Each week our minister will put up a “Word for the Week” that we hope you will find thought-provoking and/or helpful… even if not overtly “religious”.


Please remember to check back to catch the new ones or scroll through some of the earlier ones.

Friday 14th June 2024

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

 Marcel Pagnol

Friday 7th June 2024

“How, is a question of meaning and purpose, that pushes people into a deeper engagement in the world, rather than memorising facts.

Diana Butler Bass

Friday 31st May 2024

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

 Washington Irving


Friday 24th May 2024

WONGABURRA:    our home.

Friday 17th May 2024

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring

Friday 10th May 2024

“When one door of happiness closes, another one opens; but we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Helen Keller

Friday 3rd May 2024

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”



Friday 26th April 2024

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief – But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”

Hillary Stanton Zunin 1951 – 2021

American High School teacher, co-founder of Napa Valley Can Do community group and children’s grief expert.


Friday 19th April 2024

Christianity was never intended to be a system or structure of belief in the modern sense; it originated as a disposition of the heart.

Diana Butler Bass

Born 1959 –

American historian of Christianity and advocate for progressive Christianity

Friday 12th April 2024

Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Friday 5th April 2024

The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground.

Friday 29th March 2024

“We are saved only by love – love for each other . . . being a parent, being a writer, being a painter, being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.”

 Tennessee Williams 1911 – 1983

American playwright and screenwriter.

Friday 22nd March 2024

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

Helen Keller 1880 – 1968

American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer.

Friday 17th March 2024

“I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.”

Serena Williams

American Professional Tennis Player

Friday 8th March 2024

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt


First Lady of the United States, writer, diplomat.

Friday 1st March 2024

“Once freedom lights its beacon in a person’s heart, the gods are powerless against it.”

Jean-Paul Sartre


French writer and philosopher

Friday 16th February 2024

“Never bend your head; always hold it high. Look the world in the face.”

Helen Keller


Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and her hearing after a bout of illness when she was 19 months old.


Friday 11th February 2024

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (Mother Theresa) 1910-1997

Albanian Indian nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity

Friday 2nd February 2024

“You should try to remember that a dedicated teacher is a valuable messenger from the past, and can be an escort to your future.”

Albert Einstein


Physicist, best known for his famous theories of Special and General Relativity, for which, curiously he never received a Nobel Prize, despite their monumental significance to modern science; instead, he received his Nobel Prize for something entirely different, namely offering an explanation of the “photoelectric effect.” Yes, he was quite bright, wasn’t he?

Friday 22nd December 2023

“There is the great person who makes every other person feel small. But the really great person is the one who makes every other person feel great.”

G.K. Chesterton


English novelist and critic

Friday 15th December 2023

“So, in quitting this strange world, he has again preceded me by a little. That doesn’t mean anything. For those of us who believe in physics, this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion, however tenacious.”

Albert Einstein

Letter to the grieving family of his recently deceased and life-long friend, Michele Besso, written a weeks before Einstein’s own death.

Friday 8th December 2023

“ You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power — he’s free again.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Russian philosopher, novelist, dramatist and historian. While serving as a captain in the Red Army during World War II, Solzhenitsyn was arrested by SMERSH and sentenced to eight years in the Gulag and then internal exile for criticizing Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in a private letter. A prominent Soviet dissident, Solzhenitsyn was an outspoken critic of communism and helped to raise global awareness of political repression in the Soviet Union, in particular the Gulag system. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, he was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974, returning to Russia in 1994.


Friday 30th November 2023

“Philocalist” noun, from Greek roots.

 A lover of beauty; someone who finds beauty in all things. Someone who is able to cherish the little things.

Friday 24th November 2023

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904 – 1991

American Author and Cartoonist

Friday 17th November 2023

“Summer afternoon —summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Henry James 1843 – 1916

British, American novelist.

Friday 10th November 2023

“Not to live for the day, that would be materialistic — but to treasure the day.

I realize that most of us live on the skin, on the surface, without appreciating just how wonderful it is simply to be alive at all.”

Audrey Hepburn 1929 – 1993

British Actress and humanitarian.

Friday 3rd November 2023

“kitsugi” Japanese word

The art of repairing pottery with gold or silver and making something imperfect, or broken, even more beautiful. A way of celebrating uniqueness instead of hiding fractures and breaks.

Symbolic of the process of trauma and healing.

Friday 29th October 2023

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”

Franklin D Roosevelt 1882-1945

32nd President of the United States.


Friday 20th October 2023

“Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.”

Rebecca Solnit (born 1961)

American Writer

Friday 13th October 2023

“R E S P E C T”

“Respect” has several meanings including these to
reflect on this weekend:

Verb:      “to act in a way which shows that you are aware of someone’s rights, wishes, feelings.”

Noun:     “due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others”

Friday 6th October 2023


Adjective:    Unostentatious refers to something that is not designed to impress or attract attention; modest or understated.
It often describes people, gestures, or items that are simple, not flashy, or showy.

Note: like eunoia, unostentatious also includes all 5 vowels.

Friday 29th September 2023


Noun: beautiful thinking; healthy mind.

Eunoia is the shortest word in the English language that has each vowel in it.

Friday 22nd September 2023

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

1869 – 1948

Indian Lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist & political ethicist.

Friday 15th September 2023

“It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys . . .”

Michael Dowling

Friday 8th September 2023

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)

1910 – 1997

Albanian Indian Catholic Nun and founder of Missionaries of Charity

Friday 1st September 2023

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed… Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

Henry David Thoreau

1817 – 1862

American Naturalist, essayist, poet, philosopher and leading transcendentalist.

Friday 25th August 2023

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is  not the one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela
South African anti-apartheid activist and politician who served
as the first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was
the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a
fully representative democratic election.


Friday  11th August 2023

“Religion is at its best when it makes us ask hard questions of ourselves. It is at its worst when it deludes us into thinking we have the answers for everybody else.”

Archibald MacLeish


American poet and writer

Friday 4th August 2023

“When one door closes, another opens.”

This famous saying, by Alexander Graham Bell, is actually only part of the famous quote which reads, in full:

“When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Alexander Graham Bell


Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone. Co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. in 1885

Friday 28th July 2023

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Mark Twain

1835 – 1910

American writer, humourist and entrepreneur

Friday 21st July 2023

“Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content; the quiet mind is richer than a crown.”

Robert Greene


English poet

Friday 14th July 2023

“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 1832 – 1898, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, English Author, Poet and Mathematician.

Friday 9th July 2023

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”

Jacob Bronowski


Polish-British mathematician and philosopher. 

He is best known for developing a humanistic approach to science, and as the presenter and writer of the thirteen-part 1973 BBC television documentary series, and accompanying book The Ascent of Man.

Friday 23rd June 2023

“Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.”

Amelia Earhart


American pioneer aviator and writer

Friday 23rd June 2023

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”

Albert Camus

1913 – 1960

French-Algerian philosopher, author, dramatist and journalist

Friday 16th June 2023

“The aim of science is not to open a door to infinite wisdom but to set a limit to infinite error.”

Galileo Galilei


Italian polymath astronomer, physicist and engineer.

Friday 9th June 2023

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Viktor Frankl


Survivor of Auschwitz, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning.

Viktor Emil Frankl was a Jewish-Austrian psychiatrist who founded logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for a life’s meaning as the central human motivational force.

Friday 2nd June 2023

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

C.S. Lewis


Clive Staples Lewis FBA was a British writer, literary scholar, and Anglican lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University

Friday 26th May 2023

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

American naturalist, essayist, poet and philosopher

Friday 12th May 2023

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Jim Rohn


American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

Friday 28th April 2023

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


American Baptist minister and activist and one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.

Friday 28th April 2023

“It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau


American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher.

Friday 21st April 2023

“It’s important to have people who are absolutely willing to say you’re wrong or who have a totally different perspective than you do on everything. Fresh ideas are hard to come by, and good ones are even harder.”

Shonda Rhimes

Born 1970

American television screenwriter, producer, and author. Head writer and executive producer of the television medical drama Grey’s Anatomy

Friday 14th April 2023

“Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality.”

Jen Sincero,  1965 –

American writer, speaker and motivational coach.

Friday 7th April 2023

“A man who cannot wonder is but a pair of spectacles behind which there are no eyes.”

Thomas Carliyle

1795 – 1881

Scottish historian, essayist and critic.

Friday 31st March 2023

“Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.”


4BCE – 65CE

Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger usually known simply as Seneca, was a Stoic philosopher of Ancient Rome, a statesman and dramatist.

Friday 24th March 2023

“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humour to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

Maya Angelou


American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist.

Friday 17th March 2023

“We are all interconnected in the universe and, from this, universal responsibility arises. Everyone has the responsibility to develop a happier world.”

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the foremost spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

Friday 10th March 2023

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

Born 1934

An English primatologist and anthropologist. She is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, after 60 years studying the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.

Friday 3rd March 2023

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life.”

Bertrand Russell


British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual

Friday 24th February 2023

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

General Omar Bradley


Senior officer of the United States Army during and after World War II, rising to the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and oversaw the U.S. military’s policy-making in the Korean War.

Friday 17th February 2023

In order to enjoy everything, desire to get joy from nothing.

In order to arrive at possessing everything, desire to possess nothing.

In order to arrive at being everything, desire to be nothing.

Saint John of the Cross


Spanish Catholic priest, mystic, and Carmelite friar.

Friday 10th February 2023

“Progress is a good thing,” said Ogden Nash, “but it has been going on too long.”


“Material progress does improve wellbeing up to a point but, beyond that point, instead of lifting us upward, it only leads us around in circles. Making things, buying and selling them, piling them up, repairing them, then trying to figure out how to dispose of them. For sensitive people, boredom with this carnival cycle began some time ago. A consumer culture is not the goal of life.”

Eknath Easwaran, Original

Friday 3rd February 2023

You are what your

deep, driving desire is.

As your deep, driving desire is,

so is your will.

As your will is,

so are your deeds.

As your deeds are,

so is your destiny.


The Upanishads are late Vedic Sanskrit texts that supplied the basis of later Hindu philosophy. They are the most recent part of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, and deal with meditation, philosophy, consciousness, and ontological knowledge.

Friday 23rd December 2022

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude”

Alan Alexander Milne (A.A. Milne)

18th January 1882 – 31st January 1956

British children’s writer and poet

Author of the Winnie the Pooh books

Friday 16th December 2022

“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity”

Clive Staples Lewis (C.S. Lewis)

29th November 1898 – 22nd November 1963

British writer and Lay Theologian.

Author of The Chronicles of Narnia

Friday 9th December 2022

“The power of imagination makes us infinite”

John Muir

21st April 1838 – 24th Dec 1914

Scottish – American Naturalist & environmental philosopher.

Early advocate for the preservation of wilderness & known as “Father of the National Parks”

Friday 2nd December 2022

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal;

it is the courage to continue that counts”

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill

30th Nov 1874 – 24th Jan 1965

British Statesman, soldier and writer.

Served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice.

Friday 25th November 2022

“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation.”

Jack Nicklaus

Born 1940

Retired American professional golfer and golf course designer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time. He won 117 professional tournaments in his career.

Friday 18th November 2022

“Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering. Not a career. Not wealth. Not intelligence. Certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity”

Audrey Hepburn

1929 – 1993

British actress and humanitarian, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Friday 11th November 2022

“Chance favours the prepared mind.”

Louis Pasteur


French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization, the last of which was named after him.

Friday 3rd November 2022

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”

Willa Cather


American writer

Friday 28th of October 2022

“I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing it until the end.”

Abraham Lincoln


American lawyer and statesman

who served as the 16th president of the United States

 from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.

Friday 21st of October 2022

“Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the whole world.”

Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics.


Friday 14th of October 2022

“Learning should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life’s greatest adventure. It is an illustrated excursion into the minds of noble and learned people, not a tour conducted through a jail.”

Taylor Caldwell


American writer

Friday 7th of October 2022

“A very great deal more truth can become known than can be proven”

Richard Feynman


American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics

Friday 30th of September 2022

“Only in growth, reform and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh was an American writer and aviator. She was the wife of decorated pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh, with whom she made many exploratory flights

Friday 23rd of September 2022

Those who have a “why” to live, can bear almost any “how.”

Viktor Frankl


Survivor of Auschwitz, the Austrian psychiatrist who founded logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for a life’s meaning as the central human motivational force

Friday 16th of September 2022

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight”

Albert Schweitzer


Alsatian-German/French polymath.

Theologian, concert organist, musicologist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician.

Friday 9th of September 2022

If you can walk… you can dance.

If you can talk…you can sing.

Zimbabwean proverb

Friday 2nd  of September 2022

“Growth, in some curious way, I suspect, depends on being always in motion, just a little bit, one way or another.”

Norman Mailer


American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, activist, filmmaker and actor.


Friday 26th of August 2022

“Everyone must decide whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr

American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.

Friday 19th of August 2022

“To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less a denial of the soul.”

Oscar Wilde


Irish poet, wit and dramatist

Friday 12th of August 2022

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.”

Jane Austen


English novelist


Friday 5th of August 2022

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life or the life of another.”

Helen Keller


American writer and lecturer

Friday 29th July 2022

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which humanity can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of humanity is through love, and in love.”

Viktor Frankl

Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and Holocaust survivor.

Friday 22nd July 2022

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time.
But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together.”

Lila Watson
Aboriginal artist

Friday 15th July 2022

“Real peace is not the absence of conflict. It has always been the presence of justice.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
Born 15th January 1929. Assassinated: 4 April 1968
American Baptist Minister and Activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the US civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.

Friday 8th July 2022

“A lot of successful people are risk-takers. Unless you’re willing to do that: to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.”

Phillip Adams
Born 1939.
Australian humanist, social commentator, broadcaster, public intellectual and farmer.

Friday 1st July 2022

“All the things we achieve are things we have first of all imagined.”

David Malouf
Born 1934
Australian writer

Friday 24th June 2022

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”

Samuel Johnson
English lexicographer, critic, writer

Friday 17th June 2022

“Miracles seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that, for a moment, our eyes can see, and our ears can hear, what is there about us always.”

Willa Cather
American Writer

Friday 10th June 2022

When you know how to laugh, and when you look upon things as too absurd to take seriously, the other person is ashamed to carry it through, even though he was serious about it.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
First Lady of the United States, writer and diplomat.

Friday 3rd June 2022

My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. Achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others. The latter is nice but not as satisfying or important as the former. Aim for achievement and forget about success.”

Helen Hayes
American actor

Friday 27th May 2022

“Being loved deeply by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Lao Tzu
Born 571 BCE China, 

Reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and founder of philosophical Taoism.

Friday 20th May 2022

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”

Albert Einstein
Theoretical physicist.

Friday 13th May 2022

“Love is the whole thing; we are only pieces”

13th Century Sufi Mystic and Persian Poet

Friday 6th May 2022

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

13th Century Sufi Mystic and Persian Poet

Friday 29th April 2022

Christian mystic, Saint John of the Cross on the paradox of living:

“In order to enjoy everything, desire to get joy from nothing. In order to arrive at possessing everything, desire to possess nothing. In order to arrive at being everything, desire to be nothing.”

St. John of the Cross
John of the Cross, venerated as Saint John of the Cross, was a Spanish Catholic priest, mystic, and a Carmelite friar

Friday 22nd April 2022

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present
you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
Poet and novelist

Friday 15th April 2022

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

Friday 8th April 2022

“Understanding all, yet not interfering.
Bearing and nurturing, yet not claiming.
Acting without expecting.
Ruling without controlling.
This is the ultimate virtue”

Dao de Ching
6th Century BCE

Friday 1st April 2022

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

Brad Meltzer
American novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator, and comic book author

Friday 25th March 2022

“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director.

Friday 18th March 2022

“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”

Victor Hugo
French poet, novelist, essayist, playwright
and dramatist of the Romantic movement

Friday 4th March 2022

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get,
only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.”

Katharine Hepburn
American actress

Friday 25th February 2022

“I do not fear death.
I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born,
and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Mark Twain
American writer, humourist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer.

Friday 18th February 2022

Time is the substance of which I am made.
Time is a river that carries me away
but I am the river;
it is a tiger that destroys me,
but I am the tiger;
it is a fire that consumes me,
but I am the fire.”

Jorge Luis Borges
Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator.

Friday 4th February 2022

“I cannot add more days to my life, but only more life to each day.”

From the “Plum Village Song”
Quoted by Kaira Jewel Lingo
We were made for these times:
10 lessons for moving through change, loss, and disruption, p.81

Friday 28th January 2022

On imagination and creativity…

“Nothing you create is ultimately your own, yet all of it is you. Your imagination, it seems to me, is mostly an accidental dance between collected memory and influence, and is not intrinsic to you; rather it is a construction that awaits spiritual ignition.

Your spirit is the part of you that is essential. It is separate from the imagination, and belongs only to you. This formless pneuma is the invisible and vital force over which we toss the blanket of our imagination — that habitual mix of received information, of memory, of experience — to give it form and language. In some this vital spirit burns fiercely and in others it is a dim flicker, but it lives in all of us, and can be made stronger through daily devotion to the work at hand.”

Nick Cave
Australian singer, songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional actor.


Friday 19th December 2021

“To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.”

William James
American psychologist and philosopher

Friday 10th December 2021

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.”

Marjorie Holmes
American Columnist & Author

Friday, 3rd December 2021

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”

Robert Frost
American poet

Friday, 26th November 2021

“If you want people to be glad to meet you, you must be glad to meet them, and show it!”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German poet and writer

Friday, 19th November 2021









Friday 12th November 2021

“Become friends with yourself; learn to appreciate who you are and your unique gifts. Be patient with yourself and use your sense of humour to keep things in perspective.”

Dorothy Edgerton

Friday 5th November 2021

“When tragedy or misfortune comes our way, as they surely must, if we can shift our focus away from self and toward others, we experience a freeing effect.”

The 14th Dalai Lama

Friday 29th October 2021

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust
French novelist, critic, and essayist

Friday 22nd October 2021

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

 Audrey Hepburn
British actress and humanitarian

Friday 15th October 2021

“The most important discoveries will provide answers to questions that we do not yet know how to ask and will concern objects we have not yet imagined.”

John N. Bahcall
American astrophysicist best known for his contributions to the solar neutrino problem and the development of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Friday 10th October 2021

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Viktor Emil Frankl (26 March 1905 – 2 September 1997)
Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor.

Friday 1st October 2021

On keeping one’s perspective…

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem.  Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient.  Life is lumpy…a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump.  One should learn the difference.”

Robert Fulghum
Born 1937
American author and Unitarian minister

Friday 24th September 2021

“Moments of guilt, moments of contrition, moments when we are lacking in self-esteem, moments when we are bearing the trial of being displeasing to ourselves, are essential to our growth.”

M. Scott Peck
American psychiatrist and writer

Friday 17th September 2021

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious; it is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 10th September 2021

“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.”

W.H. Auden
English poet

Friday 3rd September 2021

“A sense of humour is a sense of proportion.”

Kahlil Gibran
Lebanese poet, artist and mystic

Friday 27th August 2021

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I’m in, therein to be content.”

Helen Keller
Permanently lost her sight and hearing at the age of nineteen months
American writer and lecturer

Friday 20th August 2021

“Be gentle with yourself. If you will not be your own unconditional friend, who will be? If you are always playing an opponent, and you are also playing yourself – you are going to be outnumbered.”

Dan Millman
American writer

Friday 13th August 2021

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti
Philosopher, speaker & writer
1895 – 1986

Friday 6th August 2021

“And the day came when the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.”

Anais Nin
French novelist

Friday 30th July 2021

“The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

Erica Jong
Born 1942
American novelist and poet

Friday 23rd July 2021

“Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health, and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.”

Joseph Addison
English Essayist

Friday 16th July 2021

“How can you say that luck and chance are the same thing? Chance is the first step you take; luck is what comes afterwards.”

Amy Tan
Born 1952
Chinese-American writer

Friday 9th July 2021

“Knowledge and understanding are life’s faithful companions, who will never be untrue to you.  For knowledge is your crown, and understanding your staff; and when they are with you, you can possess no greater treasures.”

Kahlil Gibran
Lebanese poet, artist and mystic.

Friday 2nd July 2021

“Fear is a reaction.
Courage is a decision.”

Winston Churchill

Friday 25th June 2021

We long for unity, but are unwilling to pay the price.  But of course, true unity cannot be so easily won.  It starts with a change in attitudes – a broadening of our minds, and a broadening of our hearts.

Barack Obama

Friday 18th June 2021

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1882

Friday 11th June 2021

“Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined
by service.”

Martin Luther King Jr

Friday 4th June 2021

“Let’s nurture the nature so that we can have a better future.”


Friday 28th May 2021

“To be content, look backward on those who possess less than yourself, not forward on those who possess more.”

Benjamin Franklin
American statesman and scientist

Friday 21st May 2021

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it!”

Stephen Leacock
English-born Canadian Economist and Humourist

Friday 14th May 2021

On chance and luck…

“Luck is preparedness encountering opportunity.”


Friday 7th May 2021

Lean on each other’s strengths.

Forgive each other’s weaknesses.


Friday 30th April 2021

“Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.”

Jean Paul Richter
German Novelist

Friday 23rd April 2021

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.

Friday 16th April 2021

To love a person is to know the song in their heart, and sing it to them when they have forgotten the words.

Friday, 26th March 2021

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.”

Mark Twain
American writer and humourist

Friday, 19th March 2021

“A wise person makes more opportunities than they find.”

Francis Bacon
English philosopher

Friday, 12th March 2021

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your growth. You have to fail in order to practise being brave.”

Mary Tyler Moore
American actress

Friday, 5th March 2021

Once in Persia reigned a king,
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they,
“Even this shall pass away.”

(The King’s Ring – Theodore Tilton, 1867)

On this third Sunday of Lent, we continue our major theme “A Vision of a World Resurrected” with the sub-theme this week being that of impermanence.

When we are young, it seems that everything takes, well, you know, forever! It’s like everything is static! It’s just not happening!

  Are we there yet?! How much longer, Mummy?! How far away is Christmas?! I can’t wait until I can go to school.

Later, we realise that we needn’t have been in such a rush. Looking back, from the perspective of advancing years, events come and go all too quickly. Life has not been static, permanent, unchanging, but instead a dynamic and ever-changing flux.

This child-like perception of the passage of time and events is by no means the only illusion of permanence to which we may fall prey. Some illusions of permanence we can take with us to the grave.

How might our experience of life, and how might our engagement with life, with others, with God, be different if we were to deeply internalise the reality of impermanence? We will explore these questions this Sunday.

Michael Dowling

Friday, 26th February 2021

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein, condolence letter to Norman Salit, March 4, 1950. Reprinted in The New York Times, March 29, 1972.

Friday, 19th February 2021











Friday, 12th February 2021








Friday, 5th February 2021

“There are risks and costs to
a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

John F. Kennedy
President of the United States

Friday, 18th December 2020

“Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.”

551-479 BCE
Chinese philosopher

Friday, 11th December 2020

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and our relationship to humanity.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
American civil rights leader and minister

Friday, 4th December 2020

“Guard within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness. Know how to replace in your heart, by the happiness of those you love, the happiness that may be wanting in yourself.”

George Sand
French Novelist

Friday, 27th November 2020

“Laughter has something in it in common with the ancient winds of faith and inspiration; it unfreezes pride and unwinds secrecy; it makes people forget themselves in the presence of something greater than themselves; something that they cannot resist.”

G.K. Chesterton
English novelist and critic

Friday. 20th November 2020

“We shrink from change, yet is there anything that can come into being without it?  What does nature hold dearer or more proper to herself?  Could you have a hot bath unless the firewood underwent some change?  Do you not see, then, that change in yourself is of the same order, and no less necessary, to nature?”

Marcus Aurelius
121-180 CE
Roman Emperor and philosopher

Friday, 13th November 2020

“The best portion of a person’s life are their little nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

William Wordsworth
English Poet

Friday, 6th November 2020

“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires can alone achieve peace; not the person who strives to satisfy such desires.”

Bhagavad Gita
Often referred to as the Gita, it is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata, commonly dated to the second century BCE

Friday, 30th October 2020

“The roots of education are bitter; but the fruit is sweet.”

384–322 BC
Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Friday, 23rd October 2020

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us daily.”

Sally Koch
American Author

Friday, 16th October 2020

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 9th October 2020

“Hope…must spring to life spontaneously in every generous spirit faced by the task that awaits us; and it’s also the essential impulse, without which nothing can be done. A passionate longing to grow, to be, is what we need. Life is ceaseless discovery. Life is movement.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit Catholic priest
who trained as a palaeontologist and geologist and took part
in the discovery of the Peking Man.

Friday 25th September 2020

“For the person who sees nothing at the end of the world, nothing higher that themselves, daily life can only be filled with pettiness and boredom. So much fruitless effort, so many wasted moments! But to those who see the synthesis of the Spirit continuing on earth beyond their own brief existence, every act and event is charged with interest and promise.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit Catholic priest who trained as a palaeontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of the Peking Man.

Friday 11th September 2020

“Based on our understanding of spacetime, there seems to be no getting around the idea that events in spacetime have a permanence to them that cannot be taken away. Once an event occurs, it in essence becomes part of the fabric of our universe. Your life is a series of events, and this means that when you put them all together, you are creating your own indelible mark on the universe. Perhaps if everyone understood that, we might all be a little more careful to make sure that the mark we leave is one that we are proud of.”

Jeffrey Bennett
What is Relativity?
Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist by training and a science educator, having written many books on developing literacy in astronomy, physics, mathematics and climate science.

Friday 4th September 2020

“Death signifies nothing…the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

Albert Einstein
Written about a month before his death in 1955

Friday 28th August 2020

“Whoever retains the natural curiosity of childhood is never bored or dull.”


Friday 21st August 2020

“Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know nothing but miracles. To me, every hour of night and day is a miracle; every cubic inch of space a miracle.”

Walt Whitman
American poet

Friday 14th August 2020

“The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.”

Rabindranath Tagore

A Bengali poet, writer, composer, and painter. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse” of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature

Friday 7th August 2020

“Anyone who does not know how to make the most of his own luck has no right to complain if it passes him by.”

Miguel de Cervantes
Spanish Writer

Friday 31st July 2020

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr

Friday 24th July 2020

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion…to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.

William Ellery Channing
American Minister

Friday 17th July 2020

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.”

Lauren Bacall
American Actress

Friday 10th July 2020

“Laughter can relieve tension, soothe the pain of disappointment, and strengthen the spirit for the formidable tasks that always lie ahead.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower
President of the United States of America

Friday 3rd July 2020

“The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. He frees himself and shows the way to others.  Freedom and slavery are mental states.”

Mahatma Gandhi
Indian teacher, moral leader and reformer

Friday 26th June 2020

I’ve found that worry and irritation vanish into thin air the moment I open my mind to the many blessings I possess.

Dale Carnegie
American motivational writer and lecturer

Friday 19th June 2020

There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

Friday 12th June 2020

Curiosity is a gift, a capacity for pleasure in knowing, which, if you destroy, you make yourself cold and dull.

John Ruskin
English author and art critic

Friday 5th June 2020

“The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things – the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and genuine to the bad and counterfeit.”

Samuel Johnson
English lexicographer, critic, and writer

In these days of ‘fake news’ – what a wonderful skill to seek to acquire!
…the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit

Friday 29th May 2020

“I have spent most of my life worrying about things that never happened.”

Mark Twain
American Writer and Humourist

Friday 15th May 2020

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald
American Novelist

Friday 15th May 2020

“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

Anatole France
French Writer

Friday 8th May 2020

“I am an optimist, unrepentant and militant.
After all, in order not to be a fool, an optimist must know how sad a place the world can be. It is only the pessimist who finds this out anew every day.”

Peter Ustinov
English writer, actor and dramatist

Friday 1st May 2020

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Nelson Mandela

Friday 24th April 2020

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German poet and writer

Friday 17th April 2020

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

Lyndon B. Johnson
An American politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. Formerly the 37th vice president from 1961 to 1963, he assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson also served as a United States Representative and as the Majority Leader in the United States Senate. Johnson is one of only four people who have served in all four federal elected positions.

Friday 3rd April 2020

“The world is but canvas to our imagination.”

Henry David Thoreau
American Essayist and Social Critic

Friday 27th March 2020

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is to live inside that hope; not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.

Barbara Kingsolver
Born 1955
American novelist

Friday 20th March 2020

“However much I am at the mercy of the world, I never let myself get lost by brooding over its misery. I hold firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of that misery to an end.”

Albert Schweitzer
French Philosopher and Physician

Albert Schweitzer was a person of extraordinarily diverse interests and abilities. Amongst other things, he was a theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, becoming the eighth Frenchman to be awarded that prize. His philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, in the part of French Equatorial Africa which is now Gabon.

Friday 13th March 2020

“I am only one.
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Helen Keller
American Writer and Lecturer

Stricken by an illness at the age of 2, Hellen Keller was left blind and deaf. Beginning in 1887, Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904. During her lifetime, she received many honours in recognition of her accomplishments, becoming an educator and humanitarian. In 1915, along with renowned city planner George Kessler, she co-founded Helen Keller International to combat the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. In 1920, she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union.

Friday 6th March 2020

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

Vince Lombardi

Friday 28th February 2020

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday 14th February 2020

“I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices; and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word and thought throughout our lifetime.”

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Swiss-born American Psychiatrist

Friday 7th February 2020

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Anne Frank

Friday 31st January 2020

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Maya Angelou

[Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She is an author and poet who is famous for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a story of her early life, a story filled with challenges but also of discovery and survival.]

Friday 20th December 2019

“I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.”

Leo Rosten

Leo Calvin Rosten (April 11, 1908 – February 19, 1997) was an American humourist in the fields of scriptwriting, story writing, journalism, and Yiddish lexicography. He was also a political scientist interested especially in the relationship of politics and the media.

Friday 13th December 2019

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday 29th November 2019

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better, in prayer, to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.


Friday 22nd November 2019

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Steve Jobs

Friday 15th November 2019

“To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle”

Dalai Lama

Friday 8th November 2019

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.

Learn as if you were to live forever.”

“The weak can never forgive.

Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”


Friday 3rd November 2019

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday 25th October 2019

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday 18th October 2019

Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words.

Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions.

Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits.

Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values.

Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.


Friday 11th October 2019

Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist, survived the horrors of Auschwitz. He describes the power of humour in enduring the unendurable…

“I practically trained a friend of mine who worked next to me on the building site to develop a sense of humour. I suggested to him that we would promise each other to invent at least one amusing story daily, about some incident that could happen one day after our liberation. He was a surgeon and had been an assistant on the staff of a large hospital. So I once tried to get him to smile by describing to him how he would be unable to lose the habits of camp life when he returned to his former work. On the building site (especially when the supervisor made his tour of inspection) the foreman encouraged us to work faster by shouting: “Action! Action!” I told my friend, “One day you will be back in the operating room, performing a big abdominal operation. Suddenly an orderly will rush in announcing the arrival of the senior surgeon by shouting, ‘Action! Action!’””

Brain Pickings website (article entitled “Viktor Frankl on Humor as a Lifeline to Sanity and Survival”)

Friday 27th September 2019

“We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 20th September 2019

SHAKESPEARE on short-term gratification and its perils…

“What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week?
Or sells eternity to get a toy?
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?”

William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece

Friday 13th September 2019

“The full humanization of man requires the breakthrough from the possession-centred to the activity-centred orientation, from selfishness and egotism to solidarity and altruism.”

Eric Fromm

Friday 30th August 2019

“If we take man as he really is, we make him worse. But if we overestimate him … we promote him to what he really can be. So we have to be idealists, in a way — because then we wind up as the true, the real realists.”

Viktor Frankl

Friday 23rd August 2019

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin in. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday 16th August 2019

Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study useless sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge.

Jean Jaques Rousseau

Friday 9th August 2019

Einstein on affirming our interdependence as human beings, as well as the criticality of cultural and scientific transmission across the generations…

“When we survey our lives and endeavours we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings. We see that our whole nature resembles that of the social animals. We eat food that others have grown, wear clothes that others have made, live in houses that others have built. The greater part of our knowledge and beliefs has been communicated to us by other people through the medium of a language which others have created. Without language, our mental capacities would be poor indeed, comparable to those of the higher animals. We have, therefore, to admit that we owe our principal advantage over the beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual, if left alone from birth, would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive. The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human society, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 2nd August 2019

“Everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of their endeavours and their judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and, time after time, given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Without the sense of fellowship with those of like mind, of preoccupation with the objective, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific research, life would have seemed to me empty.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 28th July 2019

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 19th July 2019

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mystery of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little bit of this mystery every day.”

Albert Einstein

Friday 12th July 2019

Exploration of the full range of his one’s potentialities is not something that the self-renewing person leaves to the chances of life. It is something they pursue systematically, or at least avidly, to the end of their days. They look forward to an endless and unpredictable dialogue between their potentialities and the claims of life — not only the claims they encounter, but the claims they invent. And by potentialities I mean not just skills, but the full range of their capacities for sensing, wondering, learning, understanding, loving, aspiring.

Social scientist John W. Gardner
Quoted on the Brain Pickings website

Friday 5th July 2019

The Gift of Friendship…

Friendship, C.S. Lewis believed, “like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself … has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

But the poetic beauty of this sentiment crumbles into untruth for anyone who has ever been buoyed from the pit of despair by the unrelenting kindness of a friend, or whose joys have been amplified by a friend’s warm willingness to bear witness.

By Maria Popova, from the BRAIN PICKINGS website:

Friday 28th June 2019

“The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.”

Margot Fonteyn

Monday 24th June 2019

Letting go of the assumed expectations of others

“The key to finding your purpose is finding your individual strengths, your individual skills, and focussing on what matters most to you.”

“Which brings us to another key concept of mastering stress: You have to let go of what others think. Take a moment to think honestly, truly, and reflectively about how much of the stress in your life is created by your own wants, needs and perceptions, and how much of the stress in your life is created by what you assume to be other peoples’ wants, needs and perceptions. Often our stressors are fundamentally caused by what we think others expect of us, and by our attempts to live our lives to please other people. We have to let go of that: to let go of what others expect our calling to be; to let go of what we worry others will think of what we see to be our calling; and instead live our own authentic lives.”

Kimberlee Bethany Bonura
Lecture 18: Learning from your Stress
Great Courses lecture series entitled How to Make Stress work for you.

Monday 17th June 2019

On the anxiety to please…

“All tension comes from anxiety to please, and eventually you have to come round to the view, quite simply, that what you have to offer is good enough.”

Cicely Berry

Splendid torch…
Monday 27th May 2019

A quote by George Bernard Shaw…

“This is the true joy in life: the being used for a purpose, recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

Between stimulus and response…
Monday 20th May 2019

A quote from an anonymous book, as reported by the author Stephen Covey…

Between stimulus and response is a space.

In this space lies our freedom to choose our response.

In these choices lie our growth and our happiness.

Learned Optimism…

Monday 22nd April 2019

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

This is the classic metaphorical question that speaks to the differing mindsets of optimism and pessimism. Optimism focusses more upon the positives in the situation, more upon the possibilities for positive change. Pessimism, in contrast, focusses more on the negatives, more upon the intractable difficulties.

None of us sees the world as it is. In a sense, it is more accurate to say that we see the world as we are. Those of a more negative and pessimistic mindset tend to ‘see’ more of the negativity in situations, in their life, in the world. In contrast, optimists ‘see’ more of the positive in situations; the world and life seems, to them, lighter and more hopeful.

“How’s that working out for you?”

This is really a better question than, “Which out of optimism and pessimism is more realistic?”

Neither optimism nor pessimism are truly ‘realistic.’

None of us have a direct interpretational access to ‘reality.’

Whether my mindset is habitually positive (optimistic) or negative (pessimistic), the key question is: “How’s that working out for me?”

If you happen to be habitually pessimistic, yet find that particular mindset empowering, enriching and life-giving, then go for it!

More often, however, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we can detect within the pessimistic mindset – and we can all be pessimistic from time to time – a strong tendency toward disempowerment and inertia. If we always see the negative in situations, then we tend to view any possible solution to the present problem in a negative light: “Why bother? That won’t work. There’s no use trying.” As pessimists, we often end up stuck, because we see no way out.

In fact, as a pessimist, I can become pretty darn pessimistic about ever becoming optimistic! I was born a pessimist, and I’m destined to die a pessimist… or am I?


The psychologist, Martin Seligman, is one of the founders of the so-called ‘Positive Psychology’ movement, where the focus shifts away from the myriad psychological ‘problems’ that beset people, to focus instead upon sources of strength and resilience, and approaches that allow us to flourish as human beings.

Seligman is famous for, early in his career, discovering and defining something called ‘Learned Helplessness,’ where early negative life experiences can cause us to lose hope in later situations; based on past experiences, where we had limited or no control, we then generalise this experience to other situations, where we stop looking for solutions to problems. We give up, because there is no way out. We have learned to be ‘helpless’; we have learned to be pessimistic of our ability to change things for the better.

Rather wonderfully, Seligman later followed up this unpleasant discovery of learned helplessness with a solution which he termed Learned Optimism. He has discovered, through empirically tested research, that it is actually possible to overcome learned helplessness. It is possible to change one’s mindset from pessimism to optimism. He has even created a catchy, easy-to-remember approach: the 3Ps and the 3Ds.

THE 3Ps OF PESSIMISM: Personal, Pervasive and Permanent

The pessimistic mindset is characterised by three ways of looking at the situation.


The present situation isn’t merely something that has happened, and which can, from time to time, happen to anyone. Instead, the present situation represents a personal failing. The situation is like it is (bad) because I am personally deficient in some way.


The present problem isn’t seen in isolation. (“I have a problem in this area of my life, and at this time.”) Instead, we ‘extrapolate’ and come to see this as illustrating how everything is problematic in some way. (“This is a stuff-up, just like everything else in life!”)


The present problem isn’t seen as temporary, as something that can and will change. Instead, it will forever remain a problem and there’s nothing that will change this.

THE 3Ds AS AN ANTIDOTE TO PESSIMISM: Dispute, Distance, and Distract


Pay attention! Notice the unconscious or semi-conscious habitual thought processes you engage in. Catch yourself when you start thinking negative or pessimistic thoughts. Challenge yourself and dispute these thought processes! “Where’s your evidence that everything is bad?!” “How do you know for a fact that nothing can be done about it?”


When you notice your thoughts habitually going down a negative track, you can shake up this thought pattern. Slap the wall or a table and yell “STOP!” to break the pattern. If the ‘negative situation’ you’re thinking about can be worked on and fixed, then work out when you can work on it and then resolve to attend to it at that time. In the meantime, don’t waste your time thinking about it!  One of the best ways to silence habitually negative unconscious or semi-conscious thought patterns is to focus your mind upon something else, ideally something that requires your full attention. When our mind is consciously focussed upon something specific and attention-demanding, it has less scope to go off with the fairies down some negative, pessimistic trail.


Psychologically ‘step outside yourself’ and watch your negative, pessimistic thought processes. This can be a very powerful thing to do, as it can induce a psychological shift whereby you are, in a sense, no longer a pessimistic thinker, but rather someone who is observing and witnessing pessimistic thinking, and contemplating its validity. This can activate our awareness that what we think about is actually a choice, rather than it being some automated, semi-conscious and self-destructive habit we have gotten into.

Book Reference:
Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman

Putting the ‘Big Rocks’ in first…
Monday 15th April 2019

The author Stephen Covey, in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, offers a powerful image to illustrate the importance of not only identifying that which is most important in our life, but also to ensure that this is given the attention that it deserves.

Consider a glass jar which you intend to fill with a variety of ‘things’: sand, small pebbles, larger pebbles, and also some big rocks. If we begin by first adding sand to the jar, and then the smaller pebbles, then the larger pebbles, by the time we get to the big rocks, there remains no space for them to fit. In contrast, if we put the Big Rocks in first, we discover that the pebbles and the sand can ‘fit in’ between the spaces around the big rocks. The key to using the space is that we simply must put the Big Rocks in first!

Unless we wish the important things (Big Rocks) in our life to be squeezed out by the unimportant (the pebbles, the sand), we simply must put the Big Rocks in first!

On Success & Happiness
Monday 8th April 2019

Some of us spend our lives in search of success, or perhaps in search of an elusive happiness. The great Viktor Frankl, Jewish psychiatrist and survivor of the horrors of Auschwitz, has a very different take on these two goals.

“Again and again I admonish my students, both in Europe and America: ‘Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself, or as a by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to do what your conscious commands you to do, and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run – in the long run, I say! – success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.'”

Preface to the 1991 edition of Man’s Search for Meaning.