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Latest musing on disability in the media

Posted by Philip on 25 October 2016, 5:08 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

Recently a third year student at the University of Winchester studying Theatre Production (Arts & Stage Management) contacted me. Her focal topic is looking at "able bodied performers portraying disabled [people] and how we, as participants in the arts industry, feel about it."

She sent me some questions and here's how I responded:

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I am no longer a Select Committee virgin (aka Simon O'Connor asked me a question)

Posted by Philip on 14 October 2016, 4:33 pm in , , , , , , ,

This afternoon I presented to the Parliamentary ​Health Select Committee​ about my submission on Hon Maryan Street’s petition about voluntary euthanasia​ (or assisted dying). Imagine my delight when I saw, sitting in the sub-committee to which I was to present, Hon Simon O'Connor, the Committee's Chair​​, and Poto Williams, Labour's spokesperson on disability issues, whom I have met several times​. Score!

I began by acknowledging the death this morning of Helen Kelly who, in her struggle with cancer, lobbied for legalisation of both medical cannabis use and assisted​ dying (AD). Helen, if you're reading this somewhere and you had anything to do with ​the sub-committee make-up, many, many thanks.

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Remembering my purpose — revisited

Posted by Philip on 7 October 2016, 2:45 pm in , , , , , , , ,

Last week I blogged about my purpose. I said I felt purposeless, and wondered if being purposeless was, in fact, my purpose for now.

I've changed my mind. I wonder if surrendering my purpose was part of rediscovering it. I also wonder if my parents bringing a whole lot of newspaper clipping from when I was born has helped me remember.

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Remembering my purpose

Posted by Philip on 29 September 2016, 1:43 pm in , , , , , , ,

Last night I had the privilege to host a conversation evening facilitated b​y Sue Davidoff and Allan Kaplan of the Proteus Initiative. I've blogged about a couple of retreats I've done with them and I wanted to do another next week but couldn't make it because of work and my support needs.

So I invited 15 others who have also worked with Allan and Sue​ to my place for a shared meal and conversation​​​​​. I shared the issue I wanted to explore​:

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NZ Government crackdown on family violence – beating up on the beaten?

Posted by Philip on 13 September 2016, 10:57 am in , , ,

John Key has just announced an "overhaul of the family violence prevention system."

If it was a Labour government I'd be thinking, "About time." Under National, though, I fear it may be an exercise in bullying families in low socio-economic circumstances, rather than looking at the systemic oppression that often contributes to family violence.

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Posted by Philip on 3 September 2016, 12:26 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I love this campaign. It speaks to the heart of an issue of fundamental importance: how do we create a strong, robust future society. Our children are that future. I submitted this to the #DearNewZealand website today.

I would solve child poverty by creating a culture where every kid has what they need, for free. Shelter, clothes, food, learning environments, safety and love. All these things should be provided for free by the Government.

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Confidence and humility – the dance of the balanced ego

Posted by Philip on 2 September 2016, 10:38 am in , , ,

Balancing confidence and humility in any relationship, be it personal or professional, is a real skill. The first step is to become aware of what the two are. Author of The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory, Françoise Simpère writes:

“Arrogance...is generally a cover for a chronic lack of self-confidence.To be specific, self-confidence is when one is aware of his or her qualities without falling victim to false modesty. Humility allows one to recognise quietly that even though he or she is a wonderful person, there may be qualities that he or she lacks. An individual with a balanced ego is fully aware of his or her own existence and does not need others to confirm it. He or she is interested in others because of who they are, and not because of a need to see him or herself as a reflection in their admiring eyes.”

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Supported autonomy

Posted by Philip on 25 August 2016, 3:28 pm in , , , , , , ,

Autonomy is often used to mean independence. Though their dictionary definitions are similar and they are synonyms of each other, I like to talk about autonomy in a slighty different way.


For me, autonomy is having the choice over when I am independent and when I am dependent. It's similar to the notion of interdependence, except the latter, interdependence, suggests an ongoing process of co-operation or collaboration. Perhaps autonomy could include the choice of interdependence as well, but for now I want to focus on the aspect of choice.

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Climate change – an effect, not a cause

Posted by Philip on 15 August 2016, 5:52 pm in , , , , , , ,

I'm getting a bit sick of hearing about climate change. Not because I don't care – I do, desperately​. I'm fed up because "climate change" is the effect of something much, much worse.

And what's even worse is that we're not talking about the cause. We're not naming what we're doing to create climate change. It's pretty bad.

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How to put the cuss in customer service

Posted by Philip on 9 August 2016, 4:00 pm in , , ,

If you want to lose customers and infuriate people, here are some ideas, based on my own, real-life, recent experiences with Parallel Imported, Pass the Parcel and Window Treatments. I won't be going back to any of them — I'd recommend you join me.


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