Happy birthday Hanno

19 September 2013

Happy birthdaHanno!

Hanno is 73 years old today. An oldie but a goodie. I took this photo of him last week at the Brisbane Writers Festival while we were waiting for our coffee.

I have no doubt that I'd be living a very different life if Hanno was not my husband. I think I'd still be living sustainably according to simple values, but my life would be not as rich as it is now. He makes that possible. We make a good team. My failings are his strengths and I am strong where he is weak. We make our simple life work well because we're not shy of hard work, and we focus our work on shared values and goals.

Now, before you think it's all too good to be true, we argue about our differences, we're not afraid to tell each other exactly what we feel and I have to tell you that he has made some big mistakes. I, on the other hand, have been on the verge of perfect for quite a few years. Ahem. ;- )  What keeps us together is love and respect, with a healthy dash of tolerance thrown in for good measure.

I think people, in general, get a raw deal in today's world. We no longer have that casual respect that we used to have for everyone else, whether we knew them or not. I think it's shameful how certain parts of the media generalise and criticise those in the spotlight. Women are attacked for not fitting someone else's view of how they should look and dress. But I want to focus on men here. When I see how men are portrayed in advertising now I think it's demeaning and rude. Many advertisements show men as being really stupid. That kind of one-size-fits-all thinking shames all of us. I know not all men are wonderful, but there are many good men out there and we need to acknowledge that.

I wish we lived in a kinder world where people don't want to show themselves as being better than those around them. I want all of us to be understanding and considerate because when I see men devalued, I feel that somehow devalues Hanno and all the other good men too. I don't want men who read here to feel disrespected. I want your father, husband or partner to feel proud of who they are and what they do as family men and workers. I want my sons and your sons to feel the same. I want Jamie and Alex to grow up in a world where we're all treated equally and fairly.  As a woman, I want that same social acceptance for myself and other women too. Surely we all want the same thing.

But let me stop this rant and get down from my soapbox. Hanno birthday Hanno. I hope we have another 20+ years ahead of us. Let's blow the budget today and go out for lunch.