Blog Archives

Straya Stuff: The Melbarn-Sydney Rivalry

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Breaking news: http://www.chaser.com.au/2016/melbourne-man-visits-sydney-just-point-flaws/

The “Melbarn-Sydney Rivalry” only exists in the heads of certain people from Melbarn. Usually, people from Sydney that I meet, like Melbarn a lot.

Commonly heard in Sydney: “I love Melbarn! People there are so friendly. I love the little bars and restaurants. The food is great. The roads seem easier to get around. Wish I could move there one day but I don’t know if I can. I’ll probably miss the beaches.”

Commonly heard in Melbarn: “I HATE Shitney! OMG people there are so PRETENTIOUS! Melbarn is the most LIVEABLE city in the world!!! THE BEST IN THE WORRLLLD!!! THE BEST COFFEE!!!! AND FASHIONNN!!!! AND CULTUURRREEEE!!! AND ITS THE SPORTING CAPITAL!!! THE BESSSSSSTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!! HNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!”

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“Race, Shame and Self-defence” by Sam Yang

I love Sam Yang‘s blog. He writes very interesting and thoughtful articles. This article discusses the subtle and poorly understood social challenges of being part of a minority group in the colonial mentality of the anglosphere, and perspectives on the racial hierarchy. Well worth a read.

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#racerelations #race #racism #colonialism #martialarts
 
On survival:
“Martial arts work in isolated situations, but when the danger is systemic, then one must hold on to the principles, rather than the physical techniques. When fighting perceptions, there is no solitary “bad guy” to defeat.”
 
On understanding the perspective of a minority:
“Because if you are at the top of the institutional food chain, you may not sense the same dangers. That is good for you, but you are not the whole of the collective experience.”
 
On racial biases and stereotyping:
“Often people will relate to us in the only ways they know how, they relate to us based on our race — as if we were the representative of a whole people and not individuals.”
 
On falsely imagining racial diversity:
“The two common types I have found in the US are, liberal and conservative, and everything must fit into one or the other, no overlap. Everything then becomes mutually exclusive. Racial diversity is often tossed into the liberal bin, so people assume if a city is liberal, it must have racial diversity.”
 
On false equivalence in “reverse racism”:
“There is a difference between being bullied and institutional oppression. There is common ground but thinking it is exactly the same is a false equivalence.”
 
On recognising the differences between equality and equity:
“We cannot close that gap if we pretend things are the same. If two people run at the same speed, the person who started out in the lead will stay in the lead. To catch up, the person in the back will have to run twice as hard. Equality is nothing without equity. These are not complicated ideas; we can float these thoughts in our heads. We just may not want to if it does not work out in our favor. A quality of a civilized culture is that of empathy. Survival of the fittest is natural, but it is also primitive. The very existence of medicine is a challenge to the survival of the fittest, yet a civilized society means giving everyone a chance at life. That is what civilization is consistently working towards.”
 
On dealing with an inescapable reality:
“Race is one of those identifiers that is immutable — people will just know, which makes it the hardest thing to see past.”
 
On oversimplified racial stereotypes:
“Simplifying a minority group as always “good” or right, is exchanging paternalism with infantilization. It is reducing a group to a stereotype when there is a wholeness to people. Some people are good, some are not, some are right, some are wrong — the same wholeness that exists for the majority group.”

Nothing Grows in the Desert

Almost nothing grows in the desert, even with water. Unless you are like a camel or a cactus, built for the barren plains, you must find a patch of fertile soil to survive and thrive. Nonetheless, the desert dwelling camel or cactus will never proliferate and grow with the same ease and to the same magnitude as a creature that thrives in a place that is nutrient-rich.

‪#‎foundations‬ ‪#‎life‬‪#‎philosophy‬ ‪#‎metaphors‬

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Doing The RIGHT Thing For Yourself And Your Life

I saw this picture and felt the need to write something.
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3 years ago, after many years of confusion, contemplation, and depression, I finally took action, sold my house, got rid of most of my things, and I left my mindless, miserable job. I moved overseas for 6 months, saw America, completed my business masters, saw Europe for the first time in my life, got off my fat slob ass and trained like I’ve never trained before to get in fighting shape, starting with visiting and training in Thailand for the first time in my life, and fought in the ring a few times. I finally got the specialized help I needed to fix my decade of complicated back problems, which included completing a personal training course in 3 months, stopped binge drinking, and fixed my diet. I ditched my old, selfish, asshole friends, figured out who my real friends were, gave 4 months 24/7 of my life to bail out my dad’s business, got shafted, and moved to a new city and permanently out of one I never belonged in (after spending over half my life there). I reconnected with as much extended family as possible here and overseas, made new, quality friends, started hammering again through more psychotherapy and personal development courses to deal with my longstanding psychological issues, and started a business. I generally started seeing new things, trying new things and getting out of my very small comfort zone, finally reconnected with doing the things that I love and enjoy, and am finally on my way to finding genuine purpose in my life.

I don’t know if that sounds like much, but I thought it was fairly difficult, having allowed external environmental influences to shape me from an early age to become a coward, a loser, a misfit, an outcast. Such forfeiture of personal dignity is truly unacceptable in a first world paradise where we have every opportunity to become almost anything we desire. I was someone who took the easy route of sitting at home mindlessly memorising a book to get a safe, miserable, secure job, to win meaningless academic accolades and earn some oddly coveted piece of paper, rather than going outside, breaking the mould, living true to my self, and taking grasp of my dreams. For what?

I now cannot lay blame to my parents, my environment, my asshole friends, my isolation, my genetics, though all of these may have created significant external pressures; no, there are no bullshit excuses; I alone am in charge of my life and my destiny. And perhaps everything you ever wanted IS that difficult and complex in your own mind to achieve. Perhaps the difficulty IS finding what you want! But for me, everything I thought was difficult was worth doing and yes, it was the right thing to do. And though I might have started my life a coward, I aim to not end it as one. I’m working on it.

Though ideally we should find and follow our purpose early in life to find optimal spiritual fulfillment, as change in adulthood is much more difficult, it is never too late to instigate change. Enjoy and trust in the process, be happy in the moment, and don’t become too attached to goals and outcomes, because it may take a while to get there! I’m just getting started. I hope to one day know that I have found myself again.

And if you can relate to any of that, then perhaps you might want to take a minute to consider if you need to make changes in your life. Take the first small step, and embrace the challenge of conquering your personal mountain. And when you reach the summit, maybe you will realise that it wasn’t that hard after all. Because it was, and always had been, the RIGHT thing to do.

This post is in relation to this article in Entrepreneur magazine about Adriana Huffington (of the Huffington Post) who was interviewed by Oprah.

It’s important to take a step back and realise what’s really important, balance ourselves, and think harder about what “success” means – it’s such a vague word. 

For me, breaking away from a soulless, empty, work and money driven lifestyle (paradoxically a means to this end admittedly) to make time to work more on chronic physical, social, and mental issues I have, has been incredibly enlightening.

It has taken time to find answers to important existential questions, spiritual introspection, and find fulfilment in doing things that I’ve wanted to do but never did enough of.

To me, success has become overcoming my issues, discovery of my genuine life purpose and values, and finding how I can live with these in mind, in harmony with the harshly financial and image conscious reality of our modern society.