Capturing the Morning

It is possible that the quietness that surrounds us during an early morning walk can enable us to experience a feeling of inner contentment.

Whether it be the mountains, the sea or just a bush track, there is a peace that pervades as the sun heralds the start of a new day and the birds welcome it with their own individual calls.

There is so much beauty to be seen in the early morning.  The mist rising from the mountain valleys as the sun penetrates and melts it to reveal the awakening of the bush.

The sun rising from the sea allows footprints to be clearly visible in the sand that has been washed clean by the overnight tidal movements.  The small puffy clouds lining the horizon change hues from purple through pink to gold and the fishing boat heading out to sea is silhouetted by the strength of the sun’s brightness.

Even on dull or rainy days there is still beauty to be seen in the solitary tree on the hill starkly outlined against the stormy sky or the raindrops sitting on a rose petal.

Morning brings new life to our day. Experiencing the environment around us as it slowly wakes is a nice way to ease ourselves into the busy day ahead.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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There are various levels of “roughing it” and it isn’t necessary to become primitive to enjoy the experience.  However, some people literally go camping with everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink.

Recently, we came across a group who had all their vans hooked up to generators.  From this they drove all their electrical appliances, including the portable satellite dish so they wouldn’t miss the weekend football.

While this might be seen as the extreme, others are content to just getaway together, be it in a tent, a caravan or something in between. Bring the push bikes but leave the laptops, the ipods and the mobile phones locked in the car.

At national parks there are no flash take-away joints and cooking in the designated fireplaces is easy. Spuds in their jackets, wrapped in foil, cook great in the embers of your camp fire.  Billy tea with a few gum leaves has its own distinctive flavour and the kids can help out cooking toast and marshmallows on a long toasting fork.

These are the times the kids will never forget, so why not plan to get away from the noise and pollution and go camping.  It might not be 5 star accommodation, but the air is fresh and it’s a fun way to enjoy being family together.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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Breaking Down The Barriers

We build walls and fences to protect our property and possessions, something that the nomadic tribes around the world, including our own aborigines, see as unnecessary.  We also erect barriers in our own minds that deliberately discriminate against things or people we don’t necessarily understand.

Whether we like it or not we must accept that Australia is a multi-cultural society.  This should set us apart and allow us to be an example to the rest of the world in how to develop successful multi-cultural societies.

To be successful, we need to help those new to our shores to gently assimilate into the ways and culture of their new country.  This has not proven to be as easy as it sounds, and we still have many barriers to overcome within our communities and within ourselves.

In every society there are always some ‘bad eggs’ and no one will argue that there is not a criminal element here among Australians.  Therefore, we should not judge all those who come from other countries by referring to them in broad derogatory terms like extremists, terrorists or drug runners.

Just as the wall between East and West Germany came tumbling down, so too must we be prepared to break down our own personal barriers, particularly those barriers we build in our own minds.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life

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How fortunate we are to be able to choose so many locations, within only short distances of our homes, where we can, ‘get away from it all’.

We have national parks, bush camping locations, the sea, mountains, rivers and water storage areas.  We truly do live in the lucky country, but do we really make use of all this natural beauty, by taking the opportunity to enjoy it as family?

Do we get so tied up in ours and the kid’s day to day activities that, although we might yearn for the chance to enjoy a touch of freedom, our commitments quite often seem to prohibit us from experiencing even simple pleasures?

Leisure time for our children seems to be to spend countless hours in front of TV or playing games at a computer screen?  Meanwhile a little exercise for all of us would help in alleviating the sedentary way of life that is prevalent in our country today.

Occasionally we should give ourselves and our families a break and get away together to revel in the beauty that surrounds us and experience the fun of exploring and the sharing of adventures.

A little forward planning is all that’s needed, because being family together is important to not only the kid’s development but to our own as well.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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Boring is a word I find quite repulsive.  The way BOORR-ING is pronounced and used, sends shivers of frustration up my spine.

Many of us, young and old alike, sometimes find ourselves in situations which, for one reason or another, are uninteresting and offer little mental stimulation.  Rather than attempting to do something to change the situation, we tend to bemoan our misfortune and openly describe our predicament as ‘Boorr-ring’.

Our youth in particular, are often heard claiming they are bored because ‘there’s nothing to do’.  There is really ‘plenty to do’, but our senses today can easily become dulled from watching TV movies and playing computer games.  The things available ‘to do’ don’t seem to offer the same attraction as the unreal world of excitement that can be experienced in a lazy prone position in our own lounge rooms.

Being bored is an attitude of mind.  It can dull our senses, prohibit us from enjoying even simple pleasures, and cause us to lose hope in ourselves and in the future.

Boredom can be overcome by a deliberate decision to change.  In particular, change that enables us to think more positively about ourselves, the reality of the world we live in and perhaps even the needs of those in our community who are less fortunate than ourselves.

It may be necessary to have the word ‘boring’ in our dictionary but do we have to make the word a part of our lives?

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life

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Blank Faces

P1080280So often we travel around, that deeply intent on our own thoughts and actions we are completely oblivious of others we meet, sit beside or pass in the street.

A train carriage full of people, all unknown to each other, provides a sea of blank faces and an air of neutrality.

Are we really intruding into others privacy if we smile at someone and say, hello!

There are so many important things happening in the world around us today, yet we are often only interested in our own concerns. We walk around with a glum face, dark thoughts and an obvious lack of interest for anyone else.

A little child will close it’s eyes when it wants to hide from mum and dad. An ostrich will bury it’s head in the ground to escape danger. We just disappear into the self pity of our own inner world.

Perhaps we could learn to smile a bit more than we do. You never know, someone might even smile back.

Peter Mack.

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There is an event in many of our lives that has brought tears to even the most hardened male eye.  That has caused the tough manly frame to collapse in a faint and has heard the strongest non-believer cry, miracle!

A child is being born somewhere in the world every minute of our day, but until we experience the birth of a baby, it’s sometimes difficult to even start to fully comprehend the mystery of creation.

Mothers are given the honour and privilege of nurturing the unborn child within the safety of their own bodies.  During this time they need the care and support of their partners, particularly around the time of the birth.

Being close to your loved one is important during these special times and sharing together the miracle of birth can be an experience never forgotten.

Fellas! we need to be around at these times.  Our role may well be minor, but our presence can often be a great support at the birthing stage.

Let’s see it as our responsibility to be a part of what we helped create. There’ll be lots of time later for the cigars and the celebrations.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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Being Famous

Being Famous

Only a few people get to be immortalised in history books or have statues honouring them mounted in public places.

The Australia Day honours list will probably never carry our names, for not everyone is destined to be famous. Our actions and abilities are probably far too modest.

But this shouldn’t deter us from recognising the importance of using the gifts and talents we have by helping others in our community.

We’re all capable of doing something for someone else and there are many organisations in our area crying out for volunteers.  We might think we have little or nothing from which others might benefit, but we at least need to be prepared to make the offer.

Contributing something positive to someone else’s day, irrespective of how small that contribution might be, can be far more beneficial and personally rewarding than having pigeons sit on our statue and do what pigeons seem to do best.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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The young boy awoke early. The first rays of early morning light were just penetrating his bedroom. He arose, already excited, for today was his 10th Birthday.

He made his way to his Mum and Dad’s bedroom hoping, even willing them to be awake. They heard him coming. It’s difficult for any excited 10 year old to walk through a house without knocking or banging something.

His parents waited in silence for him to come into the room. They then turned on the light and wished him a happy birthday. The boy looked beyond his Mum and Dad to the gleaming new push bike beside the bed. His eyes were wide open with excitement as he exclaimed – “What a beauty”!

For many of us, beauty is still often restricted to what we can see and experience in life. Yet to find the real beauty in a person, we must look beyond the outer skin they present the world, to what lies within.

Maybe we could occasionally have a look at our own inner selves and question to what degree our own understanding of beauty goes deeper than what we see in a shiny new bike.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life

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A Wake

As the bow of the boat cut deep into the rolling waves, the disturbance caused foaming suds of saltwater to race along beside us until they eventually dissipated at the end of a lengthy, ever widening wake.

Watching this constant process, I thought how much this reminded me of our journey through life.

Just as time never goes backwards, so our voyage always takes us forward. Some of us are keen to explore new ways of finding our destiny. Others are happy to sit in the relative safety of life’s boat, content to watch the froth and bubble slip us by.

Maybe we need to think sometimes of the effect our individual passage through the sea of life is having on those who follow in our wake.

Irrespective of how we make the trip, let’s try in whatever way we can to ensure those who come behind us are led into the safe harbour of eternal life and not onto the rocks of eternal damnation.

Peter Mack

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