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Joe90
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23 Jul 2015, 8:35 am

I've been to Scotland a few times with my boyfriend, and the people there seem to be so much more friendlier than Essex. People smile or say hello, not minding if you look shy like I do. In Essex, whenever I smile to someone in the street, they either look away or glare at me. I feel much more relaxed when surrounded by friendly people. When I went into town in Scotland, I felt people weren't really judging me as much as they do in Essex. I didn't have women gawping at me as they passed. People just left you alone, and went about their business. I like that.

But in Essex, especially in places like Colchester, people are so rude. They walk into you, glare at you, never smile (only the very occasional person), and just make you feel unworthy. Yesterday I was waiting to cross a busy road, I pressed the button on the traffic light thing and stood there waiting for the traffic lights to go red. Then a woman with a little kid came along and impatiently stood next to me, also waiting for the traffic lights to go red so that we could get across. Then she suddenly jumped right in front of me (so I had to step back) and pressed the button, without figuring out that I might've already pressed it and that the lights do not turn red straight away. But you've got to keep quiet at these sorts of places because people seem to be so aggressive. Not my kind of environment really.

If only I had the money, I would take myself and my boyfriend (and close family if they wanted to) and move up to Scotland to live in a friendly village. I'm sick and tired of nasty, rude, ignorant, judgmental, aggressive people.


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Adamantium
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23 Jul 2015, 8:37 am

sonicallysensitive wrote:
For me, the opposite is dangerous i.e. telling people they can achieve what they want if they simply put their mind to it - in most instances this is unrealistic. Saying this isn't being negative - it is simply realism.

There seems to be a movement of 'you can do anything you want!' - it's very much the self-esteem movement. I think in the UK we're possibly a little more what I'd describe as 'level-headed' - if someone wished to be a pop star, we're more likely to say to them 'don't give up your day job' - which isn't a criticism of ability, but more a comment on only a small percentage actually being able to make a living from such a path - irrespective of ability.

There also seems to be a real danger today of viewing a passion as a possible career path - or being told it can be so. Which, in some cases it can - but in the majority of instances it can't.

We see this in the artistic fields, especially so music and writing. I have a few friends who are novelists - but also have full-time jobs.

Ted Hughes once said 'if you write 80 poems every 4 years it's really not that much' - and when this is broken down, it's true. It equates to 20 poems a year i.e. under 2 poems per month. In this sense, yes, it isn't a full-time job.

What you see as negative I see as realism. I'm more for the 'get a job and pursue your hobby in your spare time' approach than the 'you can be a star' approach. Of course, it isn't as dichotomous as that, but I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from.


I have a parent from each culture, both citizenships and grew up in both countries, so I can see both sides of this.

Perhaps it's my American side coming to the fore, but I see the general viewpoint expressed in the bit I have quoted as defeatism in realist camouflage.

Sometimes its cause is laziness--it's much easier to do something easy and not try something hard,

Sometimes it's the result of cowardice: the possibility of failure is too ghastly to contemplate. Much safer never to try.

Much more often it's a sort of toxic received wisdom. Everyone knows you can't be a pop star. Everyone knows it's hard to be a novelist. And so on, and on.

Meanwhile, a small number of people routinely try and sometimes succeed.

I know of a globally famous person from the late 19th and early 20th century who is famous for a kind of artistic work. Reviewing his life, I realized suddenly that the majority of the work he produced was not that great, maybe only 1/12 of his work was really good or great, but he was prolific, so by the end of his career, he had produced a considerable body of really good work.

If he had listened to conventional, "realist" wisdom such as yours, it's likely he would never have produced any of it.

Of course ability is important to specific activities. My advice to anyone who is interested in making a career out their passion is to try if they have the abilities required.

But it's also important to recognize that skills can be learned, practiced and improved. If you don't have a skill that you need to pursue a passion as a career, why not try to acquire that skill? If you discover that you have no aptitude for it, then you can pursue something else, but to write off a potentially really good career because you lack some ability and not make an attempt to discover a way to get that ability or compensate for it's absence is a pitiful, wretched approach to life, I think.

Looking back over the decades of my life, I bitterly regret every time I didn't try something because of fear or a general sense that it was unlikely to succeed. I am really happy that I had the courage it took to give my all to some really big risks--I wish I had done more.

I tell this to my children: try. Look at failure as an opportunity to learn and invent. Find a way to get what you want. Don't give up. I don't think this is unrealistic. It's the only way out of the trap of fear and defeatism that can stunt and eviscerate your life.

Too much exposure to Yankee perspectives, perhaps.



kraftiekortie
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23 Jul 2015, 8:42 am

Absolutely.

I could produce 950 stick-figure art pieces--yet 1 might happen to prove relevant to some sort of universal vision or something--hence, it might become famous and produce a 7-figure profit at auctions.

I've seen this sort of thing happen. Just go to any art gallery in Soho--especially those which have more manifestoes than actual decent works of art.



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23 Jul 2015, 8:55 am

It depends what your perspective is, and what phase of your life you're going through. When I lived in London, I found people on the whole just kept to themselves, but were not obviously unfriendly or rude. I was just about the only person in my block of 24 flats who actually owned my property: the rest were rented out, often to people who stayed for only a year or less, so that no-one really knew anyone. That was just fine with me.

Here in the Manchester area, I find some people rather too inquisitive for my liking. Maybe they're trying to be friendly, but because I lived for so long in a very different environment, and because of my own 'self-contained' personality (there are other words for it.....), I just can't become part of this community and don't really want to.

For what it's worth, I've found that people in West Yorkshire, in places like Halifax and Huddersfield, are on the whole more likeable than here.



kraftiekortie
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23 Jul 2015, 8:58 am

I'm a Yank, and very likeable.

I don't care for inquisitive people, though---especially those who want to know my daily schedule.



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23 Jul 2015, 9:11 am

Exactly! My rant for today: People, who want to know what I´m doing and will be doing and when. First I have to find it on the inner calendar, then formulate it - and then process their opinions on it! :huh:


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sonicallysensitive
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23 Jul 2015, 1:47 pm

Adamantium wrote:
Perhaps it's my American side coming to the fore, but I see the general viewpoint expressed in the bit I have quoted as defeatism in realist camouflage.
Interesting you see it this way.


Adamantium wrote:
Sometimes its cause is laziness--it's much easier to do something easy and not try something hard,

Sometimes it's the result of cowardice: the possibility of failure is too ghastly to contemplate. Much safer never to try.
Possibly. Each case will be individual/case-by-case.

I would agree that the cause is possibly apathy - one need only look at UK school statistics for this view to be strengthened.

(for example) I doubt the UK will ever adopt the IB syllabus in schools - for a number of reasons - but if the UK were to adopt IB and be seen on the world ranking, it could show the apathetic trend growing in the country, and how low we actually are performing compared to other countries (as opposed to creating new syllabuses that make us seem to be doing well).

I acknowledge the issue is far greyer than what I'm saying, but yes I agree with your comment RE laziness.

The US is known for its great work ethic.


Adamantium wrote:
Much more often it's a sort of toxic received wisdom. Everyone knows you can't be a pop star. Everyone knows it's hard to be a novelist. And so on, and on.
I disagree that everyone knows the things you say they do - the rise of reality TV seems to be fuelling the idea that a hobby can, in many instances, become something more.

Of course there's the whole causation/correlation issue, so this is mere speculation on my behalf.




Adamantium wrote:
I know of a globally famous person from the late 19th and early 20th century who is famous for a kind of artistic work. Reviewing his life, I realized suddenly that the majority of the work he produced was not that great, maybe only 1/12 of his work was really good or great, but he was prolific, so by the end of his career, he had produced a considerable body of really good work.

If he had listened to conventional, "realist" wisdom such as yours, it's likely he would never have produced any of it.
You misunderstand - he could still produce, of course - and I think hopeful novelists/artists etc should produce - the issue is possibly viewing it as a means of income.


Adamantium wrote:
Of course ability is important to specific activities. My advice to anyone who is interested in making a career out their passion is to try if they have the abilities required.
I agree - but again, I'd encourage them not to give up their day job whilst pursuing their dream.

Adamantium wrote:
But it's also important to recognize that skills can be learned, practiced and improved. If you don't have a skill that you need to pursue a passion as a career, why not try to acquire that skill? If you discover that you have no aptitude for it, then you can pursue something else, but to write off a potentially really good career because you lack some ability and not make an attempt to discover a way to get that ability or compensate for it's absence is a pitiful, wretched approach to life, I think.
Absolutely agree with this.


Adamantium wrote:
Looking back over the decades of my life, I bitterly regret every time I didn't try something because of fear or a general sense that it was unlikely to succeed. I am really happy that I had the courage it took to give my all to some really big risks--I wish I had done more.
This possibly says a lot RE your own definition of success. For some musicians (for example), a piece will be a success if it sounds the way they want it to sound - irrespective of anyone else's opinion.

Adamantium wrote:
I tell this to my children: try. Look at failure as an opportunity to learn and invent. Find a way to get what you want. Don't give up. I don't think this is unrealistic. It's the only way out of the trap of fear and defeatism that can stunt and eviscerate your life.
It's a way, not the only way. That's slightly black/white, all-or-nothing thinking.

One other way could be desiring less

Or redefining 'failure'

etc

To see something as 'the only way' is potentially dangerous, and there's a good chance you could project your own fears to your children with this approach.

As is said, the most difficult thing to allow our children to make are the same mistakes we made.



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23 Jul 2015, 4:55 pm

doofy wrote:
Disability hate crime is on the increase in the UK the last 5 yrs or so.

It suits the right wing political narrative to scapegoat those who rely on state benefits.


I know that Wales has had a rough time of it to date, and it puts pressure on seeing someone in A&E, and surely you care as much bout your national health service but cuts affect all of us.
Scotland wanted to be independent, which was a risk that didn't pay off in the end but I feel we do need to devolute some of the Torries spending patterns down your way a bit more and stop 'Hatecrime' becoming a martyr for the rest of us.

Our country has gotten too large of late and grown waist deep in the earth. Need to stop world aid and taxing the poor.


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Adamantium
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28 Jul 2015, 7:42 am

sonicallysensitive wrote:
I agree - but again, I'd encourage them not to give up their day job whilst pursuing their dream.

Having a day job at all is the result of the pursuit of a dream for many of us.
If by "don't give up your day job" you are suggesting that people be tactically wise and financially realistic, surely this is good advice regardless of their willingness to pursue passions or not.

sonicallysensitive wrote:
Adamantium wrote:
Looking back over the decades of my life, I bitterly regret every time I didn't try something because of fear or a general sense that it was unlikely to succeed. I am really happy that I had the courage it took to give my all to some really big risks--I wish I had done more.
This possibly says a lot RE your own definition of success. For some musicians (for example), a piece will be a success if it sounds the way they want it to sound - irrespective of anyone else's opinion.

Not at all. I did not qualify or characterize success in the least degree. Any conflict with a particular definition of success is a fabrication of your imagination, a costume thrust over my very generic statement. The person who wishes to achieve a particular sound with their instrument or composition but does not attempt to create it in the belief that they are better off not trying will be subject to the same psychological forces.

sonicallysensitive wrote:
Adamantium wrote:
I tell this to my children: try. Look at failure as an opportunity to learn and invent. Find a way to get what you want. Don't give up. I don't think this is unrealistic. It's the only way out of the trap of fear and defeatism that can stunt and eviscerate your life.
It's a way, not the only way. That's slightly black/white, all-or-nothing thinking.

Not really. It is more a matter of acknowledging reality: if you don't set out on any enterprise, you will not accomplish it. This is true from the smallest potential solitary activity to the largest and most complex collaborative undertaking.
If you are alone in the flat, for example, and want a cup of tea, you won't have it unless you make it. If you want something from the shop, and no one will bring it to you, you must go and buy it. Not black and white thinking, merely the way of the world.

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One other way could be desiring less

Or redefining 'failure'


No, really not. Desiring less is not a way of getting a cup of tea. Redefining failure will not bring bog roll back from the shop. Nor will desiring less or redefining failure result in your making any sort of sound on an instrument, putting any sort of communicative marks on paper, or anything else. If you don't do things, then you haven't done them. Redefining "do" and "done" is sophistry.

Quote:
To see something as 'the only way' is potentially dangerous, and there's a good chance you could project your own fears to your children with this approach.

Were we discussing particular social views or definitions of success, then I would agree with you--that way lies crusade and jihad, or at least dull fanaticism. But the comment "the only way to get to Scotland form England is to go North" is not in the same category.*

Quote:
As is said, the most difficult thing to allow our children to make are the same mistakes we made.

That sounds very deep and thought provoking, but without more context, I don't think it means anything much. Is it possible that this is rhetorical camouflage deployed to create a sense of depth and gravitas around a defeatist, self-negating approach? I expect my children will make their own mistakes aplenty. I encourage them to make mistakes while attempting undertaking enterprises great and small that will enrich their days. I encourage myself to live the rest of my own life in the same spirit.

* If you want to take exception and note Berwick-upon-Tweed and the other parts of England lying to the East of Scotland, substitute Iceland for Scotland and forgive my London-centric perspective.