We Need Help

Some things have become very apparent to me of late, most importantly is the fact that, we, the human race, is in dire need of help. Over the last few weeks a number of events and happenings have occurred in front of my eyes, like cardboard sign posts from humanity with the words “WE NEED HELP!” written in thick black marker pen.

It was rush hour on a cold Monday morning. I was travelling through Manchester, a city that has become a building site, with vast improvements to infrastructure to the cost of one billions pounds but what stood out more than the bright orange cones, more than the silver metal fencing was the groups of dishevelled people wandering the streets with numerous blankets and sleeping bags slung over their shoulders. With every infrequent journey through this growing city, I notice that the homeless population grows with it. Casualties of the welfare reforms of a capitalist society. Staring wistfully out of the train window leaving Manchester, along the canals of the Black Country, assessing all the empty buildings and rotting factories the feeling that we and the environment we live in are expendable commodities that can be cast aside by the capitalist rulers lays heavy on my mind.

A few days later, sitting on the sunny banks of the river Avon with a friend, surrounded by a carpet of bright yellow lesser celandine and bevy of swans, we hear inaudible shouting from across the water. There sat a man on a bench, calling out, “HELP ME … HELP … ME!” The passers-by ignored this man until he stood unsteadily and staggered over and fell by the riverside. This man was drunk and very likely having some kind of mental breakdown, he needed help. It was then that we heard some people behind us, one of which was on the phone to the police, this naturally eased our worry for this man in need. The police quickly arrived to help the man, relieved all I hear is the woman behind saying, “If he done that in front of my kids I’d’ve pushed ‘im in myself.” Nice one society, get the lunatic off the streets! Ignore the fact that a man having an episode very nearly fell into the river. When these same capitalist rulers have put mental health services into crisis with extensive cuts, this sort of thing, sadly, is going to happen. Yet another social signpost was being waved in front of me.

Recently I came across a moderated social app TalkLife where people, of all ages, can safely seek advice or get help from people who have been in similar situations. Social anxiety, general stresses and worries, depression, self harm, eating disorders, sexual abuse, suicidal behaviour, the list goes on. What is most striking of all, while this is a very good and important service to those that need it, it shouldn’t be necessary.

Suicide and homelessness rates are increasing while mental health services are cut and money spent on streamlining and oiling the cogs of the capitalist machine. It all feels very wrong. A governments first and most important task should be the welfare of its citizens not their status and involvement in global affairs. These signposts of suffering and neglect at the hands of those that don’t care lead me to believe that from somewhere or from someone, even if it is from each other, WE NEED HELP!

When will we progress?

The monopolisation of life, entitled to the wealthy and their slaves but for those of us that are, we suffer in silence. Living by their rules as we have no choice, engaging in life as we are forced to live it. We have to pay for the necessities of life, water, food and power, things that by now should be a human right. If it wasn’t for the rich and greedy we could have this. It saddens me that all these global institutions, governments, religious organisations or corporate entities are holding back the human race, stopping us from being so much more and to what end, power and control? Do they not care or do they only care about the monopolisation of life?

Creative Suffocation

Coerced into a life of domestic and public servitude. Our unrealised dreams crushed by the unnatural pressures of a mundane existence. Trapped between a post-war generation and a generation that can pursue their dreams. “You can be whatever you want. You must get a job!” Innocence, naivety and ignorance of youth abused by a heartless society driven by greed and status. People ask “If you could go back…?” You know, I actually might. Writing comes as easy to me as breathing, which it did when I was younger just as it does now; for a long time the unnatural pressures of a mundane existence and decent into escapist oblivion put a pillow over my face and smothered it out of me. I wonder, unhelpfully, where would I be if those words weren’t trapped inside for so long? Would it be better or worse? Has my suffering made me a better writer? Have my experiences given me a better understanding of the world of which inspires me to write? Impossible to know, yet here I am, wondering.

You can’t fix me when it’s the world that’s broken

We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death
The Dead Flag Blues – Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Physical pain is the bodies plea for help, that something is wrong and needs fixing. So in the same respect depression is a plea from somewhere deeper, somewhere inexplicable and invisible, an existential plea for purpose and meaning, a voice in your head that speaks from the very depths of your being, “I can’t go on like this, something is very, very wrong.”

For me personally I have felt this underlying fundamental wrongness ever since I because a teenager and developed new world views, finally seeing the bigger picture and very strongly empathising with The World and it’s pain. I believe that this empathy is the cause of all of my journeys with depression, existential crises, movements into oblivion and flirtations with death. The world is vile and horrible place, organised and structured by people without care, heart and soul which hurts, hurts to feel it’s suffering and hurts to see how people are blind to and ignore it.

No amount of therapy can fix a depression of this nature. The only way I, and many others like me, will be cured of this everlasting empathic ailment is if we begin the very lengthy process of fixing and healing our broken home. It is the duty of the creatives, dreamers and thinkers to pull ourselves out of the darkness and find that inner spark to help the world before it is smothered by the murky dark waters of the dictators, politicians and bureaucrats.

“I agree with most of your opinions and it would be a great injustice for you to change your beliefs and the way you think just so you can get by in the world.”
– My therapist

School and Philosophical Growth

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.
Ralph Offenhouse: You’ve got it all wrong. It has never been about possessions. It’s about power.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Power to do what?
Ralph Offenhouse: To control your life, your destiny.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: That kind of control is an illusion.

Now, I don’t intend my writings to be political in nature but this is something that I care about deeply and the world we reside on, that we as a species are killing, needs saving. This isn’t going to change until people and their philosophical outlook evolves, which brings me to something that has been at the forefront of my thought for sometime now.

I hated school, most of what I learnt was pointless, it had no bearing on the real world and well, it never interested or stimulated me, intellectually or creatively. I was always the one staring wistfully out of the window pondering greater things then being told off for thinking critically and using my imagination, only to be brought back to reality to find the value of x, wondering what it’s relevance is and why everyone is so keen to find out. 15 years have past and I still don’t know. The current system doesn’t cater to individuals needs and interests, in most cases it stunts their creativity, interest in learning and turns us into a cog in the machine, a slave to international prosperity and economic growth.

The key to change, I believe, starts with the education system and if a new system was put in place that focussed on individuals, the type of person they are, their interests and outlook, strengths and weaknesses, then you would have people growing up knowing more about themselves, what they want and what they’re passionate about. In my opinion this would change the whole philosophy of generations to come, they’re drive wouldn’t be for money or material things but it would be in the pursuit and betterment of themselves and their world, hopefully leading to a world in which we all want to live in and maybe, eventually, we too will grow out of our infancy.