Good Manners and Forks

Good manners is much more than knowing what fork to use. Good manners is listening to the other person and showing them respect.

Based on a comment during an interview with George Will

How to navigate Impossible Conversations

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Do you have difficulty having conversations with people who strongly disagree with you? There are plenty of subjects these days that lead to very unpleasant arguments. I don’t have to tell you what these subjects are.

The good news is that there is an excellent book that can teach you how to navigate difficult conversations. I am a retired lawyer. I wish I had read book like this decades ago..

This is not just another self help book. It is essential reading discussions in today’s world. It is practical and full of helpful examples.

Here is a link to the book. Click on the link. Have a look. You don’t have to buy it. It is the book called “How to Have Imposssible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide” by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay.

The commission? Amazon will pay it to me. You don’t pay the commission.

Questions to think about (3): Love now

“One day, you are going to hug your last hug, kiss your last kiss and hear someone’s voice for the last time, but you never know when the last time will be. Live every day as if it were the last time you will be with the person you love.”

Does this quote speak to you? Is the message prompting you to do something, right now?

Author of quote unknown to me

Questions to think about (1): Living the agenda of others

Is it ok to live out someone else’s life at the expense of your own life? Does this make you a doormat? Does this make you a good person? Is this in the best interests of the person whose agenda you serve? Whose agenda are you living right now? Is it your agenda or someone else’s agenda? Do these questions disturb you? Why?

Sunlight and Free Speech

The sunlight of free speech is the best disinfectant against the darkness of irrational beliefs.

Photo by Rajiv Bajaj on Unsplash

Based on a metaphor in Free Speech by Andrew Doyle

Freedom of Expression (Free Speech)

How important is freedom of expression (free speech)?

Listen to the words of Benjamin Cardozo, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1932–38. He described freedom of expression as:

‘(T)he matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom’.

Quote from Free Speech by Andrew Doyle

An Act of Kindness – Thank you

On 27 April we (all over 70) had a blow out coming down a mountain pass near Villiersdorp in the Western Cape of South Africa. We were able to stop immediately. We were really struggling to change the wheel. Eventually a car stopped. It was Arnold du Preez of “Snail and Slug Solutions”. Arnold immediately offered to help us and after much effort was able to change the wheel. It was also dangerous for Arnold and us all because fast passing traffic was constantly rushing past about a meter from us. Thankfully were able to continue our journey,due to Arnold’s act of kindness.

The incident taught me an important lesson: All it takes is one act of kindness to make someone’s world a better place.

Thanks for the lesson Arnold – may we follow your example and be kind when next we come across a person in need, whatever that need may be.

Here is the link to Snail and Slug Solutions. Please support Arnold if you need his services.

Here is how to contact Arnold: Click here.

Please note that this post was completely unsolicited.

Thank you.

The Sacred Call of the Sea

NB: There is a picture below the post.

It was the English poet John Keats who wrote:

On the Sea

It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores ….
….
Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody—
Sit ye near some old Cavern’s Mouth and brood,
Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!

Keats suggests that if we have had enough of this noisy world, we should go to a quiet place by the sea and sit “near some old Cavern’s mouth and brood”. Suddenly, out of the silence we may be startled to hear choirs of sea nymphs singing.

We are being called to go back to nature and to allow her to gently embrace us in her healing arms.

This sacred call of the sea is exquisitely captured in the beautiful photograph below. Be still. Can you hear the call?

Photpgraph: Mariska Spoormaker

A big thank you to Mariska Spoormaker for permission to use her beautiful photograph. Mariska took the picture on the Sacramento Trail near Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

Can we learn from a humble mouse?

Yes we can! Read this story about a mouse. My son in London wrote it.

Lets all listen up and learn!

What the mouse treading milk in the bucket is really about

It’s about two things. The first is the obvious one that everyone knows about. The second is the less obvious but the most important.

The first is about not giving up when in a difficult situation. It’s about keeping going because you never know what might happen. And while this is good advice it is also self-evident. The second is about doing work you don’t want to do. No mouse wants to be stuck in a bucket treading milk. But look what happens when he keeps going. The milk turns to butter. Not only does this change provide salvation for the mouse but it turns the milk into something very useful. And a whole bucket of it.

Work is like this. No matter what work you do, if you keep at it, it turns into something very useful. Things start to happen as if by magic. Take a janitor cleaning a floor. Nobody wants to do that. But if he keeps at it then he begins to notice how to do it in the most efficient way, which chemicals work best, when to do the work and so on. How many million-dollar cleaning businesses started this way? And yet they began with work that nobody wanted to do.

Whenever you do anything hard you are treading milk. Like with treading milk you may not see any progress for a long time. The quality of your output (whatever that might be) won’t change at first it and it may seem like it never will. But then… slowly, the milk begins to turn into butter. The output becomes valuable and sought after and you, its creator, will begin to love it. And all this happens through nothing more than persistence. You don’t need to learn. You need to keep going.

The importance of today

Something to think about

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.

That’s why it’s called the present.

Bil Keane

Click here for the same message expressed in timeless poetry: “The Salutation of the Dawn”. It is a poem treasured for generations.It is a poem to be remembered forever. Keep safe.