How to Stop Violence (2min read)

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“Wishing for something the other person doesn’t want is called violence”

so said David Ellis after a mediation session had ended. I had been invited along with others to observe the session which involved a couple* fighting over custody rights of their child. It was eye-opening to see how David operated. Continue reading “How to Stop Violence (2min read)”

What’s Wrong With Buying An Adopted Child? (2min read)

Merlijn Doomernik
Merlijn Doomernik

With the dominance of market thinking, it is hard to argue against the exchange of some good or service between two consenting adults of money. However, Michael Sandel, Harvard Professor of Government, argues in “What Money Can’t Buy” that there are limits.

To give a sense of how pervasive markets are, he outlines the types of things that can now be bought and sold:

  • A prison cell upgrade  ($82 a night)
  • The services of an Indian surrogate mother to carry a pregnancy ($6,250).
  • The right to immigrate the US ($500,000)
  • The right to shoot endangered rhinos ($150,000)
  • Stand in line overnight in Capitol Hill to hold a place for a lobbyist to attend  congressional hearing ($15-$20 per hour)
  • Buy the life insurance policy for an elderly person, pay the premiums and then receive the death benefit when they die.

Continue reading “What’s Wrong With Buying An Adopted Child? (2min read)”

How To Avoid Pickpockets (2min read)

G. Kearsley, Fleet Street
G. Kearsley, Fleet Street

I’m not normally on the look-out for crime-related material, but I couldn’t resist listening to an interview of “Pickpocket King” Bob Arno. He learned his trade through performing on shows, and has gone on to become the leading expert in the world. He now advises law enforcement agencies. And here’s what I learnt on how pickpockets operate, how to avoid them and what precautions to take: Continue reading “How To Avoid Pickpockets (2min read)”

What I Learnt From Cicero (and Caesar)

Cicero

I finished reading Robert Harris’ “The Dictator” about the rise and fall of Caesar as told from the perspective of the statesman-philosopher Cicero. While it wasn’t as fun as the first two in the trilogy, it still had many gems of insight:

“How easy is it for those who play no part in public affairs to sneer at the compromises required of those who do” (Cicero had stuck to his principles and been banished from Rome).

Continue reading “What I Learnt From Cicero (and Caesar)”

Owned By Your Phone?

Reclaiming
“Technology doesn’t just change what we do, it changes who we are.”
I listened to an interview of MIT Professor, Sherry Turkle, on  her new book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. She’s an expert on how technology affects us.

Put your mobile phone on the table when you’re with someone and it immediately destroys the possibility of deep conversation. Without even realizing it, everything gets superficial. Both of you will be ready to to scratch the near-addictive phone-checking itch. So you’ll never go deep as you know one of you will pick up their phone as a result.

Continue reading “Owned By Your Phone?”

Wanna Have Fun? Do Improv!

Source: City Academy
Source: City Academy

No lines, minimal instruction, then act – that’s the essence of improvisation. I attended an excellent taster session run by the City Academy earlier this week. We were told not to worry about failing and just have fun like a child. And, boy was it fun! By the end, we, ten strangers ,were falling over each other with laughter.

If there was a structure, it would be have four elements: Continue reading “Wanna Have Fun? Do Improv!”

Dealing With Success And Loss

Crying-girl

One thing is clear in life: there will times of success and there will be times of loss. When I think of the economy, I think of market bubbles and their collapse. When I think of my personal life, I think of times of being “in the zone” and times when I feel I have lost something or someone dear to me. So how to get one’s head around all of this? Continue reading “Dealing With Success And Loss”

The 3 Stages Of Life According to Shakespeare

500px-Shakespeare

The beauty of Shakespeare’s works is that they can interpreted in many different ways. One of my favourite is to think of his biggest plays as representing the three stages of life- youth, adulthood and old-age: Continue reading “The 3 Stages Of Life According to Shakespeare”