Life’s surprises are not always welcome

As I look back over my life there are probably a dozen incidents or more that were a significant blow to my equilibrium. The sort that makes everything else seem petty and unimportant.

I am sure that we all experience these things from time to time. My first experience I remember was when my school friend’s father died. He worked at our school and was very popular with all the kids. It was my first encounter with death and the aftermath.

I have since experienced marriage break-ups, sickness and deaths in the family, tragedies such as a five-year old neighbour’s child drowning, losing my brother and sister-in-law too soon …

I am not unique – similar things are happening every day to people around us. When I am in my ‘happy space’ I may not even be aware of others’ suffering.

I don’t know what I am trying to say today – just that life can be tough at times – we need to love and care for each other.

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More Notable Quotes

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I hope you enjoy these quotes from Notable Quotes published by World Book Encyclopedia , Inc.

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking. H.L. Mencken

Your conscience is what your mother told you before you were six years old. Dr.G. Brock Chisholm

Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Karle Baker

Men learn while they teach. Seneca

In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing. Antonio Porchia

To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or colour, is like living in Alaska and being against snow. William Faulkner

None of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves. Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

Transitions take time …

My old office

My old workplace

I gave up full time work six years ago and I am still adjusting to the changes brought about by that decision.

Many, many times I dreamed I was back at work – usually late and a bit lost – people had moved around and I couldn’t find them.

This week I dreamed my old boss fired me! I was actually pleased, especially when he gave me a cheque for $14,000 (only in my dream)! I thought this might signal an end to my dreaming about work.

Not so! Last night I dreamed we had a work reunion and I woke up with the idea of setting up a Facebook page for my former colleagues. That idea wore off by breakfast time!

I hadn’t realised how much hold the workplace had on me. Hopefully I am ready to let go of the life I had in the workforce and enjoy in the life I have now.

Wise Words

Give

I saw this quote on Facebook and I think it  suggests a well balanced approach to life.

However, I haven’t always followed this guidance and sometimes I reaped the negative consequences the quote suggests.

I have tended to do almost anything for peace and harmony in my life but now I realise I mustn’t lose myself in the process.

Some lessons take a life time to learn.

I hope I am not being naive in posting it on my blog!

Assertive or aggressive?

I have never been very good at dealing with conflict. I just don’t like it!

Never-the-less, we are sometimes caught in situations where we either give in too easily on the one hand or, alternatively, get too angry.  I came across this little story recently and thought it was worth sharing (again) as I believe it provides an alternative to the extremes of not acting and reacting in a negative way.

Once there was a snake with a rather bad attitude. The small village near where the snake lived was very fearful of this snake because he would strike without warning and devour its prey. It was known to eat hens, dogs, and even big animals like cows. The villagers gathered at the edge of the field, and with drumming and shouting, and sticks and stones, made up their minds to find the snake and kill it.

A holy man came upon this loud and angry crowd and asked, “What is this about?” The villagers told him of the snake’s villainy. The holy man asked, “If I make this snake stop doing these evil deeds, will you spare his life?” The villagers reluctantly agreed to give the snake – and the holy man – one chance.

The holy man entered the field and commanded the snake to come to him. “What issss it?” the snake hissed. The holy man’s words were simple: “Enough! There is no need for this. There is plenty of food without eating the villager’s animals.” The holy man spoke with kindness and authority and the snake knew his words to be true. He nodded in agreement and slithered away.

It was not long before the villagers discovered that the snake would not harm them. They were grateful, but some of the villagers in their anger over what had been done, began to beat the snake with sticks and stones. The abuse continued until he could take no more and hid underneath a large rock, determined not to break its word to the holy man. “Why is this happening to me?” he said, “ I followed the holy man’s words.” Soon the fearful snake was near death from the beatings and the lack of food.

One day, he heard the footsteps of the holy man and with his last bit of strength crawled out to meet him on the path. The holy man, seeing how terribly beaten and sickly the snake looked, asked, “What has happened to you?” The snake told the story of the beatings and torment and how for days it had hidden underneath a rock to protect itself.

The holy man stood silently shaking his head. “Oh, foolish snake,” he said, “I told you not to bite but I did not tell you not to hiss.”  With this the snake understood and slithered away.

optimism

A holy man and a snake with a bad attitude.

I am enjoying some lessons with the School of Practical Philosophy online. The story below was provided for study.  Enjoy and see what you make of it :-).

    Once there was a snake with a rather bad attitude. The small village near where the snake lived was very fearful of this snake because he would strike without warning and devour its prey. It was known to eat hens, dogs, and even big animals like cows. However, what was most upsetting to the villagers was that the snake had begun to eat their children. The villagers gathered at the edge of the field, and with drumming and shouting, and sticks and stones, and made up their minds to find the snake and to kill it.

A holy man came upon this loud and angry crowd and asked, “What is all this commotion?” The villagers told him of the snake’s villainy. The holy man asked, “If I make this snake stop doing these evil deeds, will you spare his life?” The villagers reluctantly agreed to give the snake – and the holy man – one chance. The holy man entered the field and commanded the snake to come to him. “What issss it?” the snake hissed. The holy man’s words were simple: “Enough! There is no need for this. There is plenty of food without eating the villager’s children or their animals.” The holy man spoke with kindness and authority and the snake knew his words to be true. He nodded in agreement and slithered away.

It was not long before the villagers discovered that the snake would not harm them. They were grateful, but some of the villagers in their anger and hurt over what had been done, began to beat the snake with sticks and stones. The abuse continued until he couldn’t take no more and hid underneath a large rock, determined not to break its word to the holy man. But he said to himself, “Why is this happening to me? I followed the holy man’s words.” Soon the fearful snake was near death from the beatings and the lack of food.

One day, he heard the footsteps of the holy man and with his last bit of strength crawled out to meet him on the path. The holy man, seeing how terribly beaten and sickly the snake looked, asked, “What has happened to you?” The snake told the story of the beatings and torment and how for days it had hidden underneath a rock to protect itself.

The holy man stood silently shaking his head. “Oh, foolish snake,” he said. I told you not to bite but I did not tell you not to hiss.”  With this the snake understood and slithered away.

Source: I believe the story can be found in In the Land of Difficult People: 24 Timeless Tales Reveal How to Tame Beasts by Terrence L. GARGIULO, Gini Graham SCOTT. I am unsure of its origins.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

wishesI chose this question out of 48 Questions to Ask Your Kids by Erin Waters & Momastery (Momastery). It is a resource to “Unlock the hearts of your little ones using these keys to great family conversation”.

I thought the questions could also double as interesting prompts for blog topics.

Now, let me think about this important question for a minute or two …

1. My first wish is to ask for peace of mind. A mind that is calm and confident yet humble, grateful and open.

2. My second wish is for health, happiness and peace of mind for my family, friends and neighbours.

3. My third wish is for the rise of a new way of doing and seeing life where we can live in harmony with each other regardless of our race, wealth or poverty, religion or cultural differences. Our current system of capitalism and democracy does not make the greatest outcome for ALL. It may serve us well in many ways but perhaps there are other paths not yet traveled.

If we were all able to experience good health, happiness and peace of mind then perhaps a new perspective may be possible where we can all live together in peace and mutual support.

So, what would your three wishes be?

Philosophy

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER

When I first read philosophy over ten years ago I felt reassured that many of the thoughts, hopes and fears I had were common to many. I think Arthur Schopenhauer captures some of the deepest and bleakest aspects of the human experience. I was going through a tough time around then and found some comfort in his words. If you are interested in reading philosophy, I highly recommend a book by Alain de Botton called The Consolations of Philosophy published by Penguin Books. Schopenhauer features in a chapter called Consolation for a Broken Heart.

I have included some quotes of his below.

*****

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“… that when you’re buying books, you’re optimistically thinking you’re buying the time to read them.
(Paraphrase of Schopenhauer)”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism: The Essays

“Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“A sense of humour is the only divine quality of man”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“What disturbs and depresses young people is the hunt for happiness on the firm assumption that it must be met with in life. From this arises constantly deluded hope and so also dissatisfaction. Deceptive images of a vague happiness hover before us in our dreams, and we search in vain for their original. Much would have been gained if, through timely advice and instruction, young people could have had eradicated from their minds the erroneous notion that the world has a great deal to offer them.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

What my grandparents told me …

Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa and Grandma

I was thinking about my grandparents this morning and some of the things they told me when I was little – and I believed them!

Consider the following:

  • Don’t pull faces because, if the wind changes, it will stay like that forever.
  • Grandpa always insisted on walking closest to the curb. He said that a gentleman should be willing to take the splashes from the puddles in the road.
  • Grandma said she couldn’t go to the swimming pool because it would overflow if she jumped in.
  • They both said they couldn’t go to church because the roof would fall it (an old excuse :-))
  • Grandpa always insisted it was very rude to wear a hat in the house, unless of course you were a lady.
  • Grandma treated my gifts of jewellery from the lolly shop as though they really were very valuable.
  • I am sure there are many more gems of wisdom they imparted over the years.

Grandpa (1884 – 1969) married Grandma (1889 – 1983) in 1911 in Kerang, Victoria and went on to have eight children – one of whom was my father. We lived next door to them for many years and I spent a lot of time with them and have fond memories.

I can’t help but wonder what they would make of our world today.