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Government Assistance and The War We Wage Against Each Other.

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According to the Courier Mail, the Australian Government has another proposal to cut welfare payments. (see article here) I applaud the government’s efforts to look at everything and see where we can cut costs.  I applaud their seeming commitment to the idea that the solution has to help people, not just dump them and leave them off worse than before.  I admire that about the Australians, they seem to think a bit more before they jump, or at least make an effort to see the whole picture.

What irritates me is the immediate discussion that ensues where people use their own anecdotal situations as proof that everyone else could/should be able to do the same as they did.  Someone states that  they have a disability  and when offered, they refused government assistance and went out and worked 3 menial jobs just to be able to buy bread and they are happy.  Good for you.  YOU are not everyone else.

1.  Stop thinking your life and your experience is relative to the entire world.  It is just one example of one way among billions of differing ways.

You have people who immediately want you to know that everyone/most of the people on welfare or with a disability are bludgeoning the system.  They again, can tell you that they see these people applying for jobs all the time, inferring they know everyone/most of the people on welfare or with a disability.  They insist that they know of jobs that are available and so the person who says they cannot find work is lying and just lazy.

2.  You can’t possibly know more than a mere point percentage of the people who are on welfare and no-one should take your limited experience with a handful of people, for a few moments on a given day, as proof that you are capable of completely evaluating a single human being, let alone the entire group, to the point you can speak to who they are and what their intent is.

You have people who insist people on welfare abuse the monies given to them.  They see them “all the time” buying alcohol and cigarettes and they know they are doing drugs.  They see them buying crap in the grocery store.  They insist they can’t afford ice cream and so neither should anyone on government assistance.

 3.  Please see number 2, same applies. 

You have people who insist all those who are on welfare. are overweight, lazy, wanting a free ride to play games all day. They are drug dealers and criminals and are probably responsible for every crime and wrong doing that happens in our neighbourhoods.

 4.  Please see number 2, same applies.

I have no doubt that there are people out there on benefits who do exactly what these people have observed but I am not willing to accept even the anecdotal evidence to be true because, just like I do not know the people we are talking about, I do not know the person judging and have no reason to believe them any more than I do the recipients.

I don’t know what the situation is.  I am not on welfare.  I don’t have a disability.

I do know that sometimes when people cannot afford television or trips to the theme parks at the Gold Coast that “ice cream” might be the biggest thing that happens in their life.  It might be a treat they allow the children a couple times a month.  That is just as possible as is the idea that they eat it all the time when there are healthier choices. Food is incredibly personal and has a whole range of meanings for us that don’t always have to do with health.  When people are not at the top of their game food can be a source of comfort and self medication.  I see complete irony in complaining they buy drugs and then complaining they are buying food.  It makes me think the point is just to complain.   In those comments condemning them I hear people telling me that they would be happier if these people simply did not exist.  The fact they do exist, the fact we have to see them, makes them angry.  That concerns me more about the people complaining than it does about the supposed assistance “abusers.”

I have compassion for my fellow human being which includes a  sense of responsibility to help and care for those that need help and care.  I know that when things fall apart in a person’s life it is difficult to find coping methods and have the sense of self esteem that allows one to get out there and change their circumstances.  I know that one of the biggest hurdles to that self esteem are the people who stand and judge them without ever knowing them and who paint them with broad strokes of their limited experiences.

I also know that people get stuck and sometimes it is easier to throw money at a problem than it is to roll up our sleeves and actively engage with people in a way that addresses the source of the problem.

I know that we cannot go on supporting growing numbers of the unemployed and it concerns me that it is growing and I want to know why and understand how we can all contribute to a better outcome for future generations.  I may not be able to do much for the whole country but I can have an impact on my own family and friends and if each of us would do just that . . . problem solved.

We have to stop looking to the government to give us magic answers and we have to stop the adversarial position of just attacking any idea that is put forward or from getting carried away with our anger over the problem and doing really destructive things … for us and our country.    We have to start working together, taking responsibility for both the problem and the solution.

Identifying the problem is not placing blame, it is identifying those areas we need to work on and improve.  Can we stop the “us” and “them” and realize there is just “we.”  We have to look at this, understand it, change it, heal it.

We can do it.

But not if we are going to put our energy solely into name calling and further marginalizing a whole segment of society that is already marginalized.  When a natural disaster happens no-one bothers with who might have “deserved” the losses or the damage they suffered.  We just start pulling people from the debris.  The sorting out of what happened and why and how it can be prevented is another discussion to be had when all the fact are in and we are calm enough to sit and think of what can be done.

The problem is the enemy.  Not the people.  Perhaps the greatest thing we can all do to start this ball rolling is to take down the wall we have put between “us” and “them.”  We are all just human beings, none of us perfect, none of us doing all the right things that we can sit and judge others and none of us really having any idea what that person next door, on welfare, or a millionaire, is about or what they have been through.  So let’s stop the fighting and start the healing.

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Screaming About Life After It Is Too Late To Fix Things Is Called A Tantrum.

do something

Today I read about a situation that resulted in a large outcry from “the people” in angry protest.  Although a seemingly daily story with just differing situations, this one was of particular interest.

It caught my eye because the law behind the events was one that I was intimately familiar with.  Over 30 years ago when it was about to be enacted I spoke up about the possible outcomes of such a law.  The reactions of many “good” people was that I was being ridiculous, making much about nothing, did not know what I was talking about, etc.  People were not interested.  It did not impact them that day and they had other things to do.  They were in agreement on that one point and the law passed because no-one felt they needed to worry about it.

Now “good” people are screaming that something needs to be done.  They are living the apathy of 30 years ago in this one particular situation.  Unfortunately the law is a broad sweep and will impact many more situations.

THIS is part of the problem we have.  Most people live reactionary lives.  They wait for something to happen before they become “aware.”  While it is sometimes advisable to hold off on action until we are sure what is happening, it is never advisable to hold off on awareness.  The issues that face the world today cannot ever be solved with our reactionary responses which  are nothing more useful than applying a bandaid to a victim with a bleeding gunshot wound.

We need to be aware enough to see the problem coming, to see the source and to then act.  If we are caught in an “after the fact” situation we need to look for the source which requires much more work and more changes than just throwing money at it.  Human beings are impacted by their lives that are less about love and connectedness and more about the inner war each person fights to achieve the temporary, plastic, greatness that the world worships.  We need each other.  We need to be concerned for each other.  We need to notice what is happening all around us and we need to at least pay attention to what other people think and see.

Perhaps it is nothing.  Perhaps it is.

The people all those years ago did not even look at it.  They did not even hear what I was saying.  We are not listening to one another.  They switched off and went on with their shopping.  People are shopping today.  At least look.  At least check it out, and realize that everything we do has a consequence, good or bad, and we are accountable for both.

Vote. And Make it Count This Time.

vote

Queensland goes to the polls next weekend.  Leading up to the election we find out politicians behaving badly even when they know their job is to try and impress us.  My thoughts concerning the responsibility to vote and a laundry list of what I want from our politicians is not just about Queensland or Australia.  It is about every election, everywhere and I think it is time we started to wade through the maze of garbage that politics has become and be very clear about what we want.

1.  I don’t want to listen to the politicians anymore.  I would like them to shut up and start listening to me.  I would like them to listen to you.  I would like them to listen to the actual people they serve and the people that their policies are most going to impact.  People can handle tough laws that are necessary if they know you have genuinely heard and considered all the arguments before making those decisions.

2.  I don’t want to see pictures of you and your family on your Facebook page having fabulously holidays in once-in-a-lifetime destinations, 3 – 4 times a year, clearly sparing no expense.  Even if you are independently wealthy and this is not being paid for on the tax payer’s dime, have some sensitivities.  No-one voted for you because they want to see how awesome your life is compared to their meagre struggles.  I want to see pictures of you doing your job.  And sipping champagne at some $500 a plate dinner that you get to attend for free at some picture taking opportunity for some organization you drop in on once a year does not cut it.  Try delivering some meals to the shut ins, get out and sand bag during a flood, take the nurses coffee and sit with them in their lunchroom and find out about their concerns.

3.  I don’t want to hear that you can’t get along with the people you are supposed to be working with.  Let’s take the personality out of this and talk about the business at hand.  If your best shot is a personal attack on another member of government then you need to hand in your hall pass and let someone in there who is interested in the matters concerning the country.  No-one said you had to like everyone, or invite them over for summer dinners.  But you do have to be able to keep focused and find a way to work with everyone.  That is what politicians do.  Put the business of the country first and your personal insecurities in the back of your closet.

4.  Stop suing people, stop demanding the media is not allowed to ask questions, or take pictures, or talk negatively about you.  We count on them to point out things and ask questions.  We aren’t there.  If what you are doing cannot stand up to daylight it is probably not the right thing to be doing.  If you are not accountable and not responsible for your actions then who is?  You got elected because you said you would be accountable.

5.  Own your mistakes.  Stop trying to cover them up or blame others.

6.  You cannot ask a people to do anything you yourself are not prepared to do.  You cannot understand the struggle of poverty if you have never had to go without food or shelter.  Don’t pretend you do but seek out the people who do know and listen carefully to what they tell you.

We want a leader who is one of us.  We want someone who wants to work for us and with us.  We don’t need a sheep herder or a drill sergeant.   Include us.  Involve us.  Spend time with us.  Hear us.  You need a team in order to be successful and we, the people, are part of that team.  If you want to heal the problems facing this nation then engage all of us in the process and ask for our help.  Don’t exclude us because that is the biggest fatal flaw of all politicians around the world today, they have taken their votes to their privileged, secluded ivory towers and forgotten that they need the people much more than the people will ever need them.

2015

 

I always love a new notebook.  You open the first page and make the first mark and every possibility exists because this is your book and it is new and you will determine what you write.  In school I would imagine the final page and looking back on a book filled with my efforts, perfect writing, perfect work, worthy of the highest marks.  At the actual end I would have a book filled with my efforts, my writing – sometimes slow and precise and beautifully formed, sometimes hurried and messy. but always with errors and mistakes.  I was not a perfect human being.    Still, I loved my books because they represented the journey I had made through a subject or a period of time.  Some of those books I still have and they are treasures to me.  I run my fingers over the words and wonder about the person I was then and who I am now.

So it is with a new year.  It is a new book for a measurement of time and while we approach it with all hope for highest marks, what we have at the end is most telling, not about the world around us, but ourselves.  Who we are impacts the world – the world does not impact us with the same power because we are cause and the world is only effect.  Even if we only inch forward in the smallest of increments, it matters.   Even if we end up having to repeat the subject, it matters.  It matters because we matter.  It matters because in caring for ourselves, we care for the world.

We don’t need governments and leaders to tell us what to do or how to write, we need to awaken our own hearts.  We need to determine who we are so that we can then have a world that reflects our hearts, instead of the world we have now that reflects only our greatest fears.

2015 is a turning point.  We are at a place now where many are awakened or heading there.  Our ability for compassion divides us into the only real division that has ever existed.  It is not one of religion, race or culture.  It is not one of finance or education.  It is light and dark, it is daily regular choices that are life confirming, healing  . .  . loving.  We will remove ourselves from this healing or join it.  We will do that by choosing fear or love. You may not even be aware that you are making a conscious choice but who you are, how you live your life, how you treat others creates your heart.  Your heart pumps more than life sustaining blood to nourish your body, it feeds your soul with an intelligence awareness that surpasses the limits of man.  For centuries man has had shadows in which to hide its sick darkness and practices.  It may seem that today there is darkness everywhere but we are simply now able to see what once was hidden.    There is no space for fear to exist when one is filled with light and love.

2015 is a choice we will make.

This is mine.

 

 

Unfamous People Rock My World.

Your Calling

I am not always a big fan of the big hurrah that we see in some of the positive videos for our kids, for women, for men ….

They sound awesome. Of course these are the kind of things we want our kids to hear. “You can do anything. ” “You are meant to be great!” It is good to have role models and mentors. They give us examples of people who made it BUT I can never agree with the idea that we should be looking at these people as “THIS is what I am supposed to do,” or “THIS is HOW I am supposed to do it.”

The purpose of studying the lives of others, of looking to what they accomplished, how they accomplished, is not to duplicate their efforts. The purpose is to be inspired.

Inspiration is something that happens within us. It is about the dialogue we have with ourselves about who we are and how we are going to accomplish things. Role models and mentors are catalysts for that dialogue to take place. They are not TUTORS.

So maybe the word we have really messed up on is “teacher.”

I can teach someone how to use a computer, to repeat a series of steps to accomplish a specific task. I cannot give him an overall understanding of working with computers. To accomplish that he is going to have to have his own experiences of failures and successes, trying different things, to learn that. It is still falling back, ultimately, on the experience that goes on within him and not the outer interaction of me writing down or explaining the steps. The fact he can repeat the steps is not the same thing as him LEARNING how to work with a computer.

I cannot teach him to love. I can, however, create opportunities and situations, for him to discover love within himself. His experiences and the story he creates about those experiences and the beliefs he uses to explain and validate those experiences are going to be what teaches him.

I recently saw yet another video, this one about women and their potential. It was all about famous women. One of the women shared that she had simply said to God, “use my life” and he answered her prayer and made her a big television star.   The inference is that we can all do the same. Just do it. Overcome adversity, don’t let it stop you, and be . . . Famous/rich/successful/the best/first/?? Good messages right?

Except what about the thousands of other people who offered their life to help others and never got fame or riches or opportunities? What about the people who didn’t plan to be wonderful but spent their lives sacrificing without any appreciation or recognition? Because MOST OF US are never going to be rich, famous, successful, the best, or first. Does that mean we failed as human beings? Did we fail in that God didn’t consider our lives worth using? Or in that we didn’t try hard enough, or were not positive enough?

What I want to say to people is just be who you are. No better, no less, than anyone standing next to you, just completely you. Be at peace with that. Do the things that speak to your heart. Love your heart … and your gut … and your own unique way of seeing and interpreting the world. Speak your truth. Do what gives you joy. Do what you can. Love others and let them love you.

It doesn’t matter what we do because it is only a sick ego world that lines people up and values them by their jobs and how much money they make. It is an ass backwards world that decided being able to run fast, or sing songs or act is worthy of so much more money than a mother, or a teacher, or even the man to collects the garbage. Where would we be without those people who are willing to pick up our garbage? We are still buying into this. We are still holding it up to our children as if it is some magic promise of happiness, as if their life will be worthy only if they are in an office and not as much if they are out building houses.

It isn’t.

Happiness comes from knowing who you are, from living with integrity, from doing what you love, from connection with others. THAT is what we should be selling to our kids. And if they get rich and famous on the road to their sense of peace and happiness, it is irrelevant. It is jam for the bread of life. We can live without jam. We cannot live without bread.

Pinda Piper Pinned a Pin. Pinda Piper’s In the Bin!

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Poor Pinda, she had no idea that some pinning is considered a sin, worthy of excommunication from the Church of Pinterest.

I have a suggestion for all the people on Pinterest who are so freaking panicked about other people pinning “their” pins.   Clearly they are beyond distressed about how many pins other peoples repin and so they post all kind of posters warning those people they will be blocked (as in not able to look at or take their pins anymore).  I tried to talk to a couple of them off the ledge and explain the pictures they collect are not really “theirs” (in most instances).   They did not make the item, nor do they own what is shown in the picture.  They did not take the picture.  Someone else did all that and loaded it onto the internet, where THEY got it from so really . . . it is not “theirs.”  It actually belongs to someone else on the internet who may or may not be really happy about the fact THEY took it without asking.  I can’t sing a song someone else wrote and insist it is mine and that if anyone else sings it they have to give me credit.  I can’t see a painting and like it and then insist if anyone else does the same they have to credit me for it because I saw it and liked it first.

Asking these types of Pinters  if they see the irony in their not wanting people to copy and paste from them is not dissimilar to trying to convince a cranky two year old that eating liver is awesome.   Ok actually lets change that to trying to convince me, even on an awesome day, with ample medication, that eating liver is awesome.

I appreciate Pinters get cranky over the amount of time it took them to find those pictures  and then to  click their mouse to load them onto their boards.    I know they feel they have a special eye for collection of all things “green,” or “cute,” or even “fluffy.”  I get that it probably took days to come up with what you should call a board with green things in it and that how you arranged the words “all things green” shows promising literary talent.  All THAT should be worth something right?

I don’t think, on a global scale, it really is.

It might have merited you several gold scars in kindergarten and Sesame Street may have criminally promoted the idea that “one of these things is not like the other, can you guess which one before I finish my song,” was of epic importance but no …it really isn’t.  That you can surf the internet and identify and mouse click on all  the shiny and sparkly pink things is  awesome … for you.  I am sure the people in your life are really happy about that achievement.  You can’t see me right now, but I am clapping for you, I promise.

I am not sure putting 50 posters on each board threatening people who visit your account is the way to go, but I can assure you that having one of those poster pictures as a frog that has all kinds of watermarks over it – meaning you are supposed to PAY to use it – is definitely NOT the way to go.  That’s YOU actually really stealing someone else’s work.

I think the point of Pinterest was to share.  They actually want people to post things on their accounts that other people will like and want to repin.  Otherwise it would be sort of like opening an art gallery with awesome easels in everyone’s specially reserved room and not having any pictures.  No-one would come to that art gallery, no sane person would offer to hang their art in that gallery and they would be bankrupt in no time.   Oh, and probably on some list on the internet featuring the dumbest business ideas ever.

I doubt many strangers show up at your house just to see you and hang out.  The problem is most people don’t see you and they don’t know anything about you.  Even if you put your name and a Photoshopped picture of you from 10 years ago when you were much thinner, wrinkle free, and had a great hair day . . . it is not likely enough to pull people in off the street.  Certainly not people who are living across the world from you.

So Pinterest had this cool idea that if people pinned things they liked and were interested in, other people who liked the same things would be attracted to their site and perhaps people would get to know one another and magic would happen.  Oh, AND, people might learn a few things, share information and support on how-to’s and it would be a win win for the people and for Pinterest.

Think of it like getting a truck load of decorations and party supplies, all the cool kid toys, AND the circus put up in your front yard.  NOW, there is a slight chance someone from off the street is going to stop and say “Hey, I love what you have done with your clowns!”

People are pretty visual.  “A picture is worth a thousand words,” right?  You could write about yourself and what you like but the that would be a dating site, wouldn’t it?  And everyone lies about liking long walks on the beaches and how much they weigh on those things.  BUT imagine if someone filled out a profile for a dating site and then was really angry that people were reading it and asking them out on dates.   Again you can’t see my visual aids here, but I am holding up a broken pencil.  You could say it is “point-less,” not unlike joining a site to share pictures and then getting mad that people want to share pictures.

I am going to give you a few moments to think about that.

I can hear the whining already.  I told you I’ve done this already remember?  A couple of Pinters, ledge, they insisted on jumping, no safety net as the firemen were back at the station on Pinterest stealing more than 4 pins at a time . . .  I know the whole argument.  Pinters reluctantly agree people can repin their pics but ONLY a few at a time.  That is why you see women everywhere sitting in front of their computer screens, staring at the stop clock  in front of them, waiting for “a time” to pass so they can pin some more.  Well, the polite ones do that.  The rest are at the therapists, hysterical that they have been “blocked” and their lives are now over.

So let’s sum it up.  Some nice people come to your site and they LIKE some of the pics you have done.  You know that because they repin some of your pics.  But that makes you mad.  So you restrict the numbers and force them to come again and again if they want to “like” your stuff.  You force them to hit the “like”button before they take, and you force them to follow you if they want to take more, and you put up nasty posters accusing them of not being polite or “knowing” things like how Pinterest works on the planet you and your fellow Nazi-Pinters inhabit.  I get it.

No I don’t.

My mind goes to ok, I want 200 pics from you.  That makes you mad.  I can either take the 200 when you  are not looking and get banned so I can’t take anymore  or I can play the “I am your prisoner” game and take the 200 I originally saw slowly over time, 4-5 at a time, and keep coming back and taking more until I have all your pictures.  I am not sure you can see what is wrong with that logic, even though I am clapping out the words and saying them reallly slowly.  (waving the broken pencil again)

See I pin, not seriously, but I have a few boards.  When I am looking around and I come across your Pinterest etiquette posters I just think, “what a loser, get over yourself,”  and I move on to other pictures.  I don’t want to know you.  And hearing that there are now “gangs” of these people where if one blocks you, they all do, makes me wonder  what Junior High Course includes playing on the computer as part of it’s curriculum.  If people pin from me, I sometimes actually go to look at their profile and see if they have anything I like. I may not friend them but I grow fonder of them in subtle ways that can’t be measured.

You do know there are all kinds of ways for people to take every one of your pics without you ever knowing about it, right?  I am sorry, did I type that out loud?  (insert sound of bubbles bursting here)

So here are two simple suggestions that may save you … and me, from all this grief.  Firstly you could just actually MAKE the stuff or take the pictures of things you own and load that onto your boards, in which case, put up all the signs you want and complain away.  You should get credit for it because it is YOURS!  I still think it is a pointless exercise but I might respect you a little more.  The best solution is to simply copy the pictures onto your own computer.  Arrange them into categories and open them up and look at them whenever you want in all their glory, knowing not one other person is ever going to be able to SEE your precious pictures let alone repin them.  You can make up numbers about viewings and likes to your friends if you have to – how is anyone ever going to be able to check?  You will always be the number one pinner.

The added bonus is that when the internet is down, you can still look at them.

You did know that right, that if the internet goes down, or Pinterest shuts down because they are tired of all the whining … “your” pictures and all that talent and hard work …. Are … Gone ….?  You knew that right?

(insert sound of more bubbles bursting . . .

. . . and wailing . . .

. . . and gnashing of teeth . . )

Happy Pinning. :)

(tags not used but appropriate:   finding out your friends can and do read, I no longer have any friends, ex-friends with weapons,  I can now only see 3 people’s boards on Pinterst, what to do with your extra free time now that you have been banned by everyone on Pinterest)

Invisible Scars – Tonya Lee Wins Victory in Child Abuse Case

 

Tonya Lee

http://www.smh.com.au/national/rolf-harris-victim-tonya-lee-cries-with-relief-over-guilty-verdict-20140701-zsso0.html

I have purposefully not titled this with Rolf Harris’s name.  I am happy to publicize his shame and make sure that he gets as much disgust as he once received accolades but I am tired of the story being about the abuser, in that we forget that victims and the cost to their lives.

Rolf Harris was found guilty of indecently assaulting 4 girls between 1968 and 1986.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-01/rolf-harris-guilty-of-indecently-assaulting-four-girls/5542644

His sentencing will occur shortly.

I hope that the court will take into account how, when confronted with these charges, he did not stand up and own his shame.  He did not spare the victims further pain.  He went to the public and counted on their support to convince the legal system that he was innocent.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rolf-harris-arrest-friends-family-1842521

I would like to also address all those people who weighed in with their support for Rolf Harris.  Based on???  He is an entertainer that they liked?  Did any of them consider the pain their public – in your face – support caused the victims?  Perhaps they should have waited for the facts before jumping in.  I think it would be appropriate for someone to hold those people accountable.  It would be awesome if they could do it for themselves . . . but I have my doubts.

Here is my issue with child abuse.

When the child is missing, their picture is plastered everywhere and people cry in outrage.  When the child is rescued, people weep for the poor kid and what they have been through.  When a predator is caught and we hear that children were abused, we cry foul.  We fight against sexual predators, we don’t want them in our neighbourhoods, we caution our children about them constantly.

But sexual abuse does not go away once the predator is charged and sentenced.  It doesn’t end when the jail term is up.  It doesn’t magically disappear when the child becomes an adult.  But no-one really cares about the adult who was once a child victim.  No-one wants to hear about their continued struggle and we often put them in positions of having to talk about the most horrific thing that ever happened in their life, in order to get the care they need.

Consider the woman who goes to the dentist and explains they need to be put out for work done on their mouth, that they have a fear that goes beyond the normal fear of needles etc.  The dentist will argue with her and try to convince her he can make it painless, he will be gentle, etc.  She tells him again it has nothing to do with pain or needles.  She tries, she is very uncomfortable being in the chair with people standing over her.  He will argue more.  Finally she will have to tell him she was abused when she was a child.  You will be surprised how many dentists ignore that as “get over it, that was over 20 years ago.”  She will then have to try and convince him how bad it was, maybe even giving details.

You would be surprised how many times these issues come up for survivors of abuse.  With doctors, business situations, social events … it is humiliating.  I recently spoke to one woman who had to cancel a required medical procedure because the doctor had no compassion for her when she told him that it was that specific test done a few months earlier that brought back the memories of her abuse.  In her desperation to get this asshole to have compassion for her she told him how the head of the Child Sex Crimes unit had resigned after the case, from the PTSD he suffered dealing with it.  The doctor still refused to alter how they did the test.  It was not his problem.  He told her to decide how important the test was to her.

Families and friends can be just as cruel.  They want the person to get over it.  They don’t want to hear about it, and they hold the person to a level of behaviour that is not fair considering the abuse.  A child who was a victim often goes on to be sexually inappropriate or to struggle with their sexuality.  They may have addiction problems and even difficulties with the law.  We forget that these people will take years to learn to manage their physical, emotional and spiritual reactions to the abuse.  We can understand how, if someone is in an accident they might lose an arm.  We do not expect them to grow a new arm.  At best, they learn to navigate life with a prosthetic arm.  But the reality is there.  They lost an arm.  The impact of that is there.  Sexual Abuse causes a spiritual wounding just as real as a physical one that causes someone to lose an arm.  It is there.  A person can learn to cope but the reality is permanent.

Tonya Lee is who I will focus on when I hear anything about Rolf Harris.  I will do this because she is a survivor whose healing was delayed because there was no justice for her abuse.  She had to carry the secret for years, probably many people would not believe her.  Rolf Harris had a choice, to abuse or not.  He had a choice to stop or not, to not pick other victims.   He had a choice when he committed the acts and he had a choice when the victims came forward to do the right thing, admit his wrong, take his punishment and stop thinking only of himself.  Instead he abused without any compassion for the children crying in pain and fear.  He acted without any consideration for the betrayal to his family, or his fans.  He acted with cowardice, more concerned about his own self than in doing the right thing.  He had choice, then and now.  He has proven who he is.  Now Tonya has some ability to move forward.  She is the face of this.  The tragedy is not that Rolf Harris was/is a pig.  The tragedy is that Tonya Lee was abused and denied justice for this long.

I hope that all of you will consider those in your life who have been abused, as children, now adults … and realize that you can keep them in pain and shame with your actions or lack of compassion or you can open the doors and allow them to heal. It will take time, it will be painful.  Their souls are damaged.  They need unconditional love and support to find a way to move forward and leave the abuse with the abuser.

Please let us start looking at the survivors and putting our efforts into supporting them, and not just for the five minutes they are on the evening news.