Mangoes World

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The ‘influenced culture’ – are you a part of it? #MangoesWorld #Blogger

It is intriguing when you take a step back and look at the world from the outside. Our society is deeply built and consists entirely on the continued and morphing world of entertainment, whether it exists on the basic of performances and presentations or sport and activities. We want to be entertained.

Growing up my brother and I spent long hours in the car with my parents travelling all around Australia. We spent school holidays on some of the largest cattle stations in the country. Once we drove from Melbourne to the Kimberly’s and down through Western Australia and home. For us entertainment was self-managed. We had no iPods or Gameboys, we didn’t have an iPad to watch movies. All we had were ourselves. And a Timetables cassette tape and a slow literacy game on a portable device.download

For hours on end I would stare out of the window and invent stories in my head. If we were lucky enough we could fall asleep, but not stretch past the middle line as so conveniently divided by my brother. But for the most part the only entertainment we had was the repeating Country and Western songs on Dad’s cassette.

Boredom did not exist – or so we were told. [Tweet this!]

The world of today is vastly different from the world in which we grew up in. We, the Millennials have adopted technology into our lives like our first child. We live and breathe the smartphone, tablets and laptops. We are connected.

Entertainment of the past consisted of people attending live shows or listening to Radio Plays. Imagination was essential. It was entirely up to you to entertain yourself given the means at your disposal. Freedom at is core.

Throughout my teenage years, I was fairly rebellious. Although I was intelligent enough to have a game plan that would allow me to succeed undetected. I figured that if I managed to continuously get good grades and keep my parents happy by pretending that I was making the ‘right’ decisions, they wouldn’t think twice that I might be running around behind their backs sneaking out and drinking. Moreover, I never really was where I said I was.

Dangerous and stupid, but nothing outside of anything a normal teenager would engage in. Again I relied on keeping up with my homework and grades so that there would be no reasons to be suspicious of my balancing act of partying and studying.

To the most part, my parents weren’t entirely in the dark. They just knew part of the story. The part I had decided to expose, and the part that they would be happy to hear. [Tweet this!]

ctn16Turning 16 I had come across a great realisation. As intuitive thinker, I took at look at the life that I was living and how exactly it made me feel. We spent our weekends walking through the suburbs in Mytikos, a USA jumper and a six pack of Barcardi Breezers. I had come to the conclusion that drinking a six pack every weekend was sucking my wallet dry of cash and causing me to wake up feeling hung over. So with that, I gave up.

As a 16 year old I had analysed in it’s entirely the culture of alcohol consumption and the immediate effects on my wellbeing. I had come to the conclusion that drinking these sugary drinks was creating no benefit in my life and I wasn’t having any more fun under the influence.

It was at this point that I had realised that the liquid courage that so many others relied on was doing nothing to me. I was already arrogantly confident and had the ability to make fun out of nothing. My epiphany highlighted that I was happy just being a part of the action without being inebriated.

Not long after I turned 18, and as soon as I had the choice between driving my car and drinking, I would always choose my car. Fantastic for those friends who always had a personal taxi to take them to and from places, and a negative for me who realised that I was getting extremely used by these people.

Ten years on since I first got my license, and I am still committing to a 95% rule of not drinking. Yes, I enjoy the occasional Espresso Martini and a glass of wine on a hot day. But that is about it. If I drink it is because I feel thirsty, I never drink to get drunk.

The point I am trying to make here is that you do not need alcohol to have a good time. I am often confused for being “wasted” by those around me, who watch my incredibly smooth and erratic dance moves. That my confidence is drawn from not caring what other people think about me.

And that if you can’t entertain yourself without substance, then it is you that in fact lacks substance. [Tweet this!]

AloneAtTheOfficePartyThe hardest part about being a non-drinker is that you sit outside the drunkard world. That you can sometimes be seen as boring or that you just don’t get it. In reality I actually find it hard to have fun if my friends are not drinking. Rarely do I find another individual that is that free spirited enough that substance is not required.

In addition, I do also have ‘rules of engagement’ for living in an influenced culture. I have come to the conclusion that there is a stage in the night where people go from ‘happy drinker’ to ‘sloppy drunk’. That is precisely 2.30am. Past 2.30am you will find that most people are unable to have simple conversations with you. It is also the time for the dance floor creep to mosey over and try to construct a sentence of spit into your ear.

For me, choosing not to drink is a choice decided only by enjoyment. It does not entertain me like what it does to others. If anything, alcohol only makes me more introverted and forces me inside my head. I become critical of myself and paranoid about what people think about me. All of which as a sober person I do not have.

imagesAustralians rely heavily on this ‘drinking culture’ it is everywhere. It is unavoidable. We eat and we drink. It is the central point for entertainment venues and for most businesses the biggest percentage of profit. The need to engage and escape from our mundane lives is what pushes us through our weekdays. And what I hate the most is the surprise on people’s faces when they say “wait, don’t you drink?”

I do not have a contagious disease, I just do not enjoy drinking.
[Tweet this!]

Ideally I would love to see the world move past a focus on substance and back to the very core in which we started from. Alike those two kids sitting in the back of the Bronco, we all have the right to dream. Our imagination is the single most powerful talent that we have and it pains me to see so much of it squashed by an influenced culture.


~Mango
“Free yourself from the habits of the mainstream.” [Tweet this!]


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What will the future hold?

A few weekends ago, I booked flights to Perth, I have only been once but I was too young to remember. It took me a mere two hours to get to the airport, when it should have only taken one. I arrived at my gate with minutes to spare. Another stress that I don’t need.

If I remember back to childhood, flying was such an exciting experience. Now I just feel trapped in the plane, and stuck to a seat for an extended period of time. I hate it. And I don’t know what it is I hate about it. Is it that I am stuck and I have no choice? I think for me it is about the choice.

When I travel, I always drive. I don’t like to let other people control ‘wheres’ and ‘whens’. I need those decisions to be in my hands. I like to be able to control the music and the temperature in the cabin. In a plane, I am choice-less. I am confined to a seat, and I freeze from the surrounding climate.

But the worst part would be getting the seat next to the smelly person. The person that overfills their seat. The person who is intoxicated. The crying baby. Which leads me to my next point. What age should you not travel with a child?

I know parents might not have the choice in some circumstances, but the amount of parents traveling with young children seems to be increasing. Is this the cost of fares or the change from the traditional parenting techniques?

A dynamic shift in parenting has erupted. I’m sure there are some parents out there who expect teachers to teach their children life skills. I have encountered many. Those who refuse to side with you on homework and behavior. Maybe it’s the location of my teaching practice?

This still doesn’t explain why I stood at the open night of a inner beachside secondary school, and witness a father of five explode through the doors with his ratbag 9 year old children. Their only savior was the fact that their parents were standing right there. However this hasn’t stopped me telling kids off before. The last time was on a flight home from Hawaii. I was already ready for the confrontation of the parents. I don’t understand how some parents let their children run wild in public places, and then there is the kid who wont touch the bag of lollies I put on the table as its mid-week.

Where are we going as a society, if our kids are uncontrollable? I am not a parent, I do not have my own kids. But I do have 26 of yours every hour, five days a week. I think I have qualified enough for a stake in this discussion.

The fundamental shift here seems to come from what some might think as lazy parenting.. Or perhaps alike animals, children have the ability to grow themselves up. I disagree. As a wise man once said to me, “It’s easy to have bad kids, but it is hard to have good ones. As good ones are hard work and you have to be consistent.” To be honest, I hadn’t heard it so simply put. Good kids are hard work.

Many times in my classroom, I have given an ultimatum to a student. Then realised that if I don’t follow through with my punishment, then they will never respect me. I remember that I don’t need students to like me, I need them to respect what I stand for as a teacher.

Is it that I am the Grandchild of religion? And that the children of today are atheism to the highest degree? I have talked in previous posts about the cost of living for my generation over that of our parents. (Home isn’t where the heart is..) But are we not all human?

If leaves me to ponder about the future and where we are headed as society? We no longer need the 10 Commandments to control our lives, and children are capable of growing without guidance. Will we survive the adults of the future?

“Decisions are only decisions if you decide..”
~Mango