Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing - Harriet Braiker


Perfection. So many strive to reach it, but essentially we must ask ourselves if it’s even possible…

When we think of something as being perfect, it is what we perceive to be flawless, however, perfection itself has its flaws. How often do you meet a person who others can only describe to be amazing. According to everyone else, there is nothing bad about this individual. But the mere sight of them makes your blood boil because they’re so irritatingly perfect, surely this makes them imperfect?

On Facebook, there are copious adverts down the sides of the page marketing products and cosmetic surgery, a lot of which claim to give ‘perfection’. This worries me a lot, as it seems to me that more and more people are being encouraged to strive for this unattainable goal to be flawless. Perfect.

This brings me to another point. Does one have to be perfect to be beautiful? All these advertisements appear to be promoting perfection in the name of beauty, and it just seems wrong. How can we expect women to believe that they’re pretty and attractive when as soon as they open up their Facebook account, they are confronted by promotions offering breast enlargements and methods for quick weight loss, all of which can push people into self doubt, ultimately leading to low self esteem and other issues.

On the other hand, it could be argued that people should take whatever measures they feel necessary in order to make themselves happy, and if this is reaching what they see as perfection then so be it. But ultimately, how far should one go to attain their ideal? If it's detrimental to either them, or anyone else, then should it still be condoned?

It's an interesting concept, perfection. It's so subjective - we all have such different ideas as to what defines it - yet essentially it is so utterly unobtainable, and thus why I believe it to be so wrong that the commercial world manipulates people into believing otherwise...

Friday, 24 April 2009


The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved – Mother Teresa

I think that one of the most horrible feelings in the world is loneliness. Having no one to turn to, and feeling as though no one cares. In reality it may not be the case, you might actually be surrounded by people who are desperate to help, yet it’s impossible to let them in.

The lonelier you become, the higher you build the wall around yourself, but just occasionally you might find that special person who can knock it down. However, what happens when that person discovers the real you and doesn’t love you anymore. What are you supposed to do then? Essentially, does that mean you should hide away even more, ashamed of whom you are?

Often, I’m of the opinion that people feel the most alone when they are in a crowd; milling around amongst others they know, but having no sense of belonging. Just thinking about those feelings of sheer and utter loneliness seems almost too much to bear.

I believe that often, those who are lonely detach themselves emotionally from people for fear of being hurt, although ultimately, this actually ends up destroying them all the more. But I think they see it that it’s worse to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. That in itself is something to be discussed, but I’ll leave it for another day.

I don’t know, loneliness is strange. It’s one of those emotions that so often, people drag themselves down into, yet can’t get away from. It’s soul-destroying thinking how easy it can be to slip into that deep, dark abyss, and how many people every day just feel so inexplicably empty inside. Make sure you always have a ‘someone’, and remember that no matter what, you will always be loved, and you will never be alone…

Friday, 10 April 2009


It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more manhood to abide by thought out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind - Alex Karras

There are so many people in my life that I admire, and it isn’t because they never make any mistakes, but rather because of the fighting spirit they get afterwards. However, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what defines strength – whether it is never displaying weakness, or not being afraid to show it. As in, who is stronger, one who does not let themselves need anyone for fear of being hurt, or a person who opens up to the world, trusting that no one will let them down?

With anything, people will always have a point at which they can take no more, as in there will come a point where they stop doing or believing in something because they have failed in it too many times. Whether it is love, school or helping someone, there’s only so much that any one individual can do, and when we’ve done all that we feel is possible, it seems the logical thing is to give up. But surely it’s only weak people who stop trying. People who can’t find it in themselves to give that little bit more, or go that extra mile.

I also believe that much of the time; it actually takes a lot more power to not do something than to do it. For example when helping a friend, I think the hardest thing is to actually step back and let them make their own mistakes, and ultimately this is sometimes the best thing you can do for a person because the less you do for them, the more they have to do for themselves and thus the more responsibility they must take for their own actions. Similarly, if you want to do something, but you know it is not necessarily the right path of go down, does it show more strength of character to do what it is you want to do or what is the right thing to do? Because we all know that the easiest route isn’t always the best one.

While thinking about people just as individuals, if a person is afraid of getting close to another for fear of being hurt and so gives off airs of independence and confidence does that make them weak or strong? Because I would have thought that one who is able to live on their own two feet without needing anyone else is a strong person. On the other hand people may not always be how they appear. Someone may come across as the happiest person in the world, but in actual fact there is a lot more going on under the radar. Is someone who keeps it to themselves stronger than a person who can talk about it and face the problem? Is a person who trusts no one weaker or stronger than one who trusts everyone?

This really is something that is bothering me a lot at the moment. I seem to be zoning out increasingly often, and I think I just need some answers. I want to know what makes someone a strong person, and whether it’s ok to let people see you vulnerable at times; I’m debating whether continuing fighting something is worth it, or whether actually just listening to words of wisdom and packing it in would be the best course of action. It’s all well and truly pickled, any thoughts?


The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live - Flora Whittemore

Increasingly, I am finding that the decisions I am making are the wrong ones. Or even if they are technically right, it seems to be for the wrong reasons; and as Governor Weatherby Swann says in Pirates of the Caribbean, 'even a good decision if made for the wrong reasons can be a wrong decision'.

So what happens when we make a choice that’s not the one for us, or how do we even identify a right decision from one that isn’t? Is it wrong to do something simply because it is what someone else wants from us? I think most of us would agree that the answer is no. But what happens when these people have our ‘best interests’ at heart? Should we still do what we want instead?

Furthermore, there may be circumstances when we make certain decisions because we think it is what is expected of us. Whilst it may not ultimately be what we want, and no one is physically forcing us to do it, we still make ourselves take that path for no other reason than not wanting to let someone down. Perhaps we come from a family which is very sports orientated, but our passion lies in art. Instead of taking art, we take PE. It may be pleasing our family, but at the end of the day, will we really perform to the best of our ability doing something that isn’t truly where our enthusiasm lies?

The same goes for friends. Just because all our friends have done something, does that mean we should follow suit purely to conform? There must come a point at which we have to be selfish and make decisions based on what is right for us, and us alone.

But for some people, it might be too late. Perhaps they are now stuck on a path that will take them a certain way and it’s too late to back out. What about them? Why should they be stuck pleasing someone else for the rest of their life? It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right…


Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds - George Eliot

This may seem a fairly odd topic to discuss, but the concept of helping another is somewhat troubling me. Possibly the most important query that I have, is how do we know we are actually doing good? For example, when we donate a sum of money to a third world country, we believe we're helping them, do we not? But ultimately, will that money ever be enough? Realistically, probably not. It's possible that a better alternative would be to provide these countries with fair trading standards. Give them a fair price for the materials they produce. At the end of the day, that will give them a way of sustaining themselves. Similarly, if a country is in dire need of water, we seem to merely ship in vast quanties to water. Surely a more helpful alternative would be to give them the tools, and teach them to build their own wells. But then whilst this seems like a good theory, building wells is impossible for 70-80% of non industrialised Africa/Asia.

Another case in point is voluntary work. If you are raising X amount of money in order to enable you to visit a poorer country and 'help', would it not be more beneficial to give them that money to employ someone local to do the job? Not only would these people know the area better, but it would also help the country economically, giving more people jobs and thus lowering the unemployment rates.

Bringing this topic closer to home, let us take the example of an alcholic. If you are trying to help someone suffering from alcoholism, is dragging them to therapy every week actually in their best interests? Sure, in the short term it may prevent them from further liver damage, but in the long run, is this really helping them? The more you do for someone, the less they have to do for themself, and thus the question arises of whether you're actually doing good. Perhaps sometimes people need to be allowed to make mistakes before they can change.

Another issue, is that it seems to be common belief that when helping people, the point at which it becomes detrimental to you, it stops benefiting them. I don't fully understand this. If the person needs to talk, then it doesn't matter how much it is affecting you because it is still being of help to them. Perhaps you are the one person whom they can trust, and therefore how is not listening to them purely because it is damaging you not helping them still? We were all put on this earth to provide a service. Every person, no matter who they are, provides a service of some kind. Therefore if someone is seeming to be in need of our assistance, who are we to deny it them?

I dont know, I find it an interesting concept - how we can actually help someone. I think a lot of the time it's something which needs to be played by ear. Once again, should you have any thoughts on the content of this entry, feel free to leave comments...

[To All Those Who Believe In The Enormity Of Love]

When you are in love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams - Dr Seuss

To begin this entry, I'd like to use a quote from the film 'Love Actually', which I think sums up the message I would like to convey within this blog.

'Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around'

I'd like to firstly clarify that contrary to what I tend to claim, I am actually not a complete love hater. I think I am merely bitter over the fact that I have no one to love. As I mentioned in one of my previous entries, I do believe it must take a lot to give someone the absolute power to destroy you, but my best friend said to me that when you find someone that you love and who loves you back, it is actually the best feeling in the world.

When I look around me, so many of my friends are inexplicably happy with the people they're with. And a lot of them have been with those people for a long time. Perhaps statistics do show that the number of marriages ending in hurt and divorce are on the increase, but when I see an eldery couple holding hands in the park, that gives me hope.

So it turns out I am a hopeless romantic, waiting for the perfect man to sweep me off my feet. I hope he exists...I really do, because at the moment, whilst I destroy every potential relationship on the basis that I won't get hurt, in actual fact I'm just hurting myself more...

Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you' re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU... The one who turns to his friends and says, thats her...

This entry is dedicated to James Taylor and Alasdair Mackenzie who truly love eachother


To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved - George MacDonald

Trust is a strange thing. I find it odd how often, the people who you feel you can trust the most are the ones that you don't know very well, or haven't known very long. It's strange, you would have thought that the longer you know someone, the more trustworthy they become, but I tend to find that it's completely the opposite. Perhaps it's because I get to know people too well. Or it could just be that people you know better have a greater ability to let you down or disappoint you.

It is also interesting how difficult it is to establish a trust, yet how easily destroyed it is. For example, often it is not the fact that someone lied that upsets people, but rather that they can never truly believe anything else that person may say. Whilst we might forgive, it can be difficult to forget, and the thought of that broken trust is always lingering in the back of our minds.

I am aware that this is a rather short entry, but it is food for thought though, don't you think...?


The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure - Sven Goran Eriksson

Success is an interesting thing, and I'm intruiged by what defines it. Similarly, what makes someone a failure? For example, if someone tries their very hardest but still does not succeed, does that make them a failure? Surely the fact that they did their best is what is important, and thus they should be classed as a success? But what if the best a person can do simply isn't good enough?

When we're growing up, we're always told, 'just do your best'. But what happens when something requires more than that? As a doctor, if you try your best but are still unable to save the patient, it isn't going to make the friends and family feel any better by simply saying 'well, I did my best'.

I also remember the saying, 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again'. That's all very well when you are five years old and got 6/10 in your spelling test. But in the real world you can't always try again. There is no rewind button, and there are no re-tests.

I can not think of many worse feelings in the world than failure. Knowing that at the very best you're silver. Second best. Settled for. You didn't quite make gold. Constant thoughts ticking around in your mind of how you could have done something more. Your failure could be someone elses life, and you've just thrown that away. Imagine having that on your conscience. It doesn't bear thinking about.

But what makes a person silver as opposed to gold? Is it because they have a slightly large nose, or a bit of a wonky smile? Perhaps they need to tone up a bit, or their hair isn't always perfect. They may not have straight A's, or be particularly outstanding, but that shouldn't make them worthless. They shouldn't be a failure. Failure is a lack of success, and that should not be measured by the beauty of a persons eyes. Every person on the planet has some merits, whatever they may be, and it is these which make them successful.

In conclusion to this entry, I'd like to wish each and every one of you the greatest success in every one of your endeavours...


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return -Tolouse

Something I frequently find myself pondering over, is can one ever really trust another human being? I find it an interesting point, because as is stated in Moulin Rouge, ‘Without trust, there is no love’. This baffles me somewhat, as everyday I see evidence for love all around me, indeed, valentines day was just a few weeks ago, and the sheer volume of couples partaking in public displays of affection was overwhelming; although allowing myself to digress here, February 14th does seem to my mind to be rather superficial and something that the commercial world likes to encourage a belief in as a mere money making scheme. But still the question remains of how we can ever really be certain that someone is loyal, trustworthy and won’t let us down.

Another query that I’d like to raise, is does every person have the capacity to love? Is everyone able to open their heart and soul to another, who could potentially take it, only to break and give back again? Because to my way of thinking, it does not seem too easy a task, to give someone the absolute power to destroy you. And for that matter, is there even someone out there for every, single person?

Finally, I recently read an article in BBC health, proposing that love can be explained by a series of chemical activities within the brain. It is therefore plausible to develop an aphrodisiac which would make people fall in love with the first person they see, and reversely, an antidote to unrequited love. If this is true, then surely it completely undermines the whole point of love as being something so beautiful and poetic?

From this, you can probably deduce that I am in a bit of a muddle about my feelings on love, but it was for this reason for which I began blogging in the first place - as a way of articulating my thoughts and from there on formulating an opinion. In conclusion to this ramble, if any of you lovebugs have any comments to make, or any words of advice or comfort to the lost little loveless souls out there, feel free to do so...

[New Beginnings]

I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth? - Edward Giobbi

It's now Easter, and to me this symbolises the end of winter, and the true beginning of spring. I always like to think of spring as a season of new beginnings, evoking hope for brighter things. It's a time when we should evaluate our lives, and the systems we have in place for ourselves, and henceforth strive to strengthen these. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps writing down my minds wanderings could prove useful, allowing me to toy with my ponderings and articulate my thoughts.

To those souls out there who touch upon my ramblings, hello to you! And with that said, I think this is my first entry over...