This week I once again posted on The Book Notes Project. You can also read the post here.
Last time I wrote about how each one of us is a story, that you are the author of your story and that you have to make the choices that will determine whether or not your story will be a good one.
But that made me think of something else: we all have an innate need to tell our stories. And more importantly, we all have a need to have our stories listened to.
That’s probably one of my biggest frustrations in life: I can’t find anyone to listen to my story. See, I’m a natural listener. If I sit next to someone on a bus or stand behind someone in a queue, they just start talking to me. Nothing too personal…at first. But I can’t help listening – I’m naturally good at it and I’ve been trained as a counsellor which merely honed my existing skills – and before long they’re spilling their guts to me. Continue reading “The Greatest Service”
Today is Nelson Mandela’s (who, according to his family is doing much better) 95th birthday. Today is also Mandela Day. Mandela Day was started in 2009 by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a year after Madiba’s 90th birthday. Later that year the UN officially declared July 18 to be International Nelson Mandela Day.
It’s not a public holiday, not even in South Africa. It’s rather (according to the official website) “a day dedicated to his life’s work and that of his charitable organisations, and to ensure his legacy continues forever.” The idea behind it is that, “Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community. Mandela Day is a call to action for individuals – for people everywhere – to take responsibility for changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did.” Wikipedia calls it, “…a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.”
I don’t have a problem with honouring the legacy of someone like Madiba. The impact he has had on South Africa and the rest of the world cannot be denied and he will forever be remembered along with people like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr. Nor do I disagree that every individual can and should make an impact – in fact, it should be said more often.
But this 67 minutes-thing bugs me. Continue reading “On Mandela Day”
This week it is my turn to post on The Book Notes Project. I have also posted it here for your convenience (and I’m too lazy for two posts in one day).
“We’re all stories, in the end.”
The Doctor says this to a sleeping young Amelia Pond in the Doctor Who episode, The Big Bang. He is on the wrong side of a crack in time that’s rapidly closing and his story is about to end. He’s sharing it with one last person in the hope that he would be remembered.
I don’t know whether Steven Moffat intended it this way when he wrote it, but this line gives us a way to look at our lives – as stories. Continue reading “Make it a good one”
I wanted to write something for Mother’s Day today, but am finding it surprisingly hard. I think what’s giving me problems is that it’s enormously difficult to write anything that’s not a mind-numbing cliché.
So, let me keep things very simple: You wouldn’t be here today without your mum. Literally. If you don’t believe me, go make friends with a Biology teacher. He’ll explain it to you.
You also wouldn’t be the person you are today without your mother (from here onwards read ‘whoever filled the role of mother in your life’). This includes your negative traits, by the way – mothers mess up.
If you’re so lucky that your mother is still alive, give her a call today. If she’s near enough, go visit and give her a hug. Even if at this point you don’t really like her (it happens – she might even deserve it), put your own feelings aside for a day and appreciate the good that she has done. Because you are who you are because of her. And one day she’s going to be gone and then you won’t have that chance anymore.
So to all the birth mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, adoptive mothers, godmothers and even grandmothers out there: Happy Mother’s Day. We appreciate you even if we don’t always show it. Thanks for putting up with all our nonsense.