As an organisation we often choose to stay well out of politics and religion. We accept all and pass no judgement on others beliefs and ways they choose to live their lives.
But when it comes to the issues of fairness, equality and just general kindness to one another, we feel it is more important to stand up for something.
Our one most vital behaviour above and before all others we as a gym/business/leader of a community expect ourselves to deliver every single day, is care.
What is currently happening in the United States is horrible, it’s horrific, it’s devastating.
We are so fortunate to live in a country that hasn’t experienced such political divide, such violence, such devastation to the extreme levels we are seeing in the news. Though we are not immune to it, and we certainly aren’t as different from it all as we all like to think we are.
We were one of the last western, developed countries to legalise same sex marriage. We were one of the last western, developed countries to try to amend all the wrongs done to it’s indigenous people, and allow the right to vote. We are still doing an incredibly poor job when it comes to closing the gap between white and indigenous Australians and eradicating racism and inequality between white Australian’s and indigenous as well as immigrants of all colours.
We are quick to support a worthy cause in this country, with a post. But what can we actually do to help make change?
I think sometimes we feel we don’t know what to do. How is my little action going to have any impact? How can I even put together something big?
Maybe our action doesn’t have to be big. Maybe our action can consist of many small actions on the daily that become a normal part of your life? Maybe all you need to do, is just show more care, more kindness, more empathy towards one another. Every single day. Regardless of colour, gender, occupation or sexual preference.
Our gym is lucky. We get to be situated amongst one of the most multicultural areas in Victoria. Our members consist of (but are not limited to! Please I hope I cover all you beautiful legends) white Australians, Indians, Sri Lankans, New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders, Filipino’s, Germans, South Africans, English and Asians. Not only that, but some of these beautiful bastards are also LGBTQ, single mums, single dads, police officers, teenagers, students, kids, bad drivers and bad dieters. But regardless of who they are and which ‘group’ they belong to, they also belong to this group. They all come to our gym expecting to be treated with the exact same care and respect as one another, they all deserve it, and they all damn well receive it.
It should be no different down the street, in the supermarket or at the footy.
“But they bloody don’t respec…”
I’m going to cut you off right there.
It comes from you first.
You cannot control any other person but yourself.
You can stomp and yell all you like because you don’t like someone else’s behaviour. But you can’t change them that way. You can only change yourself. Changing yourself and leading by example is how you influence others to change.
Give care and kindness first, it will eventually come in return. It might not be right away, there are decades and decades of racism, distrust and exclusion to work through first. But if you want to receive trust and respect in return, first you must give it.
Giving care doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t take much effort either. But before judging, before putting someone in a box, marginalising, generalising, alienating, excluding, stereotyping… Before any of that, view that person as equal to you, put your biases and expectations of character aside, and just be nice.
Who knows, maybe just being nice might be all this world needs…