Can One Really Change the Paradigm of the World?

I came to the point where I started to analyse the answer to the question which I used to answer “Yes!” without even a doubt. I guess this is how the realization of growing up first occurs on people.

The question is “Can one really change the paradigm of the world?”

I used to say “Yes, yes, yes and yes!” from the deepest corner of my heart, without giving the right of questioning to anyone around me. Poor me. I was inexperienced, maybe even stupid. But to tell the truth, I was happier than.

Because I did’t know what “inferior” or “superior” meant. I didn’t know what “majority” or “minority” meant. I didn’t know what “communism” or “capitalism” meant. The world was black and white for me. People were either good or bad. And there was only one rule. And that golden rule was that good people always win.

Unfortunately, that little innocent girl was right. As soon as I stepped out of my glass fan, I noticed the fundamental paradigm of the world, existing since the beginning of mankind.

World have always been harsh and mean. Not because of unfortunate coincidences or misunderstandings. Not because of randomly occurring events or catastrophes. The world have always been like this because of the humankind living on it.

Even if we insist on ignoring this fact, unfortunately it is true. Humans are selfish creatures, capable of doing every single thing when it concerns their “sake”. And these selfish people have planned this system so well that no one can ever change it. As Marx and Engels indicated in “The Communist Manifesto”, from the Medieval Europe, to French Revolution, from the Industrial Revolution to the 21st century world, the world have always been  ruled under the same paradigm, only under different covers. The bourgeois always ruled the proletariat.

Therefore, my new answer to the question is “No.” I’m not being pessimistic, but this time I’m sure about my answer. Because even if it was painful, at the end I have understood. No man, no group, no ideology can change the paradigm of the world, as long as  homo-sapiens are the dominant species on the planet.

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On Depression

Just like many other psychological term, “depression” is also misused in daily talks. While the word “depressed” is used to describe a temporary mood swing  through the day, in reality, depression is a lot more than a temporary state of low mood.

The medical definition of depression is “a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being”. While the causes differ in every patient, many people show similar symptoms. In order to be able to diagnose a patient with depression the following symptoms should be seen for at least to weeks.

  • Feeling sad, anxious, or empty
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Not enjoying life
  • Trouble with concentration, memory, or making decisions
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Appetite changes
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

In short, depression isn’t an issue that can neither be underestimated nor be ignored. As it closely affects a person’s mental and physical wellbeing, it is a case that the should be taken seriously and be treated with therapy and medication.

I hope the magnitude of depression can be clearly understood in the following years, and our society’s narrow perspective on psychology can be widened.

Works Cited:

“Depression Center: Symptoms, Causes, Medications, and Therapies.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 16 May 2017.

 

 

Divergent

As a person closely interested in psychology, I am aware of the fact that it is totally normal for me to go thought internal conflicts, especially regarding Freud’s Psychosexual Development Theory. The  theory says, through the genital stage, which is the final step of the psychosexual development, the teen goes into a series of internal conflicts regarding work, family, love and sexual desires. With the pressure of the society, instincts of survival, sexuality and violence as well as the constant opposition of the ego and the superego, the individual lives a though process of identity crises, trying to figure out who he is and what he wants from the world.

However, I don’t feel like I am going through a process of internal conflicts; I feel like I have two distinct personalities opposing inside me.

The first side of me is savage. Wants to succeed in business and politics – is even capable of becoming the president of a country. Takes Machiavelli as a source of inspiration. Wants a career in a business environment, where she will become the CEO or the CFO one day. Wants to master the art of rhetoric, and loves attention more than any thing. Thinks methodologically, acts strategically. Wants to earn great amounts of money, willing to see everyone take her as an idol. Most importantly, this side is ambitious. It is capable of doing everything in order to succeed and get what she wants one day.

The other side is peaceful. Wants a degree in psychology, maybe even philosophy one day. Takes her favourite author as a source of inspiration. Loves reading, writing, cooking and singing. Adores children and pets, loves spending time with her family. Wants to improve her self and widen her perspective on life. She believes that an individual must be self-satisfied, with out the need of anyone else to adore her. Puts her family and love life before work. Is disgusted by the corrupt and evil atmosphere of the work life. Most importantly she is full of love and vision. Believes that one day this world can change with people like her.

Can these personalities live in me in harmony at the same time? Will I ever be able to find the balance between them like yin and yang? Are these things I’m going through normal, or am I divergent? As you can imagine, there is an ongoing storms of questions through my mind.

Freud has stated that, the process becomes very difficult for the individual and his surrounding for that time being, but at the end it transforms the immature children to an independent individual, enabling him to be capable of love and work efficiently through his life. However, I am not sure if I will ever be able to complete this steps and evolve to the person who I am supposed to be. Who knows? Maybe I was supposed to be divergent in the first place.

Mother’s Day

Although the dates may differ all around the world, there is a distinct day on the calendar for our mothers, no matter where we live at. The second Saturday of May is celebrated as Mother’s Day at my hometown and many other places in the world.

While the origin of Mother’s Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans,  the roots of this meaningful day can also be  be traced in UK’s Mothering Sundays or in the pioneering women of US, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis. (You can click here if you want more detailed information.)

Even though I am a person who strongly believes that no day is sufficient enough to express our gratitude for our mothers, it is a nice thing to appreciate all those sacrifices they have done for us and spend this beautiful day with our beautiful mothers.

It is generic I know, but it is the reality. It’s true that we don’t know the values of things we have, until we loose them forever. Hug your mothers strongly, buy them flowers, take them to a dinner. No matter what you do,  make them smile while you can.

At the end of the day, you will see that a smile of a mother is worth the whole world. I hope you’ll understand this before it is to late and you’ll never feel a bitter sense of regret.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mothers, grandmothers, and aunts all over the world!

Works Cited:

1- “Mother’s Day History.” Mother’s Day. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2017.

Should Teens Be Involved In Politics?

In today’s globalised world where teenagers get involved with “adult” issues earlier and earlier day by day, one of the most debated issues is whether teenagers should be involved in politics or not. While some believe that every individual, no matter what age group they belong to, should be interested in global issues that concern everyone, others believe that it is very unnecessary for teenagers who aren’t even capable of shaping their own life should bother to think about politics.

Didn’t we used to say that one’s character and perspective on life gets shaped in their early ages of childhood? Then how can we expect one to take actions in order to make the world a better place if we isolate him or her from the rest of the world for the first 18 years of their life?

Actually the definition of politics is very self-explanatory. “Politics: the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group.” It clearly suggests that if an individual is a member of a group, he or she should be involved in the process of decision making concerning themselves and the society they live in.

I don’t say teens should actively participate in a political organization or identify themselves with a specific ideology. In fact, I truly believe that teenage years is a time period where the identity and ideology of an individual gets shaped, and therefore one shouldn’t have strict ideas on any issue. However, as every other educated individual regardless of their age group, teens should  also be aware of what’s happening all around the world.

They should read the news,without having the right to ignore the ongoing issues. No matter if they will major in comparative literature, art history or international relations and politics, every teen should be somehow involved in politics. Because politics doesn’t only mean deception and corruption; it is the science of the society if it is practiced in a healthy environment.

Actually the biggest role at this point falls on the parents. “My son’s/daughter’s psychology will be affected negatively; he/she is too young to think about these things.” isn’t an acceptable explanation. If parents think about the future of their own children and the sake of the humanity, they should let them face with the harsh realities of the globe and support them with objective evaluations, without manipulation.

Because at the end of the day, these children, who are unfortunately referred as “too young” to be involved in politics, will be the ones who shape the future of our world.

Reading One’s Mind

Socrates once said “Knowledge is virtue”. From a similar perspective, I say knowledge is power. There isn’t a better feeling than being asked a question which you already know the answer, no matter how hard it is. Even though you don’t have to know the exact answer of the question, you need the core cues that will enable you to proceed through a logical journey.

However, instead of what many think, knowledge isn’t something that is easy to achieve. Knowledge is much more than what you see on Wikipedia definitions. Reading and searching helps you until a point. But after a certain point, you have to be able to see what no one sees, perceive what no one understands. Basically you have to expect the unexpected, ready to tackle  any issue that arises at any moment. On top of meeting the expectations, you have to  push your limits, think outside the box to  create a difference.

Reading books isn’t enough after a point; you have to use the books you read to read the minds of people.

For me, a person you has succeeded in life is a person who was able to read the minds of people. No matter how talented we are, we are living with people as a part of a community. We live in a world where the knowledge that the society doesn’t want to know, doesn’t want to use or doesn’t want to buy has no worth at all, no matter how precious it is.

I can’t give you instructions to read the mind’s of people. For some it passes through psychology, for some philosophy, while for some the art of rhetoric. But regardless of which path you chose, your end goal should be to perceive the perspective of others and get into the world’s of them.

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Istiklal

Just like veins connecting the organs in the human body, streets have always connected people to one another.  The history of İstiklal is as old as İstanbul, starting from the Byzantine Empire to Ottoman Empire, being the heart of the city, with its multi-cultural composition. Being a home to the Saint Antoine Church, to Neve Shalom Synagogue to Galata Mevlaviyanesi and to Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage)…

From the antique buildings to small cafes and restaurants, art houses and cinemas, tramway sounds, street vendors, theaters and book shops, with a combination of the new and old, composed of different cultures and traditions.

Who knows which people have walked through this street, thinking of which emotions? Which authors and singers got inspired from and this atmosphere, reflecting these to their masterpieces? What stories have lived in here, what experiences?

İstiklal has a distinct place in my heart. It means doing Literature projects in the streets, taking artsy photos, talking to the people of İstanbul, from the highest-socio economic class citizen luxury shopping to the chestnut seller freezing in cold, seeing the realities of my hometown. İstiklal means drinking a cup of hot chocolate in winter, freezing cold, observing the rush and the beauty of the city İstanbul.

İstiklal means occupation for Gezi Parkı, walks for freedom, protests, breaking restrictions, making people hear your voice. İstiklal means cooperation for independence and freedom, showing that there is still a sense of hope and chance for the sake of humanity.

And right now İstiklal means, fear, horror and death. It means terror, bombings and the loss of innocent lives, being the center of the ruthless terrorist attacks, making me question the “humanity” of the human kind.

And now I sit here, thinking about what’s happening all around the world, considering the recent unfortunate events in Belgium, the Middle East and my hometown İstanbul. And I hope this magnificent street can once again unite our people and the human kind, gathering them for collaboration for better tomorrow’s and a livable world, putting an end to these inhumane actions and creating a better future.

Humanity of the Human Kind

Mankind. They’re the most complicated creatures on earth, created with an excellence that no one has been able to explain until now. They come together and live as a part of a society according to their common interests.

But is the main focus of these individuals forming the society is only their own benefits regardless of the others? Are instinctual passions really stronger than reasonable interests as Sigmund Freud said?

Even though I don’t want to believe, after all these I have seen, I guess humans are really savages that are capable of doing everything to obtain their desires in life. If today people are changing their ideologies for profit, backstabbing their loved ones for their own good, lie and deceive other’s for their interests but most importantly wish something bad for an innocent person, I am very sorry to say the the “humanity” of the humankind has come to an end.

The Inevitable Process of the Loss of Individuality

Realization of the transformation from childhood to adulthood starts at the early teenage years, where these young adults are in the process of finding their own identities and shaping their characteristics – but maybe in other words losing what they already have in hand and getting in a robotic shaped structure.

A majority of high school students talk about growing up as a negative process. The most common words they use to describe their experiences through out their teenage years are “stress”, “responsibility”, “problem”, “anxiety”, “stereotypes”, “failure”, “depression”, “workload”.

I think the words, “I’m not living my own life anymore. I’ve stopped living for my self a long time ago” is well self-explanatory, indicating what today’s teenagers are going through.

 

Growing up brings responsibilities with it, responsibilities given by the society to the individuals. Societal pressure and expectations from the community brings the children down. They lose their own identities day by day and become puppets of the society. Regardless of their will, their future gets shaped by others.

First comes the school. Exams, projects, university, rivalry, which all end up with the word “stress”. Then come family, expectations, pressure, and the things they want from you. And then conflicts with every single person in your life, disagreements, the process of excluding the different one or losing your own self in order to be included. Later comes the process of finding a job, earning your own money, building a marriage, becoming a father and mother – once again regardless of your identity, your wants, wills, dreams and goals, only according to the ideal adult figure people’s mind.

And then people ask “How did I become like this? Why did I lose my innocence, curiosity, honesty? What has happened to me?” Then when they look back to them selves they see the loss of their own selves. They see that they couldn’t resist to the inevitable process of adapting to the harsh adult life, and turning to the typical boring adult figure they didn’t want to become years ago.

Ithaca

As it was the one and only piece of poetry my father read over and over again Ithaca didn’t mean anything to me from the early ages of my childhood to my teenage years. But right now I understand what my father tried to emphasize while reading out loud “Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey/ Without her you would not have set out/ She has nothing left to give you now”. Therefore I wanted to make the first post of my blog referring to Ithaca, which has opened my perspective to understand “what these Ithakas mean”.

Ithaca 

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Konstantinos Kavafis