Bobbing Around Volume 21 Number 6

Being with people who love you and whom you love is the only important thing.
Mick, in Maraglindi: Guardian spirit


Enough of treating nature like a toilet.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres at COP26


Why can’t humans be humane?
Bob Rich

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty-one, Number Six,
December, 2021

Bob Rich’s rave

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* From me to you
Bob Buzzing around: two podcast interviews
On Mary Tod’s historical fiction blog
My friend Shelly is in an anthology
Pestering the minister about plastic
Also pestering a bevy of Senators

 

  New content Posts during November
RESPONSES Veronica-Mae Soar  
ENVIRONMENT   Climate catastrophe evidence (not that more is needed, but this is spectacular)
The fossils are still suicidal
POLITICS   How will humanity’s owners respond to climate refugees?
George’s call to action, NOW
INSPIRATION Jacqui Lambie on being abused Sound Eagle has adopted my eagle
PSYCHOLOGY Quora answer to someone with too much empathy Tropical lake guided imagery
Smartphone or stupidphone?
DEEPER ISSUES   War is NOT an inherent part of human nature
TECHNOLOGY Electric airliner  
WRITING   The necessary spanner in the works: November Round Robin essay
What are children’s stories about?
ANNOUNCEMENTS About The Lip Reader Maraglindi has taken flight
Refugee Legal: NOT the annual dinner
REVIEWS From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Donna Bond
Maraglindi, reviewed by Michael Bulger
Back to Yourself by Ani Rich
 
STORIES   Two views of a park: one of the stories from Lifting the Gloom, for discussion at an online workshop.
Two women, aged 55: an award-winning story from Through Other Eyes, to be discussed at an online session.
POETRY Chalice, by Laurie Corzett  
FUN   Man announces he will quit drinking by 2050


From me to you

Bob Buzzing around
On Mary Tod’s historical fiction blog
My friend Shelly is in an anthology
Pestering the minister about plastic
Also pestering a bevy of Senators

 

Bob Buzzing around

Two kind ladies have interviewed me on their podcasts:

1. Enjoy my chat with Claudia


As I mentioned in the last issue, I had a wonderful interview with Professor Claudia Monacelli. Um, to get things right, she interviewed me.

Our chat went live on 11 November. Here it is on Spotify.

Please have a listen. You will enjoy the experience. And also, do me a favour and pass on the links to your contacts. Your reward will be a big blast of metta (the Buddhist term for lovingkindness).


2. Permanent link for live conversation with Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin is an eating disorders specialist — and inspiration. She says, food and weight issues are not a problem but a symptom, and she is right.

On 11 am PST 17th November, she grilled me on toast on her popular show on LA Radio. That was 6 am Thursday 18th my time, so needed to splurge on chocolates and coffee so I wouldn’t fall asleep during the show.

Watch/listen on Apple Podcasts

This link works: I have checked it.


On Mary Tod’s historical fiction blog


Mary is a highly regarded author of historical fiction, and her passion is to publicise the genre.

Her interview of some fellow named Bob Rich has just gone live.

They are discussing Bob’s latest book, Maraglindi: Guardian spirit.

Mary has asked thought-provoking questions, so good that I want to find out the answers. I hope you do, too.

One commenter will win a free copy of this book, so do check out the interview.


My friend Shelly is in an anthology


Shelly is 15 years old, with brown skin, and has been the victim of terrible bullying for 10 of those 15 years. She discovered that sugary things were the only antidepressant that worked for her, so she became fat — something else the bullies could use against her.

You can read her story here. It is an important part of Lifting the Gloom.

However, as of early November, Shelly is also a part of another crew striving for equality and justice. Carol Hightshoe, the publisher of Wolfsinger Publications, has assembled a set of very varied short stories (and one poem), all on the theme of handling discrimination. Appropriately, the title is Us/Them.

Even though you can read Shelly’s story here, you don’t want to miss out on the other 29 offerings. Some (like my story!) will inspire you, others make you laugh, and a few may horrify you.

Carol is offering a 15% discount until 15th January. Use the code
Holidays2021

Or you can go to Smashwords where you get the same discount for the same duration by using
LE32N

She has other books including short story collections on a variety of themes, so do look around.


Pestering the minister about plastic

The leader of The Greens in Victoria asked us to send an email to the Minister of Environment to advocate for banning plastic packaging. Not wanting to be like everyone else (surprise?) I obliged thus:

Dear Minister,

France has exposed Australia’s Prime Monster for the liar and cheat he is — something both of us can celebrate. But also, the French government is to be commended for real environmental action of many kinds.

They are supporting a major shift away from petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles, rapidly transitioning to alternative energy, and their latest initiative: reducing the market for Morrison’s fossil methane (AKA natural gas) by banning single-use plastic wrapped around fruit and vegetables.

I have never understood the rationale for such packaging. The planet is drowning in plastic, which is one of the several major reasons we are in the 6th extinction event of earth.

Can we please copy France, if for no other reason than to annoy Morrison?

Sincerely,
Bob Rich, PhD


Also pestering a bevy of Senators

Dear Senator,

Are you aware that horrendous practices like amputation of hands and stoning to death have returned to Afghanistan? That ethnic minorities like the Hazara once more fear genocide?

Thousands of Afghani worked with Australians during our 20-year involvement in the war there. Almost all of them, and their families, have been abandoned. In this country, thousands are on temporary protection visas, terrified of being deported back to torture and death.

There are thousands more in Indonesia in intolerable conditions, with nowhere to go.

I urge you to investigate these issues, and if you find my claims to be true, to act on them:

  • Afghan refugees in Australia should be granted permanent residency.
  • We should increase our humanitarian intake from Afghanistan to 20,000, copying Canada and the UK.
  • We need to assist the UNHCR and Indonesia to find permanent homes for asylum seekers there.

I was a refugee myself, and only wish that the refugees of today would receive the decent, humane treatment the Australian government of the day accorded to me.

Refugees are people who have high courage, intelligence and imagination, as well as luck. They are resources for the country generous enough to give them a home. So, apart from humanitarian considerations, doing the right thing by these people is in our country’s self-interest.

Sincerely,
Bob Rich, PhD


Responses

 

Veronica-Mae Soar

Hello Bob,

I just don’t know how you get so much done, How do you stop yourself from becoming sidetracked? My situation I look upon less like juggling and rather more like plate spinning — someone keeps throwing me another plate — often more than one at once. Like buses, difficulties tend to come along three at once.

Referring to you splendid answers to those who write to you, I find trying to read it in red very difficult — although I realise your reasons for doing so. Would you consider just putting your answers in italic? That would differentiate but still be easy to read.

I am not sure if I have sent you the following, apologies if I am duplicating. but I feel that some of your anxious readers might find it helpful.

Consolation
            In a wondrous country far, illumined by the morning star,
            There abide the sisters three, Faith and Hope and Charity
            When we cannot find the way, fear besets us day by day,
            When upon the brink we stand, Faith is there to take our hand.
            When we see our fellows fall, no-one there on whom to call.
            How to help them? What to say? Charity shows us the way.
            When the mountain seems too high, troubles mount up to the sky.
            In the darkness of the night, Hope holds up her shining light.

Veronica-Mae, thank you. Funny how people differ. I find reading an extended tract of italics difficult to read, so I’ll try something else: Arial font plus left margin indent.

I am inviting feedback on this issue from approximately anyone.


🙂
Bob


Inspiration

 

Jacqui Lambie on being abused


This lady is an independent Australian Senator representing Tasmania. And she really represents her constituents, which is the people of her State — and also all the people of her country.

When an issue comes up, she constructs a questionnaire. Anyone in Australia can respond. She then genuinely and honestly shapes her actions by taking this public opinion into account.

Recently, she delivered a wonderful speech in Parliament, blasting a terrible proposal from another Senator. The result was widespread abuse and even death threats.

Please read her reaction, and be inspired.

The issue happens to be the right to refuse vaccination, but that is almost irrelevant. Rather, her mature, positive reaction to abuse is what I admire.


Psychology

It’s so important in life to have understanding, patience and compassion for others. Especially, in this new normal of a pandemic, climate change and rising mental health. How/When do we begin to heal?


    My dear, your question shows you to be a person with high spiritual development. That has the cost of feeling the pain of others.

    My book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide has all the tools necessary for converting that negative into a positive. Its companion volume, Lifting the Gloom, is available for free at my blog.

    If it wasn’t for the tools of positive psychology I have taught to thousands of people, and practice daily myself, I would jump off the planet.

    Just two thoughts to help immediately:

    1. You cannot pull someone out of a hole by jumping in yourself. To be an effective helper, you need to maintain “professional distance.” As helpers and healers, our job is not to fix other people, but to empower them to fix themselves.

    2. Only two things matter in life: what we take with us when we die, and what we leave behind in the hearts of others. Everything else is Monopoly money. Look after the heart, the love, and you can let go of everything else.

    Send me a message via the contact form on my blog and we can continue our conversation privately.
    Thank you for sharing this planet with me,
    Bob



PS Unfortunately, this person has not chosen to follow through. I would have been delighted to be of service to someone who clearly shares my path. So, I have used two of my tools on myself. I can ask anyone anything, as long as I can accept a no (and vice versa). And a helper can only point to a good path. It is up to each of us to choose to walk along that path or not.


Technology

 

Electric airliner

I don’t usually report technical developments that are not yet in commercial use: a pie in the sky may fall before landing on the table. I am making an exception for Wright’s new electric plane, because they are already converting four 100-passenger units, and expect to go commercial as soon as 2026.

Aircraft are among the most destructive devices we use for transport, so this is an encouraging development.


I approve of these announcements

 

About The Lip Reader

In July, I reviewed Michael Thal’s The Lip Reader, and gave it 5 stars. It is a powerful story, as I would expect from Michael. Now Michael has written the story of the story.

Please read how a love affair led to an award-winning essay, which metamorphosed into the book.


Reviews

 

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Donna Bond

The Way of the Middle

This excellent guide shines the light on self-strategies one can take to overcome depression once and for all. As a Spiritual Psychologist, I found this book incredibly helpful, as it has repositioned the term “contentment” for me. I love Bob’s perspective on well-being, citing that most of us fall either below it or above it, and how one’s life can be different when we live in the place in-between.

If you suffer from depression even slightly, this brilliant guide offers insight and tangible, tactile steps one can take to walk themselves into contentment. I will be recommending this book to clients and will offer it on my personal list of recommendations.

The value of equanimity is immeasurable. Bob Rich underpins much of his offering on how to deal with depression, with equanimity. If you’ve suffered from depression for a weekend or many years, you want a copy of this knowledgeable book helping us understand depression is a way of being that can be transformed.

Donna Bond, M.A., Author of Original Wisdom; Harness the Power of the Authentic You

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Maraglindi, reviewed by Michael Bulger

Maraglindi: Guardian spirit, written by Bob Rich, Ph. D., tackles many of the beliefs held in common among the world’s major religions using the backdrop of mid-1800s Aboriginal discrimination in Australia. Bob has a very rich knowledge of the culture at that time, and this comes across through a multitude of very specific cultural references that paint a picture of the time so vivid you feel almost as if you are watching a movie.

His treatment of various religious beliefs is done through the eyes of Maraglindi and those around her so that they are presented with an innocence that makes them sound like simple common sense. The subject matter is not approached from a religious point of view directly, but more as a natural result of interactions between people of different cultures and classes once a little love is mixed into the equation. It is a study of how prejudice can be dispelled when exposed to reality, with a little help from Maraglindi’s magical touch that fills an individual with love and allows them to see past the surface to the inner core of the people with whom they come into contact. You can feel the transformation that several of the characters go through as they are exposed to the raw power of love.

It was easy to get caught up in the emotions of his characters and I simply wanted to hop on board and go along for the ride.


Back to Yourself by Ani Rich

This delightful and wise young woman interviewed me on her podcast. In preparing myself for our chat, I looked around her website and blog, and read the first few pages of her book. It was so remarkably similar to my ideas that I just had to keep reading. As I said to her, I am 78-and-three-quarters while she is 25, but spiritually we are twins.

Here is the essence of what is common to our thinking:

“Somehow, wanting nothing attracts everything. And to explain even better, attaching to nothing attracts everything. When you are attached to something in life, your thoughts are constantly around it. You don’t have any mental space. Your energy isn’t flowing properly. You are stuck in a cycle. In order to gain anything, you should be ready for receiving, have a mental and emotional space and be free from attachment. When you let go of your attachment, you immediately remove suffering from your life.” (pp 14-15) This is the central message of Buddhism.

In another place, Ani summarizes the essence of cognitive-behavioral therapy: we are not our thoughts, but can examine, judge and change our thoughts.

At 19 years of age, she had no knowledge of English. Now, she uses it with power and a lyrical beauty, to express the deep wisdom of the ages. She has obviously read very widely, learned from many teachers, and despite her youth, is a powerful teacher.

If your life is drifting along without meaning, if you are dissatisfied but don’t know why, you will hugely benefit from reading this book.


Poetry

 

Chalice, by Laurie Corzett

            An empty chalice, open, to be filled by spirit’s essence, placed according to ritual, waits for its turn.

            Goddess of so many duties, so many eras, so many sorrow-filled worshippers, She feels the tears, the emptiness.

            “I cannot fill you. I can not fill the chalice of emptiness. That is not my gift or purpose. I can offer only what is already within you.”

            Almost quiet, sea sounds, dank odor of lowtide, creeping Spring carries melt of harsher climes. She stokes the fire to remember warmth when the Sun was high and strong, and present. Fire has its own secrets, its own order. As do we all, each our own furnace, nurturing a flame that is destiny. So old, She has been burnt by many flames — blistered, scarred, hardened. She still feels every one, tastes fiery spice, seasonings, marinades. It all moves Her to cackling hysteria. You don’t want the pain of knowing what She endures. You just want soothing stories, fantasies to believe in.

            She understands your fear, and withdraws. No need to escalate sorrow. She is self-contained in her work and close-knit layers of exquisite aeons, sense memories, distilled lives.

            “Was I a woman, then, upon the Earth, feeling sweet breeze of early Spring uplift my being when returning birds and budlings made ready for new beginnings?”

            In the dark, in the cold, enclosed below that hopeful ground, stirrings still find Her. She can not miss the Sun, the Sky, the open fields. They are ingrained in Her, as there and intense as ever they could be. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow. Always all times, all places, all emotions, overwhelm, yet gentle strand by strand amuse. She has no pity. There is only action, including the action of long enthrallment, of stasis within unfolding storms. There is no room for judgment, no excuses. She sees all the rationales, the weak flailing attempts at blame, at justification.

            Laughter takes Her. It makes so much more sense to revel in explosion, expelling, cleansing for exploration, for readiness to take the next step.


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About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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4 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 21 Number 6

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    And I wish I knew why WordPress doesn’t allow replies to comments on some occasions. I am sure there is a random number generator, or a gremlin, or of course both.

    Like

  2. peNdantry says:

    I followed the link from here to your ‘Smartphone or stupidphone?‘ article, and wanted to comment there but it looks like I’m too late for that, so I’ll have to pollute this comment thread instead…

    I’m just watching your recommended video by Dr Mark Williams, ‘Are Smart Phones Making Us Dumb?‘. This is what I think:

    … oh, pooey. I wrote so many words that I’ll stick it all in a blog post on Wibble instead.

    Like

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