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Viewing entries tagged with 'fear'

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 will the world feel safe again?

Posted by Philip on 15 November 2016, 2:50 pm in , , , , , , ,

I don't know about you but, to me, the world doesn't feel very safe at the moment. In fact, it feels pretty bloody scary right now.

Maybe 'safe' isn't the right word — in Be. Leadership, Lesley and I ban a few words and 'safe' is one of them, because you can't develop and change if you need to feel safe all the time. And living in fear is a miserable existence.

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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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Clear ambiguity

Posted by Philip on 4 April 2016, 11:12 am in , , , , , , , ,

At Be. Leadership last weekend, Joe Macdonald from Affinity Services' Rainbow Community Liaison and Training Team spoke about a trend they have seen in younger people identifying as genderfluid and/or pansexual, rather than male/female/transgender and/or gay/bi/straight. I asked Joe what dials they thought were being turned to encourage/enable this change.

Joe's answer was that there seemed to be a change in the meaning of ambiguity. Whereas previously "ambiguous" may have been seen as a synonym for "confused", now, perhaps, young people are choosing ambiguity as a clear identity — in other words, people are clear that their gender and sexual identity, as well as their preference and orientation, are, indeed, unclear and undefined.

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Day of anti-silence

Posted by Philip on 11 June 2015, 6:41 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 June is the "Day of Silence", "a day of action in which students across New Zealand vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools."

At Epsom Girls Grammar School, however, 12 June will be a day of anti-silence. Students who are part of DIVINQ – a process targeted at senior students that I co-created with Jeannie Grant, which uses philosophical inquiry to explore the ways our identity is limited by assumptions, labels and fear of difference –will be taking a different tack.

We'll be shouting about bullying all over the school at lunchtime.

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The time "in-between"

Posted by Philip on 30 December 2014, 12:56 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

So, in the past couple of weeks, my unravelling has stopped. I've successfully returned to my usual muscle relaxant medication, so my anxiety has ceased and my co-ordination is back. I'm ten days into a four week holiday and I feel relaxed and unstressed. The archangels have been and gone, working a little magic.

The weather has been beautiful and I've spent many hours sitting on my deck, reading, drinking, eating and laughing with friends. I've even written a few more paragraphs of a book I started writing this time last year.

(By the way I've been reading This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein. It's dense but a must-read if you are interested in the bigger picture of climate change.)

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The sport of coming out

Posted by Philip on 15 July 2014, 6:56 am in , , , , , , , ,

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe is the latest in a long line of sports "stars" to come out as gay in an interview with celebrity interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson. It seems to be a sport in itself these days: to play professional sport and reveal that you're gay.

Or perhaps a better sport might be to place bets on who will be next. David Beckham? Too good to be true.

But the real question — or the bigger conversation we're not having — is about the "casual homophobia", as Kath and Kim actor and out lesbian comedian Magda Szubanski puts it, in sport that stops people like Thorpe coming out — or never having to "go in" in the first place.

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Diversity — are you trying to get it right?

Posted by Philip on 12 November 2013, 4:04 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

wrong_way_thumbs_up

If you are, you're very likely to get it wrong.

Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they'll be scared of getting it wrong.

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What effect is our fear of missing out having on tolerance, acceptance and generosity?

Posted by Philip on 25 October 2013, 11:30 am in , , , , , , ,

I've been reflecting on a situation a few months back where, accidentally, I got into the wrong lane to go straight ahead at a multi-road intersection. Despite indicating to move into the correct lane, no-one stopped to let me in. I had to turn right and then find a place to turn around and double back.

At a similar time, Campbell Live did a story on people pushing in to turn onto the motorway at Gillies Ave. Police were targeting and ticketing motorists for this "offence".

Add to that the fact that, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, people were caught renting disabled people in order to avoid two hour queues. Mind you, if looks could kill, when I went to Disneyland in 1992 and we were told by staff to jump the line of long-time queuers, I'd have been dead very quickly. It was pretty awkward.

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Are you allowing yourself to be all you can be?

Posted by Philip on 16 October 2013, 10:21 am in , , , , , ,

Man and child sleeping"You are what you allow yourself to be." — Robert Waggoner

The interview below with author Robert Waggoner gives not only a fascinating insight into lucid dreaming, but also provides some useful commentary on how our mind can limit us through negative beliefs, unconscious habits and fear.

Well worth a watch.

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