My previous post was somewhat ranty, I admit, and the title of this one is less than polite. I often write this stuff with a sense of sarcasm or light-heartedness, honestly. I’m not sure why I chose the title for this one; I thought it up and it stuck, regardless of the content.
During my childhood I felt like I came from a decent family that knew how to raise children in a healthy manner; we had what I thought were good meals, compared to other families, and I didn’t avoid school or fail to do my homework (the same might not be said about a brother). I came across as “studious” and “smart” and polite, and I appeared to be well dressed. Gradually though, my perception of my growing up has changed.
To begin with, I see failings in the diet I was brought up on. I see harms that were caused to me and my siblings from smoking parents on a low income with too many of us to give necessary attention to. I see how I succeeded in avoiding “doing my best” in my studies by being allowed the freedom to play out (although I’m still torn by what was worse in this regard), and how this set me up for life (so far) in my attitude towards anything that required prolonged mental focus. I see how the addictive and unhealthy tendencies of the people I was growing up around brushed off on me and everyone else. I see how the classes at the high school I chose were attended by pricks and bullies that enjoyed little more than to disrupt those classes and diminish the potential of all, rather than being the upstanding and supportive students that surely actually exist somewhere, at other schools.*
*I don’t mean to sound like a victim all of this; often I sought escape from challenging classes and prating about was a way to achieve this easier option.
That all sounds rather depressive, and far from a positive reflection on a childhood I have fond memories of. It is probably, also, unfair on those that did their best for me (parents and teachers alike). These days though, now I see all the above (as I believe it to be, more accurately), I see how (in the words of the politely worded title) f*cked up other people are (although I don’t discount myself in this). I think this is perhaps largely the result of some of the people I’m surrounded with; it is said you are the sum of that, although I do admittedly seem to carry an air of “I’m better that them”. Perhaps this is true, or perhaps I see the problems other people live with and I strive to do better, not only compared to them, but in order to improve myself.
I see how parents pacify their kids by stuffing them in front of a screen, or (in the case of tablet computers) stuffing a screen in front of them. Prior to turning 12 years old there was only one TV in our house that we (two adults and four children) had to share. We were limited by how much TV we could watch, so come children’s TV* time we had to choose wisely, and share. When I turned 12 I was deemed old enough to have a TV of my own in my room – it was a black and white portable that begrudgingly cost £8 from a carboot (we tried to haggle them down to £5).
*I’ve come to to see TV “programs” to be more accurately a form of “Programming”, and the same takes place with films and Youtube-viewing practices of which there are viewing statistics – when reading these listed in millions I started to see how (as part of) the masses (we) were all being programmed into thinking the same thoughts. This could be from how people treat each other to what things are deemed normal; from characters in soaps to wars and alien invasions. I’ve found that by reducing how much of this stuff I’m subjected to (or subject myself to), how much (more) I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. This has become especially true since the start of the “pandemic” and how people go around unquestioningly, doing as they’re told, or even with those that do question things, still mimic or parrot others – it is, admittedly, often the easier option.
This pacification (as provided by out screens) passes through into adulthood. I’ve come to see how much I use “watching something” as an avoidance tactic for getting on with things I want to do. The past couple of years, with the push for online learning and working from home, have exasperated/encouraged this issue. In a video I recently watched about addiction (because I do still watch stuff) I learned how constantly triggering the pleasure-centres of the brain with stimulating screens and substances dumbs us down and further reduces our will to avoid these things (I’ll include a link at the end of this post to that video).
Diets have gotten worse too. I witness parents subjecting their kids to diets they know are full of crap and sometimes don’t even eat themselves. One such meal time for youngsters I witnessed last year stuck with me; it involved jam (jello/jelly) slapped on cheap white bread (the worst kind), a packet of yoghurt and some other processed nonsense that should not be deemed as “food”, especially not for growing children, and certainly not ones that suffer with ADD/ADHD (refined sugar and carbohydrates have been shown to exacerbate it, if not cause these things). There are also the weekly (or daily in some cases) visits to McDonalds and other fast food restaurants – this for me in my childhood would have been a rare treat, such as on a birthday.
I can’t help but think people who do this, routinely feed their kids with this stuff, are morons at best, or actively doing the worst for their children at worst, but then not everyone has been privy to the same information I’ve landed upon over the years. When does it become child abuse? I know of another child that will not eat a proper meal, and because his parents have figured out that cake is the only thing he will happily eat, this avoids any of the mealtime drama, and thus this is pretty much all he eats.
My own school lunch box fared little better; sandwiches, a bag of crisps (potato chips), a chocolate biscuit bar, and a pot of yoghurt were the norm.
When did they start producing yoghurt in packets!? These, like many a breakfast cereal, are pushed on parents for their children, with their colourful packaging blazoned with cartoon characters, and laced with sugar and other “preservatives” and toxins.
I also started each and every day for at least the first twenty years of my life with breakfast cereal, although thankfully this was generally not the “frosted” kind. I have fond memories of enjoying my four Weatabix with a sprinkling of sugar – I needed four in order to feel full. It’s all refined and processed carbohydrates though, which again, that video mentions. I’ve come to learn that perhaps porridge oats (which I still buy), even the kind without added substances, aren’t the best either. Milk, which is perhaps not seemingly an issue for those not knowingly lactose intolerant, likely causes some level of inflammation in all. This is hardly surprising when you come to learn of the hormone treatments and other drugs pumped into milk-producing cows. The industry and regulations of course do this at levels it deems to be safe, but once you’ve spent a lifetime of consuming it surely has a cumulative effect [and these effects are probably more apparent with those of a sensitive disposition]. Other substances consumed, and injected, likely carry their own set of problems to present themselves somewhere down the line.
But what do I know? I recently helped an elderly client of mine with his computer issues. I arrived while he was having breakfast: a generous bowlful of cornflakes (I think of the honeynut variety). He’s a sprightly gentleman of more than twice my age and he joked by informing me he was consuming the same breakfast that John the Baptist enjoyed. I laughed and replied with “What, Cornflakes?!” “Well,” he said “some form of corn and honey.”
In addition to the child growing up on cake (although I’m baffled how that’s even possible), I know of an adult that is incapable of eating a proper meals and opts for cake and chocolate as her preferred diet. It was hardly surprising to me that her young son was promptly diagnosed with learning difficulties and ADD/ADHD… he’s now been taken from both his parents in turn and put into care, but I fear the worst has been done.
Thanks to the people around me I’ve also been privy to spending addicts and a compulsive hoarder (that trait and tendency rubbed off on me). At least one person I know has secretly gambled away I know not how much money whilst outwardly seeming to be almost baffled why they don’t yet have a house of their own – they continually juggle credit cards, buy things on credit, and treat their Credit Score as some sort of game to achieve, with levels to unlock. I have drug addicts and alcoholics in my family, although thankfully my childhood lacked those. I’ve known someone to be a porn addict and another to have similar issues with actual sex (if not a porn issue also). This might all sound like I look down on such people, I don’t. I just feel at a loss as to the idea of actually helping anyone who isn’t trying to improve themselves. I’m aware of my own issues (at least the ones I’m aware of!) and I know and have come to learn that these things that others deal with are not the result of someone being “a bad person”, or “evil” or even “a lost cause” – I hold out hope.
Point out to a teenager, or someone in their twenties (or older), the list of chemicals in the energy drinks they’re enjoying consuming, and why they enjoy them (and somehow provide them with energy yet contain 0 calories), and they’ll likely say they “don’t care”, or they’re the “sugar free” variety so obviously the healthier choice…; I would have probably done the same at that age (again, more in that video below, which admittedly also seems to demonise coffee).
I heard (no pun intended) just this past year that children with hearing difficulties and the need for grommets, often comes about due to parents smoking. I tried to find clarification for this claim, but mostly the general consensus is that the effectiveness of grommets is greatly affected by a child being subjected to passive smoking [link]. I do know that smoking and a poor diet when pregnant are (and should be) a cause for concern, but sadly this isn’t enough to change everyone’s ways.
I developed asthma and hayfever in my childhood. This was largely blamed on the outward environment but I remember being subjected to long car journeys with parents smoking the whole time. This has now been made illegal but it doesn’t stop parents from smoking cigarettes and other substances at home. I recently had cause to wonder if it’s not necessarily tobacco-smoking that’s been made out to be all bad, when it’s perhaps all the other stuff the cigarette-manufacturers lace the tobacco with that makes it so lethal (and also more addictive).
It’s not only the physical abuse on the body that occurs when being the victim of passive smoking (which in my case lasted for 30 years until I was finally in a financial position to move out of home). Smoking is an addiction and for the person partaking in it (as I have come to observe) it is turned to particularly and increasingly in times of stress. This behaviour, as a result, is taught to surrounding children – the turning to a substance for relief, the punctuating of ones daily life with lighting up or consuming something. The practice quickly becomes normal to the person doing it (again, usually youngsters that “don’t care”), and becomes normal to those around them. I grew up with this, but it wasn’t until I was able to distance myself from it, that when I did witness it most clearly; I saw how messed up and “pathetic” it was. Again, this is not to be demeaning of those that have found themselves partaking in such things; it’s a sorry state of the world and addictions and habits are hard to break (it’s best to develop good ones).
I also see how parents who turn to medication for their daily aches, pains, and developed illnesses (such as the result of a life of bad habits), encourage this resort in their children. I face-palmed when, during the first October of the “pandemic” (and perhaps the second one) when parents agreed with “keeping the little ones safe” by not allowing them to partake in Halloween. It was (supposedly) safer to keep them indoors and sat in front of a screen – that and there are bad people out in the real world anyway…. The same parents will (I’m sure) subject their children to Covid vaccines, and thus a lifetime of receiving medication, because this is what the system (fuelled by the medical industry) encourages, wants and relies on. It puts people’s faith in the medical industry and “science” rather than in their own capacity to deal with things, a practice which can be deemed less than scientific or irrational.
I recently finished reading a book about Burrswood (by Monica Furlong).
“Burrswood [, a care home of sorts, became] a place of healing, founded in response to a vision Dorothy Kerin [1889-1963] received almost 100 years ago shortly after being completely restored to health: ‘to heal the sick, comfort the sorrowing and give faith to the faithless’.” – link
On one page it says:
“The very word ‘patient’ – the one who suffers, denotes one who is passive, who submits to the authority of skilled professionals who know what is best …”
The same could be said of ‘citizen’, or the member of society who allows the system to hold authority over the them (and all) as an individual.
I had intended to include more quotes of interest throughout this post, to perhaps include a balance of positivity and a way forward, but it has already grown quite lengthy. The book talks of Christian healing and the “laying on of hands”, but also the need for a more holistic approach to healing that the current system now largely fails to provide; indeed, there is no profit in curing, and a cost is put on caring. On p.133, in referring to a book called Health is for People by Michael Wilson, it says “…most student nurses … seem to come for training with a desire to care for people : but the system of training tends to crush it out of them.”
Alas, somewhat prophetically, p.101 says “Rising inflation has, or course, hit Burrswood as it has hit all institutions, but it will not being all expansion to a halt…” The book was published in 1978; Burrswood closed in 2019/20 due to its model being financially unsustainable [link].
I’ve come to learn that there is little I can do about other people’s issues (beyond ones with their actual computer that is) and if they don’t see it/them, or fail to accept it as an issue, I may as well keep my opinions to myself; I can say my piece once or twice, but if there is no change or acceptance then I’ll only annoy people or myself further (which is why I air my views in this manner here instead!) It’s disheartening to see how f*cked up people are.
Occasionally though, I do see hope.
Another client I recently did work for got talking to me about how he’d been helping his daughter through her high school studies. Maths was the subject in question and he seemed to have done quite well in this, but his difficulty was that, while he is Welsh, he was taught in English, and now his daughter was being taught maths in Welsh, which made it particularly challenging for him. I was impressed that he was “going to the trouble” of tutoring her; I wondered how she was receiving that, considering that some might resent it as thinking parents doing this as being over-bearing. I don’t recall ever having my mum help me with my studies like this, although maybe there was a bit of help here and there; I especially struggled with maths. It wasn’t until years later that my mum caught sight of some art work I had done years previously at college and she remarked on how good it was – it struck me that perhaps if there had been interest and such a supportive comment at the time, I would have done better. I experienced something similar with guitar playing. I think that by appearing to be a well behaved student and doing well (and perhaps performing as an undiagnosed high-functioning autistic) I went under the radar and was left alone.
I was largely left to my own devices through childhood and teens and this was great for me in that I got to enjoy the freedom I experienced in playing outside; many a den was built and we got into all manner of mischief, but nothing too serious. These days, especially just after Christmas when, during my childhood everyone one would have been playing out on their new bikes or skateboards, the parks are now usually empty as I cycle past them. All the kids, I suspect are playing indoors on their electronic gadgets and devices, glued to a screen somewhere, receiving their programming.
On the odd occasion when I do see a young child out on a bike, perhaps being pushed by a parent, I smile and like to give a little wave; I imagine it provides them a spark: “Look at that man on his bike, just like me on mine, he’s going faster than me, I want to be fast like him!” [Or as has actually happened, a young child laughed at my long hair and exclaimed loudly that “he looks like a girl!” [Why, you indoctrinated little shit, did you use the pronoun “he” then?!”] (I didn’t think/say that, I just add it here for comedic effect!)
I further try to encourage healthy things too; this past Christmas, instead of choosing the easy options of chocolates for presents for everyone (as I tend to do), I sought a variety of creative options which included colouring books and notepads and pens for the youngsters in the family. I was, however, thwarted somewhat, and disheartened, when I read the list of ingredients on the jar of mincemeat I bought for the mince pies I was due to assemble, not that I consider them to be particularly healthy, but fructose (to name but one ingredient) is not your friend, nor mine… I’m still eating them.
Here is that video I’ve been watching, although I have been working on avoiding routinely absorbing Youtube videos (my go-to for entertainment for a long while):
I think a lot of what Jamnadas says, and the way he throws it all out there, will be a barrage for many. For my, a lot of the things he says I have heard before in one form or another so it isn’t too overwhelming; I fear to be bombarded with so much stuff is of little assistance to those new to a (potential) journey of moving forwards.
Here are some light-hearted quotes so far (I’m still working my way through it):
15:14 “[The ingredients in processed food…] They’re like putting stuff into the mail box that have a zip code you’ve never-ever heard of… what does the post office do with it?! It doesn’t know what to do with it! [Likewise] the body doesn’t know what to do with these things [either].”
15:40 “You’re all suckers… you’ve been indoctrinated!” We all have.
17:30 “Skimmed milk, that’s not milk!” I once amused a cow farmer (another client) by coming out with something similar.
I also recommend looking up videos/podcasts with Dr. Anna Lembke for more on this topic of addiction, she is very insightful and far more supportive than I have been in this post.