Questioning the Norm

albert-einsteinI would debate that many of us go through life without having a single original thought.

We are told what to do and how to do it from an early age, mindlessly accepting the rules and regulations that govern and control our lives.

Schooled in subjects that pigeon hole us into what academia purports to be the truth, dictated by Governments and controlling forces with an ulterior motive.

By societies standards I was considered a fairly bright student. Perhaps not a Stephen Hawking but solid potential to be a good little cog.

I wasn’t particularly attentive during class and found more fun acting the maggot (Class Clown for those outside Ireland!) or regularly day dreaming about playing for my beloved Blackburn Rovers football team. Perhaps in today’s climate I might have been diagnosed as having ADD and prescribed Ritalin to stamp out my natural curiosity and intuitive resistance to the dogma that I needed to absorb to ‘succeed’ in life.

Annoying hurdles would come along every so often to startle me from my reveries. Things like the dreaded Eleven Plus Exam which determined which secondary school you were bright enough to attend, already sowing a seed in the vulnerable child’s mind that they weren’t good enough.

Only the bright ones who passed could get into St. L. The unfortunate others had to battle for their future in St. P., a bleak vision of which was painted by our Primary School teachers, who with their own quotas to hit practically gave us the answers in advance.

I passed with flying colours gaining entry to the ‘better’ school, initial euphoria replaced by the crushing weight of my parents expectation on my narrow shoulders.

carrot-stickMy childhood flair in the arts and keen interest in creative writing began to get weeded out as ‘real’ subjects were presented to me.

The natural curiosity that was aroused in me as a child began to be replaced by a left-brain, factual and grasping mind. The barriers to success and ‘levelling’ up each year was dependent on an ability to memorise and regurgitate what I’d studied verbatim.

I went to University because (insert correct word here – parents/society/employer/Government) corralled me into thinking that this was the only route to success. People who are successful go to University. Of course! Truth being that this can actually be the worst possible start to your adult life, drowning in huge debt with a degree that probably won’t tie into the career you eventually adopt.

I was already on the Education Treadmill for 13 years at that point, so what difference did another 3 or 4 matter especially with a highly paid job at the end as recompense for my efforts. Besides all my friends went to University. It’s normal.

I despised my course. Accounting and Finance. I probably knew it wasn’t for me after only a few months. I didn’t change course or consider pulling out because I was ashamed that if I did, my parents would disown me and my friends would think I was crazy. It just wasn’t the done thing.

I’ve been reading a lot of Alternative Media news these past weeks and while some of it is very ‘out there’ especially if your typical reference point for news is BBC, CNN and other mainstream media sources, the underlying premise to question everything is critical.

Who says you need to go to University to be a success? It certainly didn’t negatively impact Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Larry Ellison or Tony Robbins to name just a few. In fact, the years they COULD have dedicated to learning an academic course was spent in the real world fleshing out their passions and better understanding their place in it.

They had several years head start and practical experience on the University eggheads.

There are a myriad of different courses related spawned from Business Studies. Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Negotiation Skills, Communication Skills

I believe the best way to learn about being in business is to start a business. Your learning curve is much steeper and is more relevant and valuable than learning hypotheses from a Marketing textbook written twenty years ago. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not anti-learning. I’m pro-choice and especially real world experience.

1376022536_black-sheepAuthor David Icke uses a great analogy for Society and Human Behaviour.

If you watch sheep in an open field, they are guided by the actions of the Farmer and a sheepdog. Even the subtlest of hints, like a whistle or nod of the head and the sheep get the message. First the ones in the front nearest the Farmer, then the ones behind follow the ones in the front until suddenly the flock of sheep are moving as one mass toward the pen where they are captured.

As observers we look at that scene and the brilliant manipulation by the farmer to suddenly move the masses with tiny cues toward his end goal. Entrapment. We might laugh and think ‘stupid sheep – don’t they know they’re being driven into that enclosure?’.

As Icke describes, in many ways we’ve OUTSHEEPED the SHEEP. Governments, Corporations and Media have been dictating behaviour for generations and not only do we accept it blindly but we have also become self-policing, alienating or marginalising anyone that expresses a different view or questions authority.

First it starts with a few who begin to question the Establishment and then others raise their level of Consciousness out of the hypnotic haze and begin to make a stand. The Irish Water Charges one such example where people are no longer going to blindly accept what Big Brother dictates.

It’s only by stepping out of the the conditioning and what passes as normal, that we can begin to consider that our potential is so much greater than we could ever have thought. Connecting with that childlike wonder at the Universe.

After all society can predict but only I can decide my true destiny.

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