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THE DAY I LOST MY PET MONKEY

THE DAY I LOST MY PET MONKEY

One minute Jacko was right next to me.  A few minutes later he wasn’t there.  When the boat pulled in to the landing, there was no Jacko.  The day was utterly traumatic for me.  I really loved Jacko and it was my first experience of serious loss. So I will always remember that sad day on the Finsbury Park boating lake.  Jacko must have fallen overboard, and there was no way they were going...

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THE 80/20 VIEW OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

THE 80/20 VIEW OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

Can you recall the first time you exerted self-discipline?  For me it was when I started to play the piano at age 6.  Every morning I got up before everybody else and practised for an hour, plonking away (it also served to wake everyone up).   I enjoyed it and it rapidly became a habit, thus not requiring much effort.  If you are reading this, I think the chances are that you had a similar...

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THE 80/20 VIEW OF CHOICES

THE 80/20 VIEW OF CHOICES

When I was growing up there was a truly awful television program which I watched religiously.  I think it was called Take Your Pick and it involved the oily host, Hughie Green, alternatively buttering up and intimidating poor members of the audience, who were invited to “take the money” – a certain amount of cash he offered them, with readies in his hand – or “open the box”.  Inside...

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DEEP RESPONSIBILITY

DEEP RESPONSIBILITY

I don’t know why, but we have a fascination with courtroom drama, ranging from reality TV in South Africa to Perry Mason who never lost a case.  But the most gripping story is perhaps the oldest, from Homer. It’s the trial of Orestes.  The story starts when his mother, Clytemnestra has an affair.  She and her lover murder her husband Agamemnon, the father of Orestes.  Now the son faces an...

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WHY DO WE STAY IN (BUSINESS) HELL?

WHY DO WE STAY IN (BUSINESS) HELL?

C. S. Lewis, the novelist and don, wrote a wonderful little story about Hell.  In his version, Hell is a dreary provincial English town where it always rains and there is nothing exciting to do.  One day, a busload of people from Hell are invited to a day tour of Heaven.  There is it sunny and warm, with interesting people, and jam-packed with optional events and activities.  At the end of...

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TO BE HUMAN IS TO EXPERIMENT

TO BE HUMAN IS TO EXPERIMENT

As I write this in my office in Spain, I can see the sunshine in the courtyard outside and hear the cheerful chirping of the house martins that live in the courtyard here.  The birds are nesting at the moment and bringing food for their tiny babies, who stick their necks and mouths out of the nest to receive the insects from their parents. These birds are miraculously programmed.   Every...

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