Friday, 31 May 2013


Take a regular guy, unassuming and liked by all. His friends portray him as friendly, respectful and polite, far from the angry troublemaker, hotheaded rebel or sinister outsider. The kind of person who is from a good family, did well at school and held down a decent job for years. We all know someone like that.
Along the way 'something' happens to those young people that produces adults that I find absolutely chilling.
'Something' that turned the guy those people knew into a man with blood-soaked hands, holding a meat-cleaver and knife in the headlines last week. I'm talking, of course, about Michael Adebowale, alleged murderer of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, whose body had to be identifed by dental records. People say that Michael Adebowale was 'radicalised' - but what does that actually mean?
So how about Ariel Castro - the man responsible for keeping captive, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight for over 10 years? Was he radicalised too? He was another normal member of his community even having the audacity to invite friends over for a beer claiming the noises they heard were dogs in the attic, when in fact it was the victims trying to escape. Ariel Castro gave money towards the search for one of the girls he himself had kidnapped. On another occasion he attended a vigil for a girl and stood with the grieving family knowing that a few hundred yards away she was huddled up and chained in his own basement. Those who knew him also gave him a glowing report. 
Many times there is nothing in a person's past that raises alarm bells as to what they might do in the future.
Is there some sort of a metamorphoses that takes place, or is it just the matter of them revealing who they really were all along, flashing their true colours after many years?
Sometimes we are so busy being focused on the bad guys that we're not concentrating on the so-called 'good guys'.
Now I ask you:
•    Can someone explain what radicalisation really is?
•    Have you ever been horrified to find out a person you thought you knew for years was something completely different? If so, can you share what happened?
•    Do you think it's possible to prevent this sort of thing happening if you intervene at an early enough stage?

I'd love to hear your comments, views and opinions on this.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Better Off Alone!

Loner. Unsociable. Recluse. Just some of the labels society slaps on a person who prefers their own company to that of others.

But what's so wrong about a person being more comfortable on their own? We constantly encourage people to love themselves and be comfortable in their own skin, but as soon as you take time out on your own, you are labeled as if you are a freak. 

Isn't there something wrong with the person who has to continually be around other people? There are some people who just can't sit still for 5 minutes. Their phones are always engaged, they are never home and every time you try to contact them they are busy. Why isn't that seen as unhealthy?

Isn't it possible to have too many friends and be socially addicted? I'm talking about the person who can't hold down a decent conversation because they're constantly texting, tweeting or checking their emails. The person who has spread themselves so thinly that they are too busy to truly form a strong relationship with anyone. I don't know about you, but I find it more lonely in a crowd of acquaintances than being by myself in my room. 

Over the years I've wondered if there is something wrong with me. I can spend days on end by myself without the slightest urge to see anyone or pick up the phone. I feel peaceful, content, and stress-free. Chaos and confusion is left outside whilst I'm serene in my bubble. Where's the crime in that?

There are also many famous people who were deemed to have reclusive tendencies such as John Swartzwelder - comedy writer of 'The Simpsons'. Johnny Carson - NBC host of The Tonight Show. Daniel-Day Lewis - Actor of My Left Foot and Stanley Kubrick director of A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Space Odyssey to mention a few. It just goes to show that even if you don't crave the company of others, you can still achieve your goals.

Do you prefer to spend most of your time alone or in the company of others?

Do you think it's unhealthy to spend vast amounts of time on your own?

I'd love to hear your views, comments and opinions.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Positive Affirmation - Really?

Okay, so I'm a bit stuck with this one and I'm struggling.  You see, I understand that we should aim to have a positive outlook on life and even when we endure hard times we should try to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, find that silver lining in the dark clouds or encourage ourselves if possible. 

I'm coming across more and more people who believe in this thing called 'Positive Affirmation'. It goes far deeper than looking on the bright side when all around you is in chaos. And it's very different from someone having a naturally positive attitude. 

I mean, people actually believe that if you continue to speak repetitive positive things 'into your life' then it will happen. Furthermore, if you write positive affirmations around your home or work then these affirmations will come true.  So in essence, if you continuously say or chant the words 'I love myself' or 'I will be successful' for a long enough period of time, then you WILL love yourself and become successful. 


Whatever floats your boat. But I get frustrated when I'm trying to have a conversation with someone who keeps constantly correcting me. I'm just trying to accurately describe what's going on and how I feel but they insist on me editing out the parts that they don't think are 'positive'. 

Here's an example. If you say ' I hate this job, I find it so boring". Mr Positive Affirmation says " Don't say that! It sounds like self pity to me. Instead you need to declare this "I love my job and find it enjoying and fulfilling". 

It's as though they believe that acknowledging that you're not happy about something actually makes it go wrong. There seems to be a modern superstition that every word casts some kind of spell, like speaking something into being. 

But what's so wrong with being real? Thinking positive in bad circumstances is one thing, but can it, by itself, get you out of the situation? And by the way, at what point do we acknowledge that all is not well? At what point does this wishful thinking become a person actually lying, to others and to themselves? 

Does all this 'Positive Affirmation' force people to walk around with a false smile on their face living in denial?

Does anyone actually know what I'm talking about? 
Have you encountered 'Positive Affirmation' yourself?
Doesn't creating such a gap between reality and what you admit impact on mental health?

I would love to hear your views, opinions or comments.
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