We evaluate each other for how we speak. What do you say of that person over there, what do you say of yourself and what is the world like in your speech. What kind of content you produce, what kinds of pauses there are, phrases, language, style, what kind of text is produced and is thought through, what comes out when we speak, in what kind of voice. What does a voice do: it scares, threatens, is too silent or has found the perfect balance. Voice has to be firm and loud enough. It has to reassure the listener, but not too much noise please. Too much is a threat and tone of voice in which we speak has a meaning. Sometimes one has suppressed one’s voice that shouting may be the only way to express and make a sound, which has made me wonder the sensitiveness of how we must police our levels of voice. It is curious that to find a voice one can find it by raising one’s voice, by shouting. It scares people, so do it alone or in a group who understand your quest of finding a voice. The evaluation happens instantly and our conceptions of the speaker influence a great deal, what we expect of hearing, what do we think the speaker means and what do we think of the speaker. How open can we be towards someone else’s message and what does openness mean, is it that we agree to listen. Reactions are the ones we are hoping to get. We are open to listen, make note and respect or just pass? In how many ways can the spoken be understood is the same as how many ways can the nonverbal be understood? What are the things that interest us in a speaker, why is she or he appealing to us and what are the things we pay attention to in anyone? It is safer to blend in, go with flow, try not to irritate. To disagree can be daring nowadays. We must have a personal interest of some kind and we like to think the personal is correct, true and something to guard.
I have always been pointed out that I don’t speak enough which has clearly been a flaw. As a child I barely spoke at all. In terms of speaking, it is interesting to use myself as an example. Pretty girl does not speak, she just looks pretty. That can be a task that is enough. When women and girls speak out their minds, it may come as a shock. Since now I speak whatever I feel best, I also like to provoke and enjoy havoc caused, but it does not mean I would not mean what I say, I just speak my mind without censoring myself. If people’s ways of thinking get disturbed, I am thrilled to see what happens. Silence is a place of an observer, but it also is accepting one’s place and the place is not defined only by you, but you yourself remain evaluated nevertheless. Silence is a place of hiding, of suspicion, that there is something wrong with that person or there is nothing to say. Silence can be taken in many ways, what it means, so why not ask rather than make up something coloured and biased. Silence is appreciated in Finland and it is a weird mix of inability to talk and enjoying silence, not being bothered by it, but still many are. I can be very silent which for many strikes as scary and odd. Talking is the way for us to express ourselves, self-evidently, just like that, bluntly or very considerately. It is a matter of credibility, fun, entertainment, socialising and status, often that clearly is not speaking like it mattered, but as if there are compulsive reasons to produce speech to avoid feelings of emptiness, loneliness and feeling of being left out, for example.. It is not enough that you speak, you have to speak of right, accepted issues in a right accepted way, which when problematic is avoided, can begin to feel like a straitjacket and going round in circles. Why do I have to follow this system and rules of speech and why fear is something one feels.
In a crowd of only men, it is weird to speak as the only woman. You stick out. In a crowd of working class (or not-so-much-educated people), one with education sticks out. It is even worse when you are a woman. What kind of issues concern me, what can I say in the end? Well I avoid the personal and like to concentrate on social and political issues, art and what else is there than the self..Female voice is an interesting one, what comes out of that mouth, what is it worth and what does it tell of a person. Blame there is is an interesting issue to take under microscope, as it exist in a way of a power tool. People like to invent things, analyse, read the person, often wrong. The person who does not take part in conventional manner, disagrees strongly or stays an outsider must be labelled. It is a place of constantly fighting against bias and wrong information. You have not tried enough to claim your place which place is claimed by claiming respect and there are rules. How do we get respect, what do we have to do and what do we have to be like to be worthy? How much respect is worth having in a lookalike world that seeks to be liked? It has always been a wonder to me as respect falls on others and escapes some of us. It is about system of values and changing that system of thinking.
When young, I found it so that my speech was meaningless, because of my age and because of my gender. I didn’t have a voice, I was invisible, but I existed, which is a place for artistry to come out. I found value in being a freak and a language I could speak. Those who do not speak, are stupid is the very often felt judgment, which is weird in a country that values silence. Today in cacophony of talk, those who are silent, seem to be a blessing. Everyone has an opinion and has to voice it. It is a very straightforward method which we call social. Again those who make the most noise are the most noticed and listened to people. My way of staying outside feels natural to me, although it is odd for most people. I have not participated in the ways people usually participate and engage, still I don’t think of myself as anti-social, quite the contrary. Silence is serious and not so much fun…Your fun is not mine either.
In human relations one’s space has to be taken, it is not given. When one is not interested in spaces that exists to be social, one should still try and engage, it sounds like a problem and an effort. Now that I don’t hesitate to speak, I speak of wrong issues and have wrong kind of opinions. Human relations and codes of communication are somewhat interesting, difficult to master, especially jumping to conclusion strikes me. It is so easy, so please try to avoid, if you can. You have to know human way of thinking to use communication skills correctly, that is social, but it is also manipulation. It is about psychology and authenticity, or ability to look like authentic and reliable. It is about learning ways of communicating, the correct ways, knowing how people think and what are one’s own goals, because there are always personal gains. I laugh too loudly, it is a flaw. I shout out when everybody else is quiet, it is weird. I think I like myself. lmfao
Beggars are an everyday sight in bigger cities. Feelings towards beggars are negative which I can understand as there is no pride left when you beg. You are on the street and are very vulnerable. Poverty is seen a fault of your own, not a virtue. It is a stench and a shame to not have money. Opinions range from disgust to pity. As an artist I can relate to this. A poor artist is a bad artist, which thought has as much sense as the art scene in general. But still I am rich. I look rich because I have my teeth left and my clothes are new and I have a home. I can relate as I do not come from money and I make art at shoestring budget. There is creativity in being poor and I can afford to think this way. Having no money makes you innovative. I do not consider wealth a measure of man and I do think we should start consuming less. To learn to think having less a virtue is what I’m hoping to see. Biggest wealth is what a nation can do to its citizens and help them think that there are options for them to try out, that they are not destined to be beggars or what someone else tells them to be. Our destiny is not set by other people and where we come from.
Merciful and allowing kindness, non judgmental attitudes towards beggars resonate with our overflowing concern over the third world countries. Their state is what we feel guilty for, it is our doing in part, but how long should this guilt go on? How responsible are Finns for example for what happens in the world now? Our consuming of goods and lifestyle is a constant threat which includes facts about slavery and child labor, how much do we contribute to and how well can we be aware of exploitation? To be able to get ahead in life is not luxury it is a human right, to evolve on your own. Not be the child to be abused but taken care of, our responsibility is grave and dark. Of course we must be concerned, but what kind of help is the best kind? Do we support corruption and oppressive traditions when we give monetary help? For those who are oppressed and poor begging must be allowed, but it cannot be a without an end kind of method of earning. How much mercy there is and what does it mean when you give money? Are you doing something good for that other person or for yourself, you save yourself and the other perhaps? In Finland there were not many if at all beggars on the streets ten years ago, living without a permanent home in the cold on the mercy of others is a short life to which in Scandinavia some party will intervene. To intervene to destructive ways of living is one aspect of welfare state. Abandonment can happen by families but not by state. The Roma people are tightly dependent on their family structures and hierarchy there which cannot be questioned as harmful. Beggars beg for reasons we can guess what goes behind there is a matter of knowing and suspicious, a well grounded question. Begging is especially cruel for children for which I am most concerned about. The most important duty of any nation is to provide a basic education for its children and get them out from the streets. This child labor, abuse and a human rights violation is very acute all over the world. Despite all the natural and other riches nations may have child poverty is on the rise and they are the ones who suffer most. I do not have any empathy for people who put their kids on the streets to work may the work be prostitution, begging, playing music, washing car windows etc. Child labor is one of our major problems still even though there is clear evidence that educating all children is the benefit of all society. To give education is the safest bet and an investment for the future. People who have been working on the street since childhood probably will continue to do so in adulthood.
Poverty is a though one to escape and to change destitute life is unbearably hard but not impossible. To think it is impossible is to think fight is only for survival and that options are for the rich. In Finland punks beg money for beer in the summer and I can laugh about it. The Roma people come here to beg throughout the year which gets very cold and is not a healthy way to make a living. When families with children occupy the streets at the centre of the city, the busy corners reflect ways of life and how distant people’s lives can be from each other as distant as understanding of life and its purpose are. One wonders is this really how the Roma want to live, shouldn’t their kids be at school, and there comes someone telling me they have no option. So I conclude they are refugees. Why do they not see themselves as refugees? To criticise their way of living is for them cruel and unjust because they escape from oppression, this a repetition and the story, but it is vital for their survival, is always the answer, the same unchangeable. What else could they do and it is easy for me to say what I think. You beg money from me I can have an opinion. They do not think and see other options for themselves and their kids as they are a different class as the Roma of Finland seem to think of themselves as well, a race, a tribe. They see it difficult to live as the majority of people do and mutual respect is scarce. The best help sometimes is the understanding of facts and rules, admit that the world changes around, but you do not. What are you going to do about it?
It’s true to my mind to give money for them is supporting oppression Roma themselves are guilty of, a culture that forces its members to live in a certain way. Handout is giving ground for begging. Begging is about serious destitution, a culture where humans live without tomorrow and as it is allowed to happen is as such difficult to approve of. People are free to beg and continue to beg but not change their predicament in any way, there is something wrong with that and I can say it. The Roma clearly do not think or do not find any other way to make a living. Destitution shrinks one’s thinking and views on oneself. Among the Roma there is a thought that their lifestyle is sacred and they involve religion to begging which there is no business others to intervene or judge, people must help those in desperate need if they are true Christians. Forcing is not a Christian thing to do as is not stealing, lying and being incapable of helping oneself. To force someone to beg is slavery. Those who do not contribute and show compassion are cold-hearted and cruel, the Roma say. Education, evolution and change demand a certain degree of cruelty and pain. Those who stubbornly want to stay the same blame other people for their situation. Such denial is common anywhere. Feminists are blamed for making men feel inadequate and destroying families. If you are so useless what is the use of you? What people should learn is to help themselves not depend on other people to make them happy and give money. That is the way to go. This idea of making a living doing what they have always been doing is very telling of how stuck people are in their old ways of living without education. People who are oppressed in their own countries can apply for asylum. Surely options seem few under oppression, but they are few partly because there is not a seed of hope or thought for anything else. Thinking destiny is set because of your sex, origin, colour, religion etc. is yesterday’s doctrine that must not be obeyed today by anyone.
Denmark already has a very strict law against begging which is seen as fascist by many. Beggars who go to jail may have a chance for change. To my mind tradition of begging which continues from generation to generation is fascist. It is forcing a whole of community under one truth and one kind of way of living where women and children must obey and do what they are told. The Roma people are oppressed and rejected and begging is not helping their case, nor is living in vans or stealing from shops. As shocked as I was when they entered Finland a couple of years ago, the shock may be due to me having enjoyed the welfare state and possibilities it has offered. To remind you state providing its citizens is the best way for poor people to get ahead in life, such as myself, I have never had money to call myself rich. I do not get used to the idea there are people who base their whole existence being beggars. Roma people who usually beg in Finland ground the whole of their identity via this act of asking for daily income from people who pass them by. Communities that stay the same are doomed. Resistance is the only way. It has been the way for the poor to change the world and themselves.
Hypocrisy is a phenomenon where people act better than they are. When they want to show their very best intentions even though those intentions do not reach anything other than gaining benefit for themselves. When to act is necessary only when you are in danger, you act to mend your image, retaliate, when you hold a child and make war. To make destruction appears to be a thing people do very effortlessly. Consequences remain with us, far-reaching. To throw away garbage is not just an act of cleaning up. Our casual way of producing gigantic amount of waste and mess seems endlessly woven into our way to live winning without care in the world, until we find the mountain at our door step. It must be karma.