Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Power of Words

Words are much more powerful than you think. They have the power to build someone up, yet tear another down. Even a careless word said in jest has the same power as one said with intended meaning. Words can bring a smile to the lips or tears to the eyes, it all depends on how you use them.
Recently there have been stories in the papers that show the power that words truly have. Take for example the case of Lord McAlpine. All it took was for one person to use the word 'paedophile' and an innocent man was labelled as something he was not, and underwent 'trial by Twitter' as thousands of users logged on to add their metaphorical fuel to the fire.
Eventually it was proven that Lord McAlpine was not a paedophile as so many had been quick to call him, but once a label has be stuck to someone it is very hard to remove it. Despite the fact that we live in the UK, a country whose legal system is built around the precedent of 'innocent until proven guilty'. Once judgement has been passed it very hard to change it.
Lord McAlpine is not the only one to have been the victim of 'trial by Twitter' or to be labelled with a word that has nothing to do with him, many of us have fallen victim to the power of words. So next time you are about to label someone, remember the power that your words can have.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By John McCrae

Lest we forget.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Public Transport Fail

After living in London for several years I am used to travelling on public transport and have become accustom to all of the unwritten rules - do not talk, do not make eye contact etc. I have also learnt that the best thing to do if you want an enjoyable journey is to listen music. Doing this will drown out screaming babies, vacuous conversations, and mean that you are generally left alone on your journey.
To this end, I have a play list designed specifically for public transport it is a compilation of some of my favourite tracks and ones that are good at drowning out other noise. However, it is this play list that also lead to a somewhat awkward incident while travelling home from work.
On this particular bus trip the bus was filled with annoying, noisy school children and screaming babies. Realising this I turned to my trusty favourites play list and instantly was met with the sound of My Chemical Romance and all the other noise was instantly gone. MCR turned to The Vaccines, then to the Manic Street Preachers. My music must have been pretty loud as when I first started listening the woman sat next to me looked at me and sighed slightly, but I didn't really care as the 'children' had just changed to the topic of X-Factor and there was no way in hell I was going to listen to that.
All was going fine on my trip home until the track changed and I realised, to my horror, that on this play list I had added One Direction. No word of a lie as the track started five different people on the bus turned round to look at me in surprise, amazement and disbelief that the girl who had been sat listening to the angry rock was now listening to cheesy pop. The worst bit was that my iPhone then got stuck in my pocket and I was unable to change the track back to some Rammstein and save face.Fail.
It is indeed a sad moment when even a group of thirteen-year-olds are laughing at your choice of music and old people are looking at you slightly bemusedly. Sad times indeed.