Category Archives: Think

The time to change is now!

I am deeply saddened by the news that 49 people in Orlando Florida in the USA, have been murdered in cold blood and that 53 others have been wounded in this latest horrific incident.

These murderous attacks are happening across the planet killing many, many people. More often than not, the targets are innocent people going about normal everyday activities.

The hate and the killing must stop!

No one should die because they have different belief structures, or are different in any way from another person.

Forget…

Let us forget forever the name of the Orlando murderer, banish it to the loneliest unmarked grave, without honour or epitaph. Do not show his picture and do not give coverage to his extreme and twisted personal misinterprtations of a particular religion.

Remember…

Let people remember the people who died, remember their faces, their plans, their hopes and dreams. Support their families and communities…

But more than that…

Let us all learn to truly accept people and respect them as they are regardless of their faith or non-faith, gender association, sexual orientation, skin colour, ethnic origin etc.

Although not an excuse, our problem is that we can only see through the eyes we have, and they are biased, due to our personal experiences and what we have been taught or modelled. However change is possible for all of us, but only if we are willing to start.

We must always search for better ways, always question entrenched ideologies, always ask for help if you need it, and offer it where you are able.

  • We need to start to see the person, the humanity, within each individual and respect them as they are;
  • We need to stop labelling and putting people in boxes that make it easier for us to dismiss others as different or inferior;
  • We need to remember that the blood in all our veins runs red, that we breathe the same air, and that this tiny little rock floating in space that we share is our only home.

It is a bold, courageous and glorious goal to love everybody and it is not easy, but even a small step in the direction of love is a good start. The trick is, when you start the journey, keep moving.

We must remember that this is a journey and

  • We are all at varying stages along the way,
  • We are not perfect,
  • We are broken,
  • We can’t do it alone,
  • We need help,
  • We need patience with others on the journey.

May be, just may be, if we all take a small step towards love and peace the world will be a better place.

Paul S Allen

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War Hero – Poem

War Hero

A creative call to action

Stand up, fight back

This is a call for all of us creative types to use our talents for social good.

We now more than ever need to use our art and talents to highlight the real New Zealand, so that people will see it is not the 100% pure image seen in the glossy marketing.

We need people to see the eroded sovereign rights, the increasing poverty, the widening inequality, the unemployed, the polluted waterways and growing environmental issues. the downtrodden, sick and forgotten and the many, many other issues being experienced in our country today.

It is now time…

A bed for the night

“A bed for the night” Homeless in Dunedin

      • For photographers to use images to unsettle and enlighten.
      • For singer-songwriters to sing the songs that challenge the status quo.
      • For thinkers and poets to question authority.
      • For the media to be independent and investigative not swayed by biased political or commercial agenda.
      • For people to stand up for all those who need a voice to be heard.
      • For all of us to tell the world that everything is NOT ok in this country.

We can, we should and we will do something about it.

Paul S Allen

PS: if you know of an event that highlights the need for social change or for justice or other protest in Dunedin NZ please contact me. As a photographer I am happy to use my skills for a good cause.

Paul

Change is Inevitable

Verbal Sticks and Stones

Photo by Rich Johnson

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can also harm you.

Be careful with words, the scars they cause may not be visible but they are real, words can cause real damage.

People may appear strong and able to cope, but what is going on beneath the surface may not be apparent, and you do not know what demons people are struggling with.

Being told to “get over it” or “harden up” are not helpful statements especially if you have been brave enough to reveal a problem. Yes, we need a reminder from time to time it doesn’t matter what others think about you (or me); but, if you are struggling, you need support and encouragement, at times even professional assistance.

We all can struggle with self-esteem or self-worth issues at some point in life, some people are more obvious with letting it be known, and others just hide it away. The trigger points are different for everyone and you may not understand what your own triggers are.

Words can have permanent consequences for people. You never know how close to the edge someone is, or what they are going through. so be very careful.

Let your words build up and not destroy.

Paul S Allen

I am not a stranger to being bullied, as a child, teenager and as an adult. It has been in the form of words and insults, intimidation, threats and physical attacks.  Coming to a new country as a child with a different accent, just not being the same as others, or being quiet and shy or for no apparent reason at all. What ever the reason given, there is no valid reason to bully anyone, ever.


New Zealand support services

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 – 24 hour service

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

For an emergency if you or someone else is at risk, call 111


Powerful photos illustrate real damage done verbal abuse

Petapixel.com

The image above is one of a few photos that are a great visual representation on the power that words can have.

Be aware some of the images, although staged, may cause a reaction in you and may not be suitable for sensitive people or children.

 


 Stand up together –  Stop Bullying – Pink Shirt Day this Friday – 23 May 2014 http://www.pinkshirtday.org.nz


Apparition in Chingford Park 2

Ash Wednesday – Reflection

“Remember, mankind you are dust and to dust you will return.”

You can take this message two ways.

1: We are all going to die sometime.

2: We should all make the most of today.

Live life to the full.

Carpe diem.

Paul S Allen. 

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