they will continue to say. But it is this notion of relativity that I want to talk about today. Not going to get into Einsteinian physics because I am just not that good, what I do want to talk about is the concept that something can increase or decrease in merit purely because of the things around it. I am sure that there are no absolute answers when it comes to this, but it is something worth thinking about.

If I break my leg, does it hurt less because someone else breaks both of theirs? I don’t think it does,I think that each case has its own inherent properties. If I am sad, the fact that someone else is sadder doesn’t make me happier. I do not think that every case of misfortune is equal, it is evident that loosing a limb is worse than loosing a sock I am not trying to belittle  anything that has happened to other people I am just saying that the scale of someone else’s bad luck doesn’t change that of yours.

It is interesting that when people use the “it’s all relative” statement they are normally trying to make you feel better. You never hear some one who is happy about having passed an exam being told, “well it’s all relative…someone just won the Nobel peace prize”! I think it is important to recognise the magnitude of something for what it is. Telling someone that they should feel better about something bad because some people have it worse is insulting!

It is a truth that can be applied to many walks of life, a tall building doesn’t get shorter because the on next door is taller. A piece of art is as good as it is, it is not suddenly worse because someone makes a better one!

eye

It was tricky to find a photo, to go with today’s postulation but I thought I’d go with this. It is a picture I took of the London Eye and I like it. There are hundreds (thousands/millions) of pictures of this subject, I do not like mine any less because there are thousands of better ones or any more because some are worse. The quality of the picture belongs to it and cannot be changed by comparison.

Incidentally I do have to be careful to not take this principle too far, there is still room in life for perspective, just be aware that by telling someone that “it could be worse” it may make them feel worse because it makes them feel they have no right to feel the way they do.

I like wearing two watches, I may vary it and try two different ones on monday…someone will notice one day 🙂

Twenty Six: Concerning new beginnings

Originally Posted on 25th February 2011

Yesterday I left my job, I (along with nearly every one else) was made redundant. It is the first time I have ever left a job in such a manner, it is the first time I have not left feeling a great sense of relief. It is the first time I have left a job that I would have rather kept. I have been in this job for the past 15 months and during this time I have worked with some of the best people I have ever worked with; I have met some amazing people who have made this year much better than it could have been considering the circumstances. I have even met one or two who allow me to be myself without judgement and know what I am talking about when I make obscure references to all the random things that I do. I will miss the people I work with, I will miss what my job was, even if I won’t miss what it was forced to be in the face of redundancy.

To these people who kept me going through a difficult year and made my working life fun despite the frequent and constant demoralising actions of the company we worked for I say thank you and dedicate today’s picture:

I have used one similar to this before but it is apt, I use it to represent new beginnings for all of us; not because ‘everything happens for a reason’ but because we are all intelligent, interesting and capable people who will move on to greater things for no other reason than we are good!

Before this descends fully into uncharacteristic sentimentality all that is left to say is that I am still wearing 2 watches but that 3 would be silly!

Seventeen: Concerning smiles in pictures

Originally Posted 15th February 2011

I haven’t been doing a large amount to philosophical thinking today and after yesterday’s sad memories rose unbidden from my mind and splurged out onto screen, I thought it was time today to put up a picture or two that make me smile! So here they are:

This was taken at our photography weekend and reminds me that I have friends who will cheerfully put a flourescent net skirt on their heads!

This was taken at the same weekend and reminds me that I have friends who, even when attempting to be serious just end up laughing!

This was taken at the top of Ben Nevis and reminds me that there is at least one person who will put up with me all the way to the top of Britain’s highest mountain and back down again without even threatening to kill me!!

These all make me smile because of the memories that they hold and just occasionally it does me good to remember that not every photo has to be art, some of them hold smiles in them.

Thirteen: Concerning the need to look closer

Originally Posted 11th February 2011

Today I want to talk about looking closer, looking beyond the obvious and seeing what is really there. There is no topical reason for this choice today, it is something I have try to do and have been thinking about recently. The choice of this topic came from a random browsing of my photos and finding two very different photos that I had forgotten about, and that illustrate this point admirably:

The first is this, a photo which not only displays my previously mentioned affinity for both repeating patterns and abstract photography but also is tells a tale of why you should look around you at everything that is there, not just the things people are directing you towards. This was taken in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It is the view through a barred opening onto the stripy wall over the foyer. As I was taking this photo leaning on the wall peering through the gap, another visitor to the gallery happened past, he had an audio tour which was doubtless telling him where to walk and where to look. A he passed me he looked at me in a confused manner, then started standing behind me in an attempt to figure out what piece of art I was looking at and why his audio tour was not telling about it!

The second photo is of this little sparrow, possibly the best bird photo I have ever taken. It was taken at Marwell Zoo, a place known for exotic and endangered creatures, not necessarily British garden birds. This fellow was sitting on the fence of the Tiger enclosure and while everyone was looking only at the giant stripy pussy cats I spotted this chap and managed to get an amazing photo.

In both of these cases, I spent a good deal of time looking at the items on display as well, I have my fair share of photos of tigers and looked at my fair share of art and enjoyed both very much. My point however is not to only look at what is being put on display for you, look past the obvious and into the corners, look at everything that is really there. Look at the sorts of things you can miss if you don’t.

This principal is an important one when looking at the world around you, but it is also a pretty good thing to attempt to do when meeting people. look past your first impression to the real person inside, the person who may be being suppressed in favour of making a “good first impression”. Through this attempt to see people you will find yourself not dismissing people on face value. This way you can find some spectacularly good friends in places you may not have expected. After all, do you always project the real you within the first moments of meeting someone?

Eight: Concerning the events of the day

Originally Posted February 6th 2011

I think number eight is going to be a short one, but I am on a roll, as it were, and don’t want to break the habit! Today had been an interesting day, and while I am not in the habit of writing about the day’s events, it is sometimes warranted! A large proportion of today has been dedicated to two of my favorite things….friends and photography! It involved a trip to that London to visit the Natural History Museum in general and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition specifically all in honor of a good friend’s birthday.The photo of the day was chosen as it shows a rare occurrence and represents something I am known for:

:

The rare occurence is an empty staircase on a London underground station at 2:30 in the afternoon and the typical behaviour is me kneeling down in an unexpected and often inconvenient place all in aid of a good photo! All I can say is…once you have seen the picture you have to take it…regardless of the trip hazard you may cause!

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition is well worth a visit, and once I had got over my confusion about not going to see the Landscape Photographer of the Year I had a good time. There were a lot of spectacular pictures, this probably goes without saying, but I was most impressed with the entries from young photographers, and those who had taken a simple subject like a rabbit and turned it into a prizewinning image. I also have to say that I probably don’t have the patience for wildlife photography, and take my hat off to those who do!

The other thing I learned today is that Frankies of Knightsbridge is possibly the most sparkly restaurant I have ever been in! In fact I am going to end this post with another photo so you can see what I mean!

Four: Concerning my amazing friends

Originally Posted 2nd February 2011

Post four, this is becoming a habit!

Recently I have been thinking of things that I have lost, more specifically people that I have lost. It is inevitable, when you lose someone close that you think a great deal about how your life has changed without that person and it is all too easy to continue this thinking. This train of thought led me to more constructive thinking about the people I have in my life, it also lead me to choose 2 photos for today:

This (as well as being an interesting image) is a picture showing friends I have had for 20 years +, friends who no matter how long it is between visits I can rely on to fall into the same comfortable role we filled at school. Friends who, despite living at far-flung corners of the country, would drop everything (if humanly possible) if any of the others needed them. These are the people who know my past and my history, we know each other’s teenage secrets and have a wealth of crazy shared experiences that we still see in each others faces even now.

Then there are the friends that I may not have known for as long but who are no less important. Friends who know that the important thing about being friends is being there. Friends who are willing to do no end of crazy things just for the sake of it, including but not limited to: dressing as a Soviet propaganda model or a fairy, coming trampolining despite potential for injury and generally engaging in many new crazy shared experiences which will provide entertainment for years to come!

I consider myself very lucky to have so many people in my life who I can consider as my friends (there are others not pictured but it would take too many pages to show them all! Old friends or new it is comforting to know that there are people out there who think of me once in a while. It is worth taking the time to remember things like this, it reminds you that the connections you make can have a lasting effect on you and when you find such amazing people…hold on to them!