Return visitors to josephoreilly.com have probably noticed that after many years of effective service I've retired the 'Peace March' header and associated red colour scheme and opted for a new look. The former header featured part of an illustration of one of London's early anti Iraq war marches by illustrator Chitra Merchant. I really love Chitra's work and am somewhat sad not to be seeing the illustration when I log on to the site. However, I have a framed limited edition print of 'Peace March' in my office at home so it's not as though I wont have the opportunity to see the illustration on a daily basis in. If like me you're a fan of Chitra's work you'll be pleased to hear that one of her illustrations features prominently on a new website that I'm working on. The site itself is still very much a work in progress but you can see Chitra's fantastic illustration for yourself at dharmakids.org.
So I hope you like the new illustration I've opted for back here. It is of course of Nelson Mandela. He's one of my heroes, a modern day legend and a source of enormous insipration in an otherwise somewhat less than inspiring world, all of which seem like very good reasons to celebrate him and his achievements. Hence his appearance in the banner. The picture is from 'Mi Atlas' a lavishly illustrated children's atlas published by Larousse that I recently bought in Spain. In addition to beautiful pull out maps of each of the continents, renderings of scenes form specific countries, including this one from South Africa, form part of the book.
I'm constantly amazed at the beauty and sophistication of children's books published in France and Spain, which really stand out in comparison to the more mundane offerings in the English speaking world. I'm going to look into it and try and understand what gives rise to this difference. Assuming I find something out I'll report back. In the mean time I thought you might like to read some words of wisdom from the great man himself.
"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."
"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness."
"It always seems impossible until its done."
"Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement."
"Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all."
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."