Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Friday, November 05, 2004

bridge arsonists and other sinners...

Yesterday I participated in a one-day course titled "Effective Advocacy Skills and Strategies". And I had a few interesting realisations:

1. There's a lot of religious people doing really good and valuable community work.
2. There's a lot of secularists doing really good and valuable community work.
3. You don't have to be religious to have worthwhile morals, values, and ethics.
4. My angry ranting "style" totally sabotages what I'm trying to achieve.
5. I'm a fundamentalist secularist, a very angry pacifist, and a bridge arsonist.

I desperately need to learn to chill out (a lot). I also got in touch (again) with how much of a loner I tend to be. I'm really a social and emotional cripple. I guess all this means is that there's room for improvement but, at 58, can this old dog learn new tricks? I don't think I like my chances. Well, at least I'm committed to not killing any more people in this lifetime. That might have to do, eh?

10 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

"At 58, can this old dog learn new tricks?"

God, I hope not!

November 05, 2004 8:54 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

You talkin' ta me?!? You talkin' to ME ?!? ARE YOU TALKIN' TA ME ?!!??

November 05, 2004 10:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Turn up your hearing aid old man! (I'm only up to level 3 on mine)... Hell Ya, I'm talkin' to you! Subltety can be a very good thing (like when you're trying to land a woman into bed), but when it comes to political convictions. Start using subtleties in place of convictions and, congratulations... you've just become a politician.

November 05, 2004 12:31 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I am but an egg...

November 05, 2004 1:59 PM  
Blogger Owen Jones said...

If you stop learning new tricks, your an old dog and not much use to anyone.

Solution = never stop learning

Keep an open mind, put yourself in their shoes now and then and stay young and passionate at heart. How to stay young? Try a new trick now and then. Buy a guitar and get lessons. Go to yoga. Learn to surf. Go hiking in New Zealand. You may not add them all to your bag of tricks but you won't know until you try :-)

November 08, 2004 11:05 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Owen, let me sing you a song:

"When I was younger, so much younger than today..." :-(

November 08, 2004 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That resonates a lot for me. If I don't change, I'm fucked. It might be true of everyone but I know its true of me.

A wise person said to me (condensing this)

Listen carefully. Expect that I don't understand it (because it is new, right?). Find out what is said. Respond to what is actually said. Ask questions. Try and learn new things. Don't jump to conclusions. Just because I think something is a threat to my self respect, doesn't mean that it was meant that way, or that anyone else thinks the issue is important. When in trouble, as myself what the other person really needs. In a crisis, ask why other people love me. Hunt down and destroy internal meanness..

- barista.

We don't really change. But we do have insights and see the world in a new way. Then we change what we do. That's enough.

November 26, 2004 12:12 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Barista!? Barista HERE!?!?! My ego's just gone apeshit! It's lost the plot!!! Shit! And s/he's reading this far down in the bowels of my blog? What can it mean? Hush, my twittering ego!

Thanks for your wise and kind words, barista.

But I'm up against a couple of other "issues" as well: Depression and low self esteem is what the "experts" label them.

So, often, between feeling it's all hopless and pointless, and being not good enough anyway, it kind a kills the spirit and I get so tired of life I just want to give up again. I was in a constant state of "given-up-ness" for about five years prior to 9/11 - but the American response got me so angry I ungave-up and became a ranting lunatic.

Then there are times when I get my head above the sewage and I flip out into temporary manic-ness and I make a complete prat of myself and then, guess what, it's straight back down into the brown muck..

I know I'm just a self-pitying, approval-seeking git. As the sign at the zoo says "pleae don't feed the monkeys".

November 26, 2004 10:00 AM  
Blogger Owen Jones said...

You mistake us for people who give a damn :-)

One of the big buzz words getting around organisations over the last couple of years has been "Continuous Improvement". There's no reason that we shouldn't apply this to ourselves. This includes "Professional Development" activities like the course you did. Sounds like you got a lot from the course.

I believe a very important, rare, human skill is the ability to look at issues from other viewpoints to help communucation between parties. This is the key skill of diplomacy. Pity Alexander Downer is deficient in this area. You, however, can develop this talent and be an ambassador for your age group. Think of it as a new start building "friendship bridges" between geosocialstatusagelanguage barriers and your old ones will restore themselves.

Think I'm going to be sick...

November 29, 2004 1:08 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Well, I nearly was, Owen. :-)

I did learn a lot on that course. Don't even know why I did it. It was run by our local community resource centre. The insights I got really had nothing to do with the course content. It had more to do with me observing the others on the course and comparing myself to them.

As far as me becoming an "ambassador", I shudder to think.. More like a machine gunner with a fully loaded keyboard... :-)

November 29, 2004 2:16 PM  

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