Quote Of The Day 19/03/2020

THURSDAY, 19/03/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/632263235168208567/

‘Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.’

– Carl Sagan

Climate Change Is Changing The Way Young People See Their Future.

If you are a young person, the future is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate.

 

 

In case you’ve been living under a rock…

Climate Change is a very real, defining issue of our time. Regardless of whether you live in a place like the United States, where the President denies Climate Change (along with pulling out of the Paris Agreement to curb Carbon Emissions), or somewhere more advanced in its leadership on Climate Change, like France, who’s Prime Minister ended an address on the subject with: ‘Make our planet great again.’ … Boom.

Either way, we all live on the same planet, and it is our individual and collective responsibility to take action on Climate Change if this planet is going to survive even the next 40 years. NASA says the evidence for rapid Climate Change is compelling, noting key indicators, including:

Global Temperature Rises;

Warming Oceans;

Shrinking Ice Sheets;

Glacial Retreats;

Decreased Snow Cover;

Sea Level Rises;

Declining Arctic Sea Ice;

Extreme Weather Events and

Ocean Acidification

Climate Change is affecting the planet in significant, detrimental and soon-to-be irreversible ways. Without drastic action, the planet we know today will be gone, replaced with a landscape characterized catastrophic natural disasters, mass-extinction, global food shortages and increased exposure to conflict.

It’s for this reason that the younger generations are gearing up for a rough ride, and changing the way they see the world, in order to survive the damage our ancestors have inflicted on the planet.

 

 

Young People Don’t Want To Raise Children On A Damaged Planet.

More and more Millenials are becoming concerned with what the future may look like in 10, 20 or even 50 years from now. The phrase ‘I don’t want to bring children into this world’ is something you wouldn’t often have heard someone say 50 years ago. But in this day and age, there is a real, tangible fear of what the future may hold.

Global birth rates are declining, with more people becoming aware of the planet’s situation. The fear of bringing children into a world of uncertainty is a very real issue facing the young people of today. Even as recently as February this year, United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) asked the question ‘Is it still OK to have children?’ on her Instagram Story.

AOC argues that although the answer is not clear-cut, there is a scientific consensus that the lives of future generations will be difficult. And they know it. More and more young people are taking part in Global Climate Change Protests, like those started by Greta Thunberg who recently stated:

‘You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes… We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis…if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then… we should change the system itself.’

– Greta Thunberg

Younger generations are increasingly opting not to have children, with worries of food and water shortages, global unrest, natural disasters and political unrest present themselves as very real threats.

 

 

Young People Have Little Faith In Their Government.

A lot of Millenials are written off as out-of-touch with politics.

But the truth is, Millenials simply have no faith in the people representing them. Evidence of this is in the record number of Australians enrolled to vote this election – 96.8% of the total eligible voting population. This includes a record number of 18-24 year olds.

The world’s leaders have a responsibility to fight against Climate Change. We can only hope that as the older generations die out, they will be replaced with more switched-on individuals, who are dedicated to helping the planet and the people living on it, rather than continuing to be more preoccupied with the 1%:

“That future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once. You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to.”

– Greta Thunberg

A survey carried out by Triple J found that 89% of young Australians believe the politicians in power aren’t working in the best interests of the planet. And guess what? Those same young people voted Environmental Policy and Climate Change as the most important issues to them, come election time.

That’s pretty damning.

 

 

Younger Generations Are Experiencing Higher Rates Of Mental Illnesses Dubbed ‘Eco-Anxiety’ or ‘Ecological Grief’.

The negative impact Climate Change is having on the physical environment poses real risks when it comes to the Mental Health of young people. A sense of doom where the future contains things like poverty, unemployment, natural disasters and resource shortages are very real issues that young people are having to face.

Even as far back as 2012, the National Wildlife Federation reported that over 200 million Americans would be exposed to serious psychological distress from climate related incidents. Of a study done by Millennium Kids Inc., 94.6% of the target demographic felt that Climate Change would be a problem in the future.

In the face of a changing climate, Eco-Anxiety is only going to become more and more apparent, with Mental Health organisations starting to get on board, such as ReachOut, who have a page dedicated to: How to cope with anxiety about climate change.

The page in question lists a variety of reasons young people might feel strained, stressed or anxious about Climate Change, including:

Feeling like planning for the future is pointless and/or hopeless;

Angry that the people around them aren’t doing anything to help;

Frustration at a lack of action they can take to help;

Worrying about whether it’s responsible to have children (see above) and

Feeling like their future is out of their control.

All very valid points. Climate Change is a hugely relevant issue in the world today, and one that deserves to be treated with urgency.

 


HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

If you are a young person, the future is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. There are lots of ways you can help the environment in meaningful ways, including:

 

Taking part in conversations with others about Climate Change

Joining the Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition

Taking part in School Strike 4 Climate

Joining the Australian Student Environment Network

Finding articles about ways to help the environment at home

Being active on Social Media Platforms

Joining clean up efforts, such as Sea Shepherd’s Marine Debris Campaign

 

 

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Why Mental Health & The Workplace Go Hand-In-Hand.

Something worth talking about.

Is Mental Health really a big deal?

Would it shock you if I told you that according to the World Health Organisation, Mental Illness is the leading cause of disability worldwide? Or that the Australian Human Rights Commission predict that 45% of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a Mental Illness at some point in their life – or 1 in 5 Australians experience Mental Illness in any given year?

That’s a lot of people.

Would it then surprise you if I said that the Australian Human Rights Commission found that half of all senior managers believe that none of their workers will experience a mental health problem at work?

That doesn’t seem to add up…

We spend how long at work?!

Now let’s think about work for a second.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, full-time employees in Australia work an average of 40 hours per week (keep in mind these numbers don’t account for preparation, travel and over-time the average employee might work).

If we calculate that 40 hours over the space of a year, it ends up being a total of 2,080 hours – 2,000 hours if we account for paid annual leave.

We work 2,000 hours a year.

Now let’s think about how many years we work over the space of our lifetime. Australia no longer has a set retirement age, however, if we assume that the average person retires around the age of 65-70, and begins full-time work around the age of 20, that leaves us with a total of 45-50 years.

So let’s say 47.5 years of work, to account for holidays, earlier retirement, younger starting age etc. – which equals 47.5 x 2,000 = 95,000.

This means the average person will work 95,000 hours in their lifetime.

Mental Health & Stress Leave.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, 3.2 days leave per year are taken by employees as a direct result of workplace stress. That is the equivalent of 25 hours.

25 hours a year are lost due to workplace stress.

That’s a lot of hours over the space of a worker’s lifetime. Which means a lot of lost time and money to any given employer.

A survey conducted by the Australian Council of Trade Unions of 5,000 employees found that 25% of works took time off each year for stress-related reasons. That’s a quarter of all employees.

Which begs the question:

Why aren’t our employers taking this more seriously?

It is abundantly clear that the cost of ignoring an employee’s Mental Health Concerns is a far greater issue than the cost of developing an inclusive, safe and productive work environment.

The Australian Human Rights Commission estimate that every dollar spent on identifying, supporting and managing workers with Mental Health Concerns yields nearly a 500 percent return in productivity.

That’s a huge return, for a small bit of effort.

In fact, a preliminary investigation into how Mental Health affects Australian businesses, carried out by Mental Health Australia found that Australian Businesses lose over $6.5 billion a year by failing to provide adequate Mental Health Support to employees.

Put simply: supporting employees supports the business.

It should be every workplace’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for employees experiencing concerns regarding their Mental Health. Besides the obvious cost benefit of implementing mental health strategies, their are also an abundance of other benefits businesses can access by being proactive:

  • Improved employee morale & company culture
  • Obvious avoidance of litigation and fines relating to health and safety
  • A greater staff loyalty
  • A higher return on training investment
  • Increased productivity
  • A reduction in in sick (and other) leave

So what can employers do?

There are a plethora of ways that workplaces can help their employees, which can be accessed via the Australian Human Rights Commission website, or by contacting Safe Work Australia. Some of the ways other workplaces have chosen to implement strategies to combat Mental Health include:

  • Having accessible information regarding Mental Health
  • Encouraging conversations in the workplace
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Inviting a Mental Health Specialist to speak to employees
  • Adequate training for Managers on the importance of identifying and managing employee Mental Health Concerns
  • Being creative – some workplaces have a weekly Yoga session, or a gym set up out the back to let off some steam in lunch breaks
  • Encouraging employees to take their breaks away from their desks

There are plenty of great ways to help reduce stress at work – try Workplace Strategies for Mental Health. It’s all about thinking outside the box.

Mental Illness can affect anyone.

Mental Illness is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s time workplaces really started considering the benefits of being a proactive, progressive place to work, instead of doing to bare minimum to scrape by under the ‘law’. No matter what your age, your gender, your race or your status, we all need to come together to tackle the epidemic that is right in front of our face.

Resources for those seeking help:

Remember, your safety should always be a priority. If you are in crisis or your mental health becomes an emergency, call 000.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you, or someone you know needs help, don’t hesitate to use the following resources:

Websites:

Headspace

Black Dog Institute

Kids Helpline

MensLine Australia

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

Q Life (LGBTI+ Specific)

Phone:

Headspace: 1800 650 890

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

QLife: 1800 184 527

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You Are A Miraculous Work Of Art.

Stop limiting yourself.
You are a miraculous work of art.
Treat yourself like one.

 

This world is a strange place to be.

 

Strange, but also equally incredible. Strong, but also vulnerable. Patient, but impatiently so.

The world is strange. But also quite miraculous.

 

It’s a miracle in it’s own right that you’re even here.

Conceived; born and alive; breathing the perfect mix of molecules in the atmosphere; with the senses to look, feel, smell and hear; with an evolved enough brain to understand what the symbols written on this electronic device mean, so that you might be able to read this paragraph.

 

It’s a miracle you woke up this morning.

That your body can continue to function reflexively even when you’re unconscious. That while you sleep, your body can drop your blood pressure and body temperature, repair individual cells, forget useless information from the previous day and make sure your heart still beats and your lungs still breathe.

 

It’s a miracle that the Earth is the exact distance from the Sun to be able to sustain life and not destroy it.

Every second, an infinite number of strange, incredible and miraculous things happen around us, and to us, and are us.

 

 

So why do we limit ourselves?

 

Why do we tell ourselves it’s impossible to do certain things>

To be who we truly want to be?

To love who we love?

To want what we want?

 

I’ll tell you.

It’s because from the moment we are born, we are given boundaries, limitations and constraints. Physically, mentally, educationally, emotionally… the list goes on.

Cots and bassinets. Play-pens. Backyards. Hospitals. Houses and Churches. School. Work. Rules. Laws. Money. Speech. Language. Ethnicity. Right down to the ticking time-bomb that is our own mortality: Life-Span.

We grow up in a world that gives us ideals and what structure looks like. A world that gives us someone else’s purpose – go to school, get a job, get married, have children, pay tax… Be pawns in someone else’s game… Most of us spend our entire lives ‘Working for the Man’.

We lose sight of what we want. What we could achieve. What drives us.

 

So what does drive you?

When you think about what truly makes you happy, why should you shy away from it?

You are a miraculous, living, breathing work of art. So treat yourself like one.

This world doesn’t stop for any one, or any thing. We all have the limitation of our own mortality hanging over our heads.

So then, yes, perhaps we do have a time-frame (but even time is a man-made constraint). Perhaps we do have our socioeconomic and environmental factors to consider. Maybe we do have family and friends to think about.

 

But that doesn’t stop the world being a strange and miraculous place.

And if you think that if you quit your job and chase your dreams, that you will drop dead on the spot of Earth that you stand on – you’re wrong.

If you think that walking away from a relationship instantly means you won’t ever find love again – you’re wrong.

If you think that wanting to go back to study in your 50’s is a waste of time – you’re wrong.

If you think that being positive about your circumstances is just wishful thinking – you’re wrong.

 

The world doesn’t work like that.

The world has a strange way of correcting itself, second after second.

If you think the world can sustain infinite miracle every second of the day and night for all of conceivable eternity, factoring in countless millennia of natural selection and genetic mutation, can you really tell me it can’t sustain one person’s change of path?

Are you honestly telling me that you can accept the infinite miracles around you, but you can’t accept yourself?

That you can’t accept that perhaps you do deserve something more?

Are you trying to tell me that you’re happy to accept your fate, and that you can’t quit your job, learn something new, pick up a hobby, leave a relationship, travel the world or carry out any of the endless scenarios in your mind… but the world can and is a living, breathing miracle? No.

 

Your fate isn’t determined.

You’re just stuck in a world of limitations. And once you open your eyes and see the world for what it truly is, you will understand how incredible it is that you are even here in this very moment.

You are literally made of the same molecules, atoms and building blocks that the rest of the world is made of. Every second – nanosecond even – your body creates so many miracles through its day-to-day functions, from blinking, breathing, thinking, seeing and hearing, that it is literally impossible to imagine.

 

 

Stop limiting yourself.

You are a miraculous work of art.

Treat yourself like one.

 

 

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