humility

October 29, 2010

A beautiful thought by the Dalai Lama:

It is important to distinguish between genuine humility, which is a type of modesty, and a lack of confidence. They are not the same thing at all, although many confuse them. This may explain, in part, why today humility is often thought of as a weakness, rather than as an indication of inner strength, especially in the context of business and professional life.

Something I have been trying to say for years, but he is so much more eloquent. I guess meditating for five hours every day may produce a clear mind or something.

child labour

October 22, 2010

I think child labour is harmless within certain limits. Before Craig Kielburger comes knocking, there is precedent for children working without harm (and for much benefit). Ontario’s summer holidays for schools was structured around the summer farm work season. The children were then free to assist their families in the fieldwork and harvest.

In many countries around the world, progressive schools institute a holiday for harvest times of coffee, cacao or other crops. They understand that the children will miss school anyway since it is the only way that families can survive. And even during the school year, the children are expected to help out. It is only a newer idea that it is a bad thing for children to work.

Work is a great teacher for children; it teaches responsibility, appreciation for leisure, and helps them understand what will be expected of them in life. The problem is when work shadows other activities – especially playing and school. The issue is sometimes of need (poorer families need their children to work) and sometimes of greed (exploitation of children as was very recently documented in the diamond mines of Zimbabwe). It’s all about finding a healthy balance with the need and condemning the greed.

lost and dazed

October 16, 2010

lost and dazed. feeling alone in a sea of people
blurry eyes that do not see correctly anymore
a heart that does not feel right, beating and
hurting you. hurting for you. you stinging my chest
with words that challenge my way, my action, my life

why throw away love? when it should be held close
to heal my aching heart. to nourish my darkened soul
that sounds hollow when tapped, a husk of
my former self. scattered where I was sharp, confused
instead of assured. conflicting with myself over my hardness

victims of my madness fall in suffering, wondering
why change that is so consuming, has happened
without any warning. a trip away and life has crashed
like it was built from rubble. it seemed so strong and resilient
never-ending, never needing repair, always there. for granted

I need my life back, whatever form it takes, now
that much is destroyed and falling apart in front of
my eyes, from the outside things appear perfect like
rainbows and sunshine, why complain? inside I mourn for advice
to live a dream or my reality. cornered, I snarl like a mad dog. gnashing

the ritual of dinner

October 10, 2010

I’m reading “The Ritual of Dinner” by Margaret Visser that I just got from some friends. It is about the customs of eating together and how they came to be. How could you not love a book that starts with …

“Violence, after all, is necessary if any organism is to ingest another. Animals are murdered to produce meat; vegetables are torn up, peeled, and chopped; most of what we eat is treated with fire; and chewing is designed remorselessly to finish what killing and cooking began. People naturally prefer that none of this should happen to them. Behind every rule of table etiquette lurks the determination of each person present to be a diner, not a dish. It is one of the chief roles of etiquette to keep the lid on the violence which the meal being eaten presupposes.”

I’m looking forward to the rest!

finding peace

October 4, 2010

To find and hold a sense of peacefulness, you must be at peace with yourself. That means loving yourself and truly forgiving yourself. Only then can we properly approach loving and forgiving others. This is required for peace.

Finding peace also requires humility and the control of your ego. There seems to be little room for egotism, spite or hatred when you are at peace. Thinking we are better than others is the enemy of love and peace. Acting selfishly is at odds with love. Being self-absorbed will not allow peace to exist.