By Stephen Russell-Lacy. ‘Who am I? Where am I going? What sort of person will I end up being?’ These are questions about self-identity. Genealogy websites help people trace their ancestors. This is an extremely popular hobby. It shows the importance of one aspect of self-identity as we each ask ‘Where do I come from’. … Continue reading Self-identity – Who am I?
By Stephen Russell-Lacy. Most of us want a sense of well-being. But this term ‘well-being’ seems hard to pin down. What exactly is it? And how does it come about? Clearly it is to do with an absence of bodily discomfort and emotional distress. Perhaps it comes from finding pleasure in one’s activities and possessions. … Continue reading Well-being – What causes it?
“May you live in interesting times” is purported to be a traditional Chinese curse. While seemingly a blessing, the expression is always used ironically, with the clear implication that ‘uninteresting times’, of peace and tranquillity, are more life-enhancing than ‘interesting’ ones, which from historical perspective usually include disorder and conflict. It is more of an … Continue reading Turbulent times around us
Are you finding the going a bit hard these days? Dissatisfied with life without knowing why? In a rut? “Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields” (John Steinbeck) Reasons for feeling in a … Continue reading In a rut? Is life a slog? Time for inner change.
Who doesn’t want to feel respected or liked by other people? Yet how many of us are very troubled in this area and fail to be our true selves as a result.
Appreciating one’s solitude – for example in the back of beyond – at times can be a source of refreshment and energy. Yet, sometimes being on your own does feel very lonely. Even when in a crowd or a group situation we can also feel lonely. Then our loneliness can come from feeling different from, and not belonging to the network of people with whom we associate at work, home and play. If we are not at ease with ourselves, we will be ill at ease with people we meet. We may build a wall around ourselves and not allow others to look inside it. We may doubt there is anything of value we can share with them like a sense of humour, sparkling conversation, interesting ideas, or some useful knowledge. This is a fear that others will discover what we imagine to be our limitations. So we may find ourselves thinking, “I’d rather do it myself,” “I prefer to be alone.” Because we do not mix with others, people do not get to know us and we will lack friends and close relationships. Then we will feel even lonelier.
Friendship flourishes with having something in common and thus having shared conversation and activity – experiences that give delight.