Between a Hard Rock and a Place.

July 28, 2008

People Who Inspire Me

Filed under: Inspirational — camharris @ 10:47 pm

There have been a few people I have caught up with recently who really inspire me.  

Last week, we caught up with a friend Mark who lives in South Australia with his wife and five kids.  They are passionate environmentalists and are not afraid to live in light of their convictions.  They are not connected to power or water, and have a giant worm farm connected to their septic tank.  Mark was telling us with excitement how he was the sole assistant to his wife as she gave birth to their fifth child at their house.  They wanted to experience bringing a child into the world without over-medicalising the process.  The things they learned through the experience were quite amazing.  It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are putting their beliefs into action.

Another friend sent an email last week stating that she is giving up chocolate for the rest of the year.  She is doing this to raise money for sanitation resources and education in poverty stricken countries.  Her work involves educating teachers in global health and sustainability issues.  By the sounds of it, if she were to give up the amount of chocolate she would usually consume over this time, she would not only be able to raise enough money to provide suitable toilets and sanitation but be able to bring small countries out of debt also.  Anyway, here is a person who is prepared to do something about a problem she has strong convictions about.

My neighbour also has strong convictions about the environment.  He doesn’t own a car but instead rides an electric scooter to work and usually walks everywhere else.  He is the antithesis of a thunderous bikey – you never hear him come or go as he whispers past on his green machine.  It gets him to work and back which is all he really needs it for, then it charges up overnight ready for the next trip.  The thing is, he has no back up plan.  He has made a decision based on his convictions and understandings and is prepared to commit to that decision.  So when it rains, he rides his scooter, when it is hailing he rides his scooter, when it is hotter than Hades he is on the scooter.

As for me, I like to think that I am concerned about the environment, about poverty, about issues that bug me in conversations, but they don’t bug me enough for me to actually do much about them.  It bugs me that it doesn’t bug me enough.

So I was reminded again about the inconsistencies in my life and how these people inspire me by they way they are prepared to do something about it.  Usually, they do so at a cost, and it is usually this cost that causes me to find excuses or conveniently get busy doing something else.  I don’t like how we currently use oil products, but I still drive a six-cylinder car, and I only drive a six-cylinder because I sold my V8.  I think eating healthily is of the utmost importance, which is why I never remove the lettuce from my bacon double cheeseburger deluxe.  I hate the fact that so much of the world lives in poverty which is why I am happy to put my loose foreign coins into Unicef envelopes at the airport.  Pissweak, really.

So I remain inspired by these people who take their ideas and convictions to the next level where things actually get done and lives are bettered.  I get the feeling that these people are growing in number and you may be living next door to one, if you are not one yourself.  I find that another important factor with the people who I know are inspirational in this way is that they don’t try and convince me to do what they are doing.  They just get on and do what they do.  There is no hint of persuading me to do the same, no guilt trips and no questioning why I am not involved as they are.  This inspires me even more.

July 15, 2008

Well hello, and welcome.

Filed under: Uncategorized — camharris @ 7:27 am

In this blog I will be posting bits and pieces that I want to keep separate from my other blog The Walk Beside.

I can’t take full credit for the title.  I was teaching a Year 6/7 class about 10 years ago and had a chat with a much flustered student as she described a difficult situation she was thinking through.  Now I find it fascinating anyway when people screw up a good cliche or proverb, and this particular student ripped out some classics.  She ended her verbal frenzy with “Honestly Mr Harris, sometimes it feels like I’m stuck between a hard rock and a place!”

Magic.  From that point on, life for me has made more sense as I place it into that framework of thinking. The former cliche “Between a rock and a hard place” means very little to me anymore and, if you think about it, offers little hope.  This student may have been onto something, or just on something. Whatever, credit where credit is due.

I find it easier to write about things than I do explaining them in conversation.  For my own benefit, it helps me process my thoughts by way of having to articulate them succinctly.  I get worked up about many topics, usually due to excitement, sometimes to frustration and often to confusion.  These writings will be a collection of such.  

Without apology, the topics will revolve around faith, beliefs, culture, current events, observations, confusions and possibly things that either just irk me or inspire me.  Sometimes there may be dry spells where I am not thinking of anything in particular, so if you as a reader are considering some issues, please feel free to make your own thoughts known by commenting.  I am thinking that the posts would be appearing about once a week.

See how we go.

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