So often we freeze in the face of the mountain of problems that appear to confront our world. So often we seem so small, so powerless and confused by conflicting messages.
In 'I Chose to Confront it' we meet Anthony. His journey takes him to the streets of Brisbane and the setting up of a hospitality van with and for the homeless. Faced with so many problems Anthony does something; he invites others into this journey of empowerment for a better world.
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Choosing to confront it: Anthony's Response Tips
As one responds to issues within our world it is important to know there are many ways to respond. Not everyone can nor should respond in radical ways. Most responses should either grow awareness of the situation, stand in solidarity with people, advocate for them or the issue or take some form of action. One of the key responses should always be to form some sort of personal relationship with the person or issue; taking it beyond labels to the people who are daily effected by it.Short term: Identify your way of reflection; going for a walk / run, listening to music, chatting with a friend etc – then during that time reflect on someone who in some way is the 'Terry' in your life and what might be their story.
Medium term: Become aware of all the groups in society that you most label. Go online and research some of the real life stories behind those you label.
Longer term: Put the quotation from 'I choose to confront it' that most appeals to you on a small card and keep it in your wallet. eg "I deeply believe that every person can make a difference" or "They have the same sense of humanity as you and I just not the same measure of success".Short term: Get in touch with ten key people in your contacts and invite them to watch 'I Choose to Confront it' and invite them to share their reaction to it.
Medium term: Read the letters to the editor in your local newspaper and write a response either affirming a letter that points to the story beyond the label or challenging a labelling letter to look beyond to our shared humanity with the person or group they are labelling / judging.
Longer term: Join a community or organisation that has a focus on breaking down stereotypes and celebrates the dignity of every person in their diversity.Short term: Next time you are on a crowded bus or train or just in a crowd – look around and sense within yourself that each of these people has a story beyond the labels our society would place upon them. Become aware of the innate dignity of every person.
Medium term: Next time you are in a bookshop go to the biography section. Purchase a copy of a biography of someone very different to yourself and learn their story. Share what you learn from the biography with a friend.
Longer term: Invite a person from an organisation or a community that is strongly labelled or scapegoated within the community to come and share their story of life in Australia at a function that you have some responsibility for.Short term: Identify the person in your life who has most made a difference to you. If that person was a positive influence then thank them in your heart or personally if you can. If they were negative – make an inner choice to not let them have any more power over you.
Medium term: View 'I Choose to Confront it' a second time and write down three simple personal challenges for yourself from the film. Write them into your diary and in one month’s time see how you are going meeting them.
Longer term: Identify important days / celebrations from other groups within society different to yourself and place them into your diary or locate a calendar that shares different personal stories and purchase a copy every year e.g. The One World Calendar from New Internationalist.