The Artist and her Cats – Painting our Feline Friends

Charlotte Farhan and Logan

Charlotte Farhan and Logan

Cats have been of extreme importance to me throughout my life of 31 years. Having reared kittens, rescued cats and met many along my journey, these majestic and complicated feline friends are to me more than beautiful creature but are inspiring and have become my best friends and even family.

I decided to start painting cats when I realised how important they were to my artistic process. My three cat progenies who my husband and I treat as our offspring (not as human babies) but as the wonderful species that they are, are called Omar (our 10 year old moggy), Isabella (our 8 year old Burmese) and our youngest Logan (a 5 year old Bengal).

They rush to greet us as we arrive home, they speak to us in a language which we have adapted to best understand one another, they are attached to us as we are them and require constant attention and care, which we are more than happy to give. We feel privileged to share our lives with our fury brood and at times when I am unable to leave my home or am so overwhelmed by sadness or trauma my phenomenal little ones comfort me and lick my tears away.

So I shall continue to honour the species I feel akin to by painting them and creating lasting impressions of them.

Here is my latest called “Lucy Loves Laziness”

Lucy was my Mothers cat when I was little, she was a wise cat, full of neurosis, who did not particularly like me, but I shall always remember her curled up in the flower beds, whilst keeping a watch out for small insects to eat.

Lucy Loves Laziness - By Charlotte Farhan

Lucy Loves Laziness – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Lucy Loves Laziness - By Charlotte Farhan

Lucy Loves Laziness – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Lucy Loves Laziness - By Charlotte Farhan

Lucy Loves Laziness – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Here is a look at the other cat portraits in my collection, most have been sold, prints available and greeting cards coming soon.

Cat Portraits By Charlotte Farhan

Cat Portraits By Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in one of these or have a feline friend you wish me to do a portrait of please fill in the form below for further details.

Original paintings cost £55.00

Prints cost £25.00

Commissioned Cat Portraits cost £45.00

All images are 10″ x 12″ x 1″ and are on box canvas or high quality printing paper.

And here are our 3 beautiful family members:

Thank you for visiting…

Fair-weather Friend – A Poem by Charlotte Farhan

 

Fair-weather Friend – A Poem by Charlotte Farhan

So you want something from me?
So you take something from me!
You fill my heart with hope and friendship,
then you find some other focus and take it away!
I was once your number one, your right hand chum,
but now I am just that dumb.
I give everything,
that is me.

You promised me you would stand by my side and be my security,
I felt so special I added you to my family tree!
Friendships like these break my heart,
I have always been searching for brothers and sisters,
but have realised I am but a spare part.

You cried for years,
filled my bedroom with tears,
I scooped you up in my arms and helped you swim the sea you had created,
knowing full well how this story was fated!

You see I have a poorly brain and my mind is heavy with nightmares,
which keep me from being free,
always longing to be an escapee.
With this mindset I am open to being used like a forever giving fountain of youth!
But I can’t hurt you by bringing up this truth.
I love you too much to see you hurt,
but instead I sink further, as if you were weighing me down before throwing me to sea
Friendship can be tricky when you are me,
not knowing what to be?

                      Just remember I am not able to carry us alone, you must tend to our garden,                           or our roses will never grow!
I can not be your fair-weather friend,
this path is long and tiresome,
but I know if continued we will reach our dead end.

DON'T LEAVE ME - By Charlotte Farhan

Don’t Leave Me – By Charlotte Farhan

This poem is dedicated to all the friendships I have had which have ended after my Borderline Personality Disorder came between us. Either because I have a tendency to give everything in a friendship, I want to be the best of the rest, I want to be family and be the closest we can be, so I shall do everything for my friends, to my own detriment. Also I have tended to make friends with fickle people or users. Those who saw a chance to get what they could from me and my weakness.

I also recognise that I have had unrealistic expectations in these relationships, I want perfection! Which is unachievable, I have been working on this behaviour a lot and have managed to find ways to stop this from happening so much, stopping myself from projecting this on to my friends and partner. However I still get hurt when perfection is not reached as I would put everything into being perfect and my brain can not understand why others do not do the same? But when I tackle this splitting of the mind I reach the conclusion, (sometimes after hours of tears and anger) that I do not need to be perfect and nor does anyone else.

Borderlines can have very difficult relationships with people, I know for me my most difficult of relationships has been friendships since I was very young. Here are some reasons why:

“Typically individuals with BPD have difficulty trusting others. Irritability and inappropriate anger with temper tantrums may occur. The symptoms of BPD may resemble love addiction. While love addiction is not medically diagnosable, addictive behaviour is difficult to live with. Relationships build quickly and intensely. They are unable to see the faults of their partner (friends and family), and cannot tolerate changes in intimacy. Because people will eventually disappoint them, the person with BPD must reconcile their black and white conceptualization. Splitting shields those with the disorder from the anxiety of conflicting emotions.

One study found that those with BPD have a distorted sense of social norms, which impacts their ability to trust or cooperate. When something goes wrong in their relationships, they do not respond in a manner that would repair the damage. By doing so, they limit others from being able to fully cooperate in return.

Individuals with BPD may feel that their emotional needs are not met in a relationship, but they do not have the capacity to assert their emotional needs in a productive and healthy manner. When they do not get what they want or need from the relationship, frustrations arise. Because of the intense fear of loneliness and abandonment, when the relationship is viewed as at risk these individuals may feel extreme anger.”

From borderline-personality-disorder.com

I would like to add that now at 31 years of age I have some amazing friends who not only are aware of my BPD and other illnesses but they are supportive of my on-going treatment and recovery. I have a group of female friends (some I have known since childhood and adolescents) who are such amazing women and so open that I can explain myself to them with ease. I also have a wonderful group of male friends who I feel safe with and one who is like a brother (who I have known since being babies together) I am very fortunate and even though I fear sometimes I shall be abandoned and hated by all, I remember that these people are good people! They ground me and most importantly they allow me to be myself and have fun.

Please visit my BPD – Borderline Thinking Facebook page for more information and support.

 

Friendship Quote

l Treat my Mental Illness as I Would my Diabetes

 

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When I tell some people l treat my mental illness as I would my diabetes, the look I get and the comments I get make me realise we have so much more work to do! mental illness is from the mind, which is of the brain. which is of the body!

“Definition of mind in English:
noun

The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought”

But even with this definition in our language we still have those who think that the “mind” is either not real or impenetrable, leaving it to be an “imagined” illness.

#stigma #mentalhealth #mentalillness

 

New Photography Collection – The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Here is a collection of photography by Charlotte Farhan

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

To see the full collection please click here 

 

For all further details please use the form provided.

Thank you.

 

 

Being a Professional with Mental Illness: Misconceptions, Stigma and Facing Prejudice

Being a Professional with Mental Illness:

Misconceptions, Stigma and Facing Prejudice

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I have been working since the age of 14 and have done numerous jobs in my 31 years. I started off as a home help care assistant for the elderly in their own homes (even though I was under-age) and continued to work on and off in this position, working my way through training and in various care companies. I have also worked for many years as a waitress, barmaid and as a shop assistant throughout my teens and twenties. I have worked many 12 hour shifts and 7 day weeks I am not shy of hard work to say the least.

However due to my mental illnesses and traumatic adolescence and destructive twenties I have also been fired, made redundant, walked out and been pushed out due to be a whistle blower in a care home as I witnessed elderly abuse and reported it. Most of these jobs were lost or taken from me due to my mental illness. From being fired due to being signed off for mental illness to being targeted with prejudice and hate in the work place by an employer who took my mental health issues and broadcast them to other members of staff and told these members to be careful around me and not to trust me with knives and I was bullied and taunted due to this.

By the time I was 27 I had experienced a re-lapse after coming face to face with my rapist in the city I live in, whilst trying to post a letter which FYI for an agoraphobic such as myself was a massive challenge even though the post box was just outside my front door, this sent me into a spiralling decent and detachment set in, I am still suffering today with my recovery. At this time I was also a full time student at Portsmouth University, but due to this and my ability to go to classes deteriorating I was told by The University of Portsmouth I was to ill to study and had to leave my course, which as you can imagine was an enormous blow.

Now I was so unwell I cold not go outside alone or even at all most days (this is still the case) so what options did I have? I could stay in and waist away my mind due to the fact I had no medical support, financial support or the ability to work. So at first I just stopped, I was defeated and I felt as if I was sinking fast and was scared for my marriage and my life.

The thing is I may have mental illness, certain neurological damage due to trauma, a chemical in-balance and emotion regulation problems but this does not mean I was or am useless. I was just left, with nothing… As a survivor and someone who has been through so much I am very able in many things. The confusion in how “we” the mentally ill can work is a big issue and needs to be addressed under the Equal Opportunities Act and then further for our world to observe “us” as not criminal, incapable, useless, unintelligent, unreliable or some kind of contagious disease ridden liability.

However a NEW way of looking at “work” and “jobs” is needed for all of us to succeeded or provide for our family and sustain our lives. The format of the 9am – 5pm job is not suitable for everyone, nor is the insistence of office work. Already many of us work differing hours over a 24 hour period, with shift work and certain industries needing specific hours outside of the “working day”, as well as more people working from home and starting their own businesses. But are all opportunities equal and do people with disabilities get the same treatment as those without? The answer is simple, NO!

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act came into force in October 2010, providing a modern, single legal framework with clear, streamlined law to tackle disadvantage and discrimination more effectively.

It is discrimination to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with their disability.  This type of discrimination is unlawful where the employer knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, that the person has a disability.

Definition of a disability

Under the Equality Act 2010, the definition of a disability is a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on someone’s ability to do normal daily activities.

  • Substantial is more than minor or trivial.  For example, it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed.
  • Long-term means 12 months or more. For example, a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection.

Reasonable adjustments

Equality law recognises that bringing about equality for disabled people may mean changing the way employment is structured, the removal of physical barriers and/or providing extra support for a disabled worker.  This is the duty to make reasonable adjustments.

The aim of the duty is to make sure that, as far as is reasonable, a disabled worker has the same access to everything that is involved in doing and keeping a job as a non-disabled person.

Workplace adjustments

Workplace adjustments can be temporary or made on a permanent basis.

Examples of adjustments to working arrangements include:

  • allowing a phased return to work;
  • changing individual’s working hours;
  • providing help with transport to and from work;
  • arranging home working, providing a safe environment can be maintained;
  • allowing an employee to be absent from work for rehabilitation treatment.

Examples of adjustments to premises include:

  • moving tasks to more accessible areas;
  • making alterations to premises.

Examples of adjustments to a job include:

  • providing new or modifying existing equipment and tools;
  • modifying work furniture;
  • providing additional training;
  • modifying instructions or reference manuals;
  • modifying work patterns and management systems;
  • arranging telephone conferences to reduce travel;
  • providing a buddy or mentor;
  • providing supervision;
  • reallocating work within the employee’s team;
  • providing alternative work.

( All information taken from the Equality and Human Rights Commission http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/)

So what is really happening with this issue? (I shall share statistics on mental illness as this is the disability I have)

The most recent figures available show that only around 27% of working age adults in England with a mental illness are in employment.

The rate of employment for people with a mental illness is currently used by the government as one way of measuring people’s quality of life.

For those with mental health problems, being employed can be an important step to recovery, improving self-esteem and confidence and reducing psychological distress.

Conversely, unemployment increases the risk of developing mental health problems, and is associated with increased rates of depression and suicide.

The 27% of working age adults in England with a mental illness in employment compares with around 70% of the working age population as a whole being economically active.

We know that people with a mental illness are more likely to become unemployed, and research has suggested that less than 40% of employers would consider employing someone with a mental health problem

( From The Mental Health Foundation – http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ )

Mental Health Foundation

(If you would like to look further at Equality in employment in general, with regards to race, class, disability and gender please follow this link: Equality group inequalities in education, employment and earnings)

So what is it I want to convey to you, you may be asking yourself. My message is this: due to discrimination I have had to fight for rights in employment and education, I have almost completed my honours degree in Psychology and Philosophy at The Open University, who have helped me have the same chances as other students by providing me extra support. I also did not give up, deciding to follow my passions after the defeat I faced. Therefore I became what I always wanted to be, an artist which I have been very successful in since 2010 and my career just keeps getting bigger and better. When I speak of success I do not mean MONEY, I mean that I use my time to create and comment on my world and the world around me through art. With a massive following of over 40,000 people from all over the world, solo and group exhibitions, being a published illustrator, selling art, creating art for charity and campaigns and mentoring fellow artists, this to me is success. But believe me I have so much more to do!

As well as being an artist I am also the managing director of Art Saves Lives International and the co-founder of this amazing non-profit charitable organisation. I am the editor and chief of our on-line art publication ASLI Magazine and I am in charge of marketing, social media and campaigns. I have my own team and volunteers as well as our following of 5,000 supporters from around the world which grows everyday.

This is all done from my home, with my own suitable hours 10am – 6pm then 11pm till 1am with days off or half days off when I need, with none of this set in stone I can also be flexible with hospital appointments, seeing therapists and doing exposure work for my agoraphobia.

Things I can do to make my work environment easier:

  • To be e able to have no noise is important as I have
  • Being able to exercise whenever I need (for my diabetes, PCOS and arthritis)
  • I can eat alone, due to my illness I do not eat in-front of strangers for fear of weakness, judgement and germs
  • I get to start my day once my medication has worn off
  • I get to relax before work for an hour in my own environment with no pressure, this helps my anxiety as my anxiety is worse in the morning due to night terrors and hormonal issues
  • I do not have to deal with anyone I do not wish to which helps me focus on my work with no social anxiety
  • I get to take time out if I am having a particularly bad day without the “rules” and “disciplinary” action which I would ensue in most jobs, I always make up my hours and work so this is never a problem.
  • I get to structure my organisation with all of this in mind, so that anyone who works for me or ASLI is treated with these same equal rights

The things which make my life harder are made even harder by people who do not understand that I work very hard, non-profit and with my disabilities. I do not require sympathy, special treatment or exceptions, but what I do need is acceptance and for people to question their thoughts on these matters and remember hard work and valuable work do not equate to highly paid jobs or someone’s worth in general. Aligning these ideas with the other is in many ways one of our worst enemies on this planet.

So next time you see my work or me working or someone like myself please remember what you have read here, remember that I am just as valuable, hard-working and equal to you. This is not a hobby, this is my life!

When obstacles are put in your way in life you can sit there and give up and except your own defeat or you can challenge these obstacles and climb them with great force and determination, because YOU MUST REMEMBER THE ONLY WAY TO CHANGE THIS IS TO FIGHT IT! We must not be passive and except what the privileged power keepers of the world “give us”, we must not turn on the less fortunate, asylum seekers, unskilled, young, old or disabled! Instead we must aid each other within our communities to better help one another survive, but better still strive.

Thank you for your time…

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WANTED!! Bloggers to write for our blog – Recruiting Now! Interested in being a monthly guest blogger?

WANTED!! Bloggers to write for our blog – Recruiting Now! Interested in being a monthly guest blogger?.

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To the truly Fatherless on Fathers Day – The abandoned and abused child

To the truly Fatherless on Fathers Day

The abandoned and abused child

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Today on Fathers day 2015 I have decided to acknowledge others like myself who have been abandoned by their Fathers, abused by their Fathers and find today so hard.

When I was younger I did not allow myself to think of my Father and the abandonment and abuse I suffered. Most of it was locked away inside a box in my mind, which had been locked, chained and buried into the depths of my psyche.

Since becoming older and now in my 30’s I find Fathers day excruciating. Now with social media you wake to a constant stream of praise for the Fathers of the world, with gushing sentiments of loved children, of family photos filled with blissful memories and declarations of “the perfect Father quotes”. Now I, in NO way begrudge these people and their memories, it is just the little girl inside me who does not understand why she did not get to experience this love, this relationship and bond? The adult me feels ashamed, excluded and that I am the reason for the the abuse and abandonment. So it is not something I wish to stop others doing it is just painful and makes “us” feel more alone and FATHERLESS.

 

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I remember waiting for days as a child by the letter box, waiting for a birthday card from my Father, asking everyday, “where is my birthday card”? Keeping this unbreakable faith that it would arrive, but of course it never did. This is a state I found myself in so many times when I was very little. When I grew up and became a teenager most people assumed my Father was dead as I always referred to him in the past tense. I found it easier to not correct people, I almost could fantasise that I had a wonderful Father and that he had just died, so he had not CHOSEN to leave me the choice had been made for him. But no my story was not this one. My story was more a horror film. I am not yet able to fully discuss what my Father did to me or the abuse my Mother and I had to deal with, but I can say that it was fuelled by a narcissistic personality and a sever alcohol addiction which led my Father to have alcohol induced psychosis. This is no way excuses him, but it does explain the level of abuse and harm.

 

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I still have so much work to do to recover from my childhood and there are certain things I shall NEVER recover from. But I try to remember that I am very blessed to be alive, to have my Mother who despite our difficulties has NEVER left me, I have an amazing husband who has taught me what a MAN is and how I can be loved by a man in a healthy way and for my amazing elected family filled with beautiful friends.

 

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All I would like to do with this post is to tell those like myself they are NOT alone and for those who were fortunate to have loving families and especially Fathers in this case, just spare a thought for us today, remember us the truly Fatherless are an enormous group of people who find TODAY very difficult. We do not wish for you to change what you do to celebrate your Father and that relationship, just spare a thought, let it remind you of how lucky you are or have been.

 

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We do not want pity either…

Do NOT apologise to us because YOU had an amazing Father, this is a slap in the face and makes us feel worse than we already do.

DO ask us if we are OK on Fathers day, this is not reserved for those who have lost their parents through bereavement, we matter too!

Do NOT ignore us as we have been ignored since we were children, remember us and extend kindness to us. Often the abused and abandoned are not approached for fear of saying the wrong thing or because it is uncomfortable or awkward, push past this. We have faced far worse and will appreciate it.

 

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But to you my fellow survivors!! TODAY I celebrate us! We did it without the love, support and care of our Fathers and we survived to tell our stories, to help others and to set ourselves free from our lived nightmare. Today we should do what ever we can to survive further. One day I hope to help others like me and educate people on the consequences for children who suffered neglect and emotional /physical / sexual abuse. But today I extend a hug and this post.

 

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Thank you for reading and if you need any support please follow these useful links…

NSPCC – Every childhood is worth fighting for

The Survivors Trust – Support, Advice and Information

Stop it Now – Together we can prevent child sexual abuse

RAINN: The nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization

 

LAST CHANCE! Submissions close at midnight 15/06/2015

LAST CHANCE! Submissions close at midnight 15/06/2015.

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An anarchists view on the vote and creating change

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(Before I begin this post, I want to say that this is in no way a preaching post to be taken as ME saying what YOU do with your right to vote!)

This is a chance for me to discuss my position, open a discussion and explain why some politically active people such as myself do not vote in general elections.

Firstly let me explain my position and views:

I am an anarchist in my political philosophical persuasion and am from the school of thought of Social Anarchism and Anarchist Feminism.

ANARCHISM, a social philosophy that rejects authoritarian government and maintains that voluntary institutions are best suited to express man’s natural social tendencies.” George Woodcock. “Anarchism” at The Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

“Harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being”.

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For me I arrived at my anarchist perspective through years of study in philosophy, social psychology, International Relations and History. Also being well read on these matters has helped a great deal.

When I was younger and first eligible to vote, I couldn’t due to being homeless and unregistered, I felt so cheated by this and disconnected, deemed the underclass of society as a young adult with mental illness and no job or home, the right to vote fell to the bottom of my list of priorities. By my next eligible vote I was in a less dyer situation and registered, I campaigned for the Liberal Democrats and even got people who were not going to vote to vote. I felt empowered and thought this is it I can change things now, even though I was well aware that First Past The Post was undemocratic, I felt this “vote” would mean I was part of the movement for change.

Needless to say the Liberal Democrats then joined a coalition with The Conservatives and the rest is now a joke in the political rhetoric of the last 5 years. The Liberal Democrats took my vote and others and used it against us, with a political party which was in complete opposition to the policies I had chosen as a reason to vote Lib-Dem. Felling betrayed and as if I was a accomplice to a horrific crime on society, I began to re-think my position. I knew what I believed in, I knew what I wanted but still had no idea how to go about it?

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When I started my degree in Philosophy I had already done an A-level and had been reading about philosophy since an early age. Being French it has always been instilled in me to pay great attention to philosophy and philosophers as without this “the theory of knowledge” how could one learn anything and truly understand the knowledge they posses?

Having always felt on the outside, regarding many things, such as my own personality, mental illness, political ideas, religious beliefs and generally in how I live my life. The only choice I had was to find a way to continue being as politically active but not compromise my mission to create change and to stay true to my beliefs.

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So as I do most things I went head first into truly understanding my opinions and ideas for a better world.

I knew what I wanted in simplistic terms:

  • A world beyond a monetary system
  • A resource based economy
  • Environmental conservation
  • Getting rid of archaic establishments
  • The use of technology for greater goods available to the worlds population
  • More education of the highest quality available for all
  • The abolishment of Nationalism, Capitalism, Elitism and Fascism
  •  Equality
  • Free Speech and less censorship
  • Using media for education and change

The list could go on, but these were fundamental things I knew I believed in and still do. I knew that we could all do what we do, as well as governments and institutions, without the little bits of paper which we call money, that we so desperately want more of. The reality is the powers that be have the agenda to control one thing, which in turn controls everything, those little bits of paper. The amazing thing is, that we allow ourselves to believe in this power, as if the “little bits of paper” were sent from the heavens and revealed to us, we put faith in money, holding it up as if it were a God, believing happiness is attainable through our faith. This is where governments hit us most and rely on us most, pulling a Houdini like magic trick, creating an illusion of power. But some of us are not fooled by this illusion and can see the trickery behind the trick.

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Now let me tell you what I face as criticism as an anarchist and non voter, here are common things said to me by people:

  • You are an idiot!
  • You are delusional
  • You must vote because you are a women and women dyed for the right to vote, if not they died in vain.
  • If you don’t vote you will not be able to complain or comment on the political situation
  • As an anarchist I hope you do not use any public services!
  • Even if you don’t like anyone, vote!
  • This one day is your chance to have a voice, do not waste it!

So with the help from the internet I have found an alternative list of points on why not to vote:

22 reasons not to vote:

 

  1. If one votes, one participates. If one participates, one condones and endorses the process, and subsequently, what those elected ‘representatives’ do and say in your name.

 

  1. Electoral promises are meaningless because politicians lie to gain the favour of the electorate, and then do exactly what they want once they have it. Then there is no accountability or recourse, other than waiting another 4 years or so to vote them out and replace them with someone else who will do the exact same thing.

 

  1. The act of voting grants legitimacy to the idea that it’s acceptable for the majority/collective to use the coercive arm of the state to impose their will on the minority/individual using force, or threats of force, and for that reason, it is immoral to vote. As such, the only way to truly de-legitimise the system is by not voting. When the people stay home in droves the international community won’t recognise the results of the election. This perceived legitimacy is such a concern for politicians that in some countries it’s now a legal requirement to vote (e.g., Australia).

 

  1. A non-voter effectively emerges from the electoral process with a clean conscience because they can proudly proclaim that what the elected ‘representatives’ subsequently say and do after they’ve gained power is not done in their name, not with their permission, and not with their encouragement.

 

  1. To not vote DOES NOT mean one relinquishes the right to then comment on, complain about, or protest the actions of the government, it is completely the other way round. When one votes one effectively makes a contractual agreement (the voter is officially recorded doing so), which hands over the right for someone else to speak and act in their name and assents to whatever the government does. A non-voter however, has not done so, and therefore retains the right to complain and object all they want.

 

  1. Participation in the system (i.e., voting) reinforces the idea that people can’t live together without violent control.

 

  1. Participation in the system (i.e., voting) implies that the majority knows what’s best for everyone.

 

  1. Participation in the system (i.e., voting) implies that the majority knows what’s best for the individual.

 

  1. Voting is effectively participating in mob rule, and the mob then enforces it’s views on the rest of society with the threat of violence.

 

  1. By voting, an individual literally advocates the use of force against peaceful people.

 

  1. Voting reinforces the idea the ‘people’ have the power rather than the unaccountable bureaucrats who make the rules.

 

  1. Voting is futile because invariably the better financed candidate wins.

 

  1. Statistically, any one vote makes no more difference than a single grain of sand on a beach. Thinking that their vote counts tends to give people a mistakenly inflated sense of self-worth, and participation in a system creates a passive sense of accomplishment.

 

  1. An individual’s ability to make an informed choice is zero if the only information they reference is from the overtly bias main stream media, government news channels (propaganda), politicians and party manifestos (sales pitch), or from an ‘enforced’ state school education (indoctrination).

 

  1. Voting sends a false signal to the elected politicians that the voter approves of all their policies. Voters therefore encourage them.

 

  1. If an individual has not come to firm conclusion about the election, that individual will do more for their country by not voting, rather than making a mistake.

 

  1. If the outcome of a vote is unknown, then voting is tantamount to gambling. If the outcome of a vote is known, then voting is futile.

 

  1. No individual has the authority to make laws their neighbour, or anyone else, must obey. Then how is it morally acceptable for any individual to delegate authority they don’t have to someone else, such as a politician?

 

  1. Should people who know more about games shows, sports, reality TV and celebrities, rather than matters of any real importance (economics, political philosophy, history, logic, critical thinking, etc) be in a position to vote and influence the lives of others?

 

  1. Supporting the lesser of two evils is still supporting evil.

 

  1. “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” – Mark Twain

 

  1. “I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me” – George Carlin

 

 

 

To me regardless of who you vote for, the system and establishment is the problem, this is where we need to come together and change this. You may not like what I am about to say but I believe this to be true. There is no quick fix! You have to be in this for the long game, believe that little steps as well as large steps count, that people could start individually or as a community, the aim is to change the world we live in for the future of our planet and the amazing inhabitance of it, such as us, the rest of the animal kingdom, nature and our extended universe.

I think the biggest disillusionment is in ourselves, not believing we can do more as a community, countries, continents and the world as a whole. Thinking the powerful (who lets face it are only concerned in facilitating ego and power not people) are going to change this for us is in my opinion an indication of social control and public dis-empowerment. Instead of looking to others and the government, start and look at yourself, ask yourself could I be more politically active? Could I be an active member in the change I want to see? Thinking this is too small in significance is a disservice to us all. Everyday I try and contribute to change and suggest you do too if you truly want a better world.

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So instead of shaming people into voting, or judging others for who they vote for, get proactive!

Here are some suggestion on how to create change and work outside of the government as well as ways you can put pressure on the government regardless of who they are:

Changing the voting system:

The Electoral Reform Society operates on a simple premise – that politics can be better than it is. We are campaigning for a better democracy.

NOTA UK The home of the None of the Above electoral reform campaign for the UK. We demand that legislation be passed making it law that an official ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option must be included on UK ballot papers for all future elections.

Alternative Ideas on Government:

The Venus Project proposes an alternative vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. Anything less will result in a continuation of the same catalogue of problems inherent in today’s world. Today many people believe what is needed is a higher sense of ethical standards and the enactment of international laws to assure a sustainable global society.

Tiered Democratic Governance (TDG) is a bottom-up strategy designed to confront many of the limitations of modern western democracy. It eliminates the need for parties thus eliminating the need for campaigning, partisanship and arrogance in our political world.

And for a bit of fun and some inspiring ideas 12 Futuristic Forms of Government That Could One Day Rule the World

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So whatever it is you believe in and want for the greater good, get active and do not let your power be dictated to you. You have it and can use it how and when you wish. Also next time someone is expressing their political or philosophical opinion such as myself, please treat us with compassion and less judgement, we can all learn from each other.

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I shall leave you with two quotes which are very important to me from two great anarchists:

“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”
Emma Goldman

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Thank you for taking the time to read this and let us all create change!

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ASLI launch new campaign and call for artists – Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery

ASLI launch new campaign – Mental Illness, Mental Health and RecoveryCALL FOR ARTISTS

We at Art Saves Lives are launching a NEW CAMPAIGN called “Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery” to raise awareness about how mental illness affects people, how art helps achieve better mental health and how it can aid in recovery. This coincides with the Mental Health Awareness Month of May but as usual ASLI want more than a month, so we are extending our campaign to 3 months.

Starting today the 5th of May and ending the 5th of August.

Follow the link:

via ASLI launch new campaign and call for artists – Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery.

 

via ASLI launch new campaign and call for artists – Mental Illness, Mental Health and Recovery.