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On WordPress!

Hello, today is my first post and I’d like to take the opportunity to explain what I’m doing and why I’m doing it…

Firstly, I’ve come to realise that writing down my thoughts is probably quite a productive activity, it’s something I can reflect on at a later date and it allows me to share my views and opinions without forcing them onto anyone. The idea stems from a video I watched recently on TED.com by Shawn Anchor, called The happy secret to better work.

The key to creating long-lasting change is as follows:

  • 3 Gratitudes (Emmons & McCullough, 2003)
    • At the end of a day, think of 3 things you are grateful for – I’m going to try and do this as much as possible, starting here and putting them at the end of my posts.
  • Journalling (Slatcher & Pennebaker, 2006)
    • Essentially the same as blogging… which is what I’m doing now. 🙂
  • Exercise (Babyak et al., 2000)
    • I play badminton, I ski from time-to-time, I run, jump rope, swim and use the gym.
  • Meditation (Dweck, 2007)
    • This is something I’m trying to get into but requires a lot of patience. I’d like to make this a part of my daily routines.
  • Random Acts of Kindness (Lyubomirsky, 2005)
    • Self-explanatory, but something I’m very fond of.

Topics I will write about here on my blog will probably include psychology, philosophy, science, wisdom, inspiration and maybe the odd cooking video or recipe. From time-to-time I might just post little aphorisms of my own or quotes that I find inspirational from others. I have several social media accounts that you can find me on, including Facebook and Instagram.

For today, I want to write about the story of a little girl called Sre, she lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, where she spends her days collecting trash for pennies. A friend of mine who runs a charity called Kung Future (a charity of which I am a trustee, that helps children and families living in poverty), sent me this story on WhatsApp this morning: Sre’s brother died when she was younger because there was no medicine available to help him when he was sick, and so Sre’s dream is to become a doctor and help others to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else. She wishes she could have been a doctor before so that she could have saved her brother.

Unfortunately, the reality is that this girl will either end up in a factory doing manual labour or in prostitution.

In Cambodia, young girls are often ‘purchased’ from very poor parents or offered attractive amounts of money to become prostitutes. Over there, people don’t seem to make a big a deal of it like we do here in the west, and unfortunately that means it’s often overlooked. There is simply not enough money available for families to survive, so prostitution becomes an acceptable trade, even for children. Even though it is not legal, it is merely frowned upon and largely ignored by the authorities. NGOs are working hard to tackle this problem but it has been going on for a very long time and is extremely difficult to combat.

I feel so very sad knowing that Sre might never get the chance to study in the right school to become a doctor, and neither myself nor the charity can do much more than helping her with the most basic needs for food and water. There are so many more like her, with dreams and ambitions to do something different. You can help her and others like her by donating to the charity via the KF website.

We are living in a world where most of us with plenty are oblivious to those living with nothing. Most people walk past the homeless on the street without even thinking about helping them; they will go home, turn on their 50″ TV’s and watch a movie whilst enjoying the luxury of fine snacks and beverages (myself often included). By then, they will have forgotten about the homeless person they walked past earlier, who is spending the night shivering in the cold and trying to find a place to sleep whilst fighting off hunger and thirst with willpower.

Admittedly I don’t often help the homeless people I see on the street, in-fact I am quite selective and I generally judge them on how desperate they look and how much time I have (and also whether or not they have a dog – if they have a dog I pretty-much always help them). When I do help, I tend to just go to the nearest shop and buy water, fruit, crisps and whatever other basics I can get. To me, feeding them seems much wiser than giving them money, because there’s no guarantee that they won’t go off and buy drugs/alcohol. I tend not to talk to these people either because I fear that knowing them may make me feel different about them.

I have many things to work on here. I’m not always a good person, I often make fun of the witless and I judge everyone without necessarily meaning to, but regardless of whether I like or dislike someone, I am almost always prepared to listen and if necessary, to provide support.

I’ve created this blog without any anticipation whatsoever, I haven’t told anyone about it and so I don’t expect it to get much traffic, but if you do find yourself reading this and we do or don’t know each other, and perhaps you find something inspirational or interesting, please do feel free to leave a comment, as this will encourage me to do more/do better.