FRIDAY, 10 JULY 2015

Feminine beauty that endures the ages

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In London, the National Portrait Gallery has opened a major exhibition made up of images of Audrey Hepburn, called “Portraits of an Icon”. And as noted by this article in The Conversation, it portrays a world of difference from the celebrity status that currently exists.

What is it about women like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly that makes them truly iconic? What is it about them and their images that keep them so renowned, recognised and relevant even years after they were alive?

I think the answer lies in their genuine portrayal of feminine beauty. They both have very different looks, styles and stories, and yet they had something that still attracts and inspires people today:

They were classy.

Classiness always appeals, in the same way that kindness or generosity never goes unappreciated. I think this is because a classy person conveys that they are aware of their own… click here to read whole article and make comments



Marriage is forever

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I just read an article on the Huffington Post titled “Five Reasons My Divorce Was the Best Thing That Happened To Me,” filled with the expected reasons of re-self-discovery and regaining self-respect. And while I empathise for the evident pain that comes with relationship breakdown, I’m even more frustrated by society’s almost “drive-thru” attitude towards marriage.

As some same-sex couples line up to be legally wed while others are jumping at their legal right to divorce (I’m looking at you, New Orleans), and as everyone else seems to be going into marriage for the long, sorry no, emotional haul (in good times and bad, at least until the fuzzy feelings have fizzled out); it’s clear that everyone is confused.

So let me clear something up for you: marriage is forever. Here are a few points that couples would do well… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 29 JUNE 2015

Gen Y need to learn to switch off

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This morning’s Sydney Morning Herald published an article called “Generation Overstimulation? Generation Y's addiction to being busy,” and just from the title, I could already see that it has a point.

The article suggests that Gen Y-ers are addicted to having too much to do. Their lifestyles are all about overstimulation: juggling the multiple components of their lives with hardly a moment of silence or downtime. And while this seems to be leading to higher levels of stress, being less busy would also lead to anxiety – but more the stress of feeling inadequate and like they’re slipping behind as compared to their peers.

So what are the statistics? 49 per cent of young people report high levels of stress, over 80 per cent are aware that their physical health suffers, and more than 70 per cent know that their social and personal time, as well as emotional… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 2015

South Carolina church shooter comes from a broken family

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The News Story - Confederate flag debate eclipses one on gun control

“In the near-week since a shooting rampage left nine African-American parishioners dead at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina,” opined Emma Margolin at MSNBC Tuesday, “all eyes have turned to the Confederate Battle flag flying above the state capitol grounds.”
South Carolina has removed the Confederate flag from its capitol building in Columbia, Mississippi’s Speaker of the House has expressed support for removing the Confederate battle emblem from that state’s flag, and a host of retailers— the largest among them—have pulled all Confederate flag merchandise. And yet, Margolin writes, “virtually no one has advocated for stronger gun control laws in the wake of the Charleston massacre. . . . [S]houldn’t the firearm [Dylann Roof] actually used to kill nine black people at least be part of the conversation on how to move… click here to read whole article and make comments



A selfless bride

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About a month ago, I was at my friend’s wedding – let’s call her Danielle. Danielle looked stunningly radiant, her new husband was appropriately chuffed, the food was delicious, and the speeches were excellent (not to mention that my fiancé made a very handsome groomsman). But they aren’t the things that stood out to me the most. What stood out to me was a story of another guest who had celebrated her birthday the day before, who arrived at the church just as the bride did, and was greeted with birthday wishes from Danielle just before she walked down the aisle.

Yes, that’s the end of the story. Doesn’t seem like a big deal? Then take another look. I am amazed, like actually amazed, at how selfless this small act is on the bride’s part. With my wedding less than two months away, I can only imagine that in the… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 22 JUNE 2015

Will Sweetening the Pill, the movie, change the world?

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When I think of a movie that changed the world, Man of Marble by Andrei Wajda comes to mind. I was about 15 when I saw it in the youth community theater of my small French town. This 1977 Polish film tells the story of a young female film maker who investigates the life of Birkut, a super-productive bricklayer of the 1950’s. Once a hero hailed by the local government, Birkut mysteriously disappears along with any public records of his life, and the young woman is left facing a wall of resistance from the administration in her research efforts.

Wajda’s movie was a sharp and effective critique of corruption and propaganda in Communist Poland. It ended up been censored by the Polish authorities and its director jailed briefly. The film indirectly chronicles the underground worker’s union movement Solidarity, the same movement that led to the peaceful fall of the dictatorial regime in 1989.… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 2015

Father’s Day: The difference a dad makes

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An article in the Wall Street Journal this week reviewing research on the way fathers bond with their children drew the following exchange in the comments section:

Richard McDermott: Can these lab researchers figure out where my Dad put my nose after he stole it some 40 years ago?

Jared Blanton @Richard McDermott Look behind your ear!

@Jared Blanton @Richard McDermott I'll be darned.  Thanks!

That perfectly sums up one of the distinctive things about the way dads play with their kids: the element of surprise and silliness that can snap a child out of boredom or crankiness and make them laugh.

“In one study, when a preschooler grew tired and started crying, his father flipped the child upside-down into a midair headstand,” reports the Journal. “Another dad sparked his toddler’s interest in playing by yelling in mock distress, “Ow,… click here to read whole article and make comments



Video: Preschool meets nursing homes

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Here’s a bit of beautiful for your Wednesday: at a nursing home in Seattle, preschool children come on the weekdays to have their classes and spend time with the elderly patients. It’s a similar idea to the Netherlands nursing home that offers rent-free accommodation to university students, provided they spend at least 30 hours a week being “good neighbours” to the elderly residents.

This preschool idea is just as great, and just as beneficial to the (too-often) loneliness of ageing and the generally selfishness of youth. It’s perhaps even better actually, as pre-school age children come with no assumptions, no judgements and no awkwardness – just lots of time to spend and heaps of love to give.

Check out the video and get ready to have your faith restored in humanity a little.

click here to read whole article and make comments



The red and blue of family stability

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Nathan Rupert / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)  

Family stability is good for kids growing up, and having your own two parents still around as a teenager indicates stability. So, what is the recipe for that kind of success?

Marriage, according to most research, keeps parents together more often than just settling down together does, although cohabitation is on the rise. So, what kind of life script will encourage the younger generation to marry, and stay married?

Some social scientists in the United States have been looking at this question in terms of “red state” (Republican, conservative) and “blue state” (Democrat, progressive) family values. According to these scholars the “red” family model has failed, but a new analysis by the Institute for Family Studies shows that, looking at both in their purest forms, red still has the edge over “blue”.

The authors of the IFS… click here to read whole article and make comments



Are you ready for marriage?

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So you think you’re ready for marriage? How do you know? Like any commitment, it’s something you choose, make the leap for, and stick to – plus, admittedly, learn the ropes as you go along. But if a readiness factor could be measured, I can think of a few pre-requisites that are non-negotiable in my books, inspired by a few articles (such as this one) that I've come across recently:

You’re aware of your worth.

We all have our own insecurities and fears, but at the end of the day we should know that we are valuable and believe it without needing a relationship to confirm it. Loving yourself, as silly and cliché as it may sound, is about having the self-esteem to actually bring something to a relationship rather than use it to fulfil your own needs. Awareness of your own worth also means that you won’t let anyone mistreat… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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