Symbols of Perspective


Perspective is everything, and we are taught to interpret symbols in images as well as words. When you see a blue box with an “F”, we associate it with Facebook. A large green “M” represents a can of Monster. But symbols are not just images, they are also words. When you hear the word “success”, you automatically think money, grades, and suits before we think happiness and long-term progress. When we hear “work”, we think of tedious, endless tasks of working for long hours with bare minimum appreciation instead of the long-term outcome of “no pain no gain”.

But what if everything were as simple as a syntactic reversal to naturally, not conditionally, achieve results?

When someone says “I was thinking of doing this,” we automatically assume they mean they’ve changed their mind now. When they say “I am thinking about doing this,” we interpret it as they haven’t done it yet.

People have associations with words – both positive and negative. Children don’t like homework, but they like missions, adventures, and projects. We can condition them to work, but that takes effort on both parties. Teenagers don’t like rules, but they respond more positively to suggestions and guidelines as they feel they have a choice. Adults don’t like work, but what if work were called “time killers”, “money makers”, or “a level in a game”?

When you’re young, you rely on what you are told. When you become an adult, you make your own choices based on what you’re taught versus what you’ve experienced. If you want someone to respond positively to use, find words they associate positively. Negative words result in negative results, positive words have positive outcomes. If you want to get what you want, communicate in the syntax they use – speaking to children means using “kid-words”, speaking to teenagers means making analogies with music and movies they like. When communicating with academics, they will automatically respect you more when you use good vocabulary and good grammar. When communicating with the general populous, use simple and concise words.

We are taught to exert a certain level of respect so that others will respect us, but the truest form of respect is when we are willing to choose words according to their responses. Fearful people respond to intimidation; fighters respond to perceived victory.

Often, we become frustrated and angry that people “just don’t listen”, but it’s usually because they’ve heard a word they associate negatively. When someone is told to “wake up earlier”, they see that as a constraint on their freedom. Rather, say “if you wake up early you could get more done” comes across as a suggestion rather than a demand. When someone is told to “go to sleep early”, they associate it with “punishments” because in our childhoods, “staying up late” was perceived as a luxury, a reward.

When you offer people choices and positive associations, they will personally feel that they have made good choices. This builds their confidence and self-respect, which in turns builds their respect for you. People who respect themselves will respect others – but it is not up to us to decide whether or not the person is respectful simply based on appearance. Most of the time, people appear to be disrespectful simply because they haven’t learned to communicate.

Let people hear what you want to say by saying it in ways they will listen.


Becoming Human

The eye is to observe
The mind to reason
The heart to understand
The life to be experienced
And the Voice is to express and be heard

The modern world has constructed a reality of so-called “normality”, but being a social construct, the definition of “normal” should be ever-changing. However, in this day of fear and conformity, of precaution and preventative measures, the definition of “normal” is unyielding. There are, on the other hand, non-conformists out there who choose to challenge the regimes and boundaries of limitations set by a world trying to maintain afloat in this dog-eat-dog world.

These are the radicals.

Yet to the detriment of dreamers, the word “radical” too, has been associated with great negativity in this era. “Radicals” are supposedly the ones representing intense religious movements; “radicals” are supposedly the ones who force their definition of morality on the people of their reality; “radicals”, in every sense of this generation’s definition, can only (sadly) be used with a pinch of salt.

It is to this that I attribute the greatest challenge to the modern regime – definitions. If normalcy is a social construct, and radicalism has been understood as social destruction, then anything which defies the edifice of modernity (or post-modernity) is thus deemed “abnormal”, “paranormal” or “supernatural”.

Nonetheless, what if these “abnormal” traits and abilities that people have are no more than back-to-basics – of conforming to human nature rather than social construct? Of living rather than merely existing? Of being rather than performing? Those who are in touch with themselves and have life experience to carry forth into the real world are often faced with the challenge of knowing when to conform, and when to defy. The sad truth, however, is that the elements in which humans were naturally born with – the ability to swim as a baby, having an intuition, trusting vibes and gut feelings, sensing others’ presence – all of these innate human abilities have been eradicated by definitions, rationale and logic. Yet, the irony is that these definitions and so-called “logic” are all but rational.

“Logic” cannot be an absolute truth unless both ends of the spectrum are taken into account and analysed – but the attributes of human nature are often destroyed or underestimated by the human definition of logic and reason. But logic can be interpreted and deduced: true logic lies in knowing that not everything is black or white, and that not everything in life is a “model answer.” This is much like what Aristotle had said that “The law is reason free from passion.”

By interpretation, Aristotle argues that in order to rule mankind, one must thus eliminate any form of passion – any form of emotion, feeling, or “abstracts” in one’s mind. This is evidenced in any capitalist society, and being the capitalist era we live in, money is the universal language everyone understands, which then determines success as financial power; accordingly, the “cause” behind all success is the ability to shut off human emotion, defy human nature, and live a passionless and meaningless life.

This, according to modern society, is the most secure survival method, and to revert to human nature and defy those who walk away from it is called “breaking the law” and “becoming radical”.

The paradoxes and harshness of reality leave most at a standstill: at any given point in life, absolutely anyone can have a certain amount of power to make a difference – but standing alone and fighting for what you believe is draining and tedious. Very few withstand the shrapnel and shards of broken glass that conformists swing at them while trying to shape and mould a “model citizen”, but the ones who do (and can) are ultimately the non-conformists. The radicals.

The ones who change the world.

The ones who society calls “antisocial”, “delusional”, “crazy”, “emotionally unstable”, and so forth.

The ones with a power so intense that conformists who recognize it try their hardest to suppress and fight; to water-down and abridge.

We are the radicals. We bear the responsibility of the rest of the world simply on the premise that we are able. But the world is not ready, and brilliant ideas always take the longest time to manifest into reality for they are waiting for the world to be ready.

To be radical, use:

Voice JPG