King Arthur and Guinevere and a Story about Camelot

I love to tell stories and I use stories all the time in my business and in conversations. I believe we think best in pictures and a word picture – a story – can encapsulate a thought or a concept as well as anything I know. Jesus was the great story-teller and I humbly follow in His footsteps.

Anyway, there is a story I tell often to illustrate how important it is for us not to hold on to the past too tightly, especially our mistakes and our “I wish I hadn’t…” moments. I have been using it a bit recently, so I thought I would share it with you. And it challenged me to look at some of the stuff that I was allowing to hold me back.

It is a story of romance,  betrayal, tragedy and restoration and like any good story it has at least the possibility of a happy ending. Also, like any good story it allows for certain flexibility around timing and facts – creative licence I think its called.

So without further ado – “Once upon a time in England there was a great King – King Arthur was his name. He ruled powerfully and justly and was supported by a band of great Knights called The Knights of the Round Table. They excelled in great brave deeds and heroic adventures. Sir Lancelot was the bravest Knight of all and was loved by the king as a brother.

King Arthur had a great love – his Queen Guinevere who was a ravishing beauty, and he was completely devoted to her. Arthur never went into battle without a kiss from his bride – never! Arthur and Guinevere ruled wisely and justly and under their rule Camelot became a haven of peace and prosperity, so the story goes.
At that time there was a great quest to find the ‘Holy Grail’ – the chalice Jesus was meant to have drunk from at time of the Last supper. King Arthur and the Knights of the  Round Table periodically organised Great Crusades that went to the Holy Land to seek the Holy Grail.

One time, King Arthur took his kiss from Guinevere and headed away on another crusade. However, while the King was away, Lancelot, who was devoured by love for Guinevere, seduced her and in a moment of weakness Guinevere succumbed.

Afterwards, Guinevere was so racked with guilt and regret over her betrayal that she went to the convent and had the Abbess lock her up in a cell and throw away the key. She lived on meagre rations pushed under the door of her cell.

You can imagine the shock and horror when Arthur returned to Camelot after the crusade to find his queen gone and to learn of the betrayal by his best friend. He raced to the convent but was denied access. He may have been a King – but he was also a man and in those days no man ever crossed the threshold.

He grieved for a long time over the loss of his queen and his best friend. Over time, Arthur and Lancelot restored their friendship, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never get to see Guinevere.

Time passed and another crusade was organised. As was his way, King Arthur NEVER went to battle without a kiss from his bride and this would be no exception. He stormed the convent and demanded that the door to Guinevere’s cell be opened, and when that was not possible he broke down the door.

You can hardly imagine how Guinevere would have looked after so much time in that little cell. She had turned into a hag with long straggly hair and nails and dry wizened skin. She shrunk back and would not look up at Arthur. He looked at her with great love, his heart broken at her lost beauty and the lost years. Without hesitation, Arthur swept her up into his arms and kissed her, and said, so sadly, “Why have you done this. The sin was sinned… I forgave you long ago!” Then he stormed out of the castle and on to his crusade.

History and legend are silent on what happened after that, but we fill ourselves with hope that they all lived happily ever after.

And so, that is my story today. I feel some emotion as I write this. This is what God says to us – ” the sin was sinned, I forgave you long ago”. I am firmly convinced that the unhooked chains of past events do more than we may imagine to hold us back from our future.

My Moment of Clarity today is a question – What locked cells do we need to come out of ? What do we need to let go of, to let ourselves off the hook from? What do we need to fix up? Who do we need to forgive? and that includes ourselves.

“The sin was sinned…I forgave you long ago”.


I look forward to your feedback.

Brian  0408 277 773

Hearses Don’t Have Tow-Bars – But People Do Have Memories!

I go to a lot more funerals these days than 21’sts or weddings. And the weddings we go to are not our friends weddings, but the children of our friends. I can’t seem to remember when we passed through that demographic but pass it we did. They are interesting, these demographic levels – you only notice them after you have passed through – you look back and notice that things are somehow different, but you can’t pinpoint how or when it changed. Like the time I realised I was no longer the target demographic for leadership in church. And I notice that I am no longer the target demographic for most marketing campaigns. I refuse to acknowledge ALL invitations to get the ‘seniors card’ or accept special discounts because of age.

Anyway, getting off THAT subject, the point about going to more funerals brought an interesting thought to mind. You never see tow-bars on hearses. Fascinating that. Yet so many of us spend large portions of our lives and sacrifice so much to accumulate – stuff, wealth, property, possessions. Its all good and proper, but we can’t take it with us so what is it for?

Do we have a purpose for our accumulation? There are many great purposes – to set the family up for a good start, to provide for a comfortable retirement or to leave a legacy by investing in favoured causes are a few of the many good reasons.

Are there others? to have most toys? as a badge of honour? to beat the Joneses? to prove to those who said you couldn’t?

I wonder do we know clearly what it is really for?

“What do we want to be remembered for…?” is a question Michael Hyatt ( encourages us to ask and “What is most important to us..?”

Given the horror mentioned earlier of finding out I might qualify for a seniors card – I have been a bit more (OK a lot more!) intentional about making plans for this year – not about what to achieve or what to accumulate, but much more about what impact I want to have on my world and the people in it.

Hearses don’t have tow-bars – but people do have memories. I have a view that the most important legacy we can leave is not just our total net worth on Probate (though that is great), but the memories we leave in the hearts and minds of those we touched during our lives. In answering Michael’s question “what is most important to me…?” I find that it is mostly people and relationships that fill that list.

It will be great to leave abundant financial blessings in our will, and don’t get me wrong for a moment – accumulating wealth and prosperity is really good, but do we want to be remembered most for what we left in the will or for the great times we had together – that we were there when they needed us most and that our memory brings a smile to their face?

My Moment of Absolute Clarity this week is to encourage us to make the time to get absolutely clear on what it really is for and who it really is for and how we want to be remembered… so that what we leave behind does not need a tow-bar but does leave an indelible memory.

All the Best, Brian.

PS: I know it has been a while since I wrote last – thanks for your patience and grace. BM

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I encourage you to click on the comments tag and leave a comment. Thanks, Brian.


It is good to be back. I hope you all had a Happy and Peaceful Christmas full of joy and celebration if you can remember that far back and that 2015 has been good to you so far. I apologise for being away for so long. I have enjoyed and been encouraged by the great feedback I have received from you.

There are two reasons why there has been such a long break since the last post just before Christmas. One will be known to those of you who have had any length of conversation with me at that time. And now all of you will come to know. I passionately believe that January, yes the whole month of January, should be a public holiday! I arrived in Australia just before Christmas in 1986. In short time, thank God,  I secured a fabulous role with Pacific Dunlop and they told me not to show up until the end of January. In that January of 1987 were the America’s Cup Finals in Perth and the Ashes test in Sydney.

So how good was my introduction to Australian life :o))!  I spent all 5 days at the  Sydney Test, which Australia won, and the rest of the time in the America’s Cup bar at the Hilton Hotel watching the sailing action on a full wall screen and learning how to enjoy Crown Lagers !

So I rest my case. Given that great introduction to this wonderful country, I have no doubts that January should, as my first January was, be a national holiday.

The other reason I will mention quickly and come back to at a later date. That reason was an unexpected and severe attack by that beast who shall be nameless, that one of my hero’s Winston Churchill referred to as the black dog. It is a dark place – not always understood by those who have not been in its clutches. The logical arguments as to how we should deal with this are flawless, and useless.  In fact that logic often makes it worse. I mention it here because I know there are many who also wrestle with this beast and we need to speak openly about it, and support and encourage each other to stay in the battle and, to quote Winston himself “Never, Never, Never give up until we win a great victory”.

Arising from this battle, I am about to start another blog called “You’re Not Done Yet” to explore this topic and to start a conversation about the amazing potential we all have, even if we have been on this earth for many years and may feel that circumstances and/or history have clipped our wings or foreshortened our expectations. It hasn’t and they aren’t!  Click Here to sign up for this blog.

Back to Christmas. I intended to write about patience from a conversation with we had over Christmas. A young teenager in the group having demonstrated great impatience with her mother one afternoon, was sent by her father to write an essay on the virtue of patience. Her offering was hilarious and along these lines – “patience is that quality demonstrated by a mother who immediately puts aside what she is doing to be fully available to meet her daughter’s pressing needs! Not exactly what her father intended, but …

We had a conversation about patience afterwards and I encouraged her that patience was a fruit of grace – a wonderful quality for a young woman to develop. We had lots of fun over the holidays playing games and expanding our understanding of the virtue of patience.

It did make me reflect on the whole subject of patience and that there were many other dimensions of patience apart from our interactions with each other. A farmer needs patience to wait for harvest time. A sportsman needs patience to allow broken bones to heal. We need patience to follow behind an elderly person as they navigate a set of stairs. So many opportunities…  I needed to be patient with myself as I walked the journey out of that black hole.

Yet the world we live in rages against patience. We can’t wait a week, or even a day for the next episode of a TV programme. So much so that Australia has developed a very bad reputation as one of the worst TV/Movie Pirates in the rush to get immediate access to the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” or the latest movies. I may sound like a dinosaur, but in my day my favourite TV programme was on once a week and you had to wait a whole week for the next episode. Now you get whole series in a box or watch them back to back on Foxtel. There is so much focus on instant gratification – same-day delivery, PayPass, Instagram etc.

I want it now

Do forgive me, I am not whingeing or dismissing the great technological advances, but reflecting on the contrast between the pace of the world we live in and the pace of the really important things. Nature still moves at the patient pace it always moved; a day is still 24 hours and a week is still 7 days, regardless of all our technology. It takes 21 days for a chick to hatch;  It still takes 9 months for a baby to develop; Relationships require time and patience to develop. They say children spell love as T-I-M-E. Seedtime and harvest are still in separate seasons.

Patience - Nature with Thanks to St.Emilies Primary School

I would like to expand on this  subject over the next few weeks and to start a conversation about patience. My moment of clarity to start with is a question: “What are the elements or aspects of your life where patience is most valuable?”

I encourage you to click on the ‘Comments’ tab and have your say.

All the Best, Brian.

0408 277773

It’s Christmas – Part 2: Go on a Treasure Hunt

It has been a difficult and challenging time over the last week here in Australia. This little missive goes to 8 countries over 5 continents and it has been clear from the feedback I have been getting that what has happened here in Sydney and Cairns over the last week has deeply impacted people all over the world. That is not a dazzling insight, but I have found it comforting that so many people are reaching out from so far away.

And what has happened in Australia is not the worst of it – with broken hearts we think of the parents and families of the children and teachers massacred in Pakistan. And if we were to reflect back on 2014, there are many more such tragedies across the world.

A sad and morbid opening, perhaps, but it is impossible to ignore these events, or to pass by without stopping to acknowledge, to validate, to offer a prayer, however tiny in the circumstance. There is a powerful poem by W.H.Auden that always come to mind in times such as these. It speaks to me of that awful sense of loss when loved ones are taken away. “Why are the buses still running?, why are people going about as if nothing has happened? Don’t they know our loved ones are gone?”

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message They Are Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

They were our North, our South, our East and West,
Our working week and Sunday rest,
Our noon, Our night, our talk, our song;
We thought love would last for ever: We were wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

I did not send a note last week for that very reason – I did not want to go on as if all was normal. Because it wasn’t. But even in the midst of the awfulness, what shone through in Sydney was the light of Hope, the power of Community, the overwhelming sense of Unity. I encourage you, if you get the chance, to visit Martin Place and walk among the flowers and read the notes and cards.

Martin place 2

My original notes for last week spoke of going on a treasure hunt. It was a witty piece on ways to make Christmas fun and to focus on all the good things that happened in the year almost gone. What we focus on grows, and I find doing a treasure hunt provides a positive focus coming into the family time, as opposed to thoughts and fears and often mounting dread that this Christmas will be just like all the others.

Well my Moment of Clarity this week is indeed to suggest we go on a Treasure Hunt – before, during and after THIS particular Christmas. Often, at times like this, we hear commentators say “this is a good time to go home and hug your loved ones”. Well more than ever this time. But let us do more than that. Let us choose to say “its Christmas…”. Let us choose to be grateful for what we have even if it has been a year of loss. Let us refuse the invitation to react to pain however it is expressed, but let us respond in love and with kindness, grace and gratitude.

As I read over this, I realise it is really a note to myself. You can read it if you want. I know I NEED to hear this, especially THIS Christmas.

I pray you have a memorable Christmas, memorable for the peace and joy, kindness and love that pervades the whole season.

All the Best, Brian.

“It’s Christmas…” – Part 1.

We are well into December now, and Christmas draws near. It is a wonderful time for families to get together, often from far away, and for relatives and friends to reunite and celebrate and catch up on all the news. The reality for many, however, is that Christmas is not really a good time for a whole lot of reasons.

As many of you may know, I grew up in Ireland and for me Christmas was a magical time. It was my favourite time of the year. It was a major shock to me when I came to Australia to find out that many were indifferent to, did not enjoy or  even hated Christmas. I was a grown man yet it floored me. “How could you not love Christmas?” I cried, “It’s the best time of the year”.

I seriously anguished over this for years. I was amazed as I observed a general sense that many people just wanted Christmas to be over so they could get away on holidays. My first Christmas in Sydney impacted me so much, I went back to Dublin for the next 8 years. I loved the Carol-Singers, the party atmosphere and the warm bonhomie that overtook my city of birth.

I grew up in a large family (large by Australian standards – fairly normal by Irish standards). For those of you who came from big families, isn’t it amazing how siblings who grew up in the same house could have completely different views on their childhood. Certainly, most of my sisters have a fairly different view of childhood than mine. I struggled in those years, struggled to find a place to fit in, struggled with heavy-duty bullying at school etc,etc.  My experience of life would likely have put me in the place where I too, hated Christmas.

But Christmas was awesome! It was just the best time.

It was only in recent years that I got the revelation of why it was so special. My Mother had a simple but powerful saying that she used throughout the Christmas season:

“Its Christmas…”!

That meant a WHOLE lot more than just the words. To my Mum, it meant that this was a special time. It was a sacred time, the time we celebrated the birth of Jesus. It meant that we did not behave as we would through the rest of the year. It meant we did not argue, we did not raise voices and shout, we did not fight. It meant that we got along, we shared everything and we were good-natured and pleasant to be with.

It was so powerful. All my Mother had to say was “It’s Christmas…” and that was it. Whenever tempers flared or disputes arose, you would hear my Mother say “It’s Christmas…”. And that would mean the end of any hostilities. Everyone would step back and stand down. Most of my years were pretty ordinary,  but at Christmas – “It was Christmas…”!, and it was a haven of love and peace that I have never forgotten.

And that is my Moment of Clarity this week. As we go into the festive season, remember  “It’s Christmas…”!  Remember what the celebration is really about and perhaps choose my Mother’s words, or your own, to be like an ‘umpire of peace’, declaring this season to be a time of peace and joy.

Have a peaceful and thoughtful week.

All the Best, Brian.

The 30 cent Ice-Cream Story

This is a true story (a real true story) I was reminded of this week and I thought I would share it with you. It relates to a time in my life that at one level was highly forgettable, yet at another level was one of the most powerful seasons of my life and is very much a part of who I am today.

I lost everything in the nineties – for a whole bunch of reasons, but mostly because I just did not have the emotional or spiritual character to handle the business and financial success that came relatively quickly after I started my first business. That’s a whole story in itself – for another time.

Anyway, it was during that time that I called into a local Macca’s for a baby burger which was all I could afford at the time. It was not a good time and I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders (you know, self-pity, “why me”, “its not fair”, “its all too hard” – those weights!). I bumped into a bunch of lovely mums and children that I knew from the better times. So putting on my bravest face I was chatting away pretending all was OK – as you do. Then we heard this almighty scream from the back of the restaurant and one of the little 5 year-olds came up screaming with only the cone part of his 30 cent ice-cream. He had dropped it and lost the ice-cream bit. He was devastated, as only a five-year-old who has lost his ice-cream can be.

Us grown-ups all laughed, because we knew it was only an ice-cream. But to the little fella, it was worse than the end of the world. Well it only took a few minutes for someone to replace the ice-cream. And what a transformation! Not only was it NOT the end of the world, but it was a better world, because he now had a whole new ice-cream plus what he had eaten of the previous one. He was happy as…

Boy eating icecream

We laughed and talked some more and I said my goodbyes. As I walked to the door I could feel the weight of my problems descending once more. Now I am a man of faith and a believer, but it is amazing how quickly we can let adverse circumstances take our eyes off our faith and that Source of help in times of trouble.

But then! As I walked across the threshold it hit me like a blast of hot air – “from God’s perspective, all my problems were just about the size of a 30 cent ice-cream. I had completely lost my perspective, like the 5 year-old, and allowed myself to be driven into a state of anxiety and depression by my circumstances.

That moment is deeply etched in my consciousness and had a profound effect on my life. From that time onwards, I knew that I was not defined by my circumstances, but by my ATTITUDE TO my circumstances.

And that is my moment of clarity for this week. Perhaps to take a moment to reflect as we come towards the end of the year. Have we got the right perspective on our circumstances, good or challenging.  And whatever your philosophy, are you connected to and drawing on the emotional, relational or spiritual resources that help you keep a healthy perspective.

All the Best, Brian

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Caring – The Secret Ingredient – Part 2

The title for this weeks post was an unthunk thought. That’s what I call one of those ideas, insights or revelations that seem to just arrive in your mind, without any clear idea where they came from or any conscious knowledge of the thought processes that produced them. My first book was called “Unthunk Thoughts”, and is a collection of those amazing one-liners and aphorisms that contain so much more than the words.

Well ‘The Secret Ingredient of Influence’ last week was definitely one of those. It tumbled out of my mind just as I completed last weeks post. It has occupied much of my thinking over the last week and I am a bit blown away by it.

Caring – The Secret ingredient of Influence! The Holy Spirit gets the credit for this one. I could never have come up with that on my own.

I will be really interested in peoples’ views on this. “Leadership is Influence”, to quote John Maxwell. People influence others and situations in many ways – through charisma, eloquence, power, motivation and many other ways.

But the more I go through life the more I realise that the quality that influences me most is a caring heart. It is not weak, – it comes from a strength of character! It speaks of an intuitive respect for people and a desire to validate and acknowledge the intrinsic worth of each person we meet. I only work with people who care. It IS the secret ingredient. The funny thing is that people who do care often don’t realise the value it brings to any transaction. It says “you matter”, it says “I will look after you”, it says “I will go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied”. It is inherently unselfish and other-directed.

As a principle it echoes Zig Ziglar:



In business there is a traditional costing model for products and services:

Labour + Materials + Overheads + Margin = Price!

I offer another model:

Labour + Materials + Overheads + CARE FACTOR + Margin = Price!

There is a premium that is due for that Care Factor. And the people who care the most often dismiss it or are not really conscious to it. I am passionate about helping people achieve that premium. The other side of that is being willing to pay that premium. I have a saying:


“Discount is not the currency of blessing – great service is!”

Let us be a people who willingly pay that premium so we can enjoy that great service. Remember that value is remembered long after the price is forgotten. In a world where truth is relative and the moral backstop has been removed, there is a deep and growing hunger for authenticity, truth and honesty.

So my moment of clarity this week is to dust off your ‘Care Factor’ and become an influence for good in your world. If it has been bruised and battered in the ‘roil and moil’ of life, take time out to heal and renew. Forgive those who have used you and taken advantage of you and decide to come back again to ‘care first’ and ‘care always’ and be a shining light in a world that needs it.

Have a great week, Brian.

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The Secret Ingredient of Influence

This weeks offering is at first I’m afraid a sad confessional.
But abandon not hope – there is a good ending.

Don’t you just love good customer service! I really appreciate it. Helen laughs – she knows that ‘Acts of Service’ is my number one love language.
No doubt most of you will have come across that great book by Gary Chapman called “The 5 Love Languages”.

Anyway, as I said, one of the ‘Love Languages’ is ‘Acts of Service’ and I really respond to it. For years I have had a high expectation of good service, along with a very strong sense that in fact I am entitled to good service.

Given the above, I have had some ‘interesting’ encounters over the years with customer service personnel. I hang my head in shame when I think of it now, but my view was – “I know what I want and how I want it, and I will patiently take whatever time you need, so you understand exactly what I want, but it is not negotiable for you to give me anything other than exactly what I have asked for.”

cranky food customer

I thought I was friendly and patient, but I know now that in reality I was insufferable!
My great complaints were “why does no-one care about their customers…?” and “where can you find someone who actually cares…?”

I spent hours and hours and hours trying to get someone on the other end of the phone to care enough to give me what I wanted. Call centres were nearly the death of me. And as for that speaking computer – spare me!!

Am I the only one who ever screamed “Operator… Operator… Operator… into the phone at that awful voice – and then get the answer – “I’m having a little difficulty in getting that…” please tell me again in two or three words how I can help you…”

And it seemed almost as if they knew I was coming, because the harder I tried to get them to care the more they made it obvious that they didn’t – in fact not a jot!

I had a major revelation one Thursday night trying to sort out a billing issue with that big telecoms company – you know, the one that starts with the letter after ‘S’. I got the same responses as above and when I eventually gave up I was fit to burst. And I heard a voice clearly speak to me saying “Look at the state of you. YOU KNEW before you picked up the phone what was going to happen and you did it anyway”. “You have got to find another way!”

You know those times when you suddenly come face to face with yourself and it is not pretty! I had one of those evenings. And then a few days later I listened as my beautiful, caring wife dealt with the issue in no time at all with an excellent outcome. She was friendly and caring and kindly asked for help – and got it.

margaretmead - caring

It hit me like a hammer – stop trying to get people to care for you. You care for them first. It has transformed my life. Instead of marching up to the flight desk and demanding and expecting a flight change or a seat change and getting nothing, I now ask for help and I take the time to get to know names. And I find people are all too happy to help. Now I get upgrades, I get credits on those telecoms accounts, and my customer service encounters are filled with smiles and thank you’s instead of scowls and resistance.

And at the end of all that, my humble moment of clarity is ‘care first’ and ‘care always’. That, I think, is the Secret Ingredient of Influence.

Have a great week. I really enjoy your feedback and welcome it.

All the Best, Brian.
+61 408 277773

Make a Date to Catch Up…

I was just talking to a client the other day about our holiday. I was sharing that we couldn’t remember the last time we went on a holiday that was just that – a holiday. As far back as we go, virtually every holiday we went on had another purpose. Visiting family, here or in Ireland; Mission trips to various parts of the world; going to conferences and adding on a few days. My clients response was “is that possible?”, “you’ve got to write about that in your blog”.

We had the same revelation some time ago in the middle of dinner with close friends, that this was the first time in whenever we were catching up with these friends for no other purpose than to catch up! We realised that virtually every social interaction had a background purpose. It wasn’t awful or anything – it was good – it’s just that there was usually a reason. It might have been pastoral, or business, or about an event or an organisation we were involved with. It might have been networking, supporting through crisis (ours or theirs!), visiting someone who was unwell, a bible study, committee meetings. The list goes on. We don’t have children, but I can imagine for parents that would be a huge list of its own.

Don’t get me wrong, all of this is a wonderful part of living in community and it is rich and rewarding. But, boy it can get exhausting!

I still remember the amazing feeling of just being together at a great restaurant by the ocean. And it was making my spirit sing – the pleasure and enjoyment of just hanging out together and sharing and listening. We came away from that dinner refreshed, energised and closer.

Friends over Dinner

It is one of the wonderful paradoxes of life – we are born for relationship and connection. And in our lives we are interacting with people all the time and I wonder are we spending more time ‘transacting’ than truly connecting. I wonder myself are my relationships deepening over time? Am I taking time to truly listen with my heart as well as my ears? Do I truly know where my closest friends are at? Do I take time to listen past the “I’m fine” or “Not bad”?. My answer for me is I can do a lot better.

So my moment of clarity this week is to make a date. Time IS precious, and there is so much to do, but I encourage you to make a date – with a spouse, your family or friends for no other purpose than to spend time together. I think you will be so glad you did.

All the Best, Brian
+61 408277773

Did You See the Sunset Last Night?

First of all an apology. I missed sending out this blog last week. I got some calls – it won’t happen again.
Anyway, this week I am writing from Hawks nest, a beautiful little seaside town north of Sydney. They tell me not to say exactly where it is, so as to keep it everyone’s little secret. So I won’t. But if you Google TeaGardens you’ll be close.

It is truly a beautiful place, undeveloped and relaxing. We are ‘Glamping’, otherwise known as ‘posh camping’ or camping where you DON’T have to fill your car and a trailer to the brim with everything and spend hours unpacking and setting up. It’s all done for you with a real bed and an ensuite. So we are having a wonderful time. And I did something this week that I thought would never happen. I went with Helen to sit and watch a sunset. And it was truly amazing – as some of the pictures will attest.
Sunset North 2
Do you know one of the curious things about a caravan and camping park is how everyone is friendly, and waves, and takes time for a chat. It reminded me of the time in 2000 when the Olympics came to town. The whole city became like a giant caravan and camping park. Everyone was friendly and took time for a chat. Do you remember what it was like on the buses going to and from the venues. It was awesome! The whole place was a holiday camp. and it lasted for more than a few months.

Then it slowly drifted back to ‘normal’ city life. There IS a lasting remnant though, if you ever take the bus to the Olympic Stadium for a rugby game. The atmosphere on the buses is just great – much the same as it was back in 2000. I love the conversations we have on the way to and from the game. If you tried that on the number 38A on a Monday morning though, you might get a different response…

Sunset 2
And it occurred to me, as it does, that we could create a new ‘normal’. William Wilberforce, that amazing man who back in the 1700’s fought for and won the abolition of slavery, also dedicated his life to another goal – “The Reformation of Manners”. At the time it was laughed off as a hopeless pipedream. But he had a huge impact and all manner of community organisations and support groups sprung up during that time, many of which still operate today. The heart of it was about people being mindful of each other and being mindful that we live in community, and that if each of us brought that mindfulness to bear in our dealings with each other, the world we live in would be a much better place.

And that is the atmosphere in our caravan and camping park. Everyone is mindful, and that makes us kinder and more thoughtful and we take more time for each other.

You might say that’s OK when we are on holidays. And Yes, that’s true. But wouldn’t it be good to take some of that back to the city with us? and maybe take the time to stop, sit, and watch the sunset? And That’s my moment of clarity this week.

All the best, Brian.
0408 277 773