Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included!!!


Today I write about my Why: it’s expressed in the title of this blog. I write all of these blogs at the Darebin Intercultural Centre in Preston Australia a placed that healed me after six years of a mental health crisis that included six psych unit hospitalisations totalling a period of six and a half months, my advice, never let this happen to you.

In our brochure our ethos is explained, it is as follows “Where difference is acknowledged, explored, understood and celebrated. Darebin Intercultural Centre aims to foster respectful and constructive interracial, intercultural and interfaith relations between and amongst people who live, work or play in Darebin. The Centre is a dedicated space for Intercultural development, dialogue, engagement, participation and celebration.”

How did I end up here? After working for Centrelink, a government agency who deals with the unemployed, the disabled and the elderly, read the people who others want to forget exist for 14 years I ended up being dismissed never to work again after being Manager of the most chaotic Newstart section in Melbourne ending my career doing filing because I did not listen to what my heart and body were saying to me, which was, Get the Fuck out.

I spent about two years lying around my flat believing what they had said when I saw an ad in the local newspaper: Free Colombian film night. I was drawn to this as South America is one place that is on my bucket list. I fought against my social anxiety and went to the Darebin Intercultural Centre for the film.

When I arrived there was an incredibly diverse crowd of cultures just hanging out together being friends. It spoke to my heart and to this day I do not know what gave me the courage to ask the manager Inaam did they need any volunteers. I do not know why she replied yes, as they had never had any before.

Over the following five years I have done many things and at the moment being an English tutor three days a week, my dear old dad, if he was alive would be very proud because he always wanted me to follow in his footsteps as a teacher up until the day I was expelled at the end of Year 11 for non attendance as I hated the formal school system.

I feel that my friend Marc Chernoff’s list called 10 Actions That Always Bring Happiness speaks to my joy of being involved with the Centre:

1. Appreciate how much you have.

2. Focus on things that really matter.

3. Define your own meaning in life, and pursue it.

4. Embrace life’s challenges.

5. Find the balance that allows you to be who you truly are.

6. Love your body enough to take care of it.

7. Limit your time with negative people.

8. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

9. Set a good example.

10. Accept what is, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.

I chose to learn about new cultures as the way of empowering my intercultural journey, but what does the planet say about it:

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1. No words really needed.

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2. Travel is a great way to discover new cultures. Be careful you may fall in love with one, and never leave: Greece – The Best Love Song.

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3. You have to open your eyes to let love in.

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4. Live your life to the full, A Ho: Loving Life.

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5. In December there is something to celebrate every day, not just Christmas. My favourite is December 30th: National Bicarbonate of Soda Day.

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6. This is why I love our Centre, I am always learning new ways of these things being expressed: Where Is The Love.

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7. Vironika Tugaleva is an award-winning author, poet, spoken word artist, life coach, wanderer, visual artist, vocalist, and seeker of beauty in all its forms.

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8. I don’t always agree with Ayn Rand but this hits home: Life is Worth Living.

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9. Exercise your compassion for others and their diverse cultures and build up your wing strength.

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10. Strange a right-wing conservative came up with this: I was Here.

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11. From the most famous of philosophers, Ms Unknown comes this power quote on the beauty of Interculturalism.

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12. Abdel-Fattah studied a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law at the University of Melbourne. During this time, she was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic Council of Victoria, a role that afforded her the opportunity to write for newspapers and engage with media institutions about their representation of Muslims and Islam. She completed her PhD on Islamaphobia. Abdel-Fattah was a passionate human rights advocate and stood in the 1998 federal election as a member of the Unity Party (slogan: Say No to Pauline Hanson). I Don’t Like It.

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13. Spiritualism explained really well.

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14. From the man who refused to cut the Arts budget to fund a war, here is another on the importance of art and culture: Beasts of No Nation.

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15, For our final lesson, what are we up to with our addiction to learning from Social media and not libraries.

If you want to empower others in your life. you need to start living the most empowered version of your self first, that is why finding your why in life is so important. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream, I’m 65. Believe in what you want so much that it has no choice but to become your reality. And don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else; stay focused on your own journey and leave footprints behind. My blog has left footprints in 104 countries across the planet, I find this amazing.

I have fulfilled a dream today in the playlist, I got to include a Fela Kuti song. We begin with a love song to Greece, Our unknown artist at 57,000 likes is a fine voice from Lysa. The Black Eyed Peas do that song next. Back to modern times with Justin Bieber and Beyonce. Some Aussie edification with the satiricalness of Pauline Pantsdown and we complete with my dream track from Fela Kuti: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

So this is the joyfulness and one of the loves of my life, The Darebin Intercultural Centre where I was gifted my Why one afternoon sitting at my desk: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included. Until next time we meet, my dear friends.

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Don’t Wait Until You’ve Reached Your Goal!!!


Celebrate, Celebrate Good Times: Great song, it will probably be on the playlist but is what it is saying true. I beg to differ, I think our purpose in life is to celebrate all times and that our ups and downs in life are our training ground to have this occur.

I have 5,000 Facebook friends, some I know better than others but I send all of them a Facebook Birthday card, somedays it is up to 30 people but this is one form of celebration I have taken on so I have not limited the time it takes me. I do have a standard male and female formulae and some of my close friends I do special ones for. I am surprised by how many people contact me personally and thank me. So as birthdays and deathdays are our main forms of celebrations what about the other days of the year?

I went to a friends birthday at the Abbotsford Convent yesterday, Dan is a beautiful man, there was his partner Theresa and our mutual friend Karina there. I met two of my 5,000 FB friends for the first time, Shanti and Roman, great people, all of who have interesting things to contribute to a celebration. Remember, as we mature it becomes less important to have a lot of friends and more important to have real ones.

So what do friends do differently to people who just walk past each other on the street:

1. They face problems together

2. They give what they can because they truly care.

3. They make time for each other.

4. They offer each other freedom.

5. They communicate effectively.

6. They accept each other as is.

7. They are genuine and accept genuineness.

8. They compromise.

9. They support each other’s growth changes.

10. They believe in each other.

11. They maintain realistic expectations of their relationship.

12. They honour each other in small ways on a regular basis.

13. They listen, and they hear every word.

14. They keep their promises.

15. They stick around.

What has life said about celebrating friendship and life in general, here are a few of my favourites:

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1. Why do we not celebrate many moments between life and death?

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2. Remember, you came here for a purpose, lets make it an inspiring one: Message In a Bottle.

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3. Oprah would have something to say about this.

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4. A great thing to celebrate: Celebrate Good Times.

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5. Love and Gratitude are two other words that are part of the celebration recipe.

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6. George Bernard Shaw, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond: Laughter In The Rain.

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7. The celebration is not always about happy, happy.

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8. Choose to be alive: Born To Be Alive.

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9. What happens to celebrations when the festival season is over.

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10. Hathaway supports several charities and causes. She is a board member of the Lollipop Theatre Network, an organization that brings films to sick children in hospitals, and advocates gender equality as a UN Women goodwill ambassador. She is married to businessman Adam Shulman, with whom she has a son: Unconditionally.

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11. Your Celebrate Life fridge magnets.

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12. How would you live your life differently if the life expectancy age was 40: Africa.

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13. The Greatest gift you can give to another.

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14. More fridge magnets: Hallelujah.

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15. And for our final lesson today, be all there.

Remember, life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late. But after the fun, there are a few who stay and help you clean up the mess. And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are your real friends in life. They are the ones to celebrate life with.

How did Neil Sedaka, Kate Perry and KD Lang get on the same playlist? They all sing songs of celebration. We begin with The Police, followed by Kool and the Gang. Neil is next, then back to disco and Patrick Hernandez. Kate drags us back to the present. We finish with Toto and KD: Don’t Wait Until You’ve Reached Your Goal!!

So, I reckon if we all chose to celebrate life more, my ethos of Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included would occur sooner than later. Remember you can have these blogs sent to your inbox from the box on the right-hand side of the main page. Until we meet again my dear friends.

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Stand Up Straight and Realise Who You Are!!!


The title of this blog is part of a Maya Angelo quote, the final line is that you tower over your circumstances. Do you let adversities stop you in life? Here are some questions to make you think about it:

1. What stands between you and happiness.

2. Are you holding onto something you need to let go?

3. Decisions are being made right now. The question is, are you Making them yourself or are you letting others make them for you?

4. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

5. What is the biggest challenge you face now?

6. If the average life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

7. What’s something that happened to you that made you stronger?

8. What is worth the pain?

9. Are you aware someone has it worse than you?

10. What’s missing in your life?

One of my adversities is my families pre-edification to suffer from gout. I have not had it for one and a half years and I was asked about it by my naturopath two days ago, and yesterday I woke up with it. Ouch, this lies in the do not push your luck arena.

So what does life say about adversity, here are a few quotes that express it rather well:

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1. With her two most prominent roles challenging gender stereotypes and norms, The New York Times said Mary Tyler Moore’s “performances on [The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show] helped define a new vision of American womanhood.” The Guardian said “her outwardly bubbly personality and trademark broad, toothy smile disguised an inner fragility that appealed to an audience facing the new trials of modern-day existence.

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2. Best known to the general public for his mass-energy equivalence formula E = Mc squared, which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation, from the misogynistic earlier part of the Twentieth century, I’m sure this relates to men and women: We R Who We R.

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3. All butterflies have “complete metamorphosis.” To grow into an adult they go through 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Each stage has a different goal – for instance, caterpillars need to eat a lot, and adults need to reproduce.

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4. I suggest looking at the different styles of the last two POTUS’s to understand this quote: Don’t Give Up.

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5. Barbara De Angelis is an American relationship consultant, lecturer and author, TV personality, relationship, personal growth adviser and spiritual teacher. Her infomercial “Making Love Work” won an award as Best Infomercial of 1994.

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6. What can you do now you couldn’t last year? That’s called overcoming adversity: Look What You Made Me Do.

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7. From the man who went through his and freed a country.

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8. Simply for the Image: Sing For The Moment.

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9. Turn around, overcoming adversity happens the other way.

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10. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee: Black Superman.

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11. One of the ways to overcome adversity quickly is to learn the art of acceptance.

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12. Marty Rubin, a South Florida gay activist, author and journalist,  Mr. Rubin died after a struggle with AIDS. He was 64: Live It Up.

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13. Six powerful words.

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14. I love the zen of Japanese philosophy: Walking on the Moon.

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15. For your final lesson, remember flowers grow between cracks in the footpath.

So, a few words on adversity to finish; You never know how really strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Today’s playlist contains some Sesame Street, a daggy song, an Aussie classic and two pop divas, surprise, surprise. We begin with Kesha, then Bruno Mars. Pop diva Taylor Swift follows, Eminem raps a tune out next. The ode to the Black Superman by Johny Wakelin brings the seriousness down a bit. Back to Australia for Mental as Anything and we complete with British supergroup The Police: Stand Up Straight and Realise Who You Are!!!

So when adversity arises in my life, I return to my ethos of Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included and get back on track. P.S. I found some joint cream I brought several years ago, It works. Until we meet again my dear friends.

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