Simple Truth or Twisted Logic?

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This supposedly simple truth is one that I’m not at all sure I agree with.

No matter how logical statements like these first appear to be, there’s always something about them that pulls at that questioning part inside of me.

The part that makes me wonder whether or not we should accept statements like these too easily, and if we do accept them, what is it exactly that we are buying into when we do?

Saying that one shouldn’t expect a lion not to eat a person just because a person wouldn’t eat a lion, which is indeed a true statement, is one thing, but to then use this truth as a justification for saying that we shouldn’t expect the world, (which really means the people in it as the world itself is an inanimate object), to treat us fairly just because we treat others fairly, is another issue entirely.

After all, people are not lions….. and now that we’ve established that fact……

Just why is it again that we’re not to expect others to treat us fairly if we do the same to them?

Oh that’s right, it’s because being preyed upon, ripped off, taken advantage of, lied too, stolen from, beaten up or maimed in some way by others in life, is supposedly all part of the natural order of things, therefore we should just accept and expect it.

Well it may be the natural order of things for lion’s to behave in this way, but once again, people are not lions and I’m still far from convinced that behaving like a wild animal, in any way, should constitute what’s considered to be the natural order of behavior for human beings.

I don’t truly think that many people would, upon rational reflection, agree to the statement that we should all expect to be preyed upon by others.

Nor accept the idea that being nice to others automatically  means that we deserve to become the victims of human predators.

Especially considering that the validation of such ideas are based on little more than the observation that lions in the wild, hunt to survive.

Or perhaps I’m just being foolish.

What do you think?

 

Ten myths about Introverts…..

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Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they’ll talk for days.

 

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. I promise they won’t bite you.

 

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

 

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

 

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

 

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

 

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

 

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

 

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

 

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

I’m sure there are several other well-worn Introvert related myths circulating around out there.

So tell me,  which  Introvert related myth, would you most like to see laid to rest?

List originally sourced from http://sociallyawkwardearneck.

 

The Human Condition… Delusional Goodness or a Good Delusion?

The Human Condition (album)

People like to believe that human nature is essentially good. That on the whole humans look out for one another. Perform more good deeds than they do bad and generally choose to operate in a way that promotes goodness and kindness.

For most of us, during our lifetimes, we will indeed see evidence of this goodness and kindness.

But we will also see evidence of human attributes that are other as well.

We will see greed and corruption.

We will see cruelty and discrimination.

We will see unkind actions and hear unkind words.

We will see or experience bullying, sexism, racism, agism, disablism and so many more isms’.

We will witness acts of violence and be shown on our TV sets evidence of human atrocities.

We will come face to face with other’s who will disagree with our opinions, beliefs or values and treat us badly because of these differences.

So how, given all of these things, can we choose to believe that goodness and kindness are the predominant virtues of the human condition?

If goodness and kindness are supposed to form the base line for the human condition then why is it that we need policies and laws to try and ensure that all humans are treated fairly?

Why is it that when push comes to shove, few people these days feel able to stand up and do what’s right instead of what’s safest, easiest, or more profitable for them?

Are we to believe that goodness and kindness can only prevail amongst humans if there are sanctioned consequences for not being good or kind?

Or that kindness and goodness can only manifest in circumstances in which it is safe, easy and profitable for humans to engage in such ways?

Yet history tells us that neither safety, ease nor profitability are required for kindness to occur.

There have been many examples to show that in times of great persecution acts of great kindness can and do occur.

Often at the personal risk of those engaging in such acts.

Stories such as those as Schindler’s List give us hope and reinforce the belief that deep down we are all good people who will stand up for what’s right.

Yet the truth of the matter, especially in stories such as Schindler’s List, is that the vast majority of people at that time, did not stand up for what  was right.

They did not put themselves out to help those who were being persecuted.

Instead many engaged in that very persecution.

Some actively, others silently.

And yet, even when faced with this evidence of overwhelming contradiction, we still choose to believe that the human condition is one of ultimate goodness.

Just how is it that we come to such a erroneously delusional and short-sighted conclusion?

Why is it that even today, when we know full well that there are corporations out there who routinely value profits above human life, we still choose to walk blindly up the path of ‘progress’ while ignoring the growing list of casualties strewn along the way?

Perhaps the human condition is not one of goodness but one of delusional fortitude?

Happiness Wants and needs….Why is the pursuit of happiness our goal?

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Happiness these days has become so thoroughly entombed in the notion of having all that you want, instead of all that you need, that even imagining a life without either a phone or the inter net is far closer to most people’s version of hell than it ever  would be their  version of happiness.

Which is odd really considering that on some parabolic level we all agree that money cannot buy happiness…..

Or is it that money cannot buy love?

Neither of which is true by the way.

If you are desperately poor and lacking in food, than money would indeed buy you a larger slice of the happiness pie than the one you are currently languishing on.

Remember it’s about having all that you need….. not all that you want.

And as for love….. well….. I guess that’s entirely dependent on your overall concept of love….

Though I have to say….. there aren’t too many lonely millionaires out there….

Whether or not you call paid companionship, in whatever form it takes, (trophy wives, toy boys, sex workers) love, is entirely up to you.

But regardless of the trivialities involved we all buy into the lie that the latest job, car, house, partner, gadget, clothes or holiday destination, will lead us ever closer toward our ultimate goal of happiness.

But why must happiness be our goal in the first place?

Could it be that we humans are now all such greedy creatures that like drug addicts we are all searching for the next big hit of happiness?

A feeling of complete well-being that  we’d once experienced organically only in the brief, and the mostly intrinsically earned, moments of time?

Is the endless pursuit of happiness now nothing more than the futile attempt to locate a drug dealer of the mind who simply does not exist?

A dealer who could in reality have never existed because happiness is and always has been a virtue of the soul and not a reward of the mind?

Could we have gotten the concept of happiness so completely confused, that all we are doing in our pursuit of it, is causing ourselves the unnecessary pain of expecting a transient experience to become an unrealistic and unsustainable constant?

Has the idea of happiness become an impossible yard stick?

A stick we use to measure ourselves, to judge our lives by and find them so constantly wanting,  that we now end up  beating ourselves over the head with it instead?

What do you think?

What would make you happy?

 

The Sexualisation of Pink Balls Are teenage girls facing a crisis in femininity?

Rising rates in the number of teenage girls committing violent crimes and participating in  acts of bullying really do make me question just what is going on with ‘our girls’?

When I look at media representations of women all I see are  overtly sexualized images of what a ‘woman is supposed to look like’.

Yet accompanying these images is the idea that women are also supposed to compete with, and even beat men, at their own games of power and control.

There appears to be a new genre of female being portrayed within the media.

Women who look sexy, yet are nothing short of ballsy in their speech, mannerisms and attitude towards life.

Think of  pop stars such as Pink.

A woman who initially made her mark by dressing sexually provocatively,  yet who was at the same time singing aggressively about the need to  throw the traditional subservient  and distorted female ‘role ’ in the trash can in songs such as “Stupid Girls”.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the message that women should no longer automatically be seen as being subservient to men, but, when your  young teenage daughter  starts using the Pink ‘fuck you’ attitude to try to justify attempting to leave the house dressed like Paris Hilton on crack, one can only surmise that there is definitely something wrong with the way the messages of both femininity and female independence are being portrayed.

So what is it that is going so wrong?

Could it possibly be that those of us who live in the real world are clued into a secret that our daughters are yet to learn?

That as adults we all know that there is no way that a young woman who dresses like a proverbial tramp, ignores her schooling and instead engages in bullying or aggressive behavior,  is ever going to successfully compete with men in terms of either life or career success?

Unless you are a rock star, and even then, if the truth be told, this simply just does not happen.

Speaking of ‘it simply just does not happen’,  neither  does the ideal that women must  shout, speak up and speak out against female injustices by becoming as loud and competitively aggressive as men, win women any positive points either

If it did then we would all have by now seen a positive change  in the way females are portrayed in the media.

There has been no real positive change.

So here’s a simple truth:

Female aggression does not  cancel out male aggression.

Instead all it does is up the level of aggression occurring in society and lessen the existence of genuine care as a whole.

Yes sure we may now have some celluloid female role models but even if their attitudes are ‘kick ass’ such as Laura Croft in Tomb Raider, who beats the bad guys and saves the day, she still remains visually heavily sexualised.

So what sort of message does this form of representation send out to young girls?

That now, not only are they expected to kick mens asses, but  they must also look incredibly ‘hot’ and sexy while they are doing so or it simply won’t count?

Really it’s little wonder that young girls are getting the message of independence confused with the message that all successful women must also be some sexualised version of an aggressive dominatrix.

We need to be questioning  not just the overt sexualisation of young girls but the manner in which that sexualisation is also being presented hand in glove with the idea that being  aggressive (both physically and verbally) is the fastest way for females to achieve success.

In the real world the two messages simply do not go together.

 

The Grinch Who Stole The Skate Park

English: Skate park practice at the Skate Open

Okay, it’s official, I have now formally become known as the Grinch who stole the skate park.

Over the weekend a group of young boys came pounding on my front door to ask if I’d sign a petition to have a skate park built on the vacant block a few doors down from my house.

My instant response was ‘hell no’.

Of course  I did not say that. Instead I politely declined to sign their petition.

The group of young boys looked at me in disgust and one had the nerve to point out to me that several other people had already signed the petition then asked me ” if I was sure that  I did not  want to sign their petition?”

Upon the use of this tactic of trying to apply ‘peer pressure‘ to me in order to get me to sign their petition, (crikey they learn this stuff early these days) I took a moment to look over the group of boys to see if I recognized any of them from my street and indeed not a single one of them actually lived in the street.

After ascertaining this, it was on the tip of my tongue to ask them where they all actually lived, but of course I didn’t as the point of the question would have undoubtedly  been missed by them.

‘Instead I mildly replied ”No thank you’. ‘I prefer peace and quiet’.

What I wanted to say in reality was No, No, No!  Now bugger off will you !!!!

Why don’t your parents organize for a skate park to be built next to your own homes if it’s that important of an issue to you?

But I saved my thoughts so that I could have a bit of a rant on it here.

The truth is, that under no circumstances do I want a loud, noisy, unsupervised, concrete monstrosity that would attract hooligans from not just all corners of my own suburb but several neighboring suburbs over as  well,  built just a hop, skip and a jump from my front door.

Especially considering that I have a son with Autism for whom the constantly elevated noise levels created by having skate park  right outside his front door would drive him instantly insane.

So sfter my engagement with today’s proactive youth, I returned to my task of chopping vegetables for  homemade soup with a renewed sense of vigor as I imagined all of the loud mouthed, beer drinking, drug injecting, midnight wondering teenagers that may one day be descending upon my doorstep in the not too distant future, should these young entrepreneurs (spoilt brats) get their way.

As I stood there slicing and dicing I found myself sincerely hoping that I  had indeed become the Grinch who stole their (metaphorical) skate park away from them.

I mean really, who wants to see the value of their house plummet all because some kids, whose families don’t even live in the street, have decided that they want a skate park?

English: Skate Park Skate Park next to Leisure...

Surely we’re not all living in a teenagers underwhelming version of a skate park paradise?

Really, do these kids and their families ever once take the time to stop and think about what it is exactly that they are asking people to sign up for?

I’m surprised they had any signatures at all, but then again, given their tactics of ‘peer pressure’ perhaps not.

Seriously though, who in their right mind would want to put up with all of the delightfully appealing  impositions that having  a skate park next to your house would bring?

Would you want a skate park built less than 400 meters from your home?

 

Should the penalties for speeding be based on an offenders income?

English: 50km speed limit

community group within Australia is putting forward the notion  that those living in ‘poorer’ suburbs should pay less for their speeding and other legal fines than those living in wealthier suburbs.

The argument goes that those who are unemployed or living on welfare payments are less able to pay hefty police or court fines than others. Therefore, the community group argues,  all fines should be staggered creating a different fine system for the wealthy ( which includes basically anyone not receiving a welfare payment)  and a lesser, more income friendly  fine system, for those who are struggling financially.

The same group also claims that less affluent suburbs within Australia have become police revenue raising targets. They suggest that there is a heavier police presence, monitoring the speed limits and other crime related offenses in those suburbs, than  in wealthier  more affluent parts of town.

The Australian Police Force denies these claims and has responded by stating that they are obliged to monitor those areas in which increased rates of speeding and other offenses are reported by residence to be taking place. Therefore, they claim, their presence in those communities is a direct consequence of residence requests and not a deliberate ploy to single out that section of the community per se.

Not having seen the actual statistics involved in these assertions, one can only ponder the broader legal and social ramifications of such a request, to create a two tier fine system in Australia based on income alone.

To my mind, the current crop of claims being put forward that ‘poor’ families cannot afford speeding and other such fines, and that they are in essence becoming nothing more than revenue raising fodder for the police force, creates more problems than it solves.

It raises  questions as to whether or not  having a lower fine rate for the ‘poor’ would simply create a broader disincentive for that section of the community to obey the law in general?

Why should speeding be seen as any less of an offense for the poor than it is for the rich?

Why should those who commit other crimes, such as drug related offenses, receive lesser fines if they are living on a low income?

If such a system were in place, what impact would this have on the incentives of those living in lower socio-economic  circumstances,  to do the right thing and obey the rules of society?

Such a proposition further forces one to consider whether or not such a system could create the circumstances whereby a speeding motorist, who hits a child on the road, could be held less accountable by the State for their actions based of their income alone.

Is this the sort of society we want to create through our judicial system?

Should we even be entertaining the idea of having  a two tier fine systems, one for the rich and one for the poor, in this country?

Just how safe would you feel living in a ‘poorer suburb’ if you knew those around you were going to be held less accountable for breaking the law?

 

The Rhetoric of Women’s Choice

In many ways  the rhetoric  behind discussions and debates over women’s ‘life choices’  remains a  completely false one.

For most women the notion of ‘Choice’ has become analogous with the idea of  choosing whether or not to become a working mother.

As the writer of this blog post from http://newsofthetimes.org/2012/05/29/why-cant-we-all-just-get-along-dividing-women-does-not-serve-anyone/   so eloquently states.

“I can’t help but feel that all of the seemingly fabricated conflicts trying to pit stay-at-home moms against working moms or against working women who are not mothers, feels like an intentional effort to divide women…The truth is that most women do not have a choice.”

Hidden within this context is a more insidious notion regarding the concept of choice that is still not openly being talked about.

Women, by their very biological makeup , have no choice but to be the gender that creates new life.

This is true in any and all circumstances  regardless of relationship status, time frame, or socio-economic conditions.

There is simply no avoiding this factual observation.

Yet avoid it we do.

But what about contraception ?

I hear you say.

Doesn’t that now allow women to make the choice as to whether or not to become mothers?

No. What contraception allows many Western women to do is to ‘put off’ having children at a young age.

Contraception merely enables some women to (hopefully) make a willful choice concerning when and with whom they choose to have a child.

It does not however, in any way, shape or form, stop them from being women.

To me the notion that women now choose their own path  based entirely on contraception is an incredibly hollow one.

 Especially when you consider the consistently high rate of unplanned pregnancies  still occurring in the Western world.

 And that’s without even  trying to take into account the millions of women living in third world conditions who have no access to the so-called contraception of ‘choice’.

So what is it that is wrong with the way society paints the picture of  ‘choice’  for women ?

It avoids the very real truth that all women have no choice but to carry all the expectations, tags and labels that  society heaps on them specifically because they are  the gender that produces children.

And  while as a society we verbally give voice to the sanctity of creating new life, in reality, we ignore the extremely limiting ‘life choices’ that biological inheritance still creates for women.

Yes I know the argument, women  in the modern era can and do work, and that things are getting better.

But just what sort of better is it exactly?

Women are still being criticized for making their own genuine choices.

Perhaps now even more so than ever before.

Yes women are able to choose career’s but what’s the number one reason why career women loose they’re status?

What’s the number one reason why women who want to work often can’t?

The number one reason is still  being the gender biologically charged with creating new life.

It seems to me that too often we are ignoring this one glaringly obvious and indisputable fact within our modern societies.

Yes men can and occasionally do choose to stay home and look after the children so the Mother can go back  to work, but this idealized argument  is so far from the norm as we know it, that house husbands are still being considered ( let’s face it),  a rarity.

So women, in addition to always being the gender that creates new life, are also now routinely being  both expected to, and criticized for, going/not going  off to work.

Yet we all live in age where, regardless of gender, we are forced to deal with the reality of living in a capitalist world that requires everyone , to make their own way.

Increasingly it seems to me, that these days, women are simply being criticized for retaining their femaleness within a man’s world.

So with that idea in mind, we just might ask ourselves, what new biological of socially driven roles, are men being required to take on?

None.

The world has not changed as much for them.

So the next time the issue of ‘women’s choice’ is being bandied around, you might just want to stop and consider just which socio-economic or biological choice is it exactly,  that women are being critiqued for now.

Working?

Having children?

Having children and working?

Having children and staying home?

Not having children and working?

Not having children at all?

Or for simply being a woman?

I mean really, when was the last the time you heard of a man’s ‘life choices’ being broken down  and critiqued in such an unrealistic and entirely  unforgiving way?

 

Parents of the Past

One thing that strikes me as being  so very wrong within the disability community is the overwhelming lack of recognition and respect afforded  to the parents of the past.

Over the past 4 decades inclusion has been achieved primarily through  the efforts of multitudes of parents, who have turned their hearts and  their minds, to the task of creating social and educational equity both for and on behalf of their children.

These brave parents of the past battled against levels of discrimination and prejudice that thankfully we can now only imagine.

They were the first to call for the recognition of their children’s basic human rights.

They were the first to confront the lack of knowledge, awareness and acceptance of their children within mainstream society.

They were the first to throw their shoulders against the walls of segregated education.

They were the first to rally around and raise awareness of the need for greater educational support, teacher aides  and social skills learning programs in schools.

The parents of the past were the ones who knocked down the very first walls.

They are the ones who  have  constructed the gateway to the  social and educational inclusion that so  many of us now gratefully walk our children through.

Over the last 4 decades they have been joined by successive waves of parents equally as committed to  taking on the challenge  of creating open hearts and minds.

Yet these parents of the past, to whom we owe so much, are rarely acknowledged or even mentioned within either the disability community or  society as a whole.

It’s time we paid homage to those who have gone before us.

Our generation did not begin the process of inclusion.

We were not there at the start of the fight.

We need to acknowledge that our current successes in gaining support and understanding for our children simply, would never have happened, without the courage, persistence and strength of the parents of the past.

So if you know an older parent of an adult with a disability, please do not disregard them as if they are irrelevant because they may be no longer in the fight…..

Instead, take the time to thank them for their contribution to the laying of the  path, you are now fortunate enough to be walking on.