My wife knows how to put a fool in his place. Unfortunately that has sometimes been me. Thankfully that is more-so in the past. I celebrate strong, intelligent opinionated, mature women. They are beautiful, sublime and amazing. The world needs to hear their voices a lot more. They have SO very much to contribute.
You true self is of great value, your life is of great worth. You may not see it, but it is true nonetheless. Gold that is covered in mud still retains it’s intrinsic value.
Renew the twisted mindsets that you hold on to, the ones that tell you that you are not good enough, also the ones that tell you that you are better than others, the mindsets that diminish your beautiful humanity, and the worth of others. You truly are good enough and much, much more.
Pursue that which is meaningful to you. Do not lock your mind into thought patterns that say you are this or that, believer, unbeliever, theist, agnostic, atheist, calathumpian or whatever. Doing so may inhibit your mind and spirit to new ideas and experiences.
My journey of shedding religion has caused me to feel like an atheist towards a God that (apparently) burns people for eternity, yet I wouldn’t label myself an atheist because I still believe in some sort of magic in the universe. I see and sense this magic everyday, in animals, connections with people, and I feel it deep inside. This magic is in things like quantum physics and the many mysteries of science and life that we do not yet understand.
Most importantly I still believe in goodness, kindness and love. The innate built-in love and knowledge that I am one with all of nature, “God” and mankind. This is a wonderful and liberating way to feel. Life is good, it is very, very good.
It is a horrible, demonic and evil beast.
Colour it with pretty flags, discipline, precisely timed marching, nicely tailored uniforms, hats, bagpipes, trumpets, drums, salutes, medals, tradition with emotional attachments, armour plating, rapid fire bullets, fast ships, jet fighters with a carbon fibre structure carbon, heat seeking missiles and other technology that boggles the mind. Yet its evil, life diminishing and beastly nature does not change.
Is it ever truly right to cause suffering or to torture another human being?
Let’s throw some manly chest thumping pride into the mix. We know that man has a warlike nature that is a nasty recipe for holocaust and untold suffering. We have indulged this ugly beast for way to long.
In the modern age it’s not just soldiers that suffer. Children, women and the elderly are all legitimate targets.
I have British heritage, so in WW2 we were the ‘good guys’, or so I was told. Yet it was necessitated for us to be on the side of Stalin, the murderer of many millions. Our primary enemy was a nation that had a strong Christian heritage, Gott mit uns (God with us) was inscribed on their belt buckles. We went to war because Poland was invaded. Yet at the end of hostilities Poland was still unfairly enslaved for another decade.
Dig a little deeper. We sent flying machines over lands to incinerate untold thousands of innocent people, men, women and children. The hellish skin scorching fires caused the body fat of innocents to flow in the cobblestoned streets of the so called enemies European cities. (Google Düsseldorf andHamburg RAF bombings). At various times the people on our side also raped and pillaged. Yes, to a barbaric and horrendous degree. Hitler and the the Nazis acted unconscionably and with great treachery, they needed to be stopped, but we also need to accept that the so called good guys also caused untold suffering. War has no true victors. We and all humankind are the ultimate losers in the power plays of the nations.
War is sweet to some, the mongerers and profiteers delight in its fruit, yet to the suffering masses it is a bitter concoction of untold tortures and miseries. Greed, avarice, power mongering and retribution are its birthright. Goodness can never be its offspring. Retribution is always the enemy of love.
Do we teach our children dominance by force? No, of course not, our hearts tell us that this is wrong.
Humankind continually chooses to have a war-like nature, but we can choose a better way. Thankfully in the 21st century there are some positive signs emerging.
I look forward to a new world, the world my Grandchildren will enjoy, we will beat our metaphorical swords into plowshares, our technology will heal rather than maim, we will advance our technology towards helping rather than hurting. This is already happening, we have entered a beautiful new world. A new world that is up to each and every one of us to create. We have the power to do it, and I know that we will, and I know that it will be sweet and beautiful.
My wife and I have just enjoyed our 25th Wedding Anniversary holiday in Europe. It was the amazing honeymoon we never had. We embraced it fervently and enjoyed it all. There were one or two testy moments when our plans didn’t go quite right, not always easy at the time but looking back we know it was part of the fun.
If I died tomorrow I’d be happy with the memories I’ve created and experiences I’ve had with all my loved ones.
This holiday has been a little extravagant, but the truth is that I’m just as happy in our family home, dealing with issues, fixing a broken lawnmower, hugging my son or daughter, paying bills, sending sales reports to my boss, reading a book, watching a favourite TV show, giving some love to my beloved Winston or having a coffee with my wife in the backyard.
It is all bliss and the beauty of life.
Today I had the pleasure of strolling around a beautiful town in France called Aix-en-Provence with my French born wife, enjoying the food, old world architecture, wine, cheeses and patisseries. It’s been heavenly. Listening to her banter in French with the locals has been fun to watch too. At 49 years of age this is my first long awaited trip to the land of the tasty baguette. It’s been way too long coming.
Over the years I’ve heard quite a few Australians (even close friends and family) make some quite negative comments about French people being rude and arrogant. Then, just recently I googled images with the words “funny France” just to find some funny pictures to post on Instagram. I was surprised to see a quite a few posters and cartoons lampooning the French as being cowards. I will deal with this one first…
I know war history fairly well so I can tell you this is a fallacy. It stems from the fact that France fairly quickly surrendered to Nazi Germany in WW2. Maybe the people who lampoon the French for surrendering to Germany are warmongers like the Nazis were. The fact is that no army or armies could have stood up the the German blitzkrieg (newly developed lightning tactics) at that time. The British put up a good fight with their outgunned and under armoured tanks but soon hightailed it out of there via Dunkirk to prepare to fight another day. The French Renault tanks were good but their defensive strategy could not stand against the vastly superior Nazi might at that time. Well organised air power, tanks and infantry all working together. It had never been done before. It would take another five years and the industrialised might of The USA, British (and British Commonwealth) and the USSR for the Nazis to be defeated.
What would you have done? Continued to fight a senseless, useless war? The beautiful city of Paris would have been obliterated by the Luftwaffe and many lives senselessly lost. To even imply that the French were cowardly for surrendering to Nazi Germany is an uneducated and ridiculous notion.
The French rude and arrogant? My father-in-law Jean-Paul Leroy was a driven man, before selling all his possessions to start a foundation for children in Indonesia with his wife he was a foreman at a mining engineering workshop and was known as a hard taskmaster. He didn’t suffer fools easily and he didn’t like laziness. Was he rude? Sometimes, was he arrogant? Yes occasionally, but he was also very compassionate, especially towards children and animals. This is one of the marks of a good person. I loved him dearly and he is greatly missed.
Two weeks ago my wife and I were in London on a hop on, hop off bus checking out the sights. The ‘old school’ tour guide was funny but a little obnoxious. He was quite rude to some French tourists and my wife and I felt sorry for the way they were treated, it was poor form. These sorts of cross cultural incidents happen here and there but can be avoided if we make greater efforts towards being kind and understanding.
I think one of the most common reasons for English speaking people thinking French people are rude is the arrogant expectation that French people should speak English in their own country.
French people are actually very polite. You walk into a shop and they will always say Bonjour Monsieur! It’s often said very emphatically and meaningfully. If you walk into a store speaking English and ignoring polite protocols then it’s no wonder that you may find the service lacking. A polite Bonjour Monsieur! and parlez-vous anglais? goes a long way.
I’ve also noticed a very strong comradery between work colleagues in France. We were at a train station getting help from a middle aged woman of colour and a young male colleague came in to start his shift and greeted her with the double cheek kiss. I thought it was very sweet and affectionate. I’ve never seen this sort of thing in Australia. We noticed it amongst workers in other places too, bars, cafes and restaurants, very meaningful, polite affection shown to work mates. I like it and I think it says something quite positive about the French people.
Are French people rude and arrogant? Of course they are at times… we all are. But I don’t think it’s fair to label them as such. Dig a little deeper, try to understand their rich culture a little more, learn a few new words, give your work mate a double cheek kiss. Then tell me how rude and arrogant French people are!
There are many these days looking for followers. Followers on IG, FB, Twitter et al. Some people pay money for followers to boost their fragile egos. I was there once. These days I’m looking for connections, connections like the one my wife and I had with a hilarious Frenchwoman who was closing a boutique clothing shop in Nice today after 30 years because business is almost non existent. Her exuberant personality made my day and I doubt I will ever forget her. Real connections, with my loved ones, like the many I had with love of my life today, spontaneous, unique and sublime.
This evening a young and attractive blond woman wrote a comment on a photo I posted on IG: “Message me ASAP!” Okay, I have a message for her and maybe for you too, this is it: ‘Love intensely, smile a lot, cry when you need to and shine your beautiful light to the world’. Just like the funny French woman did to me. I think the world really does need it. You’re welcome, and so am I!
Our eyes have not seen, our ears have not heard, and our nostrils have not smelt the terrible legacy that is left by war. But too many have experienced its terrible wrath, and generations have also suffered a legacy of broken and missing fathers and mothers. Many well read, honest people have some understanding or inkling of its torturous terrors. It’s time for us to create a new world devoid of such evil. If we only truly believed the power we have inside each and every one of us, to effect positive change, then we could begin to usher in true peace on this amazing, war-weary planet of ours.