Category: Gratitude

  • Can you have too much happiness?

    George Bernard Shaw wrote: “a lifetime of happiness! No man could bear it: it would be hell on earth.” In contrast, the Dalai Lama said the purpose of life is to be happy. Who is right? I believe both are correct, but they are talking about different kinds of happiness. The simplest kind of happiness is […]

  • Comparisons

    Everything is relative. To answer a question like: “How happy are you with your life?” we cannot answer without comparing our situation with some point of reference. If that point of reference is how much poorer we were three years ago, or our unfortunate friend who has just had heart attack, or the plight of […]

  • Compassion and challenge

    For years I cultivated compassion, not wanting to become desensitised to the suffering in the world. At times I felt overwhelmed by all the suffering around me and wanted to alleviate it wherever possible. A couple of years ago I attended a seminar with Caroline Myss, a spiritual leader whose books I had been reading. […]

  • Nelson Mandela, politics and spirituality

    Nelson Mandela is no longer with us. I find myself quite tearful, perhaps not from sadness, because he had made the most of his 95 years on this earth, but simply in recognition of the wonderful qualities he embodied. Nelson Mandela will always remain my hero, not because he was an extraordinary person, but because […]

  • A bad day?

    Today, after taking a client to a medical centre with a workmate, I came home and couldn’t find my bag. I searched all over the place, then from the work phone I called my colleague (who was on his way home) to see if he had seen it. He hadn’t. My keys and phone were […]

  • Gratitude for the Hard Times

    We all know that it’s beneficial to be grateful for the good things in our lives, especially when we know that other people don’t have all the comforts or luxuries we have. But we can develop gratitude for the hard times too. This is easiest done in retrospect. Thinking back over the most tragic, difficult […]

  • Things you get used to

    – washing clothes and bathing without running water – sweating a lot – small plastic bags and plastic water sachets littered everywhere. There’s no rubbish collection, so people burn their own rubbish but generally think nothing of dropping their empty sachets on the ground. And everything you buy is served in a tiny black plastic […]

  • Things I’ll miss when I leave

    – The noise. There’s always someone with a big sound system playing African music loudly in the street, or in the taxi – The friendliness. People here all talk to each other. They don’t pass on the street without spending time chatting to people they know, even mere acquaintances. – The hosts of local children […]

  • It’s official – pets make us happy

    Studies show that owning a pet can increase self esteem, develop social skills and help people make friends. Families with pets tend to feel closer and play together more often. A strong bond with a pet has all sorts of benefits to health and emotional wellbeing. Studies with elderly people showed that owning a cat […]