PURITANS AND PILGRIMS

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PURITANS AND PILGRIMS

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday have just passed, but not everybody knows the meaning and story of Thanksgiving Day.

After the Church of England had split off from the Roman Catholic Church, a few Christian groups that didn’t identify themselves with the Anglicans, took root in England.

Puritans were a dissident faction who wanted to “Purify” – hence their name Puritans – the Church of England from the trappings of Catholicism.

Pilgrims, also called Separatists, aimed to separate themselves from the Church of England which they considered corrupted, and give rise to an autonomous entity.

Both groups were not tolerated by government authorities, but Separatists were persecuted to such an extent that they were forced to leave the country. They settled in Holland, where they remained for a long time.

In 1620, around one hundred Pilgrims landed on the shores of Massachusetts. Once there, they came in touch with the Native Americans and established a good relationship with them. They sowed a field with the seeds they had received from the Natives, and the following year they had a good crop. They gave thanks to God both for the crop and everything. Ever since that time, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in America.

Puritans emigrated to America as well, and it seems that later the two groups merged together.

Puritans have greatly influenced custom, literature, and politics. They aimed to enhance each individual in his everyday life, rather than considering society as a whole. Modern novel – expressed by the first novelists Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding – originates just from Puritans’ way of thinking and living life.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

WHOEVER WINS, NOTHING WILL CHANGE FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE

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WHOEVER WINS, NOTHING WILL CHANGE FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE

After Donald Trump won the American elections, many people were frightened, stock markets collapsed, while his supporters enjoyed the victory of a man who appeared to be away from party political games.

Will the world change after Trump’s victory? For ordinary people nothing will change!

The poor will remain poor, the rich rich, the weak weak, the sufferer will continue to suffer, and so on. In other words, whether Clinton had won or Trump, neither of them would have been able to give you a guarantee of happiness and success. Our good or bad luck depends on ourselves, not on external circumstances. Politicians change, but we will always remain the same, with our weaknesses and small victories.

What matters is the inner strength and energy that each one possesses. With this we can better ourselves and the world, without expecting much from those who rule countries.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

MALCHA

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MALCHA

Yesterday, I went to a tea festival in Daegu. There were many booths, and inside each of them Korean ladies dressed in their traditional dress called hanbok served tea. I tasted malcha for the first time. It is a kind of tea made of green tea powder. The lady in the picture made it by using a special tool and then offered it to the visitors.

In other booths they served other kinds of tea, including a very fragrant tea with lotus flowers.

Beside the special flavor of many teas, I appreciated the refinement and elegance of the ladies to make and serve tea in the booths.

Making and serving tea is an art, so as cooking, painting, writing, playing a musical instrument and even living is an art. Don’t you think that human relations would be smoother and more beautiful if we applied a bit of art to our behavior?

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

MOUNTAIN IS MOUNTAIN, WATER IS WATER

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MOUNTAIN IS MOUNTAIN, WATER IS WATER

Today I visited Palgong Mountain near the city of Daegu, the third biggest city in Korea.

To go up, I walked along a broad uphill walkway, and then I climbed one thousand three hundred and sixty-five stairs. I arrived at the top of the mountain with my tongue hanging out, because the stairs are steep and uneven; then the statue of Katpawi Buddha appeared to me.

It is the only Buddha with a hat on. It was carved by a monk who intended to placate his mother’s soul by this. The hat on Buddha’s head is a traditional Korean hat wore only by high class men in ancient times. It is said that if you make a wish (only one wish) to Katpawi Buddha, it will be fulfilled.

While I was facing the statue, the sound of a Buddhist song flooded my ears. The words were mountain is mountain – water is water.

Then, I sat down to contemplate Katpawi Buddha. I felt as if he was opening my eyes to see reality as it is, not as I want it to be. Yes, mountain is mountain – water is water, I thought. How many times we mistake mountain for water and vice versa! This happens because of our delusions which prevent us from seeing things as they are. We wrongly perceive things, people, and situations, so as a distort mirror reflects a distort world.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

 

BREXIT

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BREXIT

I am Italian, and I would have preferred that Britain had not left Europe. Nevertheless, nothing is lost! I am convinced that eventually the UK will remain in Europe for two reasons: because the referendum was only consultative, and because the majority pro-Brexit was by no means overwhelming.

The referendum has left the country split in two halves: the young in favor of staying in Europe, while the older generations have voted for separation.

Obviously, in this delicate matter the opinion of young people carries greater weight, because to them belongs future!

As for me, I cannot imagine Europe without Britain. Centuries of history bind Britain to Europe; even Sicily, which is my island, has a special place in the history of England.

On the slopes of Mount Etna there is the castle of Admiral Horatio Nelson. It is worth visiting, because it is a European heritage which no referendum can wipe out.

Although I don’t do politics, I have my own ideas. For me workers are all equal. Individuals exist; not nations! Everybody has entitled to work and live anywhere in the world, because Earth belongs to everyone, regardless of the country where they were born.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC

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THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC

A few days ago, I was strolling along the streets in the center of Chiclayo when I came across a long parade made up of former students of “Collegio Nacional De San Josè”, which is a school only for boys. It was established one hundred and fifty-six years ago in Chiclayo.

The school band headed the procession.

Without music the parade would have been lifeless, but the sound of the band enlivened it and drew people from every corner of the city.

What would be life without music? It surely would be gloomy. Music exists from time immemorial. According to many, life itself originates from music, or a sound, or a word.

A long time ago, I saw a movie called Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The director was Steven Spielberg. The story was this: some people had wormed their way into a secret military base where a close encounter with aliens was going to happen. After a few attempts, the aliens got in touch with the earthmen just by playing musical notes, as their language was based on music. Was it mere science fiction? We don’t know, but it is certain that music is the only non-verbal language in the universe which everybody can understand, both earthmen and extraterrestrials.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE HAPPY MAN HAD NO SHIRT

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THE HAPPY MAN HAD NO SHIRT

Seeing the happiness of these Peruvian children who belong to poor families, I recalled a story that a long time ago I read when I attended middle school.

Once upon a time, a king ordered his servants to bring him the shirt of a man who was really happy.

Hence, the servants went all around the kingdom, but they couldn’t find a happy man; everybody had some kind of misfortune. When their hope to find a happy man was about to die, unexpectedly they found a man singing in the open air.

This man must be really happy! Let’s go to talk with him for a while!” they said.

After questioning him, they found that he was really a happy man. “Give us your shirt! We will take it to the king and he will give you a special award for that!” they said.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any shirt,” the happy man answered, “I am so poor that I don’t own anything.”

The servants went back to the king and reported that they did find a happy man indeed, but he had no shirt.

The moral of the story is intuitive: happiness springs not from riches but from the spontaneity of the heart.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo