All tagged community

Being Something For Someone Else, And Letting Someone Else Be Something For You

I invite you to watch this lovely video (“Building Community and Purpose in Life”; link below). It’s about how Mr Stephen Jon Thompson came to find his place in the world, from being an unwanted child considered a trouble-maker by the authorities.

He said so many things that ring true to me, the foremost being:

“I learnt that everyone, wants someone to be cheerin’ in their corner” ~Stephen Jon Thompson

Ain’t that the truth!

As I’ve written in my last few posts, everyone wants to belong some place or to have a place at all. This is not just a physical space, but as Mr Thompson said, having someone cheering for you.

It means that to at least one person, you matter!

And that I suppose, in the light of the recent Melbourne Bourke Street Tragedy (I’ve watched some videos on it), was what made the late Mr Sisto Malaspina (Rest In Peace) so special to so many people. I feel compelled to pay tribute to this quality of the late restauranter.

He was not just the co-owner of Pellegrini. He was that SOMEONE cheering in people’s corner, whatever corner that might be. He was special for being so.

From what I’ve gleamed, people who visited his restaurant felt that he really took time to know them, and to do little things to make them feel like he was thinking of them. And because of that, Mr Malaspina built a beautiful community around him and his restaurant.

That is a legacy that could not be taken away.

As Mr Thompson asserted, “If I connected to people, I would always be bound to them.” And it was a deep kind of bond that could open up a more meaningful life for us.

Deep-Bone Listening, Forming Community


Have you heard of this term? In some Australian Aboriginal cultures, this is the name of a deep, spiritual, form of listening:

“Dadirri is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’.”
– Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ngangiwumirr Elder

In fact, for most of the elders in the community, this is a way of life. They listen on the move, deeply, with more than just their ears.

I call it Deep Bone Listening.

It’s not some esoteric practice. We’ve all more or less some kind of experience of Deep Bone Listening before.

For instance, have you ever listened to a piece of music and be so moved or captured by it, at a gut level?

Or when you’ve heard someone tell a story, and can put yourself into it, to the point that you could understand levels of meaning in that story?

Or when you’ve heard someone talk about what’s upsetting them, and instinctively know that what’s REALLY upsetting them is something else, hidden between the lines of what they’re saying?

Or for those who are partnered, when your partner says everything’s ok but you can SENSE that they’re not ok, because every line and curve in their tone and body is shouting this at you?

Or when you’re telling someone about something bothering you, and you KNOW that they get exactly what you mean, and where hurts?

Deep Bone Listening is allowing yourself to be moved by something else.

Aliveness And A Sense of Community

Dad stood beside me at the wet markets waiting for mom as she queued patiently at the vegetable stall. It was huge and occupied 3 times the size of any other stalls. Dad was telling me the history of the stall and that the 3 humorous men (tall fat, short stocky and short thin) were in fact brothers. Their father was the original owner of this large stall where the delectable vegetables glistened in their organicity. He was a portly bald man at the far end of the stall laughing with his customers as his hands danced along the vegetables expertly sweeping them into red plastic bags that belonged to each customer in his queue.

At my end, the tall fat brother (he was the oldest according to Dad) talked calmly and sternly to his customers and weighed vegetables in his ancient weighing scale and called out prices without much forethought. Just then, a baby a little over 1 year old started to make baby noises and bubbled happily but loudly. Mr stern brother immediately added to the chorus, his face contorting into a series of facial expressions that made the baby laugh. The young mother laughed to and approached the queue. Mr stern brother made more noises and instinctively the mothers in the queue took their turns to play with the delighted baby. At that very moment, I felt a warm aliveness (constrasting with the horrible sticky humid heat stuck to my skin) well up in my gut and I smiled unbidden. “Community” - the word that popped up in my mind spontaneously.