Playing Chess

Check out this anecdote sent to me by a good friend from Sri Lanka:
When Nelson Mandela was studying law at the University, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely.
One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room when Mandela  came along with his tray & sat next to the professor.
The professor said,
“Mr Mandela, you do not understand, a pig & a bird do not sit together to eat
Mandela looked at him as a parent would a rude child & calmly replied,
“Do not worry professor. I’ll fly away,
& he went & sat at another table.
Mr. Peters,  reddened with rage, decided to take revenge.
The next day in class he posed the following question:
“Mr. Mandela, if you were walking down the street & found a package, & within was a bag of wisdom & another bag with money, which one would you take ?”
Without hesitating, Mandela responded, “The one with the money, of course.”
Mr. Peters , smiling sarcastically said,
I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom.” 
Nelson Mandela  shrugged & responded, “Each one takes what he doesn’t have.”
Mr. Peters, by this time was fit to be tied*.  So great was his anger that he wrote on Nelson Mandela’s exam sheet the word “IDIOT”
& gave it to Mandela.
Mandela took the exam sheet & sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move. 
A  few  minutes later, Nelson Mandela got up, went to the professor & told him in a dignified polite tone,
“Mr. Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade.
Don’t mess with intelligent people….pass it on to your intellectual friends….

* informal:  very angry.   “Daddy was fit to be tied when I separated from Hugh”    Synonyms:   livid, furious, angry, infuriated, irate, fuming, raging, seething, incensed, enraged, angered, beside oneself, wrathful, ireful, maddened, cross, annoyed, irritated, exasperated, indignant                                   (source: Google)

 

Now ain’t that just fine? Mandela is truly inspiring. I am not a good chess player, but I know how to play. I most certainly admire those who do. Stefan Zweig’s Schachnovelle (The Royal Game, “Chess Novella”, first published in 1941.[1] ) fascinated me, also in its film version (DE 1960) with Kurt Jürgens. Maintaining one’s mental health by concentrating on something precise, mathematical, calm and cool, I love that kind of intellectual challenge. You will have guessed by now that I attended the maths section and always played with the guys, never with dolls.

IMG-20161112-WA0000
Make it look like an accident, 007!

BTW, snorkeling in the Maldives, Caribbean or Hawaii is another way of cooling your temper and regaining your calm. But then again, that will be the topic of another post.

intuition – female only?

Prévision du 4 juin 2018

Si vous avez parfois des intuitions qui sont presque des révélations, c’est le moment ou jamais d’être attentif à votre vie inconsciente. Que ce soit dans vos rêves nocturnes ou dans vos réflexions de la journée, certains signes pourraient se montrer extrêmement signifiants et vous permettre de prendre des décisions concrètes dans votre vie. N’hésitez donc pas à écouter vos instincts et vos impressions, vous aurez beaucoup à y gagner.

Honest, I love to read my horoscope. But not the trashy ones, like: “Today you should do more running.” or “Take care of your health.” Mine are personalized (sorry for the French!) and (often) really say something meaningful (to me).

You have no idea how often my intuition and instincts have preserved me from fortuitous pitfalls and traps that others had laid out for me. Yes, in these past six years I really had to watch out for my health, usually my mental health.

I could not believe how base fellow man can become to achieve some sort of goal, be it “Fame” or “Sexiest guy of the moment” or “Men are superior beings” or “I may be a woman but I don’t mind playing the guys’ dirty tricks“.

What has happened to the Romans’ memento mori ?  We are all perishable mortals, so what, please, is so fun about hurting and demoralizing others? Ladies, gents, boys and girls, listen to that little voice inside your head. That is your guardian angel, also known as intuition. Try to follow it and not the temptation of trying to be “bigger than life”. You will be lots happier. Smile!

What a Wonderful World This Could Be!

One day Moshe Dayan, who lost an eye while fighting in the British army during World War II, was stopped for speeding by The Old Bill. “I have only one eye,” he protested. “What do you want me to watch – the speedometer or the road!?”

Dayan, Moshe (1915-1981) Israeli minister of defense (1967, 1969-74) and foreign minister (1977-79)      

–  The Old Bill = die Polizei, the police

Imagine” sang John Lennon, just imagine that people would open up both eyes and really be concerned about what is happening around us.

No, I am not going to complain about our situation in our developed countries. We are comparatively well-off and live in freedom and have a beautiful countryside here in Europe  –  also in all the other countries I have visited all over the world.

As to the natural weather catastrophes and pollution and ugly city-scapes, they are almost all man-made.

As to greed and corruption and hatred and false ambition, they are, unfortunately, also within human nature, but the dark side of it. Renaissance Man will try to suppress these “basic instincts” and strive for a higher level of knowledge and aesthetics.

Nowadays, though, I see a larger tendency among the affluent to selfishness and the NIMBY effect (as is “Not In My Back Yard” propagated by the the USA in those years of Panama Canal and Cuba Crisis and Nicaragua guerrillas). They are too anxious to retain their current standard of lifestyle and fear that others might struggle to achieve the same. They are so fearful that they shut up their mouths and close both eyes and refuse to hear pleas for help from those oppressed and bullied.

Imagine we could have a world with visionary leaders that are proud and fearless, selfless and generous, noble and true, who listen to constructive criticism and try to save the globe, not just a tiny chunk of it. Men and women like Macron, Obama, Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, M.L. King, and countless others.

Each of us can contribute. Open both eyes!