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Self-Help

Hope, Spring Eternal. all Right Spring. Do Your Thing!

Spring is the season of new beginnings, rebirth, joy, and renewed hope. Fresh buds bloom, animals awaken, and the earth seems to come to life again. With Spring the beauty of the world is in full display in an onslaught of colors that is forcing the darkness of the long winter months into a hasty retreat. The world radiates with alacrity, the sky is painted in stunning streaks of red, pink, purple, and blue, and the birds sing their delight to the heavens. Some people say that God created Hope and Spring on the same day. So, let Hope, and Spring Eternal find their way to your home.

Hope, Spring Eternal

2021 carries with it a lot of hope bearing in mind what we all went through in 2020. We are living in an age of despair and fractured communities where we are being forced to alienate ourselves from our family, friends, colleagues, and clients. The unintended consequences of this forced isolation are that the less we interact with other people, the less tolerance we feel for other people, and the more we find comfort in our own ‘sanitized’ bubbles.

Hope triggers a sense of purpose and aspirations during desperate times. Hope provides a haven from pessimism and fear. It galvanizes our courage and mobilizes our energy and vitality. It enhances our mood and our creative thinking.


Hope is the place you want to go when you find yourself sitting in a dark place. Hope is the name of the person you want to know where all the people around you are spreading fear and misery. Hope is the seed that is buried deep inside you that you want to sprinkle around like magic fairy dust. Hope is the feeling that carries you through, no matter what

Joanne Reed
Spring is here. Mount Namsam. Seoul, South Korea

But let’s steer away for a moment from the lovely fluffiness and romanticism attached to this noble feeling of hope, joy, and peace for all; hoping for things to get better without doing something about it is not enough. We have to spring into action and be more intentional about our hopes and aspirations for the future.

If you think that all the problems of the world will be resolved as soon as we can all agree on how to move forward, then you are kidding yourself because instead of going to that place called Hope, you will swim in an ocean of Despair. Asking everyone to agree on one thing is an impossibility, and the earlier we realize this, the better it will be.

Being able to work together and live in a semi-harmonious manner with our neighbors and within our community is good enough. Don’t try to aim for a utopic world vision seen through pink-tinted glasses where everyone loves and helps each other. Stay real and grounded, it is not about friendship and interacting only with the people you like and the people who think the same way as you think. Life is about getting along with people who are different from you, with people you find boring, annoying, or even objectionable; because the challenges that face us as a group are more important than our personal likes and dislikes. It doesn’t matter what people believe, what matters is what they do. Agree on actions.

Humans are naturally cooperative and loving. We raise children and care for pets. Divide and conquer is a strategy that has been used since the beginning of time by a small group of people who are thriving to exert control over the populace. The more energy is expended by the public fighting among themselves the less anger is directed at the overlord class. It is a Machiavellian ploy. Do not fall into this trap.

But I digress, let’s get back to hope, spring eternal; during springtime, the buds that stayed buried in the ground during the whole winter months decided all together that now is the time to spring into action and burst into life with the common purpose of sharing their beauty with the world.

Hope, Spring eternal may the spirit of Spring give us the strength to act with a sense of purpose for the benefit of all.

Joanne Reed

Hope for a new kind of Renaissance

Renaissance is a French word meaning “rebirth.” It refers to a period (14th till 17th Century) in European civilization that was marked by a revival of classical learning and wisdom. From its origins in 14th-century Florence, the Renaissance spread across Europe and it changed the world in just about every way one could think and it came right after one of the darkest periods of human history where the black plague killed millions of people (1 in 3 people across the world perished from the plague).

The Renaissance pushed the boundaries of what we know and what could be achieved. New continents were discovered. Copernicus and Galileo shocked the world and most importantly the whole ecclesiastic establishment by establishing that the Earth was not the center of the Universe but was revolving around the Sun. Radical thinkers such as the humanist Erasmus expounded a new way of looking at the world that owed less to blind subservience to the Catholic Church and more to the possibilities inherent in the human mind.

Cherry blossom, Namsam Tower, Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Tawalchai07

Never before had there been such a coming together of art, science, and philosophy. And never before had there been such an opportunity for it to be so widely disseminated, thanks to the invention in 1440 by Gutenberg of the printing press. For the first time, books could be mass-produced. A single press could churn out 3,600 pages a day, resulting in an explosion of literature and ideas unprecedented in history.

Erasmus (the humanist) became a bestselling author. The new ideas of free-thinkers, mathematicians, and scientists all became accessible to the masses. Art and science became, for the first time in human history, truly democratic.

Humanism emphasized the dignity of man. In place of the medieval ideal of a life of penance as the highest and noblest form of human activity, the humanists encourage the rebirth of a lost human spirit and wisdom. The effect of humanism was to help men break free from the mental prison imposed by religious orthodoxy, to inspire free inquiry and criticism, and to inspire new confidence in the possibilities of human thought and creations.

The seeds of the modern world were sown and grown during the Renaissance. With Spring in full bloom, we should thrive for the return of a Modern-Day-Renaissance where creativity, freedom of thoughts, and expression are free to bloom for all the world to see allowing mankind to achieve new heights in this tumultuous period.

And my dear friend, This is Your Quest 

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

Categories
Self-Help

Rules to Break. The Internet Makes You Anonymous

The book ‘The Rules to Break– A Personal Code for Living Your Life Your Way’ by Richard Templar, exposes all those ‘well-intended’ rules and gracious advice from teachers, parents, friends that somehow become ingrained in us. The trouble is many of those rules often aren’t true and yet they have a major influence on our lives. Instead of blindly accepting the rules set down for us by other people, we should learn to question them, think for ourselves, and be more fluid in our judgment. This article is the first of a series of articles I have decided to write offering you a selection of rules to break and the question of the day is whether the internet makes you anonymous, why freedom of expression is so fundamental, and how Cancel Culture is becoming a thing these days.

Rule to break: The internet makes you anonymous.

Rules to break: The internet makes you ananymous. Photo by @freepik Via freepik.com

The ‘accepted’ rule is that the internet makes you anonymous. Richard Templar disagrees. It’s so easy he said, sitting all on your own in your bedroom with your computer, to think that no one can see you. You use your computer like a mask, except that your computer doesn’t conceal your real identity. You may feel a level of detachment from your social networking pages or your emails, but the people who read them are very conscious that these words or pictures come straight from you. So, you have to take responsibility for what you say and do online. If you wouldn’t say a thing to someone’s face, don’t say it to Facebook either. Be considerate of what pictures you post or the tone of the emails you send. If you wouldn’t do it or say it offline, then don’t do it or say it online. And if in doubt don’t.

New Rule: The internet doesn’t make you anonymous, but it can make you a hero or a prat.

Social media makes you all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it”.

Mike Tyson

There are a lot of talks these days about Cancel Culture which is defined by Wikipedia as a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrown out of social media or professional circles either online on social media or in the real world or both. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be canceled i.e., culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform or career.

On the one hand, we have people who are condoning, encouraging, and participating in cancel culture, those people have a tendency to see themselves as civil rights activists and romanticize their activities as some radical but necessary form of citizen justice. On the other hand, we have the canceled victims who because of a misplaced word, post, tweet, image, or statement (which by the way falls perfectly within the remit of the law) can see their whole life and livelihood destroyed.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In the UK, article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 protects the Freedom of Expression: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of his choice.”

Superior Rule: Freedom of Expression is a fundamental and inalienable right of all individuals

Free Speech. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Freedom of expression in all its forms and manifestations is a fundamental and inalienable right of all individuals. Additionally, it is an indispensable requirement for the very existence of a democratic society. At the same time, it is also universally recognized that it is not an absolute right, and every democracy has developed some system of limitations on freedom of expression. Any restrictions on freedom of expression must firstly be provided by law and secondly, it must be for the protection of a legitimate and overriding interest. For example, common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, classified information, copyright violations, trade secrets, etc.

Cancel culture is a direct affront to the freedom of thought, expression, and speech. The idea is to blame, shame, and destroy the target. There are no rules, no code of conduct. It is open season, and it operates beyond the remit of the law of the land. You can’t really describe it as a movement because it has neither leaders nor membership and those who take part in it do so erratically, but it is a practice that is often used in the political arena to ostracize people with a different political opinion. It is not clear whether the goals are to right a specific wrong and redress an injustice, or to speak out against and condemn an untrustworthy system and make a plea for a fairer one or whether it is just done for sport and for the thrill of humiliating and destroying the target.

Whether you condemn or condone cancel culture is up to you and can be the subject of some virulent debates, but for me, Cancel Culture is all about how we communicate and treat each other. Wanting to destroy someone’s life and livelihood just because of their view on a particular subject is taking it way too far; it demonstrates a lack of decency, way too much intolerance, and most of all an astonishing overreach of the power of media. It is not uncommon nowadays to be de-platformed, censored, banned from your social media just because; media companies have granted to themselves the ultimate power of censorship which goes way beyond what the law of the land allows. Think about this for a minute or two and let it sink in.

Rule of Karma

French Revolution. Eugene Delacroix

But beware, because the pendulum always swings in both directions; you could be a perpetrator of Cancel Culture today and become a target tomorrow. A vivid example of this could be found in the French Revolution which began in 1787 as a populist movement against the Monarchy. The uprising culminated in the beheading of Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette.

Maximilien Robespierre was a controversial figure of this period in French history. He started his life as a lawyer, became a politician and a revolutionary figure of the French Revolution who actively participated in the revolt against the French Monarchy; he had an active role in helping put in place a new Republique based on the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. But as we all know by now, power corrupts, and it corrupts absolutely.

Robespierre became so obsessed with the idea of ‘defending’ the revolutionary ideas at all costs that he became a ruthless and bloody dictator himself, imposing his will right, left, and center and being directly responsible for the massacres and public executions of almost 17,000 ‘dissidents’. Robespierre famously declared that “Without terror virtue is impotent”. This dark period of French history is known as the Reign of Terror.

Eventually, a group of brave souls decided that enough was enough, the fearmongering and killing had to stop; so, they decided to give Robespierre a taste of his own medicine. They took it upon themselves to arrest Robespierre and his companions in crimes and publicly executed/canceled them on the same guillotine used for Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. This final execution put an end to the Reign of Terror.

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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code