Wednesday, 14 March 2012

being yourself

i'm pretty angry tonight, i have just slammed a student for plagiarism, for the second time this quarter. And tot op that off genius is gravitating towards songs featuring Phil Collins. I just don't get it. Once, maybe just maybe you could unwittingly reproduce something you read without realising but TWICE, it's rude and dishonest. And Phil, the same thing applies, once would be understandable...

the day before this i was at the food bank picking up food for the week, the lady in front of me in the queue was wearing a cover over her head, not a hijab but a towel, i'm pretty sure this wasn't religion i'm pretty sure this was shame.

Both of these incidents struck me with the same fundamental question; how can you be that uncomfortable with who you are and what you think. how can you be that ashamed of your ability to write that you feel the need to copy someone else. Surely at that point you're missrepresenting yourself and you need to take some time to learn how to write rather than passing yourself off as having sufficient abilities to take the class. The same applies to covering your face at the food bank. Surely everyone knows how hunger feels, surley nobody worth caring about would judge you for being there?

i think in both these cases it's not so much the individual who was to blame. its society or the perception of society that these individuals have, they feel that other people are judging them based not on who they are but on these false criteria; what classes you're taking. how you pay for your food. Honestly i don't feel any need to hide that I'm really not very well off, i didn't get ANY wages for a year and i don't have the kind of savings to bail me out of that so yes, i often find myself at the food bank. it's better than being hungry.

Furthermore i think it's important for those of us who have the chance to influence others to show that it's not important what you have but who you are. Just the same as with the diabetes, if I hide my diabetes and i'm ashamed of it then i make it a weakness, if i feel weak and insecure about it it becomes something which others see as a weakness. If i take ownership of it, i can make it a strength.

So just a short blog post today but next time you find yourself judging someone, take some time to find out who they are not what they have. Believe me i know many more good, intelligent people without money or degrees than those who are both the former and have both the latter, in fact the very few people I've come across in my life whom i really think are bad people (as opposed to people doing bad things) generally have money AND education in buckets.


  1. shame, anger, humility, fear. All are powerful negative emotions that most people are not taught how to deal with in our society. the challenge is learning how to "unprogam" yourself without presenting yourself as arrogant, entitled, aggressive, in my opinion. it is not an easy task as "we" become intrenched in our behaviors. we are social creatures and no matter how much one says another's opinion does not matter, i have found that to be a bit of a misconception. we all care to some degree i think. How much of it do we let it rule our lives. Personally i think there is no shame in being a novice at something, or not knowing everything, or asking for help. What does bother me is lack of consciousness. do you own your actions? do you see how they impact those around you? where do you make a stand? when do decide to change yourself?

  2. I feel embarrassed to admit I'd never heard of a Food Bank, let alone knew that we had them in the uk. What a great idea, but I remember from working in school that those families most deserving of free school meals were normally the ones who would do anything to avoid applying in contrast to those who clearly had plenty of disposable income who were quite happy to work the system....