paying attention

Paying attention to…..

In Jeanette’s Reflection on Prayer, she mentioned the concept of ‘paying attention to’ (mindfulness).

In Michael Williams recent review of Richard Flanagan’s new book ‘The Living Sea of Waking Dreams’ he suggests the “book’s key wilful obliviousness”. Williams says it is “a story about the Age of Inattention’. He feels that “in this noisy, indifferent world that Flanagan has captured so well, we don’t see one another. We don’t pay attention”.

Over the past two weeks I have been paying attention to the NSW Inquiry into Crown Casino’s Licence to operate the Barangaroo Casino. The Directors (many well known) and the Executive (past and present) along with the largest shareholder, James Packer, have been appearing before the Commission.

And when I say appearing, I mean facing relentless thoroughly researched meticulous questioning.

What has been painfully clear is the lack of attention paid by these highly remunerated people to legal compliance requirements of the positions they hold. In fact, it is clear they were exercising ‘wilful obliviousness’. Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil – and whatever you do – don’t go searching for it in your own ‘house’.  They all exercised a relentless lack of curiosity. Anything that got in the way of making a mind-numbing amount of money was, if you believe the testimonies, not seen – or was thoroughly ignored.

The Inquiry is now being well covered by The Age. In yesterday’s addition, the excellent columnist Tony Wright, has a piece entitled ‘The wealth of the few makes us the poorer’.

He begins with James Packer being beamed into the Casino Inquiry from his $300 million giga yacht moored somewhere near Tahiti. Further on he provides the following shame:

“In 2009, the combined wealth of the world’s richest 380 people equalled the wealth of the bottom 50 per cent of the planet’s population.

By 2018, according to Oxfam, just 26 billionaires owned as much as that bottom half of humanity”

There are other equally confronting statistics in the article.

The other night we watched an interview with Robert Dessaix about his new book on getting old – ‘The Time of our Lives’. In reflecting on and discussing the basis of a happy life he referenced the Japanese philosophy of Yutori and paraphrased it, for himself, to:

Just enough plus a little bit of:





In paying attention, I am aiming to remind myself to identify the key ingredients for a happy fulfilling  life and to wilfully remember and recognise that just enough is good enough.


Vic Issell 11 October 2020

1 Comment

  1. Wendy Snook on November 14, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Yes, I totally agree with your comments here. Preach it, sister! 🙂
    And please say “Hi,” for me to Rev Coralie Ling, if you see her.

    Rev Wendy Snook
    St Andrews Berwick UCA

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