Finally, a humble athlete!


I was delighted today by a newspaper article on David Ferrer, the world no. 3 ranked tennis player often overlooked by spectators and press.  He is quoted as saying. Tennis has given me much more than I thought it would…but my family, my friends and the people around me – in the real life, we have to be good people. This is the aim of my life. To win one major title would maean very...

The Best Christmas Present I Have Ever Given


In an effort to resist the consumer orgy that is Christmas, Sandy and I agreed we would not buy each other gifts this year, but we’d make a donation to charity. But not buying gifts for each other didn’t means not giving gifts to each other. With the assistance of modern technology I made a short film that opened and closed with images of Sandy and our family transitioning in and out...

Upon a Funeral


This week I attended the funeral of a friend’s mother. I had only met her a few times, and didn’t really know her, but by the end of the funeral had a great appreciation for her. As her story was told, with humour and pathos, in eulogy, poetry and images, it became clear that here was a person who had deeply and profoundly shaped the lives of those around her. Three things occur to me...

New Year Affirmations


In place of New Year resolutions, this year I am proposing for myself five New Year affirmations. 1. Life is beautiful. Live joyfully. Whether it be the grandeur of a sunrise, the company of friends, a good meal, or the embrace of my beloved, there is astonishing  beauty to be found in life. I want to enjoy it, to savour the simple pleasures to the full. 2. Life is difficult. Live with integrity...

The Value of Non Retaliation


I am reading Darrin Belousek’s Atonement, Justice, and Peace, and have been struck by his argument that Jesus didn’t proclaim the principle of non-violence but of non-retaliation. A commitment to non-violence leaves open the possibility of retaliating in non-violent ways. Jesus however, asks us to live lives in which love, even for those who mistreat us, is the guiding principle. “You...

The Fine Line Between Monsters and Heroes. On the Passing of Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela, the greatest statesmen of the past fifty years, passed away this morning. He will be eulogised, lionised, and turned into a god. Yet what strikes me about Mandela was his vivid awareness of his humanity, his humble recognition that he was just a man like any other. As he wrote in his autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom I wanted first of all to tell the people that I was not a...

Good to be alive


I’m on the train travelling from Sydney home to Newcastle. The sun is shining as we pass over a shimmering Hawkesbury river. The music of Mumford and Sons plays through my headphones. And I can’t help but feel it’s good to be alive. There are some significant challenges in my life right now, challenges that have engulfed me in swirling emotion and uncertainty. Nonetheless, as I...

The Kindness of Strangers


Tonight I set off for a Jervis Bay fishing trip. With my son Lachlan, good friend Steve, and Steve’s son Nick in the car and the boat trailing behind, we were all looking forward to the trip. And then it happened. The trailer started to vibrate, and after pulling over we discovered the right side trailer when was about to fall off. A little investigation revealed the cause – a...

I Want to Be Amish…Well, Not Really


Travel through the American countryside and you’ll possibly come across an Amish community. You’ll find no TV sets, no telephones and no electricity in their homes. Ask why and you’ll learn that it’s all about community. This is how an Amish bishop once explained it to Tony Campolo. The Amish aren’t against telephones. In fact many communities have a shared telephone available. A telephone was...

Wear Sunscreen


A marvellous graduation speech from last century by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune. Enjoy! Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’98: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will...

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