Unplugged…

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I’m sure many of you will have encountered this situation: you leave the house without your mobile phone. For many this induces a palpable sense of panic and fear. Many people will turn around, even if it makes them late for work, to go back and get their phone.

How could we get through the day without it? Our mobile devices have become much more than just a phone. In fact the phone ‘application’ on your mobile device is the part that most use the least.

Our mobiles help us feel connected to the world, help us get our work done, help us record and document our lives. It’s amazing how, in conjunction with social media apps, they allow us to connect with old friends, discover unknown connections that make the world seem smaller, more joined up. Somehow friendlier.

Our mobiles are also a portal to the collective knowledge of the human race. Our history, our humour, our desires are all just a few clicks away and can be carried around in the palm of our hands. They contain so much information for us and about us.

They have literally transformed our lives.

So it’s understandable that we feel panicked when we leave them behind, or when we can’t put our hands on them immediately. But there is also a darker more uncomfortable relationship we have with these devices…

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The Most Valuable Thing On The Planet

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What is the most valuable thing on the planet?

When we talk about value, we have a tendency to attach a monetary value; what is something worth in Dollars, Pounds, Euros, Yen? Most things, even your happiness, can be attached to an economic value. And, because we live in an economic world, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without money.

So what is the most expensive thing money could buy? At the moment it’s probably the company Apple, with a market value of approximately half a trillion dollars. Just pause and consider that: five hundred billion dollars. It is an amount of money that is almost unimaginable.

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Out Of The Fire

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Fire is an amazing resource. I find it amazing that the contradictory potential to provide necessary, life-giving heat and the capacity for raging destruction, are bound up within the same element. It can both support and destroy life.

One place you don’t want a fire is in a forest. Unless you happen to be a Giant Redwood or Giant Sequoia tree. These huge, sky-scraping trees can now only be found in a few locations across California and are the world’s largest single living organisms. If you’ve been fortunate to see one up close I’m sure you’ll agree that they are truly something to behold. I say from experience that no picture can capture the awesome and humbling experience of standing in front of one of these remarkable trees.

I find it fascinating that scientists have discovered that these majestic trees, thousands of years old, actually benefit from forest fires. Scientific tests of the bark has determined that these trees have been in many forest fires during their lifetimes. And, not only did they survive, they thrived. We’ve learned that the ash from forest fires had provided nourishment, and it was from amongst the ashes that new saplings of these giants would emerge.

It’s why forest rangers now have controlled fires around these trees. They recognise that the fire, whilst destructive in it’s ability to burn so many things, provides the Redwoods and Sequoias with important nutrients.

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