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.

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