It has been some of the strangest few days of my life. From hearing F16 jets flyby at night and explosions shaking the ground whilst hiding out in friends houses after hearing of a coup; knowing there are tanks streets below as you struggle to comprehend what is going on. Friends joining lines and lines of people at ATM machines, spaghetti running out at the markets as no one truly knows how long they are going to be trapped inside.
Thankfully, we are now not trapped; the initial chaos from Friday night is over. Instead of analysing the situation that ensued afterwards and what is going on now (as it isn't that clear); I would just like to say that it is very easy to see how a country that is relatively stable can disintegrate into a situation of potential war, complete terror and instability overnight.
This region of the world has been played at for decades, perhaps even centuries. We are indeed pieces on a chess board. Worldwide economic and social domination by a few very rich and greedy people is the reason why thousands of children die of starvation everyday, why approx 1 billion learn to live on less than 1 dollar a day, why some countries are completely sold to foreign corporations etc. etc. etc.
I'm tired of asking questions such as;
Why the f* are there permanent security council members ?
Why does one family (Rothschild) own nearly all central banks worldwide?
Why do we have to work to make money to pay our electricity and water bills and buy food when these things would be very simply provided if resource distribution was in place.
etc. etc. etc.
I feel I am living as a hypocrite myself. We always discuss of conscious consumption. Yes, I am better than I used to be at being careful regarding what and how I consume but I truly feel that there needs to be some sort of radical dissent in terms of this. This chaos and extremism ensuing across the region, Europe and the world is not just going to simply disappear. It will get worst if we do not act. And if it is indeed the economy that makes the world go round. That is where we must hit the hardest. How exactly, I'm not entirely sure.
(Edit/Addition: Oh, and to fight extremism we must indeed remember that there are chilrden being brain-washed into believing extremist views. We can fight that by equally making as compelling counter articles/videos. These people (if not already taken away and being trained on the ground) are influenced by their solitary lonely lives, the bullshit environment they are in and mostly by what they are reading and watching on the internet). We must tell young vulnerable children and young people: THERE IS another way.)
Technology, hacking, whistle-blowing- this has lead to more transparency but has also caused a lot of trouble at other times. We must be smart. Cyber-security and cyber warfare is one of the greatest threats that face the planet at the moment in terms of keeping 'the system' alive and well.
The reason we are governed, the reason we value money is only because we allow ourselves to be government, because we 'trust' money and put value onto it ourselves. We in our lives our doing as much as we can I can see that. There is too much information, overwhelming misinformation, our brains are trying to compute all of this as well as our emotions of what is going on the world constantly. It is too much to take.
We then, of course need to to calm and relax, meditate, laugh with friends, make art, music, love. Cook. Feel alive. There are different ways of radical dissent - truly living and believing in the way you believe as a form of resistance. Living 'off grid'. Choosing to live alternatively, sharing, free-cycling, networking, truly seeing the beautiful different colours of the people and the world we live in.
A lot of us (including myself) feel paralyzed about 'what exactly to do'. We don't trust political systems, we choose systems that are not necessarily hierarchical to be a part of ; the vast consciousness of the internet is a part of this . We share, we are in power, we can reach billions at a click. What we also need is focus and discipline. We cannot do everything. Which is why we collaborate and we focus. We do indeed need to be brave. Bravery and stupidity also can be a very thin line when people wait outside your house ready to beat you up.
I'm babbling but I need to . The point is, friends, it is time for some more radical thought and action. (When I say radical I do not mean let's go and wreck the place). I mean - time to be smart with our emotions, thoughts, our environment, our awareness, time to shake off the hopelessness, time to embrace that we are together, time to accept the horror that surrounds us, time to see we must do all we can to stop this. Time to learn to protect ourselves online, physically, mentally. Time to be prepared for everything; to be 'safer' rather than 'sorry'.
We have to keep doing what we have been doing; sharing info etc. We need to 'think globally, act locally', we need to make this fight not against something or another- we must fight for 'humanity' ; for all beings on this planet. If we continue to find this in ourselves, that is the most important step. The rest comes naturally.
Let's not let these assholes rule the planet. At some point, 'whatever it takes' will be what we are saying to one another.
Enough is enough.
Peace and Love.
So, before diving straight back into my day to day life post -
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Gold Event (IGE) South Korea: Leadership for a Transformed Award, I thought it was incredibly important that I sat down with my own thoughts and emotions to truly see what my role as an individual was going to be from here. How was I going to take all that I had learnt, the experiences I had gained and transform them into a feasible action plan for myself as an individual but also as National Director for the Award Programme in Turkey?
I decided to write down questions about what I thought the whole IGE experience meant for me. It felt that IGE 2014 was asking some very vital questions : How as individuals within different nations could we come together as a solid team to become the positive leaders
/ change makers in the world? How could we use the Award and the concept of non-formal education to create a constructive impact on society locally and globally? More importantly how were our Award holders going to become future leaders and changemakers? Because they needed to be...
Through learning about the theoretical aspects of team work and leadership and further working together practically within a team we were able to see first-hand the challenges that a small group of multi-cultural individuals could experience when given a single task. Our task was simple: to prepare a 10 minute presentation based on our entire IGE learning experience and linking it back to the Award.
We were separated into groups based on the 9 impact measures of the Award. I was placed in Group 6 (Group name: 길라잡이! (Gillajab-i !) Lead the Road!). We were to explore impact measure 3: Health and Wellbeing. I was thrilled when I learnt about this as I have a personal interest in issues of health and well-being. We were taken to Healience centre where we took part in various activities such as yoga and meditation and learnt about 4 habits of individuals that need to be changed for creating a healthy body and mind: eating, exercise, biorhythm and mental habits.
Throughout our 2 day field visit at the Healience centre I further realised that in this world of ever growing technology and bombardment of information (Remember the Did you Know? video ) we sometimes forget to just sit and take 10 minutes out of our day to be just with ourselves, breathe, meditate and reflect. The simple act of breathing can help release Serotonin (nicknamed the happiness hormone) and allow us to think and act more clearly.
So what did this all mean? Why was it that IGE 2014 had been a life changing experience for me as an individual?
After our visits together we came together to prepare our presentations. As a team throughout the IGE we had formed, stormed, normed and finally were ready to perform! . Everything came together as we got on stage held hands and shouted our group name: Gillajab-i ! We had made it; we had managed to overcome our differences, come together as individuals and a team to successfully carry out our task. It was incredible to watch that all the other 8 teams had done the same. The presentations were not only touching, they were living proof of the Award’s positive impact on society. I saw what we as a global family were capable of achieving; the potential of the Award on bringing about vast positive change worldwide.
After saying goodbye to my new friends (I confess: I was crying a little) and boarding the plane, it all hit me quite hard as I came across a quote in a booklet that had been handed to me at the Korean Magazine Fair in Seoul. It was a booklet discussing Buddhism. One particular sentence struck out at me. This was it I thought!
‘A great revolution of character in an individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further, will cause a change in the destiny of all humankind’
It seemed clear: if we were indeed so dedicated to changing the world to make it a better place we should also be dedicated to taking care of ourselves - as it is through a healthy body, mind and attitude that we can maintain the positive energy needed to become tomorrow’s global change makers. By leading by example, by leading through serving, by ‘talking the talk & walking the walk’ we would truly be able to ‘Lead the Road’ to a better humanity working together as a global team regardless of age, gender, religion, race etc.
Finally, one particular quote struck out for me at the IGE: ''Multiculturalism: a society at ease with the rich tapestry of human life''. I realised that we all have our part to play by ‘thinking globally and acting locally’ in order to maintain this rich tapestry of human life – by bettering ourselves as individuals and working together we are capable of much more. One presentation put this thought across so clearly by ending with the African Proverb: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’; as one of our friends also added to this quote: ‘it takes a nation to build a generation’.…
Whilst building though please do remember to breathe! =)*
*There are many guided meditation videos but here are a few to get you started:
10 Minute Meditation music
10 Minute Guided Meditation
A big thank you to The International Award Foundation, The Korean Award family, The Korean National Youth Centre, The Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, the International Council, The International Award Trustees, all the volunteers, and finally the Award in Turkey for giving me the opportunity to take part in this IGE - It was truly an unforgettable and lifechanging experience.
Onwards and upwards!
Interested in international development, humanitarian work and activism through art, literature and music. Singer/Song-writer/Guitarist.