Saturday, June 22, 2013

A new daily challenge

Recently I have had a lot more time than usual on my hands. This motivated me to take up a new challenge. I have long been an advid collector and reader of quotes; most especailly inspirational ones and this prompted me to download the book "101 Life Changing Quotes" by Tim Beacham and to spend some time as per his instructions contemplating and writing about the quotes he proposes.

Early in the book there is some advice from the author from which I have selected the following.
“Here is my step-by-step instructions on how to leverage the power of this book and to transform your life........Take a few minutes and truly think about what the quote means and determine how you can apply it to your life......... The Daily Quote Journal is just a means to approach your goals with a positive outlook.”

While I do not intend to include all 101 in this blog I thought I would occasionally add some of my ramblings as an adjunct to the travel tales and a suppliment to the photo a day challenge I regularly publish. So without further ado I will begin and invite anyone who feels inspired to add their own opinions, ideas or comments.

2. “There is no education like adversity". - Benjamin Disraeli

I cannot one hundred percent agree with this. Fundamentally I believe that we all grow and  learn when we are challenged and extended beyond the comfortable range of our normal experiences but education takes many forms. It can and should be a positive, enjoyable and enriching process that doesn't have to be tied to adversity. Many such experiences are just as powerful in the knowledge we acquire from them. I acknowledge that some of the most valuable life lessons are acquired facing hardships and difficulties but not all. I can list as many positive learning experiences as negative ones, if not more. Yes the struggle to come to terms with communism in China, borderline xenophobic attitudes in Japan, overt cruelty and violence in the devoutly Buddhist cultures of both Thailand and Bhutan and widespread and overbearing poverty and its many heath and social complications in many different developed and undeveloped countries, have taught me great lessons and are adversities. That is to say nothing of the personal challenges life has thrown at me. There are however equally positive interactions from which I have learned equally valuable life lessons. How can one fail to respect or not wish to emulate the perseverance and determination of the Chinese, the work ethic and appreciation of aesthetics of the Japanese, the gentle, smiling grace of the Thais or the resilience and self assuredness of the Bhutanese. Through admiration and the desire to emulate these profound qualities we are educating ourselves from the joyful, respectful and harmonious aspects of life not only the adversity. Yes there are always lessons to to learned the hard way but they are not the only lessons. In fact there will always be education with or without adversity. Commitment to life long learning and not only formal institutionalised learning is a must and life doesn't only consist of struggles.

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