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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 5: FORGIVENESS

The first four gifts, Consciousness, Discernment, Choice and Courage are largely about how we interact with ourselves.  The fifth gift, Forgiveness, is about how we interact with both ourselves and others.

Resentment is one of the most, if not the most divisive force we have in our society.  It has always been so.  Resentment for the behaviors, backgrounds, ethnicity, religions, colour and even looks of others.  When we are in resentment, we cause harm to others, but even more significantly we cause harm to ourselves.  When the resentment is aimed at ourselves for being weak, unsuccessful, scared or whatever, it is an even more destructive force than when directed at others.

The great gift we have is that of Forgiveness: the refusal to hold ill will against ourselves or others.  The choice not to bear grudges against, even if we do not condone the behavior of the other.  Forgiveness is a cornerstone of all the great religions of the world and is the healing power in our society.

"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison."  #Nelson_Mandela

Forgiveness  enables us to choose not to be bitter or vengeful and in the moment of that choice, we also choose our own freedom by not causing harm to others or ourselves.  What a wondrous gift.


Give a gift to someone for whom you care: The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 4: COURAGE


"I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." #Nelson_Mandela

After Consciousness, Discernment and Choice, the fourth gift is Courage.  It is easy to make choices, but sometimes a lot more challenging to implement them when they look or sound scary.  For instance, when the abused spouse chooses to leave the marriage, the down-trodden employee chooses to speak up for himself, or the entrepreneur chooses to spend money on a new venture, although the choice has been made, the implementation often takes courage.

Our biggest challenge in implementing the choices we make is often to transcend the fear that paralyses us into inaction or pushes us in the wrong directions.  Fear stymies choices we make or might want to make, but courage is what carries our plans through to completion.

Every one of us is gifted with courage: we all have the capacity to transcend our fears and to play big.  In any event, the truth is that so much of what we fear never comes to pass, or at worst it turns out to be a fraction of the size we thought it would be.  Nonetheless, courage is required even to approach the things we fear, and this courage is a gift within every one of us.


Give a gift to someone for whom you care: The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 3: CHOICE

Welcome back to 2014!  After a good break it's time to explore the third gift, Choice.

I spoke in previous postings of the first two gifts, Consciousness and Discernment.  When we are living in a fully conscious state and have discerned the issues, it is time to make choices about our behaviour.

New years are often awash with resolutions to change our diets, habits and behaviour patterns. We all know about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, but oftentimes those intentions are adopted without the discernment piece in place, which is why they come to naught.  

The true way to give effect to the intention is firstly to ensure that it is the right intention (discernment) and then to make and implement conscious choices for ourselves.  Choice is a space which is supported by willingness: how often do we do things out of a sense of obligation or simply to escape the consequences of situations in which we believe we are trapped?  Everything that we do is done out of choice, even when we think we have no choice.  It is arguable that even when we breathe our last breath, we still often have a choice about whether that is the last one or not.  Even doing nothing is a chocie we make for ourselves.

Choice gives us power over our own destinies, which is why it is a gift.  It is only in our reluctance to choose that Life ends up having its way with us.  Choice is the way in which we get to change what is, so the invitation is to choose and keep on choosing as we direct our lives. 


On the subject of gifts, you might want to consider giving someone The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.