I turned the grand old age of 45 the other week, and I think it’s finally happened. You know, that thing that is supposed to happen to you when you enter your forties: where you just stop caring what other people think of you. For an inveterate “People Pleaser” like myself I suppose it’s no surprise that it took me an extra five years to actually achieve this, but recent events would tell me that I have arrived, finally.
Exhibit A: I wrote an article about a controversial animal rescue centre in Mallorca. After visiting the centre undercover I realised that it wasn’t as bad as many people had been making it out to be, plus the staff, without knowing I was writing about them, were very nice to me, and helpful. The centre itself even has extensive building development going on for new accommodation for the animals that are housed there. I wrote this down, in an encouraging “Go Rescue Centre!” way to give the widely criticised place some praise. We all know how it is better to praise improvements than to dwell on imperfections. The “Animalista” community of Mallorca disagreed with me and fell upon my article as proof that I was 1) a terrible journalist (perhaps), 2) a moron (..er…), 3) had been there with the full knowledge of the centre (no) and 4) had been paid by the centre to write it (no)! Better still, they did online in English and Spanish, over and over again for about 48 hours. I even received hate mail. I had just written what I had seen, rather than what they wanted me to write. And that made them mad. It was a very upsetting two days of not wanting to look at my emails, but I took advice from good friends and colleagues who said, do not reply. So I didn’t. On Day three I woke up and it didn’t bother me anymore.
Exhibit B: It will be International Women’s Day next weekend on Sunday March 8th. There will be several events going on to mark the day in Mallorca, I am already attending two of them myself. Every year for the past five I have organised an IWD event with some friends of mine. This year, we decided to do it differently. The theme of IWD this year is “EQUALITY” so we decided, why not include men and make it International People’s Day instead. This felt completely right to me. Living in Western Europe I don’t feel that I am discriminated against because of my sex. There are plenty of places around the world where women are subjugated and abused, but until men and women live equally this won’t change. So of course, I announce that this year it will be IPD, and immediately the messages begin criticising the decision. Particularly it seems from women who have never ever supported one of the IWD events, ironic really. But I stand by it; it feels right to me to do it this way. Why should we seek to separate men from women? We should be celebrating the freedoms that women have here in Europe. The subject of equality is just as relevant to men and boys in the workplace, in the media and in the home. So next week on Saturday March 7th from midday to 4pm at Mood Beach there will be a free entry International Peoples’ Day event with stalls, business networking, charities, lunch and fun. Guys and gals, chicos and chicas, men and women are equally welcome. Stall bookings and lunch tickets from firstname.lastname@example.org
More articles from me at www.familymattersmallorca.com