Where do you focus?

I could not believe it. How can it be? Today, in this day and age, how?  It was incomprehensible to me, at first. A simple message, a simple factual message, how could someone so easily dismiss it? What was worse was this someone, who was educated, seemingly open minded, and had a quick and sharp mind, was the person who dismissed it. What hope do we have to create positive change if the “smart” ones don’t even get it!?!?!?! My heart started to get heavy, my ego began to fire up. It was on…


Then I remembered a very important thing. I remembered back to when my mind was closed around this issue. How did I arrive at what I know now? How did my mind change? Was it someone influential or did I make my own mind up by exploring the abundance of answers, at my own pace? It is hard to tell isn’t it. Figuring out what created positive change in our own lives may unlock the mystery around how to go about positively changing others, or even the world. Or, an equally valid reality is that it may not. One thing I know to be true is that when I hear something, again and again, I eventually listen. It is the power of a social world.


This world is a social world but it is full of competing influences. We are pulled in all kinds of directions. It can be so dizzying. Often, as individuals we are bombarded and slow to change, imagine how long it is going to take to create change in the world. But we cannot let that get us down. We cannot stop trying. Do we let the closed minds of the world fire us up? Do we keep openly sharing? Do we do absolutely all that we can to open our minds so the solutions to creating a healthier and happier world can flood in? Answer: all of the above.


The more I learn about how to have a positive social and environmental influence in the world the more I realise just how many other people knew what I now know. My new world grows constantly, my practices change, my social settings change. I have taken the next step towards actively creating a healthier and happier world. And just like that I am on to the next step. I search for more, I learn from others, I share what I know. But then, just as I commit to my new social & environmental awareness, someone breezes through my life and dismisses it in a sweeping ignorant comment.  UUUURGH! Sound familiar? I think we all have been on both sides of this in one way or another during our lives, as the dismissed and the dismissing…


So in the face of ignorance (sometimes our own) what do we do? Where do we focus?


You know, I have been learning so much about the genocide of West Papuans currently being committed NOW, yes NOW, by Indonesia’s military and by their money drunk sponsors – who might be closer to home that you think or would like. I could not believe it at first, it seemed impossible that this kind of thing was happening today. It seemed even more impossible that nothing seems to be happening about it. My first memory of this genocide came to me when I was having coffee with a friend in Cairns, Australia, nearly one and a half years ago. I am ashamed to say but honestly it really didn’t even get my full attention.


While in Cairns I visited an intentional community where I was lucky to meet freedom fighters for West Papuans. They were sailing to join sacred water from Australia with the sacred water in West Papua, a symbol of unity and support. We watched a documentary they had bought with them. Afterwards I cried, for hours. Honestly the tears were unstoppable. I was a mess. The message hit me like a ton of bricks. Only days before I had heard the same message and I had so easily let it slide past. So, it wasn’t until my social awareness of the issue grew that I began to open my eyes AND ears. The more people who talked about it the more I listened, then the more I talked about it.


My point, apart from also bringing awareness to the genocide happening NOW in West Papua, is that if it wasn’t for people sharing what they knew I would have heard about this once and I may have never thought about it again. Even though my experience was in a concentrated dose, experiences like this happen all the time. Something as simple as organic food choices took me a long time to understand, let alone start buying them. It was because I was so far removed from this understanding growing up in a conventional farming family. And we will see this so much, things that are farthest from our current understanding will confront us the most. But is that a good reason to dismiss it? NO!


So in summary this is what I hope for.


I hope, that every time you hear something, that either aims to weaken the bad (e.g. genocide) or strengthen the good (e.g. organic food), you stop, you listen and you share it. Share it with as many people as you know. If we, as a human race, fail to share what we know through our social networks, we are directly preventing social evolution and therefore preventing the creation of a healthier and happier world.


Absorb what you hear. Share what you know.


With hope, compassion and love.


Katie xx 

For more information on the genocide in West Papua please go to: https://www.facebook.com/freewestpapua and please watch this: