What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Saturday Musings - Considered Thought

Thinking, pondering and researching...

I was speaking with a person the other day and encouraged them to start reading. Yes, we all read a huge amount of Twitter, Facebook, news feeds and even blogs but what I suggested they do is pick up a book.

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We spend so much time “catching-up” that many of us forget that reading is more than just about getting the next sound bite. When you read a good book, fiction or non-fiction, you are entering the mind of another person and getting their thoughts on characters, plot or their views on a particular topic. This meeting of minds can have an impact of you by expanding your own horizons or challenging your own perceptions.

At their core, books are a structured set of considered thoughts that have often taken the author a significant chunk of their life to construct. This considered opinion is very different from a Facebook post which is more often than not, just an opinion or at worst an uninformed opinion.

For example, let’s imagine you see a Facebook post on climate change and immediately “like it”. You have effectively shared your opinion on the topic to untold numbers of people around the world, but do you actually understand the issues around climate change?

When I was in high school my English teacher drummed into me the art of critical thinking. Don’t take on face value what is being said, dig into the facts and seek to understand all sides of an issue prior to making up your own mind. Then, once you’ve formed an opinion, hold it lightly as it may be wrong.

I believe the desire to come to grips with real issues has been in steady decline as the world has become highly defensive in their haste to take offence. From experience, too many people react rather than really think. This may seem quite judgmental but ask yourself, when was the last time you argued against your typical position on a real issue to force yourself to view the other side of an argument?

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vanclute
In most circles now, critical thinking is no longer allowed. Worse still, it's actually seen as offensive to even suggest it. Th... Read More
13 January 2020
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Australia is Burning...

Australia is burning....

Since September, Australia has been up in flames. Now, in the height of the fire season, almost the entire eastern seaboard is now caught up in an inferno that can only be described as apocalyptic. Major cities like Sydney and my home of Melbourne are shrouded in a smoke haze that beggars belief…..and yet, there is hope.

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Yes, millions of hectares of land have been scorched to a cinder, towns have been razed, lives ruined and sadly lives lost but amongst all this devastation there are stories that give you faith in humanity.

The volunteer firefighters that put themselves in harms way to rescue those that cannot rescue themselves. These incredible men and women have selflessly pushed themselves to the brink of exhaustion as they race in front of the inferno to buy some time for children, elderly and the infirm to escape the holocaust.

It almost feels pitifully inadequate to say, “Thank you” to such amazingly brave individuals. There is the wives, husbands and children of these firefighters that wonder if their brave loved one will survive the day or night…..sadly, the nation has wept with the families of some that didn’t.

Then there are our friends abroad. Highly trained firefighters have flown in from New Zealand, Canada and the United States and have come to put their lives on the line to help us. I’m reminded of the Bible verse (John 15:13) that says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay his life down for a friend.”

This help is like a soothing salve on an open wound to the people of Australia. To have nations that are willing to help in times of strife will be long remember into the decades ahead. I’m also reminded that it wasn’t too long ago that California was burning, and these same countries banded together to do whatever they could to help in that horrific disaster.

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Rawgi
We had the fires up here in our City of Redding,CA and in Paradise,CA, the Carr Fire. The destruction is unbelievable. The fire... Read More
05 January 2020
mgilmour
Raptor, thank you for your incredible service and keep safe as you drop water on the fires. So many people owe their lives to the ... Read More
06 January 2020
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Saturday Musings – What’s Happened to Christmas?

The reason for the season....

My wife, Roselyn and I were chatting yesterday, and she mentioned in passing that there seemed to be an effort by some people to remove Christmas out of Christmas. Since "Merry Xmas" didn't appear to catch-on “Merry Christmas” is now being supplant it with “Happy Holidays”.

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Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong with wishing someone a “happy holiday” I do believe that we need to take a step back and consider what is happening here. In order to do this, we need to reflect upon what this season is all about.

Christmas isn’t just about presents, eating copious amounts of food and holidays. At its roots, Christmas is a Christian religious celebration that centres upon the birth of Jesus. It’s about God reaching down to man, not as a judge but out of love by sending his son as the saviour for the world. Whether you believe the above or not is irrelevant to the millions of people that have this conviction in their heart.

If we are to be respectful towards Christians then I believe we need to call this period what it is, Christmas. Similarly, to be respectful to Muslims we should not try and rename Ramadan to something else or the Hindu festival, Diwali, as the “Happy Light Show”.

This would suggest that to make the least offense the politically correct lobby should insist that everyone says, “Merry Christmas”. The question I began to ponder is why don’t they? I could almost guarantee that if we renamed Hannukkah to something else then the Jewish community would be appalled and there would rightly be a voice of protest.

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Saturday Musings - How to Become a Success

How to become successful.

The “success” industry is worth billions of dollars a year selling seminars, videos, books and the like. They peddle guaranteed instant success formulas that for some reason first require you to fork out your hard-earned cash. Most truly successful people don’t apply any of this snake-oil, so what is it that they’ve discovered?

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Several years ago, I found myself on the platform at a conference being interviewed about what it takes to create a successful blog. It was at the height of the SEO (search engine optimisation) hysteria and as I looked across the audience, I could see they were hoping for some formula that would guarantee they would become successful.

Maybe I would say that I incorporated a particular number of hot keywords into articles or ensured that each one was of a particular length. This would provide them what they needed to become successful!

I turned to the moderator and asked, “Are you sure you want to know?”

“Yes,” came the reply.

I looked across the audience and said, “It’s incredibly easy to create a successful blog.”

By this time the moderator was getting a little impatient and asked, “Well, what’s the secret?”

“Write two to three articles a week for ten years.”

A groan could be heard across the auditorium and the moderator looked at me with a particular level of disappointment. This isn’t what anyone wanted to hear. They wanted to hear that with a wave of my hand I could turn them all into successful bloggers.

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Ategy.com
In 1999 through early 2000s I had a huge Club Music / DJ community. I grew it to 35,000 members in 2-3 years. People tossed arou... Read More
16 December 2019
mgilmour
Hi there, Let me first thank you for the kind comments about my blog. Secondly, I'd be happy for you to publish the list of domain... Read More
17 December 2019
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Saturday Musings - Building a Strong Relationship

A great marriage is like a slice of heaven on earth.

I was at a Christmas party the other night and was having a chat with a person when the conversation moved from the weather to, how have I maintained my strong marriage. The questions caused me to reflect upon what I’ve learned over the last 32 years and how simple decisions have contributed to my own wonderful relationship.

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Learn about your spouse
Roselyn and I had been married for a few years and one night we decided to have a movie and munchies night at home. I rented  a video (remember doing that!) and picked up some chips and chocolate to enjoy together.

Upon arriving home, my wife looked downcast and said, “You know I don’t like Salt and Vinegar chips.”

I must admit that I was completely stunned at this comment but not for the reasons you may initially assume. You see, I was stunned because after all the time of dating, being engaged and now married for several years I had not paid attention to this simplest of thing about the most important person in the world to me.

It was then and there that I decided to learn everything I could about this incredible woman that had decided to live her life with me. In fact, we both decided to learn about each other and what we discovered was that our love grew exponentially in the process.

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Rawgi
After divorcing about 35 years ago, my ex and I remained friends, always helping each other in times of need. Now 45 years to the... Read More
23 December 2019
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