Persecution has been a key theme of my life probably since my early ages. My dad was a refugee from Iran coming to Australia before the old Shah was overthrown in the 1970’s (meeting my New Zealander Mother in Sydney). Understandably he doesn’t like talking about it – he lost family members and many of his friends died and he fled a “Retaliation Hit” for supporting the United States and Western Ideals in a country that went back to the Dark Ages overnight.
In growing up in Melbourne / Australia (one of the best cities in the world!) in my early years I had very little understanding of the concept of “Persecution” and in researching this word as part of my article – according to Wikipedia it means:
– “Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic persecution and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, isolation, imprisonment, fear, or pain are all factors that may establish persecution…”
When my parents separated (but got back together later in life which was lovely) I was moved from the South-Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne (which was quite a nice affluent area) to the Yarra Valley. Even though the Yarra Valley today is a lovely wine growing region and a place for tourists, when I was there – it was hardly that. I was personally a victim of lots of “Anti-Middle Eastern” attacks – which was quite odd in my mind even though I am a Christian in that regard. As I crossed puberty at about 13 – I then developed my fathers strength and I made my bullies life an absolute nightmare which was great! I won way more fights than I lost and many were because:
– I was Middle Eastern.
As a teenager, I learned first hand what persecution actually was. It is quite an offensive thing in that it’s basically someone saying “You have no right to live” – and be it light jeers or physical violence, it is an evil person actively acting in a derogatory manner denying your right to live. It’s not only Un-Australian, it’s quite evil in my book – and as a proud supporter of the Liberal Party of Australia, cultural acceptance is a big part of what I believe and practice.
I am 100% Straight – but if you know me, I am a very strong supporter of Gay Rights and Marriage Equality. I have even taken very extreme stances on this issue of labelling anyone against our way of thinking “Nazis” who “Hate Happiness” and have nothing better to do than to terrorize innocent people. Even though I am hardly gay – whenever I see gay friends and colleagues get persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation, it very quickly taps me into my past terrors of being physically assaulted.
Considering I then joined the Australian Military and did “Special Projects” later in life, as a 35 year old business owner – there is no surprise I have become a bit of an extremist when it comes to defending someones right to live and exist.
I love Australian Culture, our way of life and I am very proud of what we have. Mateship, Cleanliness, Acceptance, a Non-Religious Secular Government, State-Controlled Military and very good freedom of speech. One downside of our culture which I think must change is our “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. Even though I am a proud Australian, we collectively do have a “Problem” with successful people and don’t give them the encouragement and acknowledgment that the United States, England, Canada and China would give.
Even though I would hardly consider myself a “Success of any means” – I have started achieving my own level of success which I am proud of. However, as part of this success – I have seen Tall Poppy Syndrome rear it’s ugly head in my direction – especially this year. Only 2 months have passed in 2014 and I know I have crossed that “Threshold” where Tall Poppy has kicked in and I have been strangely persecuted by some.
My dad was persecuted for his support of the United States, I was persecuted for my heritage, many of my friends are persecuted for their sexual orientation and I have noticed that not just myself – but many of my awesome successful friends (especially women) are being persecuted because they are successful with this pathetic “Tall Poppy Syndrome”.
Although I am getting used to it, I have had non-stop attacks made on me all 2014. From people trying to rip me off, to back-stabbing me, to trying to isolate me, picking on my relationships – I have had some really evil things done to me. I think this really isn’t right and many of my awesome successful friends have had similar experiences. Being back-stabbed by a group of people recently has been incredibly painful but what makes it easier are AWESOME friends!
That is, persecution and bullying can really hurt – and like myself right now, I have had to really defend myself against people that want to see my fail, want to cause me harm and ironically like my dad experienced when he fled Iran – people who are standing against my right to live a successful life that I have worked hard for. The best defence I think is totally awesome friends! The day before I am writing this article, I was very lucky to spend some time with the 4Networking Leadership Team – our awesome business community that helps running groups to support Small Business Owners.
Even though I don’t agree with them all at times, I feel quite a connection with all of them and ultimately we are covering each others backs and supporting each other. The good news I think is that most people are awesome, but you get that 1 out 5 ratbag that HATES successful people and wants to see everyone fail because they know deep down they totally suck.
Fellowship and great friends are critical in my life and as I have commented many times, 4Networking and my friends there have been instrumental in helping me turn my life around. I am the first to admit that I don’t know everything and only through having great support and returning the love we receive can we build great lives we can be proud in
My advice? If you are surrounded by rat-bags, get rid of them and be a great giver and make some new friends! If you are in my position right now and have a group of ratbags gunning for you – stand with your friends and defend yourself and them in style. “Tall Poppy Syndrome” sucks and Success is just awesome!
Thank you for the great read and hope you have a fantastic day or night everyone!
Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Person who loves defending his friends! x x