It’s about “rewilding” in Scotland. I know, some of us still think Scotland is a little wild – in a good way! But this is about the natural ecological balance in this beautiful country.
Euronews tells us that:
‘Rewilding has become an increasingly popular movement in Scotland over the last few years. Politicians are being called on by the Scottish Rewilding Alliance (SWA) to create policies that would see the country become the world’s first “rewilding nation”.’
We find it’s not just the government though.
‘The Scottish public is behind the idea too. Last year the SWA commissioned a poll across Scotland which found widespread support for the principle of rewilding. More than three-quarters of people who expressed an opinion backed the concept, ten times as many as those who objected to it.‘
Let’s hope that they have some success. There are also some videos available on Youtube by searching “rewilding Scotland“, such as this one.
You can check out other posts from our #WATWB too!
To join this post you’ll need to hop on the bus! The Sleep Bus to be more exact. Not far from where I live, a city of Queanbeyan, NSW (Australia) has acquired a Sleep Bus.
Like many parts of the world we have issues here with homelessness. People who cannot find or fit in a home to live. The Sleep Bus movement provides a shower and short-term bunk accommodation for homeless people. A great idea.
You can check out a report from our Channel 9 Network that they posted to their Facebook Page.
You can hear more about Sleep Bus from their website, as their founder, Simon Rowe (what a first name!) talks you through with short video updates.
What a rolling, practical way to give some help to those needing somewhere to sleep.
“Bashar Hanna fled Iraq after the war and later set up a choir for others who have left their homelands. Amid the lasting mental health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, he says he’s doing what he can to help.”
A choir member, Rula, is humming what turns out to be a tune “called Mother Earth, the lyrics describe living in peace, without war.”
The theme resonates with teacher, Bashar, and his student, Rula. Having both fled Bagdad as refugees it is consoling for them. This is because the COVID lockdowns led to these refugees reliving some of the traumas of the Gulf War.
So… Bashar “founded several art-based therapy groups including The Choir of Love, which partners with STARTTS, the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.”
“Music, from my point of view, is a very powerful tool; it’s a language.” BASHAR HANNA
You can read more of the SBS news report about Bashar, Rula and others here.
The We Are The World Blogfest started around this time a few years ago and has continued on most months of each year. Please check out posts by our co-hosts and others. You can also follow #WATWB on all the main social media.
I don’t need to post a poem this time around as music is a poetic medium. We are so glad it is too!
It’s almost hard to believe that we are in 2021. As Aussies down South (where I am) are coming through a heatwave, those in the North of our world are playing in the snow. We are all trying to do the best we can to both contain COVID and to keep connected.
The We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB is all about connecting us with good news. For the first month of 2021 our co-hosts are:
Living through the fires of Summer 2019-20 and across COVID into 2021 is itself good news. But this week we celebrated Australians of the Year. ‘Australia Day’ itself is being debated. Which is also good news for free speech as people search for the reasons of who we are and what we stand for.
In the midst of that I present recipients of Australians of the Year under four categories. These are people who shine a light for the way of humanity.
Senior Australian of the Year:
“Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, an Aboriginal elder from the Nauiyu community in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, is an artist, activist, writer and public speaker. “
Young Australian of The Year:
“At the age of 18, Isobel Marshall, from Adelaide, and her school friend Eloise Hall set up a social enterprise to end the stigma around menstruation and improve access to female hygiene products.”
Australian Local hero:
“Kenyan-born Rosemary Kariuki, from Oran Park southwest of Sydney, fled family abuse and violence in her home country in 1999. She became a multicultural community liaison officer with Parramatta Police in 2005, helping migrants fleeing domestic violence.”
Australian of the Year:
“Grace Tame was 15 years old when she was first groomed and raped by her 58-year-old maths teacher, who was later found guilty and jailed for his crimes. But while her abuser was able to speak publicly about the case, Ms Tame was gagged by an archaic law in Tasmania that prevents victims of sexual abuse from identifying themselves. With the help of the #LetHerSpeak campaign, Ms Tame applied to the Supreme Court for the right to publicly self-identify – and won.”
I have long been interested in people and culture. We have such a vast array of them in our world. At times our “otherness” can lead to competition and conflict. At others we enrich each other in our variety.
So when I saw that the Australian ABC had this story on their ABC Life list, I had to have a look. It can be used for other aspects of social media but they have applied to racism.
There are four suggestions. I’ll provide a taster quote for each one and you can go to the link yourselves at your leisure.
Suggestion One: Setting Firm Boundaries for Yourself
“This can include your engagement on social media, who you deal with and how you deal with them,” says Naarm-based counsellor Tigist Kebede.
She has some simple advice to start with.
“Log off. Especially in times of distress or where you feel overwhelmed, having contained periods where you use social media can be life-changing.”For more.
Suggestion Two: Connection is Key
Whether it’s spending more time with (biological or chosen) family, finding a mentor in your workplace or seeking out online communities, prioritise connections with people who share a base-level understanding of what you’re going through.
“Connection — whether it’s to community, to an individual, to others — is about finding your people,” Ms Kebede says.
“It’s not just because they’re the same colour but because they understand your experiences that you can share the load with them.”More on connection.
Suggestion Three: Give Yourself Space to Feel
Experiencing racism can overwhelm us with anger, anxiety and pain. It can impact us in many ways: mentally, physically and spiritually.
Rather than bury your feelings, “check in with yourself” is Ms Kebede’s advice.
In Professor Carlson’s experience, it’s Indigenous peoples’ ability to see the funny side that often helps them deal with the repetitive trauma of “another day in the colony”, to quote Dr Chelsea Bond.
Deploying humour has become a powerful tool for Indigenous social media users to speak back to racist and non-factual online commentary.
“That’s something I love about our mob, being able to see the irony. You get people saying ‘Australia was colonised peacefully’ — well, you can show just how laughable that is by turning it into a meme like [the Facebook page] Blackfulla Revolution does so well.”More on reclaiming.
There is more to the article than what I have gratuitously cut and paste from ABC Life. The link is in each quote.
As I was preparing this post some other words were forming. Below is an excerpt and link.
There has been much discussion over time about what this year of disasters has been teaching us. Some are enjoying more time in nature. Some have cherished time in their household working on both relationships and the building of the house itself (perhaps even getting rid of things no longer needed!). Others have learned new skills and new ways of learning.
Daniel Goleman, one of the people who raised our attention to Emotional Intelligence, has continued working and puts out a monthly newsletter. He includes some work he did with a coach on how she used emotional intelligence with her clients. Then he adds these:
When you have strong self-awareness, you:
Know what you are feeling, why you feel it, and how it impacts your ability to perform and relate
Understand clearly your strengths and limits, leading to a realistic sense of self-confidence
Connect to your values and sense of purpose, allowing you to cultivate a more meaningful life.
A useful check-in for this year we are having.
Self and Others We Are Connected To
Moving from good news to our self to with others, in the latest newsletter on LinkedIn Goleman includes a video of the piece Bolero, by the classical composer Ravel. But it is another one of the virtual concerts, celebrating people from various places joining in to play and dance.
Part of the good news we have learned this year is that we can still be connected to other people, and their great gifts, even in times of isolation and lack of travel.
Self and Others Different From Us
Goleman offers another video. This takes our awareness to peoples from a culture that may be different from us. The video is a song by Jackson Browne and his band.
It tells the story of a people in Haiti and their resilience. There is a screenshot above and here is a link to the clip. It broadens our compassion and our solidarity to be part of such stories. Thanks to Jackson’s song I need not post a poem this time around either.
Some of the things we have learned this year as we have all lived in a pandemic is to be more aware of ourselves, of others we are connected to, and of peoples in cultures around our world. Perhaps we are coming closer to understanding that we are one world. To me that sounds like good news.
Interview with Christine Anu on ABC News Australia.
Being a 1970s child was quite an experience. But it just dawned on me that I shared being born in the early 70s with Cathy Freeman. For those of us in Australia Cathy Freeman is a household name. Cathy represented Australia in athletics and, during the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, she lit the Olympic Cauldron.
This year is 20 years since Cathy played such a significant role in those Olympic Games. But that is not the reason for the post this time around. What I would like to highlight, given it’s more particular focus on WATWB matters, is the work of the Cathy Freeman foundation. This foundation gives an opportunity for young indigenous people to access educational and vocational opportunities. This is especially significant for those geographically remote locations.
Some would be aware, some would not, that Cathy Freeman is an Australian indigenous woman. She represents the aboriginal and therefore First Nations people of Australia. Part of the work of her foundation is creating opportunities for young indigenous women and men to find their way in life. In an interview on Friday, 25 September 2020, Eastern Australian time, ABC News journalist, Christine Anu, interviews Cathy Freeman on her life during and after the Olympic Games and also her life with the Cathy Freeman foundation.
I have included the link and hope you enjoy the interview between Christine and Cathy. Although not an indigenous Australian myself, I was both deeply moved by Cathy‘s presence in the 2000 Olympic Games and also to hear of the great work in her foundation.
Perhaps some of you reading this may also be moved or even inspired.
Also, don’t forget to have a look at any other posts who are tagged with WATWB. Thank you for supporting our work to promote good news stories.
Looking after patients at the end of their life can be incredibly rewarding especially being able to bear witness to the joy and love they have created in their life as their family hold vigil to mark their last days.
Dr Gregorevic describes some of her experience.
My work constantly reminds me that life is fragile, precious and finite, and to appreciate all the small, beautiful moments that make a life. Part of what makes the challenges of work manageable is knowing I provided the best care I could at such an important time.
She has a sense of the mutual benefit between the families and her team.
The families I speak to show the most incredible empathy and generosity, expressing sympathy for the work I am doing, saying thank you for the work I am doing. And I cannot express how much this helps me through these days.
It is good to know that medical staff like Dr Gregorevic and her team are helping treat people with COVID-19. Clearly they see the person. They also see the patient’s loved ones. That makes all the difference.
Well the first bit of good news is that the We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB is back again for another month and has been running for years. As life changes for some of us it can be a slog, at times, to keep up the momentum. There are months where we struggle to find enough co-hosts. If you have been with us a while, and may be able to help, contact one of our co-hosts.
Speaking of co-hosts, this month our valiant leaders are:
As the coronavirus aka COVID-19 hit, many schools, universities and other educational centres rapidly moved to a more online presence in all manner of operations. This can be very socially isolating for students and staff so…
Dr Murad Jehangir Yusuf Tayebjee wrote letters to his students. We pick up the report from ABC News Australia in its ‘Life’ team.
As I submit your final grades for this term, I wanted to take a moment to write you a note.
Maybe you made it to university after studying hard in year 12. Maybe this is part of a career change for you, or a return to study after having kids.
Whatever your story — and there are as many stories as there are of you — you certainly didn’t expect to undertake your 2020 undergraduate year in the middle of a global pandemic.
We didn’t expect it either.
He moved on to outline some of the things they may be doing, like getting their hands dirty and building small-scale solar powered cars.
Tayebjee even told them that they inspired him by staying with the course. What an encouraging teacher from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). You can read more of the story yourselves.
Lock-downs have been really tough for people. This fellow, who admitted that he too, “had to adapt fast”, adapted well. He not only engineered his courses, but innovated the communication needed in order to reach his students.
Those who follow this blog know that I love poetry and also try to share a poem with the story.
Poet, Michael Ryan, writes of letters in an institution. Just like lecturers use their imagination to reach students, so too do poets, like Ryan, explore the world of the imagination. An excerpt is below. Full text at Poetry Foundation.
I nearly lost the story I was going to post. But I found it again thanks to SBS Australia journalist Jennifer Scherer. It’s about refugee Bill Ngo who fled conflict and came to Australia. In time he began a business. Sadly, his business is dwindling due to losses in these COVID-19 days. But Bill is undaunted and plans to get going again. Scherer tells his story on audio (put the sound on!).
The other part of this news is that there is good reason to believe small businesses like this are probably near us too. We can find out where they are and support them.