Friday, February 29, 2008

Getting any Compliments lately?

Getting any Compliments lately? 12/2/2008

If you have not been in the habit of receiving too many compliments, it may just be that you haven’t been giving any out either!

I received the following comment from Lynx, my American blogger pal. She wrote: “He who is short on compliments is the one short of compliment-worthiness :) Not tooting my horn, I just don't see why people hold back compliments and constructive suggestions when they're due. Now I am not talking about false or forced compliments here but only those when and where merited.”

What about you when it come to giving compliments? Is it because you are, in Lynx ‘s words, “short of compliment-worthiness” yourself? Or do you just not notice or care when others do something good?

If you have not been in the habit of complimenting others I would like to either encourage you, or even challenge you, to try finding things to compliment others on. Whether it be friends, family, or work mates, instead of criticising them, try finding things to compliment them on. Again in Lynx’s words, we are “not talking about false or forced compliments”, but about compliments that are due!

In other words if you think someone has done a good thing, whether for you or someone else, don’t just think it, but actually speak up and tell them so.

So what about It? Are you prepared to take up my challenge for the month of March, and just look for worthy deeds to compliment others on? Walter (& Lynx)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

If you write, you are a writer.

Sorry to keep banging on about writing lately, but I have received some more good advice that I would like to pass on to you, from a long-time American friend.

She wrote: “As a writer, one of the first things I learned was..."if I write, I am a writer." Say this every day. You do not have to be published to be a writer. Every time you write anything, you get better skills and learn more. “

So in what I expect to be my last current item on writing for now, I would just like to encourage everyone with my friend’s wise words. Not just with writing but also with whatever it is that you do. If you are doing something, then that is what you are. You may not yet be the best at it.

You may never be the best at it, but if that is what you are doing then that is what you are.

If you don’t like your current title then you might have to change jobs or profession, but if that is what you do, than that is what you are.
I remember an old Joke that asks, “What do you call a final year Medical Student who gets 51% in their final Exam?” And the Answer is, “Dr!” Now someone might write in and say that you actually need a higher percentage than that to actually become a Dr. But the point is that even if you just make the minimum requirement, you have still qualified. Now I’m not saying that I would necessarily be fighting for the right to be your first patient, but I hope you get my point.

So if you are doing something, then you are that something, but also remember my friend’s final point. Each time you do that task, your skills and your efficiency and your confidence will increase.

So if you are doing something that you like but you have not fully mastered yet, don’t give up, or get discouraged, but keep going and get more experience and practise as you go. That’s my friend and my opinion, what’s yours? Walter.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Agapanthus Story Response.

Recently I posted a blog about Agapanthus, called, “Which Agapanthus Story Do You Like Best & Why?”, where I asked you which version of the same story your preferred. I had done this because I had submitted the first version to the main paper here for publication in their Letters column and they printed the edited version. Now I didn’t particularly like the heavily edited version myself but was wondering what the majority of others thought, so I put it out to you all for your responses.

Evidently the majority didn’t care for either version that much, as I only received two responses. One in favour of each version. Which really didn’t help me much except to make me realise that I have to depend on and write, that which I am happiest with.

What about you? Are you still like I just was, and trying to please everyone and anyone else, but yourself?

It is right and proper to seek advice and even to heed that advice when you are not sure, but where you are sure and know what you want to do, then you need to apply yourself to that task and do what you want to do, to the best of your ability and talent, even if you are the only one who really acknowledges it, because there will always be others who will like it but for various reasons never acknowledge it. So as long as it is not illegal or immoral or hurtful to others, do your best in what you want to do and not worry about the applause (Or in a lot of cases, the lack of it?)

That is what I intend to do with my whole life from now on in and not just with my writing. As Long as I am happy with what I am doing and I am walking in God’s path for me, I am not going to worry (well not too much!) about whether it is good enough for anyone else. What about you? Will you not join me in going through life with that same attitude?

Agapanthus Story Response.

Recently I posted a blog about Agapanthus, called, “Which Agapanthus Story Do You Like Best & Why?”, where I asked you which version of the same story your preferred. I had done this because I had submitted the first version to the main paper here for publication in their Letters column and they printed the edited version. Now I didn’t particularly like the heavily edited version myself but was wondering what the majority of others thought, so I put it out to you all for your responses.

Evidently the majority didn’t care for either version that much, as I only received two responses. One in favour of each version. Which really didn’t help me much except to make me realise that I have to depend on and write, that which I am happiest with.

What about you? Are you still like I just was, and trying to please everyone and anyone else, but yourself?

It is right and proper to seek advice and even to heed that advice when you are not sure, but where you are sure and know what you want to do, then you need to apply yourself to that task and do what you want to do, to the best of your ability and talent, even if you are the only one who really acknowledges it, because there will always be others who will like it but for various reasons never acknowledge it. So as long as it is not illegal or immoral or hurtful to others, do your best in what you want to do and not worry about the applause (Or in a lot of cases, the lack of it?)

That is what I intend to do with my whole life from now on in and not just with my writing. As Long as I am happy with what I am doing and I am walking in God’s path for me, I am not going to worry (well not too much!) about whether it is good enough for anyone else. What about you? Will you not join me in going through life with that same attitude?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Comments, like everything else are relative!

When we were Missionaries and first went to Umtata (Now Mthatha) in the then Transkei in South Africa, we moved into a house that automatically and spontaneously brought comments from all who saw it for the first time. Those comments could be divided into two groupings almost without exception.

All the White/European people (includes Americans, and Aussies too,) that saw it, had a comment. And all comment, almost without exemption, was “What a poky little place”. While the Africans, again almost without exception, remarked along the lines of, “How blessed you are to have such a Big House?” And depending on which side you viewed things, both views were right.
To people with normal sized houses this one was on the miniature side, but to those used to even smaller Ones, ours was huge. So from that I learned to try and look at all comments about things from all sides of the spectrum where possible, before making judgments.

Recently I received a couple of interesting comments about my blogs that made me remember and think back on that particular house. Both comments interestingly enough were from American women. (Totally irrelevant, but interesting!)

One came from a Christian friend of long standing who writes children’s stories. She wrote:”

Your blogs are good; maybe more preaching than I'm used to. But good thoughts and writing.”

The other comment came from another dear friend, who would describe herself as spiritual but not Christian, who wrote: To one of my closest friends online, Walter. You make me think when writer's block owns my brain. You make us all laugh once in a while too! You are an unwavering friend that never gets too preachy, and considering that's what you do for a living, that's irony in a nutshell!”

So one thinks I am too preachy (Compared to her own children’s writing) and the other doesn’t think I am preachy at all! 9Compared to her experience with Christians.) Which is right? Experience tells me both are right, because both are looking from their own particular view on life.

Now, forget my writing for the moment and concentrate on yourself and how you see Life.

Through what particular, maybe even peculiar, prism or lense do you view life and the world around you? Is it the right lense or do you too sometimes need to cross to the other side to get the full and proper view on things?

Will you now try and look at things from all sides to get a full and rounded view of things or will you continue on seeing just one of possibly many views because you refuse to use any other lense on life, other than your own current one? Over to you for comment.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lynx’s Tips On Writing.

Following some earlier comments of mine about writing blogs, I received the following from my blogger friend Lynx that I will pass onto you for your own consideration too!

Lynx wrote: ”Here's a tip I was given, and I'll pass on. You're not writing this blog for everyone else. You write it for you, it's YOUR ideas. Whether you have 1 reader or 1 million readers isn't the point. And besides, not everyone who reads comments. I don't even all the time. BUT as long as it's what you like, and you enjoy doing it, by all means DO IT. The rest will come around, or they won't. But your ideas will remain in the blogosphere long after you leave it. Enjoy what you do, and know those of us who read it enjoy it too.
I used to fret time and time again about no one reading my blogs, first on MSN then on Yahoo. That's why both of them no longer exist. No one wanted my jokes, and no one liked my politics. So I shut them down. My problem was that I was too focused on who I was trying to get to read.
When I opened my google blog, none of my friends thought I'd keep it either. But I made a promise to myself that it'd be what I wanted, not what anyone who claimed to be my friend wanted it to be. I have a couple people from back then that drop by now and then, but my blog friend circle is totally different, and I love it, because they read because they like what I have to say, or at least are curious as to what I'm up to and/or rambling about. But it's MY blog. If I want a team blog, I can set one up. But my blog is MY blog, and your blog is YOUR blog, not mine, even though I love it, so much that if I haven't read any blogs in a few days, yours is one of the first I check up on (along with Kahless, Katy, and Tom, among others). There's a reason, and it's not just because we agree a lot*. It's because you speak your mind, and it's what YOU want to talk about.
So keep on blogging my friend, and remember, only you know what's in that noggin, and anyone that claims that they know needs to be given a swift kick! It's your head, your blog, and your corner of this vast world we call the internet.”

So for any others out there who might be experiencing some self-doubts about your abilities, whether it be in writing or anything else, read and learn from these words of Lynx and where necessary put them into action in your own life and career. Take care and enjoy what you do, and do it well! Walter (& Lynx)

* We probably disagree on more things than on what we agree, but we disagree amicably with it!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Super Nanny Jo Frost on the Parenting Industry.

Last blog from the article that I read in the paper the other day about an interview with Jo Frost. Among other topics, she was asked her personal opinion on various aspects of Child rearing, none of which interest me here, but I was interested in her opinion on the Parenting Industry in General, where she said, “ It’s a great thing. I’m one of many who give advice. It’s important that parents take those pieces that are relevant to them and use those rather than not use anything at all.”

Again what I consider great advice. And again what I would contend is also very relevant to life in general for all of us too. I would also argue quite strongly that this also applies particularly to what I write. It is not my intention to set myself up as the “font of all wisdom”, nor do I expect you to follow everything I suggest. All I expect, maybe hope, for would be better, is that you will consider what I say and consider what if anything I have written, may be of benefit to you in your own life.

Again, like Jo Frost, I am not offering “Rocket science" here, just plain old common sense picked up along my own journey through life. As I have progressed along my life’s journey I have picked up many things from many sources. Some I have put down straight away, others I have found relevant for specific times and events and have stored away for future use, and others I have not only kept but also used and highly valued since.

So my suggestion to you today is to learn all you can from each and every source available to you. And whist discarding the irrelevant, keeping those that are relevant to you, and maybe even passing this knowledge on to others as you go. That’s my view! What’s yours?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Super Nanny Jo Frost on Instinct & Experience.

More from the interview with Jo Frost that I was reading in the paper the other day. Among the many things she commented on was this quote that “She uses instinct and experience rather than books and theories, something few parents manage these days.” And once again one has to agree with her there.

There is an oversupply of books on the market at the moment (not to mention Videos, and DVD’s!) One only has to go into a Bookstore and see the large range of self-help books available on just about any and every topic available to see this is true.

Whilst not denying that one can learn a lot from books (and believe me I have,) one still has to take the plunge sometimes and go on instinct and “Gut feelings” too. Sure sometimes you will fall, but if you learn from your mistakes, you shouldn’t make the same ones again, should you. And after all, how are you ever going to get experience, if you never try? You will never find out what will and won’t work for you, unless you experiment and try, will you?

Like wise she says “the fear of failing is one reason mums and dads don’t have that confidence to make parenting decisions.”

Again this is also true as much in everyday life, as in parenting isn’t it? Again if we are that afraid to do anything for fear of making a mistake, we will make the biggest mistake of all by not giving leadership and direction to those who not only need it but also we will never get it from anyone else, if we don’t give it first, will they?

So, there comes a time when all book learning and external advice needs to be internalised and acted upon in our own lives as we put our “head knowledge” into practice and gain practical experience first hand. So how are you going? Are you still stuck on the theory or are you getting stuck into the practise aspect?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Super Nanny Jo Frost on Communication.

Right at the outset I have to admit that I am not a great fan of her show but still one can’t help but acknowledge the sense behind a lot of her ideas. They are not “rocket science” or anything like that. Just plain common sense.

Although I don’t watch her show much, I was reading an interview in the paper the other day, with her. Among other things, she said that “Communication and decisiveness are crucial to good parenting.” Not only would I agree with her there, but would also say those two attributes would also be crucial in Business and in life in general.

We need to be both able to communicate our ideas to others and thus draw them on board, but also to give decisive leadership and direction, if we wish to see things completed.

I have seen many good ideas and plans fail simply because there was no direction or leadership in bringing them about.

Equally as important as firm leadership is, there also has to be sensible leadership as well. It is as equally useless to say follow me and go no-where, as it is to say follow me and to walk into a blank wall!

So how are you at communicating with others? Both those above and below you, as well as those at your level?

Until we learn to communicate effectively and efficiently, we will never really achieve much at all will we?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More on a great Dame (Elisabeth Murdoch.

Recently I wrote on Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s activities as she approached her 99th Birthday. Since then, at her Birthday Party she was subsequently asked how was she faring? To which she replied,” I still have my memory … my garden, and I just keep myself busy”

{Part of that keeping Busy was to add yet another society (for devotees of Henry Handel Richardson) to become Patron of.}

As I said last time, few of us will ever have recourse to the Murdoch Millions, so we may not have the large garden or the many societies clambering after us, but there is still plenty that plenty of us can do. Whether as volunteers or as individuals. We may not be able to become patrons of any Society but we can surely join ones that interest us can’t we? We may never be able to give millions to organizations or causes can we? But we can always give a dollar or two to those we feel most need it, can’t we? We may not all be able to have huge gardens but all of us can have a special plant or two, even in a pot, that we can call “Our special garden” can’t we?

So just because you and I will never be able to do a fraction of what Dame Elisabeth, and many others like her, can do, doesn’t mean we can’t nor shouldn’t, do something does it?

We all have our own memories, and our own gardens (Hobbies or points of interest) and we can all keep busy can’t we?

So my question for you today is not just, “What are you doing to keep busy? ”, but what more can you do to keep fully occupied and even to helping others, unable to do so by themselves?

Over to you for today! Walter

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All Is Not As It Seemed, Crazy John!

In a blog from last year, “Who pushed Your Buttons in the past?” I mentioned the story of “Crazy John” Ilham who had recently passed away suddenly at the age of 42, from a heart attack while out jogging/walking his dog. I also mentioned that, John was an Australian success story come true, and that “ Recently John’s personal wealth was valued at 310 Million making him Australia’s 126th richest Person.”

Well it now seems that that wealth was either non-existent or grossly over estimated. Court documents recently released state that his assets are in fact only $14.5 Million, but worse his liabilities were/are $19.5 million.

Another case of all not being as it seems on the surface, isn’t it? Sometimes it is easy to be jealous of people like that who seem to have it all and living the Australian dream” when in fact they are not even as well off as we are, as they own nothing, owe everything and often see it all blow away with the wind with a sudden change of the stock market or business in general.

So when you see high flyers like that, don’t envy them. If you must show any emotion, show them pity, for when they fall, great will be there fall, because they have further to fall than we do. So what about you today? Are you too perhaps over extending yourself and your assets and need to just stop and take stock of your real situation? If so, don’t delay. Who knows how long (or short) you may have to get things rights? Walter

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wok In A Box.

This is another story of a man following his dream like in my blog, “Doctor Or Carpenter?” And in fact it was in the Herald Sun Newspaper on the same day (7th of Feb). Only this time it was a young Accountant on a foreign holiday when he came across his dream. And whilst a sharp change from his previous career, it was also in many ways an extension of it. He was sick of working as an accountant and wanted to do something new and so whilst on a Thailand holiday in 2002 this chap was inspired to go into the fast food industry via the Noodle industry.

So he brought the idea to Australia and set up his first “Wok In A Box”, shop in 2002. But rather than just stick to the one store, he used his accounting knowledge to take the business into franchising and now there are 34 stores across the nation turning over $ 15, Million in 206-07, with plans to have 100 stores in Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2010.

Now as my family will tell you, I am not really into Noodles in any way, shape or form, at all, (although they are,) so I have not seen, let alone tried the food at “Wok In A Box”, so will take his word that they ”do good, healthy take-away food at a reasonable price.”

What attracted me to this story was the example of a person finding something outside of his “normal Box” and pursuering it. This time using lots of his previous skills and trade, to make his dream more successful.

Again, is there something else that you would prefer to be doing, that you could perhaps use your present skills and abilities, but perhaps in a different way. I am not advocating, “chucking everything in” and chasing fanciful dreams, but perhaps there is something that you may actually be more productive and useful doing? I will leave it to you to ponder that long and hard before you decide. Walter

Monday, February 18, 2008

Doctor Or Carpenter?

(Although this was written as a stand-alone article, it makes a perfect follow up to yesterday’s item.) If you had to choose a future career, which would you choose, Doctor or Carpenter and Why? Was reading g in the Herald Sun Newspaper on the 7th of Feb; of a young man who was studying Medicine at University many years ago that got a holiday job at a woodwork factory during a summer break from his studies. He discovered that he was very good with wood and loved working with wood, so he left of his medical studies and took a job at joinery as a woodcutter.

Not satisfied with that he bought his own lathe for home. It has been a long slog for him, but he learnt all he could along the way. In his 20’s he learnt from older experts in the trade saying, “That’s been the history of my working life – learning from the old guys, I could see that it was a dying trade and I tried to pick up as much as I could from them.” Now some 3 decades later he has his own award winning furniture business employing 13 people.

So which would you have chosen? A career in Medicine was a big thing in those days while Carpenters and joiners were quite common. Whilst I admit things have changed a little these days and both are in High demand, it was still a big and courageous thing he did, but he followed his heart and has never regretted it at.

What about you? Are you currently following your heart or have you gone after the fame and fortune and not the personal content that comes from following your dream. Of course it helps if you know what your dream is, doesn’t it? This guy took a summer job doing something totally different to what he was used to and found he loved it. What about you? Are you too prepared to step outside of your familiarity zone and try something different? It might take a few “ some things different” before you do find the thing you like, but are you really looking, or just stuck in a rut? Complaining but doing nothing to get out of it? What say you?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Write To Your Audience

When writing, like in everything else, it helps if you like what you re doing, know what you are writing about, and know the audience that you are reaching. Even if it is not the audience that would be your natural target.

As I was a missionary and now a Pastor of a small church, one would think that my writings would be more biblically orientated and to a religious, if not Christian audience, but the fact of the matter is that my blogs started out originally as nothing more than letters to my mother, while we were overseas. Thus I started to write to mum, about things she either knew of liked; or I thought she would find interesting.

When we returned from overseas and she became extremely hard of hearing and often not using her Hearing Aid because it hurts her ears, I found it much easier to write her little stories of what was going on in our family and with our garden and pets. I also found that these letters got passed around among other family members and friends.

One day I wrote a little story about one of the girls’ dog, some magpies and a brushy fence, but it didn’t seem to stand very well as a story and so I added a little moral to it and everyone loved it and commented on it and from that came the idea to just write little stories from my life or events around me, giving them a little point or comment on the end, and from this growing collection came the idea to put them on a blog site for a wider audience.

Occasionally I will write a Letter to our Main Melbourne Paper. So far I have had two items published in them but also heavily edited, and so I have to decide what type of Items I really want to write: Letters, that are not what I really want to write and heavily edited, just for the chance of getting published in a leading Newspaper, or Blogs which I am happy with, for my Blog site. So just like everyone else I too have to decide what audience I want to aim, for, and whether I really want to write that type of writing.

Enough of me though! What about you? Are you really doing what you want to do or are you still trying to please others? It is your choice, and no one but you, can make the right choice for you. Have you? Will you? What say you?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Confidence Comes with Experience.

Whilst in Africa my mother started writing to me once a week and if I didn’t answer back she would tell me rather subtlety in the next letter or two, “No letters to answer back this week*”. So I soon got the hint that she expected me to write every week.

At first it was hard to find things to write about, but the more experiences we had over there the more there was to write about and sometimes I would have to tell only half the story for fear of ending up with a book sized letter.

In our 12 years in Transkei and South Africa, it usually wasn’t that hard to find enough to fill a one or two page letter, as although many things there were similar to Australia there was also many differences, so there was lots of Interest to write about.

Coming back to Australia, not only did I not have to write weekly to my mother but I also started to struggle to find enough information to fill an annual Newsletter to our previous supporters.

Now that I am writing simple blogs, I am able to draw on all areas of my life for these blogs, as they are short and there is no need to try and be chronological or in any sort of order.

So my suggestion to others who wish to write, even do anything else, is simply to write about (or do) what you know, and have experienced or have a real feeling or connection too.

Well that’s my thought for today. What’s yours and whom are you going to write it to?

* In my defense, later on I was able to legitimately blame the Postal service, because later she would write something like, “Three letters to answer this week two, recent and one fro 3 or 6 months back. So you see it wasn’t always my fault!”

Friday, February 15, 2008

Confidence comes with practice

One of the problems we often have when we try to do something different, is that we unrealistically expect to become experts overnight. It just doesn’t happen that way, does it? It certainly hasn’t with me in regard to my writing talents.

My letter writing began as a young teenager to a pen pal Aunt*. And my first attempts were only half a small page and that using big letters, just to fill up the page. (Lately I use large font, not to fill the page but so that I can see what I am writing!). And for many years it never progressed past that, as I never had the need or opportunity to do any further writing, until I went to Bible Collage at the age of 35, and found that I had to write 2 and 3 thousand word essays.

My first one was 2 thousand words and I had no idea how to do it. My lecturer kindly, gently & wisely said, “Pick out the main four points and write 500 words on each point.” Well I did that, but he only accepted one part and I had to redo the other 3 parts! But at least it was a start and I learnt from both what was accepted and what wasn’t. For that and the next 3 or 4, Two Thousand word essays I had to write, I generally struggled to get enough words for each essay, usually using the 10% under or over allowance to come in under the required 2,000 words. However, with exposure, and practice, by the time I started on my 3 Thousand word one, I struggled to keep it below 4000 words, and when finished I had to do some drastic editing to get it down to the 10% over margin allowed!

My point is, start out small and build your efforts up. Don’t expect to succeed immediately and keep practicing and keep writing. What I have written about my writing attempts holds true for most things in life too. There are very few things that we are overnight experts on but if we keep at them, keep practicing and starting off small and building up, we usually succeed. Again that is my opinion, what’s yours? Walter

(* She was actually my Dad’s cousin and my Godmother and living alone at the time and as my two or three attempts to get a pen pal overseas didn’t get a response, Mum suggested writing to her, which I did and we corresponded for quite a few years until she passed on. The moral there is to practice with whom ever is available and with whom you can!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What I do, you can too!

Recently I have received a few compliments on my blog items. One commented that I was obviously getting more comfortable in my writings. And it is true. I am starting to get more comfortable in my writing, but I still find it an effort getting my thoughts down on paper. Especially as I only type with two fingers. But I have resolved to keep writing when I have something to write about.

Now I thought there might be a few others in a similar situation to me at this time and so I aim to write a few blogs about how my writing skills (such as they are) came about. (Not that I can claim any great success as a writer!) Two letters published in the Letter’s collum of our city’s number one News Paper hardly counts as a published author does it?

Nonetheless, I am going to keep writing for my small audience and myself. Whether I am published or not and whether others appreciate it or not, is not that important! (Although it would be nice. Very nice indeed!). Again that is not to say that compliments aren’t appreciated, just appreciated as bonuses and not as the reason for writing!

Before, when I wrote an earlier blog about; ”Self Confidence & Encouragement.” I was still going to continue writing anyway, but it did result in a few extra compliments, which was very nice. It is always nice when you get some response from the main audience that you are writing for. But not always necessary. But at least now I know it is worth the effort and time. So thanks again for all those comments. Both the good and the bad. They both help improve my writing.

All of this is just to introduce some future blogs on how I developed my writing skills and how you can too! And of course, what works for writing skills also works in other areas of our lives too. So never give up if you feel called to something and use all comments, both the good and the bad, to learn from and to further develop and improve your present skills. Catch you later: Walter

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is It Right To Leave People In Their Ignorance?

As mentioned in a recent Blog, a little while back I recieved
this comment: “As a matter of interest, how can you get across
to people that they have it wrong? Without upsetting them,
that is. And, is it right to leave them in their ignorence? I would
love to know the right answer to both those questions.”
 Well I responded to the first question in my recent,
How To Respond When Called By a Non-Preferred Name.”
Now I will address the second question, as to whether it is
right to leave them in their ignorance. Sometimes this question
will be answered by a simple cost verses effort analyses.
Sometimes, if a thing is not really important or is of fleeting
value or importance, it really may not be worth the effort or
time to correct the ”ignorant” but for most occasions I would
argue strongly it is not only right and worth the effort, but also
wrong for you not to at least try and correct the ignorant,
before they pass on there faulty information to others and
spread the problem further and further. A word in season
is better that many out of season, and a small problem
is far easier to solve than a big one, So even if some
people don’t appreciate or even understand the problem
it is usually best to solve errors where and when you can.
 An important point to remember when trying to correct
people is to always do it gently and not when angry.
It is also a very good idea to do any necessary correction
in private if possible, and not as a “Public Put Down” either.
Some people may still reject your private and personal
attempts to correct them, but most, if they are truly not
ignorant but simply misinformed, will appreciate you
correction now as saving them from further
embarrassment latter on.
Yes sometime we may have to work out whether it is
worth the effort, but mostly it will be and should be
attempted at least. What say you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Which Agapanthus Story Do You Like Best & Why?

Today dear friend I am going to give you two very similar versions of the same a story and ask you which one you like best and why. Later I will write another blog explaining how both came about. Thanks in advance for your participation.

Story One: In defence of Agapanthus!

There has been a lot said lately about agapanthus, both for and against. I say leave the humble agapanthus alone. It’s not all its fault.

Firstly although it is an imported plant, it is very suited to our current dry conditions and in fact is one of the few flowering plants flourishing at the moment.

Just because someone is foolish enough to water them, doesn’t mean that they need or want the water, just that the person giving it water, didn’t know any better. Again, not the plants fault!

2. Because it is tolerant to many conditions, it is one plant that can be grown in almost any place from full sun to almost full shade; and still give a dazzling display of colour.

3. Although one species of the genus is classified as invasive, doesn’t mean the other 29 or so different varieties are.

4. Although the original blue variety is invasive to a degree it is not excessively so, and can be controlled by either removing the old flower heads before they seed or with some DDD &C. That is Digging, in as digging up the bulb, Drying it out, and then Dicing up the dry bulb so it can’t re-grow and Composting the whole lot.

So in passing, don’t to be too hard on the agapanthus, it is doing a great job in all sorts of conditions. If you don’t like it, just pass it by quietly and let others, who do like them, enjoy them in peace. Live and let live. Walter

Walter Gordon Parker

Story Two: Live and let live.

Leave the humble agapanthus alone. Although imported it is suited to our dry conditions and is one of the few flowering plants flourishing at the moment.

Just because someone is foolish enough to water them, doesn’t mean that they need or want the water, just that someone doesn’t know any better. Hardly the plants fault!

It is one plant that will grow in almost any place from full sun to almost full shade; and still give a dazzling display of colour.

Although one species of the genus is classified as invasive, doesn’t mean the other 29 or so different varieties are.

Although the original blue variety is invasive to a degree it is not excessively so, and can be controlled by either removing the old flower heads before they seed or with some “DDD” - digging, (as in digging up the bulb), drying out, then dicing the dry bulb so it can’t regrow. After this you can compost the lot.

So don’t be too hard on the agapanthus. It is doing a great job in all sorts of conditions. If you don’t like it, just pass it by quietly and let others who do enjoy them in peace. Walter

Your opinion as to which is the better one please?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Swimming Along, But Not Very Far.

In my earlier blog,’ Swimming along but not alone” I told how I had taken up swimming for my back’s benefit and how I only did that with a friend’s support. What I didn’t tell you was that I can’t really swim.

Many, many years ago at State School (that’s how old I am! They call them Primary Schools now!) Anyway at School we had weekly swimming Lessons at the old Outdoors pool at Diamond Creek. (Long gone now!) Anyway all I ever managed there was enough to get a Herald Certificate, by swimming across from one side of the pool to the other, not the length of it, 25 yards from memory. Apart from doing Water skiing, I have never really swum nor had the need to, except for a few times in the Murrumbidgee River while up in Wagga Wagga some 20 years ago, and even there it was a case of walking a kilometre or so up stream and swim/float back down, not real swimming. I do remember once swimming across to the other side, and barely making it back again and having to walk a hundred metres or more back up the river as I had floated so far of Course. All this to show that swimming is not my strong point and so being confronted by a 50-metre pool can be a bit daunting.

Changing the subject ever so slightly, do you know how to eat an Elephant? It really is very simple. Just one mouthful at a time, till you get to the end. That is how I am approaching my swimming and the 50-metre Pool. My friend goes three times a week and swims between 20 and 30 laps each time. Me? Well I have only committed myself for one morning a week for this month, to see if I will commit even further, or give it away. I am not sure if swimming is really for me, but I want to base my decision on more than one or two attempts.

My friend tells me that he only took it up again just over 12 months ago, although he could swim a bit before that, so that gave me a little encouragement. Anyhow, in my first attempt, using the eating an Elephant method, I actually did two lengths of the pool stopping halfway each time, plus two half-lengths. (I was trying for a third lap but got half way and decided to go back in the shallower water.)

The second time I did 4 lengths but again stopping halfway each time, so you see I still have a long way to go before I can actually say I have swum even one full length, but at least I am trying it out.

What about you? When you are advised for health or safety reasons to try something new or different and difficult, will you give it a fair go, or give up after one or two halfhearted attempts, if you even start to begin with? Or will you give it a fair trail before making a final decision one way or the other?

At this stage I am still not convinced that swimming is for me, but I aim to find out fully before I make my final decision either way. What about You?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Swimming Along, But Not Alone.

A week or so before Christmas, my wife and I were out on our daily walk to get some exercise while getting the daily newspaper. As we were walking along the main side street, near home I noticed a white vehicle slow up and stop right near us. At first I thought they must have been lost and stopping to ask us for direction. Then I realised it was a former employer of mine who lives on the other side of the highway (not that far from Us, as the Crow flies,) but often uses this street to get to the next suburb.

Seeing us he had stopped to find out what we were doing in this area, as he knew we didn’t live there before when I worked for them. Then he enquired why we were walking and I said for exercise. Then he said, (as I already knew) that he used to do a lot of walking but had to give it up because it was hard on his knee, (which I didn’t know!) I also didn’t know, but soon found out that he had taken up swimming about 12 months earlier and did it three mornings a week.

At the mention of swimming I mentioned that my then Physiotherapist had previously strongly suggested that I take up swimming for my back problems. I may also have mentioned that that had been 6-months ago and although I seriously considered it, I had still not gotten around to doing anything about it yet.

Then he invited me to join him and I said I would definitely join him but that I still had to buy a pair of bathers as I had left my last pair in South Africa some 5 years ago. That also may give you some idea of how bad a swimmer I am also. Anyway that very weekend I went out and bought a pair of bathers, but it took me till late January to actually ring him up and officially accept his offer,

At this stage I have only committed myself to one day a week, but at least I have started, which I would never have done without his support. I knew I should be doing it. I knew I could probably do it, although I have never been a good swimmer, yet I would never have taken it up without some outside support. It didn’t take much, but just having another along side doing it too, helped me greatly to act upon my, till then only good intentions. And turned them form intentions into deeds. And it may even help you. We didn’t swim together either (I am definitely not in his league there!) But it was just enough for him to get me to the pool that made the difference, in me making the commitment to try.

How about you? Is there some thing you would like to do but just need a little support and encouragement? Or maybe you know someone else who needs a bit of support and encouragement that you can get along side and encourage. If so, stop thinking about it and turn those intentions into actions. What say you? Walter

Saturday, February 9, 2008

How To Respond When Called By a Non-Preferred Name.

A little while back I received this comment: “As a matter of interest, how can you get across to people that they have it wrong? Without upsetting them, that is. And, is it right to leave them in their ignorence? I would love to know the right answer to both those questions. I'm still trying to get my team members to get my name right! I very politely wrote that I go by my middle name, instead of my first name. Some were eager to rectify the situation, but others insist on using my first name in the records and mailings, etc. I think it is good to politely correct them as soon as possible; otherwise, you may have someone calling you by a name you don't like for the rest of your life.”
I will answer the second question in another blog, but in regard to the first, I can resonate with this problem from a personal point of view. My name is Walter and for the first 20 years or more of my Life I was called either Walter or Wal, so much so that I never thought of any difference between the two. What I was never called was Wally, or if so, it was so rare as to not register with me. 
 When older I did meet a few people who called me Wally.  If I respected them I would let them get away with it, but if I didn’t, I would try and correct them. If they would not listen to my correction, I would not answer them. In a work situation, particularly if they want your help, they soon get the message if you don’t respond to them.

However that can occasionally have its drawbacks too as my mother once found out. She has always used her second name in preference to her first name for all her life and a few years back she was hospitalized with a Stroke and the Doctors and Nurses were concerned for her, as she was not responding to her name when spoken to. It was not that there was any brain damage as they suspected, just that they were not calling her by her preferred name and so she wouldn’t respond to them. As soon as they started talking to her using her preferred name, everything was revealed to be normal again.

So whilst you should stick to your guns on your preferred choice of names till they get the message, you may also need to show a little sensitivity at times too. Well that’s my view, what’s yours?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Elisabeth Murdoch.

This story off a real Aussie Dame. Dame Elisabeth Murdoch no less. Yes she is a real Dame but no Prima Donna is she!

How is this for a daily routine? Each morning begins with a swim at 7am. Then she cooks breakfast for her gardener before they tour the grounds* in her golf buggy to plan what needs doing next. Not bad for a lady who turned 99 today is it? And she is already working on her guest list for her 100th Birthday! Not only that, but she still averages 10 official engagements a week, sometimes 3 in the one day.

She says, “ I know that my time must be running out – but I am determined not to waste a minute of it”. Next week the Royal Children’s Hospital will honour this amazing lady who began working with Sick Children and the hospital in 1933, (5 years after she started her garden).

She says, “ Looking out for other people is the most important thing in life – and the most rewarding.” “ Happiness, I think, lies in thought for other people and trying to help them. I’m glad to say the next generation (of her family) seems to be keeping that tradition on.” Now with her financial backing she has been able to support many different organizations including artists and even the Victorian Tapestry Workshop, but it is her involvement with people that attracts me.

Sure none of us are likely to have access to the Murdoch Millions, but all of us do have access to people in need, that we too can treat as valued individuals. Doesn’t matter how poor or rich we are! How many high society people do we ever hear of that will cook breakfast for their gardener? Likewise I’m sure many of us know many organizations around us in need of help or volunteers. The thing is not really what we do but how we treat all people.

I heard just recently of one so called socialite who wouldn’t even let a tradesman coming to give a quote, even enter by the front door but that he was requested to go around to the back door. (He refused by the way. And no, he didn’t get the job!)

Now I will admit right here that not too many of us are likely to be in Dame Elisabeth’s position, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from her selfless life and ministry to others less fortunate than us, and that we too can’t ‘show’ that example on to the next Generations too!

So what about us? Our time too is running out. Are we going to waste it on things or in finding true happiness in helping others who just need a little lift up and respect? So what are you going to do with the rest of your life? It doesn’t matter what age we are or whether we help an official organization or just our next door neighbours, but all of us can help one another, and by so doing find true happiness in helping others like Dame Elisabeth.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dame Elisabeth.

* “Crude Farm”. Look it up on the Net. There is an “Open Garden” Day there on Feb 17. And a “Cruden Farm Discovery Tour” Feb. 24th. All proceeds to Charity.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What If We Treated People Like John Goethe says?

The poet John Goethe* reportably said, “ If we treated people as if they were already what they ought to be, we help them to become what they were capable of being.”

Sounds real good doesn’t it? But how often do we do that? How often do we compliment people on the job that they are doing, compared to how often we ridicule them, either for the quality of their work or the quantity, or the slowness. Now I do admit that there is a time and place for correction and further instruction, but not always. And certainly not always the way we do it too! Oh sure we try to hide it sometimes in jokes, but notice the ridicule and put downs disguised as humour? Hear the gossip disguised as News? We can’t help ourselves, sometimes can we? (And anyone who knows me, know that I am really talking about myself here as much as anyone else!)

So the next time you feel like criticising someone, just stop for a moment and see if the criticism is warranted, and then stop and think how you can best get that message across without discouraging the other person. The point of correction should be to improve the quality and quantity of the work, not to cause the worker to cease from it because of your unwarranted criticism.

So before you criticise, even with humour, think about whether you can correct t and guide in a better way. Don’t treat people as complete nincompoops, but treat them as apprentices willing to learn from those who know. So, be one that really knows, and not just one who thinks you know best. Always treat people as if they are already what they ought to be and thus enabling them to be all that they are capable to be. What say you?

*John Goethe: Was on eof the giants of 18th Century world literature.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Adopt A Pet As A Companion.

Recently received an e-mail about a once active retired man who became withdrawn and grumpy to all, until his daughter got him an old dog for a companion. An act that changed both their lives and bought life back into the old man again.

It really is quite amazing what difference an animal can make in a person’s life. My parents always had at least one dog, occasionally 2, and usually anything between two to 6 cats on their smallholding (house and shed cats, that each knew their own places.). In their latter years, when the last cat and dog died fairly close to one another it was decided by them not to replace either because of their own age.

Then dad was real sick and hospitalized and not expected to survive, and it was suggested by one sister about getting a cat for company for Mum. Anyway Dad did come home again and was semi- mobile, but mostly chair bound for a while, and the cat idea was lost along the way.

A little while later I was with Dad at the Podiatrist and they were talking and quite out of the blue Dad said that his dog had died, cat too. The podiatrist had gotten the idea that it had just happened, as I would have too, if I had not known that it happened a good 6 months earlier.

Anyway shortly after that, my first born came home from work asking if I knew anyone who wanted a cat as one of her workmates had one but their Granddaughter had been diagnosed as allergic to cats and either their cat went or they would not get to see their granddaughter at their place again.

So remembering how Dad was missing the cat and dog, and my sister’s original enquiry about getting a cat, I rang my little sister with the idea and she put it to Mum, who said, “YES PLEASE’.

So we went and picked up the cat, (Oscar) and took him up to Mum’s. Apart from being well loved he was also quite independent and a little flighty, particularly around men. Well Dad took one look at it and said, “What did you go and bring that B****y thing here for. Followed by a few other mild objections about not needing to have another cat around. (Spoken in jest, but meant nonetheless.)

Well that attitude didn’t last very long. Within a week He was boasting about how the cat would always come up and around him as Dad was mostly stuck in his chair. In fact Oscar became so attached to Dad that Mum was a little miffed for a while, as Oscar was meant to be her cat. But Oscar and Dad had other ideas.

Oscar adapted to and adopted both Dad and Mum but was still a bit flighty of other people and especially my brother who lived with them. You walked in, and Oscar walked out rather quickly!

Well Dad and Mum have both passed on now and Oscar is still living at home with my brother, which I must admit was a bit of a surprise to me, as he has always been a dog lover and never a cat lover.

Well, saw them both the other day and brother says the cat is a changed cat and nothing like the Oscar of Old. Well, me thinks that it is brother who has changed too, with both Dad and Mum gone and him alone there, with just the cat. Who would have picked it? Not me!

So the moral of the story is if you are lonely, get yourself a pet to care for and to give you some attention in turn. You don’t have to get a pup or a kitten and go through all the training and destructive years, but you can get an older animal to adopt and maybe even save their lives too. No matter what age you are, you can adopt a pet. Even an ageing one too! One with personality, if not looks. Try a lost dog or cat’s home, or adopt a friend's but get one for both the sake of yourself and the pet. And all will benefit from this new relationship. What say you?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Self Confidence & Encouragement.

It is now just over a year since I started this blog site. (Actually, I had my son start it for me!) When I first started, I had so many Ideas that I first limited myself to two postings a day, and finally down to one a day.

Before the recent New Year I had become a bit slothful with my blogs. I still had/have plenty of ideas but as no one was checking out my blog site except one faithful reader, (Thanks Lynx) and she then sporadic too, I also became erratic in my postings. To the point that I had hardly posted much at all during November and December. At that point I was even thinking of stopping the site altogether as no one was really reading them anyway. But as I still had a few friends that I was e-mailing the blogs to, and they seemed to appreciate them, I decided to continue on and in fact to try and get most of my ideas down on the computer and try and get back to one a day, without just “Making Sausages”. {See that blog, if you don’t understand.}

However a funny thing happened when I decided to write anyway and started posting again. I found much to my surprise and great encouragement, that in the meantime a few others had begun accessing the site and had been looking at a number of my older Blogs too. So that too encouraged me greatly to try and get back to one a day (when I can), even if it may be months (or longer) before people do look at them.

What about you too? Do you sometimes get discouraged or disillusioned, if it seems no one is using or appreciating your work? If so, don’t let your discouragement get the better of you and quit. No, if you believe in what you are doing, just keep at it, and leave something behind for others yet to come.

Like my blogs, most of the things we do, remain behind, for others to “find” or use later. So even if what you are doing doesn’t seem to be needed or appreciated at this time, keep at it as long as you believe it is worthy of doing.

Now I am not looking for encouragement here, but I do urge you to look at the things others do, that you use, and I also humbly suggest that you consider giving them some encouragement too, if what they are doing or had done, is of benefit to you. I am not talking of false encouragement here, but if you have really benefited from something someone else has done, tell him or her so. Because not everyone is self confident enough in what they do to carry on with out some sign that what they are doing, is being positively received and appreciated. Your word of encouragement may be the difference between them continuing on or not?

So looking around you now, who should you compliment or thank, this week, or better still, today?

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Healthy Chef.

Was briefly watching an Aussie Morning TV Show (Sunrise) that had a local lady on who calls herself “The Healthy Chef”. She was asked why, and she said that she had been calling herself that for years as she holds to the ethos of a healthy lifestyle, involving good food, exercise and good rest.

I’m not really sure she fully answered the question, well not to my satisfaction at least|!
But I was interested in her “wholeness idea”, and I think this applies to a lot of things and not just our weight. The Healthy Chef was emphasizing that we not only have to eat right, nor to exercise properly, but also to get sufficient rest and sleep.

All three are relevant to not only weight loss, but to our whole general well being.
This applies to our whole lives and everything that we do, I believe! But how often do we try and take short cuts or crib on one of the components, while over emphasizing another part? Not smart at all! No! We have to do things properly and in their right order and with the right emphasis on all the components.

So when you feel like, cheating or taking the short cuts, remember that it is only as you do things properly that you will always get the proper results. Sure you may ‘Luck out” occasionally, but usually when you take short cuts it shows or catches up with you in the end. What say you?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Further Dealings with false Accusers.

I received the following comment on my Blog, “Dealing with False Accusers”.

"I especially resonate with what you said about not responding with hysteria like was initalized...that's an area of work to be done in me, because this *&^% makes me sooo angry."
And the following was my response: “You are not the only one who struggles with that, even if I think you mean "initiated" and not "initalized". We all do feel like that believe me, and me likewise, but I have also learnt the hard way, that responding in Kind, only inflames the matter, and never resolves it.

Again I have learnt the hard way the truth of proverbs 15: 1. "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" Also Vs. 2 is applicable here as well. "The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouth of fools pour out folly."
I can't remember any real slanging matches since I became a Christian, but I do remember 2 specific incidents where I was a (very) quiet voice to a very loud and strident opponent. All I wanted was for both conversations to end with out me offending God, and appearing a complete fool. When they did end and I could escape, I was pleasantly surprised about all the positive comments I got from the other listeners and the negative comments my vocal opponent got, whom I till then had thought, was winning the argument.

I truly believe that had I answered in kind to either of them, no one would have listened to the Slanging match, but as I was a quiet voice of reason in the storm, the others trapped in hearing distance, listened to what I said.
So as Hard as it may be at times like that, we may have to bite our tongues, (by not answering in kind,) but by taking the real facts and arguing them back at them in as cool and calm a voice as is possible, and not let their attitude or lies deflect us from challenging them with the truth.
I have seen a couple of memorable interviews on TV where the one in the right allowed their opponents to shift the focus away from the truth with some 'snippy' comments and the person who was right, lost the argument because they strayed from the truth and got side-tracked on the lie or offensive comment.

And that is often the main point of our opponent’s attack, to deflect from the real point to one of his or her own Choosing. They know they can’t defeat us with the truth and so try and bamboozle us with some distracting side issue.“

So if you ever find yourself in a situation like that, ignore their distractions and stick to the truth with a calm (as you can be under the circumstances) voice and don’t get distracted from the main point and keep solely to the truth, not giving them any opportunity to shift the conversation to one where they are more comfortable. I can’t guarantee that you will feel you have won the argument, but you will have gotten the real point of issue out to a wider audience than you might imagine. Anyway that is my opinion. What’s yours? Walter

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dealing with False Accusers.

In my recent blog, “Loud And Proud Now, We Are Still Here.” I related how we had experienced a recent situation of false accusations and innuendo aimed at us. Well, I received the following response:

” What advise would you give to a person engaged with in the muck and mire of inaccuracies, besides the obvious of "check the facts"? We've been thinking about what Scripture would fight this evil, and for me, I Cor 13 and Phil 4 keep coming to mind. But, I must admit scripture has been more to comfort us than to confront them. We're still growing.”

Well once again I have to admit right here that I am not the font of all wisdom in any of these matters, but a few obvious thoughts do come to mind.

1. The first comes from my friend’s above scriptural quote from the Book of One Corinthians in the New Testament of our Bible. Chapter13 focuses on the motivation of love behind everything that we do. The writer (Paul) says if he did the greatest things in the world but did not have love, he was nothing more than “ a noisy gong or clanging cymbal.” It might look good but there is no substance to it.

So they first way we respond to our attackers is the opposite of the way they act. We must never, ever stoop to their level and respond the way the do. They would only then use our responses to justify their own actions conveniently forgetting that they started it.

No, rather than responds in kind, we are to Love them back. Where they are wrong we are to correct, but again in love and not with lies or hysteria like what is coming from them.

Now I admit that that is easier said than done, but we do really need to take the advice in Romans 12: 20-21 of loving our enemies, even to the point of satisfying their basic physical needs, and thus “ heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’.

Again all it means is to not react in the way they are or in the way they want us to, but to embarrass them by behaving properly and as you should, and not as they do.

2. The second way also comes from my friend’s above scriptural quotes. This time from the Book of Philippians, also in the New Testament of our Bible. Chapter 4 of Philippians, especially verses 8 & 9 say, that we are to concentrate and think on all the good things we know, whilst ignoring the bad things. And not only that, but as well as thinking on these things, we are to keep on practising and doing them too. It is not enough to think lovely thoughts, but we have to live them too!

3. On a similar vein and sticking to Scripture, The Book of Matthew in 5: 37 says simply to let your let your yes be yes and your No, no. Again we are not to imitate them or try and match them with foolish words which do not stand up to critical examination, but simply to let our words stand for us with a simple but honest yes or no when applicable.

4. Similarly and also from scripture, James 4: 17, simply says, “Anyone who knows what to do and fails to do it, commits Sin”, or in other words is wrong! So answer them in the way it should be answered and not like they are responding. Answer the right way and not in their kind.

5. And for my final thought and scripture on this matter I will finish with Romans 12: 19. Where it says, “ Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written ’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

So, to answer the question of how I would advise a person on the wrong end of false accusations, (whilst again acknowledging that I am not the font of all wisdom,) I would advise one not to respond in kind but to respond in love, whilst not letting them get to you. Rather than think of their evil, think of the nice things to come out of the same situation. Never let the evil drown out the good, but drown out the evil with both good thoughts and actions.

Again don’t answer them back in kind, but simply let your yes be yes and your no, be no. Leave all the lies for them, and leave final judgement on them to God. As for you, just keep on doing the right things and eventually their evil will be shown for what it is. Just don’t let this disclosure also include any evil on your own part, but only all your good deeds.

Well that is my humble advice! What’s yours?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Loud And Proud Now, We Are Still Here.

Sometimes life can be tough, with people unfairly picking on you, and either telling half-truths or even out-right lies, and all you want to do is to stop the world and get off. And if we can’t do that, we just want to go and find a dark place and hide forever. Ever felt like that?

We had a situation like that ourselves last year, and we all felt the same way, as we had been dealt some very low blows that were just not true, and yet they kept coming.

Yes we had been a dealt some low blows but not deadly ones. So rather than run and Hide which is what our opponents wanted, we went out and advertised ourselves, literally.

Not that we were expecting great results from it, but to use it as an opportunity to let everyone know we are still around despite their worst behaviour. And that we intended to stay around too! We just wanted to make it clear to all, (wether they were spreading these rumours or simply hearing them,) that they were not true and that we were still there. And not hiding away either but out loud and proud about our still being there,

Whilst their lies were hurtful, they were not true and therefore would not hurt us in the long run.

Oh yes, they were indeed painful, in fact very painful in the short term, but in the end, truth will out. And that is what happened, and rather than run and hide and shrivel away, we came out of this experience much, much stronger. You can too.

When the world is unfairly against you, don’t succumb to their false pressure, but rise above it.

Remember, pressure and time turns cheap black carbon into expensive and desirable hard diamonds.

So when pressure comes upon you, don’t crumble under it but let it turn you into something valuable and desirable. Walter