A Tale of Two Workers

Edward and Ranil have much in common – and they are bachelors.

Both visited us last week.  Edward – a Christian came on the 24th before going to his village for the holidays.  He is not married, has no immediate family and no fixed dwelling. He stays wherever he is offered a bed ‘free’ or at low cost.

Ranil – a Buddhist – visited after Christmas.  He lives nearby with his mother and brother.

These visits are Christmas/year end traditions.   Other workers too visit – in appreciation for any contribution made in their lives during the year. They also come in expectation of  “Nathal” – colloquially “Christmas” –  with the material benefits and joys it brings.

So we give them gifts in cash or kind, serve them Christmas fare, spend time in conversation and are usually content with having given them “Nathal”.

But is this enough?

Life has dealt the Edwards and Ranils of this world a bad hand and they have not been shrewd or smart or savvy enough to seize an  opportunity  to play a different hand.

And so both remain  dependent on the largesse of those around for survival,  It is not their fault entirely.

It was the luck of the draw that they were born into  impoverished families that barely eked a living and had to send them out to earn their keep at a young age.

Edward (55) and Ranil (42) have been working most of their lives, but how much can you save on a daily wage  to pull yourself out of poverty?  Poverty that forces you to remain single because you cannot afford a wife.  Poverty that makes you an ‘observer’ of life – other peoples lives.

Edward – an odd job worker may earn anywhere between Rs 700 to 1700 a day,  depending on the work he gets.

Ranil gets Rs. 700 daily for work as a security guard in a junior school near his home.  He is prone to asthma so the half day, quiet job suits him. It helps that he does not have to spend on transport.  But he does not get paid during school and other holidays.

Do we expect our people to survive on Rs. 700 a day – or even Rs. !700?  Sure, they can buy a square meal, but earning enough to only keep your belly full is a borderline existence.

The daily wage does not permit them to enjoy things that we take so much for granted.  An occasional meal in a restaurant, a new shirt or trouser, a decent pair of shoes, a phone, a movie, popcorn, ice cream… so many, many, little things are beyond them.  Forget about room rental and the big things like furniture, beds, linen, crockery, cutlery.   That is out of the question.  A chance to travel, to see your country, to see the world….. that is  another universe for the Edwards and Ranils of this world.

I look around; I have so much around me right now  – desks, lampshades, computers, rugs, TV , books  … so much to occupy me.

And the Edwards and Ranils of this world …?

Is it any wonder then that one drinks himself into a stupor at the end of the day, whilst the other sits on a bench.  That’s where he  watches the world go by whilst he waits for another morn which holds no more hope than today, or yesterday, or the day before.

Or will 2018 be different because we truly celebrate Immanuel – God with us.


The Power of No

Quote on No

The Power of NO!

NO to the extra shirt, or pants, or blouse or household gadget,

NO to lavish and extra packaging … and the extra plastic bag.

NO to keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ with a consumer oriented materialistic lifestyle and

NO to the craving for speciality food from across the seas;

NO to driving short distances instead of walking or cycling,

NO to taking the elevator instead of the stairs.

NO to putting the air-conditioner on all night and

NO to that extra light I can do without.

NO to a manicured lawn in lieu of trees.

NO to throwing what I can recycle or reuse.

Would you imagine that these simple ‘NO’S” of mine, if said often enough will reduce my carbon footprint and alter the course of history?

I invite you to look around, be aware and alert, check the many ways your personal NO can alter the course of history.

And share them here if you like so that together we can care for our planet.

It is OUR World.  OUR Responsibility.

Sustainable Development ExtraCarbon

Source: ExtraCarbon, Pinterest

Plastic – something to think about.

“Plastic should be a high value material… [It] should be in products that last a long time, and at the end of the life, you recycle it. To take oil or natural gas that took millions of years to produce and then to make a disposable product that last minutes or seconds, and then to just discard it–I think that’s not a good way of using this resource. (Robert Haley)”
Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Remembering my Dad ..

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 95.

Mum and Dad

Dad with the love of his life – Mum !

I had started my memoirs when he was with us and had posted a few of the most vivid memories onto this blog,  but need to complete it so the next generation will know the wonderful legacy that he has left us.

Meanwhile ….this blog has been named after a cherished memory.  My very first post replicated below describes this.

Thank you my Darling Dad for leaving me with such a beautiful memory that has stayed with me from my infancy.  May the Angels play you sweet lullaby’s as you rest safe in the heart of your Maker, our God.

……..(My first post) ….

It’s been a long idyllic break since I left the confines of the commercial world and it is time to start my “ramblings”.

Unfortunately,  Rambling Rose,  my dad’s name for me, has been taken by many servers so I’ve settled instead for ‘wondering rose’ which is closely linked.  I ramble because I wonder and many are my ‘wonderings’.  I wonder about this and I wonder about that till I sometimes drive the family round the bend.   I am sure my Dad had no idea how I would turn out when he sang this lullaby to me, in a voice almost as glorious to me as Nat King Cole:

Ramblin’ rose, ramblin’ rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that’s how you’ve grown
Who can cling to a ramblin’ rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin’ days are gone
Who will love you with a love true
When your ramblin’ days are through?

I can’t promise that anyone is going to love me or my ramblings but the Rose goes where it must – where the sun draws it …. and so too must I go … wherever The Son draws me.

When the curtain falls for the last time …

At the height of my professional career, I came across a verse by an unknown author that had a profound impact on me.   The verse that I typed and pinned onto my bedroom door has long since withered, but I came across a copy today which I would like to share.

I am often dramatic

I think it was perhaps it was this daily reminder of   Continue reading

Who is this “I” ?

A strange question indeed.  It is not the same as asking “Who am I?” for which an answer can be readily given.  This one is more complex .  So see if you can answer the following without any hesitation 🙂  … or whether you agree with the answers.

“Am I my thoughts, the thoughts that I am thinking?  No.  Thoughts come and go; I am not my thoughts.

Am I my body?  They tell us that millions of cells in our body are changing or are Continue reading

Does your space influence your praying?

I’ve been waking up around 3.00 am these days, as my body adjusts to effects of a trans-Atlantic trip.  I have been going to bed late hoping  I would sleep right through.  However I find myself awake in a couple of hours, trying to figure out how to while away the time till the dawn.

So I wander around a bit, pet the dog, pick up a book and put it down again for my eyes are too tired to concentrate.  I switch on the TV.   More of the same stuff – Trump and his trip, Trump and Continue reading

The New Covenant – sealed with the blood of the Lamb

I’ve searched long for answers to the explanation of the Cross being a bloody and brutal sacrifice of the Son, willed by a merciless Father.  I’ve pondered on it, questioned it, written about it and prayed about it.

I have read and reflected before … and recognised the parallel between the old Passover and the ‘new’,  but these words I read today answered so many questions I had on ‘Why the Cross?”,  because it started from a point that I was and took me through to this one statement that was like an eureka moment of greater clarity.

Here is what I read : Continue reading

The terrible thing about religion

“…. The fact is that you’re surrounded by God and you don’t see God, because you “know” about God. The final barrier to the vision of God is your God concept.   You miss God because you think you know. That’s the terrible thing about religion.

That’s what the gospels were saying, that religious people “knew,” so they got rid of Jesus.

The highest knowledge of God is to know God as unknowable. There is far too much God talk; the world is sick of it. There is too little awareness, too little love, too little happiness, but let’s not use those words either. There’s too little dropping of illusions, dropping of errors, dropping of attachments and cruelty, too little awareness. That’s what the world is suffering from, not from a lack of religion. Religion is supposed to be about a lack of awareness, of waking up. Look what we’ve degenerated into. …”      Extract from : The Anthony deMello Institute Goa: Awareness – 57