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10 years on

Alma Doepel refit well underway

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Away from the desk

The little bent tree

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Chamber update

School holiday fun

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Dan’s a community man

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Top five street style trends

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Health and Wellbeing

Modern approach to musculoskeletal pain

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Tram no Metro - Bike danger

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New Businesses

Tony’s back in business

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Owners Corporation Law

Take more care with your insurance

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Pets Corner

Best of friends

Precinct Perspectives

My view of Docklands; from NewQuay

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SkyPad Living

Sharing our vertical commons

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Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios

The District

A reading room for our community

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We Live Here

A Royal Commission into industry scandals

What Women What - Dec 17/Jan 18

05 Dec 2017

If all just give a little more ...

The bells are jing jing jingling, the Michael Buble Christmas tunes are blasting at full squeak pitch through the shopping centres and the Christmas parties are starting … but I think that we haven’t quite embraced the true spirit of Christmas just yet.

There’s a slightly less than peaceful, joyous and harmonious atmosphere, and more of an exhausted, slightly cynical, and very rushed atmosphere instead.

As we rush from through our days, trying to tick the lists I think we’re at risk of losing what it’s really all about. And what it’s all about is love, community and generosity of spirit.

I was in the city just on Friday for a 9am meeting, which meant I was in the city in absolute peak hour. The little old lady in front of me must have spontaneously decided the lane to the left was a better option and pulled out into moving traffic. Catastrophic of course. Screeching brakes, smashing glass, crunching metal – and the shocked screams of those affected. Naturally, I put my hazards on and started to herd the shocked darlings off the highway. As they clung to my arms wailing in fear and shock a man FOUR cars back ran up and moved smashed cars whilst I moved upset people. Everyone else watched. From their cars. Angry their morning had been delayed, cursing the old lady who had derailed their travels.

They honked, they yelled, yet it was all cleared (courtesy of the guy four cars back) within seven minutes and they were on their way as emergency services arrived to take over. I was somewhat shocked at the lack of care and community from those next to me on the road.

So how do we change a whole culture of rushing and not feeling the generosity of spirit to engage with those around us? To have people feel an increased sense of community, to have them understand that these strangers sharing the roads with us are actually part of who we are as a community, as a country, as a nation?

How do we become inclusive to respond to all who are in our community? How do we as a collective take this time, this Christmas period, to remember to be kind to all and not just generous about what goes under our personal Christmas tree? It is a dilemma, but one that is so important and goes in part to creating that true sense of belonging, of supporting each other, of being a culture that celebrates with great joy and peace and generosity.

I was inspired reading an article on the ABC about Dr Mitch Mooney and his success with the Aussie netball team the Diamonds who won Commonwealth gold for the first time in 12 years. And I was inspired because it was such an incredible approach, focusing on a school of fish. I won’t even try to explain the whole article which is incredibly fascinating but, in a very short summation, we see a school of fish, or a flock of birds move collectively, as one, with apparent deliberate intention as though their minds are all simultaneously aligned.

Whilst this is the result, the act is in fact simple – they simply are aware of the energy (fish or bird) next to them and respond in line with that. And that got me thinking about us, as a community.

We don’t need to try to get the whole community to collectively move in one united decision towards being kind and compassionate to everyone. A collective is broken down to the movements of each individual simply focusing on the person next to them. And this can create magnificent change.

This Christmas, by all means indulge your family under the tree, but please also look to see who might be walking beside you that needs a little support, a little assistance – or even just a nice comment or smile. If we can all just give a little more to those around us, what a wonderful world it could be.

I wish you much love, peace and joy – Merry Christmas.

Abby xxx

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