Monthly Archives: August 2012

Falling words

Words falling

from my mind,

from my heart,

from my fingers.

Sometimes slamming onto my slate,

searing their mark,

with clouds of smoke and

streams of sparks,

tiny meteors,

sending shockwaves of surprise,

coursing through the synapses of my mind.

Messages formed by life, love and wonder.

Wonder at the beauty I see,

wonder at the pain I feel,

wonder at the things I know,

wonder at that which is mystery,

in my life.

Words of danger, denigration, desire,

derision, despair, deprecation.

Falling from my mind,

confined, by doubt,

set free on a page.

Words falling from my fingers,

Fluttering, flying and fleeing,

From my quotidian life,

Refugees from mediocrity.

Finding safety as they land,

Never reaching the edge,

Never quite finishing their fall,

ready to rise again,

stirred by the wind of hope,

blowing through the corridors of my mind.

Given wings of

life, love and wonder,

fallen words,

from my mind.

(c) Paul Cronin 2012

Enough about Bullies,time to step up.

Well with spring officially around the corner I thought it was time to move on for a little while.  In blogging about bullies the main point that I wanted to make is that action and the answers start with a personal response and that starts with taking responsibility for our actions and our choices.

To those of you who know me and the work I have been involved in this will not be new information, but I think it is worth sharing.  What I want to talk about is change.  I think that on a number of fronts I am qualified to talk about change.  In the last 30 months I have made significant changes in my life and my life style, people have asked me what motivated me to change and I can only frame it within the terms of knowledge that I have and the observations that I have made.

There are a number of triggers for change in our lives.   Most often the biggest trigger is pain, that is emotional pain in our lives.  There are other triggers for change. Sometimes someone who are close to us impress upon us the necessity for change in our lives. Sometimes it is biology and age that act as catalysts for change and on occasion it is one of those Damascus Road experiences or just a simple revelation that is a life changing experience.

Over the next few days it is my intent to share my experience of change, the motivators, the road blocks and the keys that I have found in my life.  Now right here I want to say that I do not have all the answers by any means and that my change is far from complete, and even now as I write I am seeking answers looking for a revelation, I had a friend share this song with me today and I leave it with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0etnqruPgc4  Give me a revelation!

In the Work Place

Bullies in the workplace? Surely not, thought you had left  that behind at school, think again!   Our workplaces reflect our community.  Bullies in Parliament ,bullies at work.  Work place bullying ranges from that pain in the arse colleague with their put downs, snide remarks and general smart arse behaviour, racist and sexist comments and extreme negativity. Through to coercive demands and even physical violence.  Think I am exaggerating? Sadly no these acts are well documented in the Labour Department website, follow this URL for a bit of light reading. http://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/employment-court/judgments-of-the-court-1.  Type in Bully in the search box and get ready for a few surprises.  Most instances of work place bullying arise when a superior uses their power in an inappropriate manner and the employer allows them to continue to do so.   This is a breach of law but more importantly it is really bad for any organisation.  It saps morale, leads to high staff turnover and seriously impacts on productivity.

I have worked in the employment relationship field and have dealt with cases where bullies were bosses and  also employees were bullies. A very good reason to be a member of a union if you are an employee.  A case I read about cost the victim in excess of $60,000.00 to litigate. Most people I know would have given up, She eventually won but the toll was extremely high.  A lot of workplaces manage the people who complain out of their position and leave the bully intact.  You need to make your own mind up about such a response to clear cases of bullying, but complicity is one word I would use to describe that behaviour.  One extremely important clue that I have found to determine the likelihood of someone being a bully, it is very simple, do they know how to use the word sorry without being told?

How to Beat Bullys

Whether we like it or not bullies are a feature of our society.  There are many programmes in place to counter bullying.  The fact that we see it in all facets of society is evidence that at the best these programmes are at the best partially successful.  Like many societal problems the answer lies in society.   Parents need to take responsibility for ensuring that bullying in any manner or form is not acceptable.  this does not mean just teaching our children that such behaviour is unacceptable it is much more than that. It involves modelling behaviour that is appropriate,  It involves radical acts of telling bullies that there behaviour is unacceptable.  If your elected representatives are being bullies then let them know, if they cannot or will not change then work to ensure they are not elected.  Do not approve of bullies, if an all black or some other role model exhibits the behaviour of a bully condemn it.  Turn it off don’t watch it, tell advertisers who link with them that you will not buy their products.

Secondly do  not allow your children to become victims of bullying.  If they are assaulted deal with it, if the schools or whomever will not confront the issue then escalate your response to a higher level.  All the way to Parliament if necessary.

Bullying is a pervasive insidious evil that causes untold misery, it is responsible for driving people to suicide.  It causes losses of millions of dollars per year in lost time and employment disputes in workplaces.  It robe our young people of some of the best years of our lives.  It is not harmless nor inevitable.  It can be stopped but the responsibility lies in the hands of each and every one of us.

Journey

Journey

Through my mind,

I often wander,

places of the heart and home,

are always first in there.

Well worn paths of memory I see.

Some of those journeys are full of joy and hope,

Others are not so full of wonder.

But they are all there,

all journeys, all paths,

all in their own, particular place.

 

Places of the heart and home,

often travelled in a ethereal reality,

wisps of cloud real and not real,

Touchable, tangible and true,

taken from our grasp,

with a sound,

a call,

a reminder of life.

 

There is a place I can go,

that takes me on those journeys.

I can feel them, places exotic and familiar,

places strange and exciting,

Khandahar, Beijing, Kyoto, New York.

Places of the heart?

Places of the home?

© Paul Cronin 2011

 

 

Referee Bennett or Bully Bennett? You decide.

Bullying is not a new phenomena in New Zealand.  To have an ongoing discussion about bullying I think it is necessary to lay down a few benchmarks that we can measure actions against so that we can have a definition of bullying.  Bullying is the use of power imbalances by one person (or an organisation) against others either singularly or collectively.  So let us look at a contemporary example.  Paula Bennett a government minister released the personal details of two women, who protested about changes to benefit structures in New Zealand.  This involved a use of power (some would say abuse).  She accessed their personal  information to make a political point.  This is a classic example of power imbalance.  Would Minister Bennett allow those women access to her own information that the MSD holds?  Would she afford them the same platform to examine her life?  The answer was a resounding no.

The second point about this particular instance is the intent of the ministers actions.  Bennett maintains it was about providing an informed public debate.  Could she have done this without identifying the two woman publicly? Without a doubt yes.  There are a couple of conclusions that may be drawn as to why the minister took this approach.  One of these is that Bennett was angry that her policy appeared to be a double standard abolishing a benefit that she had received some significant personal gain from.  Another conclusion could be that it was to serve a warning to people who dared to protest about government policies.   You can make your own mind up about that which you believe, I know what I think.

Inspection Blues

Inspection Blues

Without fail another reminder,

falls into my hands,

just saying you know.

Stiff, folded and sealed,

like a Judge’s decision.

Dear Paul…please be assured there is not a problem…

just a routine requirement.

Just another bell ringing in my life.

Just a sixty word reminder of my place in this society.

Just the rules I have to follow,

Just conventions to obey.

No answer to be given,

no mute reply,

no invitation issued,

no consent to be given.

11.15, I’ll let myself in, I have a key.

A few moments to let the news sink in,

not unexpected, but certainly unwelcome.

A frenzy of activity occurs in my mind,

The lists form, the questions start.

The memories of a different time….

Peeking, peering and inspecting.

Judging, recording and guessing.

There it is my life laid before her eyes.

Nothing to be seen yet everything,

and yet nothing to be done.

 It just is.

Just an invasion of privacy,

worse than any internal examination.

No humour to disguise the bare facts.

That is life the lot of the renter,

Papers to peer at,

possessions to purvey.

dreaded mould ….

furious scratching,

pen on paper,

a certain finality, sentence pronounced,

Only to be repeated again…

Twelve weeks,

nothing to worry about,

all routine.