All posts tagged: long reads

Notes From a Diplomat | In Conversation with Haris Dafaranos, ex Greek Ambassador to Australia

“A diplomat is by de nition a generalist. He or she has to know a lot about many dimensions of life,” says His Excellency Mr Haris Dafaranos, Ambassador of Greece to Australia. “I would say that Law, Economics, History, Diplomatic History, International Relations, Literature and Philosophy are subjects one should master, together with foreign languages. A good critical mind is also necessary, with the ability of synthesis and analysis as well,” he adds. Good judgement, he explains, is also part of this equation, but it comes with time and experience. Add to this being a good listener and multiply it by being an everyday avid reader and you have some of the essential qualities of a quali ed diplomat. Born in Athens, Greece, Ambassador Dafaranos had a certain penchant for languages, studying French, English and Italian in high school. He continued his interest in languages, studying English Literature and Law at university, where he realised that he wanted to follow a professional career which would give him experiences from a global perspective. So in 1980 …

The Creative Benefits of Walking

From an early age Rousseau developed a passion for walking; finding delight especially from the journeys guided by chance: peripatetic randomness, or what he calls, “the pleasures of going one knows not where.” Such walks allowed his mind to wander as he penned in his Reveries of the Solitary Walker, where we are introduced to 10 ‘walks’ from Rousseau’s autobiographical musings toward the end of his life. Through his walks, Rousseau delved deep into self-reflection and self-analysis, rejoicing in his freedom to “converse with [his] soul.” “There is something about walking that animates and activates my ideas; I can hardly think when I am still; my body must move if mind is to do the same,” wrote Rousseau. Fast forward to 2014 where French Philosopher Frederic Gros released his book A Philosophy of Walking and he also speaks of the mind-freeing quality of walking. “A long walk,” writes Gros, “allows us to commune with the sublime,” he penned. He notes the flaneur, coming from French meaning to stroll or to lounge, the casual saunter, roaming the many pathways of a city, observing, musing, …