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Toast: A Bittersweet Symphony

Our Toast mornings at Q are inspired by the ancient custom of putting charred bread into wine to absorb the bitter sediments. It is said that the toasts we raise at special occasions originate from this practise and this morning we ate toast and considered the bittersweet symphony of life.

Danny reflects on the lyrics of the popular song, Bittersweet Symphony, and invites us to consider the bitter parts of our lives.

This vintage advert tells the story of a man who chose not to become bitter, despite things not turning out how we might think they should have.

We've recently explored the shoulds of life at Q - you kind catch up here if you've missed that week - Danny wonders if the bitterness of life is connected to the unrealised shoulds we have.

Maya Angelou had many bitter moments in her life and speaks about how she believes one must respond to things that don't work out as we think they should.

"You should be angry, anger is like fire, it burns up all the dross. But you must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer, it eats upon the host, it doesn't do anything to the object of its displeasure."

Danny shares his thoughts and experiences with anger and how we might distinguish anger from bitterness.

In this scene from the movie A Man Called Otto, we see how a man deals with his anger at the bitterness of life.

Asking the question "What's your toast?" Danny explores what might help us process the bitterness of our lives.

In this short clip from a longer talk, Sarah Montana shares how anger was part of the process of forgiving the man who murdered her mother and brother. Danny mentions other TED talks about Forgiveness and you can watch those in full here.

Danny wraps up the morning with a possible approach to dealing with bitterness of life and wonders if we sometimes suffer from excessive hope.

Around tables we discussed what our toast might be: What helps us deal with the bitterness of life? What might yours be?

Danny brought the morning to a close by singing a sing which you can listen to here about how behind every situation is often something we are unaware of.

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