I’m a survivor. It’s not always easy but I’m discovering that about myself and I’m proud of it. As you wrote in a previous article, part of surviving the worst that life can throw at you is having a sense of gratitude for what you still have and what you are. But there is an important caveat here. It is important to realise that finding things to be grateful for and positive about does not erase hurts of the past. Don’t assume that because I have found reasons to smile, I no longer suffer from what has happened in the past. If you’re ever tried to help someone having a tough time by pointing out that somewhere in the world people are doing worse, (I hope you haven’t) you’ll appreciate the truth of this statement. So having made that point, this is what my gratitude looks like:
Foreword: So this essay was written by one of my students, aged 11. I ordinarily provide editorial advice to people before publishing their work, but wanted to leave it pretty much intact to preserve the child's voice behind the text- not that it is at all childlike! I share this, not just because I am very proud of her writing, but also to draw attention to the level of understanding and empathy for mental illness. If an 11-year-old child can have such a mature understanding of mental illness, the rest of us adults have no excuse for showing any less.
Depression, what is it? Depression is a mental illness that causes you to feel sadness or have very little interest in doing activities. Two of my very close family members suffer from serious depression. Not only is it hard for them, but it is also hard for the people who have to watch them change from once-happy people into cheerless humans. I don’t know how to help them at all. It makes me feel so unhappy when I see them and they are not who they used to be. They are now a completely different person. This is what matters to me.
For those on the far right who fought so hard for this survey on Marriage Equality to now react with feigned outrage at the tone of some aspects of the debate is a bit rich. It's a bit unfortunate for the young woman whose contract wasn't renewed after her public stand against equality, but that is also the reality we live in. While the business owner who chose to let her contractor go was within her rights, if a bit harsh, that is far from the worst behaviour we have seen around this issue.
As predicted, this campaign is bringing out the worst in people. There has been numerous reported violence, harassment and vilification in the name of both campaigns. And while nothing excuses the individuals that perpetuate the violence and intimidation that has gone on, this was in no way unforeseen- it was entirely predicted and the extremist cretins in the coalition ignored it. Now their wilful negligence makes them partially responsible too.
Open letter to Ms Pauline Hanson,
Your statement in Parliament last week is a bit ludicrous. You imply that people with autism need to be cut off from those who don't have autism in schools which is just not smart or true.
It is true some autistic people can't cope in mainstream schools but you don't want to cut off every autistic student simply because of their diagnosis. This is just not fair!
I have autism myself and yet I have so many friends who do not have autism. I cope in mainstream school really well because I have really good supports in place. Some students may not cope in mainstream school and benefit from separate classes or schools but this shouldn't be compulsory.
Quietblog seems overconfident in the face of the threat that right wing extremism poses to Australia. Your recent piece on Bernardi’s threatened split showed little concern for the possibility that there may be many people who are attracted to his divisive politics.
There may well be less inequality in Australia than England and the USA [Quietblog comment- indigenous Australians might disagree on this], but there is plenty of anger at our political system. This is the anger Trump and Farage both used so successfully and this is the anger Hanson relies on.
Hanson’s support is on the rise and the major parties’ support is falling, especially in wake of the expenses scandal that will not be forgotten quickly.
In relation to the article about Peter Dutton's recent comments inviting racial profiling of Australians of Lebanese descent, i have a simple question for him:
Do you want more terrorism? Because that is how you get more terrorism.
Coalition has relied on terrorists and our fascination with them (aided by a complicit media) as an deliberate part of its electoral strategy, so maybe that doesn't bother them as much as it bothers me. But it should and it demonstrates how morally bankrupt they are.
If you would like to have an article published simply email me the text, preferably in a word document, although you can just message me through the facebook page too. I am interested in a range of subjects- it doesn't all have to be political. What is important to you?
Unless asked not to, I will give it a quick proofread for spelling and grammar, but won't make any change to the language or meaning of the piece. This is just to reassure you that no one who disagrees with your position can't take cheap shots at your spelling.
This page will be open to comments too, but I will moderate these so anything I deem as offensive (and I am far more restrictive than section 18C) will be deleted.
I appreciate that many of the issues I try to discuss are both complex and controversial. As a result, there will often be elements of an issue I leave out and I have a backlog of topics still waiting for me to start writing about. But i love the quality and diversity of the responses I get to some of my essays.
So I have made this page. If you want to make a point, whether it be in 100 words or a few thousand, I will publish it. You don't have to agree with my politics. If you send me a post that disputes ..., I will post it- as long as you are not too aggressive in how you make your points or ... I will publish it.
I want to add here that some of the best thinkers I know are not necessarily 'book smart.' If you have something you want to share, please don't let a lack of confidence in your literacy hold you back. I will edit for punctuation, spelling and grammar before posting it for you.