Tag Archives: philosophy

In a World of Clichés

In a world of clichés
There are no coincidences
Everything happens for a reason
Everything has a purpose
You’ll see it when you believe it
Tomorrow never comes
All we have is Today
There’s no time like the Present
Strike while the iron is hot
Here and Now
Nothing is Impossible
When there’s a will, there’s a way
Be the Change you want to see
Be brave
Be strong
Never give up
It’s not over til the fat lady sings
Do not go gentle into that good night
Fight the good fight
Think outside the box
Colour outside the lines
Live each day like it’s your last
This is the first day of the rest of your life
Don’t worry, be happy.

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(Image source: Google Images)

From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #10

And finally, to round up this mini-series of Erroneous Beliefs, here is Wayne W Dyer’s Belief #10, filed under Erroneous Belief, or something we need to get away from:

DREAMS ARE NOT REALITY

In Asian cultures, children are taught to “Stop living in a dreamworld!”, “Stop daydreaming!”, “Dreaming will get you nowhere fast!”, “Dreaming is a useless activity”. Most Asians are very centred on accumulating and consuming, and use Money as a yardstick with which to measure a person’s success. So, if you’re a businessman, or doctor or engineer, you’ll be held in high regard because of the money you’re earning. In Asian eyes, one has to be practical and achieve things and have the material goods to show for it, dreaming will get you nowhere. Everything is very earthbound. Human “beings” are regarded as lower than human “doings”, meaning those who dream are not worth as much as those who do.

In Western society, the worldview is slightly more relaxed, but still centred on material wealth and acquisitions. The more you own, the better your social standing. So, naturally the dreamers, the artists, the thinkers, those who aren’t necessarily earning the big bucks, those who can’t afford luxury yachts and big mansions or flash cars, they’re not regarded in as high esteem as the millionnaires. Even if they might have much better ideas or visions. Again, everything is earthbound.

Ethnic and indigenous cultures, on the other hand, pay much attention to the world of dreams. Shamanistic dreams, channeling spirits, learning to listen to your subconscious, lucid dreaming, tantric meditation, etc…these are now in the stream of our consciousness because people believed in them enough to bring them to our Society. More and more people are turning to spirituality, to a more authentic way of living. More and more people are waking up and seeing their true selves in the grand scheme of things, finding out what their Soul Purpose is in life, reaching out to likeminded souls and connecting with Mother Earth again.

Wayne Dyer’s take on the Erroneous Belief that dreams are not reality, is to advise us on how to get in touch with our inner selves by guided lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is where the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming, as he or she is dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer is able to control and direct the dream, and therefore perceive realities outside the conscious world.

My own take on this belief is that everything we see around us, is the result of someone first having a dream and then taking steps to make it a reality. In this sense, I see dreams as the mind’s ability to imagine realities outside the flesh and blood world. Imagination is simply dreams that are allowed to fly free to explore all possibilities and come back with exciting new inventions or ideas. Whatever is real was first a dream. There are many sayings about dreams, of which here are a few of my favourites. And you know what, they are ALL correct.

Dreams are as real as being awake, just in a different state of being. I read somewhere that if there is a problem nagging at your mind, instead of letting it keep you up all night long, just before drifting off to sleep, simply tell your subconscious to find the resolution to the problem. You’ll get a good night’s sleep, and by morning, your subconscious would have told you the answer to your problem, or you’ll have a better idea of how to deal with it.

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I love this last image best. It sums up everything that I am – weird, a poet, a misfit, an artist, a writer, a music maker, a dreamer and an outsider. Yay, me! :-)

From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #9

Erroneous Belief #9 states that:

YOU MUST ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

How many times have we all heard that, from our parents, grandparents and teachers? And how many times have we been disappointed when we “did our best” but didn’t win the race, didn’t get good grades, failed at something?

Isn’t it better to just turn up and enjoy the experience, no matter what the context is? Or the outcome, for that matter? If we keep placing impossibly high goals in front of ourselves, we’re only going to experience disappointment when we don’t reach those goals. Don’t let yourself be controlled by externally imposed achievement levels.

The Kid isn’t sports-mad, unlike most of his schoolmates. He’d rather play Minecraft on his computer. So, when he tells me he hates Physical Education (P.E), I tell him not to look at it as a competitive event, where he feels he has to “give his best” to win the race or beat the other team, but instead to just participate in whatever activities there are, and enjoy his time doing them. He doesn’t have to be the best ball player, or the fastest runner, the best catcher or thrower, he just has to show up and take part.

Last term The Kid’s school had a cross-country run, which was conducted over several days, with one day designated to every Year. The Kid is currently in Year 7, the first year of High School. He knew he didn’t stand a chance of winning the race, so instead he made a pact with his friend Eddie, to tie for the position of last place. Now, that may seem defeatist, and no doubt the teachers might have told them both off for not doing their best, but I didn’t berate The Kid when he told me what he’d done. Instead, I said he and Eddie had practised creativity and turned what must have been a boring sports event that neither had any interest in, into something fun that they could do. They both still got badges for participating and finishing the race, anyway.

Adopting a “You must always do your best” attitude to everything you do is really tiring. It isn’t what humans are meant to be doing, anyway. Rather, it’s something that Society tries to make us believe that we must do. Maybe it’s well-meaning, but ill-phrased, maybe that’s what’s essentially wrong with that saying. Perhaps, instead of saying “You must always do your best”, we could try saying “Turn up and enjoy the experience”, and then if you win the race or contest, that’s just the icing on the cake. If you didn’t win, well, you still had cake, didn’t you?

We shouldn’t live thinking that everything we do or say is being assessed or tested by Society, our elders, our employers, our social circles. There is nothing more inauthentic than a life lived according to the rules of others, of having to do what traditions or religion dictate, even when your Soul feels differently. If you are different, in any way, that difference should be celebrated as your uniqueness, not shoehorned into some readymade box where everyone else is. “You must always do your best” does not create uniqueness, instead it creates the sense that everyone must aspire to exactly the same thing, reach the same heights of achievement, and therefore everyone must accept disappointment as a way of life. “You must always do your best” stifles creativity and misdirects our personal goals, it makes the result or outcome take precedence over the actual act of doing something.

In other words, it takes the fun out of everything we do.

The Kid told me about “High Expectation Asian Father” memes on the Internet, so I had a look for myself today. As an Asian, I can totally relate to the memes, which, while terribly funny, are also very true of a typical Asian father’s expectations of his offspring. I know, I’ve been at the receiving end many times!

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #5

Wayne W Dyer, in his seminal book “Your Sacred Self”, says the 5th erroneous belief that many of us have is this:

WE ARE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM EVERYONE ELSE

Before we are born, we lived in a microcosm without rules, but the minute we are born, all sorts of manmade rules were thrust upon us, and we are expected to learn them and conform and never question Why. What are Rules for? They are an attempt to pigeonhole people into neat little boxes with labels. And with each label we assign different characteristics and qualities. And then we expect these boxed-up people to behave just the way we’ve labelled them. And if they don’t conform, we slap a different label on them, such as “Rebel”, “Criminal”, “Insane”. We are so afraid of people expressing their individuality, that we try to suppress them, relegate them to the sidelines, or, worse still, annihilate them from the face of the earth.

What Man does not understand, he fears. What Man fears, he tries to destroy.

If all human beings are born equal, why are some more equal than others? Physiologically, we are all made from the same star dust. Logically, therefore, we should all be the same. Instead, because of Man’s enormous Ego, his penchant for stereotyping, his greed, selfishness and his fear of other people, we are stuffed into little boxes and told to do what everyone in our particular type of box is doing. Only, the people that decide which boxes we go in, have much bigger, fancier boxes, with extensions and embellishments. Because they decided long ago that they deserve better than everyone else.

This inequality is not normal. It is not moral. It is just plain WRONG. And yet, we allow it to happen. We allow it to continue. The ones at the top of the pyramid want to keep the ones at the bottom down at the bottom, because they fear losing their materialistic, worldly goods, and hence their Power. The ones at the bottom want to climb higher, because they know they deserve better. And in between, there are layers of others who, depending on which level they are at and their integrity of character, are stretching out a hand to either help, or hinder those at the bottom.

In reality, we are ALL interconnected. We come from the same Source. We should all inspire and encourage each other, shine our lights brightly, celebrate our various successes together, raise each other up, continue to rise and rise. We are NOT separate, rather it is our Egos that make us believe it. Our Egos want to stand out from the crowd, to be carried aloft on many shoulders to shouts of adulation. Why?? The only use for those boxes people place others in, is for the Ego. If everyone here on Earth were to put their own Egos into a box, seal it up tight and cast it off the tallest cliff, we can perhaps finally all experience Heaven on Earth.

Even on an atomic level, everything is connected. Imagine, if every single cell in our bodies were to start fighting each other, if some cells decided they wanted to be more important than others, instead of living harmoniously and cooperating with each other, imagine if our cells decided they wanted autonomy and to divide up our bodies into separate regions for control…That’s what cancer cells are. Renegades that have decided to rebel and take over areas of your body, to no longer work together with other cells but instead to claim their own territories and to replicate exponentially. And why do they need to replicate exponentially? Because they fear being brought back into the mainstream and therefore losing any footing they think they have gained over other cells, and because there’s safety in numbers, and numbers ensure perpetuity. What these cancer cells don’t realise, often until it’s too late, is that, the more aggressive they are, the more likely they will be excised and removed from the body, where they will then die. Or, if they are left in the body and they become so greedy as to try to take over vital organs or limbs, then the body itself will die, taking all the cancer cells with it. Either way, death is inevitable.

Whatever happens on a microscopic level, also happens on a macroscopic level.

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #2

Continuing from my post yesterday, today’s Erroneous Belief #2, as outlined by Wayne W Dyer is this:

THAT EXTERNALS ARE TO BLAME FOR THE CONDITIONS OF MY LIFE

Nobody likes to take the blame for anything. We all love a scapegoat. We love to blame someone or something else for our misfortunes – our parents, our friends, culture, religion, the bank, our boss, our ex, the food we eat, the environment etc etc etc. We simply cannot see how We could possibly be responsible for where we are right now.

Well, guess what? We’re wrong to give up control of our lives so easily to external circumstances. When all the while we held the key to our destiny in our own hands. We just forgot, and chose to place the responsibility on others.

We gave our Power away.

The truth is, whatever experiences we go through, and the people we meet in our lives, they all serve a purpose. They all have a lesson to teach us, to bring us to exactly where we are right here and now. Not all experiences are sweet and lovely, some are downright hurtful and depressing. And not all the people who come into our lives stay on with us, or indeed leave us with love, not bitterness. But each experience and person had a gift to present us… only, sometimes it doesn’t become clear what that is until much, much later.

And that’s when the penny falls and you’re able to look back and see just how perfectly everything fitted and fell into place and was meant to be.

As the inimitable Steve Jobs once said, “It’s only in looking back that the dots begin to connect”.

For me, life hasn’t been a bed of roses. The first time I had a lifechanging event happen to me, I didn’t understand that this is how things really work. I found myself in a dark, shadowy place where I had to grope and find my own slow way out, inch by inch. The second time it happened to me, my eyes were a little more open. I was slow off the mark, but this time round it was like a distant memory was triggered off inside me, I recognised it for what it was, and a little dim light went on inside that helped me feel my way out again.

I reckon if it happens again, this time I’ll be ready, because I’ve come to learn from my experiences, and to thank those who contributed to those lifechanging events. Those who previously made me feel anger, I have learnt to see as poor suffering souls who were simply seeking to find their own happiness in their own way, regardless of whose dreams they trampled on.

But, in order for me to have come to this conclusion, first I had to be cracked wide open, to hit rock bottom, to experience what it’s like to feel hopeless and helpless and nearly homeless. And then to discover that sliver of steel in me that refused to just give up and crawl under a rock to die.

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #1

I’ve just been reading Wayne W Dyer’s inspirational book “Your Sacred Self“, and here I’d like to share with you a list of erroneous beliefs that many people, myself included, believe in (well, that I used to believe in). There are 10 Beliefs in all, so I’ll split my posts into 10, as smaller chunks of information are easier to read and digest than large reams.

Erroneous Belief #1 is: MORE IS BETTER.

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why you’re always searching for more stuff to add to your collection of stuff you already have? When will it ever get to the stage where you truly believe you have enough? Why is it, do you think, that when you’ve obtained that which you were so keen on, it somehow feels hollow and Not Enough? What’s next?

That will be your Ego talking. It doesn’t live in the Present, it is always looking to the Next Moment, what’s round the corner, next month, when you get a house, when you buy that car, when the children have grown up and left the nest, when you’re retired. Always in the future, never in the Now.

The Society we grow up in requires that we all do something, be useful, keep busy, earn more money, find a better job, get that promotion, be an important person etc etc. It says you need to have more of everything, because More Is Better.

And Society’s norms also dictate that, as our worth is measured against the Materialism Meter, if we don’t have such and such a thing, we are suddenly lacking. Here, buy this Jeep, it will make you the envy of your neighbours. The TV ad shows Jeep owners travelling to far-off places, going off-road, having fun. What it hides from viewers is the sad fact that anyone who buys such a vehicle probably had a large loan of around $35,000 or more foisted upon them, to add to their already large-enough mound of debt. Debts that these people have to work overtime to cover. So, in actual fact, yes, “I bought a Jeep” is a nifty little catchphrase, but really you’ll need to add this to that sentence, “And now I have to work all the hours God sends, to pay off my loan, and that means overtime on weekends and also during the children’s school holidays, so in reality we’re not driving around to these exotic places, but rather I’m at work and the Jeep is parked in the garage gathering dust”.

We watch TV ads and believe that if we bought this thing, or that, it would mean that we’ve “arrived”, we’ve “made it”. Arrived where, exactly? Made what? And people that decide to Not have these things are made to feel inferior, ashamed, guilty somehow. Ads for children’s toys are particularly devious, by playing on not the adult’s ability to buy that toy, but on the child’s desire to have that toy. It cleverly instigates the child to nag its parents to the point that the parents cave in and buy the damn thing. Which is played with a couple of times, until the child sees another ad and starts haranguing its parents for it. So you see, this More Is Better mentality has been imprinted on our children from a young and tender age, and if we fail to check it, our children will turn out to be grown-up selfish, spoiled brats who are never satisfied with what they have, but who always want more.

What we should be doing, and what we need to be teaching our children, is to practice saying “I’ll pass” when such irresistible opportunities present themselves. I like to practice a “Do I Need It, Or Do I Want It” approach on top of that. The reason I love food is simply because it is a Need, rather than a Want, but there is just so much choice to be had there. That’s one area where I can go slightly mad, sometimes. Then I rein myself in, because the guilty part of me knows that I didn’t have to have that $25 meal, when I could’ve had the one for $15, and saved the $10 for something else.

To be happy with what we have, rather than always be unhappy and hankering for something more, we need to learn to appreciate what we have. The Kid always wants more Lego, but I’ve taught him that buying Lego is like pissing into the ocean, because you simply can’t ever have enough pieces. There will always be More to get that you don’t already have. Yes, Lego stimulates creativity, but then again isn’t Necessity the Mother of Invention? Make do with what you have, improvise, modify, simplify, minimise. And celebrate when I find a big box of used Lego pieces at the thrift store, going for a song. That’s why finding bargains feels so fulfilling. With what you’ve saved, you’ll have money left over to buy food for the family. Win-win and relatively guiltless.

Happiness is an internal thing, whereas Acquisition is external. You cannot hope to satisfy an internal objective by using an external one. Sure, the excitement of buying something can be euphoric. Have you ever felt the thrill of winning an eBay auction by pipping the highest bidder to the post at the last moment? Felt the adrenaline rush flowing through your veins? I’m sure you know what I mean. And I’m sure you also know that the high doesn’t last very long. Because when it wears off, your Ego will nudge you and ask “Now what?”

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The only things you should be wanting more of are not things at all. They don’t require money to obtain. And they are easily attainable without having to sell your soul to the devil. They are:

More time
More love
More hugs
More laughter
More surprises
More sleep

We All Fall Down

Nobody’s perfect
Most people don’t even try
Some wander lost through life
A few wonder why

Many believe the best
Is yet to come
Several times a day they ask
Why it only comes to some

We are human beings
Yet some of us are sheep
Following God knows who
Refusing to Wake from sleep

It’s not important how much you earn
Or what you do for a living
Most of us have forgotten
How to be human beings

We have become human doings
Rushing here and there
Searching for that elusive goal
That’s now-here, then no-where

Slow down! Take a deep breath
Everything can wait
Love is the answer
Not the ego, greed or hate

Have you ever wondered
About that ladder you are climbing
And questioned what the reason is
For that which you are doing?

For could it be it’s just a ruse
And we’re headed for a fall?
Or worse, we get up to the top
And find it’s the wrong wall?

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(Image source: Google Images)

The Search For Happiness

How does one find Happiness? Where does one find Happiness? When will Happiness come to me? What do I need to do to be Happy? Why does Happiness elude me? Who will make me Happy?

These are the questions I have heard my friends asking, in different ways and in different formats – in person, on Facebook, by email.

The truth is, I don’t have any answers for them or for you.

But They do. And You do.

Up to 18 months ago, I was living a “normal” life, balancing work with family life, believing that all was well with my life. I thought to myself, “Life may not be as easy as I would like it to be, but maybe that’s my lot in Life, and I just need to accept it and fit in with Society, and everything will work out okay. That’s just the way it is”.

I certainly wasn’t happy at work. I was being constantly bullied by my manager. The whole management culture there was one of bullies cronying up with fellow bullies, and picking on those lower than themselves. It was toxic, so I left.

It took the discovery of my husband’s online infidelity and emotional adultery, to further shake my happiness. Having lost my source of income, and still trying to figure out what my real Life Purpose was, I now had to contend with an errant husband who, even after my discovery of his affair and subsequent confrontation, continued with his subterfuge for many, many months afterwards. To make things worse, the Other Woman was a mutual “friend” on Facebook, she was a married woman, and furthermore, she was old enough to be my husband’s mother!

So, I hear you ask, after all that had happened to me, how did I find Happiness again? How did I find the light at the end of the tunnel, and emerge into the light again?

Suffice to say there was a lot of soul-searching in the months that followed. I dipped my toes into the world of Spiritualism, met a lot of people on Facebook Groups, purchased books and divination cards, all in an effort to find meaning in chaos. Although this helped make me feel better about myself, it did not address the issue completely.

Until one day, I came across a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth”, at my local thrift store. Although it wasn’t an easy read, I persevered and around a third of the way through, it was as if a light bulb went off inside my head.

I have not looked back since. Yes, sometimes events or something someone said can still bring out my baser, lower instincts, but I’ve learnt to recognise these signs and circumvent them. And when I have a “relapse”, I’ve learnt to acknowledge it for what it is, and move on past it.

For myself, the way to Happiness is to stay in the Present, and look for the good in everything, and to simply say “I’m Happy Now”. Your mind does not know that it’s just a thought, it actually believes it to be the truth. So, if I constantly remind myself, “I’m Happy and Healthy Now. I may not have all I want, but I have all I need. My Life is Good Now, and it can only get better and better”, then surely my body will respond accordingly.

Well, it’s worked for me. I refuse to worry needlessly about events that have not happened or may not even happen. That is not to say that I’m not aware of such possibilities and problems. I’m an Optimist, not an Idiot. I just choose not to get stressed about things, or try my damn best anyhow, because there really is no point in worrying. It just wears you down and lessens your Happiness, and it is totally unneccessary.

So, I’ve found that Happiness does not come looking for you where you are. Instead of waiting for your ship to come in, you need to swim out to it yourself. You need to take steps towards finding yourself, in your own way and in your own time.

One way to set yourself on the path to Happiness, is to put aside your Victim mentality, stop blaming others for your circumstances, stop being angry at yourself and at others, stop having a “Me against The Whole World” attitude. Instead, start saying positive affirmations to yourself, concentrate on what’s good in your life and keep celebrating it and adding to it. It might not seem consequential at first, but it will gather momentum and snowball, until pretty soon you will be able to find Happiness on a rainy day, getting drenched and splashed by puddles as you cycle. After all, Mother Nature is showering you with Her benevolent gift, so why not just enjoy it instead of fighting it?

If anyone insults you, bullies you or tries to bring you down to their level, shrug it off and don’t let it affect you on a personal level. When someone is nasty to you, it’s because their ego is feeling hurt and wants a scapegoat to blame. The ego doesn’t care if you had nothing to do with what had hurt it, it just wants someone to hurt so it can feel better about itself. And if you rise to the situation and defend yourself, or let it get to you, that is Your ego getting hurt…and in turn, you will take that hurt out on someone else, and so on and so forth. A Karmic cycle. And You can stop the cycle, by simply suppressing your ego’s need to win.

The Happiness that you’re looking for? It’s Here. And Now. You just need to change your thoughts.

I’ve used this old Cherokee Indian story before, and I’ll use it again. Because it is totally relevant to how you find Happiness in Your Life.

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(Image source: Google)

And, just as I was putting the finishing touches to my post, this image appeared most serendipitously:
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(Image source: Pinterest)

Silence The Noisemakers In Your Head

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For they are only the sound
Of ceaseless, meaningless chatter,
Of your ego’s fears and concerns
Fashioned out of the wings of
Uncertainty
And flown by the mechanics of
Your mind.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For they tell not the truth,
Only that which your ego
Is eager to hear,
To justify to yourself
That the world is out to get you
And that you must
Get them first.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For they can drive you mad
With their convolutions,
More twists and turns
Than a rollercoaster ride
And even more frightening
Because, at least on a rollercoaster
When the ride ends, you can get off.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For they only cause you
Headaches and stress
With their constant worrying,
Writhing like a ball of worms
Looking for a way out
Of the labyrinth
That they themselves have created.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For they are constantly searching
For that Magic Pill
That Grand Solution
To a problem that they created
To entertain your ego
When in actual fact
There is no problem.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For their greatest wish
Is to create problems
And then offer solutions
And urging you to accept
Those as the truth
When they are only figments
Of your own imagination.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For what you think
Is perceived as real by your body,
And the more you listen
To those unruly noisemakers
The more your body believes
That the crisis is imminent
And prepares to fight or flee.

Silence the noisemakers in your head
For nothing in this world is real
Except for the things you accept
What you believe
Is true
What you say
Becomes real
You really are the Architect
Of your own Universe.

So,
Silence the noisemakers in your head
And
Listen to your heart instead.

AlyZen Moonshadow

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(Image by szerbijn on Flickr, as seen on Google Images).

Chance Encounters

I happened to be on the train into Perth CBD the other day, and was sitting behind an African lady. Across from her, on the other side of the carriage, was another African lady. The two of them were having a grand old time engaged in deep conversation across the 5  feet or so of space. For a minute I wondered why these two obviously very good friends were sitting on opposite sides of the carriage, in different seats, and chattering across the aisle, rather then sharing the same seat. As I eavesdropped on their conversation, I came to understand the situation better.

The 2 ladies were not close friends. In fact, they were complete strangers who happened to be on the same train at the same time. Which one had approached the other first, and for what reason, was not important. The important thing was that, at some point on their journey, one of them said “Hello” to the other, and the other responded in a friendly manner. And then they began a conversation, and, because they shared much in common, despite one being from Liberia and the other from Cameroon, there was much to talk about. I couldn’t help but notice how their faces lit up when one sparked off a common thread in the other, it was joyful to see.

As the train approached a station, the African lady in front of me got up to go. The other one whipped out her mobile phone and said “We should exchange telephone numbers so we can chat some more”. By now the train had reached the station and the doors had opened. The other lady rummaged frantically in her handbag for her mobile phone. I knew that she wasn’t going to have the time to find her phone, exchange numbers with her new friend, say good bye and get off the train. So, I tapped her on her shoulder.

I said, “I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on your conversation earlier. Don’t worry if you can’t get off the train here. You can always get off at the next stop and catch the train in the opposite direction back here. It’s not everyday that you make a new friend. So, take your time, get her number, meet up for coffee or lunch another day. Enjoy your new friendship.”

She laughed, and did as I said. The ladies exchanged numbers as the train moved on. They still clearly had a lot to say to each other. When the train stopped at the next stop, the first lady got off, after promising to call the second one.

There was one more stop before I had to get off the train myself. I found out from the other lady that she’d been down to Mandurah earlier that morning, as her son had told her his house needed some repairs. However, when she got there, he’d forgotten about her visit and had gone out. She told me she’d walked around his housing estate and seen a property for sale that she would be making enquiries about. But now she was headed up to her other son’s house in Osborne Park, to check in on him.

I said, “I wouldn’t classify this as a wasted exercise. If you hadn’t gone down to Mandurah this morning, you wouldn’t have seen that property for sale. And then you wouldn’t have been on this train and met your new friend. Isn’t Life wonderful?” And she laughed and agreed.

After finishing my business in town, I dropped by Nespresso for a cup of coffee. There’s a round kiosk inside the store just by the door, where you can taste free samples of their range of coffee. I like to have a cup just before heading to the train station right opposite the store. Today was no different.

As I sipped at my coffee, I turned to the young man next to me and asked what he thought of his cup of coffee. He said it tasted just like how a “flat white” should taste (that’s a cafe latte for readers outside Australia). Then, out of the blue, he mentioned how coffee helped him de-stress, as stress often triggered epileptic fits in him. The tall lady on the other side of him empathised with him, and said her nephew suffered epileptic fits triggered by stress too. Then the young man, whose name was Richard, told of how he’d quit Year 11 of high school because he was constantly being bullied for being epileptic.

He said that the last straw was when he’d suffered a fit in front of his so-called friends, and, instead of helping him, they’d simply lain him down and stolen all his clothes. He’d woken up to find only his underpants on, and his shirt covering him. He’d had to wrap the shirt around his lower body and walk home that way, and everyone had laughed at him, rather than being sympathetic or offering assistance. The tall lady and I shook our heads in disbelief. Teenagers can be so cruel!

Richard said he didn’t mind having fits, but what he minded was not knowing what had gone on while he was unconscious. I recalled a recent movie called “Unfriended”, where a teenage girl had been secretly filmed by her “friends” while passed out from drinking, and the video had gone viral and as a consequence of the cyber bullying and taunts from her peers, that girl had committed suicide. Richard had seen that film, and he agreed heartily that it was indeed the lowest of the lowest of humanity to behave in such a manner.

Richard then said that leaving his school had been the best thing he’d done. He was now enrolled in a TAFE (a technical college) studying towards qualifications in Psychology, and he’d spoken to many people in the city, from all walks of life, and so he felt more positive about his life now than ever before. He said his parents had not been supportive of his decision to leave school, but then that was their problem, not his. He said they’d told him he wasn’t old enough to make such decisions about his own life.

I said, “You don’t have to be of a certain age to know what you want to do with your life. Perhaps you needed to experience all that bullying from your peers, and to leave school and come to the city and find yourself, in order to place your life in the direction you’re in now. It might not have happened if you’d stayed in that school and continued to put up with the bullying.”

I came away from that encounter feeling that, here was a young man who’d had the good fortune to awaken from his slumber, and discover his life’s true purpose. And at such a young age too. He’s one of the lucky ones.  So many of us, either by chance or by design, choose to sleepwalk through this so-called Life, and never discover ourselves, or the real wonders of the world.

I had a really good day, that day.

Without-change-something-sleeps-inside-us-and-seldom-awakens.-The-sleeper-must-awaken.

(Image found on Google Images, by http://www.verybestquotes.com, from the writer Frank Herbert).