Tag Archives: change

Cultural Exchange…

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People often talk about how difficult it is to move into a different culture.  I’ve never had that problem, in fact I’ve found the opposite to be true.  I pick up accents like other people pick up souvenir teaspoons.  Entirely new languages don’t even daunt me too badly.  New dress codes, religious beliefs, diets, modes of transport, forms of handwriting…no worries.  Been there, done that.

There is one problem though, the ease itself.  In moving to the Gold Coast recently, I found myself happily ensconced in a new community.  I make new friends relatively easily too.  This new community though, is glitzier, more youth oriented and more inclined toward gold sandals, than I have ever been. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that when having coffee with a new friend recently, she said “So I’ve been offered some discount rates on botox.  My friend Sharon** and I are going to get it done this afternoon.  Wanna come?”

Do you know, I almost said “yes”?  In my new world, this is what women do.  They get haircuts and they get botox.  They exercise where nobody can see them, until they think they look good enough to be seen.  So it wouldn’t have been odd for me to say “Sure, just let me grab my kryptonite credit card and I’ll be there in ten.”   It was odd for me to say “Nah, I think I’m right for now thanks.  You have fun though.”  I could tell I’d surprised her by the look on her face.

I’m thinking now, that it’s not the change of culture that is difficult, it’s the maintenance of self as you do so which can be come an issue.  Well, maintenance of self and maintenance of facial expression!

**not her real name!

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Change Your Mind, Save The Planet

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My life is often interesting in the way seemingly disparate things will suddenly come together to make blinding, perfect, sense.  This happened recently when I was in the middle of reading The Sixth Wave, a great book by James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady.  While I was reading, I happened to get a phone call from one of my brothers.

My brothers work together in a company owned by the eldest, that turns landfill gas into electricity.  They both began their careers as electricians and have, over the course of their lives, collected enough cleverness, ingenuity and guts to create this company.  I love it when the eldest one rings to ask me science-nerd questions, when he’s theorising about a new possibility or idea and needs someone geeky enough to join him for the ride.

I love it even more when he surprises me with his brilliant attitude.  When I told him about The Sixth Wave, and the definition of ‘institutions’ therein, he related this immediately to current process of marketing landfill gas technology.

According to Adam (brother in question),  the traditional way for companies to sell landfill gas technologies to their customers is basically to say “You’ve got this terrible problem, let me sell you a way to fix it.”  Adam’s way, which reflects his mindset perfectly, is to say “You’ve got this fantastic resource, let me help you utilise it.”  It’s a shift in attitude that completely changes the outcome.  We’ve moved from eliminating a problem, to maximising the productivity of a resource.

It was this attitude of his that led us to the next conversational topic; a new process and mechanism he’s helping to research and produce, that might well revolutionise his industry.  He’s so excited by the concept, it’s like listening to a kid talk about Christmas.  The best part of this conversation for me, was to hear him say “Right now, I don’t even care if it doesn’t work.  At the moment I’m thrilled just to be doing this.  It’s amazing stuff!”

We have this in common, all three of my siblings and I.  We love the adventure of learning something new.  Change has never scared us.  Our dignity is not bruised when we’re proven wrong and required to change our minds.  In fact, sometimes changing our minds, changing the angle from which we approach an issue, well,  that changes processes and processes can change the world.