Nov 302010

Dear readers,

In  a previous note, I mentioned that I would be starting a new series called ‘The ABC’s of (my) Life’… selected topics ranging from A to Z.  I would like to add now the topics I have selected.

I do this for two reasons:

1. I need to put myself on a committed track. (As one of our readers commented, it’s the doing that’s important).

2. You might appreciate the knowing what’s coming (if not exactly in  alphabetical order).

There are two concerns I also have: 

1 As much as would like, I cannot be tempted to rush the process ( I hate to disappoint people – including myself).



2. I fear (if it’s not too presumptous) that my words won’t be there when, and if, needed.

(The later is a cross I feel I must bear; because, like you, I have no idea what might come out of my pen – but, come it will, if truly inspired.)

Here then is the track (and subjects) to which I’ve committed myself … I can do no more … hopefully it’s enough.

It’s a journey. I’m glad to have you along!

A = Always; B =Belief; C = Courage; D = Diversity; E = Education; F = Forgiveness / Family; G = Gratitude / God; H = Happiness / Humility; I = “IAM”; J = Job; K = Kindness / Hope; L = Love; M = Mother; N = Natural / Nature; O/P = Other People; Q = Questions; R = Rest; S = Stop; T = Trust; U = Understanding; V = Victim; W = Woman; X = eXcitement; Y = Youth; Z = Zany 

Nov 182010

Always, is a word that you don’t hear much in our materialistic world – unless it’s in fairy tales. Is that because there are no absolute truths, or is it that we just don’t yet understand them as real? 


In the movie A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crow`s character – the real life mathematics professor John Nash – wonders if he’d reached some kind of honesty bordering on stupidity, after learning he had won the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics.


Such are our feelings of humility – even among those of overwhelming genius – who, having ploughed new ground before us, beckon us to follow in their wake and forge new ground of our own. We can follow in their “footprints on the sands of time,” as the poet Longfellow stated in A Psalm of Life.   


I guess that’s why English physicist Sir Isaac Newton reminded us that he stood on the “shoulders of giants”—meaning, all those who went before him.  It is the same for us, too. For example, now that Einstein’s theories have been proven to be true, our real task is to deal with the various complexities of those profound facts.


The tools are there; we just have to use them rather than feeling we have to paint the Sistine Chapel with a crayon.


Professor Nash`s theory of Governing Dynamics, for example, could prove to be an antidote to these recessionary times. It has challenged 150 years of international economic theory. Whereas Adam Smith said that the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what’s best for them, Nash said that that was incomplete and that the best result comes from doing what’s best for oneself and the group. This ground-breaking resolution concept has influenced everything from global trade negotiations to labour relations.


Imagine that: countries and competitive global institutions actually working together – rather than competing with each other – for the benefit of all. 


Similar to a ‘win-win’ situation, it’s a matter of trust among everyone  … trust that leads from the heart … of which Professor Nash concludes that, “It is only in the mysterious equations of the heart, that any logic or reasons can be found.”


And, T.S. Eliot advised that, “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” 


Does this mean that I should believe in the God-given characteristics that flow from the heart?  Characteristics like respect, honesty, caring, generosity, courage, justice, mercy, self-worth, humility, responsibility, acceptance, peace; and most importantly eternal love? 


Yes … now and for always.

Fred Parry

Fred Parry




Nov 142010

 Hi all,

For those who have kept up with this Blog, as well as, new visitors; I wanted to say first, many thanks; and secondly, I wanted to let you know what to expect in future.

I’ll be starting a new series called ‘The ABC’s of (my) Life’.

As you might guess, by my past posts, it will be short reads, plus now,  selected topics ranging from A to Z. The only thing is that it will probably not come in  alphabetical order. (Who can predict when inspiration can strike?) So, the plan is to let it come … as it comes. 

In any event, my continued wish is that you may find it useful.


Fred Parry (

PS       From time to time, I get questions as to RSS feeds and other technical issues – which are not my specialty. So, if other readers, who happen to see such inquiries – and know the answers – it would be appreciated if you could advise that person directly or via the Comments section.

Best wishes and please feel free to ‘pass the word’. 

Nov 072010

When you look back on life, is there anyone in your past who is responsible for your being who you are today?


I particularly remember my fraternal grandfather in this way. Always laughing and cheerful, he made me change my sluggish adolescent mind into one that took pride in a sense of accomplishment, as a reward for a job well done. I mean what 14-year-old likes work, right? Well, I wasn’t any different.


Of course, I was used to my grandfather’s ‘whistle while you work’ attitude, but I thought that that was unique to him. So, when he asked me to help clean our outside family home windows, I thought he was crazy. Yeah, right … crazy like a fox … he really pulled a ‘Tom Sawyer’ on me! (You know the kid who talked his friends into painting his fence for him?)


“Freddie”, my Grandfather said, “just think how sparkling those windows will be … all shiny in the sunlight!” He went on and on, telling me how much fun this was going to be and eventually sold me on the idea. And, looking back, he was right. I can still feel how good I felt looking at all those gleaming windows.  


As a result, this way of looking at things has been the cornerstone of my life ever since.


If my grandfather whistled while he worked, my wife’s dad, ‘Dodie’, positively danced and sang his way through life … his and ours!


Growing up poor, over 90 years ago in Edinburgh – in an environment that seemed straight out of Dickens – Dodie was orphaned from an early age. Living like a street urchin, he learned to survive using only his wits. “Nothing colder than charity!” he would instruct our kids, as he regaled us with his sense of humour and charm.  


I can still see him now during one of his weekend stays – making Sunday morning pancakes for the grandkids … dancing a jig in a night shirt that would have made Scrooge proud… and singing his heart out to an old folk tune, ‘Mother Brown:’ “Knees up mother Brown, knees up mother Brown; knees up, knees up, don’t let the breeze up; knees up mother Brown!” And, like the Pied Piper, he had the whole family joining in before he was through. 


Both these men were vastly different from one another, but shared some basic similarities. They were mere mortals like all of us; however, unlike many of us, they resolutely failed to give in to life’s problems. In this, they shared the qualities of infectious happiness and caring, shunning negativity and thoughtlessness. Being both navy men during wartime, maybe they valued life more than most; and took it for granted less. 


I can’t help but be reminded of a verse from H.W. Longfellow’s poem, A Psalm of Life:


“In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!”


I’m sure that they would laugh at me writing this now. I’m smiling now, just thinking that they would.

Fred Parry

Fred Parry