Thursday, 1 November 2012

Again some input from Aussies - I subscribe to this point of view

TEN years ago two blokes in a Melbourne pub joked about bringing back a cultural icon of the 70s - the moustache.

From humble beginnings in 2003, Movember has grown from a joke to a challenge, and from a challenge it became a global philanthropic movement for men's health.

The modern moustache isn't just for hipsters and rugby league players; it's a force for good that raised $124 million last year, across 14 countries, for prostate cancer and male mental health.

Founders Travis Garone and Luke Slattery are two men on a mission - to cultivate facial hair and men's wellbeing in the month of November.

"We were having beers and we stumbled across this idea, it was a joke and going to be fun," Mr Garone told

"The appeal of Movember to most guys is to have a good excuse to grow facial hair - be a bit disruptive, maybe upset the boss.

"Once you start wearing it, it's a catalyst for conversation."

(Need some inspiration? Check out this gallery of splendid facial hair)

There are a few conversations the Movember boys want you to have.

Beyond the campaign's obvious fun side (we'll encourage you to join our #movember campaign on Instagram in a moment), there's a powerful call-to-action behind every hairy upper lip that benefits partners such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and national depression initiative beyondblue.

In 10 years Movember has raised $302 million towards these two causes, drawing its initial inspiration from the power and success of the breast cancer awareness movement.

This year, the Movember and Sons campaign encourages men to share knowledge from generation to generation.

"There are two sides to every moustache," Mr Garone said. "There's the fun, crazy side - growing mo's and having beers with your buddies, then there's the serious men's health side."

"We always wanted to make it fun while being serious so we thought: 'let's laugh in the face of danger'."

"This is a time to ask your mates how they're going - stop the jokes for a minute and inquire about your buddies, ask them about their health and tell people what you're going through mentally and physically.

"By talking about things, you'd be surprised how you can help. Remind yourself you're wearing it for a particular reason and have that conversation.

Aussie way

I love the story:

If link is broken in the future this is the full story (an article from Murdoch-hate-media):

>>>"I BELIEVE you should try to 'be the difference that makes a difference'. This bloke succeeds at this every day."

Glenn wrote to us on Monday with a story about his friend - "this bloke" - who loves to live his life according to a simple, altruistic mantra: pay it forward.

When Glenn lost two cars within six months and had no way to run around his family of five, a small token of friendship proved a big relief.

"I've got three kids between 16-20, it's the worst time to be without cars," Glenn wrote.

"My mate picked me up and took me to his place. He handed me the keys to an extra car he and his wife owned but no longer used and told me it was mine."

Glenn's story was among dozens we heard from readers after we called for tales of random acts of kindness.

Based on the overwhelming response, Australia is apparently home to some of the world's most generous people.

Peter O'Brien witnessed a young man at a McDonald's, in Sydney's Caringbah, step forward and pay for a woman, who it turned out was intellectually disabled and was struggling to count her coins.

Some motorists are paying tolls for the car behind them. In fast food drive-thrus, from Sydney to Perth, it's a similar story.

And a few couples have written in relating their experiences of having anniversary and honeymoon dinners paid for by complete strangers.

As Kat of Queens Park commented, paying it forward is "a fun way to make the world just that little bit better and friendlier".

We agree. How could an act of selfless, casual philanthropy, as simple as having your coffee paid for by a stranger, not bring a smile to your face?

Lily Mills wrote to us about a generous and kind man near her local coffee shop.

"When we found out we were unable to have children he organised with the owner to bring out a chocolate cake for us to share," she wrote.

"He regularly gives me free coffees if I am short changed. What started out as random acts of kindness turned into a blossoming friendship."

Jess wrote about her partner and his mate, who put envelopes of cash on the windshields of cars belonging to total strangers near Christmas.

And Anni Richardson had no money in her account to pay her motor vehicle registration, and was about to leave the office, when: "the gentleman alongside me heard my problem, handed his attendant $300 to pay my registration and get any shopping done that I might need before I could get my pay sorted out".

"I couldn't believe it - I don't think the girls behind the counter could either! Now I pay it forward when I can. It gives me a buzz and I somehow feel like I'm paying that gentleman back."

Tell us your #payitforward story on Twitter with our handle: @newscomauHQ." <<<

So Aussie. I'll do the same...