09 December 2010

Public Knowledge

Why is it that secrecy and confidentiality are two of the most debatable topics? Is it because access to restricted information is more often a source of power (and excitement) than open access to knowledge?

01 December 2010

Reflections on Restorations

Whenever we document the past, whether in a blog, in a private journal, or in a history book, we are performing acts of restoration. We often do not know how accurate our documentation might be, but we are possibly creating information of use to someone in the future.

18 November 2010

The Largest Proportion

When choosing to do something worthwhile, it is not usually the amount that is important but the proportion.

13 November 2010

Escaping society to find it again

There are many words that have a confusing array of meanings. To me there is one very important word that has a vast range of definitions yet it is central to each of our lives. That word is society.

07 November 2010

Experiencing Deeply

A life of action and a life of reflection are both part of a thoughtful existence. We need action to form the basis of our reflections, and reflections to form the basis of our actions. Experiencing life deeply means to be aware of the importance of both action and reflection, and the interaction between the two.

27 October 2010

Comfortable Shoes and Clothing

Are you someone who follows fashion even if you find it uncomfortable? I like soft fabrics with loosely elasticated waistbands, footwear with flexible soles, nothing tight, nothing itchy. I like clothes that are easy to wash and do not need ironing. I also like simple, elegant styles, as long as they are not too expensive.

05 October 2010

Pro-social Living

Here is a very challenging question for you: Does your behaviour always benefit society?

25 August 2010

Growing Older in Australia

Throughout my life, I have often preferred the company of older people. My husband is several years older than I am. My grandparents were a big part of my childhood and younger years. As an Australian, I am part of a society with more senior members than many others and this is something very pleasant to someone like me who likes a quieter, slower pace to life.

23 August 2010

Quietly Unfamous

It is so nice to be able to walk around anonymously in public. No one comes up to me asking for my autograph. No one can type the word "Via" into Google and quickly find my blogs. No one follows me down the street trying to take photographs of me without my permission.

19 August 2010

Via Via

During the 1980s, I felt I was at the centre of things. The media was exciting. I was young and I worked in television. London was the place to be for an ambitious girl from the provinces. I worked on prestigious and pioneering programmes. The media had power. The world was at my feet.

14 August 2010

A Healthy Mind


Feeling well is far more about the mind than the body. But what is the mind?

You may hear people talk about mental issues, but do they really mean diseases in the brain, problems in society or just the personal preferences of individuals?

07 August 2010

Reflections on Advertising

When you see advertisements on blogs, what are your views about them? How appropriate are the adverts in relation to the content of a blog?

How might online adverts be of use to you, even if you choose not to click any of them? Are advertisements an intrusion into your thoughts and reflections, or a source of inspiration?

03 August 2010

Australian Federal Election 2010


Politics can often get in the way of a quiet life. Sometimes, however, politics can be too quiet, and ominously so. When politics is noisy, we might switch off the hyperactive commentators and empty opinion leaders and look for important issues without them. Even so, we will still have a mass of information to sift through if we are to understand the decisions being made on our behalf in the corridors of power.

01 August 2010

A Taste of Good Living

Whenever I think of luxury, I often associate it with wastefulness and extravagance. I prefer to use the word quality for material items of high value, and for aesthetic experiences worth cherishing. This means that the good life can be enjoyed without being economically excessive, detrimental to the environment or unpleasant towards other people.

30 July 2010

Being Comfortable with Knowledge

One of my interests is exploring the meaning of a good education. I am a person who has a poor memory, so I am not very good at sitting examinations. I am also quite anxious in test situations.

25 July 2010

Appreciation


This is my favourite photograph of my lovely grandparents, Harry and Dorothy. It is how they have stayed in my memory for many years.

23 July 2010

Uncertainty, Rejection and Art


Today, I have been reading some interesting articles about uncertainty and rejection. These are topics I have sometimes explored in my blogs, mainly because they are such important and inevitable aspects of human life.

21 July 2010

Vespers Not Vespas

Being at religious services often makes me feel uncomfortable because I do not follow any religious beliefs. Being a freethinker does not necessarily mean a lack of spirituality, as this blog may reveal to you if you have not been here before. I just like being.

20 July 2010

A Healthy Way To Live

Last year, I wrote a blog post on the topic of smells and emotions. Today, I have been reading a couple of news stories about the health hazards of scented products:

Not so sweet: chemicals in fragrances

Cancer concerns for house-proud women

I like my body and home to smell clean and natural. This often means that there is no noticeable smell at all for much of the time. There is enough pollution in the outside air in many parts of the world and it is quite difficult for many people to be aware of pollutants they can avoid and control.

09 July 2010

The Private Act of Writing

For any reader who has been following one or more of my blogs, you may be wondering why your "follower" picture has been absent from the right hand columns in recent weeks. I had been finding it difficult to keep my own voice while writing. By this, I mean that your presence as a possible reader of my words was intruding on my often daily decisions about what and how to write.

08 July 2010

Slow and Gentle Food and Living

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There is a distinct difference, in my perceptions, between a slow, gentle approach to life and a long, leisurely lunch.

There is an appropriate time for each of us to devote ourselves to resting, eating, enjoying the company of people we especially like, and enjoying time to ourselves. Much of your time might be spent in working to meet the needs of those you encounter each day, while trying to meet your own needs along the way. How do you keep up with the pace of your life?

07 July 2010

A Sometimes Conscious Creature


I see myself as an ever-evolving, sometimes conscious creature who enjoys experiencing life as a journey.

06 July 2010

All People Matter

At the official level of global politics, it is now recognised, at least on paper, that all people matter equally. But what does equality really mean? Perhaps there are too many empty words in grand documents, with their publication having little bearing on the realities of people's lives.

28 June 2010

Harmony, Love and Learning

In each of my blogs, you may encounter the angel one. Who or what is it? Am I some sort of deluded being?

Well, don't worry. The angel one is just an ordinary person who happens to be (at least to me) the most interesting, enigmatic, eccentric, environmentally aware, technically clever, practical, conscientious, tolerant and lovable person I have ever known. He encourages me to think more deeply. We have been married for over twenty years.

27 June 2010

Of Good Moral Character

If we believe ourselves to be of good moral character, we may hope that the people we encounter are no worse than ourselves. If we want a quiet life, we may think it is easier to achieve without the interference of unpleasant people, but how do we know when someone is good? Are most people who we believe to be good really bad people who are convincing actors?

23 June 2010

A Fair Go

It would be very nice to have a fair go. By that I don't mean going to a funfair. A fair go means that fairness should be the basis of fun, and life, and everything. Would you agree?

If you have ever been teased, bullied, harassed, insulted, discriminated against, deemed as unworthy, under-recognised, and/or your needs have been ignored in other ways, then perhaps you know what it is like not to receive a fair go.

22 June 2010

Being Brave

The meaning of "bravery" seems to me to be a very important philosophical exploration. What does the word mean to you? Does it have something to do with dignity?

21 June 2010

Resilience

Do you have the ability to bounce back from adversity with resilience and determination? How do you set social boundaries so that you have the capacity to recover from trauma?

17 June 2010

A Global Inner Peace Index

As you may be aware, the annual Global Peace Index has recently been published for 2010. Australia ranks 19th and New Zealand ranks 1st. Yet I wonder how either society would rank on an index of inner peace. Is such a ranking even possible?

10 June 2010

Special Times



I like to reminisce from time to time, especially to myself as I would not want to bore anyone with recollections of my life.

One of the most irritating habits of some older people is the regular repetition of stories we have heard numerous times before. It is one of the reasons why exploring family history is useful as it takes away the repetition, helps to develop deeper relationships and gives valuable insights into the past.

09 June 2010

Enjoying Objectivity

I often wonder if people are more likely to live in peace when they have similar beliefs about reality, or whether large differences in beliefs may be more conducive to social stability. History has shown that conflict is most likely between people who have just a few disagreements than between those with vast differences in views about the world and life in general. This is especially the case when religion and/or politics are involved.

07 June 2010

Knowledge


How do you know that you know what you know?

I wonder if you have any favourite questions. One of my favourites is the one above. Just looking up the word "knowledge" on Google can be quite a challenging experience. Which link to click? Which information to believe?

06 June 2010

Explorations of all sorts of Travels

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Here is another blog post with a title that is the subtitle (only partly this time) of one of my other blogs. To give myself a quieter life, I am taking a break not just from By Any Other Name but also from Continual Journeys. You are always welcome to comment on any of my blog posts, though!

04 June 2010

A Respectful Exploration of Identity

You may know that the title of this blog post is the subtitle of one of my other three blogs, namely the one called By Any Other Name. You can find that blog at this address:

http://reflectingonidentity.blogspot.com

By Any Other Name is a place where you might discover a few important things about yourself you may never have known before. I know that I have discovered quite a lot about myself while developing it.

02 June 2010

Belief


What causes war? What causes peace? My own belief is that beliefs cause both. Beliefs cause violence. Beliefs cause compassion. So, what is a belief?

27 May 2010

Just Being

Are some people afraid just to be?

Is it far too difficult to turn off the telephone, the television, the radio, the computer, and the other engines and machines that fill modern lives?

 Do you enjoy being still and alone, even for a few moments, and use that time just to be?

21 May 2010

Sunshine through the Window

Now that the nights are becoming cooler here in the town of Dorothea, and the sun is lower in our northern sky during the daytime, I am glad I have a north facing living room, with the sunshine streaming through the window.

15 May 2010

Peace and Security

I enjoy gathering information about the people who are working for peace and security in the world. Too often, the news media focuses our attention on those who do the opposite.

07 May 2010

The Valuing of Shared Values

If there is only one aspect of life that is likely to make the world more peaceful, perhaps it is the valuing of shared values.

03 May 2010

My No Fly Zone

Nature can often be a source of wonder and enjoyment but some aspects of it can be very irritating at times. This blog post is not about volcanoes, airports and crowds of stranded travellers. It is about buzzing insects, some of which are known as flies.

12 April 2010

A Highly Sensitive Person

One of the reasons why quieter living is important to me is that I am a highly sensitive person. I am easily overwhelmed and distressed by too many stimuli in my environment. Are you?

16 March 2010

Peacefully Picking up the Pieces


Old buildings are a wonderful reminder of continuity. I especially like old buildings in places where natural or political events have intervened in history. Sacred spaces are often amongst those first to be rebuilt or repaired after a disaster. Their place in the psyche and the environment can help to restore our hopes for the future.

02 March 2010

Stopping Sectarianism

I have been reading about sectarianism over the last few days and have been wondering how divisive beliefs may be overcome. Do you know much about the subject?

26 February 2010

Ends And Means

At the heart of justice is the desire to treat people always as ends in themselves and never merely as means to an end. It is for this reason that terrorism - whether by individuals, groups or government forces - can never be justified.

12 February 2010

Learning About Peace

It is another very pleasant day in the town of Dorothea. The sun is shining and the temperature is in the mid 20s celsius. Yet all I can really say is that my day has been quite pleasant, so far. Later this afternoon, I have an appointment with my doctor and expect to have some rather intrusive medical tests.

This morning, I have been doing some research on the topic of peace education. Do you know much about the topic? How might peace be appropriately taught? Does the success of peace education depend on how it is taught in each social context?

01 February 2010

Serenity

Great art can often lead us to serenity. Here is a video link you may find pleasant:

YouTube - Women in Art

21 January 2010

Goodness

As you sit there reading this blog, how many blessings can you count in your life? Does your life have meaning? Does your life have purpose? Is your life filled with love and peace and the promise of a wonderful future?

17 January 2010

A Good Society

What comes to your mind when you think of a good society? What are the values a good society upholds?

16 January 2010

Ecological Economics

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When you hear someone mention the word economics, what does it mean to you? Have you ever thought about how ecology and economics might be connected?

11 January 2010

Returning to Reflections

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As a new year has begun, here I am again to greet you at Quieter Living. I wish you peace and happiness for the year ahead, with creativity and inspiration, friendship and a meaningful sense of purpose.