Thursday, 26 April 2012

The less than noble path...or probing the robe in the 21st century

Ignoble path...the road well travelled

Respect for the clergy has been around since the age of Adam. When the Great Fisherman is said to have walked this earth, rabbis and high priests were quick to tell him where he was going wrong. 

The beliefs of Christ were considered anti-establishment at the time and loving your enemy was piffle and hogwash. So what happened…the Prince of Peace was crucified but he had the last laugh by resurrecting himself.

Priests and monks are supposed to follow in the great traditions of their noble mentors and emulate the strengths of loving kindness and compassion. 

Due to weaknesses of human nature, men (and some women) who don the robe find that they metamorphose into something un-holy. They wear the robe, preach the doctrine and practise very little. 
It’s hard to be noble all the time so why bother even trying?

Buddhism was founded on rejection. It is a way of life against nature. A North Indian prince rejected his parents, palace, paramour, paternity and provisions and went searching for his destiny.

After enduring all the hardships of being moneyless which he found a lot easier than having untold wealth,  he finally came to rest under a banyan tree. Under this,  he found enlightenment and wanted to share it with all and sundry. The latter was the problem.

Loose wheel
The sundries never quite got the idea of loving kindness and living frugally. These were the people who thought that this new religion, Buddhism, was just a passing fad. Unfortunately, it endured so the hangers-on decided they would stick with it in the hope that it might improve their status. 
After all this Siddhartha chap or Buddha might have gold buried somewhere…..what fool would walk away from that much wealth?? He must have some gold coins stashed under his loin cloth.

Siddhartha was a shrewd man. He decided that there was too much talk around wealth and his assets were too exposed. He found a large piece of cloth and wrapped it around his body. Then he noticed how this motley crew of travellers and gypsies were admiring his curly, dark locks. He grabbed a knife and swiftly cut them off.  Soon he was bald and the motley crew decided that anything he could do they could better so they decided to go Brazilian and Commando – from the tops of their heads to their cheeky bottoms they were hairless!

It was quite a novelty when Sidd decided to implement some rules – only one meal a day, begging for their food and celibacy. They liked rules ‘cos they had never lived by any before and Sidd made it all the more special by calling them precepts. The motley crew had had rules in their community – eat, drink and be merry – so bending a few precepts would be par for the course!

Most of the time Sidd’s crew hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. He preached and gave sermons; talked about the triple gem, 17 levels of thought, 31 planes of existence, absolute and ultimate truths, cause and effect and karma….what the bleep??!!!

Man does not live by bread alone
Ultimate truth…you’ve gotta be kidding none of them would know the truth if it hit them on the head! As for cause and effect, did the Great One know that the cause of infrequent food would effect their tiny brain cells! Nevertheless, the begging proved  enjoyable as it brought them into contact with all the lovely, young women - daughters and their mothers - who smiled at them so graciously as they placed food into their bowls. Hmmm…their nostrils were assailed with the fresh scent of youth and womanhood.

The Great One must have had too much sun. If there were 17 levels of thought they were surely on the bottom one and they’d never have the strength to climb the ladder to the top if they didn’t get some decent food inside them….a juicy steak and chips washed down with a nice toddy would do the trick.

The Great One gave discourses on meditation, the Triple Gem and the Noble Path. Poor Sidd he barely knew that his crew were getting bunions and verrucas from the paths they were treading in the jungle.  But Sidd  talked so much about the gems ( three of them) that they were determined to find them.
Nibbana was the ultimate destination but this crew hadn't a clue how they'd get there without transport since  the wheel had just been invented but the design wasn't fool proof!
Far East Idol

So they went along with the Great One's theories and began calling their shack a temple. They slept like babies…afternoon naps…to the sound of Sidd’s melodic chanting…aah this was the good life – no work or responsibilities! They could leave their children behind in the safe knowledge that they were following in the Great One's footsteps.

But there was something missing from this near perfect existence… from their neighbour.
They had so much love or was it lust to share? Sidd had also got people bowing to him, prostrate on the floor and the Great One said that every person should bow in front of the robe. The motley crew were ecstatic, with egos  sky high,  they knew that a robe meant that the future was bright.  The future was an orange coloured robe.

Whenever a young girl would smile at them sweetly and bend down they could see their soft breasts pressing out of their blouse like a pair of snowy doves. It was heavenly, awesome and it felt like New Year every day! They were harbouring desire whilst preaching desirelessness.
The other bonus was that they could offer sweet meats to pre-pubescent girls and befriend them. The girls could be gently coaxed into their private quarters on the pretext of having a Sunday school lesson and then their innocence and trust could be violated.

The motley crew couldn’t believe their luck. No one suspected a thing, not the Great One or the parents of these innocents. Their faithful congregation were suckers for men in robes.
One by one they plied the children with sweets and then cloaked under the jungle canopy of vines and vegetation they committed foul deeds and sullied the spotless innocence of maidenhood.

The Great One was oblivious since he had told them that he was soon to leave this world. His disciples were grief stricken as they were left (or lumbered) with the onerous task of passing on the doctrine. 
Well....of course they were proud to do so....but they'd tweak it here and there.....and since lack of interesting food was an issue they made it a rule that every family would be required to bring food to the temple to be known as alms giving to monks. There were hundreds of families of every income level so they were in for a daily feast!!

It’s not a mistake that Buddhism has no all powerful deity. This makes it easier for men to play God and their egos tell them that they have control over every woman and child. Sin was not a sin in their eyes.  There was no one to atone too and Sidd was just human like the rest of them, wasn’t he? When did it become wrong to love your neighbour and make love not war?

And so it went on through the centuries, sexual misdemeanours as practiced by members of the clergy went undetected and unchallenged until the 21st century – 2012 to be precise. A girl who grew up to be an accomplished and intelligent woman has had the courage to out her robed abuser.

The dishonourable clergyman is now in custody giving evidence to save his skin (not his soul since he doesn’t have one). He is a businessman cum cleric; a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I hope that justice will be done and that he’ll be brought down off his banyan tree and put into jail to write this wrong…and, no doubt, his memoirs.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Yakezie Challenge

Just thought I'd share the exciting news that I've joined the Yakezie Blog Challenge.
I'm still a newbie on the site but wanted you, my readers, to be the first to know.

Blogging can be a lonesome journey though, as a self-confessed hermit, I prefer to be alone - alone than lonely in a crowd.

I like to scatter my pearls of wisdom far and wide and also gather gems from others.
Yakezie is win-win for all and I'm proud to be on the team.


Lost and Found : Me, Myself and I

Living in a box?
Most women(and some men) have felt like going to bed for a year and staying there. It’s so tempting just to lay there and forget all your responsibilities. 

How do you feel when you awake in the morning?

Bursting with energy, ruminating over the challenging day ahead, thinking over what you’d tell your boss (if you win the lottery), replaying that argument you had with your mother, wondering what happened to your resolutions for self-improvement, believing that you are here to provide unpaid housekeeping services or generally feeling listless?

If you’re anything like me then it’ll be a combination of all of the above with bits of borrowing from the world at large. You’re under psychic attack without really being aware of it!

The time of my life?
Running away from your life is something we’ve all contemplated at some point or another….those of us who’ve had a life, of course.

A lot of women, once they reach middle age, feel so demoralised and so accepting of their lot in life that they come to believe that change is impossible.
Worse still, when they do try, they receive so much negative feedback from their families and friends that they give up even before they  start.

When you’ve lived a conventional life, ticked all the boxes, shown up when you’re supposed to,  baked and shopped, been a shoulder to cry on, smiled through the pain, ….you find you’ve lost yourself and no one has any investment in allowing you to find yourself.

Family, friends and the wider world will conspire to keep you lost or asleep… if you’ve decided to spend a year in your pajamas.  They’ll fret and fume as you loll around in bed and ask for your breakfast, lunch, dinner with lashings of mellow Ceylon and custard creams to boot. 

 Perhaps you’ve dreamed about catching up on those TV shows from yester-year: “Quantum Leap” , “Charlie’s Angels”, “Friends” and “Sabrina, the teenage witch”. All the shows that make your family groan and grimace if you try to get a sneak peak in between their viewing.
Think of the mayhem that would ensue if you took a quantum leap into your own life!

Think of your neglected intellectual property, it’s in dire need of a complete overhaul – new wiring, plaster, fixtures and fittings. Wouldn’t you love to curl up with a few good books - Messrs Mills and Boon will pull out all the stops to whet your reading appetite though the classics might be better suited to eradicating the dust mites clogged in your brain cells.
In for repairs

Losing yourself means losing your passion and zest and there’s a lost property office somewhere that has a trunk marked: “Me, Myself and I.”

You’ll have to do some travelling into your interior world to even start this woman-hunt. There's a voice inside you that you often silence or ignore when you’re sorting the laundry, cleaning out the cat litter, clearing the broom cupboard and mooning over  whether you’ll drive that little bit farther to a new supermarket to bag a bargain. When your head’s a jumble of necessity and trivia is it any surprise that your passions can’t compete?!!

The truth is that you didn’t lose it; it got drained away under the heavy weight of duties and care. Your zest lies embittered beneath the stack of dishes in the dishwasher and the pile of junk that you’re waiting to dispose of. It’s not too late so stick your finger in the dam!

Challenge yourself to be yourself
So when did you decide to ditch your dreams? Was it when you sought approval and found rejection? Do you need approval to be who you are? Has no one noticed that you’ve changed – inside and out? When did the doubting and mistrusting of yourself begin? Does the voice in your head have terminal laryngitis? Is there a life-sized tumour standing in the way of being or becoming who you are?

These are disconcerting questions though none you’ve not considered before when you’ve been in a pyjama state.

If you can’t spend a year then reserve a day for contemplation in your jim jams.  One delicious day for dipping in and savouring some soul time.  Be selfish and devote this time to yourself; remembering the girl or boy you used to be. What stirred within then and what would it take to float your boat once more? Your ambitions might have had the majesty of the Titanic but they’re not sunk yet.

Be your own hero
Throw yourself a life line (or maybe a dinghy) and sail away into your ocean of hidden possibilities and endless potential and search for that pearl. Life is too glorious to waste on the mundane. 

Put passion on your shopping list and it could make a grand entrance into your life. Cock a snoot to your critics; they lost themselves years ago and despite satellite navigation they can’t find themselves!

 Live in hope, take action and think big…’re too important not to. Vibrant and passionate that’s who you are so hold on to it….keep it safe but use it….and you’ll always be a winner!


Sunday, 22 April 2012

The "To Don't" List

To do or to don't?

Most of us have a to do list that’s endless. Have you ever wondered why it’s so?

Because life is eternal and, therefore, without end.  Our spirits move from life to life and some people believe from body to body.

If our spirits are going to live forever then so is our to do list. 
We are works in progress and so there’s a lot of tweaking and glitches to iron out.  It’s going to take a lot of work to get ourselves in shape for eternity.

First we have to ensure that our bodies are in optimum health. It’s a challenge as you age to change your eating habits. If you eat exactly the same foods that you’ve been eating for the last 25 years then you’re in trouble. Your digestive system just can’t keep processing those carbs and sugars and, when something gives, you’ll be forced to change.

Minds also need a change for spiritual growth. Change your thoughts regularly and ensure that they're in keeping with your mission statement: to be the change you seek.

I'm a new experience for my parents
When you’re born your life is like a an unmarked page of “to do”’s  and you can bet that it’ll get filled up soon enough. 

From the day you start to toddle and throw your food around  new experiences are coming at you thick and fast.  

Your first day at school, your first scraped knee; the first time someone pulls your hair; your first x-rated film, your first job, your first drive, your first experience of flying; your first date...and kiss, your first wedding dress (there could be more ahead!), your first baby (maybe not the last) and on and on it goes. 

Wrong "to do" list

Your life is littered with “firsts” until you hit middle age...then things start to slow down. All those firsts seem a long time ago and your mind is no longer as expectant as it once was. You’ve seen, done it and worn the T-shirt.

At such a time, disillusionment can start to seep through the cracks. You question everything and anything that you previously enjoyed just doesn’t have the same attraction....including your spouse!

When you start snapping and giving curt answers to pertinent questions...I am not in a bad mood. I am not a control freak. I am not having a nervous breakdown.....then it's time to sit down and take stock.

It’s time to compose  your very own“to don’t” list:
Don't let your feet suffocate in leather

Don’t believe that it’s too late
Don’t hold grudges
Don’t follow rules blindly
Don't say "yes" when you want to say "no"
Don’t listen to the naysayers
Don’t be afraid of failure
Don’t give a damn!
Don’t think you’ve lost your’s just taking a well-earned vacation!
Don’t let money be an obstacle.

Don’t might seem negative but you can turn it around. You’ve got to re-think the negatives and turn them into affirmations.

To do - always on my list
Whatever you do, don’t feel deprived and keep both your lists in good order.....hopefully reducing them as you go along. 

Most of all, if the "to do's" feel burdensome don’t give up simple pleasures like: soaking in a hot, bubble bath, reading an interesting book; taking a nap; taking a walk or exercising, or having a day out for yourself.

Get in the middle of your do and don’t and make the time to just be...aaah.............
empty your mind....breathe...and relax. 

Milk break
Life is endless and that’s a beautiful thing. As you begin life anew in a higher realm, you’ll be refreshed and revived ; your earthly mind  (and lists) will be erased and you’ll never need to write anything down ever again. 


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Getting rich slowly....inside and out!

Another day...another dollar

In one way or another we’re all creators…we build homes, families, friendships, careers, hobbies, numerous sources of entertainment and a heap of problems. When it comes to the latter we don’t always accept that we’ve created those.
We check into Victimville and blame our difficulties on everyone but ourselves.

If we are truly creators then we are building a life as well as financial reserves. I have never been around financially astute people so my wealth building is an assortment of writing everything down in an accounts book and reading self-help books.  I also do my utmost to live within my means.

In principle, I’m a model of solvency but, in truth,  it’s just a smoke screen. I gain insights into what I spend on but it doesn't seem to improve my budgeting. The major improvement I’ve made in the last few years is that I’ve cut up all my credit cards.

Pearls from Wisdomona have far more value
To put it bluntly, I have debts. Much of it caused by a lack of financial assertiveness during my  marriage. I had a stable career and consider myself educated and intelligent but I allowed myself to be swayed….by love. 

I believed in love with a passion and fervour that blinded my rational psyche. My head was a jumble of romantic notions and false, second-hand beliefs….from books, television, parents and friends.

Love and money do not go together, or that’s the way it looks to me. Perhaps selfless love and serious wealth do not. History tells us that spiritual intensity that spills over into devotion and compassion, found in saints and sages is a barrier to wealth building. In a nutshell, every saint is poor and every sinner is rich since money is the root of all evil…right?!

If you are what you eat then, even more so you are what you spend….let’s see....hmm.
I thought I’d be spending my life in a cottage in the countryside. I thought I might be spending it with a loving husband and family. I thought I’d be spending my time writing. A room with a view is all I needed to call a sanctuary to ponder and plot my best seller.  
I thought I’d be spending money to create new experiences....guess debt is a new experience the first time you find yourself in it!

Inner wealth
Money…which was the furthest thing from my young mind….would be plentiful; not sure how but I was a die-hard optimist! By nature, I’m easy going. I don’t lay down the law, strive to get my way or demand this and that. Easy going people get trampled over and taken advantage of. 

Most of the time no one notices them as they blend into the background. I lived a clichéd life of quiet desperation until one day I decided to take a long, hard look at myself and the mess I’d created.

I did not achieve ,any of my youthful ambitions as I was taking no worthwhile course of action.
 I talked solvency but thrived on borrowed money.

I had to face the cold, hard facts:

I did not have a supportive partner with whom I felt safe enough to communicate my needs
 I came to expect and accept shortages of money, time and love
My social circle consisted of people who were stuck in a rut and wanted to stay that way; it took a  toll on my natural enthusiasm
·       I felt that joy and love were not my birthright and were for other people
·       I felt guilt over showing love to myself
I     I was an emotional spender
·      I wrote .....but the words did not flow easily and writer’s block was just another word for the angst felt over my inadequacies
       I hid myself under a mountain of responsibilities
I     I lost trust and confidence in myself 

 When I finally stepped into the light,  I was laden with complex  emotional and financial baggage.
My self-esteem was as low as my liquid assets.

Little by little, I find my load lightening but there are days when I carry the weight of regret over my misspent youth.

Feeling rich
Getting rich on the outside means a little more bling...shiny, things come into your life that add the X-factor so your ego is happy; even if its for a short time. 

Getting rich on the inside means feeling peace, love and gratitude for all that you are and all that you have. Inside you know you’re a queen when you’ve tamed your spending habits, made a few good investments (in yours truly most of all) and are sharing your bounty. 

Life is never so rich as when you’re not spending money!

In life there are no mistakes or failures, only lessons learned. I’ve learnt a few painful ones and my one wish now is to get back on track to achieving financial freedom. 

I want it to be easy but there are no short cuts and I’m taking the road less travelled. My financial story is no sorry tale. Inwardly, I’m building a far richer life than ever before so it shouldn’t be long before it shows on the outside too.

I might be going at a snail's pace but the important thing is that I'm going in the right direction this time and with peace of mind.


Monday, 16 April 2012

How an iceberg dealt a blow to male chauvinism

Sub-zero temperatures + water = icebergs
Last  weekend was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It's a melodrama about man versus nature. The sea is an invincible force and no where do we see this more clearly illustrated than in the story of the Ttitanic.

Titanic was built by the White Star Line who wanted a luxury sea vessel to traverse the Atlantic. It set sail on 10th April 1912 from Southampton on its way to New York. There were 2,223 people on aboard that included first class and second class passengers together with crew members. Of those numbers 1,500 were to lose their lives.

Titianic was the work of men of arrogance. I say that quite catergorically since women in that day were not educated to the ranks of engineers and architects. Women were confined  to waiting on their menfolk as wives, daughters, sisters and even mistresses. A woman's job was to cook, clean and care for the children.
It takes a woman to do..what a man forgets to!
It would be a few more years before suffrage was granted so a woman's place was firmly behind a man's.....except when it came to accessing lifeboats.

The women and children were piled into lifeboats and they were the amongst the largest number to survive the tragedy.

 I guess it never felt so good to be a woman and sex was a determinant of who would escape from the sea monster that struck an iceberg.
Had women been on the design and engineering team there's no guarantee that history would be  any different but the blame for this mighty mistake falls squarely on men's shoulders....why were there not enough life boats?

The two leading men in this drama were Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line and Thomas Andrews, the designer of the ship. As legend goes, Mr Ismay challenged Mr Andrews to increase the speed of the Ttitanic to demonstrate the prowess of its engines. Neither of them had anticipated any obstacles in the vast ocean and, when the iceberg was spotted, it was too late to alter course and the speed they were travelling at did not allow them to slow down.

Titanic v North Atlantic Ocean
The edge of the iceberg ripped through the boiler rooms and lower deck at 11.40pm on 14th April and the ship sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later. Only 700 survivors were picked by the rescue ship, The Carpathia.

At the time of building, Mr Andrews did not see the necessity of having enough life boat capacity for the entire  crew and passengers.Or perhaps he did mention it to the White Star Line but they felt that their money was better invested in elegant furnishings for the first class cabins.

Titanic was built by optimists and egotists. It was hailed as the unsinkable.... until the unthinkable happened. Nature is no respecter of braggarts and the icy waters of the North Atlantic are governed by the secret laws of nature. Icebergs don't drop out of the sky and you would have thought sea-faring men would have known that sub-zero temperatures and water produce icebergs?!!
It was a man's world!

Male pride in the magnificence of the Titanic affected good judgement. They did not believe that anything could stand in the way of this perfect creation. Titanic is, however, not a tale of woe as there is  much for us to learn about heroism, pathos, the  beauty, ugliness and frailty of human nature.

When you are so certain of something in your life, as the design team of the Titanic were, be sure that nature will show you the error of your ways.

Ttianic was a giant of ship and it's a giant of a story. It's about men's giant sized egos that eventually were the death of them!


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The price of a little dreaming

Dream a little dream 
There’s much written and talked about the psychology of lottery ticket buying. Some say that you’re already making a loss when you hand over your hard-earned cash, choose your lucky numbers and then wait with anticipation for the draw.

If you’re amongst the ranks of the disappointed millions then you’ve not only lost your stake but also your dreams have been crushed.

Buying a lottery ticket is tapping in to your lucky streak and conjuring up a host of images about what your perfect life will look like once you’ve hit the jackpot. 

I own a frigging island!
Your hopes and dreams come alive and, in front of your eyes as if on a conveyor belt, passes all of the life’s luxuries that have your name on it – designer clothes and shoes, a  brand spanking new eight bedroomed home complete with walk-in wardrobes and five acres of landscaped gardens in the best neighbourhood,  a couple of convertibles and four wheel drives, playbooks and electronic tablets that you can just hand out to friends and family  like jelly beans, holiday apartments,  cottages and vacations (adventuresome / relaxing)  to every corner of the globe (the world gets real small when you’re one of the big winners!). 

Lady Gaga of the Lottery
There’s an innate belief in all of us that we’re lucky. Lady Luck smiles on us but she sometimes excludes us from the fold. She’s a fickle taskmaster who only bestows good fortune on the chosen few or so we believe when we’re nursing our losses. But she never turns against us completely and so we carry on religiously purchasing our ticket and checking the numbers.

The Alps don't cost me a thing!
Some people will say that this is deluded behavior.
Millions upon millions of losers playing a game in which there are just a few or even one winner. Well, I say play on.

This is wealth creation and the organizations behind the lottery filter some of the funds into charitable ventures. This assists with poverty alleviation and when winners spend their windfall on services or goods money circulates and contributes to a healthful economy. 

Some lottery winners are generous. They pay off the mortgages of their friends and family, treat them to unexpected, lavish gifts and fill their world with happiness, as they define it. Money doesn’t buy ultimate happiness but it provides temporary pleasures (and who couldn't use a few of those?!).

I’ve seen the lights in childrens’ eyes – or is that dollar signs (!!??)- when they get to swim with dolphins and meet their favourite Disney heroes. When grandma is able to travel first class to long haul destinations to be reunited with family, Mum gets regular pampering sessions and doesn’t have to work right up to retirement, Dad can finally achieve his ambition of learning to fly a bi-plane and struggling friends and relatives are relieved of their financial burdens by the largesse of a winner, then we should all be celebrating. 
Dreams are good for the soul

Some lottery winners are mean and stay that way despite their new found millions. That’s human nature and there are two sides to every coin. I don’t want to devote any blog space to these close minded and tight fisted people. In my opinion they’re miserly whether they’re rich or poor and, in my book, they’re life’s losers!
It's for sharing

When lottery winners fritter away their money, the organizers get a bad press though it’s a powerful assertion of human rights.

It’s your money to spend how you please. The tax man can’t touch it. You’ll have investment houses hounding you and if you haven’t the good sense to take them up on their offers that’s your look-out!

I feel like a million dollars even when I don't win

I don’t play the lottery very often but I never stand in the way of others doing so. I don’t have any sanctimonious offerings on the subject. You might be the goose that lays the golden ticket and I wouldn’t deprive you of the chance of unlimited wealth.

If the lottery spreads a little optimism and helps dreamers dream a little bigger then who am I to pour cold water on that. 

The price of a ticket is minimal but only you know the true value you place on that.
 Dreams, after all, are personal and happiness is up to you….even when you don’t have the winning numbers.

If you were a winner I’d love to know how you’d spend those zillions. 
Let me know by leaving a comment.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Resurrection and reinvention

Today is Easter Sunday and although I’m not overtly religious I still acknowledge the joy felt my ardent Christians at this special time in the Church’s calendar. The risen Christ symbolizes hope, faith and the belief that a baptism of fire can lead you to salvation.

Our senses deceive us. If vision is a brain process then we’re all seeing the same thing but with differing interpretations. One of us sees the cross as an edifice that a man was put to death on; another sees the cross as man’s liberation; another sees suffering as a thing of value and others believe that suffering is pointless.

Resurrection laughs in the face of death. When death deals you its hand; resurrection holds the trump card. Resurrection alone is a flimsy thing. It’s almost a circus act of rising from the dead.  Just imagine if people who had passed on came back as they were.

Though we miss loved ones who have passed away we really wouldn’t wish them back. How would it be if they re-entered the same situation? If they were employed would you want them to return to their former professions? If they were dealing with an illness or terminal condition would you want to see them again in that state? If they were less than good humoured and with anger management issues would you want to be around them again? If they were sweet natured would you want them to return and smile through the pain?

Life is not a bowl of cherries for anyone; no matter how perfect everything looks on the outside. We have no idea of the personal battles people are engaged in. So death comes as a reprieve but , in our last moments, we take with us our feelings, thoughts and aspirations….yes our spirit will be along for the ride.

So what can we do to have the best possible passing? We must crucify our negative thought patterns and behaviours. Resurrecting our best attitudes and thoughts that we have about ourselves and others will enhance daily life. Every day, you experience rebirth and with that comes re-invention.

Reinvention is not passive. It’s meaningful action – lifting a heavy heart with kind words, forgiving the person who makes you feel bad when you give them the power to, bolstering your self-esteem by energizing your spirit; being calm in the midst of a storm; replacing ignorance with self-knowledge; remembering that you are the solution.

Once you reinvent yourself you’ll see things differently. You’ll notice the little things.  People who knew you before will not recognize you. You may be ostracized as you don’t fit in. You won’t have too many close friends. You’ll enjoy being alone. You’ll find yourself smiling for no reason. You’ll find yourself emotionally secure, no relying on anyone to make you feel better when you’ve had a bad day. You’ll find that you have enough. You’ll stop playing the blame game. You’ll feel good to be alive. You’ll find your passion . You’ll travel and collect worthwhile experiences. Your heart will be lighter and there’ll be a spring in your step. These are all signs of reinvention.

Resurrection lifts you higher and reinvention is the birth of a new you. 


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Ego alert: Patriotism

Be proud; not arrogant

Patriotism is defined as love for one’s country. In the world we live in where people move around and don’t often choose to remain in the country of their birth I’m not sure who is a patriot. Patriotism is getting jaded and outdated . When JFK said : “ ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country” he was just stirring up the people with rousing words that a fancy speech writer wrote. 

Politics is a game of words and powerful orators are akin to slick salesmen. They sell concepts and abstract ideas that appeal to your honour, integrity and dignity whilst they skilfully turn their attentions to their latest collection of nubile interns!

Patriotism and peace
Patriotism is political. It’s a club for the ego. It’s an enclave for the faithful to berate the faithless. Patriots are rarely vociferous in their countries of birth since they are confronted  with the bitter truths of governmental mismanagement – food shortages, pot-holed roads, poor sanitation and a dearth of educational resources and corruption. The latter being most often perpetrated by the men in power. It’s challenging to be a patriot when you have low socio-economic standards in a developing country.

Once a person leaves their country of birth they seem to become patriotic. The form groups in another country to remember the old country. Sometimes they refuse to integrate, learn the language of the host country and change the way they dress. The consider it disloyal to their country of birth to give up all their customs. Would that they were more loyal and remained in the motherland to do their duty?!!

Human rights stipulate that you are free to adhere to your cultural norms when they do not interfere with another’s civil liberties. What you do behind closed doors is your own business but what happens when its not? Visiting areas that have a high diversity of ethnic minorities you'll find your senses assaulted by unique sights, smells and sounds and not all of them pleasing. You’ll see people behaving in ways as they would in their own prairie lands that appear incongruent and undignified on streets of cobbled  stone. 

Fragile: handle with care
Do we have to tolerate another person’s idea of culture if its rammed down our throats?
The answer is no and I know many will misconstrue this as race hate. It is not. The right to life, liberty and happiness is upheld but what happens when one racial group puts this in a negative light? What happens when standards start falling in a developed country to make immigrants feel more comfortable? What happens when the indigenous population feel disturbed that their cultural practices are becoming obsolete?

Human rights means human responsibility. We cannot play ethnic music loudly, dump rubbish in our front gardens and cook with pungent spices if it brings down  the neighbourhood.  Being comfortable in our own skin, whatever the colour, should not pollute the atmosphere.  

The price of patriotism
Everyone wants to better themselves but not at the expense of trampling over another’s life style.If you are a patriot then practice healthy patriotism and do not hamper the attempts of indigenous peoples to live amicably in their own community. If you love your own country better then go back and support it. Do not disparage the  country that feeds you. Patriotism coupled with arrogance is the cause of social disorder.

There’s an ugly side to patriotism when we engage in warfare to settle differences. If we can’t share this world then what’s it for? The world is our country so what are we fighting over?
I do not live in the country of my birth so I’m not a patriot. However, I’m loyal to my country of domicile as I know I’ve been looked after – through good and bad economic times. Patriots should show love for their country by loving the one they’re in.  Being a good citizen and keeping the laws of the land is thanks enough.

We all need to live in harmony and without patriots (and inflated egos) we just might achieve that aim.
Hurtful patriotism


Tuesday, 3 April 2012


The age of synthetic biology is dawning and new life forms are being grown in petri dishes and test tubes by men in white coats.  These life forms will dominate our world and our grandchildren will go to schools with a phenomena known as “Manpanzee.”

These creatures are not completely new as they are still inhabiting the earth but they are prone to malfunction and self-destruction.  Darwin may have been correct in his theory that our ancestors were swinging from tree tops. The DNA must be reworked if we are to avoid a full scale catastrophe for animal and humankind. 

Below, you’ll find a list of their special characteristics:

The manpanzee is half man; half chimp. He’s a hairy life-form that struts around like a peacock, which is a feathered animal.
He grunts, groans and gripes and most of his speech is unintelligible except  to other manpanzees.

His feeding habits are simple: fried panzee meat and balls. He eats, shoots and leaves.

Monkee madness
The manpanzee experiences periods of lethargy when he’ll sit on the sofa, leg cocked, to watch sports. He enjoys shouting – at the television,  the cat,  his mate and  panzee cubs.

When it comes to exercise the most toned of his muscles are his lungs, that he uses to shout profanities and pollute his spirit. His fists,clench and unclench ready to strike out. This is one tough manpanzee who likes to show his strength especially to those weaker than himself - like ants and cockroaches.

Manpanzee believes that he’s in control of someone or something – Mrs Panzee and the weather. If he can’t control his mate his eyes will bulge and his mouth foam. When you find him muttering under his breath, it’s usually about one or the other.

Manpanzee likes a place for everything and everything in its place; Mrs Panzee’s is in the kitchen!

Manpanzee and friends
Manpanzee is a sensitive animal and when he’s driving he likes to be in command. He’d like to choose how many cars use the road so that they don’t slow him down.

If you fall out of favour with this animal you’ll find yourself being stalked and threatened. A quiet trip to the supermarket will turn into a game of subterfuge as he hides and waits for you to exit so that he can throw cheap insults around. He’ll sing to you in a screechy voice or stand at your gate, like a lovelorn Romeo.
He doesn’t know when to give up.

Manpanzee doesn't have a heart or conscience; he’s an unusual life form that has no truck with kindness and compassion.
He'll stab you in the back as well as the front! 

Manpanzee does not have a job other than to be an overseer of the slave plantation – making sure his womanpanzee brings in the bread and butter. He gives a variety of lectures to his family on animal husbandry – how to feed and care for the manpanzee in their life.

VIP - Very Imp Panzee
Manpanzee is meticulous about his treehouse; he never throws anything away and anything broken can be fixed with sellotape , even cracked window panes and leaks in the bathroom.

Manpanzee never spends his own money (since he’ll claim not to have any) but he never fails to spend yours. He’s adept at hoarding and hiding so check the floorboards and under the mattress.

Manpanzee is only close to his mother since he came through her birth canal. That’s why he enjoys sniffing around other females' birth canal areas.

When I grow up I want to be a manpanzee
Manpanzee is an apple-shaped mammal but his ego is ten feet tall. Everything he says is right and everything you do is wrong.

Manpanzee believes his sexual prowess to be far superior to others of his species. When his mate leaves him for another creature of a more developed species he’s can’t figure it out.

Manpanzee is very religious. He worships at the temple of the Noble and Great Panzee. Great Panzee doesn’t give a fig for his followers but he enjoys seeing them bowing before him and making offerings that he can recycle.

Manpanzee uses his mobile phone as a weapon. Prank calling and checking up on the location of his mate and cubs are his favourite pastimes.

Political animals
Manpanzee has a smile so terrifying you’ll pray that he never bares his teeth at you. It’s is way of showing pleasure but you can be sure that pain is never far away.

Manpanzee is only truly happy when Mrs Panzee is not. He loves getting up her nose.

Manpanzee’s mind is empty and when he shakes his head you can hear the only two brain cells rattling around.

The world according to Panzee
Approach this animal with caution.

 If you have first hand experience of caring for or sharing your life with a manpanzee then send me your observations. I'll add them to my case studies and publish them in my  thesis.