Happy Thanksgiving!

OMG I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving. This year was so fast and things were going out of control but still, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for so many things. This time last year, I was suicidal but this year, I’m thankful to God for life, thankful for my family and friends that stayed with me even when I kept pushing them away and treated them like they didn’t matter. I’m mostly thankful for my mom cause she has been through a lot this year but still, she finds a way to be there for me and my brothers.

I’m also thankful for my readers and followers ’cause without you guys, I’d probably still be kinda lost and hopeless but you guys have given me so much hope to keep on writing in good and bad times.

To everyone who is feeling down today, I just want to tell you not to give up and keep on fighting cause life keeps on throwing punches but if you give up, you’ll never know what life is like without the punches.

“Like the night cause without the dark, we’ll never see the stars.”– Stephanie Meyer.

Quick Reminder 101!

We crawl before we walk. We learn arithmetic before algebra. We must fix ourselves before we can fix others. If you want to make a change in your life, the place to begin is with yourself, not with your parents, or your boyfriend/girlfriend, or your professor. Change begins with you. It’s inside out. Not outside in.

Dealing With Bullying.

Bullying is a really serious problem that is common in middle school and high school. Some days ago, I saw the post of a suicidal 13 year old boy who is bullied ’cause he has really long hair and he’s fat. Nobody deserves to be bullied. When you bully someone, you make them feel inadequate and belittled.

Types Of Bullying.

There are different types of bullying that are really common among teenagers. There’s the physical bullying that involves physically harming the victims through punches, kicks, etc, cyber bullying, social bullying that involves lying and spreading rumours in order to damage someone’s reputation or social acceptance and so many other types.

Trying To Understand Bullies.

Sometimes, I ask myself why bullies do what that do. Obviously in schools today, we have kids that come from the elite families and those that are just from the lower class. Some elite kids who are popular tend to make fun of less popular kids by perpetuating relational aggression. And other kids who are trying to climb up the social ladder start bullying people lower than them in order to gain popularity.

Some teens bully because they come from abusive homes and bullying gives them a sense of power and control which they believe they lack.

Also, kids with low self esteem may resort to bullying as a way to cover for their low sense of self worth. (Just like how Adam bullies Eric in Sex Education.)

Dealing With Bullies.

• Ignore insults from bullies. I know how hard it is to remain calm when someone or people keep on saying rude things to your face in front of other people. I’ve been socially and verbally bullied in middle school before. I was verbally abused a lot for being black and was considered ugly. I was socially ostracized and basically had zero friends that time. There was a day the bullying got physical and a girl tried strangling me so I would stop following her clique. You couldn’t blame me for following her ‘clique’, I just wanted friends. After that day, I obviously stopped and always walked away whenever the verbal bullying started again. People bully others in order to get a reaction out of them. Think of remaining calm as a victory over bullying.

• Shows signs of emotional strength and resilience in the presence of the bully. No matter what the bully says to you, hold your head up high and maintain eye contact with them. Make sure your body language is confident but do not get too close to the bully in order to avoid it getting physical.

• Just like I’ve pointed out earlier, walk away when someone starts bullying you. Walk away swiftly but with confidence. You need confidence to confront bullies. Check out this post to help boost your confidence. Grow Your Confidence.

Dealing With Bullying.

• Understand that you’re not alone. I know if you’re a victim of bullying, you’ll feel isolated and alone but you aren’t. Try as much as possible to find an online community with people who have been in similar situations.

• Stop blaming yourself. It’s not your fault you’re being bullied all the time. I actually think people who bully are just frustrated and love to make you feel as bad as they do about their lives.

• Work on your self confidence. Being bullied for three years had me programmed to think in a certain way. I always thought I was truly ugly and worthless. I thought I had no friends cause I didn’t deserve any but now I know better. Over the last two years, I’ve worked on myself like never before by making myself believe I’m worth it. I look at myself in the mirror everyday and admire every little thing about myself. From my body shape to the color of my eyes. You can write positive attributes and paste them in your room to remind yourself you’re worth it. Compliment yourself and avoid negative self talk.

• If the steps listed above aren’t helpful enough, I suggest you see a therapist. I know bullying can make you feel depressed, anxious, stressed and sad but if you start having suicidal thoughts, see a therapist or talk to a close friend about it. If you have no close friends, you can always email me.

Quotes To Help You Get Through Your Day.

Hi!

I know everyone has bad days and sometimes, we feel like giving up (myself included) but I just want to encourage myself and everyone with these quotes I found. No matter what it is you’re passing through, I hope these quotes help you get through it.

Photos Credit:

Kindness Is Free. Sprinkle It Everywhere!

What would happen if you could just say thank you to that uber driver? What would happen if you could just compliment someone? What would happen if you could just smile at strangers? What would happen if you could just give a little more to someone that needs it? What would happen if you could just stop criticizing? What would happen if you could just perform random acts of kindness?

What is kindness?

According to me, kindness means treating everyone in the way you’d like to be treated. It doesn’t matter who the person is, how they look or how they act. You don’t need a reason to be kind to people. Kindness is also getting past judgement. Everyone judges. It’s natural but not acting upon your judgement of someone and getting to know who they really are is kindness.

Sprinkling drops of kindness to everyone is one of the best ways to sustain humanity. It actually takes strength to be kind in a world full of cold hearted people where it almost seems like a trend to be cruel and malignant. A lot of people have become jaded or cynical after a loss or betrayal and instead of breaking this negative cycle, some people tend to take out their frustration and bad experiences on other naive people.

Expressing kindness also requires confidence and self respect in order for you not to get walked over by other people. While being kind to others is important, being kind yourself is also important. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes.

I want everyone to understand that sometimes, kind people have their ‘off’ days. There’s no personality trait that is 100% consistent but that doesn’t make them any less kind. We all have our good and bad days.

How can you be 5% kinder today?

  • Do something special that you know someone would appreciate.
  • Always say “Thank you” when someone gets something done for you.
  • Stop being rude to people in ‘lower levels’ than you.
  • Leave your waiter a generous tip.
  • Learn to smile and compliment other people.
  • Volunteer to help the needy.
  • Donate freely.
  • Sometimes, we shy away from people when we know they’re having a rough time. We assume we should wait for them to approach us so it doesn’t seem like we’re intruding but sometimes, people get relieved when they have someone to talk to. If you don’t ask, they might never mention anything to you and keep on hurting inside. They might not want to burden you with their problems.

  • Listen and don’t jump into conclusions while having a conversation.
  • Spend more time with your family.
  • Share encouragement online.
  • Give up your seat for someone on the bus.
  • Reconnect with old friends.
  • Take a day not to complain and be grateful.
  • Be kind to yourself!

Pursuit Of Happiness.

I want to be happy. Everyone wants to be happy. We all want to do what makes us happy or what we think makes us happy. Different people have different definitions of happiness and there are also different ways in which people try to find happiness.

Some people find happiness in their romantic partners, some in their solitude, some while going to parties with friends or maybe meeting their favorite celebrities (I’ll definitely be happy if I meet NF or Nicki Minaj). My point is, there’s this happiness factor inside us that moves us to seek happiness by driving us to do what we enjoy. The truth is, there’s no uniform way of attaining happiness. It can only be achieved through our perception of the world and within ourselves.

Happiness is a mood. It’s not something that lasts forever. You can’t be happy forever. It’s not a curse but a fact. Life changes. To be human means that we experience a range of emotions. If you look at a grid and see a line in the shape of a wave, it would be an accurate representation of the human experience.

Humans experience emotions in response to life circumstances which means sometimes, you’re going to feel happy, sad, numb and other emotions. That’s just life. Problems arise not when we’re unhappy but when we refuse to acknowledge the sadness as a normal experience.

It’s normal to feel sad. I don’t know why some people will be claiming to be happy all the time. A lot of people probably do this ’cause they feel they need to be happy because everyone else is. It’s easy to feel like everyone else is happy all the time and you’re not. I feel like this most times and I sometimes get frustrated around extremely happy people.

All emotions are normal. Just because you feel sad for a very long time doesn’t make you a “sad person” and just cause you feel happy almost all the time doesn’t make you a “happy person”.

It would be fair to say that everyone wants to be happy in life but then I’d like us to stop our pursuit of happiness and just the enjoy the little things and be grateful. Also, try not to identify yourself with any particular emotion, whether good or bad.

“You have to experience sadness to know happiness and I remind myself that everyday is not a good day. That’s just the way it is.”– Dita Von Tesse.

Do We Live By Fate Or Free Will?

I spent most of this month studying this topic in philosophy and it has totally confused and enlightened me at the same time.

What is fate? Do we have full control over what happens to us? Is there a higher power controlling us? What determines the cause of our lives? Are we the masters of our own destinies in a random universe?

All these questions have crossed my mind and I don’t know if I can answer them all but I’ll share my thoughts on what I know. I’m going to be sharing my thoughts from a philosophical point of view and not from a religious perspective so don’t judge me.

What is fate?

Fate is what people in earlier times referred to as inevitability, that is, what cannot be avoided. Early humans observed that things often happened beyond human control. However, because our brains are pre-programmed by evolution to attribute agency to everything that happens, we feel that there must be somebody who is in control of these events. In other words, we automatically think that when things happen, somebody is causing them to happen.

People believed that this somebody was ‘the gods’ or ‘God’. Later, people depersonified this agent as Fate. Thus, fate came to be seen as an invisible force that caused things to happen and humans can do nothing to stop it. However, in the field of philosophy, it is said that all events have causes which in turn have causes themselves and so on backwards to the beginning of time. This cause and effect principle is known as Determinism.

Determinism is a better term than fate because it doesn’t imagine an invisible force that is deciding what happens but a force whose decisions are final and cannot be altered.

On the other hand, there are those who believe in freewill. They believe that every human being is entirely responsible for what happens in their lives. They believe there is no God or destiny and life is just random.

The truth is, everyone wants to be free or at least have a choice in life. Most people actually believe they are free to choose what to do from the simplest to the more complex: should I drink tea or coffee? Do I put some money in the savings or spend it all? Who should I vote for in the next election? Should I marry or not?

The question of freewill is essentially a question of agency of who’s in charge as we go through our lives making all sorts of choices. An operational definition of freewill is the ability to make our own choices. Of course we’re subjected to all sorts of constraints in our lives from our upbringing to our experiences, there is no blank slate over which we choose. Still, can it be that we’re led to believe that we’re the concious agents of our choices when we aren’t?

Last week, I asked my friends on what they thought about fate and free will and here’s the smartest reply I got from a young philosopher.

It seems to me that the question of fate and freewill is not simply a black and white or a yes/no kind of question but one that embraces full complexity of what it means to be human.

Of course there are some that believe that our lives are a combination of fate and freewill but all I’ll say is whether it’s fate or freewill guiding you, you have to work hard because all these mean nothing if you don’t put in the work that it takes to fufill your life’s purpose.

You shouldn’t just sit back and accept anything that happens because you feel since your fate is already determined there’s no need to work. You’re wrong. There are no shortcuts in life. No magic bullets. Accomplishments and greatness are a result of hardwork, sweat and tears.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe Fate or Freewill guides your path? Do you believe it’s a combination of both? Have you ever had a life changing experience that has caused you to favor one idea over the other?

Let me know in the comments!

Mental health || Self improvement || Society

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