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Introduce Yourself to Geelong Interfaith Forum

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We just finished a week of the Parliament of World Religions.

In one session, the attitude toward interfaith discussions was expressed:

"If you can't avoid dealing with someone from another faith, then your options are to stay ignorant and relate with your prejudices ... or dialogue with them."

So please start by telling us a bit about who you are.

Please remember not to give too many personal details over the internet.

If you notice any SPAM or anything offensive, use the CONTACT US to get admin to remove them.

Otherwise, Have fun.

A bit about me! I gave this 'talk' to the Women's group a coupl

I gave this 'talk' to the Women's group a couple of years ago...

BASIS for a “Community Talk”.

The Will to live Joyously!

The thing I dislike most about having an impairment when I’m out in community groups:

Being told I’m brave or courageous.


Because –

a)  People who say that usually don’t know me well.  (I might be a sook under the skin for all you know!)

b)  People who tell me this are, without realising it, pushing me away.  From where I sit, by trying to make me feel ‘special’ and welcome, people only emphasize my ‘difference’ not our common humanity.

c)  And thirdly when this happens I feel unconsciously that I have a right to be sorry for myself.  I read somewhere that this “saps the will to fight”.  My husband put it a different, better way: it saps the joy of living!  Self-pity is something I’ve had to battle with every day of my life, because I’ve seen pity reflected back at me through other people’s eyes from babyhood.

(Now I must admit a former, much beloved, UNITY minister said when I mentioned this to him:  How DARE I question and grumble at people’s goodwill!  And he had a point; when I’m feeling good about myself know I say something like:  If you can see my courageousness [I like this word better, because “bravery” to me smacks of immediacy with a dash of foolhardiness about it, while courage speaks of endurance] it’s only because you are too!  If you point the finger at anybody you point three back at yourself!) 

In truth we ALL face challenges in our daily lives.  In truth, our biggest “struggles” are often those only our nearest and dearest know anything about if they know anything about them at all. 

In truth, what might seem petty, piddling problems to some might be monstrous tribulations to others.  We cannot judge others (and here I’m teaching what I need to know! because I can as judgemental, and dogmatic as the best of us!), because we cannot know them and their “journey”, their hormonal and brain chemical structures fully.  We cannot even know our “journey completely” as we are often too “close” to ourselves to be dispassionate about ourselves; these are some of the best reasons I know to be gentle on, kind to, and compassionate towards ourselves and others.

Regarding that last statement, I firmly believe that some of us have more ability to exercise our free will in the direction of living productive, loving - “non anti-social lives - than others, sometimes because of our education in the philosophies, social sciences and spiritual traditions, sometimes because of our genetic make up and/or the way our nurturing or upbringing has been influenced by our genetic make up and vice-versa.  (Explanation.)

Now, I would like to share a little of my journey with you, and why if anybody asks me I would call myself extremely fortunate.

Firstly parents.  What they did right; what, looking back, I wish they had done differently.

Secondly, Miss Irwin.  What she did for me.

Thirdly, the three Graemes in my life.

Fourthly, my three loves, the last of whom became my husband.  A little about our relationship and what we do for each other, our financial sharing, our wwoofers, our organic garden.


Now having said all the above, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that there are things I don’t wish I had to make my life easier or more enjoyable on a purely practical level.  Explain.  And this is where politics come in. 

About Norway.  I don’t think people with disabilities would feel so devalued, and people wouldn’t be so afraid of gaining an impairment in that kind of society.

And other people I know with impairments that are not half so fortunate as I am… 

People with severe and multiple disabilities who are living on their own in tiny Office of Housing flats, and paying 1/4 of their income in rent, living on about $200.00 a week.  They cannot go out easily because even half-price taxis cost too much (and in Melbourne one can wait up to five hours for a taxi anyway!) and they are too scared or too disabled (sometimes by with what I call “acquired depression”!) to take buses, if and when they are accessible and available.  So often (because not all families are helpful, kind and loyal) the only people they see are week-in, week-out are their paid support workers (who may or may not be compatible, or empathetic, or even competent in what they do for us for the 4 or 5 hours a day they “come into” our spaces, our homes).

Selling the “poor’s” share in this country (for who can afford to but shares but the “rich”.).  Making material wealth matter above all else.  But “the rich” are losing too; losing real leisure time, real connection, and making them more impatient, more “distant” from the poor, more cynical, more suspicious…  And this goes the other way too.

However, the life cycles are getting faster.  Hopefully the one we seem to be stuck in at present will change before we are all blown sky-high or go the way of the dodo… J


I am a follower of the UNITY muliti-cultural spiritual group/religion. 

I watch Unity on Utube since there is no church in Geelong.

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