August 18

Congratulations Boomer Men: Are You Excited to Explore and Grow in 2021

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"The best traveller is one without a camera" ― Kamand Kojouri

Beaudesert, Queensland

Boomer Attempts Time Travel

Ageing men are funny creatures. This particular Baby Boomer is extraordinarily funny - not in the good way!

In a month I am planning to travel to a place where my family's recent history took a dramatic twist. Beaudesert.

Beaudesert is a small town south of Brisbane and west of the Gold Coast, in Australia's golden state of Queensland. There is nothing particularly amazing about the town. There was an event that happened about 170 years ago, that makes it special to me.

As oral history and scant reports would describe, the Chief of Native Police came to the area to disperse the local Aborigines. Both Frederick Wheeler, the Chief and one local girl were to become my ancestors.

In the following years, Inspector Wheeler had a checkered career and was eventually 'allowed' to return to England. The story of my indigenous family is one of struggle and racism. The most recent chapter is the clearest. My Grandad was George Mather. He travelled to North Queensland so that his sister could have her illegitimate child far from the eyes of their judgmental Catholic peers. Not only did he succeed in his task but he arrived back with his teenage aboriginal bride Elizabeth.

My grandma was very tan yet we were never told the truth of her arduous past not the full story of her heritage. That was until I was already an adult. It is a story that I love despite its pain and tragedy.

History is Not Photography

So, the hinterland if the Gold Coast is where I'm headed.

If you are reading this from far away then it is with barely hidden pride that I describe these lands. Gold Coast has roughly 40 kilometres of brilliant white beaches. It enjoys sub-tropical sunshine 300 days per year.

There are mountains that run the length of the Coast. Beginning at the largest volcano caldera in the world they head northwards to Brisbane. With lush vegetation, it was considered the prime real estate by the First Nations people. The area west of Gold Coast is the shire of The Scenic Rim.

Inspector Wheeler job was to 'disperse' the aborigines. This was because the new settlers placed such value on the rich land. That land was to become prime farming and cattle raising country.

Photography of two kangaroos fighting and both looking at the camera
n.b. Kangaroos do not usually stop fighting for a photo opportunity

This is the land that will explore this next month. It has only taken me 57 years to get around to it.

Dis-Gracefully Human

I also saw a program on our National public broadcaster ABC last night on the 'Stolen Generation'. This is the story of how the all-white Australian government managed the original inhabitants of our land. (Aborigines only became 'legally' human after the 1967 referendum)

The 'Stolen Generation' are more than one generation though. They are so-called because of the policy to steal children from families and foster them to white people. This was to breed out their aboriginality in under five generations.

Stealing children went on well into the 1970's - some say it is still happening.

One of Australia's leading players in Aussie Rules Football was embarrassed recently by being caught slurring a man of color. The aboriginal player accepted his public apology with grace, and we did too.

It is simply an example of how far society needs to go before all men and women are regarded equally. I am not a social activist, but I sometimes feel like a black man having a white body experience. There is a lot wrong with being mixed-race, but for the most part, I have had white male privilege.

It's just that I wasn't aware of it mostly.

Privileged White Male

My Grandma didn't have that luxury. She pretended that her heritage didn't exist.

How we appear, our behavior and the stuff we own sometimes defines us. Whether we take ourselves seriously or others judge us this way, is a measure of how much spirituality we have.

Being true to the person I want to be is difficult. I want my partner to be happy. I cherish how my family feel about me and want them to be proud.

Then, there is my reputation - how I am regarded in Society. The peers whom I work with and others whom I socialize with might not like me if I am not appearing a certain way. Even if I have been known as someone who is a 'bit eccentric', that is the persona that I am known for and the image could be hard to maintain (or shake).

What Do Baby Boomers Know About Relationships?
Ageing man and woman dangling legs over platform over waterfall

Changing Clothes

My social commentary is just to highlight that being 'Me' isn't easy.

We are all so different on so many levels yet we are nearly reduced to the human example of the 'Big Mac'. One size fits all doesn't suit ANYONE.

No amount of fries with that will make being 'Me' any more palatable. But with a spiritual attitude I can remain unitary. I can be whole with my God. Or as the Buddha and the pizza joke goes, "One with everything!"

And as Dr Berni Sewell says,"Giving your personal power away to others, making your happiness dependent on their opinions and not taking true responsibility for your life, is your #1 happiness killer".

Your #1 happiness killer is: POWERLESSNESS - The Self-Worth Experiment

 

Where your ancestors came from, what you do for a living and who you pray to doesn't determine your worth. 

We do need to do more work on this part of our lives. Distraction and entertainment take up so much of our non-working time. 

The times that we can get away from routine and replenish our mind is time well spent. To be a better lover, friend, workmate and world citizen, we need to be true to ourselves. How you do that is a personal thing.

Happy Home Begins Here, Boomer


"Giving your personal power away to others, making your happiness dependent on their opinions and not taking true responsibility for your life, is your #1 happiness killer".
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Contemplation and Meditation

I am going out to Beaudesert for a look around where the mob used to hunt. I'll probably do a bit of meditation and contemplation too.

I'll leave you with some words from a better writer and thinker than me.

"We need the tonic of wildness, to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground".

Henry David Thoreau




The Stylish Baby Boomer Generation

There are so many experts available to all of us via the internet and in our communities.

If you were born between 1946 -1964 you have seen a lot already.

Today, you can make the intention to live the rest of your life to the fullest for the benefit of all. By paying attention to the small things that are within your control - eating, thinking and exercising - you can show the rest of them that living long is not a chore, but a choice.

Join other Baby Boomers receiving the 'Stylish Generation' newsletter. It's not just about me either. Each week you will get a collection of hints and gifts from around the world to make life in the second half magnificent.


Tags

baby boomer, Boomer, cultural, liminal, manliness, spiritulity, travel


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