Day Dream Believer

18 11 2011

Generation fucked, a definition… sort of:
“Those who must live through the inevitable decline of capitalism in it’s current state, who must live with the consequences of the greed of past generations and for whom sustainability is not an option, but imperative to our survival” (Basically anyone born after 1984/5… Fucked)

Hello world! Or more accurately hello no one, as this blog is unlikely to receive a mass following. I myself, – a 20 something middle class, recently jobless ‘Norf’ Londoner with an educational history that screams wasted potential (classic generation fucked) – don’t expect anything from this blog. I’m not even sure what I want to write about, or where I want this to go. I intend to offer up a wide range of subjects for conversation, some obvious, some less so. I hope that I can grasp your attention for long enough that you find that some of what I say either connects with something you feel about the world or makes you want to punch me in the face, either way I hope I can start a discussion.

Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favorite writers describes the job of the writer in his fantastic book ‘what the dog saw’:
‘Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head – even if in the end you conclude that someone else’s head is not a place you’d really like to be.’
With that in mind I’d like to talk to you today about dreams. My old man will often sit me down and say, “James you’re a dreamer, and whilst its great to have a dream, you’ll never be able to realize that dream without a plan”. I guess what he’s saying is that dreamers basically spend most their time dreaming whilst the planners actually get on and do something, and I know that on one level he is absolutely right. I need to learn to plan for the future, to structure my life in such a way that I can grow both professionally and personally.
Even as I write this blog I can hear him saying, “James this is a dream, not a plan, your writing is never going to get you anywhere”. Deep down I know this is true and I know that this is just another form of procrastination, but how often in human history has average Joe had the chance to share his world-view with someone on the other side of the planet at the click of a button? That possibility did not exist for my father when he was 25, it exists for me, so why not? I’m sure he would have done the same, not for any great purpose but just for him. I have no great plan here, I just like writing and I feel like I have something to say, I hope I’m good enough to at least piss one or two people off and maybe get a few regular readers but above and beyond that I have no expectations, just my dreams.
Lets get one thing straight, before we go any further I believe in the next 5 years the world will change beyond all recognition, – the reasons for this I will make fully clear in future blogs – I believe it will change for the better but I believe it will be tough and at times messy. I believe that our generation has an unprecedented opportunity to bring the human race to the next stage of its evolution and I believe that change is inevitable and it will be forced upon us by circumstances out of our control.
I will talk about a wide variety of subjects during this blog, what I expect to find is much resistance and derision, I have absolutely no problem with this, I do not claim to be right about anything and I do not have a plan, only dreams for myself and for humanity. I think that there are millions if not billions of people out there who feel the same way I do whether they know they do or not, and I want us to come together as one to change things.
The last time my dad sat me down and had the dreaming versus planning conversation with me was a couple of weeks ago, I went away from the conversation agreeing that my life needed a higher degree of planning and forward thinking and that I needed to come up with a structured and detailed plan for finding a new job and finding balance in my life.
Such is my way however, that it wasn’t long until I was thinking about a TED video I had seen a couple of weeks prior, it was a talk by Simon Sinek about how great leaders inspire action. In this speech Simon states that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” and he uses numerous examples from the world of business and politics (click here to watch the video: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/16aP1L/www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html).
The thing that really struck me about this speech was his take on the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and the human rights movement. Mr Sinek made the point that Martin Luther King didn’t run around saying “I have a plan”, he said “I have a dream” and it was because he said “I have a dream” that over 200,000 people turned up to hear him speak on that fateful September day in 1963. 200,000 people in one place to hear one man; with no twitter, no Facebook, no mobile phones or internet. No invitations were sent out and many came from over a day away to hear one man speak, why? Did they turn up for him? Or did they turn up for themselves.
Simon Sinek believes and I agree, that 200,000 heard him speak that day because he had a dream that was shared by millions of people all over the world, a dream that people shared not for each other, not for society but for themselves. Martin Luther King had done the rarest of things, he had tapped into a collective consciousness and he had the ability to articulate this in such a way that made people feel they were as one. The plans came later but they came from his dreams, and they did so because they were not his own, they were universal dreams shared by everyone who he stood before that day, thus showing that the human mind is the most powerful thing on this earth when a common goal exists.
It is this notion that got me thinking about the power of dreams, for it is my belief that to see real change in society you first need a dream, a collective stream of consciousness and I guess that is why I have decided to write this blog, I want to ask the question, what are our dreams? What future does generation fucked imagine for itself? I truly believe that if we can latch onto that one shared dream, be it sustainability, security, education, equality, feeding the world, curing cancer, legalizing marijuana ☺ whatever it may be, the plans will soon materialize to enable us to make those dreams a reality. What good is a plan without knowing what you’re planning for? Humans either plan for a nightmare scenario or a dream scenario, its time we had a few more dreams to counteract the nightmares of this barren landscape that is humanity in its current form.
The truth is that a plan is simply no good without a common goal or dream and a dream likewise cannot be realized without proper planning, a balance must be struck. What we need in this world are common goals that are just that, common to everyone rather than the few. Until we can do that all the plans offered forward will only help to perpetuate the established world society of the day, which is a broken one of war, famine, massive injustice, inequality and greed.
In this blog, I hope to simply give you an insight into my mind, an average member of generation fucked. You may find things you like, you may find things you don’t like, all I ask is two things. If you read, please share and if you have an opinion let it be known.
I’ll leave you with this poem by W.B. Yeats. If we, generation fucked do not start to make our dreams heard, we face the prospect of having them trampled by the very people we have inherited this mess from. Till next time…
“HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
Of blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”
W.B. Yeats

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