When we accept ourselves “as is,” we are more able to shrug off the irrelevant opinions of others.
Instead of poisoning ourselves by internalizing the hate, ignorance, and fear demonstrated by the bullies of life (who are trying to make themselves “bigger” by making us appear ”smaller”), we embrace our individuality.
When we have the courage to swim against the stream of outdated societal expectations and values (whatever they are), we become strong and resilient. We learn to survive and thrive, instead of tossing in the towel or cashing in our chips when others disagree with our lifestyle, our choices, or our unique point of view.
Nancy is right. It just isn’t that easy for all people to achieve, so we need to practice.
Many groups have strived and still strive for equality over the years. Women, black people, gay people and disabled people as primary examples. I remember back when women were fighting for equal pay for equal work (the fight isn’t over): many women were burning bras and tossing out the heels and the makeup. I refused. Yes, I expect to be treated equally, but that doesn’t mean I want to BE a man. I like my nail polish and my heels, thank you very much. I’ll accept the nail polish may not be so good if I wanted to be a plumber or a mechanic, but I’m not either. I don’t want to have to adopt mannish traits simply to be entitled to vote or earn equal pay. Mind you, don’t call me “love” in a professional environment.
I once worked for a gay manager. In those days, to avoid discrimination, he behaved perfectly straight. Was he comfortable doing so? I don’t know: my guess is, not so much.
Choosing a topic for the K instalment of Our A – Z of Australia was easy. Koala. Oh, all right, I could have gone for Kangaroo. That just seemed a little too easy. Besides, I wrote about kangaroo when we had a lovely dinner.
My mother chose to have her photo taken at Sydney Zoo with a snake draped around her shoulders rather than a koala. She always told me it was because she knew the koalas were a bit scared. My mother looked rather scared of the snake.
Team Oyeniyi have been interviewed. Not by the mainstream media, so don’t go getting all excited for us just yet! Through the strange channels of modern technology I happened to connect with Jill Singer, who asked me if the children would be interested in being interviewed for a university assignment. Jill is a lecturer in television journalism at RMIT, a Melbourne university. The topic was originally to be about the children’s development of the concept of “race”. The students, upon learning more about us, decided to broaden the scope of their project to a profile of the whole family.
Last night was spent in front of the camera answering questions. Miss O 2, normally one of the noisiest members of the team, became remarkably quiet when speaking into the microphone, which surprised me. We tried to encourage her to sing “Rolling in the Deep” on camera, but she couldn’t be persuaded!
Shopping to feed six on a budget can be challenging. My family all prefer lamb over beef and in Australia lamb is the more expensive of the two. Some weeks by a lot, some weeks by not so much! Then then are red peppers (capsicum) which can vary in price unbelievably. Likewise bananas.
For our meat, vegetables and fruit we shop almost exclusively at the Queen Victoria Market. PRICE! Bananas at the QVM were $1.20 a kilo today (up 20 cents from the last few weeks). At Coles bananas are $2.98 a kilo (probably up there this week too). When we buy about 5 kilos of bananas, that price difference makes a difference!
I am reasonably conversant with the history of American slavery. As conversant as someone who is not a student of history, from another country, can be. I know about people such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. I’ve seen the images of black people being burnt alive or strung up. I see the stupid, stupid bumper stickers “2012 Don’t re-nig”. I understand the horror many feel at the use of the word nigger. I won’t allow the use of the word in our house.
Yet how do I get the message across to young people who have never learnt the history, who have no idea what happened in those dark days, no idea what Martin Luther King fought for? No idea that black people weren’t allowed to sit on a bus under certain circumstances? These kids just hear music and think the word is cool because it is being used by black artists. They think the American entertainers are cool. I can’t ban the music, it is everywhere. Even the Australian kids who use the word are using it in what they think is a “cool” way because they have no idea of the history either.
In Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the word is defined as “member of any dark skinned race. Taken to be offensive.” Dictionary.com says the word “is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. Definitions 1a, 1b, and 2 represent meanings that are deeply disparaging and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense.”
We all like jelly, right? At least when we were kids. Oh, for American readers, jelly is not jam to us, although I understand it is to you. Jelly for us is a dessert, usually served with ice-cream, especially after you’ve had your tonsils removed.
Jellyfish are amazingly beautiful creatures. Translucent and in some cases colourful, gliding gracefully through the water. Some are also deadly.
Their venom is considered to be among the most deadly in the world, containing toxins that attack the heart, nervous system, and skin cells. It is so overpoweringly painful, human victims have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure before even reaching shore. Survivors can experience considerable pain for weeks and often have significant scarring where the tentacles made contact.
I once worked for a lovely woman who insisted on doing a lot of ocean swimming. Every year there is a Rottnest Channel Swim and Ms X loves to enter. One year she came back with some very nasty injuries from jellyfish invading her wetsuit. The wounds took forever to heal.
While various species of jellyfish are found around the world, many of them harmless, the box jellyfish are specific to the costal areas of the northern regions of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Read more