The Borrowers (And round and round we go)

“And so here we are again. Today the bank of England has warned lenders that they’re putting themselves at risk, through the amounts they’re lending, as personal debt is on the rise again.”

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It’s estimated the average UK borrower now has a level of personal debt to the tune of £30,000. Car finance has reached unprecedented levels, and it’s estimated over eight million people are now dependent on credit, just to get by. From food to rent, without credit, these eight million people would potentially go hungry and homeless. Should we worry about debt? No, we shouldn’t worry about the debt. What we do need to worry about though – or at the very least really start thinking about – is why so many of us are falling into this situation again.

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The answer to why, is something many of us could easily find: we’re living beyond our means spending to find happiness. It’s the vicious cycle of needing to spend to find happiness, only to then find unhappiness due to how hard we need to work, just to maintain the debt. Once again lenders have us all by the balls, or if you want to look at it another way, gender-neutral, nipple clamps.

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Nipple Clamps

This vicious cycle is of course driven by excessive consumerism. I know that I’m running the risk of sounding boring by going over this ground again, however, someone somewhere may gain the advantage through reading this: STOP LIVING BEYOND YOUR FUCKING MEANS!

Yes, I used to do the very same thing, and I know why: I was a desperately lonely drunk, who was not only addicted to the booze, but also spending money to buy the things, I believed, would help me feel powerful and happy. In the long term, all the booze and possessions did, was prove to me how drunk and lonely I was. And of course, in the end, broke.

It’s about taking a long hard look at what methods we’re using to find happiness, or at the very least, some escape from our unhappiness. We could tackle this by asking ourselves: how is it we’re unhappy? Or we could address what we need to do to find happiness, that doesn’t cost us more, than we actually earn. I feel the best method is is to deal with both.

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Firstly happiness is of course relative: what makes one person happy would potentially have no bearing on someone else. Bird watching or golf might bore the tits of you for example, whereas partying at festivals, might really get your juices flowing. Perhaps age has a lot to do with these kinds of preferences, and yet true happiness, has potentially nothing to do with how we spend our free time. True happiness must have more to do with our predominate state of mind that manifests through adopting a more creative lifestyle, that cost little.

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Contentment

A sense of contentment, I believe, has a lot to do with happiness. You know, things like: a stable home environment, loving relationships, and work we find tolerable, or even enjoyable at times, must help build this feeling of contentment.

Also a positive mental attitude surely goes a long way to helping us feel happy. The kind of attitude that helps us see the pleasant side of any job, or mind state that enables us to tolerate those things we dislike in life, must be important. When it comes to asking: how do we do our unhappiness? Or: How do I find unhappiness? This must have a lot to do with our (too high) expectations of life, and perhaps lack of stability, healthy relationships and love etc, etc; all the opposites of contentment I suppose.

We spend to find some kind of reward for the unhappiness we’re experiencing in life. We’re creating our unhappiness through our discontentment. We need the possessions everyone else has – as we buy into the illusion sold by the media – that they’re happy and powerful (and yes we all need to turn the fucking TV off!). And so, ultimately, the more debt we have, the greater our sense of being trapped and discontented, and so the cycle goes on.

The cure, as you might have already guessed, is discomfort. Yes, that’s right, the cure is the discomfort we’re likely to feel at the transition from the illusions of our childish expectations, to the grown up realities of life. These grown-up realities are all about recognising how we do unhappiness. How are we keeping ourselves trapped in the vicious loops that ultimately make us feel unhappy? What must we recognise about our lives, and what’s lacking from them, so we may step out of the excessive consumption loop?

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Even though these realities may make us feel briefly uncomfortable, the long term goal, will be reached. The long term goal is the ability to separate ourselves from the illusions we harbour – that help us avoid the harsh realities of life. When we embrace discomfort we will fully realise true happiness. The happiness we currently seek is only a form of avoidance. We cannot avoid the truth for ever, in the end, it always catches up with us. Face the truth and of course we set ourselves free.

A Working Class Mentality Defined

There’s a certain individual here in the UK, who believes in the rights of the working classes; his name is Jeremy Corbyn; he’s the leader of the political party called labour. There’s something about this man that makes me slightly uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s his habit of getting quieter when he gets angry. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve gotten angry in the past, my voice has grown louder, not quieter.

“If the emotion of anger is being felt at all, by any leader, we should all see this as a definite no no. Anger, on any level, is fuelled by fear. And we need to understand: The fearless are no less passionate, they’re just calm about it, as true passion is fuelled by love.”

 

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When it comes to the working class mentality, we can sum this up relatively easily: unconfident victims, who have very low expectations of life. The belief that there are better or worse people in life is of course driven by the very thing they’re failing to see: ignorance. According to Plato “what I do not know I do not think I know” or  “I know that I know nothing” was something, the well known Greek philosopher Socrates stated. With this in mind, it can be said, true wisdom is the knowledge that in real terms, all of us actually know nothing. The working classes are unaware of this; unaware of their own ignorance.

Once we become aware of our ignorance we see that this is the only true difference between humans. The unfortunate reality, is that the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, also fall into this category. Were Jeremy Corbyn to open his eyes, he would see that all he’s in fact doing, is pandering to the negative and limiting beliefs of the ignorant. He would also see, spending more on the things that take power from the individual, only goes on to weaken them further. When we believe that there are better or worse people than us, this belief, keeps us stuck in this expectation. It keeps us as victims.

Of course there are the ruling elite (something Corbyn talks of) however, to think that these people are in some way ‘better’ than us, is limiting. They’re not better than us they’re just better at exploiting our weaknesses. They’re better at taking our power. They do this through helping us nurture our beliefs, that educated people are more powerful, or actually know more than we do. They do not. Just because someone has been to university and trained to be a doctor, for example, does not mean they know more about you at all.

Remember, in real terms, we’re all ignorant, and the elite know this. And so what it really means is they have greater knowledge of themselves and the belief this gives them superiority over others. For some, this belief empowers them to carry less fear. One thing the elite are very good at, is teaching us to be afraid; when we’re afraid, we’re powerless.

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When the average Jo sits back and really thinks about how to live a good, virtuous and healthy life, he’s able to come up with the goods. Remaining ignorant is a choice he takes simply because it seems the easiest path. A path he’s directed along by the elite.

For example, when in the supermarket, an ignorant, fearful victim, doesn’t fill his trolley with healthy goods, he fills it with processed crap. The processed crap he’s been led to believe is cheaper and easier to cook. The elite, in this instance, are the advertising agents and food manufacturing companies. All organisations that feed on the fear and ignorance of the working classes.

What Corbyn is failing to understand is, the only cure to elitism – so the working classes may live better lives – is to educate the ignorant. The key to this change is to educate future parents. In other words, our children need to be informed as to how they hand over their power to the elite; Jeremy Corbyn included.

It can simply never be in the best interest of the working classes for governments to plough billions of pounds into public services. All this does is line the pockets of those working within the public sector. Only through a program, of teaching children how their minds work, and how they limit themselves through their beliefs, we will find change. Empowerment is about equipping individuals with the tools they need to thrive.

We hand power back to the individual by teaching them the importance of personal responsibility. It’s the individuals responsibility to care for themselves not government. The individual is equipped to care for themselves when they’re shown examples of how to do this by their parents.

When humans continue to choose the easy options, they will always have their power surreptitiously removed, by those who understand that pleasure and pain are both intrinsic to life. Yes there is pain, yes we often need to do things we dislike, and yes, we all need the courage to become fully grown adults. We remain as children as long as there are those who treat us as such.

Many a dependant child is used and abused by its parents. If we remain as dependent children in adulthood (the working classes) we will be used and abused by those who are fully grown. Sound unbelievable? This is the unfortunate reality of the human condition. Grow, break free from the ignorance of your ignorance, and free yourself.