by Matthew Brown, Registered Nurse, Perth, Western Australia
There has been an attempt to ridicule UniMed students by labelling them ‘followers’, with references to our similar lifestyle choices, listening to the same music and displaying certain characteristics. It made me consider other groups in society that do the same. It seems that most groups have similar characteristics that identify them, bind them together.
Some of these characteristics are used to BE noticed, to show the world that they are supporters of a group. I know of many groups that gather every weekend, and wear the same coloured clothes – namely scarves, t-shirts and beanies. They gather in their hundreds of thousands all over Australia. They usually meet at local pubs to consume alcohol, then gather in stadiums, chant the same songs and drink more alcohol. Often the behaviour of the followers is altered because of this, and participants regress to reckless aggressive and abusive behaviour as a result. This is done every weekend, religiously.
What ‘binds’ these people together is the same coloured clothes, alcohol and the ‘support’ of a team. They watch men attack each other, often causing serious injury, just to chase a ball. Many businesses display these ‘coloured t-shirts’ and have them on the wall instead of paintings to show their support for ‘their’ team. Many children are encouraged from a young age to follow a certain team, using posters, hats, books, pens, flags and socks with the colours of ‘their’ chosen team to align them to follow.
It’s clear I’m comparing the followers of AFL to the students of UniMed to show that sharing common features is ‘accepted’ in today’s society i.e., football supporters. So if cheering for a team to win is ‘ok’, what is so wrong then if UniMed students seek truth in the world; talk about healing and loving yourself; seek honest, loving relationships and develop self-awareness to then best serve others in the many jobs they work in?