A War Within Yourself

I think one of the hardest parts in resolving trauma, in particular childhood trauma, is that it is a long process. A looooong process.

The journey for me, has spanned decades. I had to go through every uncomfortable thing I did to get to health, and I’m still getting there.

Through my twenties and thirties and early forties, I struggled to manage depression. I engaged suicidal thoughts too much and was a roller coaster of irrational emotions.

I endured an inner blood curdling scream for over twenty years. I never felt in control and I never felt worthy of good things. I sabotaged friendships and potential good relationships all of the time. I was almost happy being unhappy, but not.

My mid forties has been a reckoning for me. I’ve learned so much about myself, about the healing process, and about managing our pain.

Two things have to be present for healing to take place:

1. The desire to heal.

2. The right time.

You might scoff at both. You might say, No one wants to be unhappy.

You are wrong. It’s not that people want to be unhappy, but they have become safe in that place and pain has become their identity. Breaking through that requires a great deal of work.

I encounter people all of the time who say they want things to change, they want to heal, but they are stuck where they are and unwilling to take any steps away from the safety of where they are.

I get that. It sounds harsh of me, but it’s true. Sometimes, in our head, where we are and what we know feels safer than the unknown. Feels safer than risking it and failing.

The worst thing we can do though, is stagnate, not move, die where we are. You don’t want that.

And yes, the second we have little control over.

I have had opportunities my whole life to heal. Most I’ve taken, some I have not.

What I know for sure is that if we don’t listen to the whispers of intuition we get that we need to change something, our lives will eventually crash around us and force us to take action.

That’s what happened to me in 2016. I had been too scared, too stuck in the fear of life outside of teaching, that I had not left. As a result, investigation for almost a whole year.

Now, I’m grateful for every second of the torment and anxiety and life as it was.

The Phoenix rose.

Because of that, because of the psychological and emotional healing, I’m now ready to manage my weight effectively. The last frontier for my healing journey.

After this, it will become a journey of maintaining mental, emotional and physical health whilst I grow spiritually and intellectually.

I’m excited.

Healing takes a lot of work and a lot of time, but it’s worth it. Every tear, every breakdown, every second.

Seven Weeks. Fourteen Days.

I am grateful that my windscreen was smashed. We have not found out who was responsible for it. But, I feel no anger, just gratitude. I hope that the child responsible finds the support they need to be able to fill the hole within them that lead them to the point where they believed their actions were appropriate and necessary.

Regardless, I am grateful.

Education no longer serves my highest self. This is no judgement on or against anyone else; these are just my thoughts and my perceptions. If you are a happy teacher, power to you. I no longer am.

I love children. I love working with them to empower them to fulfil their dreams. I love those light bulb moments when they get it. I love the jokes, the loving teasing, the rapport that is built through symbiotic trust. I love inspiring them to see the world and their place in it, in new ways. I am still a passionate and idealistic teacher. I always will be.

However, I do not respect or like the machine that education has become. I do not like the lack of humanity embodied in the broader leadership, and I cannot fathom or respect machinations that regard teachers and students as robots and tick a boxes.

I do not have the passion to fight it. There are too many who just follow it. My type of teacher is in the vast minority. I don’t see enough commitment to want to change; people don’t stand up and fight for anything anymore.

I will stand up and fight for me by being true to me, and putting me first. After all, no one else will. It is not anyone else’s responsibility; it is mine, and mine alone.

So, I have fourteen working days left until I hand in my keys. Keys that I will have held for very close to twenty years.

I have no intention of ever going back. I thought, when this time came, I would feel more heartbroken. Maybe the grief will come; maybe it won’t. At the moment, I feel like I’m finally answering a call to let go of fear and to start living. I feel liberated.

I have been sick this week, my body has been purging stress toxins, I’m sure. I have not been at school since the incident. I feel liberated. In the past, when I’ve been sick and had to take a couple of days, I’ve felt sooooo guilty that I was letting other people down. This time, I was able to prioritise my health and acknowledge my own worth. Illness requires rest. No one is let down; it just is what it is.

I feel happy. I have felt exhausted this week, every afternoon, as I’ve headed out to work with my clients. But my energy thrived as I arrived to the first door step each day and sustained itself until I arrived home. I feel very present when I work with my kids. I feel a happy heart and fulfilled soul; feelings, that in teaching, have been eclipsed by ever increasing administration demands and the systemic disregard for the welfare of teachers.

I know I’m a teacher. I always will be. But, at the end of the day, I am worth more and am more valuable than the system/broken machine of education decrees, and so, like all abusive relationships, I will move away from it so that my soul can thrive. I will not allow myself to be made small again in my life. This lesson is learned ( fingers crossed lol).

This time, I am breaking the abuse cycle that has ruled my life. This time, I empower me. This time, I am truly free.

Clashing

When I was a young girl, I really struggled with any sort of injustice. Injustice really hurt my heart. I would cry, I would write emotional poetry, I would hurt for days. And, I would wax lyrical about how I was going to change the world.

When the nuns were found, murdered, in an African country in the eighties, I was going to become a non-Catholic missionary and go out to save the people. Yes, I now know what a missionary is in its fullest extent – romantic idealism does not take into account limitations. And, when I saw a documentary about sows chained in little pens, I cried and cried and wrote one of my favourite poems, and cried some more until I became vegetarian. Now, my soul cries for all animals.

I had a dream when I was very young, between 9 and 12 years old, where armies were converging upon one another on a dark night and I stood up between them, hands outstretched, dressed in white, instructing and inspiring them to stop, in a speech that Martin Luther King Jr and Barack Obama would have been proud of.

The systems were wrong, even then. There is something wrong with humans and the way we have organised our society.

When I first started teaching in the early nineties, I was interviewed by a local newspaper. They asked why I wanted to become a teacher. My answer, predictably, I want to change the world.

Typical Tina.

Over time, with maturity, or was it growing cynicism, I realised I could change the world only by changing the lives of individuals. They would then do their part, and in time, our world would become a better place. Instead of me being the saviour, I accepted that I was a part of a bigger process.

At 46, almost 47, I don’t know where I sit with all of this. The changes in education, the changes in the way people lead, the lack of change that is needed yet not delivered, bamboozles me.

Education has become so right wing, so totalitarian, that I just don’t get it. Everyone needs to do things the same way, everyone is a cog and no longer a human being, and playing the game gets you ahead. Being true, being authentic, being real, does not. The systems no longer fit the individual, if they ever did.

I don’t like it. But, I don’t care to fight it either. Well, not as a part of it.

Something fundamentally necessary has disappeared from education in NSW, probably worldwide, except Finland, and that is the passion of its educators and legislators for the welfare of children. It’s become so day to day that we have forgotten the why. We no longer strive to be better, even though we pretend we are with continual changes in syllabi that do nothing except alienate the underclass further. Changes that don’t further education or our kids or our world.

The system sucks. It’s broken.

So, how am I settling back into the machine after a year out of it?

Five days a fortnight is working for me. As a classroom teacher with no leadership stresses, my love for my classroom practice is thriving. I love my students. I manipulate what I want to teach to fit what I have to teach. I refuse to become entrenched by the education machine. And, I know my time is limited.

I love my kids. I love watching them navigate their own learning. It’s such a gift. I love playing with them in our classroom. I love seeing their smiles and I love seeing them engaged. I love the relationships that build and I love loving my kids.

On Tuesday, another teacher gave me some feedback from one of my new students. She said that the student had said I was inspiring. Beautiful. If I can help that child know their value and enjoy their learning, I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve.

I’ve changed the world.

Bullying 😳

My puppy sits on the lounge and watches television. When any animal comes on (I now think it may be when he wants a cuddle), he barks and does a little dance. This morning, Queensland’s Premier, Anastasia Palaszuck (spelt wrong – sorry), was on television demanding a national plan for bullying to be stopped in schools in the wake of Dolly’s suicide as a result of ongoing bullying.

I’m a big fan of bullying being outlawed. But, I’m not an idiot. This is way too simplistic an idea. It will not work. For so many reasons.

Bullying has existed for a long time. A long time. Not just in schools, but in workplaces and homes amongst adults first and foremost.

Bullying happens when there is an imbalance of power. It stems from the ego governing the choices of a human. That ego is often fed by a deep insecurity and fear that the person has no power themselves. The person addresses this by exerting power over another. When this happens, repeatedly, to the same person, we call it bullying.

Until our society works on healing the damaged adults who model this behavior, and we call systems to account (like institutions whose policies mandate bullying behavior), bullying amongst children in schools will continue.

However, we can attempt to mitigate the impact of bullying by strengthening the resilience of children and, case by case, responsibly dealing with early incidents of bullying. This, too, requires that egos be checked at the door.

By ego, I am referring to the part of our psyche that tells us we aren’t good enough or that something is our fault (this ego operates from a lack position), and so we become aggressive and single minded when we try to bring a situation back to balance (impossible, where the ego is concerned, because it needs to win to be satisfied).

Bullying is not okay. Not ever. Not between adults, not between kids, not towards animals.

It will continue to happen whilst ever our society runs on the adrenaline of ego, whilst ever one person has more power than another (and uses it to further their own desires), and whilst ever power structures form the foundation of every organization, including government.

So, dealing with bullying. I am often charged with handling a bullying situation at school. This often occurs at an early point because I don’t tolerate kids saying mean things to one another or being mean to one another.

In fact, in my classroom I maintain strict expectations for how we treat each other during the learning process. I expect students to respond to questions, to ask questions and to make mistakes freely ( we learn more from mistakes than getting things right). I create a safe environment for this to happen, to empower my students to learn.

I warn my students that no one will laugh at someone else without serious consequences. They only ever need one example of someone being minimized and me reacting to know that I am true to my word.

Whatever people think of my strategies, they work. Kids feel safe with me and they learn. I pride myself (bloody ego) on creating a safe learning environment for my kids. This extends beyond the classroom walls.

I am regarded by some as a bitch. I don’t care. Students in my classes regard me as fair and only a bitch if I catch you doing something you shouldn’t. I have had many kids referred to me by ex students who say, Go see Meyer. She’ll deal with it. Yes, yes I will. Every child deserves to feel and to be safe at school.

I will share my process. This is a general summary. Every situation is different and might require some tweaking, but this is it basically.

I speak to both kids individually. I try to work out what has happened and why it has happened. From both sides. Why is the bully needing the power and why is the victim willing to sacrifice their’s.

Before you jump, I have been bullied. In each case, I need to work out for myself, why I sacrificed my power. It’s a hard conversation to have with yourself because we lie to make ourselves feel better. I encourage the kids to be honest with themselves, and with me, so that we can resolve the core issues.

Often, bullying isn’t about either child, it is about the feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness – on both sides. These need to be resolved so that the bullying does not continue.

I will then often sit the kids together and I mediate a conversation, a sharing of how each child feels and the real reasons as to why. The kids start to see their same-ness rather than their difference. I do a lot of the talking in this mediation until the kids feel safe with being honest. It usually results in a lot of tears (from me too – nothing more beautiful than kids seeing each other as equals after pain and seeing a way out) and resolution.

Very rarely have their been repeat offenses. And, if there are, I become a bully to the bully. Not nice, but effective.

The core issues are integral to solutions. They are often ignored in the resolution of bullying incidences. There is too much blame and too much anger and too much a need to be right rather than happy. Us adults model this poor behavior all of the time. We need to model our authentic selves rather than our masked selves.

Realistically, the solution to bullying relies on us adults being honest with ourselves. The bandaid solutions that will filter down from government are bullshit. They will achieve nothing. Us adults needs to be empowered to be our best selves. Only then will we empower our kids to be their best selves. Only then.

The Magick of Kampuchea: Battambang

We are achieving so much every day; I really need to be blogging more to capture it all. Thank god for photos.

I am feeling a strong connection to place here. I’ve started entertaining the thought that one day I might come here to teach English for a little while. We stopped at a temple near an English school yesterday and I became absolutely mesmerized by the children’s chanting of language. I have been feeling a strong sense of the unknown long term future; maybe a new path is being etched in other places.

We were also blessed to have been blessed by a monk in another temple a couple of days ago. It was amazing. We gathered around him and his fellow monk, closed our eyes and ritualized respect, before I was transported to another world through their chanting. My hands remained on fire for the entirety of the blessing.

And, then yesterday, proof that the mind is more powerful than the body. My unfit body managed to walk up and down 352 uneven steps because the mind wanted it to. The reward at the end of the walk was well worth it.

Opening myself to this experience wholly. Oh, and I accidentally ate some chicken yesterday at lunch – oops. I thought it was tofu. A small sliver about 1 x 2 cm. Couldn’t taste it. Felt it was going to happen. It did. I survived. Lol.

Sick 🤢

I have been coughing and feeling very ordinary since Tuesday. So much internal change and processing in recent times; it was bound to catch up.

I worked in a local primary school during the week. I had a Stage 3 class. I like having one class for a whole day; you feel like you are doing more than babysitting. I had a few beautiful moments with this class.

The best one resulted in tears.

In primary school I spend some time handwriting the roll to get to know as many kids as possible by name. It also provides an opportunity for the kids to see me as our pack leader. I find that it sets the tone for the day. This is also the time that the cheekiest kids will show themselves. And, as a result, we set the boundaries for what is acceptable and what is not.

I love this part of the day, and I always fall for the kids who show themselves during roll. On this day, that became reciprocated.

One of the kids participates in a group at the end of the day and leaves the room to do this. He had been looking forward to it all day. The other kids had told me he was usually really naughty, but today he was behaving perfectly. I was surprised when ten minutes after the start of this session, he arrived back in the room and stayed. I acknowledged him and when I had the opportunity, asked what had happened to his group. Bless.

“How come you’re back from your group?”

“I chose to come back. I figured that this might be the only day in my life that you are my teacher, and I didn’t want to waste a minute of it.”

I kid you not. Tears fell. I hugged him. He looked suitably abashed and absolutely chuffed.

That connection is what I miss not teaching every day, but that connection is the same as I build with my students through my business. There is more than one way to achieve what gives us greatest joy.

And, some of those ways don’t include the grief that comes with every day teaching.

Almost at the end of eight months of leave. I have three and abut months left before I heard back to full time teaching in December.

What a break.

I hold anger towards one participant from the events of last year. I hold that person in absolute contempt and am not looking forward to working with them again. I need to come to peace with this, need to move myself to a point where I do not care, one way or the other about their existence. From that point, I can work towards coming back to love.

I have been thinking about why I feel so strongly against this person. I think it is because they have never really shown themselves to be of integrated character. They are insecure and very ego driven, and impact a lot of other people in a negative way. They are divisive and consistently deceitful. They back kids into corners and do not hide their favouritism, marginalising and wilfully hurting the kids who are not favourites.

Picking up the pieces from broken kids is never fun, even less so when the damage is intentionally caused by a colleague. For me, their work and the intention behind it is so at odds with my own intention. I’ve stood up to this person many times, but I don’t think I should have to.

As adults, we should reflect, continually, on whether we are bringing light and love into our place, or not. If not, we should try to change our actions, ourselves, or move from that place to a place where we can manifest light and love. If we aren’t here to heal, ourselves and our people, then why are we here.

It is definitely not to self serve at the expense of others, particularly children.

As I push the soap box back underneath the bed.

Have a beautiful day.

🙏🏻

Such is Life 

An interesting day, today. I had to have an ultrasound for my upcoming surgery to ensure all is okay with my gall bladder and then needed to go to the gynaecologist for a service. Appointments away from home and close enough together yet far enough apart to not bother coming home. 

As I am prone to do, I also arrived to both appointments early which interestingly resulted in me being seen earlier than my appointments; a rarity to be sure. First went smoothly. Picked up the images a little while ago. Second one threw me a curve ball. 

I had internal and external ultrasounds done a few weeks ago due to ongoing bleeding. My doctor wanted to rule out the cancers and horrible stuff. I took the images with me. My gynaecologist looked at them. 

No service required.

Hospital it is. As soon as possible before I travel to the United States in a couple of weeks. 

Trying a curette first. Inserting Mirena. If unsuccessful, lasering everything. If unsuccessful, hysterectomy. 

Day surgery. Fifteen minute procedure. An hour recovery. Home. 

She’s trying to book it for tomorrow afternoon. 

We both giggled at the irony of this IVF repeat failure reproductive system at forty six still being so fertile that even the gynaecologist said I was years and years away from menopause: life’s cruel ironies. After IVF I’m at higher risk of developing some type of cancer in my reproductive organs, especially endometrial cancer. 

Who knew. I think I vaguely recall reading that in my own research earlier on during that process. Meh. 

I always say, IVF is the gift that keeps giving. I just don’t wish it on anyone. 

As a result of those two appointments and having to wait around, I went to The Square to hang. Well, after my first appointment which I had to fast for, I really went there for breakfast, and just in the knock of time, my sugars were going out and I started to get the shakes. But, I also ran into a few ex students and friends, made through teaching. 

Man, if teaching isn’t the most powerful profession in reaching people I don’t know what is. And if ever I’m having a day questioning my own value and impact, I really need to just hang out at The Square. We raise compassionate and caring kids at my old school. They go on to become such beautiful people, trying hard to make life work and to give to others and become the best versions of themselves.

Us teachers are truly blessed. And if you’re a teacher who doesn’t work hard, doesn’t reach out to your kids, you won’t understand, but deserve to, so work harder. 

🙏🏻

Quitting

My gap year is about finding and then living my bliss. I’m predominantly living off savings. I’ve had a little bit of casual work to supplement this, basically to pay bills. I have a vague vision for my life and I have decided that anything that does not fit into the vision must go. 

I always have theories about stuff. I sometimes find it difficult to manifest any that connect to work, self-worth or guilt/shame. My parents instilled a strong work ethic, and a strong sense of responsibility and commitment. 

Because of fear, guilt and a misguided sense of loyalty to others before myself, I have often made poor choices for my welfare. I’ve stayed in relationships longer than I should, kept friends who weren’t really friends, and worked in places and for people that used me. 

Until Wednesday. 

I had committed to work to the end of term, Friday week, and I was taking that commitment seriously. Due to appointments I wasn’t working today or yesterday.  Wednesday was my third day of work this week and last. I could make it through. 

I thought. 

Tuesday afternoon finished badly – kids walked out before the bell. I wrote them up. I followed them to see many kids had left their classrooms. Hmmm. 

Wednesday morning started badly. A rude girl answered her phone, refused to leave the room, held court and disrupted everyone. Another rude girl gave lip and refused to follow instructions, and then a boy was rude to me. I had the same class later that day. The deputy was called for – the Head Teacher was away. 

I reminded the kids they owed me detention in the next period. The boy said, You are fucked. I gave no response. He unleashed, You are a fucking dickhead, fuck off, you are a both, get fucked, etcetera etcetera. 

The kids laughed during his vulgar minute long assessment of me. I just looked at him. I have a foul mouth, the language doesn’t upset me personally; however, the disrespect does. The Head Teacher had already removed phone girl and was leaving premises so I was virtually stick there with this predominantly rudeclass. 

I started recording the behaviour in Sentral. As time came closer for the bell, I moved towards the door. When the bell went, I closed the door. They all stayed. After some stern words from me, they knew they were there for disrespect or failure to work as hard as they could or both. 

The swearer kept swearing during his litany because he was trying to get a reaction from me, a reaction that I didn’t give. A fifteen year old in Year 8; obviously he has experienced disconnected learning probably due to a traumatic past. However, I didn’t deserve the rudeness of him or his peers. 

I was faced with a choice. 

We choose how we are treated by other people. I do not trust that his bad behaviour will be followed up. I have seen other students break the school rules repeatedly without consequence from higher up. I was told by one staff member that I needed to lower my expectations of what the students would achieve with me. 

Nuh uh. That’s not how I work. 

But, this year is about me consolidating everything I have learned and manifesting the life I desire. I am valuable. I am worthy. I am happy. 

I am a casual teacher. I do not need to tolerate this behaviour. 

And, so I told the class that their collective behaviour saddened me. To the core. Because they always want to be given a chance and become quite upset if they feel they aren’t given a fair go. But they don’t extend the same courtesy to others. And as a result, they have lost a phenomenal teacher whom they could have loved, if they had given her a chance. I explained to them that life is short, and we choose how others value us. I told them that they would not have me again, but not to cheer about it, because they haven’t got rid of me. I choose me. I choose happiness. And it is only their loss. I lose nothing. 

After twenty minutes I released them. I went to the Deputy Principal and I apologised that I would not be able to fulfill my commitment this term because life is too short and me, and my health, are worth infinitely more. A beautiful soul, she said she understood. 

And so, for the first time in my life, I quit. 

And by doing so, I put my needs first, my happiness first, and sent out the signal that I am worth more than the treatment of those children suggests. I could have stayed and fought. But that would be meeting the needs of the children and the school alone, and my needs are finally more important to me because I am valuable. 

It has been a long road to get here, and I am very much a work in progress, but I’m starting to get it. 

I create the life I want by the choices I make. 

If I am unhappy, I need to change the things that I am doing. If I want a certain life, I need to create that life by living it. Trust that I will be provided for, and so, that’s what I’m going to do. 

What will be, will be. 

I refuse to be disrespected or undervalued ever again. 

Revelations Upon Waking

I keep focusing on the negative in my relief teaching at a new school. I make jokes and accentuate how difficult it is. And it is difficult but it isn’t impossible. I’m feeding that negative outlook. Foolishly. 

Upon waking this morning, I was struck with successes I have been having. 

Yes, there are a lot of classes that are misbehaving and that are very hard work. But those kids are the ones to greet me in the playground, are the ones who settle after a few periods, are the ones to long for contact outside of the classroom, and within it. 

I don’t know why I’m feeding the negative. Maybe it is too humbling starting all over. Maybe I feel like I should be failing so that I leave teaching or so I don’t miss it as much when I do. Maybe it keeps everyone’s expectations of me low. Maybe I don’t feel supported by my old school so I’m trying to prove to myself that they were right. 

Maybe I’m overthinking it all and just need to chill lol. 

What I take from this is that we all need to feed the positive, irrespective of how small or seemingly insignificant that positive is. Feeding the position Ve nurtures the positive to magnify. Surely, we can all use more positive in our lives. 

A Morning of Tears 

It’s been a while since I’ve cried about teaching. Probably at some point last year out of exasperation from the investigation. But this morning, the tears are flowing. 

A friend sent me a link to an ABC Conversation with Gabbie Stroud. She attained infamy the year before last when she just left teaching and wrote about why: burn out from the realities of contemporary teaching which are opposed to the idealism teachers start their careers with (we still have the idealism so our spirits become suffocated and we need time out to renew our navigation of the system). 

Gabbie talks about the ridiculous focus on data collection at the expense of lesson preparation time and student learning, increasingly heavy administrative duties, the pain the kids feel as they start to feel left behind, our feelings of hopelessness as we see this, the loss of our own lives as we become consumed with anxiety trying to get everything done, and that feeling that our best is never good enough, or just enough. 

I love teaching. My heart breaks as I write that. I love my classroom and I am missing my kids to the bone this year. I miss my Year 12 class; I had been so excited to take them through to their exams later this year. And, I just miss them as people. I miss seeing them every day, I miss getting frustrated with L as he stuffs around learning to navigate his life. I could list something about every single one of them that I miss. 

And many more kids. Some have messaged me to say they miss me; it’s been two weeks. Some that I was meant to teach for the first time this year have let me know they are disappointed that I’m not there. I miss them. I

I miss seeing my colleagues every day. I miss our shared existence and commentary. I miss the gossip and the laughter; I even miss the immaturity of bitchy behaviour. I miss the early career teachers and helping them navigate this overwhelming profession. I miss the collegiality and the love that epitomizes my school culture. 

However, I don’t miss the stress, or never getting a break, or not feeling on top of my job. I don’t miss the anxiety or feelings of frustration as the system mandates one thing after another, designed to corrode enthusiasm, passion and idealism. I don’t miss the desire to balance system requirements with idealism and what is actually in the best interests of the children. 

Teachers teaching are too busy and too tired to fight together, and unfortunately, the reality is that politicians and the public don’t really care. The media set teachers up a long time ago as whingers, and the ignorant populace were too happy to believe the demonic propaganda. After all, anyone that gets three months holiday a year and only works 9 to 3 has it easy in life. WTF. 

And, so, as Gabbie recounted her experiences, I felt a kinship and felt for all of us teachers.

We wanted to change the world. We wanted to help kids see their potential, to be the best they could be. We wanted to instil hope and passion and happiness into kids lives. We wanted to believe that we were part of something noble, necessary and nurturing. 

My classroom still is. 

But, my classroom is at odds with the profession, the politics, the bureaucracy. And it wore me down. 

After twenty four years, I’m tired of fighting an unseen enemy: government policy, government bureaucracy, government fads. 

Teaching itself is simple. Love your kids because then you will do what is necessary to watch them thrive. Love your colleagues because collectively you create a school culture of love and growth. Love your community, even on its bad days, because that’s where the power for change generates. 

If only the machine understood this. If only the machine listened. If only enough of us stood up and said no more. 

We are tired. Tears are easier. 

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-gabbie-stroud-rpt/8240730