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A flint fragment found on Harkstead Shore.

New Year Message from our co-founder Pete

Hello again to all our dear friends of Inside Out
I wanted to connect with you again as we enter the New Year (2021) perhaps with faltering steps & with a sense of dismay and fearfulness given all that is going on. I share those feelings of dispiritedness & anxiety – they come and go! We are all suffering – a collective suffering – in this awful pandemic, but we need to hold onto hope based in the reality that this too will pass. As the saying goes ‘The good news is that nothing lasts forever. The bad news is that nothing lasts forever’! In the former the teaching is to stay hopeful in that knowledge; in the latter the teaching is that when things are good we should enjoy the moment.
In times of grave adversity there is often an outbreak of kindness and care in neighbourhoods and communities. All that is good in human nature seems to rise to the surface. One can see that our front line health care staff are caring ‘beyond the call of duty’; those providing social care too. But there are a thousand acts of loving kindness taking place in the world each moment of every day.There is in my view a goodness at the heart of humanity. Sometimes it doesn’t seem so; at times it seems the very opposite is true when we witness inequality, abuse and cruelty let loose in the world.
A world without kindness cannot survive. Kindness arises out of our ability to be in empathic attunement with each other. To know what others might be experiencing & respond to the experience in a heartfelt way. Not just to our fellow humans but to all beings & the earth itself. It requires connectedness, to be in community with others, with all beings & our environment. It seems as if that connectedness has been broken in this ‘me first’ era.
In these perilous times the one thing that can save us is an outbreak of loving kindness.
We can all be part of this flow of kindness in the world in all sorts of ways from small random acts, to an ongoing loving commitment to a good cause.
As the Dali Lama said: ‘my religion is simple; my religion is kindness’
Take good care everyone; be kind to yourselves as well as others
Peter Watkins
Co Founder Inside Out Community
Image: Flint Fragment (found on Harkstead Shore)

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