Part of knowing yourself means working out the things, or perhaps the thing, you are good at. This isn’t always simple and it may require a very open mind. Knowing yourself also entails working out the things you are not good at. This is generally a lot easier. In fact, if you’re having any trouble with this bit it’s time to tell your mum you’re moving out.
One of my strengths is identifying the negative side to any person, place, animal or thing. I am like a falcon; where others see a sea of golden wheat, I will see the rat. No field is too wide or densely planted.
Not only can I zero in on the negative like a raptor, I use what I find sustainably: maximising the mileage I get from each negative detail and regularly reusing information.
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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the reject miscreants of a dying civilisation stole a starship and headed to Earth. Their mission? To infiltrate the fashion industry and render it unsuitable for humans.
Every now and then, humans suspect that something has gone terribly wrong. In news today, people are suspicious because the 16-year-old winner of Miss World Fiji Torika Watters doesn’t look “native” enough. According to news.com.au:
“The ugly race row has even included attacks on Watters’ hair, with many claiming the model chosen to represent the island nation should have a “buiniga” - the local word used to describe the naturally-fuzzy Fijian hairstyle.”
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While the rest of the world is throwing off the shackles of authoritarian regimes and taking the first steps towards democracy, one country is slipping further into military rule.
Fiji is not on the other side of the world, it’s in Australia’s neighbourhood. Many of us have visited as tourists and it’s a place where our Government has real influence.
Behind the smiles of the tourist industry it’s a place where citizens have few human rights, where the media are oppressed and where trade unions are targeted. Its economy is stagnating and Fijians are leaving in droves.
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When it’s this cold many of us think of escaping to a warm island paradise, but when it comes to Fiji the postcard images of warm water lapping pristine beaches mask an uglier picture.
Many travellers have been able to ignore the fact that Fiji is under a military dictatorship, but when the government is using their absolute power to stifle free speech and attack the rights of the workers who are serving you, it’s time to ask some serious questions.
The problem is what do we do? Making calls on how we treat developing nations, especially our neighbours, is always tough. Tourism keeps the Fiji economy afloat and is vital to the living standards of all its people. Fiji is far from being North Korea with palm trees – there is still some civil society and freedom left.
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The island was tiny, accessible only by boat, populated by just seven guests and rained in for the entire weekend.
It was the sort of Agatha Christie setting in which someone almost certainly had to be murdered and by the end of the trip somebody almost was.
But let’s get to that later.
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If there was an award for ‘most popular military dictator’ Commodore Frank Bainimarama would win hands down.
Muammar al-Gaddafi came close by hugging the Lockerbie bomber this week, but his habit of farting like a horse – and murdering thousands of his own people – relegated him to second.
Fiji’s coup leader, and Prime Minister, is viewed by the international community as a paranoid, unpredictable maverick.
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