The Culture You Build Around Yourself

What culture are you building around yourself? How do (or don’t) you communicate value to each other?

I believe the biggest issue surrounding culture today is that we don’t know how to get along with each other when we disagree. We have not learned to communicate with each other in conflict. We have not learned to look past the small and menial things that we turn into massive mountains. We have learned to dishonor and degrade people based on our perspective or version of events. Look at the rising divorce rates, the inability for the UN to even agree on basic standards of human rights, the government constantly in turmoil over who is in and who is out and at one point, our nation unable to vote in a government at all. We’re so conflicted all the time.

The culture we build around ourselves – i.e. how we treat others, how we love others, how we serve others – is the #1 key to building maintaining safe and loving relationships. If i don’t learn to create an environment around myself that is healthy and allows other people to be themselves around me, then i have not understood what love really is.

If the culture i build around myself is one where i am angry, self involved, conceited, stubborn and judgemental – then others who come into my space will only ever feel pressured, judged and anxious. However, if i work hard at creating an environment around me that is loving, accepting, kind and values the other, i will only ever make others feel accepted, loved, and free.

I grew up being bullied in school. I spent most days loathing going to school in primary school because i was left out and teased. My best friends even joined in on the bullying… so i left the school.

We do this thing that when someone is different to us, we make them feel so worthless, they have to leave the room. We’ve learned to disregard and devalue each other so much that if we don’t have the same opinions and ideas, then one of us can’t stay around in the friendship any longer. One of us has to go.

I’ve thought about this a lot and a question i ask others often is, “how do we learn to live in community with one another when we disagree?”

The challenge is what are you doing to bring reconciliation and restoration to relationships with people you don’t agree with or have a different opinion to?
How can you learn to live counter-culturally and offer an alternative? How will you love people even with your differences?

julietteJuliette Warnes, founder of Feather and Fire, is stoked about Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and anything of sensible comedic value. She seeks to draw the best out of everyone she meets whilst maintaining the value of humility and transparency. In 2007 Juliette completed a Bachelor degree in Youth Work min Counselling and Ministry at Tabor College, Adelaide. Currently Juliette resides in Brisbane, QLD. You might find her at folk music festivals or gigs around the place. Juliette works for LYQ as In-School Trainer – preparing and delivering leadership workshops for young people in schools across QLD.

Lead Victoriously

Victory is not defined by perceived success, but rather by an internal perspective seeing that you made it. Victory, is not necessarily crossing the line first; but owning it in your own time, in your own setting, and achieving your goals. Victory counts on you, nobody else. However, there is a fatal injustice that has thawed out the spirit of humanity; the injustice of socially believing that if you beat somebody else – you are successful. It doesn’t matter what your own goals were, if you were first across that line, if you were the longest throw or if you got a better score than another, only then are you victorious. And that, is where we are wrong.

Within any social setting, there is an undeniable hierarchy that dictates play. There is a ladder of power, with the majority playing the denominator, and a figurehead of ideas as numerator. The ‘captain’ of the ship stands above his crew, watching on intently. The issue with this supervision is the leader will never see the ship sinking before it happens. From a visual stand point, one could never identify the holes in the plan, the issues leaking in and the wind constantly knocking development down. Not until it’s too late, and the crew is well under water.  Leadership depends on a social and personal understanding amongst all people. Our most powerful leaders in history, are the ones who stood with the people, who stood amongst the battle and knew how to transform peoples visions into everyone’s reality. They were not powerful; they were empowering.molly pitkin quote

This is where the definition of victory comes in. In modern society, everything has become a competition. Every success is defined on how well you went against another, and this includes leadership standards. It’s time to put the lid on the social infection that suggests you are only victorious if you were better. It’s time to abolish the idea that success is synonymous with better, because it’s not.

The human race has destroyed itself and it’s environment in the hope of being ‘better’, and we continue to tear each other down. We are physically stopping human evolution in all senses, in fear of not being the best. We must start to build each other up. We must begin to lead by example; and not by force. There is no competition, because nobody can be you, so be you fervently. Aspire to be the leader that comes by action, not by position, for people will say to you, “I didn’t give up because of you,” rather than, “I gave up because of you were better.” Lead by empowering, lead victoriously.

mollyInsulin dependent and adventure seeking, Molly is loves to eat mac’n’cheese, live-stream every game of Netball and cuddle her special diabetic alert puppy Pickle. Living as a servant of God, she lives out compassion and excitement, but is the most forgetful person you’ll ever met. Currently serving as College Captain of Faith Lutheran – Plainland, she plans to become a Behavioural Science/Laws Student at QUT (Queensland University of Technology). Her journey may be turbulent but she hopes one day – it will become inspiring.

You Have Potential

Leadership, leadership to me has been defined in so many ways. I have learnt that it can either be some who is like a lion, power and strong taking command and loyal, or someone who is like an owl; wise, gentle and quiet. Or someone else who is like a puggy dog, enthusiastic, energetic and always bring the joy to the task.

All these types actually work hand in hard and can be key aspects in creating the greatest outcome. Because in most environments all these qualities are incredibly significant, no one is greater than the other.

So many people say leadership is not just a badge, which is seriously so true! Leadership is both an activity and even a way of living, you don’t need to be strong and tough to lead. Leading can simply be the way in which you communicate, support, connect and encourage others. Leadership can be found in almost every situation, in an office, school, restaurant and even a kindergarten.

susan kerr quote

Whilst working in a kindy, I have noticed that even 4 year olds have the qualities of leadership, they guide, help and encourage each other. Leadership to me is a relationship, a relationship that helps others grow. Leadership is about positively impacting others through living by example and enabling a continuous rippling effect. If you have a positive impact on something or someone, it tends to start a trend, creating ripples, other movements.

Leadership is everywhere. Leadership reflects in everyday actions and behaviours. Being a leader is not a one-time thing, it’s a life-long commitment. It isn’t hard to commit too, it’s one simple decision, a helping hand and or an encouraging word can show that you’re a leader. Being a leader doesn’t mean that we have to conform and act a certain way. It’s you being you, lifting people up and having a positive impact on someone, no matter how great or small it may be.

Everyone has the the potential and skills to be a leader!

13119107_1728960610721482_980957140714968614_nSusan Kerr is a massive fan of all foods! She is studying primary education and has a passion for children, can’t wait to be the real life lady out of the magic school bus. Big puffy dress and all. Love’s exploring new places and visiting old- Byron bay is like her second home. On an amazing journey of faith, although it can be a roller coaster it’s worth the ride.

Influence Trumps Authority

There are three topics you should never bring up with my Grandma. Sex, politics and religion. I made that mistake one day and ended up in what seemed like never ending banter about politics. She seemed to have her own opinion about each individual candidate, what they have done, what they say they will do and whether they look dodgy or not. It seemed quite apparent that the future influences of our region were being put into positions of authority. As sad as it seems, we live in a society where influence requires authority.

Time Magazine recently published a list containing the most influential people of 2016. Among the many names were your typical politicians, sports stars, singers, actors, religious figures and entrepreneurs turned billionaires. For some cases the abuse of authority has led to dictatorships and tyrants. This is not influence, this is targeted persuasion, a result of a lack of compassion. Is this really a list of the most influential people or the most persuasive? Looking at a list of most influential people of all time, 2 names stand out, Ghandi and Jesus.lindsay quote

Ghandi and Jesus did not rely on authority to influence people. Simply put, their moral values, actions and beliefs were a greater influence than any authority or power of their times. After a recent experience on public transport in Brisbane I realised that influence and compassion are like your odor on a train. If it smells good, people will like it, they won’t mind sitting right next to you. Your positive compassion and influence bring reassuring and favorable aura to your environment. People who are more persuasive and less compassionate are like a bad perfume on a train, people will not enjoy your company. Unless they wish to jump off the train there is nowhere to go. Lastly, people who stink, you get the picture, they are not the best people to be around.

As a leader, using your influence to be more relatable and compassionate will trump targeted persuasion and authority. The outcomes of authority are having your followers complete your commands. The power of influence is having your followers care about your commands. The difference is compassion and morality. As a leader you are what you do, not what you say or say you will do.

LindsayLindsay Blinco spends a large amount of his time in a small concrete box hitting a small black ball. When he is not playing squash he enjoys helping out on his farm, shooting, listening to music amongst the other luxuries found by living in the middle of nowhere. He is serving as Redlands Campus Captain of Concordia Lutheran College Toowoomba where he tells the worst jokes on assembly, starts lettuce eating competitions and has terrible puns about herbs for devotions. He believes that we all have a certain amount of THYME 😉 and we should cherish every moment of it.   


Tragedies Shouldn’t Unite Us, Love Should

The Orlando Massacre that the world has witnessed has been a hate crime that has shocked us all. 50 people have died, with more than 50 others injured. That is 50 first days at school, 50 first adventures, 50 first loves, 50 first movies, 50 best friends and 50 family members. So many people are quick to forget the 50 victims and their families, but have been so quick to point the finger and blame others. Which is not okay. It’s not okay because blaming others will not get us anywhere, it won’t resolve the situation or make it any less hurtful. Hate will never win. Love will always be the winner. alex wells 1

We have already witnessed millions of people around the world, unite together to share their love for the victims and their families. But that doesn’t mean we can’t share any more. There will never ever be enough love in the world. We are on the right side of history and we will all move forward together, united as one to outshine and stop the hatred in our world, one step at a time. Always encourage widespread and unconditional love and acceptance. Share love around to anyone and everyone you know, everyone deserves it – especially during times like these where everyone is facing different challenges and emotions coming from this massacre. We need to come together in times of happiness and laughter, not just in times of tragedy. Because tragedies shouldn’t unite us – love should.

We need to make sure that in a few weeks time, this hasn’t just left our minds. This is something that will affect everyone in their own ways. I know that so many LGBT+ identifying people will have to face the fear of leaving their house every day, no matter where they are. So many people won’t have the confidence to speak as loud as they used to in fear of drowning in the same hatred that has hurt so many others this week. So many people won’t be the same because they are frightened to risk their own wellbeing because of who they are. So I ask that we protect our brothers and sisters. We share our love and acceptance for those who may not be feeling the validity and acceptance everyone deserves. We must come together to bring peace and outshine the hatred in our world.

alexAlex is a self professed sports presenter and popcorn lover. You’ll always find her with Fox Sports on her TV screen and she could list off thousands of weird facts about sports from the 1980s in a heartbeat. She loves a good kebab snack pack and will try and get her friends to drive her hours just to find the nearest 24hr kebab store. School and learning are some of her favourite things (even though during exam block she’ll try and tell you it isn’t) and she loves the challenge of being School Captain at Lutheran Ormeau Rivers District School this year. 

For All Those Who Just Wanted To Dance

anna capitelli 2

I’m sitting here tonight with the news headline Orlando Mass Shooting ringing in my ears. My Facebook feed is covered in tributes, retweet-able catchphrases of support and grave images of this event as we all attempt to comprehend how another act of hate has forcibly entered our lives.

Every time, we ask the same questions: What drives someone to be filled with so much hate? Were there signs? How many innocent lives will be lost before the tragic state of our society is recognised? It almost leaves me speechless. But, we cannot be speechless. As young leaders, we need to ensure that our voices are heard. As representatives for our peers, sometimes too nervous or downtrodden, we need to ensure that our voices are heard. As human beings, invested in a positive and productive future, we need to ensure that our voices are heard.

Out of confusion, heartbreak or denial, we shut these events out of our mind. We convince ourselves that we can’t do anything because it happens far away or because we think we are too small. We don’t want to let the negativity in to our days and can’t work up the courage to speak out. But it is in in these times of utter darkness, we must focus on the light within ourselves and endeavour to bring it out in others. We must use our voice, although it might be shaky, to spread love and kindness.

In the face of pure love and kindness, hate will never win. And so treat everybody equally and with compassion. We must empower our peers to recognise that they are integral cogs in our societal machine. If we belittle someone and make them feel small, they may convince themselves that they don’t have a voice, but they do, and we need it! We need everyone’s voice to make a difference because now is the time to create a safe world for our children to be exactly who they are and who they dream to be. To create a world where everyone is accepted and treated with dignity and kindness.

Often repeated and said without convictions, the phrases “Be Kind” and “Be Compassionate” should be priorities for our generation. Make it a daily goal and ensure that those around us reflect the world we want to live in. We can do this in our everyday lives by simply taking a minute out of our day to help someone, to ask how they are doing, to sign a petition or to voice our opinion. Younger students will see the beauty in this gentleness and follow you: the perfect ripple effect.  ‘Thoughts and prayers’ are absolutely imperative and wonderful but it is our challenge to align our actions with these thoughts and prayers. Act with love, act with kindness and we can all make a difference, truly. In my opinion, a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place, for all people. We can all be these heroes and lead each other in the midst of such events.

For all those who just wanted to dance ❤

anna capitelliAnna Capitelli is 17 years old and is cherishing every moment of her senior year at San Sisto College, where she is privileged to serve as Jude House Captain. In this role she finds pure joy in spreading spirit, enthusiasm and involvement in all activities. She aims to leave a legacy of fun and enjoyment and to spread love and laughter to as many as she can. On the weekend you’ll find Anna listening to some killer tunes, goofing around with family and friends or trying to find something that she’s lost…. She is an enthusiast for loving others no matter who they are, valuing one’s own self-worth and the worth of others, and chocolate… lots of chocolate. Anna hopes to travel the world and not worry about money or a career but to simply be surrounded by love and be able to help those in need.

Orlando, We’ve Got Your Back!

June 12, 2016 – a day that, unfortunately, put itself into the history books for, what I believe to be, the wrong reasons. On this day, sadly forty-nine innocent and loving people lost their lives and a further fifty-three were wounded: some serious and some not so much. It is an event that still leaves me shaken, saddened and just that little bit angry.

The recent massacre that occurred in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, marks the 175th gun related violent crime on the 163rd day of 2016. This event was not only a hate crime towards the entire LGTB community but it was also an act of terrorism on the United States of America. This crime is now the deadliest mass shooting in US history and what makes it even more shocking is that the assault weapon used was purchased legally, therefore meaning that this crime could have been prevented! Upon hearing this news, I thought I would become shaken and upset, but more so, I couldn’t help but feel angry at the evilness that have almost taken over the world. Each human being on this earth is a single speck of the vast universe, and yet we manage to collectively spread our world with evil. One by one, human by human, we have become a selfish species. Unfortunately, the internalised thoughts of a person cannot be changed by those around. It remains in our individual hands to change the course history, but sadly, I cannot see this occurring.

It is disastrous that for Americans, gun-related violence and crimes have become the social norm. Australians are blessed to be part of a community that doesn’t suffer the tragic, and continual, events of gun-related violence. In a matter of 1,260 days, there have been a total of 1,000 mass shootings in America alone. This tragic number is the social norm in America. I can imagine a sense of fear within each and every community.hoges1

When reflecting on this sad event, I shed tears for those who have been killed and for those families who are now left with a gap that will forever remain empty. Whilst I can’t say I’ve lost someone due to gun violence, I can join together in a worldwide show of support. The way in which the citizens of America have joined together to show support in a time where the heart of the world is aching is awe-inspiring and at the same time, heartbreaking. Large crowds are marching in streets chanting: “Orlando, we’ve got your back”. Similarly, those unable to join Americans in marches have reached out on social media. The world now stands together, united as one, to whole-heartedly reach out to give love and support to everyone affected by this tragic and unforeseen event.

As a leader, I have taken an extreme amount of inspiration and advice from this tragic event and in fact, everyone has the potential to take away something. This event has further influenced me to lead people away from the evil and the negatives that the world constantly puts before us. Everyone has the ability to change their thoughts from negative to positive, from evil to good.

Orlando, we’ve got your back!

liv Olivia Hogan is an obsessed Wentworth, Orange is the New Black and Chicago Fire fan and holds a passionate love for equality among all. Olivia is blessed to be a student part of the loving community at San Sisto College, Carina, and is even more blessed to be the Rose House Captain for 2016. Olivia hopes to use her role as a way to inspire more girls at San Sisto to always strive to achieve their best, whilst creating a long lasting legacy for the future Rose House Captains. She hopes to become a Nurse or Paramedic, living in the beautiful state of Brisbane. She hopes to use her leadership skills to assist in the raise of awareness of equality not only in her community but around Australia and the world.