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Viewing entries tagged with 'common'

The other side of common

Posted by Philip on 6 June 2017, 4:27 pm in , , , , , ,

In my last post I provocatively suggested using the word 'common' instead of 'similar', saying that, "Using 'common' removes the positive leaning of 'similar' and suggests a more ordinary, even boring connotation" (my emphasis).

My frolleague* in leadership, Lesley, reminded me that author Margaret Wheatley often writes about the importance of common interests in leadership and social change. A couple of quotes:

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What makes people fear difference

Posted by Philip on 1 June 2017, 4:36 pm in , , , , ,

I often write and talk about my simple definition of diversity: the synergy of our uniqueness and commonality.

In other words, the combined effect or interaction based on our differences and similarities. And we're all both similar to and different from each other, all 7.508 billion of us.

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When diversity isn't diversity

Posted by Philip on 16 May 2016, 12:04 pm in , , , , , , , ,

I was disappointed but not surprised that a diversity debate at the Auckland Writers Festival yesterday turned out to be an ethnicity debate, with a little parlance about binary gender thrown in for good measure.


Image | Auckland Writers Festival

When I asked at the end why in 2016 a diversity debate's scope would be so narrow (apart from author Victor Rodger mentioning a fa'afafine character in one of his novels), after a resounding applause from the audience, I was met with varying levels of defensiveness, including:

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Diversity: unique, common and both

Posted by Philip on 28 October 2015, 11:39 am in , , , , ,

"Conversations with God" author Neale Donald Walsche tweeted about good and bad a couple of days ago. It got me thinking about diversity.

As you know, my perspective reframes the model of categorisation and representation, which most people associate with diversity. For me diversity is the synergy of our uniqueness and commonality.

But Walsche's tweet got me thinking again. He said:

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Flying with wheels – a uniquely common event

Posted by Philip on 6 May 2015, 4:30 pm in , , , , , ,

I fly a lot. More often than I'd choose. But I fly when the need beckons – though seldom, even never, unless I'm issuing an invoice.

Last Monday saw me fly from Auckland to Wellington and back in a day – relievedly, an almost unprecedented phenomenon. I was with Sam and Kylie again (about whom I wrote a week or so back). It was Kylie's first time flying with me – or anyone using a wheelchair I believe – so Sam and I created a list of common occurrences for Kylie to "check off" as we went from airport to plane and plane to airport. Twice. In one day.

The list went something like this:

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One of seven billion, one of one; Parekura Horomia, you and me

Posted by Philip on 29 April 2013, 6:51 pm in , , , , ,

Today, as Parekura Horomia died, I finalised my will, enduring power of attorney and advanced directive for health care.

I've been reading tributes to Horomia on Twitter. He was a humble, generous and liked politician, by all accounts. A good man.

He was one of what Google says is nearly seven billion people in the world. He was the only him.

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Walking: intrinsic value or mere consequence of human evolution

Posted by Philip on 10 March 2013, 12:19 pm in , , , , , , ,

On Friday a wheel fell off my power chair. To be specific, one of the powered wheels fell off my chair. Literally, the axle snapped.

I use a hybrid power chair system, called e-Fix. It consists of two motorised wheels, a battery and a joystick, that fit onto a standard lightweight chair frame. It's really cool and the only one in NZ, but it's new technology.

In three years it's broken twice, every eighteen months or so. Last time one wheel broke, they were both sent back to Germany, where it was designed. When I got them back, the entire mechanism had been improved, which made the system better. Bonus.

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Bullying - a retrospective

Posted by Philip on 26 April 2012, 11:48 am in , , , ,

As Pink Shirt Day is less than a month away, on Fri 18th May, I thought I'd put together a retrospective of some of the posts I've written on the subject in the past year or so. Click on the title to see the original post and comments.

Check out the new Pink Shirt Day website and video, too.

Responding to bullying through diversity

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Bullying has nothing to do with kids

Posted by Philip on 8 December 2011, 6:44 pm in , , , ,

I'm part of a team working on Pink Shirt Day 2012 and I've just been emailed links to these two wonderful videos by young gay men who have been targets of bullying. The second is a response to the first. Both these young men thought they were unique in their experience; in fact it was common.

As I've said before, they probably have more in common with the young people who were triggered to bully them than they'll ever know, too.

It's important to understand that these guys aren't the problem. Nor are the young people who were triggered to bully them. Schools are not the breeding ground for bullying.

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Diversity - straight from the horse's mouth

Posted by Philip on 25 November 2011, 3:19 pm in , , , ,

According to Wikipedia, "Clever Hans (in German, der Kluge Hans) was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks. After a formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the reaction of his human observers.

"Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein the horse was responding directly to involuntary cues in the body language of the human trainer, who had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such cues.

"In honour of Pfungst's study, the anomalous artifact has since been referred to as the Clever Hans effect and has continued to be important knowledge in the observer-expectancy effect and later studies in animal cognition."

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