All posts by LisaLDN

Thoughts, Articles & Opinions

The Art of letting go

What are you holding onto?

A question which lead me down a path I didn’t anticipate.

This whole idea of holding on really does have its down sides.

I’ve met some great people in my life. Some, I know will be around for a lifetime, some, I know are seasonal.

Every person who has crossed my path has been a teacher in some sort of way, showing me different parts of myself I have yet to meet, or parts I may have abandoned.

One thing I always had a problem with was letting go.

Why, well, I love to love, I believe in love, friendship and working things out. Yet, the biggest lesson for me was that loving someone doesn’t mean you have to hold on to them. Loosening your grip can often result in that person completely fading away, and if so, they weren’t really yours to have.

What is meant for you will never miss you, and with this philosophy, I knew that I no longer had to hold on to anyone or anything.

Opportunities, people, events will flow in and out, and what is meant to stay will stay, and what is meant to go will go, but I will no longer grip onto anything.

The same goes for grudges and heartbreak. With feelings of hurt and pain, I now allow them to flow through me. I make the space to feel, and allow the feelings to stay as long as they need, then, I allow them to wash away with each tear.

Let the issues go, let the arguments go, let the words go, because deep down, the relationship was all a lesson anyway, and the best thing to do is to ensure that you forgive yourself.

No toxic ties lying around in the ethers. Any words they throw at you out of anger are always a reflection of them, so forgive and forget.

Of course letting go isn’t just about relationships, its also about the past. The biggest grip around a persons throat.

I see it in the eyes of many. The shadows of their past lurking behind their eyes. A dark past that lives in their subconscious, torturing them deeply. The chip they hold on their shoulder with pride doesn’t allow them to love. They get caught in a constant cycle of defense and offence.

Notice behind their smile, behind some of the biggest personalities can be some of the deepest pain. A pain so dark that trying to remove it with wealth, materialism or powerful positions will not suffice.

Think about some of the most powerful leaders. Although they may be surrounded in a pool of ego stroking, compliments and fake laughs, one wrong word from the right person, and their light will literally disintegrate into nothing.

The older I get, the more I realize just how rare it is to find people who are truly living a life for themselves.

I meet a lot of people living a life to prove others wrong, striving for success to patch up their wounds and make them feel worthy.

Maybe it was a parent who never told you they were proud of you, a sibling who has always secretly plotted against you, or friends who you keep around mostly because they feed your fragile ego, or remind you of who you used to be.

But at what cost?

Keeping up with a toxic job, striving for unfathomable levels of perfection, living up to societies depiction of success?

From my observations, the plight to societies depiction of material success does nothing but drive people into a lifetime of unhappiness and debt.

But, I digress….

Listen, appreciating what you have and who you have around you, despite how little or big, simple or small, is how I learned to let go.

Letting go sometimes means letting go of old ideas.

Success is mental, happiness is mental, and whatever you can see, mentally you can be physically.

This last part of the year is about being true to yourself, and figuring out what you need to let go of?

A Free Woman

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”.

Maya Angelou

What a wise, wise woman. A woman who lived her life unapologetically. A woman who lived her own truth. A woman who had the power to stand alone and in turn, impact the world.

A strong woman, whose soul had a purpose far greater than she could have ever imagined.

Whether fighting for civil rights or women’s rights; facing her demons, and sharing her triumphs with the world was her power.

Her divine feminine power.

I have always been inspired by her daring nature. A nature which dared her to share for her, in a world who didn’t always love her back.

I question whether this is the challenge I have to face in my own life.

As a creative, my urge for self-expression is as strong as my urge to eat. Any of my work whether through film, audio or written is a piece of me. It comes from within, it has a life of its own.

My work is an extension of myself, laying there like a slab of raw meat awaiting the heat of your gaze. I live for it. The anxiety after every post, every publish, every piece.

This truth has always existed in me. Quietly hidden away within my womb space waiting to be birthed. Through living my life by my own rules, I have been lucky enough to stand within this truth and address this creative entity. I have followed the flow of life, never questioning the why and how of my urge within to move, change or express.

It eventually lead me to my true calling. I fought tirelessly with every teacher, every boss, every bully, to express myself freely. No to be controlled or coerced. I fought tirelessly for my opinions, to not be minimised by any man or any member of authority completely invested within this illusion of physical life.

When you are living your soul purpose, you realise, there is no physical life, there is just purpose, presence, expression and emotion.

This is now my new reality.

Beating to the beat of my own drum. I am a happy, optimist. Some may say fairly naïve, but I am also free.

As a highly sensitive being who feels everything, living this life can be difficult. I fight with the urge to fly away and escape my problems, trying not to stay present in the pain and hurt. The weeping of my inner child pulls at me from the inside to do what has always felt natural…….run.

But now I realize, like Maya Angelou, every experience is a teacher, every emotion helps to fully immerse you and be present in the moment and within every pain is an untold story, an entity bigger than you that once you birth it, you to could be a free woman.

The Freedom Package

If I offered you a freedom package which would require you to sacrifice your happiness and livelihood, would you take it?

What about a 10 year marriage, with endless financial stability, but no emotional fulfilment?

Or a jet setting career which would cost you your marriage and the love of your children?

Would you take freedom if it came at the cost of the people you love or your livelihood?

Think about it, why do the freedoms offered by this modern world come at the cost of something truly important.

Truly think about what is on offer from the modern world we live in right now as freedom.

It’s all tangible.

How can a person ever truly be free when their freedom is linked to external symbols of freedom.

True freedom starts in the mind, and I would even go as far as to argue that true freedom is purely mental. It’s the unlocking of your mental limitations, or your bounds of ignorance. The ability to find out who you are and be who you are, without the imposition of modern day conditioning, or the need to comply.

It’s a process of self-exploration, which requires a journey of failures and successes. These are the only true keys to freedom, building our own set of values, morals and boundaries as we grow. True freedom is the space which allows this growth to take place.

Freedom is not limitation, condition or anything tangible. True freedom therefore cannot be politicised or monopolized.

The modern day concept of freedom has been built upon the condition of external ownership. Yet, ownership, in a world full of brokenness is never truly what it means on paper. Ownership in this world comes at the cost of a third party, a middle man, a broker or entity in the middle, reaping the benefit off your yearning to be free. Its completely abstract from the true meaning of sovereignty.

You see, the concept of freedom has been sold to us as a way of life that is only accessible through financial wealth or tangible assets. Yet, when you look around at those who ‘have it all’, who have followed the systematic ‘yellow brick road’ – you see that these roads never lead to freedom.

They lead to a world full of problems, stresses and limited time.

At some point, the penny drops that the hard work for this ‘freedom package’ comes at the cost of something else, something truly important.

What, you ask?

Well, what about meaningful relationships, family, physical health or an inability to ever truly know who you are?

In a world which has become continuously restricted by state policy, psychological warfare and capitalism, freedom is now a commodity which can be bought and sold on the stock market for the highest bidder.

Its become valuable and with value, comes exploitation. Our quest for modern day freedom has been used to control our decision making, our job choices and even whether we choose to have a family or not.

We spend so much of our lives within a system that is not built to lead us to true freedom that our definition of freedom is completely distorted. It really has nothing to do with anything external.

External freedoms lead us to be co-dependant on ‘things’, ‘people’ and ‘infrastructure’. But once all of this is taken away, once ‘things’ lose their value, infrastructure starts to break down and people lose trust in one another, are you still free?

Think about it, when all has been stripped away and you are left with yourself, are you truly free or has something tangible become an extension of your freedom?

‘Where’s my freedom package REFUND!’ shouts the disillusioned middle class in aisle one!! Ha.

But in all seriousness, this world is in dyer need of innovation. We cant continue to fall into the traps of a system which has us repeating the cycle of generations past.

Ideas are the new currency, and new ideas come from the freedom to create. Spending time in dead end jobs, wrapped up in debt and worried about money doesn’t lead to innovation.

But not all hope is lost, because believe it or not, despite what the government may want you to think, COVID has created a true freedom era, where anything is truly possible and true freedom is at your grasp. But are you ready for that?

Fear and stagnation is the enemy of our freedom and over the past few years, wars, pandemics, and overall brutality has kept many of us in this state. It’s a pit you fall into when you have given up on chasing that burning desire and ambition to keep going. Fear will make you fall in line, rush out of competition or even convince you to work against your own interest.

You see, freedom releases you of all attachment to things, people and places. Its monk living, allowing rather than controlling. True freedom starts in the mind before it manifests in life. What you can see in your minds eye, can be in your reality.

You can have it all. You don’t have to sacrifice. Fulfilment is at your whim if you allow yourself to think for yourself and unlearn the teachings of the past which thrust you into commitments which work against your inner ability to innovate.

Your intuition is your life compass which will lead you away from those decisions which aren’t meant for you and your heart will lead you to what’s for you. But your mind must be truly clear to feel the direction. And yes, I said feel it, not see it.

In this time, allow yourself to witness your attachments and your addictions as the illusions of the last era come tumbling down. People are still bidding for their freedom package as we speak which is making it such a hot commodity, but you don’t have to be one of them because the truth is, attachment is a dying market and I expect it to come crashing down in the near future.

Profit over lives: Travis Scott Astroworld

It was this exact video that made me realise that something about this concert was very wrong.

In fact there are many videos on Youtube from fans who you can see were visibly concerned, climbing their way up to the cameramen recording the infamous Astroworld concert, shouting that people have died in the crowd.

Now, you may give the camera man or the security guards the benefit of the doubt and say that in the dark, and with the loudness of the music it may have been hard to see or hear the harrowing screams of ‘Help!’ and ‘Stop the concert’ which were audibly recognisable from videos which have surfaced online.

Youtuber Pat Gardner recorded the ordeal from the very early hours of the day – 6pm when artist Don Toliver came on stage – in the video you can see the fear in the eyes of a sea of frantic teenagers being pushed away from their friends and drowning into the crowd.

One girl you can see at …. In the video actually disappear from sight as she falls downwards. As Youtuber 03:10 Surfaced from the crowd with his girlfriend and sister, he showed the blood on his shirt from someone on the inside.

But for me, it was the moment in the video which I have linked above that he acknowledged the ambulance surfing into a crowd of fans that he realised that something was wrong. Now, I have never seen an ambulance driving through a crowd at a concert before and he looked reasonably concerned, but after a few nods, Travis Scott said the most chilling words – “I wont to make this mother fucking crowd shake!” as he continued to pump up the crowd into jump and ‘raging’ even more.

People in the comment section under the video described this video as ‘sick’ with some saying it made them feel nauseous thinking about the young people who would have been on the floor under the crowd at the time Travis spoke those chilling words, knowing that they would never get out alive.

This concert was being filmed by Apple and live streamed on Youtube. There was camera men filmed being approached by panicked teenagers who were informing them that there were dead people in the crowd, but they ignored the cries for help. It was clear that there was more concern in filming the concert, than there was to help the crowd.

Are they not accountable?

Along with the security guards who are reported to have stood around the barriers where people were trying to get out and again, ignoring them.

This was a massacre – with a child as young as nine in the concert now in intensive care recovering from being crushed, the youngest person to have died was 14.

Another disturbing video surfaced from TMZ, who posted a video of a trampled teen being crowd surfed as Travis watched chanting the words ‘Yeeees’ as the teen was passed from hand to hand to the front.

The concert which was meant to hold 50,000 people was rushed by Travis fans who bombarded the COVID testing security and rushed into the concert.

They are saying eight are confirmed dead.

Who is accountable in this instance?

The moment Travis acknowledged something was wrong, he became part of the problem, but something is telling me that money and celebrity will allow him to get off ‘Scott’ free with no accountability. This seems to be a reoccurring theme this year, money and power allowing you to dodge responsibility for the lives of many.

I wonder just how far the families of those who lost their lives will take this?

Welcome to the New Age

The biggest understatement of the century has to be this all knowing phrase, ‘the world is changing’.

If you didn’t believe it now, the past five years should have shown you that’s exactly what is happening.

Change.

Everything you thought you knew is being dismantled before your very eyes.

Questioning what you believe and know is simply apart of your everyday. Whilst the loud repetitive world mantras of low resolution thinking keep you from broadening your mind, your perception of what is, continues to evolve.

Do you know why?

Well, lets say it together, the world around you is changing, evolving, shedding of an old way which is no longer serving the interest of the planet or humanity.

We are on our way to a great reckoning between old power structures thriving off separation and the structureless power who want equality. The dismantling of poverty and mass deprivation of resources from all life on the planet will become a priority.

You can’t constantly take from every species on the planet, burn down natural resources and create chaos and think that no form of karmic energy will come back to you. Lets not be silly, we are all responsible for what has taken place on this planet. Our cars, our out of control consumerism, greed and habit of discarding what we cant control.

The planet needs a harmonious humanity to solve some of its biggest problems. This cannot suffice if we continue to label, separate and broaden the gap of understanding and respect between species. There should be a common goal a common direction and at the moment we are still in the phase of waking up.

Like, what if I told you that your body is nothing but a vessel. That every experience you have had on this planet thus far are purposeful and intentional experiences that you came to this planet to learn?

Beyond you is a higher you, a you which is connected to all. Source, Life, Plants, nature, animals?

This level of evolving and thinking is taking us to a place of harmony. Although it may feel like chaos now, it is all happening for the greater betterment of our planet so we can understand our mission, our true soul purpose our calling if you will. There is no denying that this planetary revolution is affecting every species, including the most powerful of them all. Humanity.

But do you know how lucky you are to be in this moment where anything is well and truly possible and despite who you think is in charge, the only person who is truly in charge of your destiny is you?

You can create, fulfil, learn or live out any fantasy or dream that you have had in this moment. Anything you have been putting off or have been afraid of is within your grasp right now in this moment. You cant ignore it. Any urge or pull that is taking you in a new direction, stop putting it off because this is the moment for you to try!

In this time there will be many inventions, innovations, creatives, scholors, philosphers who will come forward to broaden your perspective and educate you on what is possible beyond your limitations.

One thing I have been learning is that everything I wanted before I already had. Within, I have all of the gifts and talents to create the life I want. But living in this physical plane has attached me to culture. This concept that associates me to the physical world be it beauty, race, class, history.  This cultural concept creates an ideology that everything I need is outside of myself.

I’m sorry to tell you but culture has you fooled. It’s not a way to help bring together, it actually separates people into groups based on external features and a history which in many ways can be traumatic or the source of our ignorance.

This concept is repeated from generation to generation and creates this limited way of living and being. Such is the saying, ‘these people don’t do this or these people do that’.

A Culture based on history doesn’t evolve. It stays stuck in the past.

The answers which lie internally will help you evolve. That growing awareness of your inner awareness is a sign of you finding this connection to who you truly are; beyond who you identify as externally is the divine you, connected to source energy.

Now hold on, don’t start to become hostile. By source energy, I mean what you call God, Universe, Source, whatever you want to call this energy source to which we share with the rest of the species on the planet (which has been scientifically proven).

For arguments sake, I will say God/Source.

But as I was saying, many have heard, God/Source has created man in his likeness and throughout every religion and spiritual practice has a way of bringing people inward in search of him. Sitting in prayer, meditation, internally connecting to him/it. Its an individual ritual bringing one inward, shutting out the external world to deepen this connection.

But what man has done over time has conceptualized this notion of connecting to your inner being and made it digestible for the world to comprehend. A world which can only comprehend what it can see, something tangible, external. This made people reject that which they can’t see as a limiting construct.

This New Age we have stepped into has truly got people questioning everything, but instead of being sat confused and letting life happen to you, you have all the information at your fingertips.

We are repeating a cycle the earth goes through every new era, this is nothing new. Your questioning of everything is therefore not weird or strange, its actually a result of the planet evolving and you with it. What it asks of you is instead of trying to externally escape the changes you see, dive inwards. Be open and information and answers will come to you. Shut yourself away from external influences which tell you what is, if internally you know this is not your truth.

Be still, be silent, align with who you truly are and follow your calling. This will lead you to inner knowing, inner happiness.

This time we are in will continue to get interesting, but if you are playing the role you came here to play, you will effortlessly flow with this change.

A London State Of Mind: Mask Mandatory

This city has always been such a fake concept to me.

Like a simulation of a mad scientists dream of dropping millions of people from different tribes onto one fragment of a small island. Selling them a dream, that any opportunity on this island will make them wealthy enough to live like a king.

People migrate in the floods for their opportunity, even risking their lives. They see higher salaries, bigger buildings and headquarters of their favorite companies.

While the scientist sits back and watches them fight over this hidden capital until they realize, they were holding the capital in their minds all along.

The irony behind this mandatory rule to wear a mask is people have been wearing a mask here for years!

In London you can truly be whoever you wish to portray. Its all about symbolism. London in itself symbolizes capital and, power and wealth – therefore by association of you living here, you must also be that, no?

When really its all smoke and mirrors. Most million pound properties are just investments with no tenants and with higher living costs and a minority of salaries to match, the residents here are struggling like the rest of the country.

Then you have the subtle micro aggression’s, the death stares in the boardroom and the blissful ignorance of HR and higher management which adds to the layers of unhappiness and quality of life.

There are many shallow and insecure individuals here who share a common language. Usually due to their lack of original thought, they speak in pompous tongue of recitals of academic quotes and references. When someone lacks true substance here, they always more than make up for it in academic achievements.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, I must preface my bluntness with ‘I’m not talking about everyone……’ but you know exactly who im talking about!

Unfortunately, the true innovators are labelled as disruptors – which in itself has so many connotations. But you’ll find these groups of the self made are silenced by their lack of experience or contacts or family connections, but luckily for them, the wonderful internet has evened the playing field. You can find them on Youtube or The London Real.

Passive aggressive behavior is a shared language towards minorities and Brexiteers protest against the Europeans who serve them drinks………..

This is London.

A city where your quality of life is gambled on a table of sinking industries and coronavirus government rescue packages. When all you truly need is a Windsor accent to convince the masses you actually know enough to rule the Country.

The longer I get to grasps with the bizzare social dynamics here -the more recognisable the fragments of purposely crafted social engineering appear like red flags in a green field.

Brixton, for example, a historically Black Caribbean district in the Borough of Lambeth, is now a gentrified rabbit hole of wine bars and gourmet dining, the carribeans can no longer afford to buy in.

The district has welcomed new residents of ‘woke’ white people and hipsters who hope to live next door to Rastaman Leroy. But with rent prices sky rocketing its more likely they’ll live next to Dylan – the PHD Music teacher who likes to have casual smokes on the weekend.

Now when someone says ‘Oh, I live in Brixton’, they really want you to have this instant profile in your mind of someone pretty liberal with a diverse group of friends. When really – even their postcode is yet another mandatory mask of, ‘Hey, I’m super tolerant, look I live in Brixton’.

But we are not talking about Brixton…….or Dylan.

We are also discussing the educational institutions in London which have become a breeding ground for oppression of free thought and a solid foundation for old white male patriarchy.

Views of opposition against the opinions of the ruling white male lecturer, teaching a class of naive minded book suckers, that his line of teaching may be conducive of a hostile environment to the migrant girl or international student sat quietly upset in the corner, is highly unwelcomed.

Or if you are not privvy to the racial jokes made by the male director of your company who would make a point of coming to your desk to make you uncomfortable on purpose, just to put you in your place – well, your just don’t have a sense of humor.

This is just a London state of Mind.

Its a state of mind where unplanned social interactions set off a robotic malfunctions causing a whole system breakdown. Everything is super planned so people can in fact remember to put their masks on.

Shards of glass insults, racial jokes and projected insecurities fly towards you and if your wearing your mask – nobody realises just how much you hurt until you get home and cry your eyes out.

Another sick day coming up!

You spend most of your time stitching up your open cuts – walking around in layers of plasters; bound to the ‘othered group’ by shared economic and cultural constructs which are misunderstood to those whom London is their playground.

I guess this is also the reason why I have taken so long to post. As I have been dealing with this inner conflict of falling in line and throwing on a mask or taking what can be a very lonely path of indifference and free thought.

I guess in London I’m classed as a disruptor – but for me, I dont and wont ever be forced to wear a mask to make you feel comfortable.

The Bridge of horrors

Towering skyscrapers surround the Waterloo bridge with beaming rays of iridescent lights.

After midnight, the buildings take centre stage; morphing themselves into a dazzling spectacle of shiny glass cylinders.

Just imagine the sight of multiple buildings emerging from the depths of the concrete and illuminating off the dark waters.

With the backdrop of the velvet blue sky, the whole landscape made the night almost perfect.

Well, almost.

It was so close……

But as always………London snaps me back into reality – in the form of a human crisis that catches me completely off guard.

Stopping mid run behind me, a middle aged man pressed pause on his midnight run, to unleash a colossal round of “SCREAMS OF RAGE!”

His screams were so loud and sudden, everybody froze around him like statues as he slowly walked towards the edge of the bridge.

The atmosphere was filled with horror because the screams were so violent it heightened concern of this mans safety and what the man was about to do, especially as we were on the Bridge!

Yet nobody dared move and nobody dared approach him. I guess we shared the same though of not wanting to scare him, yet wanting to be close enough to save him.

The handful of civilians surrounding him waited, but for what?

All we knew is that he was completely unaware of our presence.

Some passers by slowly observed the scene, staring at the man holding onto the bridge and facing the direction of the Thames.

The moment he straightened up, he became aware of the watchers around him.

Cautiously, he backed away from the bridge and continued his jog.

We all looked at each other with a sigh of relief and as if someone pressed play on life, we all just went our separate ways. The surrounding sounds became louder and the moment of horror had now passed.

After all, London during the midnight hour has became infamous for witnessing a stranger on the brink of a mental breakdown.

In fact there are more police calls here in the night than there is at any other time of the day.

It was actually that night I gave the Waterloo Bridge the label, ‘Bridge of horrors!’

The midnight runners sudden “Screams of rage” really wasn’t that surprising.

In London, everyone is slightly more unhinged than it seems on the surface. The midnight runner is your manager, director or the guy on top being driven around in his town car.

Most professionals have built there whole existence around their careers. I mean, lets look at their social lives – most peoples relationships are a direct connection to their workplace and here it is very easy to blur the line.

Their successes are their promotions and their wealth is measured by economics.

Therefore, failure in their world means failure in life.

The breathtaking picture of the Thames you take selfies on, is also subject to multiple suicides throughout the year. In fact, in 2014 the suicide rates of those jumping and drowning in the Thames rose to 57%.

Although we all may feel the pressures of metropolitan life weighing on our shoulders, there is this unique detachment here that can eradicate simple forms of human empathy; that probe the question, ‘Are you okay?’ to the person plugged into their earphones, the timid girl behind a newspaper or the sunken head to the floor.

Why is it that we have to wait for something to happen to approach someone?

Why are we no longer present to those that need the help around us?

Or is this just a London state of mind?

The ‘personal data’ illusion: time to opt out

The data century is upon us. Modern technology is now a natural part of our daily lives. We are now reliant on our devices as a primary source of information, with one in five adults spending as much as 40 hours a week on the internet.

Every second we spend plugged into this hypothetical digital matrix, is an opportunity for our personal information to be quantified, stored and measured.

What for?

Well, if you believed your data was used exclusively to customise your online content to better enhance your browsing experience, you would be very naïve.

Personal data can generate useful insights into upcoming trends, help to observe how users interact with new products and most of all, it can help predict future buying behaviour.

Your search engine history, your messages, your posts, your contacts, your work history, your location, your media, your leisurely activities you name it, has been sold to large corporations to be analysed so they can find out what you as a consumer want to invest in.

For large corporations, this information has been coined as the new ‘oil’ of the digital era, as your data is now one of their biggest sources of revenue.

Think about it as the equivalent to a cheat code on a game, how can they possibly lose when you are giving them all of the answers?

Companies are basically creating products and services as a response to trends and insights they have accumulated from your online activity, and they are making trillions!

But these ‘Silicon Valley’ mad scientists are greedy and just like technology once upon a time started with one idea and a formula, now, it is being pumped into the bloodstream of each generation – changing life as we know it since the first invention of the Microsoft computer.

Behind the curtains of illusion lies the dirty truth and the truth is your data has been used as a tool against you, to confuse and delude you into making choices and forcing you into beliefs.

Data science is the new digital formula – once created to improve the services of businesses, now, has developed to monitor and influence human behaviour and change the mindset of targetted groups in countries around the world.

Techies are now lurking in dangerous waters; analysing your personal data to work out how you think, whether you can be easily swayed and what group you identify with. They want to know your triggers, whether you can be misled and once they’ve worked out just who you are, they bombard you with targeted videos, advertisements, images and content until they start to influence the way you think, further having monopoly over the choices of you and your whole country.

Look at Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm on paper, but really a huge criminal data mining enterprise, who illegally harvested over 30 million US citizens personal data, to carry out one of the biggest criminal data led campaigns in history to get Donald Trump in office!

How did they do this you ask?

Easy, they targeted you through Facebook, analysed your online behaviour to create customised adverts, videos, images and content which would cater to you personally, but would also sway your political vote.

They painted Hillary Clinton as a criminal in the eyes of the masses. Painted Trump as the business tycoon and Americas economic saviour, and before you know it, he’s president.

Country to country, they played God by manipulating the masses to make decisions to which they had no idea of the consequences. Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, UK, Kenya, Nigeria, I mean the list goes on.

With more adults using social media as a source of information, it has become even more easier to manipulate decision making, spark racial tension and divide populations around the world?

Look at Facebook, the powerful sinister data brokerage firm, who make a majority of their revenue through the selling of your personal data. They team up with government agencies to spread propaganda and enable discriminatory advertising to be shared on their platform.  

A system once engineered to bring us closer together has single handedly created enough of a divide that we can no longer comprehend what the truth is and what has been manufactured for us to believe.

The ‘user’ accumulating this data has become the victim of their own choices.

Your personal data is gold and you should have the human right to decide how its being used!

Unfortunately, with any commodity, corporations, governments and the latter, are using this information for their own personal gain. Data can create fortunes if it’s exploited in the right way and this should be regulated to avoid the breach of our human rights!

But the introduction of the ‘internet of things’ means your car, your fridge, your watch or TV are now connected to the cloud, generating more data than any application you can opt in or out of. The collection of our data is becoming so seamless, sophisticated and hidden that we are not even given the right to ‘consent’.

Which makes you think what rights do we actually have over our own information?

THE STUDENT CON GAME

The deftly tones of the grand organ drown the theatre in a tribunal concerto. The atmosphere is palpable. A sense of nobility fills your body and you are proud that this momentous occasion is a result of your hard work.

Graduates are seated in the centre of the action; bodies covered down to their feet in their signature Hogwarts gowns – colour coded in ranking of their degrees importance of course. Teamed with an inexcusably immoderate oxford hat, like a student ready to be initiated into Gryffindor, you get the sense that Mr Potter may appear at any moment.

Yet the only magic taking place here is deception, the magical illusion of ceremony and reward, that will make the worries of a £50,000 debt and a high risk of unemployment, miraculously disappear.

Throughout your time in high school and college you’ve been fed the same line, “The more educated you are, the more successful you will be”.

This same line has now become a deep embedded ideology institutions have been repeating for decades, which has dramatically changed the peoples general behaviour towards education. Now, education has been deemed the only way to create access, opportunity and career success.

The reason why?

Well, it’s our societies obsession with meritocracy and its adept association with education and class. To be educated can only be proven by merit i.e GCSE’s, degrees, PhD’s, NVQ’s………..and the list goes on. You are taught that by obtaining such merit, doors into higher paying careers and specialist industries will open.

A UK Bachelor’s degree:

Average Cost: £50,000

Result: Certificate

Pro: Education

Con: No guarantees of employment in your chosen field of study or preparation for the working environment.

Introducing: THE STUDENT CON GAME.

After basking in the afterglow of your graduation; its the moment you discover your new reality of unemployment. You solidify your place in an overcrowded job market and realise there are more graduates than there is jobs.

But don’t expect this suprise to reveal itself until you receive your degree.

With a lack of opportunities in your specialism, you discover you’ve been conned. All of a sudden your degree isn’t enough. At this stage, you recognise the value of hands on experience is held to a higher standard, than your shiny certificate.

This is when you contemplate whether your £50k loan was worth the paperwork?

Not only are you competing with graduates, and the general public, but internal employees are applying for the same positions. They may not have the education, but good companies will invest in educating their current staff to degree level.

But don’t expect to be forewarned of these formalities whilst in university, because who knows…………..you might just end up leaving.

Just imagine the disappointment of the 50% of students who don’t even end up working in their field of study? (Independent UK, 2014)

Unless you have paid for your degree outright or have financial support, debt is a result of why you may probably fall into a different industry. As higher education comes with a cost that you now have an obligation to at least try to clear before you die.

How are students to know that despite their dedication to receiving this degree, they may end up choosing between their career and a job?

Years later, you yourself will go on to find truth in the latter. Fashion graduates in the insurance industry, biomedical graduates working in property management firms, law graduates working full time in restaurants, I mean the list goes on. University is nothing but a blurry memory to these individuals who discovered a passion in different industries.

At this point, university just seems like an expensive investment you make to justify that time in your twenties where you get to answer the question:

‘What the heck do I really want to do with my life?’

But my question is, is that answer worth £50,000?

The Office Meeting – Time to call your bluff

old-one-in-office-argument

It’s 09:30am.

The tension is unbearably thick. Accusing eyes scan the room. The boss – the conductor to this orchestra, basques in the awkward silence he has created by his mere presence in the room. He smiles smugly and takes a sip of his steamy beverage.

Nothing goes ahead without him and he knows it.

Decided on his approach, he throws his cards on the table. Cutting through the silence with his bladed tongue, slowly, he begins the sadistic routine of going around the room; picking out each victim one by one, secretly assessing their reaction to his quick fire round of multiple questions. Of course each question is loaded with cruel intention.

Watch out for when he asks for your opinions and your input.

It always starts with a “So, How are you finding things so far?”

This is a test.

Unfortunately, he already knows the answers, but the true revelation comes the moment you realise this test isn’t even for you. It comes the moment you understand you are just a mere pawn in the game of his office politics.

You see, the boss knows you have no clue to his line of questioning. So before you rack your brain desperately trying to conjure up a smart answer, admit your defeat.

Who he really wants to identify is the unappointed shotcaller when he’s not around – observing from the sidelines, waiting for the opportunity to jump in with the answers you don’t have.

The moment they jump in, falling for the trap, he has revealed his cards.

We all know this is no way to play poker.

The quiet new bloods in the corner sink into their seats, already defeated, for the purpose of the inevitable – they just don’t stand a chance!

Welcome to the ‘The office meeting’ – the moment of the day you walk out of a claustrophobic room populated by your coworkers with a feeling of complete delirium, wondering, what the fuck just happened!

Prepare to be humoured by an awkward exchange of words between people whose dry banter would otherwise drain you.

Put on your game face ready for the back and forth power play between seniors. Listen out for the sly insults hidden behind a transparent curtain of sarcasm and gritted teeth. Watch your coworkers as they nod enthusiastically at nonsensical task delegations, from the dictator at the top end of the table.

Meanwhile, you spend most of the time watching a ping pong match of opinions flying from end to end of the grandiose table in a little room, nodding every so often to show you are awake and interested. The whole time you think to yourself, “My job could have been executed perfectly without this information”. Yet you don’t share this opinion, you in fact choose to appease your seniors by smiling in their direction.

Sitting silently, awaiting your gloomy fate of impossible deadlines and targets for the week, you stay quiet and for a moment, your invisible………well, until he sees you.

Deep down, you hate him almost passionately.

You take very shallow breathes.

Admit it, you’ve been tricked. Tricked into attending a time wasting bartering exchange between your seniors, purely for the entertainment of your boss.

The meeting is also the godforsaken part of the day when the guy with the massive ego who likes the sound of his own voice, pipes up for a prolonged speech about………….well, himself. This is also the guy that will ask extra questions to ensure the director smells his not so hidden desires. The self appointed shotcaller at the table waving his cards around. Yes, that prick!

The boss humours him for a while, until he becomes sick of him, then he moves on to his next minion.

The office snitch – who walks pitifully into the arena, head sunken, no eye contact. Aged by years of undermining and empty promises of a promotion that never came.

Gosh I almost feel sorry for the lad as he sits quietly next to the boss.

He’s almost a teachers pet, but rather than being eaten alive, he’s sadly used as an ‘office informant’. The snitch. The one who informs the dictator whose late, under performing or getting divorced.

Yep, don’t feel sorry for him.

Understand that the great white sharks of the office and their evil minions awaiting to catch you alone in the sea, so they can pounce and feast on your blood, all boils down to what happens in that meeting.

What role did you play?

I’ve come to the conclusion that nobody is safe here, so put your best poker face on and be ready to reveal your hand.