People have often asked me why on earth I chose to study politics and philosophy, at university, to then: ‘only go work in a bar/fishmongers/volunteer for Mind, as a mentor/support worker, for the resettlement of people, who happen to have been put in prisons, in the name of ‘justice’. People who have had their lives destroyed, families broken apart, their mental and physical health pushed to the brink, criminalised under a political whim or agenda.
Patients, their families, Matrons and Doctors often ask me why and what. Quizzical; ‘So why did you study Politics and Philosophy at Uni if you only wanted to become a Support Worker or go into Nursing?’…
The there applies the very same question to my active pursuit and love for gardening, and ‘digging for victory’, as I so regularly like to remind! Yes, retrospectively, it would have been perhaps more useful to have studied something like Horticulture, Environmental Planning, Biology etc.
But aged 17, when applying to university, as encouraged and made more or less mandatory through college, you only go forth with what you know at the time. In this respect, the ‘immaturity’ which some might characterize as being an impacting variable, in the academic endeavours and future musings of the youth, who submit their personal statements unto UCAS, somewhat blindly, can actually prove very valuable. When one has not yet been subjected to ‘the university of Life’,which so many proclaim to champion the credentials of any other qualification, one has only instinct. Instinct is surprisingly wise.
Still relatively unhindered by the bearings and the set backs, of the apparent ‘real world’, when you’re young, you are still in many respects, free to choose. Freelancer of your own destiny, of course you have much to learn, before you can ever truly know what you want to become of your own story. But this is the beauty of it.
I chose Politics and Philosophy, because I wanted to understand why ‘man is by nature, a political animal’ (as reckoned Aristotle). I wanted to understand the ambiguous impulses which drives human thought, Psychology, the repetition of a need for politics and governance, within the unchanging social nature of humanity. I also wanted to know where on Earth (if indeed, on Earth at all) counsciousness, and ‘knowledge’ for humans was rooted.
Ultimately, I was planning ahead. Naive and underqualified as I was, as anyone ever is, I felt deep down that if I ever wanted to help change the world for the better, (save the planet and all that jazz) I needed to know at least something, about the mechanisms behind the shaping of history, the present, and the unwritten future.
If I ever do decide to go into politics, to stand for election as an MP, I need to know who and what i’m representing, and why it’s important. Why there is something to ‘give a shit’ about, to heckle and/or to holler for, be that as a member of the public, politician, cabinet minister, singer/songwriter, teacher, advocate.
Understand, that I have vowed personally, to serve as a dissident to the nonsensical ‘Michael Gove’ type politicians, who have bestowed upon them by party leaders, the tremendous undertaking of serving the country as ‘Minister for Education’ (or Minister for Health, Defence, Culture, etc), with no experience or qualification whatsoever in the art of teaching, education, or indeed in any profession other than their own, often narrow and carefully arranged by the minute elite.
To that kind of unworkable methodology, I cannot and will not abide. I choose to fill my life with experiences, knowledge pursuits and ingredients which will equip me to truly make a difference to the people and the causes I care about.
That is why I contravene against the expected, in terms of the academic skills I am equipped with, and what I choose to dedicate my efforts to, meanwhile in the ‘real world’.
Ta very much…