Year end address to Wicker Camp

 A year end address to all my students at Wicker Camp.
As we see out 2017, I am concerned by how many individuals struggle to make emotional sense of the world we live in; how many people are affected by what others may think of them and how many feel they have to live their lives according to some collective opinion of what is cool, attractive or, conversely,  even downright odd.
Clearly, it isn’t healthy or useful to sit in personal judgement of anyone. Many of our social problems exist today because we have become a narrow minded judgemental culture of blame, criticism and individual abuse of others. (Although I accept that criticism and blame are also very necessary at times). So I thought this year end, I would take a serious look at how we live our lives, how we can be more self reliant and how we engage with the world.
I learned a long time ago that how we feel about things depends of our “perception”, and this influences how we react to the world around us. In this sense, we must try to be a creator of our world and not just an innocent bystander who merely accepts anything that happens. Self reliance means making the decisions to help generate the things you need. Taking action using your own morals and values and standing up for what you believe. In the bigger picture, the standards and morals of others should not influence how we decide to live our life.
From an early age I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I don’t like taking orders or being told what to do – so I decided to make my own job. Yes it’s been a difficult path and I wondered at times if I had made a huge mistake, but I trust myself and have confidence in the decisions I’ve made. Self reliance generates the things you need and allows you to take action. You have to become emotionally independent and stop relying on others for your fulfillment.
One of my favourite songs is a punk Rock song from the 1970’s – “Do Anything You Wanna Do” by Eddie and the Hotrods. (find it on YouTube and listen to the lyrics). It tells of a young man who’s gonna break out of this city to find out who he really is….. I think it provides a valuable “blueprint” for how you should live your life. Read Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If” and Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata”. They equally apply to both women and men. Of course you don’t have to agree with everything contained within them – that’s for you to decide, but I feel they inspire the human spirit and identifies the essence of our social existance.
Travel the world if you get the chance, and see how other humans do things. Evaluate the information, standards and behaviours of others and compare them to what YOU believe. If it fits into your belief system, adopt it and use that vital information to create your own personality! But at the same time….., DON’T be selfishly focussed on just your own needs because they are not necessarily more important than the needs of others or the greater good. Don’t deal in racism and get used to the fact that men and women are equal, but different! Always help others if you’re able, be kind and decent to everyone you meet.
Get yourself healthy and strong. To help you get by in this world you’ll need a powerful set of lungs and good strong heart. Lean, flexible muscles will help too. Learning Muay Thai will give you the strength and confidence to stand up to anyone (it WON’T make you invincible, but you’ll feel like you are!) It will teach you to break away from your limiting beliefs and walk tall. Think about the important benefits of becoming vegetarian or, even better, Vegan (avoid chemical additives in your food at all costs). This will keep your body clean and you’ll feel a natural, raw energy that you won’t believe!
Another thing…, you don’t have to “fit in” with any group if you don’t want to. You will naturally gravitate and connect to others that are on the same or similar frequency to you. Don’t blindly follow football, drink lager, smoke, take drugs or watch vile, inane television. You can remain self reliant and still learn to lean on others in a healthy, supportive way when you need to. Take knowledge (learn) from anywhere. Read books, listen to music and accept that we’re all different AND all the same in any one moment in time! But be your own human being and not an agglomerate copy of everyone else.
DON’T blindly follow this “list of how to be”, either. Make your own sense of what I’m saying – if you don’t agree with something I’m saying, good for you, because you’ve already started to find your “self”! Find out what makes you happy, Don’t listen to fools, Make your life mean something, have a passion and try and make a meaningful contribution, don’t stand in anyones shadow – but show respect for others too, gain knowledge and experience from lots of different places, be kind to animals and humans, make a stand on things you believe in, fight if you have to….and “Never Give In”.
Make 2018 your best ever year. I’m grateful for knowing you all. Love, Mick.
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