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My Friend

I have to learn to make time for reading and writing, which has slowed to a crawl ever since I am slowly getting back to life.
Hence these untimely letters.

This week, I present a little story I read when I was, oh, about ten years old.
Thirty years later, it still guides my actions and affirms my faith.
It has always given me a strange kind of freedom, when it comes to my how I go about life, encouraging me to do my best, and not to worry even if I stumble.
It planted the very powerful seed, that God if (s)he exists, is more loving than just.
I just ought to be a good human.


Malik, son of Dinar, was much upset about the profligate behaviour of a youth who lived next door to him. For a long time he took no action, hoping that someone else would intervene. But when the youth’s behaviour became intolerable, Malik went to him and insisted that he change his ways.

The youth calmly replied that he was a protégé of the sultan and so nobody could prevent him from living the way he wanted.

Said Malik, “I shall personally complain to the sultan.” Said the youth, “that will be quite useless, because the sultan will never change his mind about me.”

“I shall then denounce you to Allah,” said Malik. “Allah,” said the youth, “is far too forgiving to condemn me.”

Malik went away defeated. But after a while the youth’s reputation became so bad that there was a public outcry about it. Malik decided that it was his duty to reprimand him. As he was walking to the youth’s house, however, he heard a voice say to him, “Do not touch my friend. He is under my protection.” Malik was thrown into confusion by this and, when he was in the presence of the youth, did not know what to say.

Said the young man, “What have you come for now?” Said Malik, “I came to reprimand you. But on my way here a voice told me not to touch you, for you are under his protection.”

The profligate seemed stunned. “Did he call me his friend?” he asked. But by then Malik had already left his house. Years later, Malik met this man in Mecca. He had been so touched by the words of the voice that he had given up his possessions and become a wandering beggar.

“I have come here in search of my Friend,” he said to Malik, and died.


This lovely parable is just one of many, in Anthony de Mello’s beautiful compendium of parables, The Song of the Bird.

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#100DaysOfCode, Days 002 & 003 – Dates & Times

Worked an hour for the past two days, exerting all of my python knowledge at the small project they gave me.
Try as I might, I could not do it.
So looked at the solution.
And realised, while it was all logical, I couldn’t for the life of me have written that code on my own.
Long way to travel.
Lots of work to do.


#100DaysOfCode, Day 001 – Dates & Times

Watched videos for the tiny projects to do over the next two days.

We begin with a date/time project.
Python has objects (primitives) to deal with dates and times.
They are part of the datetime module, which is part of the Python Standard Library.

I learnt that I could add and subtract and otherwise modify dates, easily if my date data was in this format.

Will play more with this tomorrow.

100 Days of Code, Again

Ok, the last time I tried this, life got in my way.
Second time lucky?

Last time, I crashed and burned.
So, to quote Rascal Flatts,

On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand.

Every time you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place.

So, 100 Days of Code, #100DaysOfCode?
Look here for the philosophy and the tactics (pretty simple, really.)
And then I’m using Talk Python’s course to actually learn Python.
33 odd little projects over a 100 days.

Here I go …


I Am Here, (Trying Really Hard to Show Up)

Sorry, but not sorry about the lack of the weekly email yesterday :)
The phone is dead, the computer’s crashed and the net is not working.
In short, Murphy definitely has not left the building.
But if I am to be successful at what I do, if I aim to earn your trust, I need to show up :)
To quote Seth,

Showing up on time, with a smile on your face is almost always more important than what you actually say or do.

and this

“I am here”

Showing up matters more than ever, particularly if you promised you would.

Not just showing up in person, but showing up emotionally, or with support, or with a resource that was inconvenient for you to produce.

We're no longer judging you by what sort of widgets your factory makes. we’re judging you by what we can expect from you in the future.

Which is what today’s little mail is about.
I am just writing this, so that I can say,
I am here.
I am showing up.
And thank you all for reading my little screed.
You folks, are wonderful people :)

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P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.