Musings on Guilt

Guilt is a funny emotion don’t you think?

My sociology brain tells me that its something that’s socialised, something specific to the culture and society that you live in.

But my normal average human brain just thinks about how diverse it is.

You experience guilt over both big and small things; over things that you are to blame for and things that you had no influence or control over; you feel guilty about things that just affect you as well as things that only affect others; you can experience it about things that have happened just as readily as you feel it about things that have yet to come to pass; you can feel enormous guilt over something huge just as easily as you can feel enormous guilt over something miniscule like breaking your diet by eating a doughnut.

Guilt is diverse.

And more than that, isn’t guilt pointless?

Feeling guilty means feeling sad/bad about something that either you had no control over to begin with and still don’t or that has already happened and can’t be changed (unless of course you have a TARDIS.) Although having said that you could feel guilty about something you are going to do and that guilt could stop you from doing that thing, so maybe its not completely pointless.

I think my main problem with guilt is that so often the guilt we feel is of our invention, its a guilt based on something that wasn’t are doing, something we shouldn’t feel guilty about. And that’s my problem, guilt doesn’t discriminate based on accuracy – but it does based on the person.

Let me explain.

Someone who got ill and couldn’t go to an event and so gave her ticket to a good friend, only for that event to be the target of an attack and the friend gets hurt. The original person is going to feel guilty, even though she is not at fault, the attacker is. Guilt is based on the person, not the reality of the situation.

You then have the opposite end of the scale – people who commit atrocities and feel no guilt even though we declare them guilty. The feeling of guilt is about the person feeling it and that just sucks because an innocent person can feel terrible about something that wasn’t their fault, while the true person to blame can be feeling perfectly happy and content.

Guilt is a sucky emotion.

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I Want to be a Star – Poem

I want to be a star, I told my mum one day

This earned a puzzled look from her which prompted me to say:

I want to dance around all night

And sleep in peace all day.

I want to sparkle, shine and glow,

And grant wishes if I may.

I want to be the one that people look up to with a dream,

Who with a heartfelt look to the wondrous sky above,

Entrust in all the glittering stars

All their faith and love.

Musings on a Proverb

If you want to quickly go alone. If you want to go far go together.  –  African Proverb 

I’ve pondered this proverb since I saw it at the end of the film ‘The Good Lie’ which I saw a couple of days ago.

Sometimes I feel very alone and the idea that I need other people to get anywhere in life feels like a cruel statement. Why should I need other people in order to go far? Surely my achievements lie in my own actions? The fact that I’m a loner shouldn’t mean that I am barred from going places in life.

But then I did a three way skype call with my parents, brother, and grandparents tonight and I felt quite the opposite of alone; I felt loved and supported. I understood what the proverb meant.

Yes, I can achieve on my own, and quite right too. But the other people and the support they provide isn’t about not being able to do it on your own, its about how with them you can do more than you believed you could do. I think it means that when you have people believing in you and working with you, you feel more capable, you feel like you can achieve things you would have seen as too daunting when faced alone.

So no, its not negative and its not mean to loners. And I think it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a literal group of people supporting you either. I think that same result can come from doing something that you know is right and that other people know is right and would support.

So I do believe that If you want to quickly go alone. If you want to go far go together.

The Mistake

I knocked on the door; waiting, hoping for someone to answer. The address was right and so was the time, but this rickety old building didn’t fit. I shivered, but not from the cold. Something about that place gave me the chills. I should have suspected it then. I should have turned around and gone home. But I didn’t.

10 o clock they had said, so there I was. I huffed out a breath after knocking once again and began to turn around to go home – to safety. Then there was the creak. The sudden noise in the still, silent darkness made me jump. I gave a nervous laugh towards the empty street and turned cautiously once again, seeing the open doorway to what I would later refer to as hell.

I was young back then; young and so so naïve. I didn’t want to believe that they had tricked me. I didn’t stop to think; to question; to prepare. I just walked forwards, a willing accomplice to my doom.

It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the gloom, to the empty darkness. Standing in that room I almost forgot about the existence of light. I blinked, then opened my eyes quickly, like I was ripping off a plaster. However, what I saw caused them to slam shut again. With them closed I was cut off from the world, from my fear, my complete and utter terror. It was because of this that I didn’t see the door shut with a loud bang until it was too late.

I didn’t turn around at the noise. I’d seen horror movies, I knew what it meant. I was trapped. But trapped where? And right at that moment, with so many things to scare me, that was the most terrifying thing of all. I didn’t know where I was. No one did.

You are probably wondering why I went to that rickety old building, aren’t you? I had an invitation. I was invited. As the new girl I was ecstatic about being chosen to go to a party; especially during my first week of school. I didn’t think that it was a prank. Why would I? I was young and naïve.

I knew I was trapped; I thought I knew I was alone; I knew that in front of me on the walls was blood; I knew that just standing there wasn’t helping – I knew all of tht. But it was as if I was frozen in time. The only movement in the room was the silent fall of tears running down my face.

It took me a while to pull myself together and even longer to open my  eyes. I didn’t know how much time had passed. Minutes; hours; days. Time meant nothing. The present was all there was.

Finally looking around me I searched for doors, windows, any type of exit. I tried not to look at the blood, but my eyes were drawn to it. The more I looked the more I could see. It looked like there was writing of some kind on the wall – in blood. I moved closer and froze ins shock upon deciphering the scribbled words: ‘Hello Amelia’.

I think I must of fainted, for when I next opened my eyes I was in a different room, on the floor, my hands tied behind my back. It took me only seconds to realise that I was still alone. At this point it dawned on me; it wasn’t an accident. Someone had set me up, but with what intent? To die?

With some difficulty and many uncomfortable twists and turns I managed to manoeuvre myself into a sitting position. It was then that I saw the writing on the wall in blood, again. I managed to crack a joke to myself inside me head ‘where did he get all that blood?’ but then I remembered my circumstances and it didn’t seem all that funny anymore.

The blood ordered me to open the door, ‘open the door little girl’ to be precise, and I thought ‘what the hell, things couldn’t get much worse could they?’ So I stood up, somehow managed to open the door, stepped into another room, and screamed! The first scream I had let out since I had let out since entering the building. Because it was at that moment, as I stood in that room, I saw that that I wasn’t alone. I heard sinister laughter behind me before my world went black.

I can see now that they didn’t mean for me to get hurt. The people at school I mean; the people who invited me. They only wanted to scare me. I don’t blame them, how could I? My own stupidity played the most major part in it all. That blood I saw smeared on the walls in the first room; it was merely red paint, meant to frighten me. And I will readily agree that they succeeded. I was terrified. But you see the one thing they didn’t foresee, could never have predicted, was that I wouldn’t be the only one to turn up that night; that I wouldn’t be alone in that rickety old building. That was the only flaw to their plan, their only mistake. A mistake which cost me my life.

Inspirational Movie Quotes

I was re-watching Red Nose Day Actually and a line said by the Prime Minister really struck me as relevant in the days following the Manchester attack:

Wherever you see tragedy you see bravery too. Wherever you see ordinary people in need you see extraordinary ordinary people come to their aid.

And I feel like that sums up the good that has appeared in the wake of the attack. It was an absolute tragedy, but you shouldn’t forget the acts of bravery and kindness; homeless men who rushed towards the danger to help, strangers opening their homes to stranded victims, hundreds of people turning out to give blood, cabbies offering free rides, hundreds of thousands of pounds raised by the public to support the affected families.

To me that line is relevant and inspirational and it made me think of the other lines in films that had done the same in both small and big ways, and so I decided to compile some of my favourites in the list bellow. Enjoy.

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.  –  Imitation Game

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.  –  Lord of the Rings

Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first.  –  Good Will Hunting

Every man dies, but not every man truly lives.  –  Braveheart

Calling someone fat doesn’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. All you can do in life is try and solve the problem in front of you.  –  Mean Girls

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.  –  Harry Potter

The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.  –  The Princess Diaries

Sometimes You Just Need a Chick Flick

Sometimes you just need a chick flick. Or two.

Whether its to soothe a broken heart, add to a slumber party or help bridge the gap between strangers, chick flicks really pull through.

Tonight was the perfect example.

(btw I’m counting this as a postaday post even though its past midnight in England because I’m still up and am going to be for the rest of the night so there.)

I’m on shift for a volunteering thing I do tonight, hence the staying up, and due to the nature of the volunteering – which due to confidentiality and anonymity reasons I cannot disclose – you aren’t really doing any work for most of the 12 hours you’re on shift.

Tonight I was placed with a woman I’d never met before which made me a tad anxious but it turns out we get along pretty well actually. About an hour in we realised we’d both brought DVDs and the decision process started.

First came the ‘action’ or ‘chick flick’ call. A tricky one. But in the end chick flick won the battle.

Then came which chick flick – an even trickier decision to make. And believe me there were a lot of choices. Eventually we settled on ‘What’s Your Number’ – an absolute favourite of mine starring Anna Farris and Chris Evans that if you haven’t seen you need to check out – followed by the modern classic ‘Easy A’ – another stellar film.

I feel like we bonded over our shared love and rampant picking apart of those movies!

Now we’ve parted from the TV and have gone our separate ways – her with a book and me with the laptop that I’m typing this on – and the silence could be seen as awkward, but its not – its comfortable.

So thank you chick flicks. You might be predictable, cheesy and fulfil many stereotypes but when you’re needed you really pull through. Till next time – probably when I’m crying over my grades and need to distract myself from real life…

Book Lovers Never go to Bed Alone

Today’s post is a collection of quotes about – and by – book lovers. Enjoy!

***

Book lovers never go to bed alone.

I’ve lived a thousand lives.  –  George R R Martin

Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are.  

–  Mason Cooley

We live for books.  –  Umberto Eco 

In the highest civilisation the book is still the highest delight

–  Ralph Waldo Emerson

An hour spent reading is one stolen from paradise.  –  Thomas Wharton

I would desire to have no other prison than a library.  –  Robert Burton

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.  –   Sir Richard Steele

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. 

–  Anna Quindlen

Book are a uniquely portable magic.  –  Stephen King

No two persons ever read the same book.  –  Edmund Wilson

A room without books is like a body without a soul.  –  Cicero

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. 

–   C S Lewis

Keep reading. Its one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.   

–  Lloyd Alexander

Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.  

–  Anne Herbert

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  –  Frederick Douglass

Some like to believe it’s the book that chooses the person.  –  Carlos Ruiz Safin