respect: not a large / meaningful / great enough word

The term ‘hero’ today means something vastly different from what it meant back in the era of the Ancient Greeks (think Hercules) or – if you don’t fancy stretching your mind back that far – even not so long ago, in the era of my parents or grandparents. My grandmother’s hero was her mother; my grandfather’s his father; my aunty’s her father. In fact, even my hero growing up (and I think it’s safe to say my sister’s also) was my aunty. All a far cry from today’s Shane Warnes, Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers don’t you think?

image by Ben Northern

The values that ‘hero’ encompassed prior to the Facebook-Twitter-Myspace revolution were far more primitive and real than those that it encompasses today. Mobile phones were scarce or even non existent, and the internet was still a far off thought way, way, way in the back of someone’s mind (I know, can you imagine?). And so, all my grandmother’s and mother’s generations had to model themselves on and look up to, were the other people who they knew and saw frequently; the people who they were surrounded with. Their heroes were people of a similar calibre (and life form!) to them. Continue reading

unplug with something classically basic

It’s so easy in this  Facebook – Twitter – iPhone – Google+ – crazy world of ours to forget the simple things in life. More often than not I find myself too busy or just plain ol’ too apathetic and disinterested to take the time to appreciate those little gems that should make me go “ah”, like the tomatoes in my sandwich (handpicked by grandpa from his garden – YUM!), or the flowers that have just bloomed in my neighbours’ front gardens (magnolias). I seem to rush around my days wearing blinkers a good 70% of the time and then being too exhausted that other 30% to notice anything constructive to my wellbeing. What is this?

Whatever it is, it goes further than just not noticing flowers and not appreciating sandwich fillings. It’s something that’s taken over our lives (not just mine) and a teeny piece of me fears that it’s what others seem to (happily) call ‘progress’. Is it? It can’t be! Oh dear…it is… Continue reading