Monday, April 28, 2008

In this A to Z of Life D is for...Dancing

The "experts" say that 55 per cent of communication is determined by body language, 38 per cent tone of voice and only 7 per cent through words. 55 per cent of communication is body language? Yep that's the animal origins kicking in. Apart from Sex-which should really go under S in this A-Z-dancing is probably the healthiest form of bodily communication there is.great for the body, great for the mind......So D is for Dancing!
One of the things I find interesting about contemporary western culture is that even though music is everywhere, piped in to lifts and supermarkets, played in banks and at football matches you don't often see people dancing in supermarkets and banks. In a sense, music and the natural response to music-dancing-have become disconnected. Unfortunately, in most social contexts it's OK to listen but any sort of bodily movement is often met with raised eyebrows. It's just another way in which modern life tries to stop you from having any fun..

The good news is that no matter how hard our so called "civilization" tries to kick it out of us we are and always will be animals. All animals dance. Embrace the animal! Do a jig as often as you can, wherever you can.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In the A to Z of life C is for Compassion

With the possible exception of the sociopaths out there-you know who you are or to be honest you probably don't!- we as humans feel a vast rainbow of emotions. Compassion is one of the most beautiful hues in this emotional spectrum. Sadly it is often overlooked in favour of more obvious and apparently easier to understand ones such as wrath and pity. It's often easier to get angry with someone for demonstrating weakness, far easier to pity someone in a worse situation then you rather than try and understand them. This is sad because compassion is at it's root so simple and uncomplicated.

In the A to Z of life C is for Compassion.

In basic terms compassion is the understanding of the emotional state of oneself and others. It's that simple. Compassion grows from this often temporary understanding and manifests itself in altruistic behaviour. Our understanding of how we and others feel leads us to be nicer to ourselves and to others. This is not a weakness it is a strength. In this dog eat dog world where he/she with the biggest stick or the biggest gun is often revered...compassion is a rare but shining light.

I wonderful example of compassion is demonstrated in the famous song 'No Woman No Cry' by the late great Bob Marley;

Though Bob Marley likely wrote the song himself, songwriter credits were given to "V. Ford". Vincent Ford was a friend of Marley's who ran a soup kitchen in Trench town, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica where Marley grew up. The royalty cheques received by Ford ensured the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen.

The song itself demonstrates how compassion changes peoples lives and brings comfort in the hardest times. The 'Georgie' of the song once fed Marley and his friends when they were down on their luck in Trench town-perhaps this act of compassion prompted Marley to credit the song to Vincent Ford, another man who devoted his life to helping people in dire straits. The song is sung to Georgies widow offering her his compassion as she was grieving. he promises everything's going to be alright".

Monday, April 21, 2008

B is for Bullshit...

In this A to Z of Life B is for Bullshit.......

These days bullshit is everywhere. It's carried across continents and beamed in from space in a way that was inconceivable a couple generations ago and it spreads..boy does it spread! Bullshit moves faster than any bird flu or super bug. This mass bullshit doesn't really bother me that much. I see it as the price we must inevitably pay for technological development. We some control over the media we listen to, bottom line is we can always switch it off. No, what bothers me is the amount of bullshit prevalent in the personal interaction we all have in this wonderful twenty first century of ours.

Its almost like some people have found another orifice from which to produce flatulent crap from. Our noses may not be able to smell these verbal farts but they sure do stink!

Now don't get me wrong people! A certain amount of shooting the shit is very, very healthy. In small doses bullshit is an essential social lubricant. It helps keep heavy things as light as they can be. Indeed people come from all over to kiss a certain stone in Ireland-the Blarney stone-in an attempt to somehow magically appropriate some bullshit.

Naw what bothers me is the type of bullshit that leads to people making up the rules of the game as they go....and then changing them. The type of bullshit that leads to people becoming entirely delusional and completely divorced from who they really are. The bullshit that allows people to think they are kings and queens and consequently allows them to treat others as their serfs and the entire world as there personal domain. The type of bullshit that leads people to hate themselves and kill themselves and others fighting over the map not the territory.

We all need a good nose for bullshit...a veritable bullshit detector...bullshit can be useful, bullshit can be fun...the key thing to remember is to know when you are bullshitting yourself.

Enough of this bullshit...I'm off to sleep!