Do you keep up to date with current affairs? I try to keep myself informed, but sometimes wish I wasn’t! It is no wonder that some people choose to not to follow the news. This is exactly what I thought after I had finished watching the late news last night. This person had been stabbed, another person had been shot, this person had been …. and the stories of misery could not help but make me feel low. A good life coach will however, tell you not to be at the mercy of your feelings and emotions, but to take control. You are concious and you have the opportunity to do something, take action, and therefore choose not to feel down. But how do you do this? That is the tricky part. From my own experience I have found life coaching liberating, and can personally recommend Mary Hancock from Genratec.
The words of that famous poem Desiderata often comes to mind. On this occasion, I recalled the words ”With all its sham, drudgery” – well doesn’t that sum up the news! It seems no wonder that so many of us suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety. This keeps the psychiatrists and pscyhologists very busy no doubt. But it has also been suggested, by psychiatrist Scott M.Peck in his series of the “Road Less Travelled” that mental illness is the state one is in when they have become distanced from God. Feelings of feeling alone, losing faith, and losing hope, do appear to sound as though one is away from God, but is that relevant to those who have secular beliefs, or more specifically, no belief? Another big question is in this world of trial and trouble, why do so many people choose to conceive? Is it really right for people to choose to bring new life into this world? Have you considered that the world you are living in is simply not a “nice” place. Surely therefore if you had love in your hearts you would not possibly consider bringing new life into this world? If more people lived by this belief would we not then overcome population problems and also poverty, homelessness and starvation? This no doubt sounds like blasphemy to many people. But that is only one perspective. Returning to the poem Desiderata, it says that despite the broken dreams, “it is still a beautiful world”. Do you agree with this viewpoint? Despite all the terrible things that happen, that this world can still be considered beautiful? On the note of positivity, Robert H Schuller has written numerous books on power of positivity, including Turning Hurts into Halos, Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do, and If Its Going To Be, Its Up To Me … We have many of these books in our collection and have enjoyed reading them again and again.
Recently I’ve been attending a local Alpha group course, that will sadly finish today. The course has consisted of dinner (this clinched the deal for me!) followed by a video sermon by Nicky Gumbel, concluded with coffee and a short discussion on our thoughts of the video. This course has been fascinating. The tagline for the course is what is the “meaning of life”. However, instead of clarifying things for me, this course has in fact raised more questions for me. I found that for a lot of things we are taught, I choose to believe that they are more like a parable, but I seem to be alone in this. Everyone else believes many of these things as “the hard cold facts” and “word for word”. I maintain however somehow sceptical on those who I might categorise as “fundamentals” and I believe there is a risk that you can take some things too far. And that with many of these things they need to be interpreted in light of today’s society.
There was talk of the “second coming” and that on this day, God will return to this earth at which time this earth will have no sin. Now do you not consider that instead the second coming is in fact individual to each and every one of us and will happen on our death, when the time comes for us to go to hell, remain in limbo or go to heaven? But no, the belief is that it is not individual, but is something that will happen on earth, and is not individual to each of us. Does this mean then that we are going to miss out? If this is true then we will, because there is certainly no possibility that the actual “second coming” will happen on earth during our lifetimes? The premise behind Christianity is that we are given the freedom to choose. Now if we have the freedom to choose, and we also confess that we are all, each and every one of us sinners – then how could earth possibly be free of all sin? It is a very nice idea, but how realistic is this idea?
Why is there conflict in this world? How does a dispute arise? What is the difference between a battle and a conflict? John W. Burton has coined a new word being “conflict provention”. Burton believes not only in resolving conflict but in fact preventing it. Certainly, the need to stop “ambulance chasing” is sensible. Burton’s theories are applied specifically to international relations, but can also be applied to the domestic scene. Burton focuses on basic human needs theory in which every single person has in fact the same needs. These needs are shelter, food, and a sense of belonging. You will note that these and more are (attempted at least) to be protected under the International Human Rights movement.
Within the world of political theory there are the new world theorists, the realists, and the marxists, liberalists, environmentalists, feminists, and the list goes on. Which do you subscribe to and why? What are your beliefs? Well all I know is that for me, there has to be a reason. There needs to be purpose. Have you heard of that warm fuzzy feeling? Is mental illness then simply the lack of that fuzzy feeling? It is more complicated than that, as the myrid of doctors and consultants will argue.
I believe there are some good things worth striving for, and some “not so good things” to overcome. For the “not so good things” this is too wide a subject to discuss here, but I refer to things that we know that are wrong, that play on our conscience, things that are “injust” and that cause us panic, stress and anxiety. By good things, I refer to music. Have you ever wondered why so many religions incorporate music into their worship. Music allows time for mediation and I would categorise it as one of those so called “food for the soul”. Another good thing stems from that commandment that says to “love thy neighbour”. To be neighbourly can be linked to the cliche “charity starts at home”. It also raises connotations of service to others. In that respect, we can look beyond our own individual lives. We can actively seek opportunities to help others who are in need. This too can be linked back to Burton’s “basic human needs”. For example, do you know anyone needing help with shelter? Do you know anyone who needs assistance with food? Do you know anyone who does not feel they belong? Now going back to the bible, at 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, it discusses spiritual gifts and the fact that every single person has “a” talent, many of us have more than one talent. Our duty therefore is to identify for ourselves, what our talent/s is/are, and then to use our talent/s to benefit our neighbours. With that said, it is important to take responsibility for your actions and, referring back to the Desiderata poem, to “exercise caution ….. for the world is full of trickery”. Certainly in today’s society there are many scams operating and sadly people do pretend to be in need in order to profit and take advanatage of another’s good nature. However, the poem Desiderata reminds us that we should not live in fear when it says “…do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.”
Well I do not have the answers but only more questions! I would be interested to hear your views?