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I seem to recall reading or hearing somewhere once that experience is the name given to the knowledge we acquire immediately after we most needed it. 

During the course of our lives we become, in some sense at least, the product of our experiences – ie all of the things that have happened to us from womb to tomb.  

But whether we become the product of our experience – ie that acquired knowledge – will very much depend on who we are, and how we choose to process and utilise that knowledge.

Many years ago I read, and took a deep liking to a piece of prose called Desiderata. It was composed by an American writer, Max Ehrmann, in the 1920’s, when Ehrmann was in his fifties.  It is a beautiful collection of secular “words and thoughts to live by”, that appears to have had a profound effect on a vast number of people over the past century.

Photo - The Suggestion Box.jpg

It appealed so strongly to both my wife and I that a copy of Desiderata appeared on the back page of the order of service we prepared for distribution to guests who attended our wedding in 1993.

In the years since I have re-visited Desiderata (which means “things desired” in Latin) on numerous occasions.  It never disappoints.  However, following the accidental death of my younger son, Ben, then aged 21, in January 2019, I cannot find it within myself to accept any more, as Desiderata entreats me to do, and as I once did, that “the universe is unfolding as it should”.

Leading me to create my own collection of “words and thoughts to live by”, many of which you will find here.

I hasten to add these are not intended to be any more than a verbal cumulation of my personal experiences.  We, all of us, have been dealt uniquely different hands in the game of life, and we are each playing those hands in our own inimitable way.  It would be fraught with immodest naivety for me to believe that all of what I have written under this heading will resonate with the majority of those reading it.

But maybe, just maybe, for each of you, there will be grains of verity found here that you will, in your own unique ways, add to the meal that becomes, in time, your own nourishing food for thought. 

I hope so.


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