How culture needs to be at the forefront of our thinking..

22nd January 2015: Sydney Australia

The rarity of the Cancer inside me was one of the the first points registered upon diagnosis. To many of those close around me, the typical feelings of shock followed, with the questioning of ‘why me’. As previously noted, the searching for the undiscoverable answer is yet to feature within my thinking, however, recently an issue has captured my attention, and it regards the outcomes for people less fortunate than me. In many ways I consider myself actually lucky. Yes, a lot of hardship, stress and pain continues to impact me and close people in my life. The shift in direction was influenced by thoughts for those without the medical expertise, surrounding environment or support network to assist them in their experience.

To expand on the above paragraph, I am referring to people in other countries whereby particularly the medical expertise or accessibility of services may not be adequate. I recognise hypothesising that individuals from only Western, or other certain other specific countries receive appropriate care may reflect a very naive outlook on the world. I wish to make it perfectly clear that I am possibly overlooking other essential matters, most notably the role of extended family/community present in other cultures, and other matter such as lifestyle, diet, environment degrees of stress. All points that may have contributed to the growth of the tumour in the first place. The question seems to be gaining my attention, and consequently has featured in plans to incorporate visits to Cancer centres or the equivalent if pursuing the plan mentioned last week relating to undertaking a holiday to a small town destination in South East Asia with waves, warm water and simple living. The motivation to gain such knowledge would add further motivation to undertake the journey, placing a further dimension to the experience whilst removing a completely self-focused direction in life. I must note, awareness of the actual needs of the people, respect and a genuine interest is essential to ensuring a culturally appropriate approach is present. History has showed how arriving with preconceived ideas, and possible solutions is not the ideal way of achieving real benefits. I acknowledge to some degree, the function is still very self orientated, however, ideally the knowledge could hopefully lead to some sort of positive outcome, even if it awareness raising through witnessing and later reporting about the observations.

It is interesting to note that another idea seemed to have surfaced, pushing the focus on Sunflower Framework aside for the moment. In all honestly though, I am still much very dedicated to bringing the idea to fruition, and am awaiting a response. Therefore, I don’t need to feel an animosity to my thinking, rather, seeing the process as a series of steps with the framework possibly being enhanced or culturally adapted, according to possible future experiences.