Do I Even Have Privilege?

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It’s not easy being told that you’re privileged, especially when you don’t feel like you are. You might struggle mentally, financially, or somebody else is and you have to take care of them. Whatever it might be, life is tough more often than not. The term ‘privilege’ is becoming a derogatory term more and more, but it’s not a term that is there to scold people. Let’s talk about how your privilege can help you take better care of yourself and others.

Realizing you do have privileges is the first step to be happier

Especially at Uni and on Twitter, I’m hearing a lot about ‚white privilege‘, ‚male privilege‘ etc. But what does that even mean? And how can that help anybody with anything except feeling guilty for supposed privilege you don’t feel you have?

Here’s the thing: in our this modern context, privilege is about things you don’t have to worry about.

If you’re part of a certain ethnic group, you might have to worry about what kind of car you buy, so you won’t get pulled over all the time. If you’re male, you might not feel the stigma of wanting a career instead of children. If you’re gender is binary, you might not feel the same anxiety as a non-binary person or a woman might feel when leaving the house alone at night. Those are all parts of the privileges many of us enjoy int the sense that we don’T have to think about these things. You might agree or disagree about what such privileges look like in different contexts (and I’d be happy to read your comments).

What we can’t deny however, is that most of us enjoy a very different kind of privilege we can be thankful for every day.

tom-parsons-426898-unsplashWe have so many freedoms we take for granted. I’m very fortunate to have a family in which almost all members are healthy, able-bodied and working. I’ve never had to fear for or think much about money (until I moved out of my parents‘ house) and I was able to choose to go to uni and learn more about one of my greatest passions: literature. I will have no student loan debts because in Germany, university and college is basically for free. I didn’t have to choose between college and helping my family, either. But the relatively easy access to information (via internet or books) and opportunity is only part of the privilege we enjoy on a daily basis without thinking much about it.

Many of the people (and animals!) around the world have nowhere to live or sleep. They have to face questions most of us will never have to find an answer for: how am I going to feed my children? Will my house be there tomorrow morning? Who else will take care of my loved ones if something happens to me? Am I going to get my medication or are my family members going to eat?

On so many places on Earth, wars are waged as you read his.  There is hunger and droughts and suffering. I know that all us struggle sometimes. But throughout most of our lives, we’re relatively safe, and don’t have to worry about the bare necessities.

That is not to say that you problems and struggles aren’t as valid. 

It just means that we do have some privileges, or things we never have to worry about. More often than not, we’re forgetting about those small sweet spots we’re in. I’m writing this post not to pull you down with the burdens of the world. I’m writing it so that we can all take a minute and just appreciate in what kind of sweet spot we’re currently in without knowing it. Let’s not forget that life is hard, yes, but we’re blessed enough to have the time to actually think about these things.

Let's Chat

I want to hear from you! What happened to you this year that you are thankful for? What is something that you know you never have to think about that you’re thankful for?

 For me, among other things, it’s that I was able to realize how I wasn’t appreciating myself enough and now I can change that.

 

About Myths, Dragons and Magic

Bildergebnis für dragonsWhether it’s a giant snake in the sea or sky, whether it is greedy or compassionate, has wings or horns, we all know and love the mythical creatures called dragons. Especially in the fantasy genre are dragons an ever-present and welcome addition to every book if you ask me. But where do Dragons come from and what about the dragons of one of the most prominent book and TV series, A Game of Thrones?

Dragons have a long and prominent history in many great cultures around the world. “Dragon’s Blood” was a popular and expensive ailment in Europe and the Middle East many centuries ago and is to this day. “Dragon Bones” are part of traditional Chinese medicine. How is it possible that almost every child what a dragon is, when nobody has ever seen on in real life? As you will see, the first dragons appeared very early…

In ancient myths, there are all kinds of dragon-look alike that I want to share with you. Bildergebnis für beowulf dragonIn Norse mythology, Sigurd, the hero of many of the Völsunga Saga, slays a man, Fafnir,  who has turned into a four-legged, wingless dragon. Later, the dragon slayer baths in the dragon’s blood to become invulnerable. So here we have some notion that dragon parts can bring luck and strength and to an extension health, as well. In the Völsunga Saga we have only evil dragons, though. And also in Beowulf, dragons are merely an obstacle which the hero can overcome. By the way, that particular dragon was a great inspiration for one of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien.

quetzalcoatyl-1If you could ask the Maya about dragons, they probably wouldn’t know what you mean. After all, their dragon looked much different to those of the period in which Sigurd lived. Their deity Quetzalcoatl, which roughly translates into “feathered serpent” was a guide and friend of humans in contrast to the evil, wingless creature Sigurd had slain.  Quetzalcoatl is the wise god of love, fertility and life, though it seems it did have a particular taste for humans: some cultures sacrificed other humans to appease the god, even though Quetzalcoatl was part god and part human.

What we can see is that either as deity, man-turned-serpent, or just your regular, winged Bildergebnis für chinese fish dragonsnake, all dragon-ish started out with a snake, which is extremely interesting. Some suspect that people found dinosaur skeletons and that’s how their serpentine shape came into focus. Only in chinese folklore, we do find dragons that have the shape of a snake, but also of turtles or fish. A speculation on my part would be that this is because the chinese dragon does not only symbolize strength as Norse dragons did, but also the power to influence the fortune of humans and even typhoons, water and the weather in general. Bildergebnis für serpent adam and eve

In our Western society and in the bible, snakes and serpents are inherently deceitful creatures who do only ever wish evil to befall humans: it is a serpent after all, that convinces Eve to eat a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This action, according to the bible, basically doomed the humans to be forever excluded from the wonderful world the Christian god created for them. Naturally, the great serpent is not a friend of the humans and must therefore be slain in almost all of our great mythology and fantasy novels of our time. Other cultures acknowledge the power of dragons, but perceive them as not completely evil and diabolic, though we mostly forget that fact in our Western world.

Bildergebnis für the hobbit smaugI love Tolkien’s works – especially The Hobbit – with a fierce passion but I find it sad how much potential for good ( or a neutral stance for that matter) a dragon seems to have in his story. That of course is no surprise. However, it is, for me personally, an even greater reason to celebrate the fresh wind a certain somebody has brough in: G.R.R. Martin is Bildergebnis für dragons of khaleesione of my favorite authors for many reasons, not lastly because his dragons are so much more than a monster that needs to be destroyed. Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are not only born from the most dangerous and mysterious magic of all, they are Khaleesi’s companions, heaters, airplanes, military operators and teddy bears. Dragons have fought alongside and for humans in many wars, such as the Dance of Dragons, but have also brought great wonder into Westeros. Especially in the current time, where Winter is here and people despair and starve everywhere, kings fight and crops rot and burn on battlefields. It is this little piece of real magic that makes the people believe again that their own world is still magical and wonderous, even if most of them will never be in the presence of the last remaining magical creatures of their time.

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It is this wonderous, silently thrilling shred of magic that makes me love dragons, especially those of Daenerys Stormborn, so much. I hope you have enjoyed my little introduction and that you will read a few other articles of the other writers of Hallo-WE-en!

 

Klara

 

 

 

Parasyte: The Anime everybody should watch!

lmao i had to.

Hey guys! I know this is not a bookish theme at all but as some of you might know, I’m a big anime fan and I love to explore and watch new anime series whenever I can ( which is unfortunately never as much as I would like 😉 ).

Today I want to present you with an anime I watched very recently, or rather, I binge watched it because it was really entertaining and had all the right twists. Paraysite or Kiseijuu actually has a very cliché premise: Aliens come to the world and try to dominate human kind. However these, aliens are parasites that eat up people’s brains and  replace their humans in society. Still, when I first heard about it I was rather sceptical but I started it anyway because I wanted to try out something new and I was a little bored, too. 😀

Well, it turned out that my initial scepticism was uncalled for, as Parasyte developed into a fun adventurous and disturbing anime, full of action and amazing characters. We follow the story of Shinichi, I 18-year old who is stuck with a parasite who ate up his arm and is now part of his body. Shinichi calls him Migi (Japanese for ‘right side’) as he ate up Shinichi’s right hand.

Soon, our main character realizes that even though the aliens are quite intelligent, this is the only connection they have with humans. They are cannibals by nature, very aggressive and above all, void of any emotions. This is a mixture that leads Migi and Shinichi into many dangerous and mysterious situations as they try to find their place in life.

The anime is not only full of action and fun encounters but it is also quite serious in the sense that it also tries to answer the big questions all of us have. Why are we here? What is the reason we are alive and how are humans different to animals. Where do I stand within my society? It’s really amazing how this anime captured so many of these important questions but still having its light and care-free moments, a little romance and school life.

The thing I want to mention before I tell you all to start watching today is that I want to mention that this is no anime you should watch with your children! Not at all! There are many gory, detailed and bloody scenes and it is certainly not for young kids. There are some really disturbing scenes which I really liked but there is no way these scenes would not affect small children in an extremely negative way.

Start watching today!

 

Have you watched or read Parasyte? What did you think? Do you like anime at all?

Tell me your thoughts!

Characters I can’t let go

There are billions of books out there. Some of them, I have read. Others, I shunned. Still others, I wish I had in every possible edition. Some of those beloved books hold characters, I will probably never forget, no matter how much time passes. In this little post, I want to you to get to know some of them.

The order is no ranking.

Ähnliches FotoBilbo Baggings from the Shire. Is probably my all-time favourite character. I loved his struggles, his bravery, his snobbish attitude, his love for smoking weeds and cakes. He is a hero of many sorts and I would be lying if I’d say I haven’t dreamt of writing my Bachelor Thesis about him. He is so afraid and wants to go home and snuggle up to his coziest blanket and forget the evil and dangerous world outside the Shire but he keeps going, saving his friends, showing how cunning he truly is and staying true to himself and his (moral) standards. I just adore him ❤

I guess all of you know the book he is from but I’ll post a picture anyway 😉 FUNfact: J.R.R Tolkien painted this cover himself.

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Bildergebnis für samwell tarly I know that this might come a little unexpected, but I love Samwell Tarly with all my heart. Just like Bilbo ( I can’t help it, I know, I know ), or probably even more like Bilbo, Samwell struggles to find his place in a world that is alien to him. He says he is a craven but the old gods and the new know that he is a hero in his own right. He is brave, loyal and strong, even though he is a fat little fella who can’t carry his own weight around. Even though I am more a fan of the books than of the series, I just love the makers of Game of Thrones because they made Sam look just as I have always imagined him to be ❤

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Bildergebnis für Ronan and adamI want to mention Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish together because they belong to the same books. Ronan is somebody who is very.. socially awkward in a way that isn’t really obvious. He can’t express his feeling very well and some of his school mates even call him ‘soulless’ but that’s just the only way he knows how. He was different, at some point in his life before everything came crashing down and I just felt for him, his story, his life. I felt so connected to him that it physically hurt to read the books sometimes. Ronan is love, silent, dark and frail love ❤

Bildergebnis für raven boysI can say the same thing about a character I didn’t really like in the second book of the series. I don’t know why, but he annoyed me at that point. But later on, he turned out to be the spark that lit my heart on fire. I love this series and I love Adam and Ronan. Adam is a frail character in so many other ways than Ronan, but he struggles and struggles…. and he pulls through it all. He’s the one lesson everybody should keep in mind. It’s “Keep going and it’s going to be alright”. That’s the most important message of all I believe. Adam also represents a part of me that I never really acknowledge because I ignore it most of the time. There is a life-changing encounter he has with somebody ( no spoilers here ;)) that change him and I went through something very similar, so we’re basically stuck with the same problems. That was what really made me love Adam Parrish ❤

 


Bildergebnis für Rhysand Last but not least: Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court. This is probably the guy who doesn’t quite fit in the lot but I had to mention him here nonetheless. From the first book onward I just knew there was more to this guy than he let on but to what extend- I never truly knew untill I read he second part of the ACOTAR series. I don’t think it’s about him being sexy. It’s more about giving up everything for the people he loves, his people. He is the one who would never hesitate. Even though his might be an odd thing to say, I hated Tamlin from the start, so it really wasn’t hard for me that he did… what he did haha don’t want to spoiler anybody 😉

Rhysand s just funny, brave, loyal and independent, smart, what more would anybody want? ❤

Bildergebnis für ACOTAR cover


 

Secret Pleasures Every Bookish Fan Should Indulge In 

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Good evening, or good morning, wherever you are, I hope you had a wonderful day so far 😀 I have been thinking about this for a while now and have decided to share with you a secret that I have kept until now… And even worse yet, I want you to indulge in the same pleasurable secret as I.

But first, let me tell you a little story. Continue reading “Secret Pleasures Every Bookish Fan Should Indulge In “