Tag Archives: life

What is the essence of Wisdom?

If you had to boil all the ancient bodies of wisdom literature down to its most basic fundamental idea . . . . . . what is that idea?

You may have heard the account the old Cherokee chief (or whoever it was) gave his grandson about the two wolves, one foolish and one wise, battling inside him, and one he feeds is the one that wins.

This story comes very close to the mark, and is defective in only one small (but critical) measure:

Which wolf wins if you feed neither? Or both?


The foolish wolf.

You’ve got to feed the wise wolf. And starve the foolish one.

Every day.

UKIP will put British people first!

So says Paul Nuttall, leader of U.K. Independence Party.


Why should British people come first?

Remind me of that line in the Jason Bourne film. I want to save American lives. 


Why are American lives worth more than other lives, Mr Trump?

Charity begins at home, doncha know?

Really? Why?

Why is Here better than Over There?

Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave . . . . . 

The Dichotomy of Meaning

Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless! – Ecclesiastes 1:1

My Inner Stand-up Comic responds, Yeah? So?

Step aside, Stand-up Comic. Here comes The Philosopher.

Why is meaning important?


And yet, it needs no justification. Would you challenge Mr Solomon on his assumption?

You just have to flip on the news to realise: After all the progress that has been made, the human race is no closer to figuring out what life is all about.

It’s an inner gutteral urge. Who the hell am I? Why am I here? What is the reason for me? Continue reading

To live or die? Hmmmm.

Do you want to live or die?

Think carefully before you answer.

Don’t be silly. Of course I want to live.


Do you want to live in the real world? Or the one you think is real?

The two are rarely the same. (Though there might be a good measure of commonality.)

I just got off the phone with a recruiter. He wanted me to work full-time for a client of his, who was a long drive away. (I didn’t. I might if I was desperate, but I’m not.) Continue reading

There’s No Such Thing as a SMALL Mercy

I wonder to what extent Yahweh (or the Great Divine Being, or Whatever Else You Like To Call Him) redistributes illnesses amongst his loyal subjects according to their needs?

I suffer from (!!!!) pretty good general health. I get maybe one or two cold/flu bugs a year, lasting maybe 3 days each. And then I’m right as rain.

My wife and my kids, on the other hand, seem to get far more than their fair share, comparatively speaking.

But this year? Continue reading

How much is your time worth?

There’s more than one answer to this question, of course.

$50 per hour? £600 per day? 5000 rupees per day?

It’s worth specifying a rate, because then you’ll have something to shoot for, and a ready means of deciding if that latest job posting is really going to help you achieve your financial goals.

On another level, however, specifying a rate is a foolish move.

Because the flip side of the question is, How much is my life worth? (Answer: My life is priceless.) Continue reading

Comfort zones are a dangerous place to stay

Comfort zones.

Think back to the last time you were right out of yours.

Yesterday morning, I was out of mine for a few early-morning hours, and then well out of it for about twenty minutes. I’d taken the day off to attend a coaching session in London. I was paying my own way, and the voice in the back of my head had a decidedly mocking tone.

I hauled my sorry glutemus maximus out of bed at 5.15am, gulped down the usual carbohydrates, did my best to look professional (with a measure of success), easily out of the house as quietly as possible, coughed the Audi into life, and headed off towards the M4.

Two hours later, after driving around and around Slough in search of the train station parking lot (Guess what? It’s next to the train station, fool!), I was crammed upright on a train with several hundred iPhone-wielding Londoners. Why do people choose to do this 240+ days a year? Paddington. OK, Kimbell, why exactly are you doing this? Thousands of people spilling off trains, carefully avoiding eye contact with all other humanoids, barrelling down stairwells. Smell that? Aaaahh. Eau de London Underground. Just the assault my olifactory sensors were begging for when I got up this morning. Kimbell, you idiot.

Continue reading

The art of relating well

Is a marriage a work of art?

Is any relationship a work of art?

I’m still slowly working my way through Seth Godin’s book Linchpin, in which he emphasises the crying need for human art, in its loosest possible sense. Reflecting on that and my recent post about my 20th wedding anniversary, the parallels seem obvious.

The participants in the marriage (or relationship) are the artists, the paint, paintbrushes, and the artpiece.

The only question is, Am I creating art that uplifts, or art that tears down? That gives life, or destroys it?

Deathbed wisdom

And that wisdom would be, Do your homework!

I came across some lesson for life this week, that I thought were pretty cool. (Still do.)

And, thinking them to be original to my source, I asked his permission to reprint them here. He agreed. They were purportedly given by a dying man to my source in person. He posted them on a limited access LinkedIn discussion group. I copied them to this post, really pleased with myself.

It hadn’t crossed my mind to check for duplicate content elsewhere on the net. So much for my journalistic skills.

Turns out the words of wisdom didn’t belong to my source at all. As point out by an old friend of mine, the words were originally posted by Regina Brett in 2001 when she turned 45, and expanded in 2006 when she turned 50. No deathbed, no dying man, in fact no man at all, but a woman, and a live one at that.

I’d failed to do my homework, albeit negligently. A check for duplicate content on the web reveals no less than 21 links containing the same content. Snopes has the real source and story documented.

So Yours Truly has had his ego chastened (quite rightly) and his confidence in the human race slightly shaken. My apologies to Regina Brett for inadvertently using her material. That’s the last time I use anyone else’s material, even with the best of intentions and all permissions given.

Hopefully the individual who passed the material on to me as his own feels similarly.

Regina’s words of wisdom are still really cool, and worth a read and a reflection. Do it. Tops marks to you, Regina.