Child of the Diaspora – Making the Most of Beginnings: Miracle Monday 7

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Weaving Futures- June Perkins

Born into privilege, born into poverty, born a certain colour, a certain gender, the beginning of life sets the scene and then we try to determine our fate, as those around us also try to determine theirs.

Why me? Why did I have the opportunity to grow up in a country where there is social welfare, relatively free education, safety nets, political and religious freedom.

Why did others grow up where there was none of these things?

As a child of the diaspora I find myself reflecting on this a lot lately, what can I do for those who are fated to be of my mother’s beloved country, Papua New Guinea?

Can I just be satisfied bringing my family up to be peaceful as Mother Theresa is famously said to have said to those seeking world peace?

For the last few weeks I just get an awful feeling in my stomach when reading the news. I look for miracles for the blog, but it seems everywhere the world is in travail.

People cut off heads at football matches, world woman celebrity is possibly in a domestic violence situation despite her empowered status, and now she escapes but in silence, my mother’s beloved country, Papua New Guinea, has escalating levels of violence and ill health. And on top of that people in privileged countries turn to ‘legal’ drugs they can order online to receive some sort of rush and youths commit suicide or can’t find work.

Is there something I can do beyond remember and acknowledge these things happening and beyond just raising my own family, and taking care of people in my own town. I think of incredible women standing up for human rights, and being slaughtered and raped, and it is soul wrenching.

What if fate had put me in a different country, without this privilege I recognise fully that I have, what would I expect, accept, understand? What if? What has made me who I am?

I think of Buddha’s journey beyond the confines of his upbringing, to gain spiritual insight, to understand suffering. I think of how so many of us need to go on that journey, but we can through both physical, spiritual and emotional travel. I think of Baha’u’llah’s journey to the Prison City of Akka, and all those spiritual teachers, who suffered to promulgate the values of peace, compassion and love. Their actions, not just their writings, inspire. They are the real deal. Their lives are their proof.

The miracle of life is that those born with privilege are not all blind, uncaring, but want to reach out, to make a difference and address social injustice. They are not made uncaring by what they have.

I think of my mother sending to her home everything we have spare, raising money for hospital beds, always helping others. Yet, losing one of her sons and having the others go through very difficult times. Being born into opportunity is no guarantee. I think of people who have nothing, inspiring others to rise up to become the most incredible human beings, and who through their God given gifts, set out to change the world. Helen Keller! Amazing.

I think of the time in my life where we my family lost so much, and kindness was shown to us, from people we did and didn’t know. It gave us courage, it gave us fortitude and it allowed us to bounce back.

May the miracle of understanding and motivation come to all of us privileged to have opportunity and freedom to make the most of that freedom not only for our own benefit for that of others. This week I’ll be thinking about the role of the artist and beauty to play a role in the building of miracles and thinking about some organisations making a difference to many in need of a helping hand to find their opportunity and make the most of their gifts.

Have you been able to make the most of what you have for others as well as your own family, how has this made you feel?  

Would love to hear from readers.

Boys can be more, they can be heroes in a new way.’: Miracle Monday 6

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First Day at School – June Perkins

This week my Mum was sad because her niece lost her son and it brought many sad memories back for her of the loss of one of her son’s, one of my brothers.

It always saddens me to think of the lost potential, especially of young men who feel disenfranchised, lost and who start to do high risk things that ultimately lead to their death.

This week I am particularly thinking of young men who hurt themselves, and or hurt people close to them and who just don’t think through consequences. Add to this a mix of illegal and legal substances that further alter the capacity to make rational and reasoned decisions and you have a lethal road to nowhere fast.

These young men become the sad memories, the accused of crimes, the source of pain to their families and communities – and this week you see it clearly portrayed in the media.  It’s there in United Nations reports where men turn on their own communities and especially the women and children and subject them to violence. The fall out of their actions brings sorrow to victims of their decisions, and to their own families. What is the back story? How does it end up this way?

Is it being bullied, bullying, subjection to prejudice,  mental illness, lack of opportunity, racism, having to fight in wars, lack of employment,  being abused by others and never having justice or treatment, lack of spirituality?

As a mother of two sons I want to be someone whose sons never intentionally hurt others, who make decisions that empower their own lives, and their sons and daughters if they should have them. I want them to have a realisation of the miracle of their own existence, and a connection to people who care and empower them.

I want to balance protection, with giving them the opportunity to develop decision making powers of their own – to be able to fly into their futures.

I don’t blame mums for all the problems of their sons, some sons are just going to do what they will, whatever anyone says, but I also don’t think Mums are powerless. We can raise that next generation through our example and our expectations for them.

No more saying ‘boys will be boys,’ but ‘boys can be more, they can be heroes in a new way.’

Anyway back to my Mum, I felt for her sorrow and wanted to cheer her up. My youngest son rang her to let her know of his wonderful week at school, in music and mathematics. I hope that he cheered her up. There are boys we hope, pray, actively raise and dream up to be heroes in a new way.

Today I acknowledge the miracle of life, and honour the role of mothers and communities to raise sons/young men who will nurture the next generation and themselves.

I thank all of those people who have so far played a role in honouring and bringing out the spirituality of my sons, family, friends, teachers and community.  Keep on, keeping on, and let’s hope that there are better futures for our boys.

I dedicate the raising of my sons to my Mum and Dad.  I dedicate it also to their children and my community.

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, check out Patrick Stewart’s Speech.  Now that’s inspirational!  We can stop the cycle.

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Nurturing session for a young man – June Perkins

Love – the Story of Zach: Miracle Monday 5

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By June Perkins

The miracle of love enables us to let go when we cannot change things.

Love for eternity knows no boundaries and no end.

Over the weekend I was deeply moved watching the story of Zach which aptly illustrates the kind of love I am talking about.

“Zach Sobiech, at the age of 14, found out he had a rare form of terminal cancer. So he became a rock star, and millions of people got to see his music before he passed away on May 20, 2013. This is his beautiful story.”

You can find the rest of his story by going HERE, and be warned you will need some tissues for this one.

Zach’s story teaches so much about letting people we know that we care, about living life to the full as if everyday is our last but not selflishly, selflessly.

It’s about being happy, no matter what, even if death is visible at life’s door.

Zach’s song ‘Clouds’, continues to raise money and awareness about cancer and how it effects families.

Fly onward on your spiritual journey, in peace and song Zach!

As for my own story of the Miracle of Love, I think it would have to be the story of how my parents met and ignoring all the people who said they shouldn’t be together because of cultural and colour differences, married and had me.

This is a story I am still working on finding out more about.

Do you have a story to share about the miracle of love?

Freedom to Believe: Miracle Monday 4

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Freedom to Believe – June Perkins

Religious freedom is too sacred a right to be restricted or prohibited in any degree without convincing proof that a legitimate interest of the state is in grave danger.

                     Frank Murphy

So why don’t we always give each other the freedom to believe?

Why does history and the present show humans imprisoning, restricting and seeking to deny this freedom?

All in the name of religion?

How important  it is to seek out the truth.

Right now, can we give this freedom to believe back and call out to free prisoners of conscience and wish for them the miracle of others gaining the understanding of the need to preserve this freedom?

Today I wish for that miracle, I pray for that miracle and I join Baha’is and all our friends around the world who say‘Five Years Too Many.’

Wishing this same freedom for all those prisoners of spiritual conscience across the world.

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I have a Dream Wall – June Perkins

Serendipity: Miracle Monday 3

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A basket – taken by June Perkins made by a friend

There are times when fate seems to be aligning all the planets and bringing brilliance our way – Serendipity!

“The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.”

But is it our 0wn effort, and striving  that leads to these discoveries and events even though they may  seem to be accidental?

A few days ago someone ask me how my husband and I met.

We met after a conference we had both been at in Sydney, New South Wales, but never crossed paths at. He was to be the driver of a team of youth to drive around Country Victoria (Australia) to work on projects to help other youth and visit people in country areas.  I was looking for him on my arrival there.

The first words I ever said to him were ‘So you’re the one,’ meaning of course the driver of the upcoming trip, but he turned out to literally be ‘the one.’

I was on the trip after saving money for months to go to the conference and also being sponsored for the project afterwards by a family.

He was on that trip, not really expecting to find the one, but he had asked a friend on Baha’i pilgrimage to pray he would find a wife.  She prayed all nine days of our trip, and by the end of it I think we both knew perhaps we had found ‘the one.’

Serendipity?

Another story of serendipity was in the recent visit of Alesa Lajana to my area.  She discovered that I was friends with some of the people she was staying with and also a couple of people she was learning weaving from.

We were all woven together – into the fabric of her life.  I knew her because my sons had gone to a guitar workshop she held in Yungaburra (where she also performed).  It was so cool to see her again.

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Aunty Doris, Alesa and Me- taken by my eldest son

The connection – we both like creative things, and she is on a quest for hidden histories but also likes learning how to do weaving.

Another serendipitous happening is that my husband and I once had no ties to the Cassowary Coast in terms of relatives, but then our niece married a local boy and so suddenly we did.

Not only that her in-laws are good friends with one of my closest friends here. Her mother in law is a photographer who some  other friends had told me to connect with as we both love photography.

We didn’t expect this to happen but people travel and new family connections are made, everyday.

Do you have stories of serendipity from your life?