Saturday, January 31, 2009

One question Re Calvin & Hobbes: Two different responses!

On a Religious Forum site, someone asked the following question: “Why are there Calvinist denominations but no Hobbsist denominations?”
On the surface a fairly straightforward question one would think, but obviously not everyone on the forum was on the same wavelength.
Here are some of the responses: *Because Hobbes only exists in Calvin's mind. That cartoon is the best of all time.
*Because Hobbs wasn't into manipulating, that was more of Calvin's thing.
*Which would you rather be alone with, a six year old boy, or a hungry tiger?
*Because Hobbs doesn't have any vision, like Stupendous Man.
All funny answers and actually appropriate responses, even if they don’t really answer the question as the asker wished. I somehow think he/she would have voted for one of the other responses such as: *I have the boring answer. Hobbes' name is taken from Thomas Hobbes, who was most definitely NOT a theologian. Also, even the Hobbes we all know and love would never want a religious sect named after him.
*You've read Hobbes, of course, so you know that Hobbes was pretty much a strict pragmatist. He didn't see Reason as something that can lead us to the Truth, but more as something that can figure out how we can get what we want. You might call Karl Marx a Hobbesist. Out upon all Relativists and Pragmatists!
*Calvin focused on reforming and breaking away from Catholicism. Hobbs focused on political not religious thought.
*Hobbes was a Secularist.
The above, just goes to show that even when you think you know what you are saying, some can, intentionally or unintentionally, take it in a different way other than you imagine and come up with a completely different response than the one you planned.
Now sometimes, like in the above references to the Calvin & Hobbes Cartoon characters, this can be quite humorous. But at others, it can be either offensive or even out right dangerous.
So please learn from the above exchange and try and may sure you always say what you mean and always mean what you say. Herewith endeth today’s lesson!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying the wrong way?

Just tried to open a closed door. And no matter how much I tugged or pulled at it, or twisted the knob, it would not open. Then I pushed it and of course it opened, as I had been trying previously to open it the wrong way.
Apart from feeling a bit stupid. Well okay, a lot stupid, I couldn’t help but wonder how often we go through life doing things like that. You know putting a lot of time and effort into something and all to no avail, when if we were only to stop and think about it for a while and try something different, we would have more success and less mistakes. So today, stop and think about what you are trying to do and whether in fact that is the right approach or whether, like with my door, you have to just stop and try the opposite approach? Over to you now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How To Be Truly Happy.

Was just reading My Collins desktop calendar for today (Jan 29th 2009) and saw that it quoted an Unknown Author as saying, “The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”
How true that has been in my life. I first became attracted to knowing more about God through people who believed in him but who had much more problems in life than I had, but were also obviously so much happier than I was at the time, although I had nothing to complain about materially or financially. Since then I checked out the whole God thing and finally came to realise that it was true and gave my life to Christ, some nearly 30 years ago. (Will be on Dec.1st this year!)
In that intervening time I have also seen a lot of people with far more that I had, yet obviously far less happy with it. Anyway I don’t with to turn this into a Christian sermon on you, but I would like to encourage you with the thoughts of this unknown author, to just really look at all that you do have and then to gratefully make the best of that and have a great and happy life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Angelina Jolie on Clint Eastwood.

Was reading in the Melbourne Herald Sun, an interview Elizabeth Day had with Clint Eastwood, and she quoted Angelina Jolie’s comments on Clint. Part of which stated: “ He is absolutely who he is. He has very, very strong, decisive opinions and is very gracious as a man, as a friend and somebody on set as a director, too.”
Again, can the same be said about you and me? Are we absolutely who we are? Or do we try and be what we are not?
Are we too, gracious with others even when our views are totally different? Or do we try and dominate, just because we can?
Just a little something for us all to think on this week, I think?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spielberg on Clint Eastwood.

Was reading in the Melbourne Herald Sun on Jan 24th, an interview Elizabeth Day had with Clint Eastwood, where she wrote: “ Stephen Spielberg once said of him: the most wonderful thing about Eastwood’s transition from bit part actor to acclaimed film star and award winning director was “ watching Clint remain the same man he’s always been; that is to say totally unimpressed with himself.”
I wonder if the same can be said about you and me too? Are we totally unimpressed with ourselves and just content to do the best we can and just let any fame, if it should come our way, just flow around us, and leave ourselves unmoved by it? Or do we try and elevate ourselves over our works and even over others, to claim any piece of fleeting fame there is?
So let us all learn from Clint Eastwood’s example, and always remain unimpressed with ourselves, and particularly with any fleeting fame that might come our way. And just get on with doing whatever it is that we are good at and there is a market or need for in our own communities.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The other W.G. P.

Found out who the other W.G. P is/was! Well my son did anyway! Thanks son.
According to the “Australian Dictionary of Biography”, “(William George Plunkett—1910 -1975—was born in Queensland. As printing production manager (from 1947) with W. Nevil & Co. Ltd he began to collect literary quotations to provide the calendar’s ‘thought for the day’. Plunkett started including his own in 1961. They appear in some 400,000 desk calendars each year, usually on Wednesdays, above the initials W.G.P.) “
W. Nevil & co was a part of the Collins group of Companies and although Plunkett died in 1975, Collins continue to include his work and it was in this year’s Collin’s desk top Calendar (Jan.19th.) that I found a W.G. P’s quote. Only it was on a Monday and not a Wednesday.
What I admire about this other W.G.P, is that although he oversaw the inclusion of all these quotes, including his own, rather than broadcast his name to all & sundry, he chose to reveal his own works under the relative anonymity of just the initials W.G. P. How unlike most of us who are not happy unless our name is up there, even higher that our work if possible.
I don’t know about you but I can learn a lesson of humility from this other W.G.P and try not to seek the limelight, but simply to present my work where and when I can. What about you too?

*** Here is another astute Gem from that other W.G.P to close with; and perhaps even learn from? “People’s minds are like parachutes. To function properly they must first be open. W.G.P.”

Friday, January 23, 2009

Who is W.G.P?

I ask that question, because for the longest time possible, i.e. the last 58 years plus, I thought I was W.G.P.
However, upon reading My Desk Top Calendar for January 20th 2009, I found the following quote. “A big talker usually talks himself into unpopularity.”
A very true and apt observation I thought at the time, but was particularly attracted to whom it was attributed to, and saw that it was simply inscribed as written by W.G.P. Which, in case you haven’t guessed it by now, just happens to be my initials, and I know I didn’t write it. So people, today your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to find out and tell me who the other W.G. P. is? Thank you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why Will You Be remembered?

Received a reply to my last blog on “Dave Dee”, which read: “ Hi Walter, I'm not much of a fan of 'pop' music but I am old enough to remember the name of the group because it was so quirky.”
Now my first thought was, “That is about right, as their music really wasn’t that different to most of the music of that era.” Most of which, along with the singers/groups, have been long forgotten. All accept the very worst, the very best, or, as in this case, the very Quirky?
Which led me to wonder how any of us will be remembered in 40 years or so, and why? Will it be for being very bad, or Quirky? Or for being very good, even if only being very good, at being very nice?
So, How do you think you will be remembered in 40 or so years?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dave Dee.

These days the rage among Pop groups seams to be to give band members creative nicknames like Edge or Slash Or Bono or Kram or whatever! I guess this is supposedly to give them an edge in getting publicity. Of course this is not new or even very original these days. I have no idea who actually started this trend but one of the more imaginative originators would have to go to Dave Harman and His quirky 1960’s band with an even quirkier name.
David Harmon changed his name to Dave Dee, which is not that unusual or even quirky I guess, nor was Mick Wilson going under the name of Mick. But what about Trevor Davies choosing “Dozy” or John Diamond calling himself “Beaky” and Ian Amey calling himself, Tich?
Yes folks, that was the name of that 1960’s English Pop Group that had ten consecutive Top Twenty Hits in England, {although only two (Bend it, & The legend of Xanadu) made it here in Oz and none in the States I believe}. Their name? Didn’t I tell you? Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich!”
I was reminded of them a week or so again when I read that Dave Dee had passed way at age 65 from cancer. Although I can’t say I was ever a great fan of theirs at the time, I was aware of their two Aussie Hits getting massive airplay in Australia at the time. And I did many, many years later; buy a cheap CD of theirs with 12 of their “Greatest Hits” on it.
Although not a great fan of them then, I was aware of them then and even though they were all 6 or 7 years older than me, I considered them to be of my generation. A generation that is starting to pass rather rapidly these days it seems. And I couldn’t help but wonder what we would be leaving behind for the coming Generations?
Although Dave Dee Left the group in 1970, He did later gain control of the Groups Greatest Hits (The legend of Xanadu)) CD and was able to leave something behind, even if for a lot of us, it is only memories of our Youth!
So what about you and me? What of any value, if anything, are we going to leave behind for others to discover or benefit from/? Over to you now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Elzéard Bouffier left something behind, will you?

Recently read a story told of Elzéard Bouffier, a 55-year-old widower who lived in a French village in 1910, surrounded by poverty and despair. Not happy with his lot and believing He could personally do something, no matter how small and insignificant about it, he did something, simply by using available material.
He collected thousands of acorns and planted them throughout the area. When they took root, he cultivated beeches. When they become saplings, he planted birches. One day, amidst the death and devastation of World War I, a mysterious grey mist appeared on the horizon. It was the oaks of 1910, below them the adolescent beeches, and below them the tiny birch seedlings.
The storey goes that, “ Bouffier kept planting, and at the end of World War II, French environmentalists announced that a "natural forest" had "mysteriously" sprung up, flourishing amidst its barren surroundings. But the story doesn't end there; his forest started a chain reaction. Water flowed in brooks that had dried up. The wind scattered seeds, and willows, rushes, meadows and gardens sprang up. New people came to live there, bringing with them hope and prosperity. Elzéard Bouffier found acorns, planted them, and God did the rest.”
The article* continues: “God can do much with little. Look what He did for David with a sling and a stone. Watch Him feed five thousand with a boy's lunch. And He will do the same for you! Your life is like a pebble: it may not look like much, but drop it into a pond and watch the ripples spread in every direction.
Every day you live you have three options: (a) Think only of yourself and your own interests. (b) Since success doesn't come without the possibility of failure, take no risks and go no further. (c) Ask God to show you what you've got, then use it to make ripples.”
I like this story and others like it, because it echoes my own personal philosophy of always trying to leave something permanent behind, for coming generations. I know little about Beech or Birch trees, but I do know that planting Oak trees is a long term Vision. My father tells the story of planting an oak tree when his first son was born, for him (and the others, including me, still to come then,) to climb on later. Of course it never happened, but Dad did live long enough to see it finally grow big enough for his Grandsons and granddaughters and even great Granddaughters, to play on.
And there are many things like oak trees that we can start off with now, that take a long, long time to come to their full potential, but if someone doesn’t start sometime, it will never happen. So what “acorns” can you plant to day for the next generations to benefit from even if you can never realistically expect to benefit Personally? Over to you now.

* WISE WORDS 14/1/09

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Conflicting Desires

This Lynn Johnston, “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip has the visiting Musician Uncle practising His trumpet playing, when his nephew and Niece come up to Him. Seeing them there, He goes all out in his practising and then stopping says,” Hey, here’s my jazz fans! Whadda want, kid? Blues? Pop? Bee-bop?” To which his young nephew declares plaintively, “ You’re drowning out Sesame Street”!
This is just another reminder to remember that even though we think we have an audience, they may not be there for what we think they are there for. So as we go into another New Year, always be careful that we are not selfishly “drowning out” something or someone else, whilst doing “our own thing”. I am not saying that the uncle should not Practice his trumpet playing but that in doing so he /we should not drown out what others are listening to either.
If we really want them to hear what we have to present to them, then we should arrange to do so at a time and place suitable to them and not “gatecrash’ their existing arrangements.
So what about it in the coming New Year? Will you seek an appropriate time and place to showcase your gift or presentation? Or will you simply try and drown out someone else's program and thus running the risk of also having your message drowned out by their indignation? Over to you now. But either way have a glorious New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!