Ignorant people

Hello I am almost 20 and I really hate it when there is a lot of ignorant people out there in this world like when they say that we should not have or we cannot have some free events and other free things including like food, water and more others for all ages when they should not even say that at all as it is wrong, unfair, makes me more angry, discrimination based on age and also when nobody is ever too old to have everything for free so I just really want for people's bad attitude there to also stop as they should be happy that some things are free and should be for everyone regardless of age and other factors.

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  • Hi again Sholay,

    I just read your post again and see you're 20.  If I'm honest (which I try to be!), I think I felt the same at your age.  Sorry - I hope that doesn't sound patronising.  I don't mean it to be.  My experience was that I grew up quite shut off from other people, and from the world in general.  I learned early on to escape into my imagination, and to fantasise.  I tried to create 'ideals' in my head of how life would be.  I was - and still am to a large extent - what you would call a romantic.  I was extremely naive.  Even when I finally went to university, at 28, I was much more naive than the other undergrads ten years younger than I was.  University was a very challenging experience for me.  Suddenly, I found all of the 'beliefs' and assumptions I'd grown up with being challenged.  I found it very difficult and distressing.  For instance - and I'm ashamed to admit it now - but I was quite homophobic and sexist.  I'd grown up in an environment where women - often jokingly, it's true, but still - were regarded in the way that many of the old 1970s comedians used to regard them.  As inferiors to me, who talked too much (nagged, or rabbited), and whose place was in the kitchen.  Homosexuals were more tolerated then, but were still - in my social milieu - treated as objects of ridicule and contempt.  So... I took all of that stuff to uni with me, thinking it's what everyone believed.  And boy, did I suffer for it.  I remember once saying to a fellow student that I'd seen two men kissing on campus, and I'd thought it was disgusting and it made me sick.  She came back at me for my homophobic beliefs, and it really stung.  I remember going back to my room and dwelling on it.  I thought she was wrong... because I couldn't be wrong, surely?  Wasn't it commonsense?  Hm.  Another incident concerned a fellow student who started to lecture me on eating meat.  She was vegetarian, and started to tell me how the veal cutlet I was then eating was produced.  I told her I wasn't interested, and that she should shut up about it.  Again, though, it stung.  Again, I dwelt on it.  She'd contradicted me, and I didn't like it. But she - like the one before - had planted a seed in my brain.  As part of my way of dealing with these things, I began - instead of stubbornly shutting off from them - to think about them more.  I read books about the ethics of animal rights.  I went to an open lecture, given by Sir Ian McKellen, about the threat imposed by Clause 28, which was then the hot political topic.  Long story short - by the time I graduated 3 years later, I was a vegetarian, and a vocal advocate for gay rights.  University had challenged me in all ways, opened up my mind, and 'educated' me in a way I hadn't expected.

    So much for my story.  I, too, think I can see where your coming from - and I read, in your words, something that chimes with my own experience of life.  Your feelings are actually laudable and admirable.  You clearly care deeply for others.  The realities of the world are often harsh.  I find it incredible, at my age, that we can send a sports car into space and communicate with someone on the other side of the world in seconds - yet we still hate and kill each other for differences of belief.  Why can't we come together?  Why can't we see the damage we do?  Why can't we live in peace and harmony?

    Sometimes, those challenges seem insuperable, and they get me down.  I feel like giving up.  But there is an alternative - slow-moving though it may be, and insufficient though it may seem.  We can make ourselves part of the protest against it.  And we can join others who feel the same way.  For myself, I 'dropped out' of society after uni.  I'd always felt a little outside of it all, anyway, so it wasn't difficult.  I allied myself with causes which were now dear to my heart.  Animal welfare, environmental politics - the whole counter-culture.  I down-sized my life and learned to live simply.  In Gandhi's words, I lived simply - that others might simply live.  I read Gandhi, of course.  And Thoreau.  I read Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful' - and incredibly influential book.  I took in, basically, everything that seemed to be in tune with how I felt and how I wanted the world to be.  I learned lessons that enabled me to see that I could make a difference in this imperfect world - however small that difference might be.

    I need to finish, or I'll be late for work!  I think you get the gist of where I'm coming from, though.  I think maybe you're at the start of a journey.  You have the right ideals and beliefs.  I think, now, you also realise the challenges to them.  Take up those challenges!  Make your life a counter-measure to the thinks you don't like in the world.  Maybe get involved with some group or other that is in tune with those ideals.  If you can't change everything... you might at least change something!  Small steps.  That's the best that many of us can hope for.

    I wish you well.

    Tom

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