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10 years on

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Away from the desk

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Dan’s a community man
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Best of friends
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My view of Docklands; from NewQuay
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Goodbye from Blender Studios
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A reading room for our community
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We Live Here

A Royal Commission into industry scandals
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What Women Want November 2010

26 Oct 2010

What is it about the general public en masse? I mean, it’s just all of us ... in a big group.

Just lots of individuals that you’d like to think have mothers and families. Yet something strange happens. I have had reason to deal with a lot of strangers recently, people who I had no real expectation of, was optimistic about and yet ... well, now I have an opinion. It’s not really a good opinion. It borders on disbelief, disdain and shock. In fact, it was really off putting. It was a sea of arrogance, a mountain of complaining and an insurmountable storm of unrealistic demands.

Which I have to say then reminded me of other really big crowds. It’s November, and it’s the greatest time in Melbourne! It’s warming up (some days anyway!), there’s a whisper of a rumour that someone’s uncle always wins at the track and we’re IN for tips.

That’s right, the Spring Carnival is in full swing!  There’s not many days in the year you can get away with wearing a feather precariously tipped over one eye, caught at the back with a MacGyver-type contraption of elastic bands and bobby pins!

It’s a chance to wear a dress that requires an entire roll of Hollywood tape and heels so dangerously high all chiropractors sigh happily knowing their mortgage payments are safe for another year!  Ahhh, the excitement of standing in a car park and not actually seeing a horse all day, of champagne breakfasts on empty tummies …

Which brings us crashing back to the general public en masse (anyone who has a car park ticket would be horrified to be called general public, but you know what I mean – I mean it broadly!).  

I know as individuals we all have the highest respect for ourselves and others, but can we not tell people “en masse” that just because they are drunk and in a crowd doesn’t mean they can ignore the guy who’s picking up their garbage – for god’s sake say thank you – nor can they push through people who have patiently been waiting in line because THEIR bottle of champers is more urgent than anyone else’s. And double goes for taxi queues. Everyone has had enough and wants to go home!

In a crowd people tend to forget, or choose to give up, their own values and ethics – and behave as some person I’m sure they’re not, as though no one is watching.

When it is all stripped bare, the thing that we really are – is our character. Our attitude, our consideration, our positive approach, our calmness, our joy, our courage, which in essence is our behaviour.

How we treat others – those close to us, those older or younger than us, those that are strangers – is a sign of who we are. We might not be able to change the mentality of “the public en masse” but if we all remain true to who we are, and are responsible for ourselves, well then a crowd does become a collection of wonderful and different individuals.   And that’s the way the races, and any other large collection of people, should be.

Hey, and this year, if you have a win - or even if you don’t - give some to that old guy, the guy holding the Legacy collection tin proudly in front of his chest ... he’s a gentleman. Remember, it doesn’t matter if we’re in a crowd and it feels like no-one is watching ... you can see yourself.

Have fun this month, enjoy this wonderful November, stay true to yourself, and stay proud.

Abby x

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