It’s been a weird time in the aftermath of the bushfires and now with the world grappling with coronavirus, which has thrown governments, education providers, travellers, airline companies and the business world into chaos. As a Chinese Australian, I haven’t personally experienced any discrimination but am uncomfortable with the fact that some people have made this an issue about race not health. Whatever the case, we now live in a globalised society where we are all connected in more ways than one. As an economic powerhouse, when China sneezes, the world catches a cold and I think there will be economic ramifications in addition to the more pressing issue of finding a vaccine as soon as possible.
I’ve found watching the Australian Open here in Melbourne a good distraction and there are some nice outdoor events coming up including the dog-friendly (but do watch out for snakes) Heide Makers Market in Bulleen this Saturday 8 February, a Summers End outdoor movie screening of the Buena Vista Social Club at Montsalvat in Eltham on Sunday 29 February and the Banyule Festival Twilight Sounds live music at Sills Bend on Saturday 14 March.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is also holding a number of free concerts this month at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl while my pick for our family would be Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki.
I finished reading the companion book to The courage to be liked called The courage to be happy over the summer break and its main messages are to love (other people rather than waiting to be loved by someone), be self-reliant (self-worth comes from within so ignore both external praise and criticism) and to choose life (self-explanatory but what other choice do we have?). Instead of blaming the past, other people and our circumstances, we need to change our focus to ‘what can I do from now on?’. The book also talks about consistency and the challenge of working through the ‘nothing days’ when nothing particularly exciting happens but it all amounts to something in the end simply by staying the course.
It’s not a sexy word but consistency is under-rated – it’s what is needed to succeed in life with exercise, work and many other pursuits – getting up, dressing up and showing up whether we feel like it or not, day after day, month after month, year after year. It may become my mantra for this year! I did also read Why Buddhism is true – a much denser book looking at the intersection of Buddhist theory with evolutionary psychology. I may leave explaining that one for another time! I hope you have a great week – stay safe and be well.