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THIS CHRISTMAS WE’RE ALL HUMAN

It’s easy to forget how privileged our lives really are. I went to Adelaide yesterday to see a friend who had been taken to hospital to have his appendix out.

I jumped on the internet, found a flight and flew over as quickly as I could. When I arrived at the emergency ward, he’d been patiently waiting for ten hours, still in need of a bed in a ward and still waiting to find out when he’d be operated on. The nurse said he might have to wait another two days.

It seemed so unfair and ridiculous. Two days? For emergency surgery? ...

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59 Comments

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Divorced over 40 with kids -working poor

    Hi Corrine, Great article. So many just do not understand how tough it is out there for so many, I am one of many divorced single women with kids who worked away from an abusive marriage with nothing but my kids to keep them safe. Thanks for your words of support. I also write because I want to know did your friend get his operation and how is he?

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Carz

    Ending up homeless can happen so easily. After my marriage ended my ex ummed and ahhed for over a year about what he wanted to do with our jointly owned home, which the kids and I were living in. Eventually he decided to sell it (I wasn’t working and had no capacity to be able to buy him out). Despite having been a co-owner of a home for many years I found it very hard to get rental accommodation. This resulted in the kids and I spending ten days in a refuge, and we were lucky it was such a short period of time. I will be forever grateful that we had that resource available to us and I will never take for granted the home we have now.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Sophie McComas

    Hi Corinne thank you so much for your article about this, it’s a really important issue and I’m so glad that so many people have been reminded to show a little kindness and be better. However, just want to clear up the fact that it was actually my housemate, James Crawley, that gave the tea and sat down with Danielle for a chat, it wasn’t me, I merely tweeted the card we received! So all good press should undoubtedly go his way, he’s an incredible person and should take all the credit. Thank you again for the article, and merry Christmas! Sophie

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Graeme Fraser

    Corinne, I made the mistake of presuming. I always thought that you were a dumb airhead. How wrong I was. I salute you. Please enter politics! The right wingers would not stand a chance. :-)

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    chris (larksong4)

    random acts of kindness, paying it forward, paying our taxes, paying respect – what a world this could be …

    thanks Corinne

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Jennie

    Thankyou for writing about the issue of homelessness at Christmas. I work for a homelessness service, and the demand is overwhelming at Christmas – especially the number of single mums who walk in with their kids and nothing else. The dignity that eye contact gives an otherwise invisible person can make a big difference to how they make it through the day.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    moorie

    Thank you for this article, it really makes you think twice. I am busy looking for numerous things to buy for my grandsons, who I might add have everything that opens and shuts, plus a warm bed, parents who love them and a roof over their heads. I donate every week to the Salvos at the railway station and once a year a bigger donation at Christmas, it is not enough I know but I am struggling a little as well so it is all I can do. Wish it was more!

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    elli

    Not enough empathy. That’s the root of the problem. If we could fix that, other things would fall into place.
    Thanks Corrine. Great article!

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    “Add a violent partner ”
    Why for heaven’s sake? Oh I see, to reinforce the domestic violence hoax.
    See Stephen Baskerville: Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family. Chapter 4. Batterers or Protectors?

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      Goddess Mel

      Really Jonah? Domestic violence doesn’t exist? While it’s a myth that only women experience domestic violence, or sexual violence, it DOES exist. Domestic violence is a hoax like the Holocaust is a hoax.

      Instead of denigrating those who want to discuss these issues how about fighting for ALL those who experience abuse and need help. Put your baggage aside and use that energy to do some good in the world.

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      Janet G

      Jonah- the troll with the Christmas hat. Back into the whale Jonah.

      • Reply December 6, 2012

        vanessay

        At some point. Hoopla, you have to decide what is a valuable contribution to a discussion and what is hate speech. How hurtful is Jonah to the people who have suffered through the various ordeals he/she knows all about or thinks do not exist. You are too polite in allowing this idiot space on this site. I say give us all a Christmas gift and ban this troll! At times, Jonah comes close to being abusive and is certainly condescending, sexist, dismissive and just plain boring. There are plenty of sites where his/her predictable rants would be welcome, why is THe Hoopla one of them?

        • Reply December 6, 2012

          MoniqueN

          I agree with Vanessay, too often we are seeing these rants from men on the site, and it’s not just Jonah there are several examples, particuarly on any articles regarding Julia Gillard and/or Tony Abbott.

          I myself have considered not coming back to the site because I don’t need to read hateful little diatribes from angry men with an axe to grind, but the positive things about this place outweigh the minor annoyances. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but there is a world of difference between respectfully disagreeing with someone’s point of view and spewing bile.

          • December 6, 2012

            vanessay

            Thank you MoniqueN. As far as I am concerned picky little fights over whether something is “domestic violence” or assault (Jonah) merely serve to take away from the fact that women are being murdered or having the crap beaten out of them by the men they are living with far too often. Every time someone relies on semantics or spouts about due process they are just sticking the boot in verbally.
            What sort of satisfaction this troll gets I do not know. I just imagine this person sitting there behind their computer thinking “I stirred those cows at The Hoopla up again today.” (Cue thunder, lightening and demonic laugh!)
            I am hesitant , but I am going to do it anyway. I label this sort of comment as abuse in that it is further damaging to readers who have suffered from the violence being discussed here.

      • Reply December 6, 2012

        JessB

        “Back into the whale” is officially my favourite smack-down ever. Great work, Janet G.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    vegitamite

    ‘in many cases, sheer dumb luck’

    Very true, but many people think it is Gods will.

    I, like you, say its l based on luck. And most of us are closer to being homeless than we would ever like to think, believeor admit. Mainly because we have place our ‘value’ into material gain.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    RobynMarie

    Thank you for such a wonderful article. How sad it is that at Christmas we need reminding.
    Jonah, are you actully saying that domestic violence is not real ?

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      Read the above reference but what is unarguable is that no one has ever been found guilty by a jury of “domestic violence”, whatever it is.
      And a judgement by one’s peers is the only definition of guilt in a society where due process of the law reigns. Not bogus statistics or decisions by political flunkeys in “specialized” courtrooms.
      Perhaps the writer was referring to assault?

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    florally

    You have gotta love the restorative powers of a cup of tea
    thanks for making me think x

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Christine Retschlag

    A truly wonderful piece.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    St.Bart’s in Perth provides support and assistance to homeless people here.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Kip

    For many years I worked for Local Government. One of the services that were offered by a Community Group within our offices was help for the homeless, helpless, desperate, etc., It was my job to make appointments for these people with the Social Worker for food vouchers or refferals to other Groups that could help them. I also used to let them know of local organisations where they could get at least one good meal a day. At first when people approached the desk to ask for an appointment they were often very quietly spoken and obviously afraid and embarrased to have to ask for help. Imagine being in that position yourself and having to ask for a food voucher in front of wealthy Ratepayers who physically move away from you in case they catch a case of “homelessness”? Imagine how degrading that must feel. I always treated them exactly as I would treat any other client, with respect, a bit of a laugh and as much assistance as I was able to give them Everyone has a story and many of the stories that were told to me would make you laugh and cry. Sometimes I would sneak a $5 note into their hand or a cigarette when noone was looking. The change in their behaviour if they received this treatment was dramatic. The smile on their face was worth a million dollars. If I could make just one person each day feel a little bit better about themselves then I was a happy woman and so were they. Win win. Try it. Just a smile sometimes does it!

    • Reply December 7, 2012

      anne louise

      I wish I had lived in your local government area, Kip. I was made homeless by my council (Gosford City Council) because I was living in a shed. They obviously thought that me and my son aged 10 and daughter aged 8 would be better off on the streets than a shed.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ess

    Just a smile hey? Well I can definitely do that! Thanks for the reminder Corinne.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Em

    I don’t know about you but I always assume my male colleagues are himbos until I decide they’ve proven otherwise!

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      MoniqueN

      And how many of them have managed it??

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    sue Bell

    excuse me Jonah, magistrates courts do not have juries, therefore judgement by one’s peers in a court of law is not the only definition of guilt in a society that believes in the rule of law, also you can be tried in a higher court before a judge alone or in the High Court by a panel of judges. How typically negative of you to take a piece, written about simple acts of human kindness, and turn it into your own ranting platform. Lovely piece of writing Corinne and thank you.

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      And nice to meet you too Sue. Our Consitution, (which are designed to protect individuals from the abuse of state power) stipulates that anyone facing an indictable offence, is entitled to a jury trial.
      By establishing “specialist family violence” courts – which can mean anything the local filth want it to mean – we have the spectacle of men dragged in on charges of writing to their children, going to their school wind-ups etc and being jailed for same). In other words, in the name of “domestic violence” citizens are having their constitutional safeguards over ridden. These types of “courts” are an abomination, political constructs.
      Every attempt to politicize this into a gender issue fails. All the reputable studies show women are just as culpable, if not more so, in the causation of “domestic violence”.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    There was a movie with Colin Friel(s)~I don’t remember its name~ but just its content, about how quick and arbitrary someone can slide into homelessness. Worth a watch.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    The term “rule of thumb” came about by how wide a stick could be for how wide a stick could be for a man to beat “his” woman. Unconscienable assessment. Unhappy lives. Shelter, and safety~ is not a lot to ask.

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      Oh Ro, you’ve gone and done it now. That was an urban myth which seeped into the mediasphere and gained a life of its own, courtesy of feminist activists.
      So too the lie about Superbowl day in the US being the most hectic day of the year for “domestic violence”. Attempts to track down the origin and validity of these two outrageous lies proved futile.
      See Christina Hoff Summers for confirmation. (She’s a feminist scholar, if that helps)
      The term DV is an attempt to politicize what is actually assault. As sad as the above story is, what about the 100s of homeless men, thrown out of their homes, children stolen, assests plundered, because of the false allegations of DV, (trumped up by divorce lawyers) which require no evidence, allow hearsay as evidence, contrary to the common law, and don’t alllow a jury to hear any evidence?
      I must say, I’m starting to lose patience with you girls. I’m doing my best to educate you in the wicked ways of power and mob manipulation, and this is the thanks I get.
      Quite disappointing too, on how a different point of view gets shouted down by the shrill mob. Lift your games, all of you.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    How grand a dog is for company.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    corinne grant

    Thanks to everyone for the really inspiring stories you’ve left in this comments section. It’s brilliant to know there are so many wonderful people reading and contributing to the comments section.

    Secondly, many apologies to James Crawley, the true tea giver! Have asked The Hoopla fairies to fix my mistake!

    And thirdly, just ignore the Stiffhausen commenter. He can’t poison the well when there’s so much good on here. :)

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    On the rule of thumb~ an eminent lawyer and feminist Jocelyn Scutt. And yes Jonah~ domestic violence often amounts to criminal assault and homicide. And many of us here have already had enough experience and scholarly explorations to know exactly what we know.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    A feminist lawyer?
    God, give me a break.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    And lawyers do not “make up things”~ they follow their client’s instructions. Each state, has a place to go to complain about unprofessional conduct by lawyers.
    Hearsay is not regarded as evidence, though it may be true to say interim orders to stop alleged violence can be successful,without the other party being present. Once served with such an order, the other party has a right to put their side,before a court.. Anyway, I get the link between homelessness, and having no where else to go…..

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      “And lawyers do not “make up things”

      Words fail me. Your ignorance has almost disqualified you from further repartee.
      As for: “Whether or not it is an indictable offence, depends on the damage done to the victim of the criminal assault”
      you’re wrong again.
      I myself have been jailed for sending birthday cards to my stolen children and attending their sporting functions, all under the guise of “family violence”. I wouldn’t expect any sympathy and don’t want any, but whilst there ran into countess men jailed for the similarly inconsequential reasons. It is a national scandal and gullible rubes such as ….well we won’t go into that….are the reason these criminal abuses of the law are occurring.
      If you’ve got sons, you’re helping to dig their graves.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    Criminal assault means attending a state criminal court if the police are involved. Whether or not it is an indictable offence, depends on the damage done to the victim of the criminal assault~ which is governed by State criminal laws. Meanwhile, there are many homeless people who come to the attention of the courts, everyday, via the police,and their discretionary powers~ for petty offences like disorderly conduct etc..

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    mudhouse jane

    Maybe Jonah Schitehouse has nowhere else to go ; such a pity that he chose this particular doorstep.

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      I take it Miss Jane that you didn’t get to Finishing School?

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    Tea~anyone?

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Dave

    Jonah,

    You’re anger at your personal circumstances does not gloss over the fact that the number of people who lose their lives to domestic violence are shockingly high. As an aside to moniker ‘domestic’ has nothing to do with man vs woman. It is violence within the family regardless of who is the victim or the offender. You seem to be angry at women in general because you have failed at your own relationship. You are not alone. I am a separated father who has 2 boys. I have made a concious decision not to drag them into a petty fight with my ex. It could have quite easily gone down that road but my children’s future is more important to me than ‘winning’

    When the dust settled and the raw anger subsided after my break up, there will always be pain and heartache, my ex and I work together for what is best for my children. You failed as a couple when you were together and now you are failing while apart. Nobody goes to jail for sending birthday cards. You may have been to jail for breaching a restraining order, but that’s another thing entirely. No doubt you will bang on about father’s rights. Yes we have them, but there are ways to ensure you have them and passive aggression isn’t one of them. For each and every outburst like this (on a forum which is wholly inappropriate) you set back the cause for father’s rights. As much as you want to close your eyes to the facts the issue of violence against women is there and true. I have witnessed it first hand. You can bury your head in the conspiracy theory sand as much as you want, but you will never ever see the pain and fear family violence truly causes. You are never going to prove a point here. This was about understanding the fact that if we look at our lives we should realise that there are people who have it a lot worse than us. Be happy with what you have. Have a cup of tea and relax. If that doesn’t work, buy a Spider-Man costume and climb the harbour bridge.

    • Reply December 9, 2012

      anne louise

      I like what you have to say, Dave. Your boys are lucky to have such a mature Dad. The world needs more parents who are truly interested in their childrens’ welfare rather than their own precious interests. Next generation may turn out to be more generous and wholesome than this.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    Jonah~ take stock of what you did, which must not have been inconsequential, though clearly you continue to minimise, and deny, when you harmed others. To have a court send you to gaol means you did wrong unless there has been a huge flaw in the legal system. I doubt it. From the way you write, I doubt you would have left any stone unturned to make the justice system prove you were right. You witnessing other men in prison who are also in a state of denial is not proof of your predicament or innocence.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    And on a Christmas note~ Paul Kelly’s song~”Whose Going To Make the Gravy”?

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    In Perth, St. Bart’s makes the gravy every Christmas.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Liz

    Great article Corinne. Wish everyone would stop giving Jonah the moaner the time of day.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    ro.watson

    Jonah moans.Tea anyone?

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    ro.watson

    If we behave really well we might get some charity tea?

    • Reply December 7, 2012

      MoniqueN

      wouldn’t that be chari-tea Ro?? :-)

      “Words fail me. Your ignorance has almost disqualified you from further repartee.”

      Ladies, I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel…

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    ro.watson

    Some people are homeless because they don’t behave…..

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Tara Nipe

    Thank you Corinne.

    And thank you, Dave :)

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Kip

    Corinne, you wrote a wonderful article about the best in human nature. How to just give a little and stop to think of those a lot worse off than ourselves this Chistmas. Thank you. Then along comes Jonah with his personal axe to grind which has nothing to do with homelessness. He thinks he has found a forum to stir up people with his bitterness and we are only encouraging him and his ignorant views by replying to him! Ladies, time to ignore such people who use The Hoopla to try and stir us all up. We are perfectly capable of “wrecking the joint” on our own without this person. I hope you all have a great Christmas whatever your circumstances and please share a smile with the world. It can be a beautiful place.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Lydia

    Yes, everyone, just ignore the ignorant troll and move on.

    Back to homelessness: yes, I agree that many of us are far closer to homelessness than we might suppose. What would happen if, for example, you (or your partner, if in a relationship), fell seriously ill? You could not work? In a recent survey I saw (sorry, cannot remember where!), most people seemed to be only a few months AT BEST from defaulting on their mortgages/rental payments and finding themselves on the street.

    And for what it’s worth: I used to rent a flat in the 90s in a business district in Perth. There are mostly offices, medical suites and restaurants dealing with the business trade there, so it was pretty quiet on weekends. In the office block next door, there was an underground carpark, that was FULL of homeless people all weekend. They went there to get away from the police and others who hassled them (including the risks of being victims of crime). I used to give them food and drinks and stuff all the time, on the premise that if I kept in their good books, they wouldn’t hurt me (steal or something). But, when I got to know them, I realised they were ‘just … well… people’. Their stories were often harrowing, heartbreaking and very close to the bone: marriage breakups and alcohol taking hold; death of partner in a car accident and descent into depression; loss of job after an accident and unable to find anything else…. It was a real wake up call for me.

    • Reply December 9, 2012

      anne louise

      Lydia, what you did was gorgeous. It would be great if more of us could mingle with homeless and marginalized people. They are just people after all, and we benefit form knowing them and supporting them in what ever small way we can.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    anicasunny

    What about having to prove you are right at all costs!
    As my nonna always says, love and respect to your family and friends and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Reply December 9, 2012

    Wendy Green

    If you’re feeling the need to ‘mingle with the homeless’ there are plenty of charities that would welcome your help with open arms, St Vincent de Paul or the Salvos would be a good place to start.

    Great article Corrine – thank you :)

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    Jinho Choi

    Thank you, Corinne. Reading your articles makes me want to be a better man.
    I wish you an fun & happy summer.
    Best, Jin

  • Reply December 16, 2012

    Bella

    Great article and reminder about the issue of homelessness and that simple acts of kindness can speak volumes. I have noticed a homeless woman in my suburb (it is fairly middle class and affluent that is why I have noticed her). I assume she stays around here because it is safe or perhaps it is somewhere she knows. I have been watching her over the months and have seen her condition deteriorate. I have wondered if she is accessing any support, perhaps from the local church. I don’t know. I particularly, thought of her during Winter and wondered if I could offer her a something, but the opportunity never arose. I am sure she has a story and I hope that someone offers her kindness.

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