Celebrating Our Differences ... Life Down Under
by Jennifer Stewart
One of the things I like most about the Internet is that it's shown me that it doesn't matter where we come from, the majority of us are friendly, generous and helpful.
From my first tentative steps into this unbelievable techno-world, I've been amazed by this ever-present willingness of complete strangers to help - regardless of the simplicity or complexity of my problems.
My family groan every time I start a sentence with, "I met this terrific person today ...." because they know I'm going to launch into yet another long story about my travels around the globe. For them, it's a bit like slide nights of someone else's holiday, but without even the distraction of the slides! (Read more about Life in Australia here.)
Never before have we been able to contact so many people from so many places, so easily.
It never ceases to astound me that I can sit at my desk here in Queensland, on a lovely 20 C winter's day, and be reading a message from a friend in North America who is caught in the sauna of summer. (Or, I can be sweltering through a heatwave, while communicating with someone who's caught under a couple of metres of snow!)
How fortunate are we - to be alive at this particular time in history?
It doesn't matter what you want to find out or do, you're sure to be able to find someone, somewhere to help - usually for free or for a small charge.
When I started to send out my Writing Tips, I was struck by another feature of the Internet - that until then, I had never really considered. When we meet people face to face, we're able to take a rough guess at their origins - from their accent and so on - but when we're communicating through the written word, it's more difficult to detect regional differences. And that means that we run the risk of losing all that wonderful variety that makes us so interesting as a species!
We don't collectively spend billions of dollars each year on travel because we want to meet people who are exactly the same as ourselves, we do it because we want to learn about different cultures, and we want to experience other ways of living.
What made me think about this was the number of people who interpreted my Australian expressions and spelling as errors. I was amazed, yet again, by the people who took the time to gently point out I might like to have a quick look at some word or other that I'd apparently "overlooked" in my proof reading. It was, without exception, done in the spirit of wanting to help.
I considered changing all my future work to make it fit into these new patterns - but then realised that if I did, I would be contributing to the "greying" of the world!
It's a bit like children's paintings - little tots start out with their beautiful bright colours - green, red, blue, yellow - but after a while, all they have is dark browny-grey!
Who wants to live in a grey world?
Let's celebrate our small differences while we still have them. I'll continue to colour my little part of the world with my favourite way of spelling and hope that you realise I'm doing it because I'm from Australia - and not because I can't spell!
If you struggle with your spelling, here are some ways you can become a better speller.
(Would you like to work in Australia? Click here for Australian Visa advice and free assessment online.)
Read about my little corner of the world here by clicking the logo below
Want to know more about Queensland where it's beautiful one day and perfect the next? Click on the links below:
The Redcliffe Peninsula - "smiles away" from care!
A flying visit Down Under
Brisbane on a budget - free and inexpensive ways to discover beautiful Brisbane.
A little bit of Greece in Queensland - the Blessing of the Waters.
Copyright 2009 Jennifer Stewart Write101.com