Claiming to know the minds of others

I really don’t like when people claim to know my mind, or the minds of others for that matter. The same people that claim I cannot comprehend how they feel are often the ones telling me how my mind works. It is pretty crazy to be told how I think by someone with a completely different brain. How can this be reasonable?

‘Those who claim to be atheists are often those who have experienced trauma in life and do not know how to balance the sovereignty of God with the trauma they have experienced. They feel that God has disappointed them, so it is easier to say there is no god than to try to work through the tough questions.’

Beco do Batman- Sao Paulo

It isn’t reasonable, nor will it help gain any respect from the person being told how they think. Imagine if this was the case with tasting food, take this lovely seafood sharing platter I had before work as an example. It was very good and I adore seafood. We went full holiday mode and decided to chill in deck chairs by the river with ice cream, it is a shame that work disrupted such a chilled day but I cannot complain that I made the most out of the early afternoon. Something I aim to do much more when I work late.

Think of how mentally suffocating that is. To try and express yourself and to be wrong. ‘No, you don’t think this. This is how you think. Okay?’ A certain lyric from Killing in the Name comes to mind for these people.

Going back to the quote above, I do in fact agree partially. This isn’t a sign of weakness. There is nothing wrong with agreeing with someone


Relaxing is pretty easy 

It has taken great effort to get to a point in which we can sit and have a coffee in relative safety. To gaze across the beautiful blue waters and distant hills without looking for an immediate threat behind us. It is something I try not to take for granted. Some of the worlds most beautiful landscapes are no-go areas for so many reasons, for how long is anyone’s guess.


This could be due to war, secret government operations, radiation levels. I took this photograph in Rio shortly before my lunch arrived, in the same area as the featured image in this post posted earlier this month. I snapped the image as the person in front of me was using his phone, I don’t know what it is but it seems to add something. It is as if he was oblivious to the view he had in font of him, although I am sure he has seen it a thousand times before.

Thanks to the implementation of police and armed forces we can enjoy time that isn’t spent evading evil. An iced coffee by the sea or drifting in and out of sleep in a hammock. It doesn’t mean danger is never there. Someone holding an umbrella for you doesn’t mean it isn’t raining, even if you are doing little to prevent getting wet. For that I am incredibly grateful. This doesn’t mean that it will stay this way forever.

I was debating with a friend yesterday about what it is to be on the ‘left’. I consider myself a centrist, I have tried speaking to both the left and the right and on both occasions feel like I have been pushed into the centre. The left have been overly trigger happy when it comes to using labels such as bigot and racist and the right have been, well, too bigoted and racist. Where is the middle ground? How can being on either end of the spectrum give us a better overview?

I gave the following analogy, you can of course let me know your thoughts.

A serial killer has successfully escaped jail. Dark, I know but of course a reality. He is walking down a street of a dozen houses. He takes his time knocking on each door, waiting for an answer. Let’s say each resident has one of three views; far left, far right or central. On his first knock, a far right resident answers and kills the killer. There was little time to find out about the man knocking and no time was spared. You can probably tell already that depending on each outcome we have to rewind the clock to the killer walking down the street again, groundhog day style. So here we go again.

He is walking down the street again, on this occasion a far left resident answers. The resident has sympathy for the killer asking for shelter in the rain, invites him in for tea and is killed. Again, little time for discussion. In such a scenario, what is wrong with using the peep hole? Speaking through the door or upper floor window asking why he was knocking at the door at this specific time? If I had any bad feelings about this man, which neighbour would I warn? The right winger that will probably go on his own killing spree, hunting down people of a similar appearance or the left wing one that will accuse me of bigotry or a lack of compassion by refraining to fully commit? I feel the most productive decision would be to speak to other centrists. I know that I have decided to speak only of extremists on both sides, however even the apparent moderate-left have made it difficult to talk to.

Our minds are a wonderful thing, they can seek out irrational behaviour and allow us to calculate whether or not we should be concerned during an encounter. I certainly want to be able to use such an amazing human system, there is nothing wrong with a little unease. We have evolved to take everything with a pinch of salt and treat everything as a possible threat. It is natural and can be life saving. There are plenty of people out there with a strong desire to take this away from us given the chance and if anyone is willing to have conversation, I will make time for conversation. Opinions that contradict our values aren’t the threat, it is the unwillingness to sit down with someone and have that conversation. A lack of desire to understand the thoughts of someone that has a completely different mindset. I know some of my views may offend someone that has a different view, my duty is to realise this and listen, not accuse and evade.

I truly do hope that in the next few months of travelling I meet like minded individuals that will sit down with me and talk, regardless of differences. It seems like this world is increasingly shoot first, talk later.

A new purpose 

I wonder when the last petrol station will close it’s doors. When there is no longer enough business from the cars driving by or flying overhead. What will they become?

Will they become diners? Maybe they will slowly deteriorate like aircraft in a scrapyard until the land is bought and houses are built. Maybe some will be preserved as museums, teaching future humans about fossil fuels and the cars of 2017.

I have no idea but it is fun to guess. It is fun to look around and wonder what aspects of our normality will be needless in future. I hope some of these are preserved for us to remember, even if there is a new purpose. Will telephone boxes be a good place to place defibrillators? Will petrol stations be a good place for electronic cars to charge?

Will airports be a good place for space centres in a future with increased space travel? I’m sure as time goes on, the past will be a great home for new possibilities and ways of life. What we need to do is ensure that we are willing to change the present and let the past make way for the future.

I’ve played basketball in a church on a full sized court. I’ve dined in the carriage of a train that was once used as transport and now sits on the beach. I’ve visited a castle that was once for defence and now for entertainment. With every attraction that has been transformed from the original purpose, not once have I wished it was back doing what it was built for. Why cling to the past with so much future potential?

I read something beautiful today. Your future self is watching you right now through memories. I sat and thought about it. I felt detached from my future self yet loved by him. Although my cells will be different my memories won’t be. We will have the same mutual loves and needs. 

I hope my future self has a future that hasn’t been forced into staying the same as I see it presently. If it does, apologies to my future self, I didn’t want it to be that way. 

If not, future self, I told you so.

Out of the woods

As a kid my favorite hobbies were to climb trees and listen to my elderly neighbour tell me I shouldn’t have as much free time. I wasn’t even a teenager. He would have had me sweeping chimneys if he had the option, judging by how much he hated the sound of kids playing. Some people are like that. They want us to live like they did, or still do.

My perception of trees has changed a little. I saw a natural playground and endless climbing frames of varying sizes and difficulties. Now I have a little more appreciation for the natural beauty, the idea that some of these trees could be older than I am blows my mind. Don’t get me wrong I still want to climb them, I don’t think that will ever leave me.


Did you know there is a rainforest within Kuala Lumpur airport? I thought that was pretty cool. The airport surrounds this and you are free to walk around. How fascinating is is this? To walk through security and all the man made precautions preventing man made attacks and before you know it, you are walking in nature again. I was hoping Singapore had an airport with equally interesting features as I will make my way there in September, by the sound of it there is and much, much more. I can’t wait to see for myself.

A tree reminds me of our varying societies and cultures. Each branch, if you get close enough to climb it, is a little unique. Step away and it is just another tree. Step out of the woods altogether and it is a collection of trees. You could walk up to any tree and see the subtle differences, each branch proud to be a little different from the last and showing how similar the branches really are.

I guess I have given up climbing trees in the metaphorical sense, too. I have shifted my focus from staring at each branch and instead looking at the tree as a whole, comparing it to the trees around it. If I was to individually place the name of every denomination within a single religion onto a tree brach, it is possible I would run out of branches. I could forever be studying one tree in depth and leave no time for any other. I need more variety than that.

I much prefer to look at the woods without being lured into climbing any certain tree. My life has been much more fun with variety and the view is much more colourful, too.

Today as seen by the future

I took this photo between cable car rides at Sugarloaf Mountain, I couldn’t have picked a better time of day. I remember looking at the boats below and thinking how unique each and every person that bought one must have felt, until they took it to the harbour. How perspectives can change depending on the environment.

‘I’m not trying to be anyone’s saviour. I just want to think about the future and not be sad’- Elon Musk

I have been watching plenty of his conversations recently and I love this guy. I feel I am watching someone who will always be remembered as one of humanity’s greats. If I had to choose one person to currently represent humanity, it would be Elon.

Whether it is solar powered roof tiles or the Hyperloop system, I get filled with excitement for the future. One rocket, planned to take humans to Mars within the next 20 years, has enough thrust to take a Boeing-747 filled with people, cargo and fuel, as cargo. Amazing!


It is a breath of fresh air to see someone break free from the troubles that keep us from moving forward and focus on progression. Escaping the pointless arguments and small differences that keep cultures from merging. We are so diverse and offended by our differences that we don’t venture away from the norm, we try to preserve our traditions even more.

I don’t want my news filled with headlines such as ‘Can the hijab be empowering to women?’, I want my news feed filled with stories of whether or not the latest rocket launch was successful. Headlines informing me of how our future is transforming, not reminding me how the present is so similar to our past. The day that we stop obsessing over our beloved societal norms will be a glorious and incredibly progressive one.

Sometimes we worry too much about our perceived values that we do not realise there is an option to change them. I love looking at the negative aspects of our existence as there is no quicker way to make progress.

As Musk says in one of his Ted Talks, he likes to take the view that he is wrong and work towards being right. I love looking at the wrongs, change doesn’t come from turning a blind eye.

Watching a ship hit the ocean bottom may be a little depressing but if we didn’t watch the ships sink, we wouldn’t build the lifeboats.

Good willed insults

I was buying a last minute birthday present on the weekend, shortly before heading to the birthday BBQ that I posted about on Saturday/Sunday. 

‘Don’t forget it’s fathers day soon!’ the girl at the checkout told me. I started blogging about it as I like to write when something is fresh in my mind, I just didn’t get round to posting. I don’t forget Fathers Day but I do get a different feeling when I see advertisements for it in stores. Times change and with that, our perception of so many things.


She didn’t know my dad died a few years back, I think as I am still in my twenties there is the assumption that I still have both parents. Sadly this isn’t the case for so many people. Does this mean she shouldn’t have said that to me? I don’t think I would say that. As sad as it was to agree that fathers day was coming up and that I should need a reminder, it was a lot better for me to play along. She was being nice, engaging in conversation and for that I have respect. I respect anyone that is trying to be kind, even if that kindness doesn’t have the desired effect. Was I wrong for lying to her? I don’t think so, it would have been inappropriate to make the situation awkward considering how little of my day was taken up by the quick chat.

I guess I could have helped her realise that the reminder may not be relevant for everyone that walks into the store. It is easier for me to realise and be conscious of what I say to people, to learn from these encounters. How often do I say something similar? More often than I would like, I’m sure. I feel it is my duty to take it in good faith and take the goodness out of such a situation instead of poisoning it. 

I wouldn’t ask anyone to stop celebrating it or be too overly cautious of offending by talking about it. Too many people are personally offended and ask for others to work around their personal issues. This happens daily and if we just a little bit better at controlling the inevitable emotions that are triggered everyday, society would be a little more tolerable. Religion has a duty in my opinion to do so with ever more multi-cultural societies.

Like an old cannon looking out to a sea for an army that is no longer a threat, things change and with that, the purpose or meaning. What was once a weapon is now an attraction. What was once a pleasure is now a painful reminder. Our perception of what we see changes and we need to adapt!

The destination 

I love knowing where I am heading. An adventure without a plan is always exciting but if I can prepare, at least I know what will benefit me the most. Life is too short to take the wrong path.

You could apply this to a journey you want to take to a destination you love or want to learn more about. Maybe this applies to a metaphorical path. To learn more about yourself or the universe. Either way, I want to view the horizon if I get the chance. 

Some people don’t and this is fine. It is fine until people go out of their way to obscure the view for everyone, either blocking it completely or distorting it to fit their preference. How is that fair, and why should I settle for your apparent view?

Fear of the unknown is understandable. It fuels us to look the other way. If you want to, go ahead. Just don’t make me do the same. There will be times when I will do the same and I will try my damned hardest to not drag you with me. 

Everywhere I look I see people trying to tempt me with their personal ideology. Thankfully I live in a time and place in which free thinking is valued. This isn’t the case for everyone, some having to settle with the worldview of society or face prison time, possibly death. This really happens, sadly many people who are inspirations for this post won’t be able to view it. Despite the progression of science we are constantly fed contradictory stories depending on where we live. I want to reject these stories and go with evidence. Don’t stop people doing so even if you don’t like it.

When I am gone my ingredients will still be here, travelling through the universe toward the unknown horizon. I want to know where that is going whilst I can, without heavy cultural bias. Even if we can’t see the horizon it is there, often obscured by so many false ones.

Featured image: Ezzif, Reddit

Second image: John Towner, Unsplash