I am excited my Compassion A Creative Anthology has arrived. I was very proud to be a part of this collection, with two of my stories in this book. Here it is pictured, it has fiction and poetry on the theme of compassion inside that I know you will appreciate and enjoy!
If you are interested to help children in dire need overseas, please click on the link below and order a copy, or you can download a kindle version as well. All profits go to Compassion International to help children in poverty and to give them a future.
Recently, I attended a critical thinking workshop to do with my job at University of Queensland College teaching Academic English. Some very fascinating elements were revealed in this workshop, some of which I had heard from other places before. Peter Ellerton a Lecturer in Critical Thinking/ Philosophy from the University of Queensland (2015) said that we perceive life and even facts through story, we are storytellers about our lives, it’s how we communicate with each other and it’s how we understand life and how we create and participate in meaning.
When I attended a creative writing course at another university, I was also told by my tutor that we receive meaning through story, and throughout history we can see this is the case. Even down to our need to consume television, movies, books, poetry, comics, cartoons, radio plays and much more, we can watch people living their lives and gain a sense of meaning that we feel we sometimes do not experience in our own lives. We are in the midst of living our lives and some of us can see our story being written, but mostly it is satisfying for us to watch the stories of people played out watching the characters living out even to the end, gives us a sense of meaning and purpose. Story has always embodied meaning. It is a very satisfying experience and we often project our lives into it or relate ourselves to it. In the ancient world this was done through plays, parables, poems, narratives and we tell religious narrative stories in all cultures.
In conversation we tell each other mini stories all the time, with a start, middle and ending, with a climax, the peak of a joke, or a funny incident, an anecdote at a party. But this seminar confirmed that scientifically they know we as humans create and participate in meaning through STORY.
This is why writing therapy is so effective, we tell our stories from a deep place, with honesty and with NO AUDIENCE initially, and therefore we can be experience freedom and writing your life story down is an extremely rewarding and revealing experience. I know this first hand, in my workshop I ask people to write their life story in one page or so, and I have done this three times. Each time I write about different parts of my life, and it has revealed so many things to me about my life to see it as a whole, was so enlightening and also about how I perceive things in my life. This is why this exercise is so cathartic and effective for us, cause we need to see our life as a story that has been told up until this point but it does not define us, and that we are STILL WRITING even now in the present. It is a beautiful exercise.
This was an exciting and intriguing seminar I was able to attend. The quote below also reflects how we must have humility if we are to learn from each other.
“Those who think they know it all, have no way of finding out, they don’t.” Leo Buscaglia
I really like Leo Buscaglia (also known as Dr. Love was a Professor professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California, 1924-1998) here is another quote from him: poignant, beautiful and true.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Well said Leo, so true. I don’t underestimate these seemingly small acts of kindness can sometimes mean someone pulls through something or not, and I have seen the power of these actions. 🙂
Words hold immense power. One of my students and a friend in my life inspired me to resume writing my book about writing therapy last week. They didn’t know they were doing it, but together their words affected me internally. One of them was just playing around as well. Be careful with words, they carry a lot of power. Words can expand someone, allow them to feel appreciated, respected for their talents or personal attributes, to feel “seen”, words can cause growth, enlighten, enliven, and conversely words can penetrate, destroy and denigrate others. I have seen the power of abusive words personally and in others’ lives, how it can take people years to recover from this, if they choose to, or faster if they confront it with truth. Remember this when you speak and write to those around you. 🙂 Words are beautiful messengers and small bridges of connection between us and others, it can be intimate and it can be a simple communication between work colleagues. Words connect us to each other. I have always loved words since I was five years old placing them in this folder as we learned them. I was captivated and in love with words from the first moment. But now I see their significance even more. Value your words and give them to others with care, they are small gifts that carry so much more meaning than a material object. You could inspire people around you and you could help them right when they needed to hear a kind word, we never know what they are facing or what is going on inside others. Happy International Happiness Day!