Tag Archives: inclusion

A gentle reminder


…or unless SOCIETY tells them not to.




The most powerful story I have ever heard/seen/experienced is inequality. I see it, hear it, and feel it everyday. It’s everywhere – in the bus, supermarkets, schools, the news.

The world that we live in is not fair and most of us have to fight for what should be ours. It is important that we all fight for equal opportunities. Our wealth, sex, age, physical and mental abilities, racial background, or faith, should not inhibit us from having the same opportunities and rights as others. On the same token, we should not treat those who are different from us, in a different way to those who are similar to us.

The story of inequality stikes me everyday. I believe that reducing it is part of my job on this earth.


(In response to today’s Daily Prompt: Second-hand Stories)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Imagine (Cover Art)


I stumbled upon this grafitti on my visit to London a few weekends ago. It depicts two people- one white, pressumably British, male and one woman who is wearing a burkha- holding hands. In light of what has happened and what is happening in the world, I think this is one of the most powerful pieces of art that I have ever seen.

John Lennon’s song Imagine came to my mind when I saw this.


Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


In response to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Art Work

What does Hard Work smell like?

Today’s Prompt: From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours? 


In a relatively recent blog post, I have revealed that my favourite writing place is the Costa coffee shop close to the place I work. I have written most of my blog posts and about half of my Master’s thesis there (using an iPhone 4). I have also read countless books and academic articles there while having a cup of coffee during lunchtimes.

An unintended consequence  of this habit has been the development of a stimulus-response bond in my head between the smell of coffee and hard but enjoyable work. I have always adored the smell of great coffee since I started drinking the stimulant. Coffee has always been my companion (aside from my cat) during over-nighters, revision sessions, meetings and Monday mornings. I call it ‘the elixir of my life’!

The NBA Sent a Powerful Message By Drafting Isaiah Austin

Adam Silver and the NBA made an incredible gesture by drafting the former Baylor Bears standout center, Isaiah Austin. Austin has been rated quite highly by NBA scouts and was expected to be picked last night. However, a few weeks ago, he was given a career-ending diagnosis of Marfan Syndrome (what is Marfan Syndrome?).

The NBA draft could have carried on without Silver’s tribute to Austin, but he did it anyway. Silver and the NBA has at least fulfilled Isaiah’s dream of being drafted, even though he will not be able to play a single competitive basketball game again. It speaks volumes on how the NBA wants to be on the forefront of promoting positive attitudes towards everyone in society. We can all remember Adam Silver’s press conference during the heat of the Donald Sterling controversy, right? That and last night’s gesture is an amazing display of compassion, inclusion and a move away from the old, horrible attitudes.

I love it.

Thank you, Mr. Silver!

Judging a Book by its Cover – Daily Prompt

Today’s Daily Prompt asked: ‘Does it ever make sense to judge a book by its cover – literally or metaphorically? Tell us about a time you did, and whether it was a good decision or not.

Our brains are lazy. Most brains rely heavily on the easiest way to solve any problems at hand. One of the ways they do so is by creating schemas (patterns of thoughts and behaviours that organizes categories of information and the relationships between them). In other words, our brains make associations between thoughts, feelings, people and situations, and then stores those associations so that it will be easier for the brain to recall next time. For instance, we may think that blonde girls are dumb if we have previously met a lot of blonde-haired women with seemingly low-level intelligence (exposure to media, joke books and other people’s opinions also help strengthen this association).

Schemas may help save us some time and may save us from danger, but if we do not challenge them, they can develop into stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. Not all women with blonde hairs are dumb. Not all people of African descent are athletic. Not all kids with Special Educational Needs have low-intelligence. My point is that our schemas and stereotypes can be wrong and we need to be aware of it.

I have ‘judged a book by its cover’ a lot of times before. In fact, I do it most of the time. When I am walking alone on a dark alley or riding the bus late at night, I keep away from drunks and suspicious-looking people to keep me safe. Is it wrong? Yes, because not all of them are dangerous. But I still do it. I am not sure if I should change that particular reaction, even though I know that I may be wring 99% of the time. What I avoid is passing judgement too quickly in non-threatening situations. I try to keep an open mind everytime. I know that everyone that I meet is fighting a hard battle.









kate murray