The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | CONTENTS - AS TOLD TO SALLY COATES

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


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.

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