Monday, July 21, 2014

Man of Peace

I've not found the world a very happy place to be at the moment with all that is happening outside our own country.  My heart goes out to the families of those who lost loved ones in the MH17 downed flight from Amsterdam - we had friends who flew out from there that very day over the same airspace and it brings things home in a very real way.

It does make me ponder man's inhumanity to man (woman and child) and the fact that I don't take the safe haven we have of our family, friends, neighbours and local community here for granted.  Bad things happen to good people but I also think a lot more good things happen to good people in life.  Buddhists talk about facing the world with equanimity but it can be a hard thing to practise when things like this happen, as goes for the concept of forgiveness.  It truly is a divine thing to witness in those people who are capable of forgiving.
Image via Amazon
On a brighter note, I did want to talk about three of my great loves - books, reading and writing - the things I seek refuge and comfort in which keep me sane.  I have finally tackled the epic novel Shantaram by Australian author Gregory David Roberts this year and while I'm still only half way through reading it (it's a book whose size has always put me off) - I'm pleased to say it's been a rollicking read so far and there are plans afoot to turn it into a movie.
Image via Eventbrite
The Melbourne Writers Festival is on next month and it's always been one of my great dreams to publish a book one day.  It is inspiring to read about bloggers who've turned their blogs into books such as local stay-at-home dad (to four boys!) Clint Greagen of the Reservoir Dad (heh heh!) blog and book of the same name.  He will be taking a workshop at the festival for anyone who is interested in turning their blog into a book.  I was also reading about Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post over the weekend who has written a book called Thrive, which talks about the third metric of success (after money and power) being wellbeing.

For me, health and happiness (which includes wellbeing and connectedness to other people) are the biggest measures of 'success' and while money definitely makes things more comfortable, I've known a lot of unhappy, rich people in my lifetime.  Money doesn't buy taste, style or class and sadly, I think too much importance is placed on the material things in life which we can't take with us when we go.  Now days, I always look at a person's quality of relationships with the other people in their life, which to me is the greatest measure of success -we were not put on this planet to be alone.  We can be our own greatest enemies but we can also be our own greatest friends - perhaps something more positive to think about if love replaces anger in the same world we all share as people.

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