Monday, September 24, 2012

Spare me the inspirational thinking

"Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it."

Inspirational quotes have their place I guess, but when this one popped up in my Twitter timeline today I couldn't help thinking of the 10-year-old girls in India who spend their days (11-hour days) sewing footballs together for the Australian market rather than attending school. They are forced to give up their education, their only chance of a better future, for less than $1 a day that is then used to help feed their families.

I am not too sure how exactly to react to that? But what I am sure of is that the circumstances these girls find themselves in has nothing to do with their reactions to the world around them and far more to do with the weight and logic of globalisation, extreme poverty, structural inequality, corporate bottom lines, market forces, gender inequality, and willful ignorance and corruption on the part of governments, corporations and consumers.

Believing that life is 90% how you react to it is positive thinking gone mad. It also strikes me that it is a useful lie; useful that is for those who sit at the top of the pile and beyond cruel to those at the bottom, whose lives are weighed down by brutal realities that are completely out of their control.



  1. Your voice is so important. Please don't ever stop writing.

    1. That is just the loveliest and most encouraging thing to say. Thank you so much.