With students around Australia preparing to complete their education in what has been a year like no other, seven young people from the remote Indigenous community of Wadeye in the Northern Territory have celebrated their graduation against the odds.
You may have heard of the act of ‘holding space’ and thought it was only something done in a counsellor’s office or a yoga studio. Yet this compassionate gesture is something we all can do, anytime, anywhere. Doing so can lead to stronger relationships and authenticity, helping both parties feel more at ease with their vulnerabilities.
Standing in my uncle’s bathroom in Switzerland, a skylight beaming the harsh alpine sun onto the mirror, I found my first grey hair. I was sixteen, and put the appearance of this surprise follicle down to the stress that came with being halfway through my final years of school. I yanked it out, accidentally taking with it several brown strands.
In 1980 in America’s Bible Belt, a toddler named James Luke had tumours all over his body. An IV insertion caused a linear scar on his neck, while a tumour behind his left eye blinded him and another behind his right ear was biopsied. Twelve years later, James’ mother Kathy had given birth to two healthy children and was welcoming another son. As well as being born blind in his left eye, with a cyst behind his right ear, her newborn son had a linear birthmark on his neck.