Monday, January 26, 2015

I am, You are, We are...?

Its a tricky thing living in a multi cultural society sometimes. But not because of the glorious shades of colour in humans, languages, foods and cultures of the difference in people that surround us, but because of the sometimes very deep rooted sentiments and prejudices that exist in a country or are brought over by those now calling said country home.

I was born in one of the most beautiful countries on this earth, Australia. My family hail from everywhere, so I guess in many ways I am the quintessential ideal of what an "Australian" really means. I have friends that have ancestors that walked the plains of Australia for 60,000 years before me and many others whose families have escaped the persecution of wars that have been ravaging this world since the dawn of time.

I have been blessed to witness Corroborees, learnt from an elder how to throw a boomerang and grew up with the sounds of many different languages dancing in my ears as well as eating the delicious foods of Europe, South America, Asia and Africa all thanks to my friends and family. To say I have been blessed is the ultimate understatement.

Is my country any different from any other that exists in the 21st century? Yes and No. Is there inequality? Sure. Is there racism? Sure. But I will say this, having travelled the world now and residing in a country that has more struggles than most in this world, I am grateful that those negative points I mentioned above are able to be spoken about, discussed, argued, disagreed and agreed with. That people in Australia have the right to voice their opinions, no matter how right or completely absurd those opinions may be. Do I wish that things like inequality and racism were non existent? 100%. Do I wish that the people who roamed the lands of Australia were given more respect and we all lived together in harmony. That goes with out saying.

I know for some that Australia day is a time for reflection and injustices and for others its a celebration of living in a free society, free of war and persecution, but I also believe that as Australians we need to really start looking toward the future, working together and stop looking at the differences in each other and finding what it is that truly connects us all. All of us.

This last year in Brazil has shown me that looking for the positives in life, not dwelling on the things we have no control over changing and bringing our children up with clear minds, free of the prejudices of our ancestors, is what will truly make for a cohesive and equal society. Its an ideal, I know, but as Mahatma Gandhi  so famously said "Be the change that YOU want to see in the world."

How ever you choose to celebrate this day or not, is up to you but I know that I am so lucky to know each and everyone of you and not for one second do I take that for granted or will I  forget to take a moment to reflect on the people that first walked the lands of Australia and pay my respects to them. Travelling the world has been the best experience of my life and one that has truly given me a new found love and respect for the country that I was so fortunate to be born in, Australia.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Summertime Sadness.

Everything always looks better in neon.

Lana sings about it so beautifully and today, well I am having a little of it. Summertime sadness.

It may seem strange to those in the Northern hemisphere that someone who has only really ever known summer to be hot and muggy and surrounded by beaches is somewhat sad. Things like eggnog are replaced with a cold beer and the only fire that I have ever sat around at this time of the year, is a BBQ, and that can hardly be called a fire. I digress.

Many times over the last couple of months I have thought about packing it all in and calling it a day. That it was, and is too hard and the prospect of another month of uncertainties of all manner, is just not how I envisaged living my life. Yet, here I still am. I have said it before and I'll say it again, I never truly understood what the phrase "the struggle is real" meant, until I moved to Brazil a year ago.

That "struggle" is something that I seem to share with around 200 million or so people, so I am in good company. Those people for the better part, seem to have a never ending capacity to see the positives in everyday life, something that I truly admire, respect and love. In reality though, being in a foreign country and with little to no support network that you can truly rely on, can sometimes make it difficult to see those "positives". But... when in Rome...

I guess that although I am not such a big believer in "New years resolutions" (Why wait for something when you can start now), the end of a year and beginning of another can bring with them a myriad of reflections on what, where, when, how and why, both past and for the future. Reflection is good, not to dwell, but for the most part, I think it's good.

The Summertime sadness part is really just a state of season (Wintertime sadness just doesn't have the same ring) and I guess a state of mind, now that I have written out loud and reflected. Being happy is so easy for many, but happiness is something entirely different to me. It goes deeper than the smiled mask that so many feel they need to maintain, happiness cuts to the core, it's what makes you love what you do and do what you love. It's pure, real and always honest.

Summertime sadness? I'll leave it entirely up to Lana, she seems to do it so much better.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A linha tênue entre a lealdade e honestidade.

Eu admiro a lealdade e de pé ao lado de alguém quando o céu está tão escuro que a única esperança que você é o conforto dessas mesmas pessoas ao seu lado, aqueles que acreditam que verdadeiramente irá protegê-lo nos momentos bons e ruins. Estas são as qualidades que mais admiro nos outros e espero que eu também, compartilhar essas mesmas qualidades.

Há, porém, uma linha tênue entre a lealdade e honestidade. Ser capaz de ter a capacidade de ser verdadeiro para aqueles que estão de prontidão, mesmo quando você sabe a verdade não está sendo contada por aqueles que você está guardando. Uma situação difícil para a maioria, mas que irá se apresentar em algum momento ao longo da vida.

Há um ditado que diz que tem circulado pela minha cabeça mais e mais nos últimos dias, algo que a minha linda avó costumava me dizer: "Diga-me com quem andas e te direi que és." Muito verdadeiro.

Embora a tempestade pode passar ea verdade foi recolhido com o vento e soprados como as nuvens escuras que antes eram acima de você, ele vai voltar, e quando o faz, aos que estavam em face da verdade tudo vai ser responsável, não apenas o instigador de mentiras, mas também aqueles que estavam com ele ou ela e escolheu o caminho do engano.

A verdade sempre vai te libertar.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The fine line between loyalty and honesty.

So, what about it then?

I admire loyalty and standing by some one's side when the sky is so dark that the only hope you have is the comfort of those very people beside you, those you believe that truly will protect you in the good times and bad. These are qualities I admire most in others and hope that I too, share these very qualities.

There is however, a fine line between loyalty and honesty. Being able to have the ability to be truthful to those you are standing by, even when you know the truth is not being told by those you are guarding. A difficult situation for most, but one that will present itself at sometime throughout life.

There is a saying that has been circulating through my head over and over the last few days, something that my beautiful Grandmother used to tell me, "You are the company you keep." Very true.

Although the storm may pass and the truth has been gathered up with the wind and blown away like the dark clouds that were once above you, it will return, and when it does, those that stood in the face of truth will all be accountable, not just the instigator of lies, but those who also stood by him or her and chose the path of deceit.

The truth will always set you free.