Articles

Dying too early

Jane McGrath’s recent death is a tragedy for her friends and especially for her close family.  But the amount of press coverage strongly suggests that public interest in her life and death goes beyond what might be expected for the attractive wife of a popular cricket player. Here is a

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Curbing anger

Anger, and the hurt that anger causes, is rarely out of the news.  But it does seem that we have had an escalation of “anger stories” in recent months.  What’s more, I have been hearing a disturbing number of anecdotal accounts of road rage, children being shouted at by parents

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Permissive parents, “entitled” children

Few parents would comfortably admit to seeing themselves as permissive.  That’s usually a disapproving description dished out by others, especially when those pesky parents’ unruly children are being particularly inconvenient.  Permissiveness is, in any case, often in the eye of the beholder. It can range from parents who never serve

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The year of everyday kindness

Is this your year for learning something fresh and transformative about kindness?  Maybe you began the year with a long list of worthy things you ought to be doing: improving your mind as well as calming it; listening more appreciatively to your loved ones; making time for community, creativity, connection,

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Sorry – why it matters

Something profound has happened in the inner life of our nation. And it is likely to affect the inner life of every one of us as individual Australians. That great word “sorry” was finally heard, spoken by our Prime Minister with a due sense of the sacred, the support of

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Wisdom

Wisdom – especially when we feel anything but wise I feel so happy when I read the following words from the French writer, Marcel Proust: “”The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes.”” Wisdom is a way of seeing: a way

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“Good food, great moods (2004)

“, Many people suffer a great deal from fluctuations in mood.  And the people around them may suffer very nearly as much. So isn’t it odd that we generally pay so little attention to how directly our moods are affected by what we eat and how we treat our bodies?

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Food and mood (2006)

When you think about foods being “good” or “bad” for you, it’s likely you are thinking more about your body than your mind.  Yet what you eat dramatically affects the way you feel, think and act. When your brain is short of vital nutrients or water it cannot function optimally

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Fidelity matters

Perhaps you are not married to or living with a leading sports player whose sexual habits make frequent front-page news.  Nevertheless, you are concerned about your partner’s attitude to sex. When you met, fell in love and made a commitment to one another, you knew that he (or she –

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Faith fundamentals

I’ve been turning over the Big Question for most of my life: is there meaning to our existence beyond whatever meanings we ourselves ascribe to it?  Clearly, I’m not alone in this. It has given rise to religions, philosophies and belief systems of all kinds throughout human history. My own

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A celebration of open minds

Barry Marshall and Robin Warren are my new heroes.  It is not just that they are this year’s noble Nobel prizewinners in medicine, they are also shining examples of that glorious and possibly rather rare condition called the open mind. Of course most of us would like to believe we

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Calm children

Lots of public parenting goes on in summer.  Family groups spend hours on the beach or hanging out with friends.  These are probably some of the best times of the year for many families. Less rush, fewer demands, looser schedules bring an ease that benefits parents as much as children.

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Peace on earth

It is not just at Christmas time that most of us want peace for our world. Conflict between human beings causes our greatest sorrows. Peaceful connections bring our greatest joys. Yet beyond seasonal wishes, too few of us dare imagine how sustained peace might be achieved. Even the topic of

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A happy plan

When we lose our capacity for happiness, our creativity plummets, our relationships suffer. One of the songs my children used to sing when they were little – and I imagine countless small children are still singing it – went, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” This

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Interfaith

Interfaith ministry is an acknowledgment that there are many ways to seek meaning. A few weeks ago at a workshop someone asked me a tough question. We’d been talking about purpose and how painful our lives feel when we slip out of touch with what matters to us. Then one

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