Category: We Are The World Blogfest

#WATWB The Kindness of a Stranger


The Kindness of a Stranger

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

#WATWB posts on the last Friday of each month, as an invitation to inspiration and good news, bringing some cheer into our beleaguered world and the negative press. * see details below if you’d like to take part –

I met a friend for a quick coffee yesterday in the coffee shop at the medical clinic after her visit to a specialist. The medical centre is just up the road from me.

She’s hiring a car at the moment while hers is being fixed from a recent bashing by another car. Spare parts to be ordered from abroad. She was saying over coffee about being anxious and fearful on the road this last while in her hired car and whether being fearful attracts the very thing one fears.

She said: Once upon a time a long while ago she was away on holiday with strict instructions from her boss about the very important meeting on Monday the following week at 7.00 a.m. He also said to her, no breakdowns and inability to attend the meeting. At the time she thought that a very odd comment.

Driving over the Outeniqua Pass on her return to Johannesburg, her car suddenly stopped. Just like that. No warning. Dead. Kaput. I know that Pass – tricky at the best of times. Windy narrow roads, often in mist (one of my own photos) –

A man came by – he arranged for a tow truck and came with her to the next town, a long way away. All distances from one town to the next in the Karoo are long. That town’s car mechanics could not help, and there were no cars for hire in that small town. He drove her in his car to Bloemfontein while her car was towed. By my reckoning, he’d been with her for 700 kms.

In Bloemfontein she was able to hire a car. She was home safe and sound at 5.00 a.m. and in time for the Monday 7.00 a.m. meeting.

 She said that man was so kind, concerned only for her welfare. It was so unexpected she said – in talking with her, we agreed that people are kind, and it is beholden unto us to be kind at all times …

When my sons started driving many years ago I was always concerned about them being on the road. When I told a friend about not wanting to have ‘worrying energy’ about this, she said ‘just put them in the light’ – which is what I do, not only for them then, but for all, now and whenever …

photo is from solar lamp in my garden

Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or other enlightening event that dilutes and dissolves negativity around the world. We are about 52 people so far around the world taking part on the last Friday of each month.
A quick checklist of guidelines:
Keep your post short, 500 words or less to your own story or a link to a story that shows humanity in action.
The link below should you wish to take part and add your name
May the Force be with you. Thank you for reading.









This is a monthly post occurring on the last Friday of every month. This is the 4th month in which people all over the world write a heart warming or inspirational story bringing light into this dark & shadowy world we live in.

 I witnessed first hand the magnanimity of humans answering the call for help –

We were down in Plettenberg Bay recently (Garden Route of the South-western Cape) where raging fires had spread from Knysna and surrounding areas to Plettenberg Bay and its’ surrounding areas over several days. Lives were lost. The devastation was huge – homes, farms, vegetation, trees, fynbos, small animals were engulfed in the fires. Estimation of damage in terms of money runs into billions of rands.

In the shopping centre near to our Plett holiday home, a huge store was vacant – until the outpouring of people filled it to the brim – clothing for all ages, food, blankets, toys, cots, water. I volunteered a few times in sorting clothing for children into their appropriate ages and bagging them, to be then collected to get to their distribution points. It was a massive, very well-organised operation over several days, ongoing by the time we left, with hundreds of people offering their time in the sorting of food, clothing and various at different times.

Homes were opened to those displaced, hotels and BnB’s a place to stay free of charge. Banks and business donated millions.

My heart softens when I realise the huge-heartedness of people. Not just South Africans, but people all over the world are ready and willing to help when and where they can. We can extend this kindness in our ordinary everyday lives as well …

‘In a real sense all life is interrelated. All men are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality’. Martin Luther King.

 . I excerpted the below from Jenni Baxter’s Facebook post –  dated June 9, 2017.
South African artist Beezy Bailey posted a beautifully moving and poignant response to the loss of his home, and incredible works of art, in the devastating fires which ravaged the southern Cape this week.

 Posting the photo above on Friday morning (3 Friday’s back), Beezy wrote:

“I believe that Armageddon is the end of the beginning and not the beginning of the end. I’m more interested in how beautiful this photo is of my Plet house on fire than sad. I’ll do a painting of it .

“I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m lucky enough to have a Plet house and we were thankfully insured, the loss of many art works of mine dating back to the 80s that my son Jasper thought were my finest is sad.

“And I’m sad about the lovingly grown garden, which will slowly grow back.

“But Bird House will be rebuilt even better than before. The birds will come back.

“But please your support, sympathy and sorrow must be focused on the hundreds of poor people with no insurance, and no nothing… who have lost everything.

“Let us unite in times like these, something we South Africans are so good at, and pick our selfs up by our boot straps and re build broken hearts, homes and lives together.”

As SAPeople contributor Megan Carr said: “What an inspiration this man is, to all South Africans, to the world in fact? I am saddened by the loss of his art. Please paint for us Beezy we need more of you everywhere. XX❤️XX”

Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or  other enlightening event. Let’s set about diluting/dissolving
 the negativity around the world and bringing in the light. We are about 70 people so far around the world taking part on the last Friday of each month.
A quick checklist of guidelines:
Keep your post short, 500 words or less to your own story or a link to a story

 that shows love, humanity and brotherhood in action.

(I apologise, I have not adhered to the word count)

Belinda Witzenhausen,  Lynn Hallbrooks,  Michelle WallaceSylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein : our co-hosts this month with our thanks. Please pop by and visit them. 
This is the link to which you can add yours.
May the Force be with you. Thank you for reading.



Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

It’s the last Friday of the month; the 2nd time the We Are the World Blogfest is spreading a little light to alleviate the darkness in which we find ourselves.

Ongoing and recent events leave me constantly troubled not only for what’s going on in our neck of the woods but all over our precious planet. There is no need to itemise them. Here in South Africa we are rebelling against all that is corrupt and we’re pulling together on all levels not seen in a long time.

There are so many stories of people and communities coming together in the face of tragedy. And if not in tragedy, then in all sorts of small, kind, gracious  and meaningful ways which, like a pebble tossed into a stream, continues making ripples, spreading ever outwards..

Here’s a map of the world from a very ancient atlas. I occasionally put my hands over this map and ask for healing of our world –

The photo below is one I took a while back of the garden at night where the little solar lamp in the centre throws off shards of light.

I’m imagining that the lamp is each one of us, casting light into the darkness.

May these circles of light encompass each and every one of us, Mother Nature and all her creatures, our planet.

Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or some other enlightening event. Let’s set about diluting/dissolving
 the negativity around the world and bringing in the light. We are about 73 people so far around the world taking part on the last Friday of each month.
A quick checklist of guidelines:
Keep your post short, 500 words or less. Your own story or a link to a story

 that shows love, humanity and brotherhood in action.

This is the link to which you can add yours.


There’s a crack, a crack, in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen.

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.


Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

It’s the last Friday of the month and it’s the aim of ‘We are The World Blogfest’ to shine a little light on any darkness in the world or in ourselves by sharing uplifting stories. This is a once a month happening.

The story I’ve chosen to tell is one that happens often here in South Africa. While our country remains mired in corruption, very shady deals enacted by certain members in our government, thievery and thuggery, there are always people from all walks of life who make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

A police officer in Cape Town spends his mornings doing the most phenomenal acts of kindness

Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or some other enlightening event. Let’s set about diluting/dissolving the negativity around the world and bringing in the light. This is the link.


Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest
 “If we are facing in the right direction,
all we have to do is keep on walking.”
The quote is from Joseph Goldstein’s The Experience of Insight
I love these words, not just for their simplicity, but what they evoke. I love walking – it’s a time that I put ego aside and just enjoy nature. Nevertheless, thoughts do come unbidden to mind and I often find a solution to whatever has been on the threshold and troubling me. And, I wonder, am I walking in the right direction?
If it takes a year, or sixty years, or five lifetimes, as long as we’re heading towards light, that’s all that matters (same author).
Please join us if you would like to, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or some other enlightening event. Let’s set about diluting/dissolving the negativity around the world and bringing in the light. This is the link. – this tells the story of a young boy in Cape Town who was on his way to buy new shoes – and he saw another without ..


Theme Reveal for April A-Z

April A-Z Theme Reveal

Today is the day that we reveal our theme for the annual international April A-Z Blog Challenge. 

I haven’t fully decided on what my theme will be. Most probably on “Aging” excerpting a quote from my and co-author, Dr. Susan Schwartz’s book, ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. And elaborating a little. It will be psychological. Not long. We post daily in April, on a topic for each letter of the alphabet, except for Sundays when we get a day of rest.

I’ll also be linking my posts to We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB) whose aim is to spread love and peace amidst our turbulent world and hopefully telling of positive, even personal, stories where ordinary human kindness is the order of the day. These effects are felt, no matter how small the ripple. This begins next week and continues for a year, posts to be put up on the last Friday of each month.

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

So, wish me luck. As I wish you, those joining in on this roller coaster ride …

I like this quote below – apt as today is the equinox – equal day and equal night, as the earth tilts on its axis. Here in South Africa, we move towards Autumn, and the northern hemispheres towards spring. I like also what it says about ‘certainty’ – 

“When you’re young you prefer the vulgar months, the fullness of the seasons. As you grow older you learn to like the in-between times, the months that can’t make up their minds. Perhaps it’s a way of admitting that things can’t ever bear the same certainty again.”
― Julian BarnesFlaubert’s Parrot

We Are The World Blogfest

We are the World BlogfestI’m very happy to announce and to be part of this initiative. I thank Damyanti Biswas in Singapore for her infinite patience in helping me get this blog post up. It’s the same one that will be going up in various parts of the world from Wed 8th March. It was lovely to meet and talk with this gentle and loving soul. She was a ray of light. Without minimising the direness of the world, the hope of this blogfest is that through true-life examples of love and peace, pockets of joy, moments of clarity, the tide can be turned.

‘Social media and news in recent times has been filled with hate and negativity. Just as you cannot fight darkness, only light lamps, Hate and Negativity cannot be fought. You need to bring Love and Positivity forward instead.

We bring to you the We Are the World Blogfest, along with these fabulous co-hosts:

Belinda Witzenhausen, Carol WalshChrissie ParkerEmerald Barnes, Eric Lahti, Kate Powell, Lynn Hallbrooks, Mary Giese, Michelle Wallace, Peter Nena, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Simon Falk, Susan Scott, Sylvia Stein, Sylvia McGrath

We Are the World Blogfest” seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.

We will link to charities supported by the co-hosts, and you could choose to donate to some of them or add links to local charities you support, so we could all chip in to a good cause if we like.

Let us flood social media with peace and love, and “In Darkness, Be Light.” The first post for We Are The World Blogfest is on the 31st March 2017.


  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news, about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

We Are the World BlogfestSign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below and please help spread the word via the hashtag #WATWB.

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page (Damyanti Biswas) in case you’d like to be heard by this community.’















James Hillman : Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny  –

These are some words that define aging. Does that feel strange? Maybe not when they are more clarified.

Complexes, according to Jungian analytical psychology, are defined as parts of our personality like islands that we are not in connection with; or, we could say we lack connection to; or we are so unconscious of them that they make us act in ways that are out of sync with our personality. One of these, for many people, is the entire topic, much less the experience of getting older.

Complex is also a word for aging that implies the conscious and unconscious beliefs, ideas, feelings, thoughts, actions. Aging is so difficult because few people discuss it. Are we listening to this stage and time of life that is so immensely significant?

Perhaps there is special preparation to be done as we age. It may not be an active ‘doing’ like suddenly going to the gym or going on a raw food or vegetarian diet. But it is an important time to do some serious assessment, tying up loose ends, coming to terms with what is, making reparations within and without as need be. Paying attention to dreams is an interesting and creative way to get in touch with the inner world, as it is often full of surprises.

Aging is Being. Self. It is a conundrum. A conundrum contains, it is complex, there is not a way out, it feels trapped, limiting, full and holding, tight and can definitely be creative. The conundrum is that age is in our face. It says we cannot go on forever and we have to value and grieve that we are in the now and to use it for whatever we wish. No more endless tomorrows. The time is in the present moment. Not so easy to live in the moment.

Our task is how to use the energy in this place for development and growth. The conundrum is how to use all we know and then add some. How to expand if aging seems to be interpreted by too many as a time of contraction?

So, we are in the challenge of how to make aging a different experience. We are of another generation than the one before us. We are charged to find other ways to be healthy and full throughout life. The conundrum is how to do it?

What is a creative way through when the past models were not very enticing? We can only figure what will work for ourselves and what is in line with how we have lived and will continue to live. This means honoring the inner world, the world of dreams, thoughts, creations, ideas, feelings. It is a complex situation and requires us to get out of our own way and at the same time, to listen to our own way.

In the midst is the powerful challenge of acceptance, of dreams not created, much less answered. The next generations stare us in the face. We are to be happy for them, but are we? It is part of the shadow we all carry to feel envy and the sorrow of not having the chances anymore. Or, maybe some are content as their lives are challenging and full, their inner world interesting, they are creative and vibrant. Yes, having to cope, but coping. Not resigned but rather connected within. The world not concave but convex and open, capacity flowing. Not an easy position to create, cohere to, or be congruent.

Just today a woman spoke about aging with disgust. Her body would go, she would not be attractive to men, especially younger ones. She would lose her strength, beauty, energy. It was awful to listen to her rendition about what life held for her. Here is the complex around aging speaking.  Canceling attention and care on age and the aging process is a defeat to attaining completeness in life.

What complexes run your attitudes to aging?


I have allocated the whole day today to catching up on the MNINB April challenge. It is extremely challenging – day 5 (I am still several days behind) requires that a posting be done to my blog today so I am doing that now. Day 4 required twitter account to be set up; that was done a little while ago with help of my son. Bob said in his Day 4 challenge to add ‘in comments below’ the twitter handle but I was not able to do that but I will use this blog post to add to this post. @susanscottsa

weekly post

I am looking through a note book (one of many) and came across some notes I had made in this note book from scraps of paper. No doubt I had sort of tidied up my desk the one day and instead of putting the scraps of paper with their notes on it into yet another file, or another pile, I wrote them out in this particular note book ..

They are to do with women mostly, with Lilith too –

Here is a quote from Hegel: The master and slave cannot exist without each other.

Lilith’s story emerges out of a struggle for domination in marriage. Dominance invariably means fantasies of omnipotence which in turn implies LACK or EMPTINESS at a person’s core. Love and dominance cannot co-exist.

Womens’ voices are emerging from centuries of silence and being silenced. Religious traditions or many traditions are entrenched in the legacy of patriarchy.

Anyway .. that is all I am posting for today. Reading group is at my home this evening – we are studying the Red Book (CG Jung). Tonight we are reading ‘Hell’. But I will quote from reading we had last year:-

He who comprehends the darkness in himself, to him the light is near. He who climbs down into his darkness reaches the staircase of the working light, fire-named Helios.


Sunday 4th March.. I plan to change focus on ‘commitment’ and look at other topics eg ‘otherness’ and what this means to us – ie if otherness is too strange for us to comprehend and when it does not fit in with our world view or our upbringing or our socialization, we discard ‘the other’ and what does this really mean. Do we short-change ourselves by not broadening our worldview or is ‘otherness’ and discarding the other so entrenched in us that we cannot change. What does this mean? Does it mean a conscious effort on our part to embrace ‘otherness’ or at least come to a different view point by becoming more conscious?

“commitment ..”

my commitment this week is to decide about where to travel in May. Decisions decisions decisions. This is what commitment is in part about – making decisions. Which means that choices present themselves and from all alternatives, a choice has to be made. Which is turn means trying to take into account all sorts of considerations and possible future consequences. How much can I afford to spend on this trip in May? Is it ok to spend a large amount of money on myself? Well, the answer to that is not so difficult – I have the money and though I am inclined to be a bit reluctant to spend money on myself, I also know that that is self-limitimg thinking from which I need to break free. I am normally very cautious with money and I am pleased to have the particular attitude I do towards it. For me it is now or never with regard to taking an adventure with my friend Susan. She is from the States and I am here in Johannesburg South Africa. For each of us, a hunk of time away from our homes, travelling to somewhere neither has been before. Maybe we have given ourselves too many choices – Russia was a serious thought, Turkey also a serious thought, so too South America, and now Viet Nam presents itself. Does pressure help in coming to a decision? I think so. Unsure whether that is a good thing or not. Once we have decided on the destination, we will have to do much co-ordinating of flights, visas and who knows what else …

commitment ..

I met with Iain this evening who lives in my cottage on my property. I noted on his Facebook page several days ago that he had given up smoking. I asked him if was now a non-smoker and congratulations …

We had an interesting discussion about this .. how he achieved this. This was also of particular interest to me as I am a smoker ..

He explained his process – reading books, being in contact with websites devoted to helping smokers kick the habit, wearing patches. But there came a moment when the light bulb was switched on and all the chatter in his brain was switched off and it was an easy decision. He has been 2 months now of non-smoking. He realised that there was always a ‘longing’ for a cigarette and that that longing was in part a longing for something else and that it had been an habitual or habituated feeling for him. He changed focus and came to see that all that energy that was being expended in smoking, needed another focus. He was able to switch focus and now is able to ‘micro-manage’ his time and life better. He feels better, runs, swims, creates –

I said to him it seemed to me that he made a commitment to himself to give up the weed. And that he succeeded in keeping his commitment. He said he had been preparing all along by way of his reading about giving up, wearing nicotine patches, joining websites and re-iterated what he had already said above. And that he was encouraging others by way of a blog which he said he will send me.

I shared with him my recent experience of getting my book ‘out there’ as a free Kindle download this past week and all the angst and hiccups I had with regard to this. And my huge and very grateful surprise to see that MANY have downloaded my book. I managed somehow to get onto my own personal amazon account* last night *and only by fluke, and I could hardly believe that in excess of 500 people had downloaded my book. This was the hugest surprise. I had been so busy this past week with getting the info out, people coming to stay and a 100 other things were keeping me occupied with no time to think ”was anyone downloading my book?” I think in a sense I had no attachment to outcome, if only because there was no time to think about it. But I do think that I had made a commitment to myself to get my book out there – that this was an opportunity in spite of my aversion to being so public.

So, I have learned in a meaningful and personal way what commitment means and am gratified by this.

Of course, this does not mean to say that my free download will be read!! But I achieved something and for that I am grateful. I am glad of my commitment.

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