Tuesday’s Thought For The Day: Have I turned into Mary Whitehouse?

Tuesday’s Thought For The Day: Have I turned into Mary Whitehouse?
Is the extreme discomfort we’re feeling a good thing?

More than ever, we really never know what the next moment will bring do we?

We’re living in a World which is experiencing massive change and naturally we feel discomforted. Particularly here in the Western World, we’re increasingly seeing the impact of living in a hedonistic society, where some people live selfish lives, based on seeking pleasure, sometimes at the expense of others, our environment and often at our own expense too.

I’ve learned from personal experience that the times I’ve felt the most discomfort in my life, are the times when I look back and see that the discomfort was necessary, because it drove me on to learn new things. In most cases, the experience turned out for the best in the wider picture of my life.

I wonder therefore, if the discomfort many people are now feeling, is what society needs to experience, in order to force us to make changes, which in the wider picture of the societies we live in, will drive change, learning and improvement.

I’m hoping that there’s going to be a shift for the better and that people draw together, to support each other through the changes we’re all experiencing.

There are some amazing changes which are benefitting the societies in which we live but as in all things, there are positive and negative aspects to some of the things we now have in our lives. I’ve been a hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years and in the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a distinct change and an increase in the level of stress that younger people are presenting with. I’ve witnessed first hand the impact the pressures of living how we do, in our Western Society is having on the mental wellbeing of many people.

As a parent and grandparent, I can see the increasing pressure on relationships, family and society as a result of the open and wide access to drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, violent images and the need to conform to the perfect images that bombard us in the media and across the internet..

  • I wrote last year about my concern, about the impact of the internet, on how we form relationships. I gave an example of the ‘Tinder sex’ phenomenon which is having an impact on relationships and our individual self esteem in my post: Is Free No Ties Sex On Offer ‘On Line’ really an advancement in our Society?
  • I also wrote a poem highlighting the growing use of botox and I see more and more pressure on younger people who as young as 18 feel the need to ‘fill’ every line, mainly as a result of the ‘media’ hype around having the perfect face and body’.. Let the world see the real you! 
  • I see the media promoting hedonistic behaviour, with articles like the one I read in Cosmopolitan Magazine recently, which highlighted the growing use of  ‘Sauna Clubs’ as a way of women and men satisfying their sexual needs and preferences, without the need to form a relationship. The author of the article described in fairly graphic terms, how she had found the experience herself, when she visited a sauna as part of her research.
  • My heart sinks when I hear my granddaughters and young nieces singing the lyrics of pop songs. They’re so young they don’t understand the lyrics and it’s virtually impossible to avoid, because the music is widely accessible across mainstream TV, Radio and the Internet and is full of bad language and explicit sexual references.
For those of you who are old enough to remember Mary Whitehouse, I think I’m turning into her.

If you haven’t heard of Mary Whitehouse, she was a politician, with a strong voice here in the UK in the 1970’s and 80’s as I was growing up. She was an English social activist who was well known for her opposition to the mainstream British media. She was often laughed at and criticised for her conservative beliefs and yet she continued her often lone voice, to fight for censorship of swearing, sexual music lyrics etc. in the media.

“(television) may teach self-interest rather than philanthropy, violence rather than gentleness, a disregard for human dignity rather than a respect for it. It may not always teach the truth, but teach it does, and it is more than time that responsible people, both within and outside the broadcasting professions said boldly, what is so obvious in commonsense terms — we cannot understand what is happening in international, cultural, economic, political and social affairs, without coming to grips with the way in which television influences virtually all our behavioural and thought processes. ”   

Quote: Mary Whitehouse

Goodness knows what Mary would think of the wide access to pornography and violence on the Internet today!

In the 21st Century we now accept as the norm, the display of graphic sexual and violent images across all forms of media and whilst I laughed at some of Mary Whitehouse’s views myself as a teenager, when she was fighting for censorship of some of my favourite records, I look back now with a different view.

I can see that although I don’t agree with everything Mary Whitehouse said, there was a lot of truth in many of her philosophies.

She asked us to consider what the media is teaching us… and particularly our children.

I look around at what we now accept as normal and I can’t help but wonder, if society may have been a better place today, if we had paid heed to some of her warnings, instead of laughing at her.

It’s been reported that there’s growing concern about the increased incidence of stress and suicide rates amongst our younger generations, possibly linked in some cases to the increased pressure children are exposed to, through social media, the internet, TV and Peer Pressure etc..

So – maybe the discomfort that many of us have experienced recently, is what we need, to force us to look at how we’re living, as individuals and within society.

We witness views from people like Donald Trump that many of us don’t necessarily like or agree with, but these things got us talking in a way that we haven’t seen for many years.

Maybe we needed to hear the extreme views, so that we can work together to develop a vision of how we want our societies to be instead.

Yes, the internet has it’s seedy side, but it also offers an amazing opportunity for us to each get our voices heard across the World in a way that was never possible previously.

I’ve been alerted to issues I would never have known about had it not been for reading the blog posts of some amazing bloggers like Victoria who alerted me to the issue of ‘Standing Rock’… https://victorialise.com/2016/12/07/the-struggle-continues/

As individuals, we all have the capacity to contribute to a change in the World by sharing our vision of what we want our shared World to look like and to say what we do and don’t want our children to be exposed to through the Media and TV.

What do we want to be teaching our children through these mediums?

What may seem to be on the periphery of our lives now, could become the mainsream norm, in just a few years, if we don’t stand up and start speaking out for what we want society to look like, for our future generations.

I’m not a prude, I simply see the effects of the pressures many people are now dealing with, as a result partly of the images we are bombarded with and which many younger people now see as normal.

In many cases, the initial high experienced from taking drugs and alcohol or having relationshipless sex or botox fillers, false boobs and bums, is short term. People are becoming addicted to perfection, businesses are placing ridiculous pressure on people to increase production. People having to work harder and harder are turning increasingly to Class A drugs, to be able to survive their days.

More and more, I’m seeing clients who are at breaking point as a result of their addictions and insecurities. Sadly, as a hypnotherapist, I see the impact this has, when people hit their rock bottom and are suffering significant unhappiness and stress related conditions.

It’s also very rewarding to help people review their lives and begin to learn new ways of thinking, so that they’re inspired to develop a new vision for how they want live.

How can we spread this beyond individuals and into society. We need to look at some of the fundamental aspects of society and take some brave decisions to make the changes that would improve how society works.

We need to ask ourselves some important questions:

  1. Would legalising drugs, remove some of the devastating crime we’re experiencing and help put some control into the content of the drugs, which at the moment is completely out of control.
  2. How can we control some of the horrific images that are available across the internet, without giving up our freedom of speech?
  3. How can we put pressure on the media to stop normalising foul language and images that have become the norm within the music industry?
  4. How can we start teaching our children the things that really matter?
    • How to manage finances
    • How to form good relationships
    • How to cook and eat healthily,
    • etc.

Is it really more important to learn pythagoras theorem? I’ve certainly never had to use that since I left school!

I hope in future more schools will incorporate such ‘life lessons’ within their curriculums,as I believe this could have a profound impact on society, by giving children the confidence, skills and tools in their life toolkit, that they can use successfully throughout their lives.

I see that some schools are now teaching mindfulness to their pupils, which is brilliant and this may help to reduce the level of stress that many children are experiencing.

Maybe we bloggers have an opportunity to really start to make a difference. We share amazing connections across the World and hopefully, we can share our thoughts and experiences and continue to highlight some of the issues that we think are having a detrimental impact on Society.

Let’s all become the Mary Whitehouse of our small World and try to counter some of the negative impact of the images we’re being bombarded with every day in the media. Let’s not just accept things we don’t agree with as normal.

Let’s jump off the Hamsters Wheel and started thinking about how we want to live our lives, to reduce stress, accept who we are (wrinkles and all) and find our ‘highs’ in different ways, that don’t involve drugs, alcohol and ‘no ties sex’, which can all have devastating impact on our lives.

We need to develop an almighty sized Vision Board that contains our dreams for society and how we’d like to live our lives. Who knows – it may just set off a ripple of change in a positive direction!

We can hope and dream.. it doesn’t cost a penny and if we each take just a small action to spread some magic in our immediate environment, who knows what impact that may just have in the longer term.

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. September 27, 2017 / 8:22 am

    So much of this rang true Wendy. This is such an important, well written and empowering post Wendy that highlights some really important issues in our world and society today. And you’re right, we as bloggers have a chance to influence the world in such a positive way. Thanks for leading by example. An inspired post my friend. xo

    • Wendy
      September 27, 2017 / 8:50 am

      Well thank you Miri and hopefully the ‘law of accumulation’ will work and we can all begin to join forces with our positivity one step and one blog at a time! xx

      • September 27, 2017 / 9:18 am

        Oh absolutely, I truly believe we can. xo

        • Wendy
          September 27, 2017 / 11:08 am

          Teamwork! We count. xx

  2. September 26, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Truth as it may be–maybe things have to get worse before they get better–is exactly what I told my daughter after certain events here in the US. Many of us are scared and very afraid of what may come, and at the same time some are afraid to speak up; we have road rage like I’ve never seen before, and in my own neighborhood, there have been random shootings in the middle of the night. I don’t live in the city, I live in the country. No one has been caught. The fifth shooting was just yesterday. Yes, your words ring true; I am very uncomfortable. My anxiety when driving is at an all time high. But…I have not lost hope. I know we can do better.

    Look what happened recently when we experienced a rare, natural event (the eclipse). We came together. We were one. Politics were set aside and we as a country celebrated the utter beauty of it all, TOGETHER. I had six young people and a baby I ‘d never met join me right outside my front door to watch. It was fabulous.

    I think the universe/God/karma…call it what you will, planned the whole thing. Consider that it swept across the country, one side to the other as if to say, “Wake up!” and “We are one!” and “Look what we can do together!”

    There have been earthquakes, floods in the wake of hurricanes, all amidst more political unrest yet I see folks coming together to help each other. People are basically good; I will always believe that. So when you say one small gesture may brighten someone’s world, I agree. Maybe that is all we can do; maybe that is all someone else needs.

    • Wendy
      September 26, 2017 / 7:30 pm

      I completely sympathise Karen – There are some horrible signs and yet amongst it all are those wonderful signs where we see the beautiful side of humanity. That happened here in Manchester after the Manchester bomb – people really pulling together, which is so heartening. I’m sure the negativity is generated by a minority and the more of us who stand up and stand together, I’m sure would set off a much better ripple across the world. How lovely that you and your neighbours were able to share those magical moments of the eclipse together and I love the thought that it was a sign to wake us all up – I think you’re right! xx

      • September 26, 2017 / 7:41 pm

        Let the ripples begin……<3

        • Wendy
          September 26, 2017 / 8:02 pm

          They’re spreading out from both sides of the water – thank you!! xx

          • September 26, 2017 / 8:03 pm

            <3 (I did get your message of a few weeks ago and I did send you a response….and now wonder if it was received?) Hugs. <3

          • Wendy
            September 26, 2017 / 10:28 pm

            Oh gosh – no Karen I’ve not seen anything come through – was it by email or on the blog?

          • September 26, 2017 / 10:44 pm

            I can’t recall…how’s that for a senior moment? LOL. Anyway, I’m reading, just not commenting on everything (behind more than I care to admit). Your post today rang true (as they all do). How’s everything else? As for me, I’m heavily into family research and will be posting about that, soon, I hope.

          • Wendy
            September 27, 2017 / 6:00 am

            Me too Karen – I’m really struggling to keep up with reading at the moment so I know how it is! I took redundancy earlier this year and have just set up my own Life and Business Inspiration Consultancy. I’ve got a contract working part time doing some audit work and I do my hypnotherapy as well. The weeks fly by and I’m enjoying life much more than when I was working for somebody else. I look forward to hearing all about your family research – it’s fascinating isn’t it – I did some work a few years ago on our family tree and my goodness, it was engrossing! xx

          • September 28, 2017 / 8:42 pm

            So glad to hear your business has been launched! Congratulations! I think sometimes we are happier when we work for ourselves and therefore have a bit of say in the outcomes we wish for others and ourselves. Great for you!! Yes, family research is totally engrossing…and it’s where I’ve been all these months. I am completely overwhelmed now…so many photos, letters, documents…trying to fashion it all into something for my children. That has been my aim all along. I’m trying to bring to life all the characters in the play–not just that Orah Smith was their great, great grandma, but what she planted in her garden, what she liked to read, how she spent Saturdays–and hope I do them justice so my children will learn about and from whom they came. So, the hunt goes on. I’m happy for you; carry on sweet friend! <3

          • Wendy
            September 28, 2017 / 10:54 pm

            Oh thanks so much Karen I really appreciate your encouragement and support!! I’m definitely happier being in control of my own destiny…
            It sounds like you’re doing brilliantly with your research and what an amazing piece of family history for you to bring to life. Fantastic! Enjoy your journey of discovery… xx

          • September 28, 2017 / 11:03 pm

            Thank you! Hugs from across the miles. <3

          • Wendy
            September 29, 2017 / 11:01 am

            Thanks Karen- received with love x

          • September 29, 2017 / 11:35 pm

            <3

  3. September 26, 2017 / 8:33 am

    I remember Mary Whitehouse too and I think she would be so shocked at so many of the negative changes in society. I think the world really needs Huge shift right now and I do believe it is happening. The negative sides and the positive are both in tge world stage. I see a big opening of peoples hearts that Diana would be proud of. X

    • Wendy
      September 26, 2017 / 8:36 am

      Yes – the Ying and Yang of life – I really hope we can push through the negative polarisation toward increased positivity. I think you’re right – people’s eyes are opening.. xx

        • Wendy
          September 26, 2017 / 1:13 pm

          Yes – me too Brigid! xx

  4. September 26, 2017 / 7:12 am

    First I must say that your title made me spit my coffee with laughter …. of course I remember Mary and of course I remember thinking she was a prude so the thought of you being Mary was too much. BUT when I read the quote, I thought ‘I am become Mary too’ …. what wisdom and sadly all her predictions and warnings have come true except that they are turbo-charged. Hedonistic is exactly the right word and it is time for us to reign in society. The internet is s a wonderful tool but the dark underbelly it has unleashed needs to be checked. TV does have a responsibility not to normalise empty sexual relationships, foul language and over indulgence. It is not enough to have a watershed, programme makers need to be far more responsible. Parents need to take responsibility for their own children and not expect schools and iPads to do the educating. And we all need to delight in what we have around us. Even living in a city there are trees, birds, flowers, there is life – there are lessons in the homeless on the streets, there are lessons away from the glittering shop windows. Our children need to be equipped to cope with what we hope will be a long long life. They need to understand how to balance their pennies, they need to understand that overindulging is not cool and that taking drugs is a ticket to being that homeless man they see huddled in his blankets. I will shut up now but you can see you have turned on the tap and that is because this is such a wonderful piece. I would like to share it on FaceBook, if you wouldn’t mind. My friend base there will, I think really appreciate it xx

    • Wendy
      September 26, 2017 / 7:23 am

      Well although I’m sorry for making you spit out your morning cuppa Osyth, I’m delighted I’m not a lonely Mary and that someone else will be stood next to me when others start to mock my ‘prudishness’. I’d be very glad for you to share it on Facebook Osyth – thank you! You’re absolutely right, there is definitely more to life than the glittering windows pulling us into increasing debt and for me going back to simplicity when we go camping, gives me that opportunity to remember to appreciate all the beautiful things that we often rush passed. Sadly on the streets here in Manchester, we are increasingly seeing the impact of drugs on a daily basis. Yes, it’s time for the Mary’s of the world to stand up and speak our minds.. It probably comes with the territory of getting to grandparent age – I remember laughing at my granddads predictions too! Thanks for the share and for taking time to read and shout it to the world! xx

      • September 26, 2017 / 5:08 pm

        Let the Mary’s of the world stand up and holla …. I think it is due time if not overdue 🙂 xx

        • Wendy
          September 26, 2017 / 5:29 pm

          Most definitely – Mary’s unite! xx

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