Stella Cornelius: a tribute

(What follows is Quaker and development activist  Jane Sloane’s January 2011 eulogy at the memorial service for peace activist, Peace Prize winner, and conflict resolution writer and teacher, Stella Cornelius, founder of the Conflict Resolution Network and loved by so many. Stella died, still engaged with the activities of peace-making, aged 91.) Stella, beloved: Appropriately, […]

Religious bigotry: a global challenge

There are few expressions of human ignorance and misery worse than religious bigotry. Bigotry of any kind harms those who express it as well as those who are its targets. Religious bigotry, though, generally  comes heavily tainted with self-righteousness. At its worst, it’s sustained by the noxious belief that it expresses “God’s” will, or that […]

Readers’ responses to Seeking

The following responses from readers mean much more to me than simple praise and encouragement – as vital as encouragement always is. If you have read Seeking the Sacred – or any of my other books but especially Seeking and In the Company of Rilke – you will know how mindful I am of the […]

NY Resolutions, 2011

NY Resolutions, 2011

“You will never achieve what you can’t imagine.” And that’s never more true than when it comes to New Year resolutions. These absolutely don’t need to be made before the new year dawns. Yet there is a particular magic in starting the year with a clear sense that it is you who is choosing; that […]

Words from Gandhi

I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I greet that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love. These words from the great peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi inspired the […]

The rhythms of parenting

Most parents think of the birth of their children as an emotional high point in their lives.There is no adventure like it!  But the majority will also say that turning themselves into relaxed, confident parents remains one of the greatest challenges of their adult lives. Where I live in inner-city Sydney there’s been a rapid […]

Caring about carers

One of the most challenging roles that any of us can find ourselves in is that of carer.  I am not thinking about professional carers now. They also do a fine job but can go home at the end of a shift. Nor, in this instance, do I mean parents of ordinarily robust children who […]

At home in Australia

Today we celebrate Australia Day – or do we? For many it’s a last-ditch chance to revel in the lazier pace of the Christmas and New Year holiday period before school begins and work takes off again with a gallop. But can it or should it be something more? After all, this is the single […]

The Sufis of Lahore

It’s July 2010. With the speed of a meteorite, the news of the recent suicide bombing at the Data Ganj-Bakhsh Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan came and went. More than forty people were killed, including children. Almost two hundred were injured. The loss of safety at Pakistan’s most important Sufi centre was incalculable. But within […]

Zero tolerance for bullying

When I started work (in the dark ages of the twentieth century), sexual harassment was thought of as an entirely private problem. There was rarely any point taking it to the boss.  Even if the boss himself was not the problem, a victim would often find herself blamed, shamed and punished. That’s changed radically. And […]

An opinion on opinions

If asked, I would have to own up to being a fairly opinionated person. And I am perfectly aware how fortunate I am that writing here and in my books about the patterns and oddities of human behaviour gives me a forum not just to express my opinions but, better still, to try them out […]

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