I recently posted a meme which said you are God to them all or God to none. I did not go to the Black Lives Matter rally, it was not because I don’t think they have a valid point, but because I think it misses the point, racism that is. I believe that it is a much bigger conversation and lives in the realm of the evil of tribalism worldwide. Events such as the 11 million person genocide by King Leopold of Belgium in Africa, the colonising wars in Australia and New Zealand received little mention in history books because they are written by the victors.
So I have posed the question: Who’s in your tribe as the title of this blog. I can answer everybody from within my ethos of Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included, the crux of Interculturalism. What actions do we have to take to achieve the seemingly impossible world my ethos speaks of. Here are twenty mantras from my friend Marc Chernoff that may help:
1. The most beautiful thing is to see a person nearby smiling. And even more beautiful is knowing you are the reason behind it.
2. If you have the power to make someone happier today, do it. The world needs more of that.
3. Some people build lots of walls in their lives and not enough bridges. There’s no good reason to be one of them. Open yourself up. Take small chances on people.
4. Never stop doing little things for those around you. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.
5. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of love – all which have the potential to turn a life around.
6. Be present. Be thoughtful. Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. This is how to make a real and lasting difference in your relationships, new and old.
7. We don’t always need advice. Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand.
8. Today, just be 100 per cent present with those around you- be all there. That is enough.
9. There’s no such thing as “self-made” Someone else believed in you. Someone else encouraged you. Someone else invested in you. Someone else prayed for you. Someone else spoke life over you. Be that someone for others too.
10. It’s practically impossible to love our neighbour if we don’t know them, and yet that’s often the case. We live in such a hyper-connected world with such limited or nonexistent connection. Remember this: Relationships matter. Stories matter.
11. In human relationships, distance is not measured in kilometres but in affection. Two people can be next to each other yet kilometres apart.
12. Stay in touch with those who truly matter to you because it’s convenient, but because they’re are worth the extra effort.
13. The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. Too often we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply. Bring awareness to this. And listen for what’s truly behind the words.
14. Set an example. Treat everyone with love and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are always nice, but because you are. (And do your best to be thankful for the rude and difficult people too; they serve as great reminders on how not to be.)
15. Sometimes it is better to be kind than right.
16. People are much nicer when they’re happier, which says a lot about those who aren’t nice to you. Sad, but true.
17. The real test always comes when you don’t get what you expect from people. Will you react in anger? Or will calmness be your superpower?
18. The way we treat people we don’t understand is a report card on what we’ve learnt about love, compassion and kindness.
19. Be kinder than necessary. What goes around comes around. No one has made themselves strong by showing how small someone else is.
20. The best relationships are not just about the good times you share, they’re also about the obstacles you go through together and the fact that you still say”I Love You” in the end.
So we all live in communities, so what have we said about community spirit over the years, here are a few of my favourite quotes on the subject:
1. Do you know your communities vision, you can check it out on most council websites if you do not.
2. Gandhi’s freeing of India is the best example of this I know: From Little Things, Big Things Grow.
3. Martin’s wife said some cool things to.
4. How connected are you, how many people in your street names do you know?: In my Feelings.
5. Do you have people you really care for and would do anything for?
6. This one is an in your face take on community spirit: Just Stand Up.
7. And the others would answer…
8. In Melbourne, our community radio stations and local musicians compete in the Reclink Community Cup, it has very little to do with football and winning: My Immortal.
9. This one made me shudder.
10. Changes, of course, it can just be one song: Changes.
11. When you say I did it on my own, by myself hundreds of people sigh.
12. Another opportunity to feature the magnificent Maya Angelou: The Best Advice.
13. What is it that has you feel you belong?
14. What you give out you get back: Rain on Me.
15. And for our final lesson, its time to realise community makes you feel absolutely fabulous.
Since we all intellectually understand that we shouldn’t bypass or judge people too quickly, but sometimes still forget when we’re in the heat of a pressing moment, it would be a good practice to read this list several times a week until it has stuck.
Today’s playlist goes all over the place. We begin with Paul Kelly and Missy Higgins, yes that song, then Drake and over to an All-Star anthem. A group I am growing to like a lot, Evanescence is next. Then we finish with three legends: David Bowie, Maya Angelou and finish with Lady Gaga and Ariane Grande: Who’s in Your Tribe?
My wish is that our tribe is every other citizen on the planet, can this happen, I’m working on it: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.