Twelve wishes for all children

Family. Mural in lunette from the Family and E...

Image via Wikipedia

What a wonderful world it  could be if all children knew and experienced the following traits from their parents, extended families and schools:

1. Know they are loved just as they are – it is not about what they are good at, but just because they ARE.

2. Resilient – life can throw lots of things in their paths and they need to be able to bounce bank every time.

3. Respect others and know respect in return. This can be as simple and as commitment to treat others as they like to be treated.

4. Self assurance – the ability to believe in themselves and engage fully in what life has to offer.

5. Confidence – the ability to speak up and express themselves in all sorts of circumstances. They need to know that their contribution is welcome and valuable.

6. Courage – to know fear but to be able to overcome it. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to act in spite of it.

7. Compassion – sensitivity to care for others when they are hurting or suffering in some way. Compassion for themselves is just as important.

8. Sense of humour – this is so important, the ability to laugh at something funny; to laugh at one-self; and see the lighter side of all situations.

9. The appreciation of beauty – the ability to be touched by the beauty in nature; in art; in music; in writing; and in people.

10. Appreciation of the ordinary – so often the ordinary is taken for granted. It is only when it is taken away from us that we realise how important it is.

11. A fascination and open-mindedness about science and spirituality and always willing to learn new ideas and experiences.

12. Inner strength – the ability to make commitments or decisions and to go the distance. This inner strength may also be called on to recognise a different path and to turn around and start afresh without giving in to discouragement.

Many of these characteristics overlap, I know, but it is good to look at each on its own and appreciate their importance in the developing child.

When I was at school there wasn’t much emphasis on learning these character traits. For me, I believe that one of the most important traits is resilience. Which ones do you think are most important. I would love to hear your ideas on this.





Weekly photo challenge – UP

Australian National Flag

Once again WordPress presented me with a challenge to produce a photo which signifies the word “up”. I thought about the sky, the clouds etc but that wouldn’t do.

The above picture is the Australian flag flying at the centre near my residence. Here are some facts about the Australian National Flag

1. It is Australia’s foremost national symbol

2. The Union Jack in the upper left hand corner tells of Australia’s historical links to the UK

3. Under the Union Jack is a large star that is a symbol of the Commonwealth – the star has seven points representing the unity of the Australian States and Territories

4. The other 5 stars are of the Southern Cross, a constellation of stars that is only visible in the Southern Hemisphere

5. The flag was first flown in 1901

6. The flag can be flown every day of the year.

7. It is an important part of national occasions such as Australia Day, which is celebrated on 26 January each year

8. National flag day is on 3 September each year

9. It is to be flown with dignity and respect and there are protocols governing its use.

10. The flag that flies over Parliament House is slightly larger than the side of a double-decker bus.

Australia recognises other official flags such as the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag. There is often a debate in Australia to have a new flag with a different design. Some people think we shouldn’t have the Union Jack included and have a flag that is uniquely our own.

More information about the Australian National Flag can be found at the Its an Honour  Website: . I acknowledge this website for the information above.






Western Ringtail Possum

Favourite diet of the Western Ringtail Possum

The Western Ringtail Possums in my local area are facing a battle to survive. Each year approximately 200 possums need rehabilitation. They are under threat due to increasing development and subsequent demise of their habitat.

Earlier this year I worked alongside a group of dedicated people who give up their time and expertise to provide aid for injured or orphaned possums. They also try to raise public awareness about the possums and also lobby for their habitat to be protected.

I assisted with a workshop to bring all the different parties together to try to resolve some areas of conflict due to legislation and different points of view. As an outsider, I found it fascinating and heartwarming that so many people really  cared about the future of these little creatures.

The main diet of the Western Ringtail Possums is the leaves of the peppermint tree that grows locally. While I don’t have a cute photo of a possum, I have a photo of a pepper tree from my walk this afternoon. It made me think of the possums and how we co-exist with them.

The possum centre has a website and can be found at if you would like to find out more about them.



When is it ok to lie?

Emus don't lie

Emus don’t lie

I value honesty very highly and try to be honest consistently. However, there are times I say things that I don’t truly believe. I don’t like getting into arguments with people as I don’t enjoy conflict, so I just go along with the conversation and keep my opinions to myself.  This could be interpreted as lying by omission.

If the subject of conversation is something I feel strongly about, such as, racism or discrimination, I am likely to speak up. My philosophy is generally, to live and let live. I can have friendships where people vote differently or have a different religion. I respect people’s right to have their own views.

In my post yesterday, “Women and War”, I wasn’t entirely honest. I suggested I didn’t support affirmative action for women, where in fact, I do. I know it is contentious and so I didn’t want to create a wedge or alienate myself. Was it wrong? Did it hurt anyone? I don’t think so, in the context of writing a blog, I think it was ok. If I was running for public office, I think it would be wrong to misrepresent myself in that way.

In our society there is a degree of public respect or good manners. If I went around being blatantly honest with everyone about everything, I suspect I could upset a lot of people. I would be considered rude, naive or ignorant. That is what tolerance is about.

Being deceptive is a different matter. Holding back information to pretend you are living a decent life while you are being unfaithful, stealing or abusing your entitlements, is a different matter. Even so, it is not for me to judge.

Each situation is different and one cannot generalise. Why hurt or alienate people when it is not necessary? How do we judge where to draw the line? That is for each of us to decide and live with our consciences.

Sincerely yours

Lorraine 🙂

Women and war…

Let me start by saying that I am a pacifist. I believe, in the 21st Century we could find better ways to resolve conflict and not by killing each other.

That said, I believe if women are to be in the armed forces, they should have opportunity to take on any role that men now undertake. I don’t think an affirmative action strategy is necessary – it should be skills based, as it should be in all careers.

When we look at gender defined roles we open ourselves up to generalising, such as comments like “men are stronger “, “women are more emotional”, we are making a pre-judgement and are likely to be biased.

What are your thoughts? Please take the poll on this page.

Disentangling the past

I am, who I am today, due to all my past experiences, my genetic makeup and how I choose to think today and act today. I try not to judge myself too harshly for the successes and failures along the way. The reality is that I did the best I could with what I knew then. That is all we can do.

Once I can accept that reality I am free from the past. The freedom can be fleeting though when I am confronted with the past. It is an ongoing process, this business of self acceptance.

I have just read “God’s Call Girl” by Carla Van Raay. You can see her website at . Carla was born in Holland into a large Catholic family. She felt called to be a Nun and followed that calling. It all came apart for her eventually and she left the convent and went back home to her family. She marries and has a child but is still a restless soul. She becomes a prostitute to support herself and her daughter.

Carla eventually leaves that profession and in her late fifties she learns about self acceptance – what she had looked for her whole life.

We can spend so much of our lives trying to please others – I know that I have done that. It is only recently  that I came to realise how important it is to own the responsibility of trusting myself to make the best decisions for me. I wrote about this in an earlier blog – Integrity.  This post can be read at

Maybe self acceptance is something that we learn through life’s journey, and it is an ongoing process. Your thoughts?



I want my eulogy to say…

A grave-yard in County Clare in Ireland 2008 holidays

This is an alternative response to an earlier WordPress topic about “What do I want my tombstone to say?” – I’m not planning on going there for some time yet! I chose the eulogy, rather than the tombstone, so I can use more words 🙂

I would sincerely hope that the following ten points would be included: Lorraine is remembered for:

1. Being a courageous person

2. Having a good sense of humour

3. Maintaining a calm state in a crisis

4. Loving deeply and faithfully

5. Caring about the disadvantaged in society

6. Could always be relied upon to keep her promises

7. Being honest

8. Willing to work hard to do what she wanted for herself and others

9. Being diplomatic in difficult situations

10. Being loyal to her friends

As I wrote this, I thought it sounded like a job application! Maybe there is a selection criteria for getting into Heaven :-). Will they ask for references as well?






Technology burn out

Student texting during class

Image via Wikipedia

This morning I read in the Sunday Times that text messaging will phase out within the next 3+ years! I have also been invited to join Google + and can start to see the demise of Facebook. Last week I was very tempted to buy a new iPhone 3 to enable me to keep up with the changes. I believe iPhone 4 is due to be released anytime soon anyway!

I decided against a new phone once I realised that most of its apps would lie dormant in my hands. I was attracted to the image of being really socially active and technology savvy. I hardly use my phone apart from an occasional text message to friends or family. In fact my account for last month was $10.00.

However, I do believe we are on a the cusp of a major shift in the use of technology, almost as big as the industrial revolution in the 19th Century. Will I be left behind?

I would really like to hear from people in Japan, UK and Europe, about what shape this technology revolution is morphing into in your country. I suspect that Australia is some way behind other parts of the world in this race.

It is not just about learning new technologies – it is about the other costs that come with their use. And is it worth it? Do I really need “the world”at my fingertips 24/7?

I would be very interested to hear your take on this issue? What is the latest in technology  in your country? Is it accessible to all or is it just for those who can afford it?

cheers for now