‘Had a bad day huh? Yeah, I get that . . . when I was in Auschwitz . . .’ And right there, all complaints melt away. I can feel holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku reaching out to me through history with his excellent The Happiest Man on Earth, a book published last year as he turned one hundred years old. Amazingly he spent his last days in Sydney, Australia, an exceptionally large stone’s throw away from me in Melbourne, last October. I feel quite honoured to have been on the same continent, but dearly wish I’d discovered the book sooner and made a trip to meet him. The book is that good. There is nothing more life affirming than stories of the worst, and best, of humanity. I’m listening to a Mads Mikelsen voiced narrator talk me through the tome, and am enjoying every second.
I’ve taken a break for the last month from lots of things. Instead, I treated myself to a little break in Europe, a chance to celebrate some freedoms, culminating in a belated 40th and 41st birthday present in racing a Lamborghini Gallardo around a track in Modena, Italy. It’s a beautiful, beautiful machine. For fun, I’ve been looking at prices in the UK. Amazingly, it’s not THAT bad! About half the price of those in Australia. Can I afford the petrol though, that's the thing! But a few laps laughing my ass off in a sports car in Italy was very enjoyable. Simple pleasures!
I was working nights throughout my European travels, the lovely Australian hours of 8pm to 5am. I’d sleep a great deal during the day, but had about five hours each day to ghost around Portugal, Italy, San Marino (I didn’t even know where it was!), Switzerland, France and Germany, reacquainting myself with friends I hadn’t seen in almost ten years . . . it was truly wonderful. Life affirming. Felt very grateful for seeing smiling faces. Listening to Jaku now is just the icing on a glorious cake. Jaku's message? Be kind and compassionate. Try to be happy. If you can't do that, be kind. Happiness will come.
Things may not always go your way (Arsenal . . . enough said) but it’s the reaction to the setbacks. Enough with this horseshit of believing there’s a masterplan and complaining of constant oppression and how unjust everything is. Vamos! The world is there for the taking. Perhaps stop though when you start thinking of taking over a country, eh?
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