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Dating for anyone – regardless of any age group or gender can be a confronting, daunting and overwhelming experience – yet it can also be a wonderful time in seeking love and companionship. It is really showing a very human and vulnerable side of oneself. Trust is paramount in any relationship, but it is of most importance in dating. It builds the foundation of the relationship – and henceforth you can speak and with time, reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings and to share experiences. When trust is broken, it is irreversible. However, to be fair, not all online dating experiences will end up in ghosting.

Yet, ghosting and dating is more a complex phenomenon that has always been here. Online dating has just so happened to have highlighted the problem in recent years. 

Ghosting is defined as stopping all forms of communication with a person – without any explanation whatsoever. Since we live in such a digital age and dependency of the online world, especially when it comes to online dating and communication, blocking is highly volatile to occur in ghosting. 

Why do people ghost?

Ghosting occurs in all forms of relationships – whether it is work relationships, friendships, or  family relationships, It is most prevalent in online dating.

Nothing is more hurtful when you’re on a date with someone who has ghosted you. For a person who has been ghosted, you do begin to question yourself of what went wrong. Did you ask the wrong questions? Were they too personal? Did this person not like you? Did I do something wrong? No! You did nothing wrong. IT  IS NOT YOU. IT IS THEM. They’re the one with the problem. 

The most obvious reason why someone has blocked or ghosted you is mostly due to emotional immaturity. These individuals aren’t willing to be honest with their dates.- They aren’t willing to speak the truth, with honesty and compassion. Yes, honesty and truth can hurt when someone doesn’t like you. However,  it is better to hear something along the lines of: “I’m so sorry, but I don’t think this isn’t going to work out.”, or “I”m sorry, but I don’t feel the chemistry or the spark” other than being ghosted – with no response and no contact. 

Ghosting is taking an easy way out of a situation. It can feel and the response is very cowardly. It doesn’t provide the closure that the other party needs. For the other party – the person who was the ghostee,(the person who has been ghosted.) would like to understand if the other person feels that “chemistry” or “spark”. If not, that’s okay, most individuals would like to know as it then aids more focus towards dating for the right person. 

Ghosting is even more complicated when two parties are involved in a sexual relationship. One person may be led to believe that this relationship is exclusive. Therefore, when ghosting happens, it is more painful and hurtful, especially to the party that is left with a broken heart. This is more than a misunderstanding or two, or a lack of communication. No matter how long the sexual relationship may have been (from a few days or months) ghosting can still occur and can be just as painful, hurtful and upsetting. It is difficult to rebuild trust issues with the right person after this happens. 

Another reason why a person may ghost another is because they have something to hide. Granted, they themselves may be struggling with their own mental health, self-esteem issues, their ego, past experiences with dating, or yes – the ghoster already has a partner or is married. Therefore, you are left wondering why someone would want to be still on the dating field in the first place if they are partnered or married. For some people – it is for curiosity,  and sex. No strings attached, in the ghosters mind. Therefore, if – and – a big if, their delusional expectations, is that they can get away with it. 

Ghosting and in extreme cases – blocking someone on social media is a way of dealing with avoidance together with a complex situation of not taking responsibility for others feelings or acknowledgement. This also applies for the ghoster as acknowledging their own feelings and responsibility for the involvement of the situation. Partly, it could be the thrill of dating or “seeing” more than one person, and can they get away with it without being caught. 

In all honesty, there could be many reasons why people ghost another person. But in highsight, it shows their true colours. They are truly not ready for an emotionally committed relationship with another person, which for many of us, craves. 

How to cope with ghosting in an online world 

Have realistic expectations

We all get excited about the prospect of a successful date – with the hope of many more in the future. (Of course if you like the person!) But for the reality of the online world, have realistic expectations. Not everything you see online is actually what you would get in real life. Think about all the different apps and online websites – is everyone truly honest on their profile?

Meet at a Public place

If you are meeting a new beau, or lady, please meet in a public place (if possible). I know it’s difficult during lockdowns and restrictions. 

Make a Plan 

If you are going to meet a new date  – please make a plan! If things go pear-shaped, call your bestie, your sibling, your mum or dad – anyone whom you can trust – to help you to get out of there. Send a text or phone call for them to pick you up. You can have a cry, or a whinge, when you get home. Get plenty of your favourite food too. 

Set Boundaries

Once a person has ghosted you, please don’t allow this person back into your life, if they have blocked/ghosted you. Sometimes, some people change their minds and unblocked you, or unghost you – but please stay firm and strong. The right person is out there for you. You just need to find Mr or Mrs Right. 

Understand that Dating takes time 

Dating is a wonderful experience, but unfortunately, some people, (not everyone) aren’t willing to grow up. Learn from the ghosters mistakes and treat people the way you wish to be treated – with respect and  honesty. Dating takes time. 

Follow your Intuition

If something doesn’t quite add up on your first date, follow your gut feeling. 

Be kind to yourself. 

Allow your heart to heal. We all deserve love, and all of us deserve loving, honest and respectful relationships. You will find the right person for you. 

The Cancer new moon on Friday, July 9, 2021, makes a positive link to Uranus. So the spiritual meaning of the new moon July 2021 astrology relates to positive change, freedom, excitement, and higher self-awareness. This is associated with partnership and compromise.

There is also a focus on family, particularly children. It’s a new cycle for your child or children. As well as putting your family and their needs first.

In regards to relationships either romantic or platonic, the time is to consider your critical thinking mind to be active. Rather than bring emotions into any relationship at this stage – think logically.

With time you will see with your wise mind (the logical and the emotional minds) will help you decide what actions or steps to take with your relationships and how, if any to conquer obstacles.

With your wide mind – you will also be asked to reevaluate your goals for the rest of the year of 2021. This is an excellent opportunity to review what you would like to do and out some ideas into action.

For self-care for this New Moon in Cancer, meditation can help you remain grounded and focused on your heart’s desires, as well as cleansing your chakras.

This may be helpful as the major effect is the July 2021 New Moon delays, restrictions, unexpected setbacks, and disappointment associated with love and money because of a heavily aspected Venus. But the positive influence of Uranus gives the awareness, intuition, and inventiveness to overcome such potential problems.

The influence of the July 9 new moon lasts for four weeks up to the August 8 New Moon. The best time for starting new projects is during the waxing phase of the moon, from July 9 up to the July 23 Full Moon.

Man receives a scam call.

If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Since much of our world is online, from education to business to recreation – much of the modern world depends on cyberspace.

Yet how often do we review our knowledge and awareness of scams? Scams are costing Australians billions of dollars a year. As of 2020, Australians of lost 175 billion in financial scams. This doesn’t include the pain and loss the emotional and mental fatigue that scams have played on the most vulnerable on victims or potential victims.

Scams also happen all over the world in order to extract personal details from a potential victim, and they are also getting cleverer.

We can’t completely counteract scams, as that’s impossible. Realistically, we can prevent them in being more aware and how scams work.

The anatomy of a scam:

Most scams follow this format of approach, communication and payment in the hope of scamming a potential victim. Understanding these basic parts of this scam can help you be more aware of the many scams occurring and being on the lookout for new ones in the future.

1: The approach: delivery method

When a scammer approaches you, it always comes with a story designed to make you believe in a lie. The scammer will pretend to be something or someone that they are not. They will try to gain your trust, or sympathy or love. Scammers may pose as government officials, an expert investor, a lottery ticket official or even a romantic admirer.

In order to contact you with this deception and lies, the scammer tries a one or more of delivery methods.

Online

Email a favoured delivery method for scammers. It is cheap and a simple way to communicate with many on a large scale. Phishing or ‘fishing” emails that ‘fish’ for your personal information are the most common scam type.

Social Networking Platforms, Dating Websites, Dating Apps, Dating Forums: allow a scammer to ‘befriend’ you and wish to enter your life, gain your trust in the hope that you will disclose your own personal information.

Online Shopping, classifieds and auction websites or apps:  are used by scammers to target both buyers and sellers, with initial contact often through reputable and trusted websites or fake websites that look that the real thing. Look for secured payments options and beware of unusual payment options such as wire-transfer, Bitcoin or pre-loaded money cards. Credit cards usually offer some protection.

Over the Phone

Phone Calls: are made by scammers to both homes and businesses in a variety of scams, from threatening tax scams to offer of prizes, to “help” of computer viruses, to fake charities. The availability of cheap Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), telephone calls means that call centres can operate offshore with telephone numbers that look like they’re local numbers. Telephone caller identification can easily be disguised and is one of the many tricks’ scammers use to make you believe that they’re someone else.

SMS text messages: are used by scammers to send a while ranges of scams including competition or prize scams. If you respond, you may be charge at premium rates or find yourself signed up to a subscription service. It is safer not to respond, or click on links in text messages unless you know who they came from. They can also contain attachments or links to malicious software in a guise of photos, songs, games, or apps.

At your door:

Door to door scams: usually involve the scammer promoting goods or services that are not deliver or are of a very poor quality. You may even get billed for work that you did not want or agreed to. A common door-to-door scam is carried out by dodgy traders who move form place to place and do shoddy home repairs or just take your money and run.

Legitimate business can sell door-t-too, but must clearly identify themselves and their company and follow other rules. You have specific rights when it comes to door-to-door sale practices (including the chance to change your mind – find out more at www.accc.gov.au/doortodoor.)

Scammers can pose as a fake charity workers to collect donations. They will take advantages to recent events like floods and bushfires. Before donating ask for identification and see their official receipt book.

 If you wish to research to make sure of the legitimacy of a charity, please go to the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Website. You can look up a charity to see their charity register number. 

Bulk mailing is still used to send lottery and sweepstake scams. Investment opportunities, Nigerian scams and fake inheritance letters. A glossy brochure is no guarantee that an offer is legitimate.

Regardless of the delivery method they use, their story is always the bait, and if you bite, the scammer will attempt to move you to the next stage.

2. Communication and Grooming

Scammers use a variety of tools to trick their victims and potential victims. When you are aware of these tricks you are less likely to fall for their scam, however, scammers are continually on the hunt for deceivably ways to lure victims.

  • Scammers will spin an elaborate story to make you fall for their charm, but this is only their way to get them – the scammer – what they want.
  • They use your personal details as a way to make you believe that you have meet them before (even online) and make the scam look legitimate.
  • Scammers may contact you regularly in order to built your trust, confidence in order to convince you that they are your friend, business associate or a romantic interest
  • Scammers play with your emotions by using the excitement of a win, a promise of an everlasting love, sympathy about an unfortunate accident, guilt for not helping or anxiety and fear about a fine.
  • Scammers love to create a sense of urgency so you don’t have time to think things through and react on emotions rather than logic.
  • Likewise, they high pressure sales tactics saying it is a limited offer, princes will rise or the market will move and the opportunity will be lost.
  • A scam can have all the hallmark of a real business using glossy brochures will technical industry jargon back up with office fronts, call centres and professional websites.
  • With access to the internet and clever software it is easy for scammers to create counterfeit and official-looking documents. A document that appears to have government approval or is filled with legal jargon can give a scam an air of authority.

These tricks are the scammers way to lower your defences, build trust in THEIR fabricated story and act quickly or irrationally and proceed in the final stage of the scam – sending money.

3. Sending the money

Scammers sometimes will casually ask for money after they have asked their fictitious story to you, the potential victim. This can be minutes after a scam, or months after careful grooming. Scammers have their preferences in how you, the victim (or potential victim) is to send the money.

Scammers have been known to direct victims to the nearest money remittance location (post office, wire transfer service or even the bank) to send money. They have been known to stay on the phone, give specific instructions and may have been send a taxi to help with this. 

Scammers are willing to accept money by any means necessary. This can include: direct bank transfer, preloaded debit cards, gift cards, Google Play, Steam, or iTunes Cares or virtual currency as Bitcoin. Any request for payment by an unusual method is a tell-tale sign that it is part of a scam.

Credit cards usually offer some protection and you should also look for secure payment options where ‘https’ appears in the web address and the sit has a close padlock symbol.  An example of this is PayPal. PayPal is a third-party encryption site designed for safe online interaction between buyers and sellers. Catered for both individuals and businesses, no one doesn’t see your credit or debit card information. It is a safe alternative to sharing financial information online.

Don’t send any money to someone you have only meet online or over the phone – especially if they are overseas.

Be aware that scammers can also ask for payment in the form of valuable or expensive gifts such as jewellery or electronic goods. Paying money to scammers isn’t the only thing you should worry about – if you help trans money for a stranger you may unwittingly be involved in illegal money laundering activities.

You can always say NO

What types of scams are out there?

To protect ourselves against potential scams online is to be aware of the most common ones.

  • Dating and Romancing Scams
  • Phishing Scams
  • Investment Scams
  • Threat and Penalty Scams
  • Unexpected money scams
  • Price and lottery scams
  • Online shopping, Classified and Auction Scams
  • Scams targeting computer and mobile devices
  • Identify theft
  • Job and Employment Scams
  • Charity and Medical Scams
  • Business Scams
  • Remote Access Scams
  • Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Scams

How to protect yourself from scams

While it’s difficult to write about protection for each and every scam here. It is encouraged for you to visit Scamwatch’s website: www.scamwatch.gov.au for more detailed information.  You can subscribe to their newsletter about the latest updates on current scams.  

However here are a few general points in how you can protect yourself and your loved ones against scams:

Be alert to the fact that scams exist. When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it’s over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Know who you’re dealing with. If you’ve only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research. Do a Google image search on photos or search the internet for others who may have had dealings with them. If a message or email comes from a friend and it seems unusual or out of character for them, contact your friend directly to check that it was really them that sent it.

Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them: If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Don’t use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.

Don’t respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access – hang up – even if they mention a well-known company such as Telstra. Scammers will often ask you to turn on your computer to fix a problem or install a free upgrade, which is actually a virus which will give them your passwords and personal details.

Keep your personal details secure. Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.

Keep your mobile devices and computers secure. Always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your WIFI network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.

Choose your passwords carefully. Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.

Review your privacy and security settings on social media. If you use social networking sites, such as Facebook, be careful who you connect with and learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe.  If you recognise suspicious behaviour, clicked on spam or have been scammed online, take steps to secure your account and be sure to report it.

Beware of any requests for your details or money. Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust. Don’t agree to transfer money or goods for someone else: money laundering is a criminal offence.

Be wary of unusual payment requests. Scammers will often ask you to use an unusual payment method, including preloaded debit cards, gift cards, iTunes cards or virtual currency such as Bitcoin.

Be careful when shopping online. Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust. Think twice before using virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) – they do not have the same protections as other transaction methods, which means you can’t get your money back once you send it. Learn more about online shopping scams.

Other tips

  • You can silence and/or block unknown callers on your smartphone as this can help reduce scams/scammers contacting you.
  • Review your bank statements to make sure no inconsistencies are occurring within your finances. Always contact your bank or financial institution DIRECTLY if unsure.
  • If you wish to – you can consider investing in a call blocking/reverse lookup app for your smartphone.
  • For your electronic devices such as smartphones and computers, if you wish to, consider investing getting some anti-virus software to prevent and maintain your devices. This prevents against malware attacks, ransomware and other malicious attacks on your electronics.
  • Don’t click on hyperlinks in text/social media messages or emails, even if they appear to come from a trusted source.
  • Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details — just press delete or hang up.
  • Never provide a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from a telco company such as Telstra or the NBN Co.
  • To verify the legitimacy of a contact, find them through an independent source such as a phone book, past bill or online search.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scam:



Scammers are using this pandemic as a way to get money and personal information out of victims. This is occurring both in Australia and overseas. The key is to be vigilant.

Scammers may try to obtain your personal information by claiming it is a requirement as part of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Don’t give personal information to anyone who calls you about the vaccine for personal or financial information are scams.

If you do receive any unexpected emails, text messages about the vaccines, don’t click on the links. They make contain malware and give your personal information to a scammer.

Other vaccines scams that Scamwatch is aware of include offers to pay money as an investment opportunity in the Pfizer vaccine and fake surveys related to the vaccines

These surveys offer a prize or even early access to the vaccine for their completion. In reality, the surveys are after your personal or financial information.

COVID-19 vaccination proof in myGov, Medicare and My Health Record

You may need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

You will be able to access proof of vaccination through Medicare Online via myGov, the Medicare Express Plus app or your My Health Record.

Key information on demonstrating that proof is provided is available on the Services Australia website.

If you are using your myGov and Medicare accounts, ensure your personal information is safe.

No one legitimate will request your myGov sign-in details, or request you to sign into your account while they are watching your screen.

How vaccines will be distributed

It’s important to be aware of how vaccines will be delivered to Australians.

Initially vaccines will be delivered through vaccination clinics run by states and territories. If you are in residential aged care or disability care, residents will receive vaccines through teams attending care facilities.

If someone offers to mail you a vaccine, it is a scam.

More information on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Department of Health website.

Get your information from reliable resources

Ignore unreliable information and only get your vaccine info from a trusted source like the Department of Health website or qualified medical professionals.

You can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines on the Department of Health website.

If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, call the telephone number 1800 020 080. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Members of the public and health professionals can also use the COVID-19 vaccine enquiries form to submit an enquiry relating to COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccination scams outside Australia

There are a range of vaccine scams being reported around the globe. Some of these include:

  • Selling fake vaccine appointments
  • Administering fake vaccines door to door for payment
  • Asking for participation in fake vaccine surveys
  • Asking for payment to ship vaccines to consumers
  • Charging for a pre-test prior to getting a vaccine
  • Putting your name on a waiting list to get a vaccine.

I am strong…. I am not going to be played…


References:

Scamwatch

Department of Health (Australia)

MyGov

Services Australia

Medicare (Australia)

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/buying-or-selling/online-shopping-scams

https://www.paypal.com/au

https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity (Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission)

None of us like or enjoy stress. We all experience stress on a daily level, and it is a normal human physiological reaction that occurs to everyone. It is the ‘fight or ‘flight’ response, that you, and I, as humans have developed, since evolution. Some stress is necessary, as it helps keeps us motivate, focused, and positive.

Yet, on the other hand, when stress causes changes or challenges (stressors), our bodies react on physical and mental responses. This is known as stress.

The problem arises when you experience a significant stressful event, or severe or prolonged stress. You may experience many stress-related health conditions ranging from muscle and joint tension, immunity disorders, to chest pain to anxiety.


Here are 3 simple ways to relax and reduce your stress levels:

1. Breathing techniques:

The simplest breathing technique is belly breathing. This technique can reduce your stress levels in just a few breaths away.

  • Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  • Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  • Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
  • Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  • Just notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

2. Meditation

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. It has been used by many religions as a way to connect to deities and to the Universe.

For a simple meditation, is to find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, and have no electronic devices nearby.

Set a time for meditation of 5 or 10 minutes. Breathe naturally. Notice what is happening in your body. Just be comfortable and relaxed.

Inevitably, your mind will wonder with thoughts such as “What’s for dinner?”, “I have that big project due for work”. And that’s okay. Just focus back on your breath.

To close your meditation, reminder yourself to be kind. Be kind to yourself, and to others.

3. Mindful Movements

Sometimes in order to release stress is to get moving! The simple concept of mindfulness is to be in the present moment — in other words to be in the here are now. Yes, this does involve exercise to get your blood pumping — this could be yoga, tai-chi, walking or another form of physical exercise that relieves your stress.

Not only does this release and relieve your stress levels, but it will also help you to focus on something else for the present moment. It will also calm your mind and depending on the exercise can reduce blood pressure (I.e., yoga) and builds awareness of your physical body. (i.e., Ta- chi and yoga) such as posture, strength and flexibility.

There are many ways to learn how to cope with stress. Here are just a few. Stress is a necessary state that we all will experience from time to time. It is how all of us can help with this in healthy ways that is important.

Nevertheless, stress shouldn’t make you feel a sense of panic, frustration or cause anxiety. If this happens — this is when you should see the advice and assistance a health care professional.

All in all, stress is a healthy factor in life.


References:

Beyond Blue. (2009). Stress. In J. Ashfield, Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family (pp. 167–180). Adelaide: Peacock Publications. Retrieved June 1, 2021

Mindful Communications. (2021, June 1). How to Meditate. Retrieved from Mindful.Org: https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/

University of Michigan — Michigan Medicine. (2021, August 31). Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation. (H. Staff, Editor) Retrieved May 31, 2021, from Health LIbrary: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255

Yoga Journal. (2007, August 27). Yoga Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2021, from 38 Ways Yoga Keeps You Healthy: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/health/womens-health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

Image by istock

Whether through the draining chores of retail or the laughs of social media. We all have encountered a “Karen” at least once in our lifetime. Perhaps more.

If you don’t know what a ‘Karen” is, you’re lucky. So “Karen” has been stereotypical a white, middle-aged woman who infamously uses the phrase: “I want to speak to your manager!” This is a “Karen”.

No disrespect to anyone whose birth name is actually Karen, but for the purposes of this article, I have put them in quotation marks to dissimilarity the two.

Working in retail is always going to be a challenge. You definitely meet a whole range of customers and clients from all walks of life, every single day. Each day, there is an entire new list of demands to be met both with customers and with management. As an employee, I’m sure you want to do your job to the best of your ability, since not only are you gaining valuable experience in an ever changing and high-demanding sector, but you want to earn a living to support yourself and your loved ones.

As the old saying goes in any job, you can’t please every single customer. And this, means “Karen”.

The whole “Karen” effect, comes under a range of very toxic and narcissistic behavior which our society seems to tolerate. What is odd, is that both men and women (yes, men can be “Karens” too, but “Kevins”) truly believe that they can control their own narrative.

Let’s look at an example of how a “Karen/Kevin” want to control a situation. In a retail setting; the “Karen” wants to have their self-opinions heard to the retail workers. Most recently you can on online via YouTube and see how many people refuse to wear a facemask because Covid-19. Many refuses on the basis of their “human rights”. However, giving with restrictions because of a once in a century pandemic happening, policies have become the norm in the hospitality and retail industries.

Because of the “Karen’s” entitlement, lack of empathy, seeking validation and attention seeking behavior of this very situation all over a mask – let’s call it for what it is, simply a tantrum. She believes in her own opinion that she is right. She is in the right, and that because of this, she needs to tell the world that they are wrong! If not, management needs to get involved and if failing that, law enforcement.

In this scenario, “Karen” lacks empathy, because she doesn’t recognize that there’s others in the store. Both employees of that store and fellow customers. While she is welcome to her own opinion, there’s the not knowing about who is asymptomatic to COVID-19, or the flu, for example. An elderly person could be at a grocery store with a low-immune system, so they could be at risk for COVID-19.

“Karen” may also be seeking attention either in person or via social media in order to boost her ego, her self-esteem to ensure that she has good self-worth. She has confidence within herself. But for many “Karens” I can guarantee you that nothing is further from the truth. “Karens” are very insecure within themselves. They have low self-esteem, lack confidence and have need to shame or guilt others into getting what they want.

In the era of social media, we do live in world where most individuals have their own phones. “Karens” no doubt will have a phone for their “protection”. Yet, yes, “Karen” can use it for their protection, but I see it as “Karen’s” shield. She is afraid. She is scared and is terrified of being caught.

“Karens” are also known for being manipulative, rageful, passive-aggressive, and vindictive. Why? This happens when people call out “Karens” out for their outrageous and ludicrous behavior. “Karens” can’t understand or fathom of what they have done is wrong, whether it is morally wrong, or socially wrong. Their mind can’t comprehend that their choices, decision or actions have consequences.

But, “Karens” behavior has its own distorted narrative. I could go on and on. But let’s keep it simple.

Is a customer always, right?

In this writers’ opinion. It’s yes, and no. Even if you are in the same job for 30 years (which is a rarity these days) you are still learning. It’s the same for people all over the world – who are in the same job for 3 or 4 years, or then decide or upskill or change. Because life changes. Life happens.

Society has to allow people to learn, to grow and yes – to make mistakes. If, and only if, we seem to fire individuals over minimal mistakes because we don’t get what we want. The world would be a very sad, and lonely place indeed. (e.g., the coffee is too hot or too cold), etc.)

“Not today, Karen”

“Karens” do have a place in our world. They show us how our society is heading. Do we want to have that behavior? To be that entitled? To project all our problems onto other innocent people?

The healthiest thing we can do as adults is to take accountability and responsibility for our own words, thoughts and actions. This is something that “Karens” cannot do. They really don’t want to grow up.

So, treat people with kindness, compassion and empathy. Treat those whom you would like to be treated.

P.S. Once again, No disrespect to anyone whose birth name is actually Karen, but for the purposes of this article, I have put them in quotation marks to dissimilarity the two.

It’s that wonderful time of year. I’m not talking about Easter, I’m not talking about Christmas, but you could nearly call Australian rules a religion in this Great Southern Land.

The theme songs which you can hear as war cries from the faithful – the beloved fans of each of the eighteen teams of the league. Each song is unique to the team. The theme instrumental in the heart and soul in each of the players, management, and the league as a whole to united.

Without any doubt, passion erupts at every match, from both respectful teams.

So, what are the theme songs and how are they can still be a powerful influence at every single football match?

The AFL club theme songs have taken songs from operas, music hall or traditional songs. Many of the lyrics have also been changed to reflect a club’s values, morals and to express desire of winning! Conversely, for the modern era of club songs – especially clubs that have either been merged or added over the years have been written by some of Australia’s famous songwriters.

The songs are catchy

Yes, they are catchy. The lyrics are easy to remember for the faithful of your respectful team, but because you are passionate about seeing your boys (and girls!) in blue, or red or white, or whatever.

Like many zealous fans who live and breathe about the game – knowing the lyrics is just one phrase of becoming immersed with your footy team. Nothing is worse than just mumbling along to a song you don’t know – but for die hearted fans of the football gladiators of AFL, this isn’t a problem.

You can even sing about in the shower, if you so choose too. But nothing quite beats hearing your AFL club song over the speaker at the MCG, or SCG. There’s something almost surreal in that moment. Particularly if we are talking about the Grand Final.

It united the faithful

If I didn’t already say it – club songs united faith fans from all walks of life. It reunites a passion, a spark and shear happiness within people that almost feels like war cries and defines generations past and present.

You know the old rule of thumb – you can’t talk about religion, politics or sex, but yet, in Australia, if you barrack for the ‘wrong’ football team – can it seriously get one into serious trouble? Yes and no. Still, it must have been awkward drive to and from to the MCG for Kath Day and Kel Knight with their irrespective football teams and not a word before the match! (As Kath Day says “Go the Yellow and Black!”)

Australian culture is within sport

I can’t talk just within AFL (Australian Football Rules) terms. There’s plenty of good sport in Australia. Yet, within our Australian culture, lies a necessary truth. We love our sport. Even if we don’t play it, we embrace it.

There’s numerous sports, tournaments and competitions within this country and Internationally that Australia is recognized for. There’s the Australian Open, Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup, NRL (National Rugby League), and Twenty-Twenty (to name a few). Each are unique in their own way to enhance the essence of Australian Sport.

AFL has a history of its own, yet it is apart of Australian history going back approximately 150 years. Diversity of the AFL is changing, allowing women to play in AFL (Australian Women’s Football League) but we have a long way to go to ensure more people feel accepted for who they are in Aussie Rules.

 It is a game for everyone – and essentially, everyone is welcome to play it.

Photo by Juan Salamanca on Pexels.com

Cooking can sometimes feel like a chore at the end of a busy day. It’s often tempting to throw a ready meal in the oven or call for take out. But preparing a simple and healthy family meal doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. Here are some quick wholesome dishes that you and your family will love. They can even be prepared in advance.

I know, what could be better that a steaming plate of fries, gravy and cheese curd? Fries, gravy, cheese curd and bacon, that’s what! Throw in some fresh shallots, chilli, and a splash of roasted bone marrow and duck gravy, and we turn this popular French-Canadian dish into a something sublime.

During the week we’re often walking out the door with a coffee in one hand and slice of toast in the other, but on weekends breakfast is never rushed. It’s a late affair, sometimes spilling over to lunch, with lots of reading and chatter in between courses of fruits, poached eggs, honey and toast. One of our favorite things we like to serve when friends are visiting are buckwheat blueberry pancakes.

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