As a prelude to one of my university modules when studying for my honors degree in psychology, I was asked to identify for myself my personal concept of ‘community’. I wrote as follows: “We are not born into an isolated existence without contact with others. If we were we would die.” Our intellectual and emotional growth, learning and development is dependent on our interactions with others. This is where the African philosophy of “ubuntu” comes into play. No one can exist in isolation. I am who I am today because of the interactions I have had, good or bad, with the people who have surrounded me in my lifetime, and the way in which I have interpreted those interactions. To understand “ubuntu”, go to “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu”>en.wikipedia.org.Trihealth.co.za as an organisation is committed to the values contained in the concept of “ubuntu” because “ubuntu” means so much more than just the interconnectedness we experience in community. With a world where growing numbers experience the devastating effects of depression, ongoing stress and anxieties that are beyond what might be called acceptable or “normal” and where the experience of violence is unavoidable, interactions often result in negative consequence that serves to increase rather than diminish the distress that pervades our global society. “Ubuntu” calls on the human spirit to rise above and to be more than we thought we could be, so that our interconnectedness becomes a positive force that serves to heal and support each other towards new beginnings and a better tomorrow.
Getting in touch with old friends is the most amazing thing. I first met Howard when I was studying drama with Benedicta Bonnacorsi (not the Benedicta Bonnacorsi listed on Google) in Johannesburg some 40 years ago in the early 70’s, This led to my introduction into the South African Broadcasting Corporation as an assistant researcher and I soon found myself assigned to the magazine program Midweek with him as my producer and mentor. Finding him again after all these years has been fabulous. And so, without much ado, I am now following his blog
Windmills of my Mind!
For pure reading pleasure I really recommend this.
I wonder sometimes how many of us forget how transient the various stages of life actually are. The scriptural book of Ecclesiastises has a recurring theme: “all is vanity”. I’ve often reflected on that translation and my investigations led me to The New Jerome Biblical Commentary in which I discovered that the original hebrew word was in fact hebel which, literally translated, means breath or vapor. It has occurred to me that replacing the word vanity with transience brings new meaning to the wisdom words contained in that book. I drew my inspiration from that book to create this poem:”life in a nutshell transitions seven stages infancy complete” It also links into Erikson’s theory relating to the stages of psychosocial development, although Erikson identified 8 stages not seven. In my poem I am referring to infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adult, middle adult, late adult and finally old age. Every age brings new perspectives on life and on living. Inevitably however life involves living through those stages, experiencing the transience of each, from birth to death. There is no escaping the inevitability of today’s realities becoming tomorrow’s memories.
April is now just turning into May and with that my guava fruits have begun to ripen. My fears that the fruits might be spoilt were for nothing and I have a wonderful crop of yellowing fruit giving me the pleasure of not only a delicately delicious flavor but also filling my kitchen with a fresh fruity aroma. But what to do with all that fruit. I came up with this recipe for a chutney.
900 grams ripe guavas
Scald, peel and quarter the tomatoes and guavas. Remove the seeds and strain these into a measuring jug. Add vinegar so that the combined liquid measures 600 ml. Thinly slice the remaining tomato and guava flesh.Combine all ingredients in a preserving pan, bring to the boil then simmer until really thick and rich.(Approximate time for simmering: between 1 – 2 hours – keep checking, especially towards the end of the cooking period, to ensure that the mixture does not burn. Turn into preserving jars. This amount will fill 2 x 500ml jars.
Calory count: Approximately 40 cals. per 25ml serving
With the onset of autumn, the former brilliance of my guava tree blossoms have now turned into the promise of a bountiful crop. As I watch the tiny fruits grow, I feel a twinge of guilt in the knowledge that I have not sprayed against the enemy fruit fly.
I am a reluctant sprayer of poisons in my garden and tend to avoid it if possible. And yet so many times the potential that is seen in the tiny fruits, when they finally turn ripe, is not realised, as the first bite into the delicious fruit, reveals the first worm and the fruit has to be discarded. Perhaps a parable can be made of this.