In Australia, all of us are said to be 'free.' We can practice whichever religion we want, explore any sexual orientation we wish to, provided it is carried out between consenting adults, and we do not live in fear of an authoritarian or oppressive government.
But how 'free' are we?
Leaders, at all levels of society, are called to model these attributes, demonstrating how they can be applied rather than simply extolling their virtues. This means the politicians that serve in government, but also the managers and team leaders in our workplaces, the teachers in our schools, the community figures who work so hard for our society, and the parents and guardians in households across the country; so often the unsung heroes of society.
Spirituality and religion are personal things. Prejudice and intolerance are not born from these personal quests for meaning and deeper understanding. Instead, they are byproducts of the political and social structures which have been grafted to religion over centuries and millennia of human history. If we can recognise this,
A spiritual understanding of the self is equally as important as a physical, social, or emotional understanding, but it is perhaps the aspect of our self-knowledge which is most often misrepresented. Over the centuries and millennia...
Life has a habit of moving fast. No matter how old you are, no matter what you have experienced or accomplished, there will have been a time at which you cast your mind back to recollect a moment from the past, and were shocked by just how long ago that moment was even though it seemed like yesterday.
Let's consider communication and connection in the current landscape, taking into account both the modern experience of online communication and the more traditional one of face to face physical contact. Both are valid and relevant in today's world, and both need to be carefully considered if we are to promote a genuine understanding of ourselves and our positions in society.
The Future of Our Social-Selves: The Effect of Social Media on Australian Parents and their Children
There are few modern lives, particularly among the younger generations, which have not been touched by social media. Relationships begin or are nurtured on Facebook. Life milestones are accompanied by a slew of Instagram posts. Debates and conversations - both friendly and acrimonious - are more likely to be conducted on Twitter than face-to-face.
As we get older, this should become clearer, but for teenagers, the disconnect between reality and perception can be enormous. Too many adults put this down to teenage apathy and narcissism, but this is doing our young people an enormous disservice. A Mission Australia survey in 2015 found that
As people, we are inspired by what we see, what we experience, what we learn from the world around us. But so much of what makes us who we are, probably more than most of us imagine - comes from within.
There are great pleasures in life. Some of which are complex, difficult, and require significant resources if they are to be achieved. Others may occur only once or twice in a lifetime. But some of the greatest pleasures are simple; they are commonplace. For example, sitting down to a meal with your nearest and dearest in your family.
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