Category Archives: Think

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.


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

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

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. 


Community – What are your motives for getting involved?

What is  a community?

Community is a group of people who have some form of relationship with each other or share a commonality of some description or another.  Communities are as infinitely varied as the people who are part of them.

Communities can be very informal or strictly formal associations.

Communities exist for as many reasons as there are people on earth. They can be skill based, task orientated, faith/religion/church based, non-faith, political, secular, work related, geographic, ethnic, gender, sexuality, or age based,  anything at all.

There should never be an assumption of a unified reason that a community exists, as you can never know the true intentions of all the participants.

The best you can hope for is that everyone, or at least most, will have enough shared intent to work together for a stated outcome.

It is always good to be reminded that where there are people, there will always be politics and there will always be at least one person who will assume, or usurp, control or power.

People do good for many reasons, some reasons are selfless and some selfish, for many it is a combination at one level or another. None of us have 100% pure motives for everything we do.

Why assume community organisations do?

Never blindly follow a “leader”,  always be willing to question and act on the answers you get. I have said before, “People who blindly follow a leader, political ideology, belief or value system without questioning, are fooling themselves with a false sense of security.” (Think – your country needs it)

Do not let this stop you from getting involved in your community,  the only assurance is that change can only happen if people are willing to get involved, what ever the reason.

All you can do is work on your own motives for getting involved in community.

Paul S Allen

Thieves Alley Market Day 2013


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