Thursday, 17 March 2011

Thoughts on forgiveness

  • It is easier to forgive someone, if you have ever been forgiven yourself.
  • Forgiveness takes courage and is not for the faint-hearted.
  • Forgiving someone can set both you, and the person you are forgiving, free.
  • Far from being divine, forgiveness is nothing more than being totally human.
  • The hardest thing is to forgive yourself.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembering the fallen

I watched a documentary on Remembrance Day about the Nazi Death Camps in Poland.

Nothing new in terms of the broad subject matter, but it seemed fitting somehow that this programme should be shown on that day.

However, the true relevance of how this fits in with what still goes on today and why it's still important to remember these things, was brought home to me by a film-maker who was interviewed on Radio 4's Front Row last Friday, the day Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, a Polish composer, died.

Here's the excerpt on Audioboo:

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The wit and wisdom of Sir Norman

On the passing of Sir Norman Wisdom, I was reminded of a story told to me by an acquaintance who sells performance cars and who used to sell Smart cars.

One day, Norman Wisdom came into the showroom to look at cars and, as he was being show round, had one of the new Smart cars pointed out to him by the salesman.

In the style of a true comic legend, he looked at the car and then turned to the salesman, before announcing: "To be honest, it's a bit big for me."

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Why we should try to be more forgiving

When reading Rhodri Marsden's article in the Independent on public hate figures the one thing that struck me was that we (and I definitely include myself there) should be more forgiving of people who have crossed us or we think have crossed us (too often, a little more understanding can help resolve a conflict).

Browsing through some of my bookmarks today, I found I had saved this article which sets out the benefits of forgiveness. I'm not sure it is necessarily the intelligent choice, as everyone undoubtedly has the capacity to think this way.

One thing I am sure of, though, is that forgiveness becomes easier with practice.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Figures of 'hate'

Rhodri Marsden has a piece in today's Independent about Mary Bale, the lady who this week put a cat in a wheelie bin and whose misdemeanour was caught on CCTV...and naturally, was then made into a villain of the highest order, thanks to the Internet.

No-one would deny that the topic is a matter for discussion amongst the public at large. That this arena now includes the public's burgeoning digital presence means that the story got an immediate and seemingly universal reaction. We are increasingly more likely to gather on networking sites and forums to discuss things, just as we would in pubs, at work, at home, etc.

But, as Rhodri points out, being online gives you anonymity. At the very worst, you're safely behind a computer screen. You can fire off a comment and let rip.

I'm not saying that things should not be discussed online, but reasoned (and informed) debate rarely seems to get a look-in. Everyone has an opinion, but they always seem to be extreme. It's always refreshing when someone comes up with another point of view, one you hadn't considered, but rare when one comment gives everyone pause for thought, which can happen in face-to-face discussion.

Maybe it's because this 'discussion' is between hundreds, thousands, even millions of users. A lone voice is drowned out or shouted down, the downside of online user democracy. Forums and comment pages are just crowds gathering outside the castle walls. No-one speaks for them and it's not like the movies, where a hero steps in to make them see sense.

Of course, people often don't have the time or space to present thoughts and ideas for validation. They have to get straight to the point.

All this seems to conspire to bring out the worst in people, when, maybe, they should be using the Internet to bring out their better nature or at least use a modicum of sense when approaching subjects under discussion.

I like to think that people should not be denied the right to say the things that they want: that is after all, the principle of free speech. But, perhaps, when someone is vilified or attacked out of hand, out of sheer malice, with no coherent or constructive point to be made, we, as observers or participants, might choose NOT to heed what is said or step back and think for ourselves.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Tale of Two Cities

New York and Berlin, both captured using the same film technique (tilt-shift photography).

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

Little Big Berlin from pilpop on Vimeo.

Thursday, 26 August 2010