– Guantanamo, my journey by David Hicks –

This is an autobiographical book, written when David Hicks was 35 years old.  He was born in 1975, and grew up in Adelaide, Australia. After leaving school at 15 he began working on remote cattle stations. His experiences in the outback gave him the skills needed to take a job in Japan pre-training racehorses. He became friends with an Israeli adventurer who planted ideas of travel in his mind. Hicks decided he would ride a horse along the old Silk Road to China. But before he could start that adventure, while still in Japan, he began watching news items about Kosovo, where the Serbians were carrying out atrocities against the Moslem population. He became convinced that he must go and help the people of Kosovo. Hicks joined up with the Kosovo forces, who were supported by NATO, but before he got into actual combat, the war ended.   Back in Australia he applied to join the army, but was refused due to his limited education. About this time there was conflict in East Timor, Hicks felt ashamed that Australia was not defending the local population, once again he tried to join a group to defend the East Timorese, but the… Continue reading

– Blink by Malcolm Gladwell –

You know more than you think you know, as long as you are not misled by what is irrelevant. Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. You could probably sum this book up in one sentence: Have faith in your intuition, but do not be misled by irrelevant information. The tricky part is in not being misled, and that is what a lot of this book is about. The first story starts with a marble sculpture, supposedly 2,500 years old, if genuine it would be worth about ten millions dollars. But what if it was a fake? It was given over to scientists to test with all their elaborate equipment: electron microscopes, X-ray fluorescence, high-resolution stereo microscope, mass spectrometry, (I’m sure you’re familiar with these).  After fourteen months of painstaking study, the scientists proclaimed it to be the genuine article. When it was unveiled in front of art historians, with a two-second glance, they instinctively felt it was a forgery. Two seconds. The problem was they didn’t know why they thought it a forgery; it just didn’t feel right. Eventually, they were proved right. This is what BLINK is about. What the author calls “thin slices”—a brief “view” of something,… Continue reading

– Happiness is a journey, not a destination –

Alfred D’Souza said, “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” “I’ll be happy when… We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation or when we retire. The truth is there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to… Continue reading