Category Archives: My Wisdom

Was The Sunday Movie on TV, Where I Discovered My Empathy?

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I recall that when I was a kid, that a great part of the empathy within me was moulded by the movies I would see on tv, usually on a Sunday afternoon.

Do you remember when you were a kid growing up in the 70’s & 80’s
the kind of movies that were played?

Some were ‘epic’ which had more to do with the scale of the production rather than necessarily the story, acting or script. And then there were the ‘disney’ style movies. Animals, animation and family. There were the ‘war’ movies and all the ‘cowboy’ films. I remember copious swash-buckling films as well.

These movies taught me some seriously important social lessons 1) the abundant and terrifying lack of humanity in our species + the cruelty and barbarism that we are capable of, 2) and these movies, these powerful conveyors of emotions, also showed me the ideals of hope and redemption and resilience . . . .

  • The Ten CommandmentsPollyanna
  • Joan of Arc
  • National Velvet
  • The Great Escape
  • Ben Hur
  • A Town Like Alice
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Cleopatra
  • Storm Boy
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • The Ghost & Mrs Muir
  • Lawrence of ArabiaThe Bible
  • Lassie
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Heidi
  • Gone With The Wind
  • Harvey
  • The Sentimental Bloke
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Bible
  • My Brilliant Career
  • Pollyanna
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Mrs Miniver

I will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER forget a scene from one of the above movies where Christians were being fed to lions in a colosseum-like structure, purely for the entertainment of the local populace. There were numerous close-ups and one I cannot erase from my mind. A grandfather holding his small granddaughter in his arms telling her not to be frightened as they were going to heaven now. Reassuring her not to be caught up in the insanity and inhumanity of the moment, but to forgive their captures and hold hope for something more wonderful in their future.

I am well aware of the futility of this sentiment, but the greater love that is obvious from Grandfather to Granddaughter and his choice to show compassion towards his Granddaughter instead of fear or hate towards his situation, is what has stayed with me all this time.

My heart shattered in this scene, and I was all of fourteen. I cried and cried for hours and demanded to know from my mother how this barbarism could have occurred and how the crowd could be entertained by this insanity?

She explained it was persecution of (our) religion and history.
I vowed never to be a party to such cruelty and to never allow others to easily participate in it either.

And I wonder now, if this last generation of kids has somehow missed out on something by not being exposed to these movies. A REALLY important element of life. As these movies don’t exist on the tv anymore. Streaming tv online, including binging on an entire tv series in one sitting, and online porn. Cheap dvd’s and sharing movies via ‘the cloud’.

Bring bored on a Sunday afternoon or being rained in at the end of the weekend, meant sitting in front of the idiot box and just flopping out. And although it is NOT a loss to encourage this lack of movement or activity, my concern is that young people aren’t being given the sensory (sight, sound and emotion) stimulus of being lost in a story SO much bigger than their own existence.

They don’t have to select the movie, download it, insert it or even move during it. Just sit and watch. And I genuinely wonder . . . . .

. . . have they lost the opportunity to be gently exposed to the element of compassion?

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NB
If anyone was curious . . . .

. . . . . I have been unable to blog
for months as my Clinical Depression
became all-encompassing.

I had to stop the ‘noise’.

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What Treachery Is In Our Hearts?

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I am not proud of the woman I am.

I am not proud of how I think, or act or feel.

I have attempted my whole life to be an educated and enlightened person. Reading, watching, researching, learning and mostly listening. I try with deliberate intention to be a better person.

However, I still wallow in too much self-pity and remorse.

I am not grateful enough, for all the amazing elements of my rich life. The people I know, the gifts I have been given, the talents that I have.

Worst of all, however, is my bitterness.

My attention to the wrongs that have been aimed at me, by others, and the heartache that follows. I fail to implement all that I have been graced to learn, instead focusing on that which I do not have. It is like a sickness for which I refuse to take the medication. It’s a deliberate action by me – refusing to grow.

While it’s true that I have weathered the ultimate tsunami of Clinical Depression, and I have also survived much treachery from those that I have trusted with my love; the reality is, until I can be grateful for the lessons that I have learnt from ALL the wrongs, I am actioning a cancerous growth to fester in my soul.

The salve to my heartache and loneliness is already in me – I have the tools. But I ignore them. I hold on to my bitterness and then let this motivate my decisions and actions. It is all so, so . . . .

I am betraying myself.

I DO look at others in history who have strived against poor circumstance, who have seen a new reality in front of them and run and fought and clawed to reach it. I am in awe of these people.

Then I gaze upon on the intolerance and stupidity that still rages across the world. Isis extremists in Syria. Anti-immigration proponents in Australia. Elitist wealthy of Europe. Financiers in the USA.

Yes – I did just compare bankers and fundamentalist extremists!!

 I see the ‘dumbing-down’ of entire populations with ‘reality’ tv, and fear driven political policies, and media behemoths controlling not only content but also fact, and the veneer of ‘celebrity’, and the acceptance of violence in other nations as not important.

And I sit here and try to make sense of it.
And try to find a place within it.

And I fail.

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AP2009

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Medgar Evers – despite so much intolerable agony in life, he still maintained the belief that things would change. And they did.

Where did his strength and belief in himself come from?

Can you imagine living in a time and place where you and your family were not deemed to be a full human being? In every sense, you were accepted and promoted as not worthy or even worthy.

Humanity makes me sick sometimes.

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Instructions On How To Change The World: 3 Steps

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Press Play

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Look at this

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a6y4zPq_700b

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Make the disparity smaller . . . .

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Charity: Water

Girl Up

Kiva

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Pencils Of Promise

Virgin Unite

World Vision: Child Sponsorship

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Because every child deserves to be raised
to be healthy, happy, safe and educated

with the hope of a long life. 

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Information Overwhelm in Today’s World

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Just a week ago, Pip from Meet Me At Mikes published a pretty full-on post: “How to beat information overwhelm and still care about the world“. It’s about how we have a tendency to click past or mute anything that is tragic or confronting. Earthquakes, genocide, terrorism, economic collapse – sometimes it IS all too much.

But is switching off the answer?

Pip talked about chemical reactions our bodies have when we get this feeling of overwhelm. She talked about our social conform driven by Social Media. She discussed our glazed eyes at the news.

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Pip

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BUT, she also discussed ways in which to deal with – a pretty big deal in my opinion. She didn’t ignore the reality of our lives and all the stimulus we are exposed to, instead she used it as a perfect example of how to attack this Overwhelm and how to still make amazing change in our communities and the world at large.

Although it is a hefty read (you need a good 10 minutes, uninterrupted!), it is genuinely worth it. It is insightful and intelligent and gives us all hope that we aren’t all sheep.

 

ps

Check out my comment at the end of the post, as I discuss how I deal with Overwhelm . . .

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For instance, this is not a normal occurrence in Oz.

Although in saying that, last year I did have a kangaroo stuck in my backyard and I don’t live in middle of suburbia, I certainly don’t live in the bush either. I live in a rapidly expanding and quite large town (officially a City, but come on!) in the South West of Australia and although we do have a mob of kangaroos living in a large paddock on the edge of town, I’d hardly say a kangaroo in the backyard is a normal thing.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3052325/Meet-Dusty-kangaroo-sure-s-dog-hates-cats-Young-roo-eats-sleep-cuddles-family-s-puppies-adopted-road.html#v-3989905050001

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Nepal and A Window

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Do you every truly appreciate how lucky you are?
I mean REALLY appreciate?!?

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aObjW6y_700b_v2

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I look at the photos of Nepal and feel sick to my stomach.
The carnage caused my Mother Nature on a completely peaceful and generous peoples, makes me feel nauseous. I know that ‘Western’ lives were lost, but in truth I feel more for the villagers and farmers who have been decimated.

They can’t get on a plane and fly somewhere else.
Fly away.

If you, like me, would like to make the smallest of difference to the life of these people then I am begging you to please donate to Charity:Water NOW.  Charity:Water has been providing clean water to villages in Nepal since 2010. They are making a clear and positive difference to lives that deserve better.

They deserve our compassion and empathy.

Don’t just sit there feeling like shit and turning your eyes when the news feed pops up and shows you the devastation . . . . help fix it!

The donation screen automatically shows US$100, but I can’t afford that – I only have $5 to donate. But $5 from ten people is $50, and $5 from one hundred people is $500. Your money will make a difference no matter how small the contribution.

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Nepal Charity- Water

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Go change the world peeps!

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In other news, I have just ordered a new kitchen window from China.
Yep from Alibaba.com.

I have my lean and poor little fingers firmly crossed, that I am not just throwing away $515 (AUS).
Money that took me eight nights of hard yakka to earn.

Classic-modern-house-aluminium-sliding-window-made.jpg_220x220

aluminium

But here’s why I’m taking the risk . . . .

The window
* is constructed by a Chinese subsidiary of a German company
* complies with not only Australian Safety Standards but also EU standards
* is double glazed (holy sheeeet!)
* that has solid aluminium construction
* will be shipped to my capital city in just five weeks

I got a quote from a local supplier for a the same size window that was
* only single glazed
* was half the thickness in aluminium framing
* cost $1200 (yep – more than four times the cost)
* available in four weeks

Now you can see why I am taking the risk with my meagre funds.

And although I am a massive supporter of ‘Buy Local’, the truth is that my ‘local’ could be doing exactly what I’m doing – send the details to China and get it manufactured and shipped here.

They could open a dialogue with a company in China, build a strong relationship and then put 25%-50% on all orders. For none of the work, other than a few emails. They could still make a profit and remain open.

We have to start thinking globally when we want our businesses to survive.
We have to make the World Wide Web work for us.

Well, that’s my two bobs worth anyway 😉

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25th April, 2015

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I didn’t make it to the Dawn Service this year.

I didn’t get to bed until 2:30am and the thought of a 5:00am rise, plus a full day of renovations then four+ hours of work at the very end of the day, meant that the very thought made me feel exhausted.

For the first year ever, the Dawn Service in my town was moved away from our ANZAC Memorial Park. It has grown so big over the years, and realising that 2015 was the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing , the crowds were going to be bigger than the park itself.

So it was moved to our beach foreshore.

Every year that I have attended the Dawn Service, there have been at least 500 people. Old, young, middle aged. Infants, small children, teenagers. It is such a solemn occasion that not a single person makes a sound. Even the youngest child is quiet.

This year they had over 4000 people attend. Even the foreshore park was not big enough and people were spilling onto the roads.

Thank you Busselton. Thank you for cherishing those we have lost over the generations and for showing respect for the sacrifice that comes with war. For all those involved.

Did you go to a Dawn Service somewhere?

Try to go next year – you will never regret the small sacrifice of an early (and cold) rise to show that you honour the sacrifice of those past and present who defend our country.

If you , like me, would like to make just the smallest contribution to those returning service men & women, then perhaps you could donate $5 to the ONE organisation that actively cares for our returned groups –  the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust. This Trust channels funds into real and genuinely effective programs for returned service personnel.

Just $5.

Lest we forget!

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