Follow by Email

Friday, 17 June 2016

Miniscule Problems From Afar

When you realise the vastness and the beauty of this world, it makes your problems seem minute. What's wrong is fully encompassed by what is right. The good outweighs the bad.

Sometimes situations prove tough and will test you. But, in this test, this is the universe checking in to see if your lessons have paid off.

Happiness engulfs the sadness, but only when you let it. Only when you can stand back and see life for what it is: an opportunity to grow and learn. It is better to live a trialed life than to live an easy one. For only through trials can you learn and grow.

As I write this piece,  I'm in transit from Hamburg to Berlin and so, I'd also like to share a little about my travels as I go along. Germany has been the cleanest looking country that I've visited thus far. Take this literally,  there is no rubbish on the streets. The people are harsh and blunt but have good inner minds. I have met people from all walks of life and from many different countries. I guess that this is one of the best parts of travelling: getting into conversations that you would never have imagined with people you never thought you would meet.

Germany, whilst extremely industrious and rich in culture, there are many people living here from all different corners of the globe, does have its problems.

As I peered at the billboards on my treks throughout the city, I saw advertisements for cigarettes. This is something completely unheard of in the UK. Indeed, you can actually purchase cigarettes from vending machines without the use of I.D.! When visiting nightclubs, a large majority support smoking indoors, a practise made illegal in the UK even before I became of age to drink. For this, I'm thankful for our regulation. I like that in a paternalistic sense, our government seeks to improve the health of the nation.

Furthermore, whilst visiting surrounding bars and wandering through the city at night, one was approached by countless men promoting a seemingly countless number of 'strip clubs' within the city. My viewpoint is that if they exist, there must be demand for them in the surrounding area. Basic economics says that in a free market, markets are made by demander and suppliers.  Fair enough for this city. Although, I also believe that this existence is evidence of a patriarchal society in which mysogyny is ripe. It feels sleazy just walking past these establishments.

One last point I would like to talk about is alcohol. Yes, we all drink it, but have you ever bought a 500ml (1 pint equivalent) of 5% beer for 0.30€? Visit a local supermarket here and you can. Now everyone would have mixed feelings about this: yes it's great that things are cheaper, but thinking about society: this is a demerit good. When people can legally drinking 30 cent pints of strong beer as they walk the streets,  this causes a wider societal problem. I would see this as another reason for alcohol regulation.

That being said, there are some great initiatives by the local governance here. For example, if you do buy a recyclable product, such as a bottle of water; you can then bring the bottle back to a local drop off point and you get paid to recycle it. As we face an international climate crisis, I feel that this is a great initiative, leading, at least this locality, in the right direction.

Now I know that this post was quite long, but I had a lot to talk about! I basically just wanted to cover what I had been thinking about intellectually, along with what I saw in this city.

Thanks for reading. Until next time....

Stefan Devlin

No comments:

Post a Comment