Posts tagged 10 steps to happiness

The Old Saying “If You Give A Man A Fish And You Feed Him For A Day But If You Teach Him To Fish You Feed Him For A Lifetime” Is Very True But Sometimes Hard to Implement

The Old Saying “If You Give A Man A Fish And You Feed Him For A Day But If You Teach Him To Fish You Feed Him For A Lifetime” Is Very True But Sometimes Hard to Implement

When I was teaching English in Hanoi Vietnam I tried to help a homeless man better himself. He got fired from his job of parking motorcycles, mainly because he was useless and I was very soon going to find out how useless he really was. I met him across the street from where I lived. I used to walk past him on the way to the bus stop and as he spoke English he started talking. I mean he spoke English but he didn’t understand anything I said. A sort of a one sided conversation. As I was his only friend and he was probably my only friend I used to take him to lunch in the cheapest place I could find. He had a few psychological problems, mainly to do with self esteem, as he would bore the pants of anyone who tried to talk to him by reviewing his life history. So he had very few friends.

I used to run around this little garden and do exercises in the morning and he ended up living on a park bench in this garden, so I saw a lot of him. He left his boarding house as he couldn’t pay the rent and in the summer this garden was a good place to live. Anyway I saw a lot of him, he had no money and he was too proud to ask for any so I took him to lunch. He couldn’t get a job as he was pretty useless so I tried to work out what he could do. He wouldn’t become a beggar, he was too proud for that or not hungry enough. He would rather starve than become a thief as he was pretty honest. So what could we do. In the end we settled on polishing shoes. Now that was something he could do, I hoped. Anyway I set him up with the polish and the brushes and off he went.

Now I was very worried as my visa was running out and I would have to leave, so I had to get him up to speed pretty quick. Not an easy task. He had no motivation and for him to live he needed to polish five shoes a day, but that was nearly an impossibility. I told him what to say to the foreigner and he still couldn’t get it right. I took him round the streets and showed him shoes that needed polishing and nothing happened. Another saying crossed my mind, “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

A Call To Anybody Living In Hanoi Near Hoan Kiem Lake Can You Go To The Hoan Kiem Library In Hanoi Just See If My Homeless Friend Is Still Alive, His Name Is Van. Thank you.

To find out more about homeless in Hanoi go here

And for more about living and teaching in Hanoi Vietnam click here

Church in Secondlife

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In latest interview, Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness


Interview No. 11: “One-On-One with the Pope” – Francis’ 10 Tips for a Happy Life | NOVUS ORDO WATCH


Bergoglio’s 11th Interview

“One-On-One with the Pope” —
Francis’ 10 Tips for a Happy Life include
“Live and Let Live” and “No Proselytism”

Now UPDATED with full English Translation of Francis’ 10 Steps to Happiness, below

It seems that “Pope” Francis is interested in letting each and every publication in the world have its own special interview with him, and this time (July 27, 2014), it’s for the Argentine Viva, a Sunday supplement to the Clarín newspaper.

At this point, details are still spotty, as almost nothing has yet been published online about the content of the 77-minute interview, which was recorded on video. Entitled “Mano a Mano con el Papa” — “One-On-One with the Pope” — it is an account of journalist Pablo Calvo’s conversation with the Argentine papal pretender.

A few days ago, Clarin had already released a brief teaser clip of the interview. Here it is again:

It is a really good thing that Calvo recorded the conversation on video; this way, no one will later be able to say, “Who knows if these words attributed to the Pope are even accurate?!” — as has been the fashion lately.

One substantial excerpt of the interview’s content has been released online so far, however: Francis has given “10 Suggestions for a Happy Life”, which we share below (in English translation — Spanish original posted here). Now, keep in mind, this is a Modernist speaking, so please proceed with caution — do not expect to find Catholic content here:

  1. Live and let live. “Here the Romans have a saying
    that we can follow like a thread: “Go ahead and let others go ahead
    too.” Live and let live, that is the first step towards peace and joy.”
  2. Giving oneself to others. “If one stays still, they run the risk of being selfish. And still water is the first to spoil.”
  3. Moving like a peaceful oasis. “In Don Segundo Sombra
    there is a beautiful image of someone who reflects on their own life.
    He says that as a youth he was a rocky stream that moved everything in
    its path; as an adult he was a river that moved ahead and that in old
    age he felt in motion, but slowly like a peaceful oasis [“remansado” in
    the original]. I would use the image of the poet and writer Ricardo
    Güiraldes, this last adjective “remansado.” The capacity to move with
    kindness and humility, the peaceful oasis of life. Old people have this
    wisdom, they are the memory of a nation. And a nation that does not look
    after its old people has no future.
  4. Playing with kids. “Consumerism has lead us to an
    anxiety about losing a healthy culture of leisure, reading, enjoying
    art. These days I rarely hear confessions, but in Buenos Aires I used to
    do that a lot and when a young mum came to me, I asked her: “How many
    children do you have? Do you play with them?” And it was a question she
    did not expect, but I said to her that playing with kids is key, it is a
    healthy culture. It is difficult, parents go to work early and at times
    return when the kids are already sleeping, it is difficult, but it has
    to be done.”
  5. Spending Sundays with the family. “The other day,
    in Campobasso, I went to a meeting between the worlds of academia and
    the world of labor, and both were demanding Sundays without work. Sunday
    is for the family.”
  6. Helping young people find employment. “We have to
    be creative with their age group. If there is a lack of opportunity,
    they will fall prey to drugs. And the suicide index among young people
    without employment is very high. The other day I read, but I don’t trust
    it because it is not scientific data, that there are 75 million
    unemployed young people below the age of 25.3 It is not
    enough to feed them: we have to make up one-year courses for them to
    learn plumbing, becoming an electrician or a builder. Bringing bread
    home is what gives you dignity.”
  7. Looking after nature. “We have to look after creation and we are not doing it. It is one of the greatest challenges we have.”
  8. Quickly forgetting about the negative. “The need
    to speak ill of another indicates low self-esteem, in other words: I
    feel so low that instead of rising, I lower the other. Quickly
    forgetting what is negative is healthy.”
  9. Respecting those who think differently. “We may
    trouble others by our testimony, so that we may both progress in our
    communication, but the worst that can happen is religious proselytism,
    which paralyzes: “I dialogue with you to convince [convert] you.” No! Each one
    dialogues from their own identity. The Church grows by attraction, not
    by proselytism.”
  10. Actively seeking peace. “We are living in times of
    many wars. In Africa, wars look like tribal wars, but they are
    something else. War destroys. And the call for peace has to be shouted.
    Peace at times gives the impression of stillness, but it is never
    stillness, it is always an active peace.”


Notice in particular that there is no mention of anything supernatural here; it’s all totally geared towards this earthly life, which must necessarily end, and which is not our eternal destiny, not the reason for our existence. True happiness in this life is
impossible. Would have been nice for him to mention. Then again, not being a Catholic, he wouldn’t understand. He does not speak about God at all, and of course Sundays are only for the “family.”

But our favorite in the above “10 Commandments of Happiness” is point no. 9, in which Bergoglio says: “pero lo peor que puede haber es el proselitismo religioso, que paraliza: ‘Yo dialogo contigo para convencerte’, no” — “but the worst that can happen is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I dialogue with you in order to convert you.’ No!”

This is definitely a familiar theme with Mr. Bergoglio, who said in January 2014 that “[t]o dialogue means to believe that the ‘other’ has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute” (source).

Well then, welcome to Francis’ New Gospel, that of “live and let live”, where the worst thing you can do is try to convince the other that the Catholic Church alone has the absolute truth.

Tom Droleskey has provided an insightful commentary on this nonsense, here:


The July 27 Cover of CLARIN

There is more content of the interview in Spanish at this link. But you’ve probably already read enough.


UPDATE 29-JUL-2014: Some Novus Ordo coverage of the interview has now appeared:



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The wheat and the weeds


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