life, leadership and everything in between

 

The Allegorical Life Blog and Podcast

Mark has willingly spent many years studying and teaching – through allegories, myths, metaphors, philosophies and theologies, and particularly in studies, practices and teaching of Buddhist thought – the ethics that underpin concepts of leadership. In this blog and podcast series, Mark speaks on both his professional and personal experiences of crisis and adversity and on the ethics of trust, humility, compassion and forgiveness. 

Arriving on foot and leaving on horseback

Arriving on foot and leaving on horseback

The characters of those that lead us Globally, we continue to witness many leaders committing to minimise exposure and deliver on the needs of those experiencing suffering arising from Covid-19. Sadly, we are also witnessing other leaders failing in their moral,...

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A very dark cloud with a bright silver lining

A very dark cloud with a bright silver lining

Pervasive suffering and shared vulnerability COVID-19 continues to play havoc across the world as it finds its way into every corner of society, culture, community, and demographic. Like all adversity, the virus itself does not discriminate, nor does it seek to...

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“Lighting up the Dawn” – The power of ritual

“Lighting up the Dawn” – The power of ritual

Changes in tradition - but not spirit Not since the commencement of ANZAC Day in 1942 have we, as a nation, been prevented from traditionally honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us may enjoy a more peaceful world by profoundly understanding...

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We can be heroes for more than one day

We can be heroes for more than one day

The leadership and innovation being shown by Astrid Jorgensen during this time of global crisis is nothing short of impressive. Astrid along with Megan Bartholomew created the concept of the Pub Choir in March 2017 in an inner-city Hotel in Brisbane. Originally...

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Stepping in, stepping up, running towards

Stepping in, stepping up, running towards

The World is currently experiencing a crisis of generationally unprecedented proportions as we navigate the acute impacts of a global pandemic known as COVID-19. Ten’s of thousands have died, millions have been infected, and by the time it has finished sweeping...

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The Mountain, the Desert, and the Tree

The Mountain, the Desert, and the Tree

Devastation and Transformation The world has just witnessed, and many have just experienced, some of the most devastating wildfires of modern times. Hundreds of thousands of people were impacted directly, and millions affected indirectly. In speaking with a close...

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In Honour of the Fallen

In Honour of the Fallen

The agony and the gift of transformation Currently Australia is experiencing its worst fire season in living memory. As of this posting, 33 people have given their lives across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Over 2700 homes and over 5200 outbuildings...

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The insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown

The insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown

Reflecting on a crucial moment in history On my way to Perth this week to progress my PhD research I watched a documentary on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon which took place 50 years ago last month. I had just turned five at the time, and like most people my age or...

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Bearing the Badge of Busyness

Bearing the Badge of Busyness

The subtleties of busyness Have you noticed of late how busy people are? Inevitably when you ask someone how are they, they usually reply “I’m flat out” or “I’m really busy at the moment, How about you?”, almost like they are expecting you to be at least as busy as...

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Dear Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister

A letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand: “Dear Prime Minister, We owe you a great debt of gratitude for the courage and foresight you had to bring an ethical premise to political leadership on the international stage. For thinking, speaking and acting through...

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A world of perpetual anger and rage!

A world of perpetual anger and rage!

Anger everywhere Recently I had the opportunity of having a week off work to gather my thoughts and regain my energy after a gruelling nine months of intense policy work. It gave me more time to read the papers, listen to the news, and observe some of the political...

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Travelling without a compass? Good luck!

Travelling without a compass? Good luck!

Ideologies in Australian culture I recently had the great privilege of sharing a conversation and a coffee with Hugh Mackay, a prominent social scientist who has been commenting on Australian culture for over 30 years. His latest book, Australia Reimagined, offers...

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The Life of another Brian

The Life of another Brian

An Ordinary Man Many people would have watched Monty Python’s Life of Brian. An iconic movie portraying an ordinary man who was fundamentally misunderstood by the masses to be the messiah. This blog is dedicated to another man named Brian, who ironically, may well...

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Be Mindful of Children Bearing Gifts

Be Mindful of Children Bearing Gifts

Disruptor or Dancer? In his best-selling book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Ken Robinson tells the story of a young girl who simply didn’t fit into society in the way that most of us are expected to fit in. In school she couldn’t settle,...

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Looking back, Living Forwards

Looking back, Living Forwards

Making meaning in the world“Life is not a problem to be solved; but a reality to be experienced.” Soren Kierkegaard Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher who lived in the nineteenth century and is widely acclaimed to be the first existential philosopher. He was...

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Sacred spaces, blessed places

Sacred spaces, blessed places

For years I have read the works of Joseph Campbell. A comparative mythologist who introduced me to the intersections of Philosophy, theology and mythology. Campbell was one on those great original thinkers of history. Early in his life, he studied intensely to gain...

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An Ode to my Wife

An Ode to my Wife

BirthdaysYesterday I turned 54. Not a particularly big milestone for most of us. In fact, I travelled to Melbourne yesterday afternoon to attend a conference that I have the great privilege of speaking at every year. And in a job like mine, Sunday afternoon trips to...

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The Basis of a Good Life: Tribute to Stephen Hawking

The Basis of a Good Life: Tribute to Stephen Hawking

Pathways to wisdom The famous Chinese philosopher Confucius once said that “wisdom was learnt one of three ways, through: reflection – the noblest; imitation – the easiest; or experience – the bitterest.” Sometimes, despite how much we may meditate on or muse over the...

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Architects and Authors

Architects and Authors

Why I'm arguing with AristotleThere is an ancient Greek belief, based largely upon the philosophers such as Aristotle, that the only people who deserve compassion are those who do not deserve their suffering. Or to say it another way, some people deserve their...

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Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Remembering  Bourke Street Many people would remember the tragic event in the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne on 20th January 2017. The male driver of a motor vehicle intentionally drove down through the Mall, aiming his car at as many people as possible, killing a...

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The inevitability of natural hazard events

The inevitability of natural hazard events

Not 'if'  - only 'when' and 'where' The idea of the inevitability of natural hazard events was well and truly reinforced in my mind when visiting Marysville and Kinglake, some days after the tragic fires in Victoria of 7 February 2009. I stood in the middle of...

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A short word on Forgiveness

A short word on Forgiveness

Guilty or not guilty – an interesting question!We all experience guilt as part of our psyche. Seen positively, it aids us throughout our lives, helping us to maintain a close relationship with our soul or consciousness, its moral compass, and its desire to give and...

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A short word on Compassion

A short word on Compassion

Finding opportunities for compassion Over the past 33 years, having personally experienced the physical, emotional and psychological impacts of severe to catastrophic natural hazard events as well as witnessing these impacts on those who directly lost loved ones or...

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A short word on Trust

A short word on Trust

The Meaning of a UniformEvery Police, Fire and Emergency Service (PF&ES) in Australia, as in most other countries in the world, wears a uniform with a badge on each shoulder. When I ask members of PF&ES what the badge symbolises, the usual response is a...

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Perfect Symbols – Imperfect Symbols

Perfect Symbols – Imperfect Symbols

A God, Held HighMany people would remember the story of Lance Armstrong, 7 times winner of the Tour de France cycling race, arguably the most arduous cycling race in the world. His early life story involved his courageous battle with testicular cancer and his eventual...

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A Question of Faith

A Question of Faith

 The blissful silence of knowingThroughout the course of my career I have witnessed much loss and suffering as well as much courage and faith. They all seem to go hand in hand to a greater or lesser degree. I want to briefly reflect on the concept of faith. It’s...

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