How To Thrive In A Harsh World

thriving1.jpgWhen I was thinking about this post, the contrasts in people’s circumstances and attitudes was often on my mind. The contrast in values – what we find important or priceless. Most of us deep down want to be happy. But there are a lot different ideas about what will bring happiness.

I would have finished this post a lot sooner if it was not for me debating my response to the very first question we received from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind in this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD questions:

As always, she has asked some great questions:


If you had to sum up the whole human species in 3 words, what would those words be?

I am really torn about which three words to choose. On the one hand I see these three words:




…but at the same time the following three words also come to mind:




I went somewhere on Sunday. I think I might write a post about it actually, but I have had a very busy week. I went into a building with 15,000 people. I saw happiness. Those people were so clearly loved. That was my biggest impression.

There are people on this planet who are absolutely thriving, and it is not because of their health or their circumstances. It is because they know they are loved, they know present suffering is temporary and they have a very firm hope for the future.


There are others that have been told they are alone, without purpose and without hope and told that the only thing life holds out is pleasure and self-fulfilment from personal accomplishments in various fields.

Where is the strangest place you’ve relieved yourself?  Obviously in an emergency situation.

Erm…wow this question really does call for sharing doesn’t it!

I have to say there were rather scary facilities for relieving yourself when we were in Ghana. There were some toilets there which were kind of rustically built for use by volunteers who were working on a large project. A large bench with holes in – a bit medievil style. For modesty they had put a partition between each hole, creating separate cubicles. However the cubicles had no doors. Anyone queuing could see someone sitting over the hole. During our time there, some of the British women said it would be appreciated if the cubicles could be made a little more private. So someone had the idea of putting some netting up instead of a door. However, they only hung a short amount of netting. We realized that although the netting obscured the head and shoulders of whoever was inside the cubicle, everything waist down was still exposed.

smiler 1My main memory of Ghana is not so much the toilets – it is the warmth. Not just the hot weather. Rather, the incredible warmth of people. I saw beautiful and delightfully wide smiles. It clicked with me, that material things, modern conveniences and technology do not bring happiness. If you do not yet know the secret of true happiness – I wonder where it is that you are looking? There are many millions of people who live on not much more than $1 a day – and yet compared to many in the more affluent lands, they are thriving.

What is the worst smelling place you’ve ever been?

I have to admit after working in healthcare for a number of years I have been exposed to some pretty noxious smells. I have also lived next door to a farm, which could be quite odorous.

baby rusks.jpgI remember when I worked as a steward at the Manchester Arena years ago noticing a really strange smell that made me feel quite ill. It came from outside the Arena. There was some kind of beer being brewed nearby, and to me the smell from that process was like mashed up baby rusks. In the past I could have told you the name of the brewery that was emitting that strange smell. I want to say it was Boddington’s, but I really can’t remember anymore.

How drunk is drunk enough?

binge drinkingDrunk is never a good idea. Don’t do it!

I say that both in my role within a healthcare setting, and also on a personal level. I won’t go out any more with friends who drink too much. It’s horrible to see their behaviour. A drink or two is quite enough to loosen up. But drunk is totally unacceptable in my view.

Look after your beautiful body. Have fun and enjoy life. but do not abuse what is an amazing and exceedingly precious gift.

Gratitude Is An Attitude!

If you’d like, please list five things that are priceless to you.


GOOD HEALTH (phsysical, mental and emotional)

MEMORIES (the good ones!)

GENUINE UNSELFISH LOVE (and the wonderful people, family and friends with whom you share it)




10 thoughts on “How To Thrive In A Harsh World”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s