Money can’t buy you happiness, but it could drive you to live a better life.

I’ve been skint before now; it’s awful. The worst part of it is you have no agency, and therefore everything from a weekly shop to re-training online is made more difficult. Money can offer you the one thing that it uses to achieve: time. Ultimately, money gives you choices, and with choice, you can begin setting about a better life. …

I Have Coronavirus, I Think

On Monday, I woke up with a cough and fever. My school had closed the Friday before and up to that point I hadn’t had any noticeable symptoms. However, with around 1,500 kids, it wouldn’t be unlikely that I contracted it in that final week in school.

Since Monday, I’ve dipped in and out of poor health. I’ve had headaches, loss of taste and smell, shortness of breath, a runny nose and a cough. It’s sounds awful, but it has come in episodes. Things don’t feel too serious at the moment. Perhaps it’s my age: I’m 24 and have taken…

Do you give up normality to pursue your dream or give up your dream to pursue normality?

This time two years ago, I wanted to become a teacher. I liked the idea of working with young people, making a ‘difference’ and inspiring kids to pursue a subject that I love.

Sure, I’d dabbled with writing before — I’d interned with an expat magazine in Beijing and partly wrote my university faculty’s marketing pamphlet — but I’d never taken it seriously or even considered the idea that it could be an option. Not to mention the concern around my ability: Was…

It’s often said that nothing in this life is free. We grow up with this overarching outlook ingrained into our psyches from a young age — operating in a system where we are directed, or even encouraged, to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

The COV19 crisis is causing pain, with some speculating a financial meltdown — including the former Bank of England governor — as the global economy contracts.

Still, the downturn will present opportunities to push through reforms to re-think the established system. When the UK Prime Minister briefly entertains the idea of giving…

In the worst pandemic in recent history, our finances are taking a hit. Already in the UK — a country whose response to the virus has been lackadaisical at best — the Chancellor unveiled an “unprecedented” package of support for workers in an attempt to minimise financial difficulty.

They’re paying 80% of the wages of employees; mortgage payments are halted; Universal Credit (essentially, our social security) is higher. Nonetheless, a 20% cut in salary will present a squeeze. Not to mention the vast numbers of people who are self-employed or have been made redundant.

I’ve done articles on financial advice

The single most important practice in stoicism is distinguishing between what we can change and what we can’t; what we have influence over and what we do not.

Coronavirus is here, and it is a global pandemic. If it isn’t where you live, there is a good chance it will be soon and no amount of yelling at the TV will make it go away.

Cursing the origin of the virus, being racist, perpetuating conspiracy theories and hoarding toilet paper will not save you. Moreover, tweeting will not save you; neither will sticking your head in the sand and pretending…

School’s out — forever?

As a teacher, I often go through memorable, stand-out occasions in the job. After just 6 months, I already feel I’ve seen it all: sniffer dogs coming in to trace drug residues on 14- and 15-year olds, pupils threatening to batter you for the crime of telling them to wait outside and more TikTok-related non-sense than I care to mention (if you know, then you know).
However, this last week has been a particular exception. In the space of just five days, schools were confirmed to shut — indefinitely. …

So, this is it. After absorbing the endless lines of pedagogical jargon and techniques, I arrived on my first ever day at the school. The hard work I put in over Summer Institute had finally come to its culmination. Well, actually, not really. Conveniently, today was an inset day. A day that I’d loved as a child had become a laborious delay on the unexpected. It entailed lots of talk topics ranging from safeguarding to upskirting. It kind of felt like a re-hashing of my teacher training lessons.

My class (32 seats) was big, with nearly all decorations being stripped…

A report on the cashless society ranks Beijing as the “smartest” city in China. The report was a combined effort by tech firm Tencent, the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University and the French market research firm Ipsos, Xinhua reports.

The report identified the “smartest” cities by measuring several different characteristics, including transport, education, shopping, and food delivery. It surveyed 324 Chinese cities and over 6,500 residents on their use of mobile payment systems. Payments for a range of different goods and services, including takeaway food, restaurant dining, telecommunications and transport were included in the study.

Overall, Beijing…

You have to be grateful. Why? Because when you are grateful, you become happier and less self-destructive.

Gratitude is a topic you may have heard a lot of if you’ve ever involved yourself, even just a little bit, in personal development or the positive psychology movement.

There’s a countless number of people talking about gratitude these days. Numerous studies show how doing just a daily journal or meditating on things that you’re grateful for can improve well-being and satisfaction, lessen feelings of envy, facilitate happier memories and help you recover from stress.

Two Psychologists, Dr Robert A. Emmons and Dr…

Harry Parker

Teacher & writer. Be the change you wish to see. Email:

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