Personally I have found that I couldn't even place myself in cultural groups around me. When my hair was short, afro-diasporic people gave me the nod of solidarity, when my hair was long south-Asian diasporic peoples spoke to me in their diversity of languages, yet I remained neither here nor there.
I need to both understand the impossibility and inevitability of the world of determinism, and yet attempt to widen the constraints by a pure belief in free agency. If I were to fully accept that the dye is cast, my job, and that of any other professional working in reforming or rehabilitating people, would be pointless.
Imagine being unable to stand everything about yourself. Your voice, your thoughts, your body, your personality. I can't now. Though years ago, I came pretty close. And if Jonny Benjamin can be honest, then so can I... It's several years ago now and feels like a different lifetime. I've been a happy person, getting even happier year on year since. But back then, after hitting rock bottom, in order to survive, I drew a line under these experiences and locked the memories away. I shoved them all in a box, along with my Shadow Self, so that they - and it - couldn't hurt me or anyone else anymore.
As we sat in the middle of our mats, eyes closed, James asked us to picture our 7 year old selves sitting in front of us. And as we breathed our ujjayi breath (ocean breathing) with mouths open, each of us looked into the quizzical face of our 7 year old selves as they looked back and asked, 'How are we doing? How are we doing as an adult?'
According to recent theory, the trend of taking "selfies" is actually linked to mental health conditions, with a focus on an individuals obsession with looks and image. Studies have revealed that the majority of teenagers who are image and body conscious, have a compulsion to repeatedly take and post selfies across social media sites.
If we are ever to have a hope of rebalancing the books, meeting the future costs of the NHS, and satisfying our pension liabilities we need to look beyond capitalism. It's served a fortunate few well, but it has failed the majority. It's time to bury it alongside socialism and look for a better successor to both.