Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Discrimination - Racism - WTF?

Every now and then a person will make a wild connection in their mind when they hear I've chosen not to have kids.

No points for guessing the association - they decide that I must be racist.

Wow! I don't know how they get that. I'm not.

Somehow, because I don't have kids of my own, I also automatically don't like people of other nations and cultures.

That is just plain weird to me.

I also get comments from businesses who express concerns that they've had trouble, or are scared of, declaring that their business is a "child-free" endeavour.

The word that pops up here is discrimination. Parents seem to get quite pissed off with discrimination against their kids until such time as they want some alone time themselves.

It is an interesting double standard.

It seems to me, as too the dictionary definition, that discrimination is just about differentiating between things. It is about making choices based on criteria that suit the chooser.

Discrimination is not inherently bad but recent generations have decided that IS how it will be used and interpreted.

Discrimination is essential to staying alive and just being human. Imagine how bland and horrible the world would be if everything was the same so that there couldn't be any discrimination.

There are numerous examples of positive discrimination, and I am not talking about those examples where one person's race is put in front of another to redress some ancient wrong enacted upon their race. I am talking about the things that protect all of us.

A good many of the laws we have are discriminatory for our own protection. People under a certain age aren't allowed to drive on our roads, drink alcohol, gamble, have sex and many, many other things.

Yet I don't hear too many people complaining about age discrimination there. No-one calls the law makers racist because of these rules that discriminate against young ones.

I discriminate against certain types of foods; those that I don't like the flavour of, that that don't have an appealing texture and those that may well pass the first criteria but just sound icky.

And while good natured ribbing of my pallet may call my sexuality into question no-one is calling me a racist because I don't like the pink donut...and strangely I felt I had to choose the colour of that example donut very carefully.

When someone starts, runs and grows a business they will find that a big part of success is choosing what NOT to do. It is about choosing the customers you want and focusing on them. It is about choosing what products and services you are happy to deliver and in fact are good at delivering. It is about outsourcing and delegating the tasks that distract from individuals doing the things they are good at.

For example, I loath and detest bookkeeping. Yet when I started my business I felt I had to do it. Eventually I got sick of it and paid someone else to do it. If I didn't I wouldn't be in business, it was that simple for me.

Yet I don't hear anyone call me racist because double entry bookkeeping makes my blood boil. I don't hear anyone calling me racist because I choose to focus on Windows based computers over Apples. Fruitist yes, racist no.

So when a business person chooses to run a business that focuses on providing a service to adults that isn't alcohol, gambling or sexually related, why do they get a hard time?

Honestly I don't know. It makes no sense to me. When a small country B&B provides adult double bed accommodation only because that is what they can afford, what they want to do and what the physical layout of the building lends itself to, why do they have to be careful about how they say that? They'll be sought out by the parents trying to escape their kids one week and the same parents will complain the next week when the kids aren't catered for.

Instead of going to a suitable place we humans tend to want to change others to our way of thinking and "needs".

Most discrimination is a good thing. Without it we'd be dead. It is that simple.

I am convinced some moron will read this, fail to understand it and hence abuse me and again accuse me of being racist. In that case I choose to discriminate against their ill-informed comments :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Please open a cafe..."

Over the weekend we took our dogs to Kingston Doggy Beach (south of Hobart, Tasmania).

They love it and I love watching them go nuts in the sand.

They seem to experience what the wife and I call "change of surface madness". Whenever there is a new sensation under foot they go a little mental.

Everyone is really friendly and there is always an amazing cross section of breeds to spot and laugh at. They are all having so much fun.

Over the last couple of visits our older girl has been demonstrably protective of our 11 month old puppy.

There have been a couple of instances where a more boisterous dog has played the chasing game with our pup. She doesn't quite get it despite taunting her older sister into the game on a daily basis at home.

This weekend she got chased and the big girl ran interference. It is sweet to see her looking after her sister. :-)

That isn't why I am posting today though.

I am posting because of a plea we got while saying hello to a curiously pretty dog on the beach.

The dog's minder got half way through telling us the dog's name and breed before changing topic and saying "Oh, are you the childfree people? You should open a cafe. Please, please open a cafe".

I laughed and said that we didn't have the skills for the job. I agreed it would be a good idea.

He went on to say that the kids could be relegated to a park across the road. I jokingly suggested they could be left there tied to a stake with a bowl of water.

We were heading in opposite directions and as a parting comment he said "I love the childfree sticker on your car too".

It was a lovely and amusing encounter. We couldn't work out if our new friend was a visitor to our blog, a reader of the book or had just put the pieces together from the stickers on our vehicle.

Regardless it was a pleasant surprise and one that got us thinking.

Imagine if we did open up a CFZ cafe.
Can you picture the stink it would kick up...but talk about free publicity!

Wow, does anyone want to do it? We'll help with the branding and other stuff where we can :-)