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Proverbial Friday – Love and Equality

Proverbs and sayings provide us with wise words from all corners of the world. Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings have been passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you think so too.

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This has been a momentous week in Australian politics. About much debate and anguish, words of love and hatred, legislation has passed the Senate that will allow same-sex couples to marry.

We are perhaps behind much of the world in this respect, however, we have negotiated a long, arduous, divisive, and hate filled campaign in order to reach this point. As the bill was debated in the parliament, a traditionally conservative Senator voiced these words which synchronize with this week’s theme.

“How you love is how God made you. Whom you love is for you to decide and others to respect.” Senator George Brandis –

Australian Senate 28 Nov 2017

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Hatred can so often be destructive of relationships, people and things. How can we get past hatred?

Albert Camus has these illuminating words: –

“In the midst of hate, I found there was in me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was within me, an invincible calm. I realized that throughout it all, that…In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

-Albert Camus

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Peace of mind can be achieved by a change in one’s attitude.

Do you agree?

What do you make of Camus’ words?

Join in the discussion this Thursday at Something To Ponder About

17 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Love and Equality”

  1. Albert Camus was on the ‘money ‘there. The world is in a difficult stage and we do need to fight for what is good and just. So happy he SSM bill has passed the senate.
    I have a feeling Turnbull will resign.

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  2. Love is love, and you really can’t help who you love. It really is about time Australia embraces that idea. Taken a while to get there, but here we are.

    That Albert Camus quote is an interesting one. On the subject of hatred, I feel that comes from different places. Hatred, and hate, can stem from jealously, misunderstanding, or even competition and ego. It is interesting that he used the word invincible as opposed to invisible – the former being subtle but also impossible to defeat, like a quiet power and strength bubbling away. It takes a lot of self-belief to believe in an invincible love, be it self-love or a kind of love (self love too) projecting outwards on to others. Fighting fire with fire rarely helps us solve anything, but somehow shouting it and speaking out and putting others down seem so easy to do – very feral. Maybe it’s easier to be more feral than to love, I don’t know. It does sound like I’m going on a bit of a tangent here.

    Getting past hatred, I reckon we have to learn to not take judgement seriously. Sure, we all come from unique backgrounds and our backgrounds will make us see things in a certain perspetcive. It’s one thing to see and believe in a perspective, but another to not shove it down other’s throat and accept the way they think and live.

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    1. I will start with your last remark, Mabel. It’s one thing to see and believe in a perspective, but [quite] another to not shove it down others’ throats and accept the way they think and live.
      I think it is difficult for many to fully accept the way others choose to think and live and yet so interesting to look at why we/they can’t easily let them do this, as it appears to be vitally important to maintaining peaceful interactions and happiness. And who doesn’t’ want to be happy?

      When I think about accepting others for who or what they are, I wonder how we, or anyone dares to have the temerity to dictate/voice a contrary opinion on how any other being lives it life, at all? How dare we assume our sphere of influence gives us that divine right? We are all individuals, we are all so different, so it is so surprising that we will have different attitudes and do different things and have different predilections?

      Regarding conspiring to create hatred of a minority, which I consider to be particularly loathsome, [excuse my judgemental comment], I find myself thinking about man’s herding instinct. This heavily ingrained sense appears to seek a sort of validation from others of their own ilk/community, by striving to gain more support for one’s own point of view. In doing so, a single pariah might be created in what was once an analogous community, or at the very least, hatred and fear might be fostered towards any others with an opposing view, or an unfamiliar perspective/appearance, religion, race or preference. Why? Especially when, for the most part, said opposing view/race/religion won’t necessarily interfere with the running of our own personal life?
      Perhaps this ‘gang mentality’ stems from some kind of evolutionary advantage of self preservation. Safety in numbers, be that physically or in opinions? We might feel more secure when others express the same opinion as us, or it makes us feel “right.” This feeling of being in the right, or in the majority, fuels a sense of power in the powerless. And a sense of power relates very much back to ego. Feeling elevated, by putting down another person, temporarily satisfies the ego and artificially builds confidence when self esteem is weak. But of course, it does not last, there is a reckoning because we are still fearful and perhaps we feel remorseful and are not proud of our own actions/thoughts. So for all this, why do we persist with this destructive line of thinking/acting? Why do we persist in hating to prop up our own self-concept when self-love would be less intrusive?
      Shouting out is so very easy to do; we may have been inadvertently rewarded for it in the past, as it is a popular attempt at a quick fix to the problem. “You are wrong and I am right. Okay let us move on…” – But the underlying conflict is not solved whereby each party retains self respect. It takes much more work to talk through each problem/conflict and recognize we are all right in some way.
      Hatred through misunderstanding might be simply eradicated via better communications?

      I also think it is a good insight to not taking judgement seriously. A lighter attitude might produce a milder reactions, or a humble acceptance of agreeing to disagree. Facial expressions and tone of voice are significant in how one’s words are communicated. Injection of humour into an intense conversation might lighten the mood and ease tensions.
      Camus’s words are overwhelmingly positive. In the midst of negativity, he can find something to be more positive about…… I like that!

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      1. I agree with your sentiments about accepting others for who they are. It is interesting how some of us feel the need to tell others what to do, to fit the stereotype and basically be ‘normal’ or part of the crowd. There are many crowds, some biggers than others, so many choices and lifestyles of living.

        Perhaps if there is the presence of an opposing view, there is the feeling of being threatened. As you said, safety in numbers and perhaps some of us strive to cover our bases. Sometimes I get the feeling the majority feel the minority don’t deserve a voice. There is much to learn from differences. Better communication is hard to achieve if both parties are intent on gaining the upper-hand or getting ahead of the ‘competition’ so to speak. Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer – just a different perspective and really, with imagination anything is possible. Focusing in achieving a common goal could be a way for each of us to see each other for who we are and how we can actually work together.

        Personally, I feel that overwhelming positivity, or even false positivity, is better than negativity. That said, I do think that at times negativity can help us see the realisitc sides of situations.

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        1. Well put, Mabel. There are many choices and many lifestyles. We have to find our individual tribe. Some tribes are a bad influence, and others may be beneficial. Whichever way the tribe is, it is the sense of belonging and acceptance that the individual is seeking.

          Many in the “majority” feel that it is okay to dismiss the thoughts, feeling and wishes of the minority, based on numbers. They are not significant enough or threatening enough, or even vocal enough to matter. To look at the numbers in a decision, makes for a fast resolution. Dealing with the minority takes negotiation and compromise and it is downright difficult to make everyone happy. I do however, take the view that everyone is important and has a voice, and their opinions matter, and need to be considered. For as you say, there is much to learn from differences, and it might just be a better way, or solution! Communication and articulate communicators, are so vitally important and all too few of us are accomplished at this skill. If we cannot articulate our viewpoint well enough, the ego arises and we feel offended, which blocks effective communication.

          The minorities are often offended! Some minorities are so often offended they become resigned to being unimportant. That is a real tragedy. This is very evident in the disability sector. They feel on the bottom of the heap. If they manage to gain a profile and a voice, they are sometimes berated for wanting more welfare or handouts. So I really like your solution of using imagination to solve this dilemma, along with a common goal.
          Working towards a common goal might forge and combine interests in the one linear pathway to solution. This would mean that the thoughts, ideas and skills from ALL sectors, might be used in the best way, not just from the “squeaky” wheel sector.

          On positivity, I have witnessed false positivity, (with altruistic intent), to be successful in changing attitudes, at least temporarily. Just as long as the person has the best interests of others, at heart. People of integrity can use false positivity to inspire and motivate others, and spread goodwill in a team, but they have to be convincing. If a team leader is not convincing, the team might see through there positivity as just that – false.
          Can negativity help us see things more realistically? I think so, but in saying this, I think, negativity has to be limited and it is a fine balance. Too much negativity can tip the balance between realism and an overly fertile imagination. an unguarded imagination might then result in distortion of the facts and lead to irrational thinking.

          To clarify, I am thinking of someone that gets rejected for an event or job. This might either force them to face up to some aspect of themselves that they have been in denial about, that could, potentially be changed, in order to secure the job. Say a person has not got the appropriate qualification but still thinks they can apply and do a particular job. They get knock back after knock back and fall into blaming themselves instead of the lack of appropriate qualifications. Reality and negativity that results from this, forces them to see that they NEED that qualification, however, if their imagination is unguarded and gets carried away, they might think it is their personality that is flawed and it is who they are that is being rejected, now What they are. I hope you understand what I mean here, Mabel?

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          1. Sometimes I feel that the majority can feel threatened because they feel they are no longer the majority. A while back I was reading something that talked about this (can’t remember where). But it was along the lines of Anglo Australians feeling foreign in their own country amidst an influx of non-Anglo Australians from varying backgrounds.

            I think that is a good point there with the qualification example. For instance, in order to operate a forklift or some kind of engineering machinery, you would need a license for it or a the very least have been taught it formally in some way. The knock backs can get us down, which is why it’s important to go into each situation with an open mind.

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            1. Absolutely agree. An open mind is a great approach and the best way to learn from the experience. No expectations or pre conceived ideas.
              How could someone feel like a foreigner in their own country? Because they are themselves misunderstood? Things change as time passes and not just the population. Buildings change. If I was to go back to my primary school, it would not look the same and nor would the community living there. It would be strange for things not to change and stay exactly the same.
              This is just a cliche that reflects the fear of change and ignorance of the positives of difference.

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  3. I really like the Senator George Brandis quote. Well said. I think we hate what we don’t understand. It’s time for more understanding and education. You have some good proverbs here. I liked Albert Camus’ as well. It makes sense to me. I don’t need to get caught up in what’s pushing against me and just stay in my center of peace. We have had homosexuality around since the beginning of humanity and it’s a very different thing than perversion. Most assume they are the same thing. I’m sad we have to keep struggling with this same acceptance over and over. Even here in the US it is still an unfinished battle. One step forward, two back. 😦 Thanks for sharing these. And the good news.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Marlene. You always cut to the thrust and summarise wonderfully.”We have had homosexuality around since the beginning of humanity and it’s a very different thing than perversion. Most assume they are the same thing.” I agree that is a hurdle that is slowly being overcome with each generation. It is sad to think of how many young people have been treated so brutally for “love.”
      As for Camus, it is a quote which for me requires more thinking. I don’t feel like I have really reached the bottom of the intended meaning yet. You say you have to stay in your centre of peace. I get that. It is too much to become involved in everyone that is spinning around us. We have to prioritise what is important and let go what is not. And that what is important can change quickly and from day to day. I feel that Camus is referring to an inner determination. Perhaps I don’t necessarily have that much determination. Perhaps I quite too soon. I am then inspired by the battle of the LGBTQI community and think of the consequences if they quite on their battle. Finding love within hate….that is part of the quote I have to ponder more about. What do you think?

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      1. Hate is fear directed outward. If you hate something or someone, you don’t fully understand them or it. I don’t care for #45 but have come to realize he is serving a purpose that most don’t recognize. He is bringing all that garbage into the open so we can all see it. It’s not hiding anymore so now we know what we are really dealing with. It took me awhile to recognize that behind everything bad, there is much more good swelling up around it. Like a scab over a sore. If I look at what I don’t like with some detachment, I can see clearer where my fear is and address it. My sister has suffered so much all these years because no one understood. I just kept telling her you can only change one mind at a time with love. And by golly, in her lifetime, she was able to marry and divorce, just like me. She is still more afraid to be out in the open is some ways than I am but in her lifetime we have made such powerful inroads. One mind at a time with love. Of course there will always be those that can’t think their way out of a paper bag and we just have to love and forgive them too. They make us aware of how much still needs to be done. I get on a soap box sometimes and I’m a bit frazzled tonight so I apologize if this is way off target. I’ve just let go of being angry. I take care of whatever is put in front of me to take care of and let the rest go to someone else that has been assigned that task. I think that’s how the Universe works. We can’t fix it all so we take care of what’s been placed in our care. Just my view on it. Don’t expect anyone else to see it that way. 🙂

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        1. “Hate is fear directed outward. If you hate something or someone, you don’t fully understand them or it.”
          Another succinct gem from Marlene.
          Your view of #45 had given me the first reason to see positivity and greater meaning in this presidency. It certainly accentuates and makes one appreciate the good things happening around the bad. Perhaps he is the president you had to have in the similar way that in the 80’s, Australia had a ‘recession Australia ‘had to have?’ (In the words of a past Prime Minister).
          I am sorry that your sister has suffered So, however it sounds like she is also very very lucky to have a very wise and supportive sister such as you.

          To deal with what is on the table first and relinquish worry over matters outside our control sounds like verypractical advice.

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