Saturday, July 18, 2009


World peace facebook group discussion: "imperfect humans" thread

I just spent ages responding to questions posed by a guy called Peter Fodor on the Facebook group "world peace" and have decided to share the post (post 71) here. Peter's question was: "how can world peace be achieved on a planet with imperfect humans?"His postings revealled a very detailed knowledge of global human crisis, Government failures, and a pretty fixed view of the hopelessness of the situation. The way he was expressing this view was causing a bit of a ruckus...
I said: "Peter, I think the question you have posed taps into some very big territory. It is wonderful to have a place to explore it.

I enjoyed hearing your conversation with Mark but must admit I was relieved when Ann chipped in and challenged you. We all have choices and though you think of yourself as an optimist your consistent expression has been the opposite, and for a peace forum, I found that disturbing. It is my view that if we wish to experience or create greater peace we focus on peace not its opposite. (That does not mean denying the current reality, where opportunities for positive action definitely exist).

I was also struck by the fact that so much of your "argument" against peace relates to "evidence" provided by the external world. One of my favourite quotes is "there will not be peace on Earth till there is peace in the hearts of every man, woman and child".

To me this says that each of us are responsible for our own peacefulness and contributing to the peacefulness of others... pointing a finger at governments etc is a way of giving our power away (waiting for "someone else" to fix it), and - can I offer this as a question? - possibly shirking our responsibilities? (What are we doing in our day-to-day lives to create a culture of peace (that may eventually create permanent change)? Or to give and share peacefulness with those we meet every day?).

Peace is not an intanguible that exists (or does not exist) "out there". I believe it is something that starts within and can be created and shared with others. Granted, what we are seeing around us right now is the creative expression of many people who are not peaceful. But as WE change, hopefully what we create will also change...?

Continuing to read, it was with relief I came across your reference to Rinpoche. I hope you are continuing to seek out Buddhist texts and information about other peaceful philosophies. I think it is always a good thing to be exposed to new viewpoints and possibilities for seeing things in new ways and that may be a very interesting path - for you and for us all!

...If we have never been exposed to alternative ways of being and given examples of different ways to react or interact how can we expect change to occur around us?

It is for this reason I believe that learning and education is so fundamental, especially in countries where an extreme lack of peacefulness exists. And also why demonstrations of generosity and compassion are so important.

Thank you for starting this conversation, Peter. I wish you (and those who read this) joy and ever greater peacefulness."

Finding joy in each day
Volunteering in Africa - Kiandu School

Friday, July 17, 2009

Crazy happy silly - playful ways to make yourself instantly happier

I loved the opening lines of the editorial for Frankie (issue No. 24) by editor Jo Walker: "Sometimes tiny changes can have a big impact. When I was younger my friends and I had a game where we'd all get in the car and drive around wearing swimming caps - those floral ones that nannas wear, with the plastic daisies and bumpy bits. It was the exact same thing we did every day, except with did it in silly hats. It was hilarious."

Having a well-developed sense of the silly can really brighten up your day. All kinds of other things may be happening in your life that - in that moment - you may have a limited ability to resolve... but with a simple, funny, silly, playful indulgance, for second or two you can have some relief: a quick giggle.

For some people, the silly hat might do it, dyeing your tea blue might do it, wearing a tattoo transfer to your next family gathering might do it, or tagging your wife with a texta while she watches TV might do it... whatever! Believe it or not, no matter how grown up and serious we get, we all still have an innate sense of the ridiculous. When we allow ourselves to be a little bit playful a whole new aspect of our day can open up...

Back soon... just going to do a couple of quick chicken walks round the yard...

Moonlight shenanigans
Finding joy in each day
Allowing yourself to feel good

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time and peace: gifts money can't buy

It took me 28 minutes this morning to find out that my date of death is either 28 November 2058 ( or 28 November 2074 ( Curious both gave me the same day but different years. Being a fairly logical person I worked out what the average was (95 years) and have contented myself with that... but what if it is only 87 years, as foretold by findyourfate? What if I really only have 18,047 days, 4 hours and 36 minutes to go... I mean 35, 34, 33... gosh by now it must be just 18,047 days, 4 hours and 30 minutes to go!!! Heck! What am I doing! The days of my life are just ticking away!!!

That is, of course, what the makers of those death calculators want you to think: "time is precious; what am I doing with the time given to me?" They also want to sell you vitamin supplements and change jobs and make some kind of general attempt to change your lot in life by buying one of their sponsors' products. And that's okay 'cause the calculators are kind of fun.

Did you know that the average life expectancy in the West is 84 for women and 78 for men? In America the life expectancy is 81 (women) and 75 (men). How many weekends do you have left?

We spend so much time working, sleeping, eating, grooming, shopping, caring for the family, letting off steam with our friends... how much time is left after "the basics" are taken care of? If you enjoy the work you do then it's not lost time... but so many people don't.

It is my firm belief that a mastery of time is key to personal peace and satisfaction. If you feel good about how you spend your time - and are consiously choosing where - chances are that when you get to the end of the road you'll be content with your life - and will probably have made a huge contributon to the world in some way.

I know some very successful business people and all of them guard their time as if it was a suitcase full of gemstones. For them, time is their most precious asset; without time they have nothing - no opportunity to create their vision, nor experience the benefits of health or wealth. (I suspect that this respect for time has contributed in a very large way to their successes.)

Perhaps if we all thought a little longer about how we spend our time we'd be more content and find ourselves in a more peaceful, happier world. And I do mean "spend" - no matter who you are or how much you have at your disposal, your time is one thing money can't buy back.

In the next 24 hours you have 1440 minutes to spend... how will you do it? Who on? Where? Why? Ah, the big questions...

(The 35 minutes it took me to write that was my gift to YOU! With love)

"I hate my job"
Finding joy in each day