Firstly, I need to apologise for my absence recently.
Been a bit frazzled. Lots of change. Lots of coping. Lots of…oh well, not lots of money.
Nothing unusual there. But I got tired. Too tired to have a chat. Far too tired to find the humour in the hardship.
Today is not about humour.
It is my look at what’s happening, and what is being said or done about it.
We’re fast approaching Australia Day Weekend. Or as it’s known locally Folk Festival Weekend. Because to us it’s a weekend of hard work (after a year of hard organising, and before a week of hard cleaning up.)
It’s also the best fun. I’m always frazzled before. But love being there, and part of it. It’s a free folk festival. All entertainment is provided free. That doesn’t happen often enough. You pay only for your food and drink.
Back to the Australia Day stuff tho. Apparently, we are now afraid to enjoy, mention, discuss Australia Day.
I don’t know, because I’ve always been in favour of saying Sorry to the Indigenous community about how their forebears were treated by our forebears.
For some reason it never occurred to me not to feel sorry, just because I didn’t do it personally.
Reading a newspaper article today (on facebook) I see that …Warren Mundine who is a senior adviser to government on Aboriginal issues…saidwhen asked about the Tshirts, in interview – feel outraged for the education and health issues we face, not about a Tshirt slogan.
Exactly! Why are ‘People’ so outraged over this particular thing, and not about more important issues?
The article went on to talk about how the Aussie’s seem to have lost their sense of humour; their love of ‘Taking the mickey out of things and people.’
And, my goodness me! Isn’t that the truth!
I’m all for taking the mickey out of myself and my life. I’d rather laugh about it than cry. But heaven forbid, if you ever seem to be chuckling away over something. Come on, Australia, lighten up.
According to a coworker, on the radio ‘someone’ probably a someone with a degree (sweeping statement warning,) was discussing how the reason we have people ‘King hitting’ other people is because we’ve been dressing our babies in pink for girls and blue for boys and it’s now apparent that we’ve scarred them for life.
I’m finding that there are a lot of grey outfits for newborns these days.
In my day………..grey outfits meant your washing machine wasn’t up to scratch!
Just now on my facebook there is an article about how to raise your boys so they don’t become ‘King hitting young men.’
Okay, I’m not going to mention names in this blog. But this person who was quoted in the article wrote a book that I read about 18 years ago. And I gave the book away afterwards, because one thing they said in the book irked me.
If you’ve read anything much on my blog, you’ll know I’m a single mother from way back. Done the hard yards, I mean hard metres, still doing them.
At the time I read the book I was a mother, but not yet a single mother. My friend was a single mother with two children. One a boy, one a girl.
What I believe the book said – it’s all in how you take it – boys when around mid teens were easier parented by their father. If at all possible (barring abuse) they should go live with that person. It seemed to me that the book went on to say that there needed to be a large circle of caring/sharing men in the life of the boys. Ok, I have little gripe with that. I can watch that sort of thing on tv most days (if I had a tv.)
But for those who don’t have an option of sending a teen to live with another safe adult (because the reason a lot of people are single is because the other person involved is not safe in some shape or form. Or just not willing.) There wasn’t another option.
That was what rankled for me. Even before I became a single parent. I’ve worked with a lot of people over the many years I’ve been alive. Many of them haven’t had a perfect life.
Many of them aren’t having the perfect life now.
Many of them don’t have the perfect circle of caring/sharing male adults themselves, nor to offer to their children.
Many of them aren’t being the perfect parent.
Many of them don’t have the perfect child.
But that seems to be where a lot of this stuff finishes.
I want the other versions too.
The ones where you go to page….if you have this problem….or this page….for this problem…..or the last chapter (skip all the middle bits) if you have all the problems.
And where is society, you ask, in all this verbal convolution?
I’ll tell you where! If you are game to read on.
Really, if you’ve made it this far, you might as well read on. And I then could recommend you for an Australia Day medal for Persistence, while we’re at it 😛
I’ve worked with people since I’ve been 16 yo. It doesn’t matter where or how. I’m a people watcher, always have been.
Fascinating, they are.
I’ve studied various things like psychology in babies, children, adults, old age. I’ve studied various styles of counselling.
I was having a discussion with a student not long ago. She’s being trained to think about things. And people. And what’s right and what’s not.
She said ‘Society needs to do something about that group of people. They can’t go on like that.’
I told her they could go on like that, they have been and possibly will go on like that.
She looked quite horrified. I think she’d liked me before I said that.
‘No, society needs to do something about it.’
So I asked her what she was going to do.
She was so sure society needed to do something. But she, herself didn’t think she could/should/would know what to do or do it. Nor should she, apparently it was still society who needed to fix it.
After a few repeats of society do/you do. She got it. She is society. I’m society.
There is not a group with a big stick and a magic wand who are going to fix everything.
We are society. Each and every single/not single one of us.
There is no, That Group of People either. There are a lot of individuals/families, struggling.
Some of them appear to be totally overwhelmed by the struggle.
So, having quite depressed the student with the thought that it was up to her (and no she had no idea what she could do,) I told her that as far as I was concerned – My individual part of society believed that if I could do anything to support, physically and emotionally, someone who needed it, that was my contribution.
When society, in it’s individual parts, takes the time and effort to make one person feel more capable, more supported, more brave about keeping on, then you have improved that one persons life.
That one improvement with one person (especially if you work with families) can improve the life of the children in families.
That one improvement in children in families can improve life in communities.
If each generation of families received more tiny supports from more individuals, over periods of time, then each generation of strugglers would come one step closer to what Society would approve of.
Instead, we could just keep on carping about how those struggling aren’t doing their best, and how they could just make their life perfect if they tried hard enough.
Bull! Total Bull!
So I’ll continue to not Fix things for people. Because neither Society nor myself can do that. They don’t actually want to be Fixed.
They might like to feel a bit more capable, hopeful, happy tho.
And I’ll keep doing my little best, and hoping that it does help. A quiet smile from someone who needed to feel something good about themselves is worthwhile to me.
And yes, I raised my boys a good bit alone.
And yes, they wore pink at times.
One of them wore his sisters pink satin long skirt to fancy dress snowboarding day on The Hill. As he tried to inconspicuously get through the carpark some guys looked at him with sympathy and said ‘Maaaaaaan, did you lose the bet?’
Said son, later informed me he now knew why they don’t wear dresses when they’re snowboarding.
Apparently his half circle pink satin skirt flew up in his face coming down hill and he couldn’t see a thing. Glad he didn’t go over the edge of The Hill.