The struggle is encouraged.

It’s been a strange road lately. Before I got to Australia I expected to come here and fall in love with it. That didn’t … and still hasn’t happened. However now at least I am getting an experience that I was craving.

I live and work in a small town called Coober Pedy in the state of South Australia. It’s in the outback. It is the outback. It is literally orange, red-ish, dust and rock everywhere. Even all the shops and motels are run down and kind of dusty. I work front desk reception for a motel and caravan park.

It is an extraordinary experience living in a town some people don’t even want to drive through. While at the desk I encounter the most amazing types of people – the kind that you have no idea what their backstory is, until you ask. They come from all over Australia and a few from other parts of the world. En route to a new job, new home, holiday destination or whatever else you can imagine.

A guy came in, big, burly, older with a lot of old tattoos. I had his whole story in my mind while checking him in, biker dude, up to no good, chain smoking, booze drinking, womanizing guy. Then I asked him how many beds he wants in his room. He asked for two. I was confused as he was alone at the desk. Figured this guy definitely doesn’t have a wife, maybe even never knew love, how sad. So I asked if he had a buddy out in the car. He smiled, said “Yeah. My 12 year old grandson. He’s never seen Uluru so we’re on a 3 week road trip from Adelaide to Darwin. We’re great mates.”

Well. What the hell do I know.

Partly my backstory guessing is something I do as I see everyone as characters in a story. But I LOVE when I get the opportunity to find out the real stories and it’s way better and way less stereotypical as I had thought originally.

I would say that it’s a 60/40 breakdown of people passing through – with 60% of them being incredibly friendly, open, curious and happy to share their story and hear mine. The other 40% are small minded, rude and just want to be right all the time. I had a disgusting lady in the other night who was making racist comments about the Indigenous people, referring to them as “the blacks” and then assuming that “negroes in the states are probably the same, too, ay?”

My mouth was on the floor. I didn’t even know HOW to respond to that. So I didn’t. I just let her keep talking, the conversation went on and more ugly things came out of her mouth and then I realized she was taking my silence as agreement.  That was my huge mistake when I realized that she was ending her little rant and saying “right?” as if I needed to verbally agree. So I just said “Oh no, I’m sorry. I don’t agree with you at all. Your room is #34, here is your key and a map to get to your room.”

It started me thinking though about the way that people say and hear things vs. the way people perceive them. I know we can’t all be hypersensitive to every single thing we say so as not to insult or offend anyone else. However, I definitely feel a lack of social responsibility about the issue.

I know some people are proud to be outspoken and blunt. I am one of those people because I’ve gotten a lot further in life saying how I felt, when I felt it versus being “polite” and not hurting anyone else’s feelings. But if I don’t like the dinner you made then I don’t like it. I’m not going to say I like it because I’m not going to eat. I APPRECIATE the dinner you made and will sit with you while you eat yours, but I’m definitely going to McDonald’s when I leave your house is all.

There is a way to be polite and honest at the same time. I saw an article that called Michael Moore a hypocrite since while getting divorced it’s revealed that he’s a multi millionaire, when he made his money talking down about lifestyles of millionaires, the 1% etc. I was really upset about the article. It had nothing to do with any of the facts about MM or his millions. What upset me was NBC, The Today Show, Matt Lauer were so QUICK to jump on him, attack him, call him a hypocrite and tear him down when the first sentence was the detail that he was divorcing from his partner of 22 years.

That’s funny NBC, because the first thing that came in to my mind was “oh that’s sad a man is divorced from his wife after 22 years of marriage” and your first thought was “let’s get him.” For shame. This is why I can’t take you seriously. We are tightly, tightly wound around the finger of the media. We are not as free of thinkers as we believe. We are highly and easily impressionable as humans. We are herd-y types of people. We go where the herds go.

The herd is not headed into a positive direction at the moment. I think that people are starting to realize this, but aren’t doing anything about it. The consciousness has been raised and people are starting to look around for others to stop rocketing towards our demise.

I saw someone on facebook took a quiz called “How much of an asshole are you?” I wanted to comment on her post asking her “why on earth would you take that quiz?” AND share it on facebook? If you were an asshole, would you want others to know? And if you weren’t an asshole wouldn’t others already know? It just made me sad for her.

Just because people put this crap out into the world doesn’t mean you have to accept it, encourage it or let it in. Life is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be as ugly and mean as it is. There are enough people out there that want GOOD things. HAPPY things. POSITIVE things. I’ve been (trying) to not post anything negative on facebook for the past 2 weeks.

I did post 1 thing that had negative ripples:

My boss said things that I didn’t like and I put it on fb and everyone jumped in with F him, screw that, quit, girl you’re better than that and all sorts of opinions. I felt bad because my point was just to educate about how he said something that he honestly felt and that offended me and that we need to be more aware of our words and people still didn’t get that. I said it outright too. It turned into a little bit of negativity but what the worst part was people thought they were being positive.

Maybe we don’t know ourselves and each other as well as we’d like to believe we do. Perhaps what we need as a whole is to slow down a little and start with the basics. The golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. Send love and well wishing out into the universe instead of hatred and anger. Don’t make stories up about people. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Hope they are good hearted, believe that they are good hearted. If they aren’t wish them well and walk away.

7 thoughts on “The struggle is encouraged.

  1. Duffy–
    You know I always enjoy reading your posts. They are insightful, candid and your voice is so you. I particularly liked this one. May I use the story of the tatoo’ed grandpa for an article I am writing? I will absolutely credit you in the article. I’m doing an alphabet series of article and the next one i have due is “J” and I was searching for a good “J” word. “Judging” is perfect, as is your story. Please let me know.

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