Photos and Lion Dance video from the amazing South Dunedin Street Festival 3 November 2012.
Celebrating all things South Dunedin.
I am so Proud To Be South D today, it has been a pleasure (and hard work) to put this day on, but I am sure you will all agree it was worth it, even in the cold and occasional hail.
Same again next year.
Beware of leaders who tell you what to think. Think for yourself, if they are threatened by that, good.
One of the problems of society as I see it today is that we spend far too much time trying, and succeeding, to not think. We have been spoon fed doctrine, ideologies and propaganda without taking time out to analyse what we are being fed. It is far to easy to go along with the masses with the assumption that everyone else is doing it/thinking it so it must be right.
To think for yourself carries its risks. Your independent thought might just upset the people around you, it might upset those who manage the status quo and those in authority.
A true leader will always encourage free thought amongst their team.
One of the keys to successfully solving problems, fixing that which is broken or bringing about longstanding change is to simply allow yourself to think freely, independently and then collaboratively with other such free thinkers.
I dare you to have an opinion, don’t just mouth off over some minor irritation, investigate the issues, ask questions – expect and demand answers, be prepared to be wrong and to back down, but you must have your opportunity to think. The problem often is not what you think, it is whether you actually do think.
Never be made to feel inferior because you have your own thoughts on an issue. You do not have to just believe everything that so-called leaders teach you. Learn to question do not be put off or intimidated. People may not like the question, those in authority may especially be threatened because you question them, or seek clarification on points that you do not understand.
A belief system should be able to withstand rigorous questioning. Any belief system that does not allow deep questioning of its core beliefs and values should be treated with utmost caution.
The older I get the less afraid I become, and I find myself questioning the very core of my faith systems. What I find out is that there is so much I don’t understand and that I don’t have all the answers (and neither does anyone else), I do not have all the wisdom and I especially do not have any right to judge others.
The older I get the more issues become grey, and so does my hair.
The black and white taught thinking patterns I had when I was young have changed because I realise so much is beyond my limited understanding of the universe. As such I will not blindly follow any doctrine, belief, ideology or mass hysteria. I will question, I will not be satisfied with the status quo, I will think for myself and if others do not like that, tough.
I will not tell you how or what to think but I will encourage you to think. We may not agree on many or any issues and that is good as long as we respect each other for having the ability to think freely. May be one day we can dialogue and collaborate on an issue and bring about great and positive change. In the meantime think for yourself.
OK, I know I do not have a permanent disability, but over the last few weeks I have has the misfortune to experience life on crutches. Over the time I have had to use public transport, buses, taxis, shuttles, air travel and the generous assistance of coworkers and friends.
I have eaten at restaurants and cafes and have had an overnight stay in a hotel.
I have learnt that there are some great and helpful people out there, to which I say thank you.
My short-term inconvenience is minor and I was reminded of this while waiting for a plane at Wellington airport when I saw a child on crutches who only had one leg. She will grow up having to live with that for life.
So what have I noticed?
- People are generally great about it and look out for you.
- Some buses can kneel to assist you on and off.
- People offer to help
The not so good.
- I have had to get over my pride and accept help.
- At home we only have a shower over the bath and balancing on one leg is tricky as is getting in and out.
- Buses sometimes stop in strange places to far away from the kerb and the jump is a long way.
- Vans are very hard to get in too
- Wet grass is not a good surface to hobble over on crutches. One of my crutches sunk in six inches.
- Staying in a hotel room alone poses a problem when moving hot drinks around. Wet bathroom floors in hotels are slippery.
- The upper body workout is hard work and tiring.
What have I learnt?
- Do not hurry down stairs! (marble stairs are very unforgiving)
- If you are on crutches for a long time wear thick gloves to pad your hands.
- Metal drink bottles and thermal coffee mugs with a lid are an essential.
- Make sure you have a small stool in the house that will fit into the bath.
- There is no shame to ask for help.
- I am no Superman
My ankle will heal (eventually) and this is a temporary inconvenience. I have a lot to be thankful for especially my wife, I have a great work place with a good team of people.
Over the last few weeks I have had my usually busy life curtailed by an injury.
I have had to have my leg elevated and take medication that has left me with a foggy brain.
The world has continued to turn, the social structure of the community has held together and all without me. This is a good thing, other people have had to step up and take control for some things and I have just had to step down from others.
This process has helped me re-evaluate certain priorities in my life and consider how much time I spend on projects. Yes I have watched a lot of TV in this time, but thankfully the London Olympics has been on and I have been inspired by the single focus and dedication of the athletes. These athletes have sacrificed much to attempt to achieve personal bests and Olympic glory.
If I am to achieve success in community development or for particular causes I need to prioritize involvement’s. This will mean I will have to relinquish some commitments. This does not mean I am not concerned with the causes I let go, it means that I am deciding to focus on areas that I can make the biggest difference.
I have always been a busy person, but my body is not keeping up with my mind. Perhaps my badly sprained ankle with torn ligaments and chipped bone has been a blessing and a warning. It has forced me to rest and to slow down. It has made me realise that I am no superman, I cannot be strong all the time and I need to focus more.
Sometimes it is right and proper to re-evaluate life and it priorities. To step down requires a determination to overcome ego and self-importance, to concentrate on what is important not what is urgent.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel needs to remain squeaky, sometimes things need to be done by other people.
By holding on tightly to leadership or other roles you actually hinder the cause you are trying to help and from others that need to take over and lead it to the next level.
So what next? Time to workout where to focus, to develop skills and talents that I can pass onto others.
I am moving up not moving out; I am focusing not getting busier; I am getting values and priorities in order not just being driven by “good” causes.
When was the last time you re-evaluated your priorities? Why not take a few moments and make sure you are on the right road and make some changes if you need to.
As I start this new day I take a few moments just to think, contemplate, meditate, pray and take time to allow my thoughts to settle.
It is my cave (or quiet) time, where nothing matters apart from stillness of the heart and mind. I can sit and watch the world go by without participating in its busy-ness. Sometimes I think about the work I must do, but, the most important thing I do is to just sit and in quiet contemplation just allow myself to listen.
Contemplation, meditation and prayer, to me, are much more about spending time listening than about the process or method or in the case of prayer, speaking or asking for things. When we sit and listen we discover many things about ourselves. Some are good some are not so good, but it is always for us to be encouraged about something or challenged to work on other things or even just to be a peace for a short time in our busy world.
Whether you are a Christian, as I am, or have another faith or even no faith at all, let me encourage you to practice the art of just “being”, sitting for a few moments everyday in quietness just to listen. You will be amazed at what you will discover.