- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 304
GCGI Our Journey of Hope was Founded at an International Conference
in Oxford in July 2002
We live in difficult and troubling times, facing unprecedented global challenges in the areas of climate change and ecology, finance and economics, hunger and infectious disease, international relations and cooperation, peace and justice, terrorism and war, armaments and unprecedented violence. It is precisely in times like these – unstable and confusing though they may be – that people everywhere need to keep their eyes on the better side of human nature, the side of love and compassion, rather than hatred and injustice; the side of the common good, rather than selfishness, individualism and greed.
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 168
School the First Step in Finding Meaning and Life's Purpose
Photo: British Council
Most children in different parts of the world will be heading back to school in the first week of September. So, what better than to note this momentous day for all the children and their parents than to read these two beautiful poems. The first one is " First Day” by Giles (You the Daddy). This is an emotional poem, and it is an expression of the feelings of a father about his son going to school for the first day. The poem depicts the love and affection a father feels when he leaves his son at the school gates on the first day.
First day by Giles (You the Daddy)
‘New uniform, bought far too large
“With room to grow”, we say
New hair cut, sorted just in time,
To keep your mop at bay.
New book bag, empty, by your side
Black shoes fresh out the box
New emblem proudly on your chest
And name tapes in your socks.
Doorstep portrait, first of many,
When did you get so tall?
“Smile, say cheese” – click – oh my heart,
A keeper, sent to all.
I can’t believe this day’s arrived
Through teary eyes I see
You’re only four (and only just)
A baby, still, to me.
Deep in thought, few words you say,
While walking down the street
Look left, look right, we cross the road
To friends you’re yet to meet.
Your hand in mine, and mine in yours
“Quick, quick, we can’t be late!”
Part nervous, part excited,
As we both approach the gate.
And place your coat and bag upon
A peg marked with your name
As teachers welcome each bright spark
With smiles for each who came.
The longest hug, one last high five
Kiss kiss to say bye bye
Now off you go, and don’t look back
Or else you’ll see me cry.’
The second one is the equally beautiful and loving poem by Jenna Wills “Lonely - A poem for my daughter starting school” which captures the feelings, emotions, love, apprehension and hope of a mother when she takes her daughter to school on the first day.
Lonely in the Lift by Jenna Wills
‘Who’s going to press lift buttons for me
when you spend your days at school?
Or stop and smell the flowers,
Spot fairies on toadstools?
Who’s going to count the butterflies?
And picnic in the sun?
Drive me mad asking ‘why why why’?
Being sane is just no fun!
Who’s going to watch the bin lorry?
Shout and laugh with glee?
It’s the joy you take in simple things,
That means so much to me.
Those days I felt would never end,
Long night feeds in the dark.
First words, first steps and tantrums,
‘Five more minutes’ at the park.
For four years now it’s been just us,
It’s all gone far too fast.
And now it’s time for you to grow,
Our preschool days have passed.
My baby in my arms.
I promised to protect you
And keep you safe from harm.
It feels like it was yesterday,
But look at you, my pride and joy,
You’re yours, no longer mine.
A school girl now, and all grown up!
You’re ready, you’ll be just fine.
I might well shed a tear or two,
Kiss bye with a heavy heart.
But learning will bring you so much joy,
This is just the start.
It’s your time now for more first steps,
To the world so big and wide.
And as you walk away from me,
My heart will burst with pride.’
As a father of two grown up sons and as a granpa to four beautiful princesses, I send all my love and best wishes to all the mums and dads the world over taking their sons and daughters to school for the first time. Enjoy this precious day and moment.
Inspiring related reading:
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 397
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”-St. Augustine
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but, by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” ― Maya Angelou
“Life is a Journey and Story
Wherever I went, I discovered more love, beauty and wisdom
“I give thanks for the love of wanderlust, all the travels I have done, the places I have seen, the inspiring friendships I have made, the wisdom I have discovered and the hospitality and love I have received.”- Kamran Mofid
Mentally, physically and emotionally, you can gain a lot from packing your bags and travel
Photo: Mantas Hesthaven
No one has yet written a psychological atlas of the world, outlining the so-called psychological virtues of places, but it’s a project that urgently needs to be undertaken. Such an atlas would align destinations with their inner potential. For example, we’d see that the Utah desert is both a physical destination – made up of 200 million-year-old stones that stretch out as far as the eye can see in a soothing pink hue – and a psychological one: capable of functioning as a goad to perspective, an aide to shift away from preoccupations with the petty and the small-minded towards a terrain of greater calm and resilience.’- The School of Life
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ― Unknown
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” ― Unknown
‘TRAVEL AS THERAPY – AN INTRODUCTION’
A Reflection Via The School of Life
Photo: The School of Life
‘Nowadays we’re used to thinking of travel as the ‘fun’ bit of life, but enjoyment isn’t a reason why it shouldn’t also do some very serious things for us. At its deepest level, travel can assist us with our psychological education. It can – when approached the right way – play a critical role in helping us to grow into better versions of our normal selves. When it corrects the imbalances and immaturities of our natures, travel reveals its full potential to function as a form of therapy in our lives.
But in order to work a therapeutic effect, we need to change how we go about choosing our destinations. We should recognise that we’re badly served here by the travel industry, which cuts the world up into material categories almost entirely unattuned to the needs of our souls. It will lay before us options like ‘outdoor fun,’ ‘family adventure’ ‘culture weekends’ or ‘island hideaways’ – but leave it unexplored quite what the point of these destinations might be when considered from the point of view of our psyches.
Without anything mystical being meant by it, all of us are involved in one way or another on what could be termed ‘an inner journey’: that is, we’re trying to develop in particular ways. We might be searching for how to be calmer or how to find a way to rethink our goals, we might long for a greater sense of confidence or an escape from debilitating feelings of envy.
Ideally, where we go should help us with our attempts at these longed-for pieces of psychological evolution. The outer journey should assist us with the inner one. But for this to happen, we need to be clearer in our minds both what we’re searching for inside and what the outer world could conceivably deliver for us.
In part, this requires us to look at the globe in a new way. Every destination we might alight upon contains within it qualities, virtues one might say, that could conceivably support some move or other on a person’s inner journey. There are places that could help with shyness and others with anxiety. Some places might be good at reducing egoism and others might be good for helping us think more clearly about the future.
Photo:Travel and Healing
No one has yet written a psychological atlas of the world, outlining the so-called psychological virtues of places, but it’s a project that urgently needs to be undertaken. Such an atlas would align destinations with their inner potential. For example, we’d see that the Utah desert is both a physical destination – made up of 200 million-year-old stones that stretch out as far as the eye can see in a soothing pink hue – and a psychological one: capable of functioning as a goad to perspective, an aide to shift away from preoccupations with the petty and the small-minded towards a terrain of greater calm and resilience.
The Scenic Monument Valley at the Arizona-Utah Border. Photo:Grand Canyon National Park
In the future, we would ideally be more conscious travellers – aware that we were on a search for places that could deliver psychological virtues like ‘calm’ or ‘perspective,’ ‘sensuality’ or ‘rigour’. A visitor to Monument Valley wouldn’t just be in it for a bit of undefined ‘adventure’, something to enjoy and then gradually forget about two weeks later; travelling to the place would be an occasion fundamentally to reorient one’s personality. It would be the call-to-arms to become a different person; an 8,000 mile, £3,000 secular pilgrimage that would be properly anchored around a piece of profound character development. Travel should not be allowed to escape the underlying seriousness of the area of life with which it deals. We need always to aim for locations in the outer world that can push us towards where we need to go within…’- Continue to read
The Health Benefits of Travel – Independent Transport Commission
It was the Dream of Travelling that Kept the Pain of the Lockdown at Bay
We are dreaming about one of our favourite places in the world…
Hapimag Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Hapimag
A Must-read Book: Travel as Therapy
A Therapeutic Atlas
‘A beautiful and thought-provoking book that stairs wanderlust.’
‘Great travellers have always known that travelling can broaden the mind; here we see how it can also heal it. A Therapeutic Atlas reminds us that the world is far broader and more inspiring than we tend to appreciate day to day. Tempting images are combined with short essays that discuss the power of particular places to help us with the difficulties of being human. We locate places that are therapeutic because they coax us out of familiar patterns of thought and liberate our minds.’... Learn More