human experience, personal development

Learning to listen

Are you a good listener? Have you ever thought about that?

True listening is a selfless act. It actually requires us to put ourselves aside for that moment – our opinions, our wandering thoughts – and really hear what the other person has to say.

I’m self-lecturing here because I am the worst at this! I’m not proud to admit it (especially given that my name, Samantha, literally translates to ‘listener’ in Aramaic…damn) but honestly, I struggle to enter a conversation and really hear the other person the entire time. Often I’m half listening and half formulating my next response in my head… even while the other person is still speaking. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the only one.

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human experience, personal development, politics

See the world…

‘We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.’ (- Used by Anaïs Nin; origin unknown.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about our experiences and how these shape our view of the world. Yesterday, TV personality Sonia Kruger made an alarming statement on national television about feeling ‘unsafe’ due to the amount of Muslim immigrants being accepted into Australia. She actually said that she would feel safer if we were to stop accepting Muslim immigrants altogether – and much to my disappointment, many of my ‘Facebook friends’ have since shared and indicated their agreement with her.

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human experience, personal development, self image

Imperfection + Expression

Hey, honeys. It’s been a little while – I’m really not rockin’ this ‘I’ll post a few times a week’ thing. In fact, I’ve started loads of posts over the last few weeks but haven’t actually finished / published them… Then by the time I go back to finish them off, I’ve lost momentum, or it’s no longer relevant. The spark’s gone. Kinda defeats the purpose of this blog, hey? I can be a real nutjob sometimes.

We’re usually hardest on ourselves (at least that’s the case for me!) and I know that perfectionism and my crazy ‘editing’ brain have been my worst enemies through this process of reading, writing and reading again. Continue reading

human experience, human rights, politics, refugees

Boat People and Bumper Stickers.

“Why further punish an already vulnerable minority for their actions – when those same actions simply reflect our shared sense of humanity and our fierce instincts for survival?” (Julian Burnside, from ‘You’ve Been Misled on Boat People’, SMH 2013.)

The hostile and often ill-informed attitude towards refugees in our country is a constant source of amazement to me. I know way too many well-meaning, kind-hearted, good-intended Aussies who live their day to day lives by a certain standard of morality; but so tragically, those same people measure the global refugee crises by a completely different set of standards. Continue reading

human experience, politics, refugees

Ignorance is Not Bliss

I was fortunate to spend a lot of time overseas often as a child. A credit to my parents, I remember having a genuine sense of wonder around new languages, cities, clothes, music, food and architecture, and that sense of wonder has really carried through into my adulthood. I guess that’s why I married an Egyptian (lol).

Often I find that the challenge – or at times, hilarity – of a language barrier still gives me a thrill! I love to try new cuisines. I still marvel at art and architecture from all kinds of backgrounds. So while it may sound idealistic or perhaps even totally naïve: I’ve always struggled to understand the construct of racism. It just doesn’t add up in my brain. I still can’t relate to how one person could hate another person they don’t even know based on the colour of their skin, or their religion, or their country of origin. In my head it seems like straight up lunacy. I don’t mean to say that I’ve never had an uncomfortable interaction with anybody – because I have. What I do mean to say is that I marvel in that we are all unique, with our own background, heritages, and stories. I feel that we have so much to learn from each other.  Continue reading