Wednesday, 24 December 2014

One of the Billion

Its an unfortunate thing to have the occasional longing to be disassociated from your traced blood. But if you have ever visited the crowded, cacaphonous cities in China, such as the cities of Zhengzhou, Xian and Guangzhou of which I have just returned from, you may have an idea. From the complete disregard for order upon queuing, little no no sense of personal space, horrific inequality in income and the overall indulgence of greed at the expense of social welfare, health, and the environment.

Of course all of these traits can definitely be summarily explained, and in no way really degrades the heart of the nation or its people. And again perhaps I'm holding my fellow citizens to a higher standard, indeed I want positive perceptions to reflect on my “kind” as well, if you may. Indeed everything does have its logical explanation. The concentration of people into the cities for people to find work has lead to congestion and general administrative services buckling at the knees, with one naturally wanting to accelerate the process; hence line skipping. As income inequality rises the poorer and middle class increasingly look enviously onto their wealthier peers, and the disparity urges on illicit and generally distasteful means to accrue income, hence their twisted barters. This one also has basis in the general frugality of many Asian cultures. Coming out of a truly communist nation in the 80's China's rapid surge to its current roaring economy has been paved with environmental damage, and certainly disregard for its social welfare and health system. They simply haven't experienced this kind of wealth before, and they're hooked on it like no Opium stash could ever do.

But at least in this current day, as Chinese nationals increasingly travel abroad, their reputation as a people only spoils more and more heavily in the eyes of the international community. It undermines the great work that migrants have done in developed nations all over the world. Indeed at first glance very little distinguishes a Malaysian Indonesian from a Chinese, and it is all too easy to paint an entire nation with the same, misinformed brush. Just ask any moderate Muslim on the unwelcome association to terrorism our media is all too inclined to imply.


I realise I may be complaining over a first world, rather trivial problem. And you would be most certainly right. In a nation of over a billion people, problems will inevitably arise as the cramped conditions and overpopulation lead to frustrations, excessive competition and cabin fever. These are just the thoughts that I am having here and now. I may one day wake up mature and uncaring of this perception. Soon.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Apathy

In a recent article I read earlier, it seems like the greatest problem afflicting workplaces everywhere is apathy. It not only affects myself as an employee in both the public (Macquarie University) and private sector (IELTS Australia) but as a student, as a brother, indeed as a human being, occasionally seeping into every part being if I stay motionless in paralysis.

Its days like that that an impending sense of urgency is ignored and I succumb to the rolling waves of flippant disregard for my future and the world at large,

In the smaller scope of my life this problem has inhibited my growth as a human being. It isn't simply a case of "I don't feel like doing it today"; its a systemic problem I carry in days on end wanting to accomplish nothing despite my rationale and suppressed will to do so. This year in particular has been plagued by this sensation. Travelling South Korea and America aside, which were amazing experiences in and of themselves, both semesters for the first time have felt hollow. The circle of friends I have made are mostly objectively poor quality people who look to be content in mediocrity, with and any idea of pushing each other to improve lost in the wilderness. I don't know how I became to accept such a poisonous attribute of my psyche and indeed incorporate it into my every day life, but its here and I have to get rid of it. 

This month was also the first time I legitimately failed an interview. Twice, in fact. I first applied for a secondary student administration role at the central unit for student inquiries. The familiar feeling of nervousness and terpidation emerged after the first, and the second failed beyond my control, as I had actually passed it but the role was postponed into a new period. This feeling of failure is but a small tip of the pervasive sense that many others feel, its a new feeling that I should learn to have to be commonplace and draw experience from. 

In the larger scope it impacts how decisions are made on a grand scale. Political apathy from the citizens of this very great country I live in (Australia) has rendered many of our values and hard fought for freedoms invalid and increasingly eroded as we apparently look on, oblivious. This is clearly depicted in the boiling frog scenario. It goes roughly like this;

"If a frog jumps into a boiling pot of water, it reacts immediately and jumps straight out, to exist the situation as quickly as possible. However, if the frog stays in a pot filled with cold water, and incrementally heats up, the frog does not realise, and ends up being boiled alive."

I guess its understandable that this apathy exists. Many of us even in the first world must attend to our immediate needs of food and shelter, and tending to our families before we are even able to contemplate the effect that such large decisions will have on our lives. Additionally, despite an increasingly smaller world many of our leaders seem to look so faraway and detached from the average citizen, that such actions in that span of power should have little or no effect on our everyday lives. The first point is fair, but I find the second to be moot, simply in the fact that visible changes certainly occur if one just opens their eyes to it. In can be said that our lives continue to increase in complexity despite the great advances in technology that have taken place. Once we were thought to only be working 4 days a week for 6 hours a day but theorists in the 1960's, how far away from the truth has been realised today.

As a society we are stressed, mental illness problems have exploded into the 21st century in place of the natural population killing epidemics (not that they have been wiped out completely, check out the Avian flu and Ebola). Its a problem that will continue to persist in the foreseeable future.

This concludes 2014. I guess its unique for being the first, truly downtrodden restrospective account of the year I've had on this blog, and in my lifetime of the only seriously grounded years of my life. Its time to win.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Old friends, new world

Its interesting to see where people have gone and and all the things they've accomplished while you have been so caught up in the drama of your own bubble  surrounding your own little life. It makes the meeting with friends from your old life, high school and prior, an enriching to see the individual paths that everyone has taken. You also get to internally observe how people have changed (or occasionally how much they've retained their own friendly core) in their demeanor from how you remember them, however fickle or inaccurate a memory can be. Perhaps that's why I value travelling to be one of the greatest catalysts for change that you can do in your youth, a practice that I certainly have not taken advantage of nearly enough.

I went to a couple high school friend's birthday recently, and it was an amazing opportunity to rekindle with old friends in the brave new world that we now lived in. DC, MN, HC, WL and everyone else I met previously in year year 7-9, when we first met smartphones were alien to us. There was no word on the GFC, CRTs were approaching a phase of obscurity and our lives were simple. Granted, they were terribly exciting, but they were simple.

Now we've all grown up. Some of us study engineering, some teaching, medicine, law, accounting, bio-genetics. Some of us have graduated, some of us never even step foot into a uni. Some of us work for a bank, some of us play badminton. Some of us even joined a fraternity, something I never knew existed in Australia! Some of us, DC I'm looking at you, have made some of the most amazing friends and improved upon their outlook and personality to become more outgoing, honest,

Its curious to see that how the world has changed, but many of us are still able to retain our cores of integrity and adapt as the dynamic youth that we are in this new world. I hope to keep these wonderful brothers as new worlds continue to envelope whatever reality we have today, constantly, continuously, and without fail. To the future! AND BEYOND!



Sunday, 28 September 2014

A kick to the Head

Two fighters, one red and one blue. A blur of kicks to the shins, thighs and chests are blocked and avoided with lightning precision. Each one steeling their eyes to exploit any fleeting moment of vulnerability, land a hit on the other. Suddenly, the blue turns his back momentarily before landing a mighty back kick, 360 degrees in total onto the red fighters helmet. It is not enough. Knocked out cold, medics rush to the slumped body as the blue fighter looks on warily. The match is over by default.

It really has been a metaphorical "kick to the head" as such to me, generally more towards my fitness and health. It begs the question that I have to ask myself what am I doing with my health, and what am I doing with my life? I spend so much of my time standing or sitting in front of an electronic display. Playing games, browsing the web, wasting these precious moments away in a cyclone of lethargy and stagnation. This practise, while it has some cognitive benefits in reaction time and enjoyment will slowly erode away my time, attention span and effort. It simply is not a good way to exercise the wonderful waking moments we have in our youth. Not to say that a few races every now and then is terribly detrimental to one, but simply put I put this practice to the nth degree.


But back to the match. The fighters I see have focus and strength beyond many of what my peers can offer. A friend from Highschool, MN, despite holding a amazing mind left much to be desired in the physical department. I was working as a volunteer for the Australian UniGames as a Sports Administration Officer, but I must concede that I had done little in my role. IN fact the majority of my time was taken up with athlete registration, match recording for point contestation purposes and correspondence with some of the questions the athletes had.

I wonder if one day I will get to a level I am satisfied with, in my health, my discipline and strength,





Sunday, 31 August 2014

High Society

Today marks 6 months in. At the start of this year I decided to accomplish two things in terms of my self development and business entrepreneurship skills. Firstly, I wanted to found a successful, sustainable and ultimately enjoyable student society. It is titled the Macquarie Visual Arts Student Association. My rationale was my interest in art holistically, and (hopefully) to be able to draw in other art-minded students in a festival of oils, acrylics, water colours, graphics design amongst a whole host of other art forms. The second was to create a viable business based on the demand for quality English tutoring towards the various English language proficiency tests, (of which as a current employee of the IELTS testing system I would specialise in). Halfway through the year and both have seen a similar story of an initial start as fast as bullet, only to have been met with stagnation as the months rolled past.


The society started off with a bang. A hugely successful O-week campaign with accompanying social media posts, word of mouth and amazing grant offered by the university. We clocked in over 120 unique sign ups in the three days we were active, all with an attached fee of $5 helping to lift our already healthy bank accounts. A promising partnership with the Macquarie University Art Gallery, another one in the pipelines with Riot Arts and Crafts. Showbags flying off the shelf like hot-cakes filled with art catalogues, paint brushes, crayons and the like.

Our plan was great too. Having on board with us a Masters Graduate from one of the most prestigious Art Schools in Asia, (National University of Busan) and the film producer for Waringah Council help us out in bi weekly lessons was a god send. So many ideas in the works, art gallery visits, pizza/ drinks socials, the list went on.

Similarly my business got off to a great start. Having worked for IELTS for the past tow years I have developed an idea of how the writing component is worded, as well as the general structure of the exam overall. Two students hopped on board almost immediately as pilot runs (DL and FW), and we got off to work towards the coming exam. I was getting a steady stream of income, word was getting out and I even had my own marketing manager; JP who believed in me and helped me promote my business edge – that I worked directy in the administration of the test that they were going to sit.

I guess thats where the good news ends. Things have tapered off since then. Member turn-out for our events has sunk to single digits. Now that the test is over people are less inclined to need tutoring in the down tine. I guess I just have to wait and see how any of these plans folds out.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

The De-Militarised Border

You live and you learn; it’s a common expression that holds the idea that the older you get, the more you know. I find travelling to be the pinnacle of this expression, exploring and viewing the world in a way that only boots on the ground and immersion into a society can reveal. Two visit two sides of a country divided for the past 60 years, back to back, was undoubtedly priceless


Looking back on my brief time at Sookmyung and Seoul, nothing but insight exists. How dynamic Seoul is! The apparent wit and work ethic of its people, the innovation of its technology, the beautiful mountains of Bukhansan, parks, rivers, museums of war and history. Even the public transport system left me in a state of awe every time I boarded at Sookmyung station!

My impression extends even to the selection of units available to study. Through this, I have started to question things that I have never questioned before. Philosophy teaches you to challenge authority, stand your ground, hold your convictions tightly and search of a sometimes unattainable truth. In gaining a blue belt in Taekwondo with my classmates, it never really felt like study, but classes in flowing strike of strength, memory and focus. This wouldn't have been possible without KK and ML.

With the student's we befriended, you shopped with us, played mud fights with us, ate patbingsu with us, introduced me to the big wide world of Green tea matcha, and recommended places to explore while continuing to live your own daily lives. It is an unrivalled level of hospitality that will remain with us for years to come!

Of course all of these great successes and achievements in the fabric of Korean society does come at a cost. My classmates spoke of a more difficult domestic life of societal competition, pressures of success and appearance, and trepidation in maintaining one's reputation amongst peers. The artificiality in general politeness and friendships were also raised, which were reflected in the country's abnormally high suicide rate and much publicised psychological problems associated with human interaction.

But of any nation I have visited, I believe that your tenacity will have the resolve to get through anything. For a nation wracked with tragedy, it has core of steel, a heart of gold and the minds of geniuses.

 I was also lucky enough to have visited the other side, the seldomly explored territory of North Korea. It turned out to be one of the most fascinating places that I have ever visited, for entirely unexpected reasons.


The first impression of Pyongyang isn't one of a grey, lifeless metropolis - but one of greenery. The rolling hills, parks, rivers and grasslands adorn the sky scrapers (yes they do exist there) in a very aesthetically harmonious appearance. In no other city are you blind to the influences of the West, or even modernisation past the 60's even - But here.

People lead simply lives, without phones, the constant hunger for connectivity that infects our youth. There are no Mcdonalds, Coca-Cola sold on every street corner all the youth are running around outside with remarkable joy, water parks, extra-curricular games like soccer and piano are all embraced in place of internet cafes and shopping centres.

That isn't to say that what the media says is untrue- in studying a Law degree with a major in Social Justice great streaks of poverty were apparent just outside the capital. Workers, unable to afford lawnmowers, cut grass with simple hand-scissors for hours on end. Vehicles were so expensive that the roads were frequently occupied singularly by our tour bus, and the odd bicycle. The stature of the people were remarkably short and frail, due to the malnutrition of their earlier years.

It all culminates in a country so uniquely diverse, literally cut in half along the border, that leaves one to truly appreciate even the smallest glint in the history and grandeur of the Korean people.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Goodbye, Goodbye

Good friends goodbye, for now... its time to go. 

...But hey I say, well that's okay, because I'll see you very soon, I know. 

For those of you who don't know, these lyrics come from one of my favourite songs form my childhood. A special song that in a facade allowed myself to believe that the good days would continue to roll by, those astronomically happy days from those days where you freshly broke double digits in age, days you wish you cherished a little more. 


I've come to grips with myself in the fact that a part of me will never want to grow up. My bedroom is filled with posters from every year form 2001 until today, with every year's addition of poster a reflection of what i still feel and wonder about inside. That is to say, it starts off with Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and finishes off with concert posters, Bioshock propaganda pieces and autographed signs of famous actors. Not the greatest of reflections, I have to concede. 

 Before I go to sleep I occasionally look around my surroundings. The days of watching Digimon transform into greater beasts, the wonderful imagination that I held after it finished, drawing hours upon hours of inanimate sketches. Going outside every day to play handball, having the three Muskateers feel inseparable in our friendship. It saddens me that I look back on that time, and while my life now is filled with insight, wonder and amazement modern day psyches bog me down and it looks to stand so weakly in contrast. Its something that we all come to terms with at some point in our lives, the fact that out childhood is over and what we were and what we felt in those moments simply won't be retrieved in our current, linear paths. 

I hope it isn't misinterpreted to say that we won't feel any sense of childlike wonder in our years to come. But the things that amaze us will have to be relative. Travelling still amazes me and fills me with excitement at the revelation to immerse myself into another society, boots on the ground and all. But it is a financially draining and time consuming task (which I will still continue to devote the greater portion of my income to), and it must be said that this sort of luxury is only available to us in the wealther sect of the world. Growing up now, some days I wake up sad and I have no idea why. It may be the early signs of something greater to come, but I feel that it never gets to that stage of required assistance. Those days where I feel like I have accomplished nothing. The small lies that I tell to people accumulate and create a pressure unknown in angst. Those days where I suddenly feel that everyone around me is living amazing lives, devoid of problems and worries, despite my rationale already in certainty that this is untrue. Our brains are tricky things, scientifically made up of chemical reactions, matter and nodes zapping one another. But on a entirely different level they are so creative and destructive in what we can build up, and potentially tear down.

The past is gone, enjoy and treasure the fact that awesome things have happened. Reminisce those moments past playing with those robots, watching those TV shows. Cherish the moments now at birthday parties, exploring new places, and meeting new people. Look forward to the turbulent life that you hope to live in the future.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Creatures of flight

Graduation.

Its that time of degree where you see your peers take off into the awaiting wide world. Creatures of flight scrambling to find a nest of employment to roost, or returning back centre to study a master's degree or equivalent. Its also the time where people are struck with reality of our job market so difficult that the demoralising practice in application, rejection, application, rejection sinks into our spirit and allows us to believe that we are invalidated by our peers.

"What comes next?' Is the question that inevitably comes to mind. It may be that I am in my own little bubble in poor representation of greater society, but I any fears appear to be relinquished amidst the downpour of pessimism in the work force. I know it in myself that I can sustain myself on my own merits until I find something that I WANT to do in my OWN terms. There are so many choices and lines that I wish to pursue; To work for the government, travel abroad as a Civil Liberties law practitioner, to conquer my life goal to topple a poor government, start my own business or work or stay at this wonderful institution named university. It essentially boils down for a me to stay ambitious, stay curious, and help others out along the way.

My graduation is expected to be in 2 years from now, a year later than normally laid out due to my transfer from a year studying Engineering and Commerce. It is at these points in time of graduation ceremonies where I make a point to analyse people... their emotions, their facial expressions. Perhaps in my naivete I expect some sort of outpouring of joy n their flight away from pressurised academia, or sadness in leaving behind an institution of friendship, new experiences and learning.

What I normally see are people going about their day in an almost perfectly uniform way of apparent if unremarkable cheerfulness. They smile, greet their parents and friends, have some food and take their leave. Many may not even set foot on these campus grounds again.

It leaves me to question what I would feel in their shoes. Will my drive towards social justice in human rights remain intact after all these years? Will an unseen crossroad leave me in desolation and broken in spirit? What will I do and what will I become?

I will leave these questions unanswered. Currently the only answer I know in my bones to be true is that I know what kind of person I want to become. I will not let my moral convictions falter. I will be accomodating, generous, a rapport builder, and I will reflect the incredibly kindness that other people; JP, AT, IK, CH, JY and AL have given me.

On a personal note; AW, MM and MN I am glad to have been part of your departure from these walls where I've sourced so much happiness and opportunity from. Good luck and godspeed, I mean this in every sincerity of the word.




Tuesday, 29 April 2014

City of Contradictions

I am sick, disorientated, I have a major test to sit in a week and it feels like everywhere I go an ear-splitting headache follows me to no end. Yet I sit here smiling.

I flew back from the Big Apple the other day, otherwise known as New York City in attendance of a Model United Nations Conference. What a city of insight and history, where the grandness of the world's hub is disproportionately expanded, simultaneously with the gaps in wealth, nature reserve and mental states. Put simply this is the city of contradictions, whereby polar opposites are inexplicable sitting next to each other in a perverse melting pot of awe and wonder.


A city for the rich, a city for the poor

The immense wealth here is staggering. Visiting areas such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art saw great artefacts, priceless wonders all lined up for visitors to see and appreciate the culmination in progress of the human race. The beautiful, brass scrubbed handrails of Grand Central Station, with that amazing murale painted as if the heavens opened up from the terminal itself. The steel titans of the Empire State building that reaches up to give us a view of the riveting city below. The hard hitters of Wall Street, suits tucked up nice and tight with an air of derision and superiority to the people around.

But yet you see the hordes of people who have nothing. Great numbers of people sleeping on station platforms, on the streets in the freezing weather that hailed on our 2nd day present. They didn't seem to be aggressive, mean or angry, but I felt that they had a spirit of defeat. Even the middle class is not unaffected. In anecdote I met two amazing people in my stay in New York City. Sitting along the edge of Williamsburg I met a lovely lady who was painting on canvas cutouts next to me. In conversation it was revelaed that she was $100,000 in school debt, that the economy for young people was in a dire state of emergency, and that the time that she has invest in studying and maintaing marks, pursuing a career in art in what she truly loves was a daily struggle to say the least. I met a charming lady on the train with a caste on her arm. After I helped her pull together the elastics she shared with me the exorbitant cost of healthcare, $50 a visit to see her practitioner, and the lack of safety execrcised along this ageing subway platforms. Back home we are deliberating on a $7 fee, where I am in opposition to but see to the great lengths that this door ajar can open the floodgates to future price hikes.

The sprawl and the underworld

In natural reserves it feels like theres a disparity to the world above and the world below, and the concrete and steel landscapes against greenery. Above ground the towers go on for what seem like kilometres, glistening in the sun and basking in its magnificence. But only a few hundred metres away lies the environmental beauty of Central Park. Cycling along its bike trail, taking in the sights and pleasures in the simple thrill of seeing those trees, with the backdrop of those buildings behind, is simply unparralleled. But once you go underneath, things become a different story.

The subway system is steeped in ingenious history and innovation by its founders. The envisioned a time where the land above would become precious, and taking the system underground in electric rapid transit trains required the foresight that many of us don't have. But today its in a state of wofeul under-maintenance. Rubbish lies in the middle of the tracks, paint peels sickeningly form the ceiling, grime and dirt cake the walls with the tiles confines decorated with posters of "Notice: rodentcide sprayed area".


Psychological purity and venality

Finally, the contradictions between innocence and corruption are as stark as they are perplexing to me. I visited the Toys R Us store in Times square, the most beautiful and grand toy store I have ever set foot in. I saw the ferris wheel emerge within its 4 floors to command centre stage, kids , parents and toddlers everywhere smiling and laughing. Not too far away was the Disney Store, where a similar sight could be held.

But only a couple blocks away lay a Gentlemn's club and an adult DVD store. Close to that half naked women lined the walles of these collosal steel buildings, posters akin to the area of three basketball courts. It seems like an odd mix of real estate category choices which evades me in common sense. The mentality of the population here is also heavily drawn in the idea of celebrity worship. It may be the case that it is also present domestically, but I bore witness to the hordes waiting hours on end just to catch a selfie with James Franco, my teammates inclusive.

This may be the "concrete jungle where dreams are made of", but I'd gander to say a fair few nightmares have emerged in this city of relatively unbound freedom and personal will.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

South by South East

Step aside London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin. Your time in the sun is coming to a close. You have accomplished much in your tenure, colonisers of the new world, winning your battles and claiming your territories. But it is long overdue for a new power to emerge, for the beasts from the East to awaken from their sleep. Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia. They will rise. Little do the Western ones know that our greatest export isn't cheap toys or manufactured goods; its the people and culture. Korean pop is emerging as a new trend. Psy's Gangnam style hit the airwaves in a tremendously unecpected level of success. The economies of scale in China will one day claim innovation, manufacturing base, market freedoms and even in the number of ENGLISH SPEAKERS in the world.

And what of the ones who have settled in Western countries, such as myself in the amazing city in Sydney, Australia? Well our success speaks for itself. We dominate in the high school rankings. Our culture of resiliance ensures that we always gain the highest academic merit in all the best schools, regardless of our socio-economic status. Any order of difficulty one may try to play against our weaknesses have been seen to be overcome. We now dominate the English subject as well. In our futures we will

Unfortunately this success has not translated to the higher social standing. We're still not seen on a truly equal scale in the whole societal dynamic of things. But this will change, and I hope my contributions with Youtube may spur that on.


Why of all times am I writing about this now? Because today marks a new project that I am contributing to. To the canonisation of Asian men and women in the Western world as leaders of ingenuity, resolve, charisma, power and work ethic. It is with this chapter that I aim to describe myself as something that I will hopefully one claim truthfully. Asian Boss.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Breaking a reality

From an early age we slowly learn to discern what we see as right or wrong.  Upon self-reflection, it is our belief systems which are founded by culture, surroundings and figures of authority, which shape our identity.

I find these ideas are built and reinforced over the entirety of our lives, and the cheerless reality is that for many of us living in this cruxed society, underlying limiting beliefs can plague our mind and poisonous thoughts of self-doubt and helplessness may seed and grow over time. Like a compass, we all have some sort of centring in life, may it be our need for social validation or aspirations in career.

However once you recognise that some of the deeply held “truths” are shockingly false, then it would be the first step towards clearing the debris in your mind and rebuilding from a clean slate. Questioning why you believe what you believe, and then standing aside as you watch your peers dismantle it has been one of the most cathartic experiences in recent memory. Then comes the challenge: breaking apart years of self-conditioning and separating yourself from the identity you’ve always seen yourself as.

I am writing this article three days after of one of the most memorable weeks of my life. Coming out of the cold through the 2014 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards has challenged (with frightening severity) areas of discontentment and lethargy that I had always neglected. From a lack of awareness in issues of equity, to self-doubt and extreme shyness, to cultural perspectives on race and leadership, I was forced to put my beliefs into question.


For the past week, myself and eighty other young people, recognised for some facet of community service, gathered together. Junior Police officers, radio broadcasters, public servants and youth workers slept and ate together in cabins. We were put through a series of gruelling exercises which tested our creativity and ability to handle pressure from crisis to crisis. Without breaking the non-disclosure agreement, we learned that many of the speakers had started out with so much less than what I’ve taken for granted, and achieved far, far greater. Limiting beliefs were put in the spotlight and my convictions were objectively revealed to be weak. Speaker after speaker, case after case with barely a wink’s rest, the information overload felt too much opposed to what our realities were. But you simply must accept it. 

As a final point of reference, I find objectivity to be the snowball that starts growth. 

See your relationship with your friends and family from an unbiased point of view. Without the amazing times you’ve shared, camping under a roof or fighting over games. See your parents as to who they are and the worth that they truly mean to you. See yourself in your constructed reality with a hammer ready in your palm. Find peers who are not afraid to challenge and attack your beliefs on a pedestal. And welcome the bricks that you will inevitably find, to use, to rebuild on a clean slate.