It’s just a joke…but it’s really not funny.

This what anyone who is Indigenous experiences every day and they can’t climb out of their skin to stop it.  There is no personal agency that they can practice can stop the weight of ignorance in our current Australian culture.

What this ad doesn’t show are the list of justifications that pour from Australians mouths…. 

“I’m not racist but…” (but what? you are about to say something racist that paints all people of a similar appearance, religion, class etc the same???)

“I’m not racist, I have Aboriginal friends”  (Folks, it doesn’t need to be said, don’t justify your generalisations with this line.  These are the people that notice my friends of mine and say to me “is she Indigenous??”.  I like people but I dislike some people’s behaviour.  Racism is one of those behaviours I abhore and won’t be a part of.  So in response I answer “You would have to ask her, by the way, I’m friends with racists too but I’ll call you on your racist behaviour”). 

“What about when they are racist to us?”  (Seriously.  Take a look at history and how you treat people and there is your answer.  If you walk into someone’s life with prejudicial behaviour that’s what you will get.  If the average mainstream Australian counted up their experiences of discrimination compared to those that are genuinely discriminated on a daily basis, many times, against their own experiences they would notice the difference is startling.  That doesn’t make any discrimination right, but it should make us reflect and treat people better).  

These are just two examples.  Stop. Think. Respect. 

Insight last night….

I am off work with massive blood pressure at the moment so I thought I would just get up from reading fiction and write a post.   Great to see Insight last night discuss men and suicide.   Back from the Brink aired last night and you can watch it here Insight – Back from the Brink 29/07/2014

Some beautiful touching stories and amazing men sharing their pain, instead of hiding it.   Dr Geoff Toogood particularly touched us as we watched it.  A cardiologist who had it all by most peoples definition of success.  A man who saves lives all week and then struggled with his own personal battle to take his own.

His bravery was commendable – and I liked his comments about being a better person with more empathy for his patients as a result.

Sadly it wasn’t until he had a mild stroke related to an exhaustion from just pushing on through that he got more compassion.   What he had struggled with was now acceptable as it had a physical outcome.

Suicide and suicide attempts are physical outcomes too, yet workplaces and managers still run staff down for getting help for depression (and any condition that can be linked with it, like my hypertensive blood pressure).  They still question doctor’s certificates and say things like “yeah but my job stresses me out too and you don’t see me taking time off”.

Depression is not stress.   But prolonged stress will become depression.  Pushing your staff to the brink is a failure of duty of care and creates a psycho-social hazard.  Managers and organisations that do this are the hazard.

If your organisation is burning people out – it’s a clear breach of the Work Health legislations, in any state or jurisdiction.  More to the point, if you don’t point out that your organisation is burning you or others out or you push others to meet unreasonable demands, you fail in your individual duty of care and you are liable under those legislations.

2000 suicides a year in Australia and about 6 x that in attempts.  Men suffer the worst and the latest figures are horrendous.   It’s time to get real, be honest.  It’s time to care about one another and speak up for others.   Why do we have to legislate duty of care for people to care? 2505_suicide--2-


5 Measures of Happiness

I have 5 ways I measure my level of happiness.  First, you might be wondering, why it is I measure my happiness? Because a few years ago I realised I didn’t know what made me happy and what didn’t.  Now I do.  What makes me happy is that I choose to be happy.  I do things that make me smile.  I play and have fun daily.  I laugh daily.  The realisation was simple – I could choose to be happy and make simple changes in my life to achieve that.  Part of them was knowing what I do when I am happy and then checking that these things were happening on a daily basis.   If I have most of these measures in my life – I am doing well or have things to improve on.  My five measures of happiness measured on a daily basis are:

1. How often I smile

2. How often I laugh

3. How well I sleep – there may be times when I don’t sleep as long as I would like (8 hours) but if it’s quality sleep that’s the main thing.  There will be times it isn’t and if I have some of the other measures going okay…then good!

4. How well I maintain my weight (this is NOT about body image.  I do not measure my weight or if I have lost or gained weight but how I maintain a healthy dress size.  I don’t get on the scales but I make sure I am active as part of this and have a dress size between 10 and 14).

5. How I treat others.  If I am resorting to sarcasm (which is an insult wrapped in humour) or are reactive or “snappy” or rude I am not treating others well.

At least 3 out of 5 of these going well is good enough for me.  If they are not….I do something about it.  I reflect and see what is not working for me in my life and I change it.

Sometimes that change might be uncomfortable or difficult – but if handled well and it returns a sense of happiness and peace then I do it!

How do you measure your level of happiness?