The world has never been radically shaped by ‘ordinary’ people.


Illness has been plaguing me for the last 2 months, but I am publishing a very short Gaius from back in December 2011 (a month before I started a Gaius Facebook page…)

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Take heart, for the world has never been radically shaped by ‘ordinary’ people.

“To accomplish ‘extraordinary’ things, people need to stop being ‘ordinary’. The desire to be ‘normal’ and the innate need, felt by so many, to conform to peer, media and social pressures, turns the majority of people away from their true potential and makes them ‘ordinary’ themselves – dragging many of them into drudgery, disappointment, sadness, despair, and dependence on living their lives through watching others live artificial ones.

‘Ordinary’ people can never break free from the mundane, the acquiescent, the servile. It takes ‘extraordinary’ people to change the world and make exciting things happen – new, special, and innovative things.

To truly find your place in life, develop your mind, listen to your heart, act with kindness and care to those around you, and be the different person you were always meant to be. Be ‘extraordinary’, and be all the happier for it!” ~ Gaius Quinterus

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Steer away from Loneliness by Planning, Preparing, and Proceeding


Loneliness is not being ‘Alone’ (a well known fact), although that can certainly be a contributory factor to it. It is perfectly possible to be dreadfully lonely while being surrounded by crowds of people. So if it is not the ‘outside of us’ that ‘makes’ us lonely, are we to assume it is all from within us, and hardly influenced by our surroundings in any way? Perhaps, is the answer, and certainly a strong sense of self-respect, and self-love, can help combat the feelings of loneliness, no matter where we find ourselves, and in what circumstances. But planning, preparation and training are also key in the fight against feeling lonely. Then we can proceed with confidence and self-assurance.

lonely

Take the example of the picture – the rower is Svein Ove Ask who had only a few weeks earlier rowed, single-handed for 10 days, from Norway to Shetland (a distance of 180 miles). He spent a few weeks in Shetland overhauling his boat and then headed all the way back again (September 1996) – the picture is taken, by helicopter, when he was on his third day of the return journey home to Norway. Did he ever feel lonely? I asked him that question, and he said, ‘No, he was happy and content and he had faith in the boat, which he had built himself. This had been a proving run for him and all had gone well, and he was always too busy to be lonely.’ His confidence and self-assurance were infectious, and he was an inspiration to simply trust oneself, and one’s training, prepare for every possible eventuality and then get on with the journey planned. He was certainly very alone setting across the North Sea with only the strength of his own muscles to take him there – he had no stand-by outboard or engine of any sort. Yet, he was not lonely, not in any way burdened by the lack of ‘fitting in’ and not in any way apprehensive of the trip ahead of him. He did get back to Norway, safely, it should be noted.

So, our individual journey may not be over the North Sea in a rowing boat, but sometimes our individual journey through ‘life’ can seem just as daunting, just as fraught with danger and equally as uncertain on timescale, supplies needed, the ‘weather’ we may encounter, and the reception waiting for us at the other end. Such anxieties can build stress within us, and wear down our inner confidence, cause us to doubt our abilities and resolve, and feel ‘lonely’ particularly when we are at our furthest from ‘land’ (or our ‘safe haven’ in life).

Journeys in life are not always planned, and those un-planned ones can often be the hardest, when we are taken out of our routine and thrown into an unknown situation (things like health issues, family circumstances and career changes, might all happen in seconds with no warning), but the principles still remain and we have to try and remain ready, watchful and prepared for anything we can reasonably anticipate. Being prepared need not be a sign of irrational anxiety and, in fact, can help us avoid being lonely when we find ourselves suddenly facing a wide ocean without the backup we hoped we would have. Loneliness grows from inside us, and can be kept at bay by (as best we can) Planning, Preparing and then Proceeding with confidence. It is not always easy, but the rewards are in direct proportion to the effort we put in, and will serve us well for future ‘journeys’. Stay safe, stay happy, and know that it is no shame to feel lonely, at times – human beings all do at some point in their lives.

‘Decide the path in life you wish to follow (Plan)
Gather your equipment and food for the journey (Prepare)
Continue until you reach your destination (Proceed)’

~ Gaius Quinterus

The Fire Within


Today (6th October 2016) is National Poetry Day, so I hope you don’t mind if I share one of my offerings with you….

Without a picture this time… just the words to focus on…

Preamble – as an ‘Aspie’ I am terribly inclined to take a passing remark EXACTLY as it is said, letting literality overcome context, in other words the wrong way – even from my lovely wife and children, who I know would never say or do anything to hurt me. Yet, still, I sometimes latch onto a word or phrase and my mind takes it and runs with it and makes it hell inside for me and, sadly, sometimes difficult for those around me too. I sometimes have to play out my feelings on my own, before I can broach the subject…      This poem is about what it feels like, for me inside, when that happens. As with all my poems, it may have some dark bits, but it ends on a positive note, with hope.

The Fire Within
(Gaius Quinterus – April 2013)

We laugh, entangled lives drift calmly on,
Yet, one remark, and dreamy thoughts distort
A passing phrase, and open gates of doubt.
Mind’s armies spoiling for a vicious fight.
They start … the fire within.

I know that sound, as anger sparks with joy.
A hateful thought of vengeance at injustice
Spoken, your casual words betraying inner guilt?
Apologise? To me! Don’t make me laugh!
I hear … the fire within.

I know that stench, as fear constricts and binds.
I need your life, your love in all I do, but
Logic’s soulless harshness forces out the
Light. I will not budge! I’ll never give an inch!
I smell … the fire within.

I feel your pain, the sting of burning words.
Why can’t I stop? Why must I carry on
This torment for us both? Truth hurts
So I will make it hurt us both. It’s only fair!
It scars … the fire within.

‘Don’t answer back! Be quiet you stupid fool!’,
I hear my mind plead peace to counter heartless
Utterings, as guilt descends in crashing waves.
I pause, and see myself just self-destroying.
It slows … the fire within.

Stopped now. Heart’s racing beat echoes silently,
Numbed with peace, the world moves again.
At least you weren’t here, imaginings played out,
Forgotten times of love remembered once again.
It calms … the fire within.

Our lives, and their purposes, must not be rushed


Everything takes time to grow, develop, mature and be useful – our present world loves to rush everything and to see instant results…. But that is not how the world works best – It does not make us truly happy to be instantly gratified, no matter what the marketing people tell us, what the adverts say, and what promises are made… Anything worthwhile, long-lasting and fruitful takes time – often years of constant effort, hard work, sacrifices and continually re-assessing, and re-focussing on, the day-to-day goals and realistically achievable victories of living.

it_takes_time
Picture is at the ‘Hams of Muckle Roe, Shetland, Scotland’ taken by me

Learning from nature, we can see that in the case of a beautiful coastline it can take many millions of years to give us something that soothes our souls and enriches our lives. Our human lives, and their purposes, must not be rushed either, for that is not the way to grow as intended – in harmony with the world, and the other people, around us. We start our lives as very small, puny infants, knowing little, and with needs that far outweigh what we can do for ourselves.

As we progress through life we see things and opportunities we would like to explore, play with, strive for, and we start to get hit by the advertising and marketing companies who tell us what they think we need, want, must have, etc…. They have no idea what is best for us (simply using the ‘one-size fits all’ mentality suits advertising agencies and their like..), and yet they try to take our minds away from enjoying what we have already, what might be all we really need to be happy and content where we are… They cloud our judgements with their ‘Get Rich Quick’ schemes, their ‘Be Happy’ sales pitches and their desire to part us (or our parents when we are young) with more and more money…. THEY do not care about what is really best for us – we have to discover that for ourselves – we need to train our minds and hearts to seek true happiness through compassion and love for others – a giving life is what brings happiness, and what makes us focus on what matters to make our lives truly worthwhile….

This all takes time, and perhaps many mistakes before we realise the sense of it, but it honestly takes years for most people, and cannot be hurried. The faster we learn, the less pain and hardship we have to endure – the more we give to others (of our time, talents and skills), the more we receive ourselves for it is its own reward (not everyone is grateful, but most are) – Still, they (the marketeers) try to deflect us as we grow older, and try to make us think selfishly – but ultimately the money-driven organisations will fail and become nothing, while what we plant, nourish and tend (with constant love, caring, humility and compassion) will grow and spread to many others. It really does take time, but that time is well spent – much love to all !

Worthwhile, long-lasting results take time – often years. Our lives, and their purposes, must not be rushed, for that is not the way to grow as intended – in harmony with the world, and the people, around us.
~ Gaius Quinterus

Like trees in a forest, much depends on where we are planted.


‘We are like trees in a forest – surrounded by other trees but with no real understanding, beyond what we can ‘see’ or perhaps personally ‘feel’, of the larger forest or the greater land upon which the forest stands. The trees around may be young or old, small and bent or tall and straight, covered in fresh leaves or struggling to survive, and yet they must co-exists with them all – we are ‘trees’ in this sense (along with other human beings), and that is what ‘trees’ do….

Yet every tree and plant seeks to grow and survive, looks for growth and shelter where it can, and provides support and company for those around it. Plants enjoy the company of other plants, thrive on the shared benefits to the rest of nature, and provides homes and food for many species. The struggle for survival is just as real in the trees’ world, as it is in our frantic human world – we just don’t often see it happening. Predators abound, both visible and microscopic, the conditions of nature can, and do, take their toll – wind, rain, lightning, landslides, etc. Humans often only plant trees to cultivate and harvest them – so who can know what will happen to an individual tree? The tree will still do its best to survive, to flourish and to grow – never knowing if it will be destined for a shipyard to help make an ocean-going boat, or to a sawmill to be made into pallets for carrying goods around the world, timber for a beautiful floor, or joists and materials for a house?

trees

Does it matter to the tree? No. it doesn’t. These decisions are out of its’ hands, and it probably isn’t even aware of the choices…

Should it matter to us what happens to our lives? Difficult question to answer, because fundamentally it does matter –  but only because we have ‘expectations’ (often unrealistic expectations….) and when things don’t go the way we  think they should, then we become disheartened, distressed, depressed, and often disillusioned….

But, *should* it matter to us as human individuals?? Well, inasmuch as we can have some say in what happens (we all have free will – a true blessing, and also our greatest weakness) we must focus, as best we can, for there is no doubt that our actions and decisions affect the path our life takes from minute to minute, and day to day… Unlike the trees, we have some knowledge of what options might be possible for our lives, but we share the same lack of control (and clear vision of the future) as a tree in many ways. There are no two ways about it – we are where we are in life, have the opportunities we have, and the life we have arrived at – these are not things that can be simply ‘set aside’ or glossed over – life is for living, of course, but starting where we are, with the tools and capabilities we have – that is our purpose, and, for better or worse is primarily our decision… not entirely, of course, but we have a great deal of bearing on our future – certainly more than a tree does….

Perhaps the realism of ‘being’ a tree, but tempered with a clarity of purpose, honesty of thought, compassion and love – it is then our purpose will make itself more apparent – a world-going, sailing vessel, a great way to move cargo, a beautiful floor, or a sturdy, shelter-giving house – or who knows?… This is where we are planted – here is when we are planted, and tomorrow is up to us – let us grow and develop and be worthwhile ‘trees’ in this world which needs strong, productive, loving, caring people! Things are planned for us, of that we can be certain – let us enjoy the life we have been handed!

So in a very real sense then as it is for trees, so it is for us – our lives apparently affect only a little of the world in which we live, and we sometimes glimpse only a little of what greater things are possible for us, and yet we each have a uniquely personal opportunity to grow and develop as we should, achieving great things from within the circumstances in which we are planted.’

~ Gaius Quinterus

Our life is out there, waiting to welcome us, with open arms!


take_heart

No matter how long the journey, how dark the valley, how steep the sides, what obstacles stand in our way, and even if we can’t see it directly – there is a future out there, for us individually, one in which the sun shines and we are out of the corridor of despair, self-doubt and introspection.

Life can close in on us, crush us and feel like it is spitting us out… but, while we may feel we are in a tunnel, remember that there is actually no roof – it only feels like a tunnel because we have stopped seeing the light above us – it is always there and always shining.

For instance, it is a truly great experience to fly in a plane in the middle of a miserable, wet, Winter day – when you climb up through the clouds, suddenly you climb high enough to break through the top and the cabin is flooded with bright sunlight. It is a joyous feeling and all thoughts of the dismal day, you just left behind a few minutes ago, are forgotten, as you let the heat of the sun warm your face, relax as the plane settles into smooth, turbulent-free flight, and realise that life is actually very good, and (for a short while at least) you have everything you need, and no need to worry.

Let’s consider the whole flying experience for a minute… you arrived at the airport, seemingly ludicrously early, so they can go through all their screening checks – you are  nervous about how you packed everything so it is all secure and safe – you are concerned you are only taking the permitted things through check-in for hand luggage – there is the interminable waiting that seems to be part of every airport transit now – perhaps you can look outside to see the plane sitting, waiting, with rain pouring off it, and the wind howling… knowing you have to leave the warm, dry departure lounge and face the outdoors yourself… then they call the flight for boarding and you get your stuff gathered up trying not to forget anything, head outside, bracing yourself against the cold, wet, wind and board the plane… The weary safety announcements are read out and acted out by the cabin crew… after listening politely the plane starts up, heads for the runway and finally takes off…. Then the ‘fun’ begins as it has to climb through the blustery, wet, cloudy weather.. and yet finally you burst through the clouds and there really is a different world up there.. Sure, it may be bumpy at the other end if they also have poor weather, but it is so, so good to have some respite from the worst of the weather, and enjoy the sun-filled life for a while. The feeling lasts and helps with the descent at the end of the flight – the feeling can last for days, and help you cope with life in general – Was it worth the effort of the airport, the waiting and the climb? Yes, of course it was – you would happily do it again, for the same rewards…

The journey of Life can be a bit like the whole flight experience – extra effort required sometimes, additional hassles to fight through, strange rules to follow, and putting your head down and fighting the ‘storms’ of life … But, remember the sun really is shining up there, every day, above the clouds … Remember that the top of the tunnel is not real and you can fly up through it and enjoy the rays and warmth of the sun just by taking a ‘flight’ even at night time!! – The sun has been around for millions of years and will continue for millions more years – there for all of us, and especially there for you, even in your dreams…

As the picture says, ‘Take heart that the sun is above us, and shines every day, as it has done for millions of years! In the distance we can witness its glow and see its fire – our life is out there, waiting to welcome us, with open arms!’
~ Gaius Quinterus

Cultivate within your heart the Desire to serve others, guided by Love!


What do you desire most? What drives you each day to get up, get dressed and prepare for a new day? What set of values do you place on long-term, medium-term or short-term results? Answers to these questions can help focus our minds and determine our actions to make use of the time and talents we have.

Before we delve into these questions, perhaps we need to examine the word ‘desire’ because this word must not be confused with the word ‘love’. They are, very much, related, but they are not the same emotion. Desire is more accurately associated with “wanting, wishing for, longing for and craving a situation or ‘thing’”. Often commonly applied to a sexual goal or acquisition of an object, it is, in essence, a driving force for a particular end result. It is therefore essentially a conscious mental stance we take, a ‘tool’ to achieve an objective, often associated with a selfish state of mind, but it does not *have* to be selfish. If the end goal is for ‘self’ then the desire is certainly selfish, but if the end goal is one established through genuine love for others and the heartfelt wish to serve others, then ‘desire’ takes on a different role and becomes a personal mechanism to overcome obstacles and help power our ‘journey’, with passion and determination, to reach the goal that can benefit those we would love, and correctly desire, to help.

So, when you get up each day, what is the first thing your mind settles on wanting to do? Are you focused on a positive, life-changing objective, or a selfish path that may, or may not, bear fruit..? Are you determined to use your skills and resources, your experience and energy, your time and opportunity, to help others, or to simply help yourself? Have you considered, and do you regularly review, the short-term, medium-term and long-term impact of your objectives? Are these objectives driven and powered by Love for others, or are they powered by Love for yourself?

Of course, work and family obligations play a big part, and we must attend to those things as they come before us, and we also have to rest, eat, etc. too – these things are not selfish – they are part of life. But the parts we choose to plan for the future – the varying types of focus in our lives – these may or may not be desires, and we have to consider what the valid ones are, and make sure they occupy our minds and intellect as best we can. What we think about, what drives us, what we have set as our targets and what we desire, then that is what we become – be gentle, kind, caring and thoughtful with others and you will become a gentle, kind, caring and thoughtful person – it is inevitable!

Keeping Love to the forefront of our decisions makes everything much more organised, much nicer for others, and ultimately serves us best as well. Love brings with it Compassion, Empathy, Kindness, Gentleness, and the other things we often talk about positively – we cannot have too much of these things in this world – we owe it to each other! Much love, and bless you all – may your desires be good ones, and may they all come to fruition!

desire

Cultivate within your heart the Desire to serve others, guided by Love. It is a powerful, and active, emotional tool, which can guide and focus our lives for good, in a wonderful way.

~ Gaius Quinterus