Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Two Hands

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I saw this clip on the news recently about a Sydney restauranteur helping Thai students who are struggling under the COVID19 crisis.

Many international workers employed in restaurants here don’t qualify for help under existing government schemes and the food industry as a whole (bless them) has rallied to support them.

The message Jack from Jumbo Thai had for everyone was particularly wonderful – as one hand takes, the other hand gives. That’s how we look after each other and our communities.

Happy Sunday, folks! ♥

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Ripples of Hope

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My friend Stephen sent me this earlier in the year, and it gave me great hope that, just maybe, our individual actions could make this world a better place. At the time, Australia was in the midst of terrible bushfires, and I was questioning whether our attempts over the previous two years to live more sustainably had really made any difference at all in the grand scheme of things.

It’s an excerpt from Robert Kennedy’s address to the National Union of South African Students members at the University of Cape Town, given at a time when South Africa was still an Apartheid country and the American Civil Rights Movement was at its peak. Over the years, it’s become known as the “Ripples of Hope Speech”. In 2020, the problems facing our world may have changed, but the message is as powerful as ever. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. ♥

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Robert F. Kennedy

“First is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills – against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the world’s great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32 year old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. “Give me a place to stand,” said Archimedes, “and I will move the world.” These men moved the world, and so can we all.

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and in the total of all these acts will be written the history of this generation.

Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in the isolated villages and the city slums of dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

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A Yoke of Responsibility

Privilege is having more than one cup to drink out of.

It’s being able to pay exorbitant prices for toilet paper or hand sanitizer or face masks during a crisis.

It’s not having to worry about how we’re going to eat or keep a roof over our heads next week. It’s being able to watch Netflix late at night rather than collapsing at the end of each day from exhaustion. It’s having weekends off. It’s having hot water, and plumbed toilets, and lights to read by when it gets dark. It’s mending clothes for fun rather than out of necessity.

At least once a day, something reminds me of my incredible good fortune in having parents with the means and hutzpah to emigrate and raise me in Australia. And I’m always acutely aware that it was just a crap shoot. Quite literally the luck of the draw. Anyone living a comfortable life in a developed country who argues otherwise – that everything is purely a measure of their own hard work – is either superhuman or lying to themselves.

Social privilege almost certainly makes our everyday lives much easier, but it also carries with it a great deal of responsibility. A yoke of responsibility, if you will. How we choose to respond to that is what defines us as family, friends, neighbours, humans.

Please be kind. Look after one another; do what you can to help. And at this particular time of stress and uncertainty, if your life circumstances put you in a better position than those around you, then please do more. ♥

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ANZAC Day 2020

Photo credit: Barossa Herald



On ANZAC Day, we remember those who have fought to defend Australia in the past and honour those who continue to protect our shores.

On this very different ANZAC Day, let’s also celebrate the amazing ANZAC spirit of our doctors, nurses, teachers, storekeepers and other essential workers who are fighting to keep us all safe. Like my medico friends Marty, Nat and Angus, who continue to front up every day to their hospital shifts. Or Robert who keeps the local IGA open, and the garbage collectors who pick up every Friday, and Kevin and Robbie who keep milling flour so we can continue to bake. We’re incredibly grateful to all of them.

Let’s recognise though that for most of us, staying at home and keeping a respectful social distance from one another is also a reflection of the ANZAC spirit – we all have a very clear understanding of the need to do our part for the greater good.

I’ve always been incredibly grateful to live in Australia, but never more so than right now. It’s been a time of huge sacrifice and stress for so many people, but our great country feels united and determined. Together, we will get there. ♥

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Law of the Journey

A couple of years ago, we visited the Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island. Sadly, the event has been cancelled this year.

The showstopper piece of the day, and in fact the entire 2018 exhibition, was Ai Weiwei’s Law of the Journey (2017).

Measuring 60 x 6 x 3m, it’s a magnificent and thought-provoking piece, and was originally suspended from the ceiling of the National Gallery of Prague. When it came to Australia, a custom plinth was created to sit it on, inscribed with quotes from philosophers and thinkers across the ages.

I loved this one in particular…

“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.”

St Augustine of Hippo

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We can’t fix the problems of the world, but what we can do is try to take care of those our lives intersect with. At a time in human history when we’re all having to self-isolate, this directive feels more important than ever.

Take good care, dearhearts, of yourselves and each other. ♥

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