What’s in a Word…”What”… – The Universal Word of What…

Whilst in UK and having met people from all walks of life, cultures, languages and countries I’ve had time to learn the universal word of “what”, as a youngster I was always taught that it was rude to say “what” and always use pardon or excuse me in its stead; which is quite right but as time has gone by and coming from Zimbabwe, having started to learn French and Spanish from a young age and more recently started to learn Polish and speaking Shona (native language of Zimbabwe) fluently I’ve come to learn that there is no rudness intended going from another language because its how it is translated.

Often if a Shona speaker in Zimbabwe did not hear you they’d say  “chii” (pronounced ch-ee), translated into English this is what. French is the same thing and is “quoi” – (pronounced qwa), in Spanish it is “que” (Pronounced as ke”. Polish is “Co” (Pronounced S-aw).

As a youngster I’d always be told when a worker would say “what” in English. For instance was “damn rude”, in Shona there is no word for pardon or there is excuse me which is “pamsoroi” but, as far as my history has taught me, individually I never recall someone saying “pamsoroi” unless they wished to get passed someone. From what I gather from the other languages I’ve bothered to pay attention to, I’ve heard and said “chii’ ‘quoi’ ‘que’ or co” in conversation.

I do believe that acceptance needs to be brought to this word from English speakers as saying “what” is not a matter of rudeness nor ignorance but more so a matter of translation. So, my question is; does the ignorance not stem from the people who regard using the word “what” as a matter of rudeness?

What’s in a Word…*help*?

“HELP ME” I think must be one of the hardest sentences to use, “help” is not just a word but a motion, asking someone for assistance must be one of the hardest things to ask for in this world, especially when you have asked for so long and it becomes hard eventually because you just don’t want to keep doing it. I also think independence and the loss of it has quite a lot to do with it and then something happens which makes that little bit or huge amount of independence go out the window.

What’s prompted this blog is my fear of asking for help and the question, “why am I afraid of asking for help, what is it that makes it so hard?” So, I started doing my own research and searching within myself for the answers and I think there are two sides to it, two of which are pretty much a standard answer of “I am afraid of looking weak” and “I am afraid of looking needy”, these are pretty standard reasons but there are also individual reasons, reasons that could stem back as far as our childhood. Who likes to look or even feel needy anyway? Put your hand up. My guess is probably a really small percentage. It is one of the worst feelings to feel that you’re being portrayed as needy, whether people think it or if you feel you are portraying yourself as such.

I have been faced with situations many times within the last decade, more than I care to even admit where I have needed help but I have been too afraid to ask, from both friends and family; particularly the friends that have helped me often, it is probably mixed with the standard answers above but I also don’t like to feel like I am being a burden and another feeling I absolutely loath, which I feel derives from feeling as though you are a burden is the discomfort that’s brought if you do ask for help. Do you know this feeling? I do, all too well as I am slowly, very slowly getting used to the idea of asking for help. What I think makes it worse is if you ask someone for help and they give it but throughout that time they go about things in such a way that makes you feel uncomfortable and almost ram the fact that they have helped you down your throat or I think what makes it equally hard is if you politely reject someones help and you don’t particularly go on about about whats up but you still get the fact that help was offered but you snuffed it thrown in your face – these are sadly the kind of people that make everything worse. Those are the kind of actions that have a long lasting impact on the ability, or in this case, the inability to ask for help and in the long run also damages trust in people all together. But within all this I think the main thing, in my opinion and from my personal experience is the fear of rejection, of what??? Rejection – For me it is that feeling when you know you need help, you want help but I tend to often forget the old slogan of “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” and so I opt to go without because of not wanting to put other people, or myself out. It has got to the extreme once where I even made myself go without a roof over my head for fear of asking for help.

The idea of asking for help is something that I am getting used to, its taking a while but I am getting there. But every now and then something happens where I will take two steps back from the one step I have gained.

If you have been following my blog for some time now you will have seen the piece, My First Impressions of Melbourne, Derbyshire and whilst I was up there I became acquainted with a guy who I mentioned to that I was going to write this piece, as he said – this is a piece that could open a whole can of worms. There are however a few websites covering this topic and so it doesn’t really open a whole can of worms – it is just a problem with general society these days and that is because the majority of communities with the way the world has changed have become divided and they go about their own business. With how fast paced the “rat-race” has become we all seem to have forgotten about each other.

I have compiled a list below of articles that have interested me that lead to this question:

  1. Why is it So Hard to Ask for Help by Good Therapy
  2. 8 Reasons Introverts Might Find it Hard Asking for Help by Andy Mort
  3. Why is Asking for Help so Difficult by The New York Times
  4. Why Asking for Help is a Hard Thing to Do by Psychology Today
  5. Why It’s Hard to Ask for Help by the Huffington Post

Being a bit of an introvert (which I truly believe is purely circumstantial and hope it is) and although the majority of points in the second article have definitely hit the nail on the head. For me the second point has hit me the most and have had lines like the one in the first point been thrown at me in the distant past and it has become a line I throw out about myself, often, especially if I am hurting about or angry at something, that is ‘its life’, even though deeply I know it isn’t life, life should be enjoyed, even loved. But these lines being “get over it” and “Its just life I’m afraid”. But hey, guess what? If you happen to be one of those sad people who use that line or both of them, it isn’t just life ‘I’m afraid’. Leading to the second point of the article which is my main issue – though points two, four, five, six, seven and eight are all pertinent to me and therefore I am sure many throughout the world will have the same issue and although no two people can be exactly the same I am sure thousands-upon-thousands will have similarities in the above experiences.

So, what do we do? I don’t know – one minute I think I may have the answer when I manage to take a step forward, then when something goes wrong and I take two steps back that answer then in my mind becomes irrelevant.

And although we may live in a world that has become hugely self-sufficient and self-absorbed I think that communities and society needs to work closer together for those in need of help, for those who find it difficult to ask for help.

In my opinion the fear of asking for help also stems from our pasts and may be why we like to help others but why we find it difficult to ask for help, and sometimes difficult to even accept it when offered.

Its an interesting topic which could be delved into by thousands of psychologists and councillors and although there can be answers found I am sure there will always be underlying issues that will never be spoken about, or fully answered.

It is something interesting that could be studied and researched in-depth and one of those thousands of questions in the world that we will never know the answer to, maybe only a fraction of an answer. But surely a small understanding of why it is that way is better than no understanding at all.

How Easy It Is To Have A Case of Stolen Valour aka Walter Mitty

So, I am an Army Brat, my father served in One Commando, the Rhodesian Light Infantry from 1967 to 1980, so basically joined the Rhodesian Army during peace time, the Rhodesian Bush War came along and as a professional soldier he did what professional soldiers are supposed to do, serve their country and as an army is the backbone of defence for any nation my father did his job. He was actually a part of the elite Fire Force of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, a fact that I am extremely proud of.

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My Dad getting ready for deployment, note the muzzle of his FN bottom left of the photo.

As for myself I wanted to join the British Army as a Commonwealth Applicant, I was first and foremost proud of my military ties, in both the British Army and with my father. I had a regiment picked out and I chose the Battalion I wanted to join. I was intending on following in my fathers footsteps and my Great Grandfather who was from Wales in Brecon and was too a professional soldier in the British Army and had fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War and then on the Somme in World War One and as such also wanted a career in the infantry and so I chose none other than the most senior English line infantry regiment, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, second battalion (2PWRR)  which is a light infantry battalion (I had no desire to be armoured infantry (1PWRR)). Throughout the years I had decided I wanted a career in the British Army I was (and am still) fighting a battle which prevented me from joining up and living my chosen career in life – it had been what I dreamt of as a child and somewhere along the line had got lost and it was only into my early thirties had I decided it was what I really wanted, although in my mid twenties I attended an Army Presentation at Aldershot ACIO in 2006 but that stalled as I had a bureaucratic issue that prevented me from joining but I never gave up my fight until it was time to hit the reality of the situation, especially now that I am almost two years short of forty, where on earth does the time go?

Now as a result of all of this, my family ties to the British Army and my fathers service with the Rhodesian Light Infantry I have a deep respect and appreciation for our armed forces; the British, Americans, New Zealanders and Australians have all paid a spectacular price for the world we live in, in both world wars, but to name some others thereafter and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan. They, including other forces who played a part in Afghanistan; like the Polish, Latvian, Ukranian, Lithuanian and French forces but to name a few others who were part of the ISAF mission that I hold a deep amount of respect and appreciation for them and their service and so I believe that all of us must not show a lack of respect, but unfortunately, many do, which is a pity.

So, anyway, this evening I’m combing through Amazon, not particularly looking at anything to buy but seeing whats on the market in terms of military memorabilia, clothing etc. And I came across medals of which has spurred me to write this blog. For a while now the Brits and Americans have been suffering with whats dubbed here in the UK “Walter Mitty” or in US Legal avenues Stolen Valor” (valour in English, English) – I will post a few YouTube clips as I go through my blog – in fact, one which I found containing some Royal Marines confronted a “Walt” at a parade in London at Westminster.

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Now, okay, fair enough, I appreciate that these are WW2 medals but the Walt types have shown that they either don’t care or think that serving personnel are stupid enough to not be able to see through their absolute rubbish.

I find it absolutely disgraceful that these types be allowed to carry on like this, it is totally and utterly disrespectful to those that have fought and died and lost friends and family in the heat of battle and serving their country that these people be allowed to continue to do this.

But also, it is so very easy to commit these acts through Amazon and Ebay, and also at Army Surplus Stores, one can easily buy all the kit, berets and cap badges included and be able to walk out and put their kit on and claim they are a part of the forces, it is that easy. I personally believe there needs to be a law on committing this vile and disrespectful act, as the Americans, Canadians and Australians have done, but not only this – I think that it needs to be law that if you wish to purchase items of uniform you must produce proof of identification that are with any of the said arms, whether cadets or full service and it should be outlawed on Amazon that you are to sell items of military uniform. It would be an unfortunate step to take as a lot of military kit is way better than civilian kit and it would put a lot of companies out of business; but it would be one of those cases where the fools have made it worse for everyone else.

For now, I must depart, it is late here, enjoy the vids. There are many others, mostly from the US but these should be enough for your entertainment.

My Take on The US Election and the Election Recount

Quite a bit of time has elapsed now since the US election and we have had time to absorb the results, analyse and rationalise them.

You may, particularly if you know me, ask ‘Why do you even care, you’re not even American?!’ That may be but, and this is very true, whatever happens Stateside affects us all, wherever we may be or come from, whatever our creed, race, religion.

I am going to touch on a couple of very basic points because it is these points that gave Trump his win. I am by no means a politician, I am not a political scientist nor am I a political analyst, I however like to pay attention to the matters that affect you and I. There are also parallels with Brexit and I will also touch on this.

But first I will touch on how I came up with my conclusion on the US election result, but before I do that I must assure people that I am not a believer in Trump, I believe he is dangerous, I believe that he can and will do a lot of damage to world security and I do believe it will be a matter of time that he leads us all to war, again.

I am a member of a few US Facebook pages, mostly military and law enforcement, these pages are for supporters of US law enforcement and LEO’s (Law Enforcement Officers) alike. The same goes for the military pages, they are for both civilian supporters and military personnel and it is through these pages how I came to see how and why the US got the result they did and it is enshrined in Americas creation, it is enshrined in what has become a part of their culture, American freedom and the American dream, though, if you speak to many Americans there is no such thing as the American dream but more so the ideal of it, a perfect ideal.

You see, Hillary was threatening to do away with the second amendment (the right to bear arms), she was also threatening to reduce police powers and their capabilities, as well as reduce military power and capability. Hillary also spoke on the global stage.

Now to Trump, well, Trump spoke to the standard American – the standard NRA (National Rifle Association) red, white and blue waving American patriot, the guy or gal who believes down to his or her very bones about the blood that was shed for America, from the American War of Independence, the civil war and the other wars thereafter. That is all Trump had to do and he knew it so that is the strategy he used and so he came out “Trumps”. It is not the only strategy he used but those are two of the strategies that kept the ball in his court.

Now to the recount – I am sitting here and thinking ‘what the heck is going on?’ This has caused me to lose ALL respect for Hillary, I have stated that I am no fan of Trump and given reasons for that but – hello, democracy? This is the United States that we’re talking about, this is supposed to be the nation that leads in democracy, the nation that lectures every single non-democracy on being democratic, I cannot believe this, Trump won, fair and square – nothing spells out sore loser more than calling for a recount and I cannot believe I am saying this but I think this gives me enough to say, I think I actually think Trump is the better of two evils, whereas I thought differently before.

Now, to the parallels of Brexit, why did Brexit happen and why has Trump happened? A very good friend of mine who is a lecturer and a military historian at Kings College in London pointed it out best and sometimes simple is all we need. The reason they have happened is because for too long have politicians in both the United States and the UK decided that the people don’t matter. Well, this is what you get and there could be devastating repercussions from both. And just like Brexit and the Brits wanting their country back from worsening EU leadership, standard Americans want to feel American again, can you really fault that?

Anyway, this is just my take on it, probably all very simplistic but sometimes to understand the whys and hows of a situation that is all we need, without complicating it.

I also want to send a message to the left in the US and the UK, GROW UP – you are making all of us look bad, I describe myself as just left of centre on the political spectrum, I also consider myself pro-defence and my belief is that with being either just right of centre or just left of centre helps us empathise in a situation easier, if not straight away, at some point. But seriously, why is it that the right are willing to sit down and talk but the left isn’t? Kinda food for thought that. For more of an example of that go onto the Van Jones Facebook page and look for a mini-series of his called the raw-truth and Van, who is a journalist for CNN describes himself as being so left that he’s on the left side of Pluto but he did this little mini-series and went deep into Trump territory into right supporters houses and he spoke with them, candidly and then he went to left supporters. The complete opposite, they were angry, aggressive and wouldn’t hear any perspective. As Van said, that gives you food for thought.

Anyway folks, that’s it…my take on it all. Apologies if I offend anyone…

A Fresh Start

Well, this is my first post since starting a hosted version of WordPress, moving over from my previous blog. I must apologise for it being so mundane at the moment but we are working on it to improve the appearance and improve my experience as the blogger and your view as the follower/reader.

I have big plans and have a belief that everything great has always started from a simple ideal or a mere idea, no matter how bland or mundane it may start. A vision must always have a foundation, Victor Hugo said it better, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. There is always a beginning to something, it is up to us where it has an end.

Thank you and I look forward to you joining me on my journey.