Wednesday 14 March 2012

Book Review by Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson

This is one of the first autobiographies I audio booked about 4 or 5 years ago. I was truly moved by what this man endured and did for a cause he truly believes in. And bigger then that he feels it is a solution to many global problems. The audio book is very well read, and I was immersed in Greg's life, as the reader continued.

I hope the 'Stones into Schools' is just as intriguing and motivationally moving.
As a Muslim male born and brought up in U.K I'm always curious when I come to hear of western aid/ charities operating in this region of the world. But this book sheds light on the motive and method of Mr Mortenson. I can't really judge the effects of these schools as I'm not in that region. But I can not fault the theory and efforts of this man. 

NOTE: For those ridiculing this man for taking a paid wage, and coming back to the U.S to rest up and meet family. I think we should keep in mind, that if we are to set a positive example for others to follow. Then it's important that it's easy to replicate it and allows others to also visualise themselves doing similar projects. This man deserves his $60-120k a year or whatever amount it is, far more then any investment banker/ career politician/ athlete or other such profession which is highly paid in ratio to the educators/ medical/ food producing workers of that society

Link to Amazon Review

Kettle que

So I'm waiting for a very tall English dude in the kettle que. I take a seat and pull out my huge phone. Samsung Galaxy Note, he spots it and the conversation flows think and fast.

Turns out we both own land out in Indonesia, and want to work less hours and give somthing back to community.

Here's to new friends and acquaintances.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Book Reveiw-ish: The Age of Absurdity; Why modern life makes it hard to be happy by Michale Foley

I saw a Facebook status by a Facebook friend (as I've yet to meet them in real life) about this book, and looked it up on Amazon. After reading a few reviews I was sold. But in on my path of simplicity and decreasing possession I'm using the invaluable resource of where I sign in and have the book reserved at a local library.

I liked it. It's a well written easy read. Mr Foley covers many topic areas ranging from work to love and pretty much describes almost all the unhappiness each one of our thought processes when we hit the age of questioning what's it all about.

He gives no real answers but does a great job of showing us that the current norms are not the way.  I enjoyed his broad spectrum of research and quotes form a vast timeline as well as people of diverse fields of speciality not just philosophers.

A book worth reading, but not worth buying and keeping (in my new attempt to streamline). I do love libraries.

I didn't go into to much detail about the contents of the book, because you can do that by visiting Amazon 

click here for this review on Amazon

Friday 9 March 2012

Wanting what you got

So I'm rushing to Jumma (Friday Prayer) and a meek polite man stops me and makes salaam. I reply and he asks where the nearest Masjid is. I inform tell him to follow, he looks at his watch. Turns out he has an interview at 14:00 and wondering if he can get Jumma and make the interview on time.

I wait, let him make his own mind up on this one. He tells me to walk on, and follows. I also need to be back before 14:00 as I have to teach an IT lesson. And on route I ask him a few questions.

He's from India, just completed his Masters in Business Finance and today will be attending an interview for security work at the way in from Hounslow. I did feel for him. so soon as Imam said salaams for the two rakaat, we where off and walking fast back to Stratford Broadway. I pointed him in the right direction when I got to my office, and he had 12 minutes to left to make an 10 minute journey.

I wish him all the best and we parted with Salam. Allah bless this man, as in his shoes I'd most likely skipped Jummah and prayed Dhur on my own.

I do feel for economic immigrants that I come across, the pressures they must be under, the hopes their families back in their homeland have. Then to be in effect be treated as a second class citizen when they out gun their transgressors in academic terms on a ridicules level. Then there's the alienation, lack of and family or friends when first getting to U.K.

Some might argue why come, why not go back? not easy, like I mentioned their family have high hopes. If they could get a well paid job where they came from. They'd not have left.

Then the irony, of a thought / comedy type sketch in my mind of me standing in Stratford Westfield, born and bread east London dreaming of a self sufficient small scale farm in a rural area of say India. Then there's scene change and a Indian small scale farmer dreaming of being in a Westfield type environment.

It's not about getting what you want, it's about wanting what you have got.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Flunking A-Level Psychology

I studied A-Levels at Epping Forest College. One of the subjects I took was psychology. Oh how I flunked this in epic fashion. I ended up with a N for my final grade. For those who don't know N stands for near miss. As in you nearly got an E, but not quite.

I came across a really great Ted Talks video on psychology and it just jogged my memory of my very short stint studding this field.

The video covers the one thing which extremely happy people have allot of in compariosn to the unhappy.