My upbringing would be classed as poor, safe, innocent and good.
Despite not having much our parents were kind, loving and I grew up knowing they always put their kids first.
Growing up as I did I’ve come to realise that working class people are more genuine than other types of people and you know where you stand with them.
They aren’t two-faced, there is no false niceness and if someone doesn’t like you, you’ll be under no misconceptions that they do. There is honesty in their hatred of you.
Born and raised in this type of environment I was brought up to take everything at face value.
It wasn’t until I decided to better my situation in life and the wider social hierarchy did I realise how the world and people operate.
Once you start widening your horizons you get a greater understanding of people and their real motivations.
There is no better method than moving from a small village in the north to a big international city like London.
You become aware of how two-faced and self-serving people can be which creates cognitive dissonance between how you believe the world is and the reality.
When someone wants something from you, be it your time, knowledge, expertise or to tap into your network they will display a warmth towards you akin to a friendship.
This is just a surface-level friendliness and when they’ve gotten what they set out to get they’re cold.
A lot of people in business operate on this level.
When you learn that children’s TV stars that entertained you as a kid were using their privileged position of stardom to sexually abuse hundreds of underage children. Hollywood is rife with similar stories.
When you see that 1,400 kids in Rotherham were abused either by abduction, rape, torture and sex trafficking, and it was dealt with for years because the authorities feared that they would be labelled racist.
When political leaders take you to war on a lie which kills hundreds of thousands of people and destabilises an entire region for years to come.
People do horrible things all the time and no doubt some of which we won’t find out until years later if at all.
Knowing this will make some decent people cower in life.
The 24hr news media feeding us this information day in and out can be enough for some people to accept that the world is a shit place full of ugly people.
They may even slip into an existential crisis, reevaluating everything they believe to be true in life.
Some people prefer not to see the world for what it is. They like to bask in ignorance and choose to not know. They have a filter of where only good news can get through.
In a way you can understand their rationale.
In the current clickbait news world constant bombardment of negative (and often false) news can make people scared.
“I have the power of facing unpleasant facts.” George Orwell.
In the Western world we live in a bubble and we’ve never had it easier.
We are not challenged each day. Not in the survival sense.
We don’t live in fear of something bigger than ourselves eating us. There is an abundance of food that even the poor can still eat.
Don’t get it twisted. We like to believe we are an evolved species but in reality there are lots of us who are still savage and cruel.
We have the privilege of being alive at a time when survival has never been easier. It is also a curse as it makes us soft and less prepared should an event happen that requires grit and fortitude.
My philosophy is you have to immerse yourself in and challenge the ugliness of the world in order to appreciate and preserve the beauty of it.
Don’t shy away from knowing how cruel the world can be. Don’t shield yourself from understanding how evil some people are.
Find the beauty in the world and let that be your baseline.
I find beauty in not knowing.
I wasn’t raised with a faith and to this day I’m not religious.
I am developing a spiritual side which allows me to contemplate the wonder of how we got here and what – if anything – it all means.
I take solace in my smallness among the Universe. I’ve embraced the meaninglessness of my life at a basic level.
When I listen to Carl Sagan’s thoughts on our “Pale Blue Dot’ planet among the vastness of nothing it chokes me up. I find beauty in not knowing.
I find beauty in nature.
Mother Nature can be ruthless, harsh and savage but she is beautiful. In the world of the species if you’re not the predator you’re the hunted. “Life eats life to live” said the poet, Dejan Stojanoovic.
A sunset, a sunrise, a lake, the sea, a forest, a mountain and, yes, the predatory food chain, are all beautiful.
Read: Go into nature.
I find beauty in people.
As people we often find beauty in the external and surface-level including ourselves.
We judge people purely on their looks and external achievements.
Instead I like to look inside myself and appreciate what an amazing piece of machinery I am. This human body I am in carries me through life allowing me to experience as much of the world as I like.
The brain, the most complex object in all the Universe, has a complexity to it that science has yet to understand and perhaps never will.
The skin, the largest organ in the body, replaces itself every 27 days.
You have 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body that can circumnavigate the earth twice.
That a woman can create another person inside of her blows my mind. I’m stating the obvious here but producing another human is the most beautiful and important thing in the world.
And you. Yes you. The miracle that you are.
You are here alive today against all odds.
Much greater than any lottery win. The calculations range quite widely but each one is a number so vast it’s hard to contemplate.
One estimate made the probability of you being alive right now as one in 102,685,000 .
That’s a ten with 2,685,000 after it.
Think about that for a moment.
Being alive truly is a gift.
If ever I’m feeling low due to external events I bring myself back to this.
The world is a mean and nasty place with evil people doing evil things, but at the basic fundamental level it is beautiful.
Go through life, seeing the ugly for what it is but always remember to bring it back to this level.
If you can do this you will fear nothing and no one.