18 April 2014

A Long Way from Italy

As a migrant myself, I am very interested in other people's experiences when trying to build a life in an unfamiliar environment. Even though I spent most of my early life in England and have always spoken English, trying to communicate clearly and accurately has sometimes been a challenge for me here in Australia. 

I am especially interested in the migration experiences of people who have travelled to places where very few people speak their native language.  Perhaps you are such a person yourself, or your parents, grandparents or great grandparents were such people.

Migrating is often a search for peace of some sort, and even peace of mind.  If your ancestors travelled to Australia from Italy sometime between the 1880s and the 1920s, can you imagine what and how they must have thought and felt upon their arrival in unfamiliar surroundings?

Your heritage may include ancestors from Viggiano in Basilicata, in an area once known as Lucania.  Were any of your family members musical at all?  Are you musical yourself?

I have only visited Italy briefly on a few occasions and I do not speak Italian.  Being unable to communicate clearly has, however, been one of the main frustrations during my own travels so I cannot imagine what is must be like to attempt to make a living in an unfamiliar language. 

09 April 2014

Emotional Needs

Do people need happiness at all?

Do they need grief?

Do they need anger or fear?

25 January 2014

Organic Food

Choosing organic food over chemical food is an easy choice for me.  Environmental pollutants do not give me peace of mind.  How do agricultural chemicals affect the people who grow what you eat?

07 December 2013

At This Very Moment

I often like to sit quietly and think about who, if anyone, might be reading the words I have written in the past.  Many of my words have usually been written in private correspondence.  Even published works can really be meant for a small audience rather than a large one.  Do you know who might be reading your own words right at this moment?

01 May 2013

Bisnenti of the Veneto

If any of your ancestors lived near the Montello, in the Province of Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy, they may have been part of the Bisnenti.  They were the people I often think about when thinking about the history of Venice and the Venetian Republic.  Do you know anything about the Bisnenti?

25 March 2013

Journeys, Journaling and Personal Development

Which is more important to your personal development:

a) Going on a journey?
b) Writing a journal?

Perhaps photography is an important aspect of your personal development, both when you go on journeys and when you write a journal.

Are your own photographs more important to you than the pictures taken by other people?  Do you mainly look at pictures of yourself when reflecting upon your development, and your journey through life?

02 February 2013

Reflections on Living Peacefully

If you find that living peacefully, travelling thoughtfully and understanding deeply can be difficult, you are not alone in feeling that way.

As I know from my own experience, a peaceful, quite person can feel out of place when interacting with, or merely observing, the world as it is perceived by others.   This can be especially when observing the world as it is often represented through the mainstream media.

Sharing creatively, and developing the ability to be creative, can be enhanced by stimulating conversations from time to time.  However, many forms of creativity can be achieved most successfully as a consequence of private reflections.  Time away from the mainstream media and noisy people can be especially helpful.

Avoiding the presence of people who do not live life in a peaceful way can often be difficult.  This is especially so if they happen to be relations, colleagues, neighbours or acquaintances we would rather avoid!

20 January 2013

Science and Knowledge

Do you think of science as a quiet topic or as something quite noisy?

When I was at school, science always seemed to be very boring from my point of view. It did not appear to me to be a particularly friendly or peaceful topic, especially when taught in a way that did not build on my natural inquisitiveness and aesthetic sense of wonder

Perhaps I needed something more relevant and pleasant than the rote learning of theory, the cutting up of small creatures, and the mixing of strange chemicals.  One of the ways in which science has become more interesting to me in recent years is through learning about the history of science. I enjoy discovering the ways that knowledge has developed in the minds of individuals through time.  It is why I like exploring history.

A quiet discovery is much more pleasant than loud noises, strange smells and the visual appearance of internal organs.  I now take frequent excursions to Scientia* as that is where I am sometimes able to overcome my own ignorance.

Science gives us signposts yet we have to choose a destination for ourselves.

*Online registrations are now required before visitors here are able to read my Continual Journeys blog.   All you need to do is send a request by email.  Please state name of the blog/blog post you would like to read, and perhaps a reason why.  I may then provide you with short-term access.

22 December 2012

Peace, Privacy and Security

For peace of mind, I have decided to restrict access to my other three blogs.  Thoughtful readers are usually those familiar with Quieter Living, and I really only write for the benefit of thoughtful people.

I consider myself to be a private person even though I have frequently published my various writings, under a variety of pen names.  Setting the boundaries of the public and private aspects of my life has been very important to me.  

Private information is often closely associated with our emotions, and with our economic and physical security.  This especially applies when we travel or move residence, whether by choice or obligation.  Such topics have been explored on my Continual Journeys blog.

Identity is something we all need to respect and protect in this digital age, especially with so many passwords to remember.  I have explored the topic of identity quite extensively on my By Any Other Name blog.  Even before beginning to write publicly about my family history, on my Ancestors Within blog, I felt a certain apprehension.

Various commercial and non-commercial interactions can be quite exclusive but also somewhat communal.  What do you believe it means to be a private person?  What sorts of actions do you consider to be intrusive?  How do you express a need for privacy?  Perhaps you even think it is an invasion of your privacy to be asked these sorts of questions.

04 December 2012

Knowledge, Authenticity and Creativity

Recently I mentioned, on my Ancestors Within blog, that my By Any Other Name blog is now less accessible.  If you click on a link to a blog post in By Any Other Name, you may therefore receive a message saying you have not (yet) been invited to read it.  If you would you like to have continued access to that blog, you may like to send me an email request.

If you have already explored By Any Other Name, you will know that it is about identity, knowledge, self-knowledge, authenticity, creativity and courtesy.   If you ever reflect upon such topics, are there any books you have found to be helpful references?

On my Continual Journeys blog, I have recently written about social entrepreneurial publishing.  I have often written about writing, both there and here.  Are you a writer or publisher at all?  Are you a retailer of books?  Are you an editor or simply a seeker of truth?

30 October 2012

Reflective Self Discoveries

Do you need peace and quiet whenever you wish to make some useful self discoveries?  Does self reflection often require a few moments to compare your life with that of other people?  If you compared yourself with me, what would you see?

As a social scientist by training, with a media background, I'm living in Australia now but worked in London for a while in the 1980s.

I currently live in a place I refer to as suburban lawnlandia, in a mostly dry and dusty town I prefer to describe as Dorothea in the Wilderness. Unlike my neighbours, my garden has no lawn. My way of life is not particularly suburban as I like to live in a rural way in an urban environment.

I grew up in small, rural communities but have spent much of my adulthood living in cities - and escaping from cities into more natural places.

I'm now a social entrepreneur whose activities have so far included being a book publisher (only of non-fiction - sorry budding novelists), writer, educator, policy analyst, consultant, philanthropist, and initiator of all sorts of exploratory projects.

You may know that I try to live peacefully, travel thoughtfully, understand deeply, and share creatively... sometimes all at the same time.

15 August 2012

The Quiet Entrepreneur

The quiet achievers of the world are often relatively unknown.  They improve the lives of others without making too much of a noise about it.  I have been researching, and writing about, socially and environmentally beneficial enterprises for some time now.  You will find an overview mainly on my Continual Journeys blog.

Here are links to a few short blog posts to introduce you to my investigations:

Travels of a social entrepreneur

Life, work and travel

The journey through life

In 2009, I came across a couple of interesting articles. They might be regarded as somewhat insensitive in parts, but I think they may also help to boost creativity, self-esteem and a sense of purpose for anyone looking for a new direction in life.  They were on my Continual Journeys blog but I think they may be more suitable here now:

10 reasons you should never get a job

Making money in a recession

If you have managed to avoid being an employee, underemployed or unemployed recently, do you consider yourself to be a quiet entrepreneur?