AFTER YEARS OF FEELING INFERIOR AND LASHING OUT, THIS SOUTHPORT MAN DECIDED TO TRY SPREADING A LITTLE SUNSHINE
Iwas born down in Melbourne and I was very sick as a kid. I was born with anaphylaxis and asthma and eczema so bad my parents would have to tie my hands to my side or I’d scratch myself to the bone. I spent a lot of time in the Royal Children’s Hospital. My family moved to Queensland when I was about five to get away from the pollens because that was messing with everything. My dad worked really hard to send me and my brothers to a good school. I have so much respect for what he did to ensure we had a good life.
All through my childhood I felt incapable. I couldn’t eat a lot of foods, I couldn’t participate in sports. Through school I saw myself as being in the back half of the crowd. I felt unable.
My feelings of how much I liked myself, they generated throughout school. I couldn’t focus and only now a doctor has referred me to have ADD and Asperger’s tests, which I’m putting off. I’m kind of afraid of the answers.
Through school I was bullied here and there, but I guess it happens to everyone. I adopted a tough kid mentality.
I think everyone goes through a stage when they don’t know who they are. And that followed me to university.
I wasn’t able to focus so I dropped out of my business degree. I didn’t have direction, I didn’t know what to do.
I started working with my family and it ended up being very stressful as well, so I left.
But during the time I started putting my energy into what put a smile on my face.
One of the main turning points was a couple of years ago when doctors found a tumour behind my eye.
I got assaulted overseas and when I went to the hospital they sent me for an x-ray and the doctor was like, “So how long have you had this tumour behind your eye?”
Thankfully it was benign, but it was one of those things where I stopped to think what made me happy. When I started putting energy into things I liked, I stopped thinking I was more or less worthless.
I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but there’s a saying that darkness is just the lack of light. Any light whatsoever will break the darkness.
So what I did was if I noticed someone wasn’t having a good day I’d try to make it better. Something as simple as smiling at a random person.
Instead of going to a bar and getting a beer, buy two beers and give one away to the thirstiest looking person at the bar. Make a friend. Give someone a smile. I have a list of people in my head and these people are the shiners. Good people who deserve to smile. Well, most people are shiners and deserve buckets of love.
I started sending out personalised messages, just little things like, “I hope you’re having a beautiful day.” Every now and then I’ll hit send and someone will message back saying “Thank you. My grandfather died yesterday and I’ve just been sitting here crying and thinking and I then I get this
“WHEN YOU REALISE YOU’RE POSITIVELY AFFECTING OTHER PEOPLE IT’S AMAZING.”
message.” When you realise you’re positively affecting other people it’s amazing.
They seem like small things but they’re not. They’re the biggest things.
There are people who don’t understand, but in every moment you have a choice between fear and love – this is from Bill Hicks. When you pick fear you think, “This guy is being nice, he must want something,” or “He’s having a laugh.”
People who pick fear respond negatively when you try to be kind. But maybe that person has been made fun of in the past.
There’s always a reason. When you weigh up the possible good and bad when it comes to being nice, the good far outweighs the bad.
I’ve been thinking I want to start a march. Imagine just 15 people with signs saying things like “You matter,” “You’re loved.” Just walk down the street and saying to people, “You wanna come for a walk?”. It could be an absolute flop, but who knows?
If my end result is to make people happy someone will have a giggle seeing me with a silly sign and then I’ve done my job anyway.