Tag Archives: Happiness

Muzungu: Intitial thoughts on Uganda

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Poverty. Chaos. Laughter. And happiness. These are probably the best four words to sum up my first week in Uganda. I came to help with teacher training services for some community initiatives here and have found a new place in my heart[1].

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The Wasted Third

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I started thinking yesterday after work about our relationship with our working lives. I personally really enjoy my work – I’m a teacher – and gain great satisfaction and pleasure from my job. It really got me thinking. As I speculated, I sought the assistance of a thesaurus for language manipulation. If we consider the synonyms of work we find the words toil, labour, grind and drudgery. All of which paint a Dickensian portrait in charcoal and darkness on the innocent canvas of youth. We are almost trained to believe that work – like school to many youths – is the necessary evil for enjoyment. I’ve never been (nor do I ever care to be) a member of this rather bleak club. For many though it is, sadly, the norm that they exist within.

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Nature of Youth and Experience

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The approaching summer always inspires in me the nostalgia of my spring. The days when me and my oldest friend would wander across the fields of his father’s farm. Meandering around cow dung, past brambles and frog spawn in search of nothing and yet with the unfaltering  purpose which comes with youth. We were in one sense adventurers & explorers and in another lords or all that we surveyed. The countryside was ours for the taking. We cared little for the path that we undertook or for the world that lay before us. And if the world failed to satisfy that thirst for exploration then our ample imaginations would naturally fill the void.

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The Unattainable Joy of Childhood

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Why is it impossible to reach the level of uncontrollable excitement and happiness that we took for granted as children? I had a class recently of children – who are younger than the teenagers I usually teach – and I was amazed and astonished with the level of joy that children can gain from the simplest of stimuli.

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