Steve Jobs is the co-founder of Apple and Apple is now the largest tech company in the world in many people’s eyes if you include Pixar and ipods and iphones and itunes and all the rest. He never graduated from college but the following need-to-watched speech was made in 2005 to a class of Stanford graduates. The speech is comprised of just three stories from his life.

After coming back from pancreatic cancer he had this to say, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single greatest invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

The following are a few other brief quotes gleaned from his inspiring address.

You can only connect the dots looking backwards.

Being fired from Apple was one of the best thing that ever happened to me.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you live each day as if was your last, one day you’ll be right.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap that you have something to lose.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Thank you Steve Jobs for inspiring me with a little of the story of your life. I hope you all enjoy, folks.



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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews


I mentioned in a blog not long ago, Nature is My Balm, that my mother was dying. The service for her was today and I wrote the following words which were read out on my behalf by my brother-in-law. I know this is intensely personal, but I’ve decided to share this widely because ultimately we are all part of one big human family. The one certainty in life for each of us is that one day we will move on. I don’t see this as something to be saddened by. It is a time to celebrate the contribution each of us has made to this world and to wish each of us well on the next stage of the journey. May the following words have as much meaning to you as they’ve had for me and my family.


First, let me thank you all for being here to remember and to honour a beautiful woman, my mother, Audrey Haines. I know Mom would have appreciated…let me rephrase that. I know Mom appreciates the presence of each and every one of you. So do I.


What makes a woman like Audrey so special? It’s probably all the little things she did. Added up it becomes a big thing and a worthy contribution to creating a loving world.


I think my mother (and my father) gave a wonderful example of living out their dreams. After Dad’s early retirement from Bell Canada, they travelled each winter in their 5th wheel trailer, eventually finding a wonderful place outside of Tucson, Arizona to spend the colder months. They took up new crafts. Mom loved the connection she felt with Native American culture and she even made clay pots in the traditional way. She and Dad took over the reins of their hiking group, regularly leading people on diverse hikes in the stunning mountain scenery around their winter home. They were happy Snowbirds.


When Dad died in 2002, part of Mom died with him. The gap that she felt then was one none of us could adequately fill. Mom continued to live a good life and completed dreams including last year visiting the Panama Canal with Nancy. Mom had wanted to see this magnificent feat of human perseverance and engineering for a long, long time.


When I visited Mom in August and September last year, she was still quite healthy and she was still writing in her journal to Dad every night. He was her rock. She was his anchor. We might say she hadn’t let go and moved on. Mom had moved on—to a new way of being. love-for-mom1She had created a bridge through her belief and her writing with the other world and she continued to truly communicate with the man she loved despite their residing in different worlds. There is something quite special in this.


It has probably been mentioned already today but at the risk of repetition, on Mom’s last day in the Tillsonburg Hospital, she kept repeating, “Home, Jim.” I know she was met by Dad when she died and I am genuinely happy that they are truly reunited. There is no more powerful force in the universe than love and that force has brought these two special people together again. May you too realise that they are never further away than your next focused thought.


May we each honour my mother by doing as she did, by each day being a little more loving and by living out our dreams.


God bless.



John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives.

In Search of Simplicity is a startlingly poignant real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.



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White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron


“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau



Late yesterday afternoon I received a call from my sister in Canada saying my mother was dying. I had just returned from a swim with Asha and I was planting seeds in trays on the front deck. Symbolic somehow.


My mother only entered the hospital one and a half weeks ago complaining of some abdominal pain near where she’s had an operation for a hernia in the top of her stomach in December. She’d been healthy until then. The only pills she was taking when I visited her last September were calcium tablets for osteoporosis. She is 77.


At 2.00am I called the hospital. It was 8.00am there and my sister was able to hold the telephone receiver by my mother’s oxygen-mask-covered face. Her voice was weak but she was lucid. We were each able to say the three most important words I know, “I love you.” When I called at 6.00am she was sleeping, but I was able to speak with my sister, who had spent the night by my mother’s side. I indicated that I would not, at this point, attempt to get flights for the 27 hour journey from New Zealand to Ontario. It’s a tough call, but I have been connecting consciously with my mother each night for the last two weeks. Part of me has known something was up.


And now I sit here at 9.30am. The sun is shining, burning off the last of the morning mist. I’ve been for my walk to the Pa (the lookout) and along the beach. I’ve rescued a crab which was stranded on low tide, returning it to the wet sand at water’s edge where it quickly burrowed in. A White-faced Heron had stalked the shallows of the estuary, in search of breakfast. kingfisher-in-flightA kingfisher dive-bombed a passing dog. I returned to the garden to stake some tomatoes and Jerusalem artichokes toppled by a recent storm. I am happy. Nature is my balm. I feel and know I am connected with all beings. I see my mother’s imminent passing as part of the continuum of life, as an essential part of the vast tapestry of existence. And I am grateful for the technology that allows me to remain connected by voice with ones I love who are physically so far away.


Excuse me. I’ve got go and use that technology, the telephone, so that I can once again utter that essential three word phrase, “I love you.”

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