Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A cup of coffee from across The Ditch

I hope @Iain 2008 doesn't mind but he sent me a nice cup of coffee in the form of this post below which has come from his Twitwall.  Iain lives across The Ditch and you will find more of him here.

Iain2008 Following

Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

"A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite. 
He told his guests to help themselves to the coffee.
After everyone had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, 'If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
Be assured that the cup adds no quality to the coffee.
In most cases, it is just more expensive, and in some cases, even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup.  But you consciously went for the best cups...  And then you began eyeing each other's cups to see who had the best one. 
Now consider this... 
Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee.
Savor the coffee, not the cups!
The happiest people don't have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything.
Live simply.
Speak kindly.
Care deeply. 
Love generously.'"

Thursday, 22 September 2011

RECLAIM, RESPECT, PROTECT - The 1000 Warrior March

The 1000 Warrior March

On Saturday the 5th of November, Aboriginal and Islander men will March to Reclaim, Respect & Protect.

The purpose of the 1000 Warrior March is to:

*       To Show solidarity amongst Aboriginal and Islander Men
*       To reinforce our place in family and community.
*       To reinforce our culture as a way forward.
*       To show we are role models for our families and our young.
*       To make a stand for healing our country.
*       To commit to the rights of Aboriginal people.
*       To pledge to honour the 1000 warrior values.

Aboriginal and Islander men will be participating in the March and they will march through Melbourne in harmony to Reclaim, Respect and Protect.  The men will then meet their families, friends and loved ones at Birrarung Marr (back of Federation Square) to celebrate.

Saturday 5th of November 2011T
The March will begin at 10:00am
The Fig Tree
(top of Gertrude Street corner of Gertrude & Nicholson Streets Fitzroy)

For more information on the 1000 Warrior March please contact:
Alan Brown - 0413 045 536
Richard Frankland - 0408 486 603
Phil Cooper - 0417 112 422
We look forward to seeing all Aboriginal and Islander men
on Saturday 5th November

The 1000 Warrior March Committee

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Involuntary simplicity - with maximum economic force

I look at this picture and it reminds me of when I supported boycotts against apartheid in South Africa back in the 1970s.  I have never been to South Africa but to me it looks like photographs from segregated communities in apartheid South Africa. 

The sad, horrible thing is that the photograph above is from 21st century Australia.  
The Northern Territory. 
Where we stigmatise Aboriginal people. 
Where we boss them around. 
Where we give them a specific card, a sort of economic passport 
which defines status rather like the the pass laws of apartheid South Africa.

And where we sing
Advance Australia Fair.

Aboriginal people have served as a social laboratory for the major political parties of Australia - the Liberal/National Party under John Howard which governed from 1996-2007 and the Australian Labor Party under Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard which has governed Australia since the end of 2007 and now governs by the skin of its teeth in a hung Parliament.

Both sides of the political coin have supported this evil, sinful public policy.

Now this system is to be extended further to urban black people and others dependent on the social security system through Centrelink.

We have become a nation which stigmatises people: Aboriginals, refugees and asylum seekers, the poor.  We are forcing people to simply live .... living, to put it simply, in dire and insecure circumstances depriving children of their future and the elderly of meaningful care and support while confusing and placing impositions on everyone else.  Then there are those who simply live a sort of death-in-life process because their wounds have meant addiction to grog and drugs or criminal offences which walk them through prison gates.

In all this, successive Australian Governments have played fast and loose with the Racial Discrimination Act which purports to give effect to Australia's responsibilities under The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).  

We in Australia are hypocrites. 
We in Australia are people not to be trusted. 
For we Australians, our word is not our bond.  

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Meetup Story

Those of you who have your own blogs may know about meetup. It is a wonderful net tool for organising people to get together for meetings, a drink, whatever.  And while bloggers may love to communicate on their blogs, many of them like to meet up with similarly interested bloggers in their neighbourhood...so there's a tendency to use meetup.  In my mail box to-day dropped the wonderful and somewhat emotional story of how it all started............

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internetand tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I hoped they wouldn't bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normallyignore. People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being neighborly.

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and grow local communities?

We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups, Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of 100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one thing.

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me. They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and motivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and find other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace together. They make friends and form powerful community. It's powerful stuff.

It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it weren't for 9/11.

9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building new community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011

Add info@meetup.com to your address book to receive all Meetup

To manage your email settings, go to:

Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895
New York, New York 10163-4668

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