Friday, March 27, 2009

Resistance versus Acceptance

I was sick this week (actually, I'm not the only one...I know a few people that have been sick over the past week or so).

I'm rarely sick or ill (touch wood) and when some kind of ailment turns up on my doorstep, I usually bitch and whine about it. "Sick! Why the f*ck am I sick? I take such good care of myself! This is bullshit. I don't deserve to be sick. Waaa waaa waaa."

Upon reflection, its a pretty ridiculous response to an illness (or any situation life may throw at you). Like complaining or denial will help the situation even one iota. Not to mention you look like a wimp and possibly even an idiot.

Being sick this time around has taught me a few things...

First of all, things don't always go your way. Yeah, no shit. No one ever plans to be sick and subsequently, there is never really a convenient time to be sick. "Oh yup, Friday is pretty free for me Mr. Body, so feel free to let me down then - that suits." Please - spare me. Even the best laid plans run off the rails sometimes. If you fall off the horse, get back on it. The measure of the man is how many times he was prepared to get back on the horse, not how many times he fell off.

Second, resisting the reality of your situation does not change it. Sounds simple, but if you can somehow implement that idea into your daily life, consistently, you're a better man than I. Denying a situation, like the fact that you are getting sick, is a strategy destined to fail. Its akin to expecting your car to run with no petrol or thinking you can walk out of the supermarket without having paid for the things you took off the shelf. DUMB! Denying or ignoring those facts does not change the reality. Your car won't move without fuel and not paying for a bunch of groceries could land you in the back of a cop car.

Acceptance is the smartest course of action. Have the nous to recognise a situation for what it is. There's nothing personal about it. Take your ego out of it. "Waaaa, why is this happening to me?" Its useless and it will change nothing. What's more, its unattractive behaviour to see in other people. "Man up" and take responsibility for any situation that comes your way. Face it and deal with it in an intelligent manner. You can only have an intelligent course of action if you accept the situation for what it is and then decide how you're going to go about dealing with it.

So next time I see illness on the horizon, I'll give my body what it is really asking for - some rest and little more care.

No whingeing - just do what the situation calls for.

Wow, that almost

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Education - The Great Equaliser

After having an engaging discussion with my girlfriend this morning, I've found it hard to stop thinking about the importance of education. I view it as an equalising 'commodity'. Unsurprisingly, I'm not the first person to think this. A quick search in Google reveals that Horace Mann (what a cool name!), the first great advocate of public education in the United States, thought the very same thing over a 150 years ago.

He beautifully articulates why:

“Education...beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men --the balance wheel of the social machinery...It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility toward the rich; it prevents being poor.”

Education is power. Just look at how society functions. When, ever, in the history of human existence, has knowledge and information been such a critical resource in society? The answer is never. And it only becomes more true as the pace of the 'Information Age' picks up.

Hoarding, shielding and privatising information is an absolute f***ing joke. Share it, as much as you can, as often as you can, to anyone who will listen.

The smarter society becomes around you the better. Information is not a finite resource - its not diminshed by one person using it. In fact, education depends upon people soaking up information and drawing new conclusions from it. That's how we continue to push the envelope of our knowledge.

Make it your mission to educate someone, on something, every single day. In addition to this, make it your mission to be educated on something, by someone, every single day.

The sooner we all get smarter the better.

How To Change The World

I was sitting in a coffee shop today, writing in my journal. I'm trying to envision a new future for myself and those around me. Writing about it and articulating my thoughts helps to add momentum and focus my efforts...


I started listening to some gentlemen next to me who were talking about politics and leadership. My last post was actually about something very similar - the lack of 'political leadership' (hmmm, is that a contradiction in terms?) in this great country of ours.

These men were expressing their similar feelings of angst and discontent with the current political landscape. The lack of radical change that we would like to see come from these people. Peter Garrett came up...they noticed how someone like him who was so passionate about change has come up against the bureaucracy and red tape of our political system. "It has usurped his passion and capacity to change..." they mused.

And its true. The system now in place SLOWS change, impedes its course. "Oh, you can't possibly change that without changing all this too...that's too hard. Don't bother." I'm paraphrasing, but this is what the gentlemen believed had gone through Peter Garrett's head once he made it into our political system.

Government is becoming an increasingly useless institution in a world that demands and requires rapid adjustment and agile response. That is now up to the individual.

If you want change, you have to make it. Don't rely on it dropping out of the sky, because it won't.

If you want a different world then you have to shape it yourself. Don't wait. Don't make excuses. Don't watch TV and try and forget about it.

Just get on with it. Do it now while we still have a chance.