The Anglo Tapes. Don’t Hate the Player, Change the Game

We all contribute to and compete within a culture that places more emphasis on material gain and career/academic success than looking after our fellow man. For most of us, checking up on people we love is something we do in our spare time if we’re not too wrecked.

But work, business, money – that’s a separate part of life, and that’s just about winning.

The top priority from junior infants is to do well. The game was never, ‘look after others in your class/job so that we can all advance in a healthy way together.’ The person with learning difficulties is sent to a different room because they’d be ‘holding us back’. We could have learned how he learned every once in a while. Maybe some of us would have learned more that way too.

But we compete. As part of a team against another team, a nation against another nation, a religious group against another religious group, an individual against other individuals.

Argument, by its nature, creates a winner and a loser and is an attractive gamble – you might win. However, we are now intelligent enough to note that argument is an ancient method for ‘problem-solving’. Consultation can bring about a more beneficial outcome than right/wrong, as it takes all ‘arguments’ or information into account in order to pick out the best solution from all the multiple combinations of factors inevitably at play. Problem solving is complex and creative, not black and white.

Likewise, competition creates a winner – in this case Anglo, and many losers. Cooperation, like consultation but in action, respects the dignity and individual talents of each person, business, country or group.

It would be wise to consider deeply, each and every one of us, what our role and responsibilities are, on a day-to-day basis, to ensure cooperation and consultation begin to have a place in our lives.

Anglo aught to be brought to justice. There is not a single doubt in my mind about that. But if we take no notice of the deep rooted causes of this atrocity, then justice will treat the only symptom and not the disease. We can learn from this or advance none.

Being a Baha’i

Today I’m going to watch a video in my house, with some friends (hopefully) that looks at community development projects Baha’is are involved in all over the world. These programmes take the form of devotional gatherings where wise sacred writings are shared, classes for children, groups for youth and study groups for people of all ages. 

Each focuses on spiritual concepts that affect ourselves and the world around us. I am often nervous to say I’m religious or share my beliefs, because organised religion has a bad public image today. I’m a Baha’i because I see it as the purest and most productive way of bettering, or learning to better our world for everyone’s sake. It is spiritual, personal and individual, because the goodness of our character comes from that ‘inner’ place, however we choose to view it. But it is also world-encompassing, because each little positive action, from whatever place in you it comes from, is significant and vitally important.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary

I have no enticing picture because a. I am not neat or precise when it comes to chopping or arranging ingredients and b. I ate it too fast to take a pic after.

Approx instructions for this amazing soup are as follows…

1. Find a way to chop butternut squash.

2. Rest for a while as you will likely hate butternut squash by now and may not even have all your fingers in tact anymore.

3. When you’re over it, go back and cook the squash. Fry it, boil it, roast it, whatever it takes to make that hardass vegetable blendable.

4. Add in stock.

5. Add in some butter. Pretend to be French.

6. Add in some fresh rosemary, pretend to be Jamie Oliver.

7. Blend in a blender, pretend to be evil.

8. Season with a shedload of salt.

9. Eat with half a pack of O’Donnells crisps.

I never said it was healthy but it was tasty as feck.


Help A Small Local Business Owner in Your Area

I know some things about SEO. That stands for search engine optimisation which basically means finding ways to make it easier for potential customers to find you when they use search engines, like Google, Bing or Yahoo. But SEO is not just something that can help people with an online business or website. It can help local businesses with no online presence too.

One element of it I’ve recently explored is registering with Google Places / Google Businesses. It’s free and your business or that of a relative or friend, doesn’t even need a website – you just need a real life, geographical URL – commonly referred to as a ‘postal address’.

It’s easy to do and it will help people who use search engines on their phones or computers to find a local business when they search for a ‘tailor Dungarvan’ or ‘laundrette Bantry’.

It will show a customer where you’re located and you can include opening hours, a phone number, whether there is parking available or not and some images. Along with that, you can select five business categories you wish to be listed under.

Just go here:

Hope it helps somewhat :)


Suspended Coffees & Caring For Your Fellow Man

I initially saw this story making it’s way around facebook (and coming from a facebook page) but it obviously gained a bit of traction and was covered in the Independent a few days ago. Or perhaps it was vice versa.

homelessness in Ireland

Sometimes it’s hard to know when to give money to someone who’s homeless, even if you do have spare change. I choose to give to buskers over those begging – no matter how unlikely or ‘low quality’ the talent they chosen for busking may be.

The idea proposed in the ‘suspended coffees’ idea takes away the face-to-face interaction of giving or sharing. Which is good and bad. Good because no one has to feel embarrassed about asking or taking something they need and bad because it means I can still stay separate from the difficulty of someone else’s life and feel like I’m giving without understanding their side of the story, their suffering, and other changes a conversation could potentially make for my life and/or theirs.

Nevertheless, I like the idea and you should go and have a read and suggest it to your local coffee shops.

Read the full story here.