sunrise photography
blogging, Mental Health, Philosophy

How to Please People

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Jim Rohn

Do you like to Help Others?

We are encouraged to help others according to the religious and social conventions of our world. Doing so, promotes joy in others, a sense of, ‘loving kindness,’ in our interactions with others and community.

But,

where are the boundaries between helping others and neglecting our own needs in order to please others?

People-pleasers typically have low selfesteem. They overdo it on kindness and helpfulness because they feel a need to prove their worth. They’re uncomfortable with conflict and negative emotions, so they work hard to always keep their partners happy, with no concern for their own feelings.

Psychology Today

This statement goes a little far in finger-pointing, and it could incite feelings of guilt in the person who aims to please. But I take their point on the fundamental issue.

So how do we achieve that balance between helping others and not hindering ourselves?

I think that it’s a learning process for some of us.

People pleasers hope that saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked. However, no matter how nice they are, some people won’t like you for no good reason.

Why not?

Who knows?

Do you like every person you meet?

Kindness or Pleasing Others?

Many people-pleasers confuse the act of pleasing people with kindness. When discussing their reluctance to turn down someone’s request for a favour, they say things like,

“I don’t want to be selfish,” or “I just want to be a good person.”

Consequently, they allow others to take advantage of them.

https://www.psychologytoday.com

It is impossible to be all things to all people. Trying to be that person will just stress you out.

Some people-pleasers have a history of maltreatment and somewhere along the way, they decided that their best hope for better treatment was to try to please the people who mistreated them.

Psychology Today

Some People-pleasers seem to spend a lot of time walking on eggshells and neglecting their own boundaries to keep a significant other happy*. For these folks, people-pleasing becomes a habit and a way of interacting with family, friends and other people.

*NB. If this tips over into an abusive relationship, professional help should be considered, at the earliest opportunity.

What You Can Do to Break a People-Pleasing Habit

  • Start by saying no to a small request or take a stand for something you truly believe in.
  • Express your real thoughts and opinions to something small or less significant.
  • Validate the other person’s right to a different opinion before calmly stating your own.

Check to see if this works for you.

A positive or neutral response to this, from the receiver, may help to build confidence in one’s own ability to be more aligned with the true self.

Any adjustments in this communication might mean re-phrasing your words without acquiescing your own beliefs. Validating other people’s right to their own opinion, whilst calmly stating your own, may also be helpful.

“I get why you would think that and it would be nice if I could see it your way/agree with you, but right now, I see it/think differently.”

“The Number 1 reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbours.”

– Napoleon Hill

blogging

An Invitation to an Old Friend

Since I moved to a Home by the sea, I have had a beautiful friendship with a young wild bird who lived in the area. Recently, you may have read how I had to end the friendship with this wild bird. You may also be wondering what happened since then.

The fact that a wild bird could be so trusting as to voluntarily come into my house and sit on my dining room table, without fear, should have been a real compliment and I began to think I shouldn’t be angry at him. He was just doing what he could to survive in a suburban environment.

If truth be told, I was as fearful for his safety as I was for mine when he began fluttering around inside the house. And no, he didn’t drop any messages anywhere nor knock a single item over in his flurry. What dexterity!

Old Mate, as I dubbed him did come back the day following his tour of my abode and he sat outside on the fence singing for me to bring him his regular treats. I ignored his pleas. I did feel mean.

The next week went by and Old Mate didn’t visit me at all. I heard him but never saw him.

Yesterday, I heard him in the neighbourhood.

I relented.

I placed a piece of ham (his favourite), on the fence for him. It was still there the next day. Was this a sign he was gone for good?

I had to admit I still wanted a relationship with him but wanted him to respect that he could not enter my house. I would meet him in the yard.

Today, he arrived again and so I extended an invitation to him and his lady partner and offered him ham from my hand. He took it willingly.

We are friends again.

Birds are wonderful creatures.

#Socs

blogging, Philosophy

The Value of Life and Possessions

Weekly Quote

Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves, according to Wikipedia

When I was young, I don’t think I was such a compassionate person. I think I may have been caring and kind, but I do not think I was truly compassionate.

I did not go out of my way, nor did I always take the time to remember the details of others’ lives. I came to realize this was important and meant a lot, when someone takes a moment to enquire how they are faring.

Animals have the ability to teach compassion to anyone.

Possessions

We are possessed by the things we possess. When I like an object, I always give it to someone. It isn’t generosity-it’s only because I want others to be enslaved by objects, not me. Jean-Paul Sartre

http://www.azquotes.com/author/13003-Jean_Paul_Sartre

Satre may have been considered to be selfish to want others to be enslaved by beautiful things. This could even have been considered as lacking in compassion.

Or, did he think that others would be less bothered by the entrapment and possession of objects to the same extent that he was?

Existential thoughts

What is your relationship with the objects you possess?

Do you jealously guard treasured possessions or give them away if they are no longer useful to you, regardless of their value?

Why is it we want to accumulate so many material objects in our lives, knowing that we cannot take them with us when we are done?

Do you think Simone de Beauvoir’s quote is valid?

Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.

blogging

Preparing a Music Trivia Night in a Pandemic

Musicians

Our Neighbours at the Home by the Sea would like a Music Trivia night. Not having been at a trivia night for decades, let alone hosting one, I consulted the net: as one does when one has a question, these days.

Pandemic Limitations

Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

I need to stress I haven’t fully committed to this event, given the pandemic bubble our State of Queensland has been in, (with no new Covid cases), is under some threat. Gatherings have, from today, been limited to 10 persons until further notice.

Why are Group Numbers Restricted in the Pandemic?

Unfortunately, some people don’t get the instruction that if you feel sick, stay home and get tested! A 70 something-year-old worker continued to attend work for five days whilst sick, until it was evident something was wrong. As most of us have heard, Covid can be fairly mild for the first few days. On Day 5 you can suddenly go down very quickly, by which time you have infected goodness-knows-how-many people, around you. I am unsure of this person’s motive in attending work.

Did she/he need the money as they worked casually? If so, we rapidly need a political solution to the dilemma of the Casual worker who is not paid unless they go to work, as the whole economy suffers if they do attend work whilst sick, and the whole community has to lockdown in order to contain the outbreak!

Did she/he not think, or not even consider that being sick, at work, where people are housed in an institution-like facility, was very high risk, should a Covid contamination arise and furthermore, that such infection could spread like wildfire through the vulnerable residents, who could then be released inadvertently, at any time, into the community?

Despite the looming wave of new cases, I will, for the moment, press ahead with the organization for the Music Trivia night and set a date P.C. (post -Covid).

So what do I need/ do? The net did give me some ideas:


Steps To Take in Organizing a Music Trivia Night

1) Choose a Format for Hosting a Trivia Night
Live Pen and Paper/ Tablet/ TV or Smartphone-Based Trivia
2) Select Questions
100% DIY: Write Questions – a wonderful neighbour has volunteered to do this
Professional Trivia Host and Questions
Hosts Using Professional Trivia Questions
3) Write Out an Event Plan – Probably unnecessary given the group number limitation
4) Gather Equipment
5) Prepare Awesome Prizes and Food and Drink – Essential

SmartPhone/Digital Trivia

With the advent of smartphones, there is the option for digital formats for answering trivia questions. Like pen-and-paper trivia, smartphone trivia still involves a host who reads off questions and paces the game and the guests use their own smartphones to submit answers. We could even do this virtually if a FULL lockdown, if necessary.

Apprently there is also TV Trivia: These are trivia questions that run on TVs. Guests don’t “submit” answers, they just think about the questions or chat with friends about the answers. I like this option without the TV.

home

Prizes

I would whip up a painted wooden tray as a prize and some alcoholic beverage never goes astray either! Prizes: SORTED

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Food and Drinks

We have some wonderful cooks in the community, so this aspect is already catered for Including gluten-free/coeliac options, gourmet nibbles and cocktails to keep us in the merry mood.

Cheers!

Breaking the Ice/Getting to Know You Games

I am the first one to say that I absolutely HATE those painful introductory games, which are designed to make people relax, feel comfortable and get to know each other better.

They mostly just piss me off and make me hugely uncomfortable sharing personal facts that I don’t wish to publicly share. When forced to participate in them at work, I couldn’t help thinking they were a dreadful waste of my valuable time, and did nothing to enhance Team bonding, which I assume was their objective!

Right?

However, there was one game, I participated in, that was a little fun.

Here is how it goes:

  • Each person, in turn, states three random facts about themselves that may or may not be known to the group.
  • Two of the facts are true and one is false.
  • Everyone has to guess the one fact that is false.

To test the validity of an introductory game, such as this for the Music trivia night, I invite you to play along by choosing one answer below:

The answer will be revealed in a forthcoming post!

Conversation Questions

* Do you have a curly music trivia question I could include in my trivia night?

* Tell me about a less than dreadful, “Ice Breaker – Getting to know You,” game that you have played?

blogging, Community, Motivational

Blog Conversations

Are all Bloggers would-be storywriters, in disguise?

Disguise

I had to think a little more about why bloggers are attracted to write in the first place?

Is it because we have a desire to express ourselves and communicate to others, using the written word?

Blogging is like a Facebook post on caffeine!

Writing Your Own Story

I believe the stories we, as bloggers, write are to entertain or inform. Whether that is a work of non-fiction or a completely fictitious story, it can be entertaining for the reader.

Mostly, for the reason that people ARE interested in the details of other peoples’ lives and happenings. If you are in doubt, just look at how many Reality TV shows are on TV.

It can be a levelling experience for us to be watching or engaging with others. In doing so, we also learn about ourselves, as well as the journey through life.

Attracting More Blog Followers

Sandy and I have been discussing the art of blogging and the purpose of maintaining a blog after WordPress kindly reminded me I had begun this gig, ten years ago! This revelation was, for me, a little embarrassing when I looked at some bloggers who had acquired massive followings, in that same period of time. [And I say this trying hard to not focus on that number that pops up in my sidebar or notification lists.]

I do not blog to gain more followers, but I have to be honest: I do look at that number for feedback. I question myself: Am I writing something of interest to another person? Was my post boring? Is anyone listening to what I am saying? Did I communicate that well?

Blogging Feedback

In our Conversation, Sandy mentioned:

I worried too that my blog wasn’t focused enough, that I hadn’t found my niche. The thing is, I don’t know my niche.

Sandy from Thesandychronicles.blog

From the comments on these posts, it seems many of us, including me, might have this niggling doubt that our blogs. We worry our writing is not focused enough to gain interest, that is, unless we are a committed food/photographic or travel blogger, who posts solely on the one chosen topic.

Then I thought about the fact that we DO have people visiting and taking the time to post a comment, so that seems to prove otherwise. Thus, I’d like to challenge this almost subliminal notion many of us have, that our blog should be more defined.

Does it really matter if our blog is diversified in its topics?

I have some followers that enjoy my Sunday quotes, others who only like and comment on the photographic challenges and still others who will presumably only read the art, or lifestyle, posts.

With just a single focus for blogging, I would miss out on, “chatting” to this wide spectrum of readers via their own blogs and the comments they make.

Each and every one of my readers bring, with them, their own individual opinions and thoughts, which results in a wonderfully rich tapestry of backgrounds and perspectives that can only be beneficial for me, as a writer.

The number and content of comments on our posts, are perhaps the real litmus test for any Blogger. Growing a dedicated Blogger community will never happen overnight. In the meantime, we can continue to hone our craft and have a lot of fun in the process.

What is it that attracts you to a certain blog?

Join the Conversation with Sandy and Amanda

This post is a part of a new series of CONVERSATIONS between Sandy and myself. Over the next little while, we’ll talk about a topic, compare notes, share Q&A and invite you to join in.

Do you have any topics to suggest for our Blogging Conversations?

Pingback to join in and write a conversation post.

Still in disguise
Australia, blogging

Maintaining a Blog

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

WordPress recently told me it was my Blogging Anniversary. Really? What of it?

It has been almost ten years since I first created Something to Ponder About, after trying for a few miserable months with the Blogger platform. I never really got how you connected with other people on that platform, so quickly moved to WordPress, as a penfriend in Norway recommended it.

Purpose of Blogging

I really had to think about whether I should celebrate this Anniversary, or commiserate that I haven’t done better over the years? Some Bloggers have used their blogs as a venue to receive all kinds of free gimmicks, products and even discounts on holidays. What have I been doing?

Contemplating my navel in a semi-public way?

Don’t be misled into thinking I have been writing solidly for ten years. I have taken many a blogging break, here and there, when I have been on extended vacations and for the first three to four years, my frequency of posting was ‘hit and miss.’ That is, it wasn’t really conducive to comment conversations, or consistent readers.

In all honesty, I wasn’t a serious Blogger early on; merely posting interesting information to do with nutrition or D.I.Y. Craft that I might reference later, or using my blog to document my travels to, what I thought, were special parts of the world.

But then, something happened.

I began to connect with people worldwide. I started using my words in a way that was more constructive, ostensibly I wished to share information that might help others. The Blogger community responded with kindness and open arms, enveloping me on a truly wondrous journey that I am happy to say, continues to this day.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Connecting with Other Bloggers

Many of the early Bloggers I connected with have now left the blogging world. A few remain, including Leya, Tina and Cyranny. In the early days, Christian Mihai ‘liked‘ every one of my published posts, but never ever did he post a comment. He is a huge Blogger now.

Strangely, I noticed I have only recently connected with fellow Aussie bloggers, but rather most of my readers were in locations around the world. That may be a comment on where my interest is directed, perhaps? I am not sure.

blogger friends
Way back in 2010

Ineke, in New Zealand, but from South Africa, has been a blogger friend and reader of mine from the start. She was the first Blogger I chatted with and the first Blogger I met, in person. When we met up in her home town, it was like we were already old friends.

It seemed easier to communicate with her over the blogosphere, as we were in a closer time zone, generally speaking. She was always, always supportive and assisted me in various Blogging challenges and joint projects in the blogging community. I thank her for her friendship and hope we will meet up again someday.

WordPress Challenges

Living as I do in this far-flung corner of the earth, the long delay in sending and receiving comment replies on blog posts does hamper the flow of conversation, at times. Thus, it was highly unlikely that I would sync with Snow, in Finland – yet something clicked between us. After a time, I discovered she had a similar childhood to me, growing up in Australia! We could share memories and she seemed to understand my typically Aussie ways.

Together, Snow and I launched the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge, which I now run with the extremely resourceful Sandy, in Canada. I love the Global connections blogging affords from all corners of the world!it is a truly multicultural phenomenon.

A pivotal moment in keeping my Blog active was starting the now-defunct ‘Monday Mystery Photo Challenge,’ which ran for close to three years. I had a lot of fun interactions and learnt lots about blogging, in general. Photography was definitely a major way I found and connected with other like-minded folk.

Motivation to Keep Blogging

A key to maintaining my motivation for blogging is to write about things I am passionate about.

If you really are passionate about something, your writing comes alive and your Blog will be interesting for others to read.

I like to use humour or satire in my posts, although I cannot claim to be any good at that. Keeping posts topical to some extent, seems to me, to be a way of starting and maintaining a conversation with readers.

An early criticism I received from another Blogger was that my Blog lacked focus. The comment was that I had, “a lot going on,” at StPA. Back then, travelling was something I posted frequently about, but I also wrote about craft painting, nutrition, mental health, traditional sayings, quotes and cooking. Given the current global situation for Travel Bloggers, I am very grateful my Blog was diversified in its focus.

Something to Ponder about. Blog about Arts, crafts, Cooking Travel and Photography
Denmark

So, somewhat embarrassingly, I am still here, ten years later, at Something to Ponder About, prattling away to anyone who will listen. Blogging still provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. As more Bloggers fall away or take an extended break due to Covid or Blogger fatigue, new Bloggers begin their journeys with WordPress, filling that void. That bodes well for WordPress and for Bloggers, in general.

I hope to still be around in another ten years, but who knows? What will WordPress and the world itself, be like then?

Start a Conversation

What about your Blogging journey?

How did you start Blogging?

Have you ever considered giving up, and if not, why did you perservere?

computer
blogging, History & Traditions

Google will Help You

In the almost forgotten days B.C. meaning, “Before Covid,” we might search for holiday accommodation, or sightseeing spots using Google. Sometimes Google suggests places we didn’t even know we wanted to go, based on our search history and we don’t have to ask.

hotel entrance stained glass

Whilst away on vacations, we might need to know a good place to eat nearby. No need to ask the concierge or at the Reception desk, as Google can tell you. Do you want to know what people thought of the atmosphere, the food, the service of that restaurant? Google knows better than any food critic. Directions to get there? Google will be delighted to share various routes and time frames. Not sure of the constituents of a fancy French dish on the menu: Google will be happy to elaborate.

You might have consulted the medical form – Dr Google – who compiles a list of potential medical conditions from your given symptoms.

Can’t find that recipe for Turmeric flavoured Brownies? Chef Google to the rescue.

So much of our news and information stems from social media pop-ups, short headlines or excerpts on Google. News services and some newspapers have been made redundant by Google. We are now so good at finding out information for ourselves, via Google, I wonder if journalism will become redundant too?

Syndicated news doesn’t seem to reflect differing viewpoints any longer. Instead, reporters grow more like the mouthpieces of social media behemoths, reporting on what they personally think of a topic, rather than any balanced, objective or original perspective.

There is little need for a media launch or PR campaign for a new product. With a small amount of money, social media marketing will use targeted advertising will reach your chosen audience and Google spiders automatically do the rest.

Google is omnipresent and listening. If you don’t believe me, try saying, “Hey Google” to your cell phone.

Flowers
Time – less flowers

Google has made the world better by improving access to information, but it has also eliminated a multitude of jobs. How did we ever manage without it?

In referring to time, our future years may be B.G. and A.G. – Before Google and After Google.

1980’s was a year B.G. – being that time when we used Telephone books, Street Directories, read broadsheet Newspapers and Hard copy Dictionaries and more people had full time employment.

I remember those days.

pier on bridge
Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Criticism and Feeling Positive

 Gode ord skal du hogge i berg, de dårligere i snø.

Carve your good words in stone, the bad in snow.

Old Norwegian Proverb

I do love the way old words of wisdom offer us a way forward when we are stuck in our heads, with thoughts that do us no good at all.

Old proverbs offer us succinct suggestions and have many layers of interpretation, if we are open to listening.

Not only does the Norwegian proverb relate to criticism of others, it might also give us advice on how we view ourselves and how we react to criticism from other people.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Criticism from Others

Is it possible to eliminate criticism?

Du kan unngå kritikk ved ikke å si noe, ikke å gjøre noe
og ikke å være noe.

You can escape criticism by not saying anything,

by not doing anything and becoming nothing.

Danish Proverb

The only way to escape criticism entirely is to follow the Danish proverb’s advice.

Accepting that there will always be people who criticize, regardless of what you do or how well you do it, is something we might have to hear, but not something we have to internalize.

If you say you want to be a dancer, they will discredit your rhythm.  If you say you want to build a new business, they will give you a dozen reasons why it might not work.  They somehow assume you don’t have what it takes, but they are dead wrong.

It’s a lot easier to be negative than positive – a lot easier to be critical than correct.

Spend time with Positive people.

Wise words from Marc and Angel.

market
blogging

When Marketing Gets It Wrong

Do you read Product Reviews before buying a product?

The content of product reviews are increasingly influential for the public, when it comes to future purchasing choices. The opinion of the majority, or, the ‘herd,‘ also known as ‘Group think,’ is seen as paramount, as we discussed in a previous post .

Marketing techniques that target this type of thought and purchasing pattern, could be seen as lazy and fundamentally flawed.

Post-Purchase Screening of Customers

Consumers are more often than not, badgered by, not one, but several automated, emails asking them to give up their free time to:

“Tell us about your purchase,” and follow up if you do not reply to the email with a friendly:

“It’s not too late to tell us your thoughts.

Sometimes it is a text message asking,

How did we do?” in serving you and requesting your idea of a numeric rating.

All this in the name of improving customer service.

Do you like this level of attention after you have purchased a product?

Can you imagined if I badgered my readers like that?

Do you like my blog?

How often do you read the posts?

Do you want a daily update?

Are you sure?

It is not too late to subscribe!

Receiving a 5 star rating in a review might boost product sales more than any media advertisement and costs the company nothing. In short, shoppers are doing the marketing work for the company.

Canvassing Customers can be Risky Business

A product review can cut both ways. Badger a customer for a response and you might get a response, but not the the company likes.

A poor review might damage reputations, especially if it remains published. The veracity of the review itself is always at the mercy of customer competency and subjective biases.

Marketing Fail # 1

For example:

Recently I purchased a kitchen appliance for my new house that intermittently stopped working.

Frustrated, I wrote an online product review with a poor rating, whilst the ‘Moth’, (a.k.a. Man of the House), took it back to the store, asking for a replacement.

The product tested perfectly well in-store, but with an explanation that it was an intermittent fault, as we thought, the store replaced it without hassle.

Back home, the replacement product malfunctioned again!

So. Hmm.

Maybe, just maybe it wasn’t the product, after all, but a faulty power source? After all, ours was a new home, with newly installed power points.

To our horror, the appliance worked without fault in a different power point.

With a guilty feeling in our gut, we had to admit the appliance wasn’t faulty at all. Yet what damage had I done to that product’s reputation with my poor review, in the meantime?

Marketing /Product Review Fail # 2

I purchased a bra online through a popular department store and the automated email follow up I received after store pick up, is seen below.

I was asked to add photos, a video and location information!

In a young lady who purchased intimate apparel, this might be considered intrusive, but can you imagine photos, or video footage, of a 50 something lady, modelling a bra?

Probably not the content the store was after for their site. Aside from the fact they would surely filter out such content, it begs the question what else would, or could, they filter out?

As for the question of location – I can see the rationale to that question, but in the context of a bra purchase, it felt voyeuristic and slightly creepy.

Generic email and privacy filter arguments aside, this exemplifies how this style of marketing fails miserably and just serves to defeat its intended purpose!

Imagine if I had purchased underwear, or God forbid, a sex toy!

History & Traditions, Motivational, Philosophy

Weekly Quote and Proverb

Proverbs and Quotes provide us with wisdom from days past.

These words, generally anonymous and uttered so succinctly, can teach us so much, in just a few words.

Here are this week offerings:

The greater love is a mother’s;

then comes a dog’s;

then a sweetheart’s – Polish Proverb

Schnauzer dog

In these times of pandemic and social distancing, we would do well to remember the Danish proverb:

No one is rich enough

to do

without a neighbour.

Danish Proverb
Dragør

As a second wave of Corona looks to be commencing in a southern state, the final word goes to Thomas Edison –

Stay safe.

country building Australia
Australia, blogging

Children of Victorian England

In the 1800’s in Victorian England, scores of children under the age of 20, roamed the streets in a Dickensian world, eeking out an existence made famous in the 1968 movie, Oliver.

In the day, Britain feared a French revolution might erupt within the lower classes and so wished to contain this potential political menace by executing or shipping any trouble-makers off to North America, or Australia. In those times, to commit a crime of any sort was seen as a character flaw which could not be altered through rehabilitation.

Fagin was based on real life character called Ikey Solomon

Why did Victorian Children Live on the Streets

Street children were often the progeny of delinquent parents, or who had parents who’d abandoned them or were sitting in a Debtor’s prison. A child could take its chances living on the streets, working in a dangerous textile factory or remain in squalid conditions in a poorhouse, if they were lucky.

Child Workers and Conditions in Textile Factories

In 1851, more than 500,000 of Britain’s children sometimes as young as six, were working in the textile mills.

Being small, children were used to crawl inside textile machinery to clear blockages in the spinning frames. It was extremely dangerous and many were killed or injured, as the machinery was slow to stop if a worker got caught.

The machines were very loud and they thundered relentlessly all day long. Workers could be fined. beaten or sacked for falling behind. In cotton mills, dust from the yarn covered the workers and got in their throats. To make the cotton strong, factory owners kept their mills warm and damp. This meant that the workers suffered from lung and chest infections.

primaryfacts.com

With these options, it was no surprise that many children took their chances living on the streets.

Penalties for Child Criminals in England

In Victorian England, a child caught stealing would be sent to reform school or sentenced to hard labour. Once they had amassed a record of over 200 crimes, the child would hang from the gallows. If the magistrate was kind, a death sentence may be commuted from hanging to transportation, for life, to a convict colony, in Australia.

Sometimes, these children were the lucky ones, and other times, not.

Steve Harris’ book called,”The Lost Boys of Mr Dickens,” recounts the real-life story of two young boys, in the 19th century, sent by the British Government, as impoverished and unwanted juveniles to exile to Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania, in the world’s first prison built exclusively for children.

tasmania prison
The ruins of Port Arthur’s Prison in Tasmania

Prejudice, moral panic, harsh justice and expedience saw unwanted boys condemned to severe isolation, solitary confinement, hard labour in chains and thrashings in a juvenile version of notorious Port Arthur, a ground-breaking chapter in the history of juvenile crime and punishment. Some quietly endured in the hope of salvation through rudimentary trade and Biblical instruction, but others became relentlessly defiant and mutinous in a brotherhood of resistance and bullying, inexorably slipping from hope to hell.

Booktopia.com

A Convict in the Family

Paterson Museum

Ironically, having a convict ancestor in one’s family history is now seen as an asset to a Genealogist. Not only is there widespread documents and history related to convicts, but many times, there are details of their physical description and life story, sometimes even their words, letters or deeds they performed.

country building Australia
Paterson, Australia where my convict ancestor lived

John Martin, although not a child convict, was convicted of stealing a sheep’s carcass, at 24 years of age. His sentence of life imprisonment aboard the convict hulks moored in British harbours was commuted to transportation, for life, to Australia. Therein starts our Australian family adventure as John was my 3 x Great Grandfather.

John Thomas Martin was indeed one of the lucky ones to escape the gallows or a potential life in the textile factories. John went on to become a convict overseer, gain his ticket of leave and later marry into one of the first free settler families in Australia, having a large brood of 11 children, one of which was Eve Martin, his daughter, my 2nd Great Grandmother.

I wonder why Eve wore her heart brooch upside down?

Forestwood Cottage Martins Creek
Martin family cottage, ”Forest wood.“

Their farm near Paterson in country New South Wales was called ‘Forest Wood,” and the small town of Martin’s Creek now bears the family’s name. From the inscription his free settler wife, Jemima had inscribed into his tombstone, one might think she was determined that history would know of his true character, more than his criminal past.

John Martin’s Grave

“He was an affectionate husband and a kind father.”

Something to Ponder About

Australia, blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Overcoming Adversity

I am a bit late with posting my Sunday Sayings quote as it is now Monday afternoon, in Australia. I don’t want writing a regular blog post to become a chore, for then I feel sure my writing would lose spontaneity and appeal, so if I can’t think of anything useful to write, I won’t post at all. Just so you know.

Today’s inspiration resulted after a long walk along the beach with a friend.

Sunrise

Being on the beach at sunrise is fantastic and I feel extremely fortunate to experience it. With little accompanying wind and a mild air temperature, (given it was a winter’s morning in a sub-tropical part of Australia), the sun bid good morning through the low level cloud, hugging the islands across the bay.

That fire breathing star of atoms we all depend on for life, shone over the lapping seawater like a spotlight on a runway carpet. A beam of golden light that stretched across the ocean from the horizon to the shore line like a path to eternity. Magical.

As we walked, my friend and I chatted about life’s dramas, past experiences and the week ahead. She told me about a gentlemen on a UK TV show, who faced enormous challenges in his daily life, and who had seemingly had more than his share of devastating family tragedies, with one cataclysmic life event following another.

In chatting about the TV show and these experiences, I remembered a quote I had read some time back.

Inspirational Quote

Life Challenges and Adversity

After our walk was done and I was at home sipping a cup of tea, I pondered some more about life and facing adversity.

We have all experienced some level of adversity in life.

Everyone has challenges, sooner or later. There wouldn’t be one person on the planet that hasn’t faced some kind of adversity.

Given that such challenges and adversity are omnipresent, or a natural part of life, aiming to live a life without them seems a tad unrealistic and even far-fetched.

Yet how often do we yearn, and sometimes expect, life to be challenge free: wishing for an easy life.

I guess it is in our nature to want life to be trouble free and have free time to pursue hobbies, sport or leisure pursuits. Devices, gadgets and the latest electronic inventions promises itself as a panacea to our time-poor existence.

So I ask:

Why are we looking to save so much time?

In doing so, are we living in the here and now, or looking forward to a mythical ‘down’ time, failing to notice our lives, passing by?

Why do we Want More Leisure Time Anyway?

  • To make life more meaningful
  • To experience more relaxation and peace
  • To conduct leisure pursuits
  • To stop working in a job that bring us joy

What is it that gives us a sense of satisfaction in life?

If the Covid pandemic has any lesson, it is that some folks become completely bored without work, with nothing constructive to do, and a few even create mischief for others.

Is it in the facing of challenges that we come alive?

In overcoming adversity and challenges, even if painful or sad, we can learn and grow. This, in turn, might lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and contentment. Right?

You tell me.

What is it that you are seeking in wanting more leisure time?

Would you prefer a life completely free from challenges?

Join the Discussion

Everyone is welcome to comment, well except for spammers, of course.

shopping centre with consumers
Australia

Post LockDown Possibilities for Retail Centres

Worst-case Scenario

I think we all are aware that brands and stores may not survive the financial hiatus resulting from the pandemic. Together with the shift in the popularity of online shopping, the enforced elimination of in-person appointments and alternative home delivery methods, what if shopping malls could become a relic of the past?

Already anchor shopping centre retailers, like Kmart and Myer are closing stores and looking at ways they can down-size their in-store presence.

Shopping malls might become ghost towns, abandoned places left to rack and ruin, post-Covid.

Might it be possible that abandoned locations such as those could undergo a phoenix-like transformation should the worst happen in a post-pandemic environment?

A Silver Lining

With a little alteration, abandoned malls could become emergency shelters or accommodation for the homeless or disadvantaged folks. The infrastructure exists – services such as lighting, electricity and plumbing etc could be re-connected.

Small stores might easily be converted to residential rooms and larger stores to dormitory or dining areas. The homeless or troublesome graffiti artistis will infiltrate abandoned places anyway!

There could be retraining and shelter facilities, hardware stores could become areas for learning trades or sheltered workshops.

Photo credit: Tweed News

Is it pessimistic to think that this might unfortunately come to pass, or that a rejuvenation in a humanitarian form even possible?

All is Not Lost

There are reports and discussions occurring about opening up society again and how our Government could gradually do it.

The process has started, with parks and playgrounds re-opening, as our Covid new case rate is relatively low, compared to some other countries. Travel between Australia and New Zealand might even be allowed in the coming months.

Mortgages in abeyance will still have to paid. If the employment is there, can they play catch up when income has been severely restricted or absent for several months? If not, then more emergency shelter accommodation will be needed.

Time will tell.

Where am I

Hopefully, your shopping mall an small business will survive and rise to the challenges of online business.

Sunday Saying

Things are never so bad that they are not good for something.

Aldri så gale er godt for noko

Swedish Proverb

We look for the silver lining.