January, 2014

Some 30 to 40 children at Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City were told as they came to the end of the cafeteria line last Tuesday that they could not have their lunch because their parents did not have enough money in their school account.

The children’s lunches were taken out of their hands and thrown into the garbage, according to a report from CNN affiliate KSLStudents and parents reported the incident, and school officials confirmed the astonishing events.

Parents pay for school lunches by placing money in their child’s school lunch account, officials explained, and if the account runs dry, the school cannot provide the child lunch.

A fifth-grader name Sophia was met by a school district nutrition manager, she said, who took her lunch and threw it away and told her to “go get a milk.” When the child asked what was going on, she said she was handed an orange and told: “You don’t have any money in your account, so you can’t have lunch.”

The lunch was thrown away because once it is on a tray carried by a student, it can’t be retrieved and given to someone else, but must be discarded, cafeteria employees later confirmed.

More than 30 children faced this experience at Uintah Elementary School on Tuesday, all of told in front of other students and staff that because their parents hadn’t kept their accounts paid up, they were having their lunches taken away.

Some students and school staff members were reportedly in tears over the incident, the KSL news story said.

Two Utah state senators who visited the school on Thursday said that the employee responsible for taking the action against the children should be fired if found after due process to have acted as it has been reported—and as school officials have confirmed—because that person “used (their) power to humiliate and embarrass children.”

But it isn’t the first or only time such a thing has happened in U.S. public schools, according to a story on Jan. 30 by Annie-Rose Strasser for the website Think Progress.

“In November, a Texas middle school student’s lunch was thrown away because he was 30 cents short on payment,” the news story said.

Strasser’s story goes on to point out that “depriving children of food — and embarrassing them in front of their peers — isn’t the only option. In Boston, for example, public schools provide all students with cost-free breakfast and lunch no matter what their financial situation.”

“Boston is the largest city to participate in a national program called Community Eligibility Option that waives meal fees for all students. It’s also being implemented in Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, and parts of New York City,” a September story at ThinkProgress.org said.

Utah school officials this week did not deny that what students reported last Tuesday is exactly what occurred, and they told students and parents they were sorry. “It was wrong. It should not have happened, and we apologize that it did,” Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen said Thursday.

Another way needs to be found to deal with lunch accounts that have fallen to zero, parents, school officials, and state political leaders agree.

It feels to me that in a spiritually evolved society it would be incomprehensible that a child would be denied food for lack of money. Why all school systems don’t do what Boston does is unclear — except that in America’s increasingly “every-man-for-himself, you’re-on-your-own” society, the Boston example may be simply going out of style.

What’s the great American saying? “There’s no free lunch.” Apparently. Not even for a fifth-grader — or a middle school student 30-cents short.

All this, in a world where 85 people hold more wealth than 3.5 billion — half of the rest of the global combined.

Enough, already.


This past weekend marks the beginning of a controversial program sanctioned by the government in Western Australia which permits the culling and killing of Great White Sharks.  This “culling and killing” program, which uses hooked lines attached to floating drums to cull sharks in its waters, is the Australian government’s response to a seven fatal shark attacks over the past three years off the coast of their country.

In Orlando, Florida, a woman walking her two small dogs along the eastern boundary of the Wekiva River Buffer Conservation area was mauled by a black bear who had unknowingly wandered outside the perimeter of her heavily treed home with her young cub at her side.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s response to what they are calling an “unprovoked attack” was to trap and then kill two black bears a week later, both of whom “fit the description” of the bear involved in the attack.

In Africa, an estimated 20,000+ elephants a year are illegally killed by poachers who look to profit financially by cutting off their tusks to sell the precious ivory in the black market.  The widespread slaughter of these majestic creatures is triggered by greedy hunters looking to capitalize and fueled by the demands of people who are willing to pay top dollar for the disturbingly coveted body parts.  With an estimated 90 percent of its elephants lost to poaching in the last half-century, African elephants may one day be facing extinction.

The examples of abuse and massacring of the animals and mammals who occupy this beautiful planet earth with us is distressing and creates an opportunity for meaningful discussion.  We seem to have done a fairly adequate job of understanding how our relationships work with each other on a human level, at least in a broad sense.  So why are we having such a difficult time understanding how to be in a relationship with these magnificent creatures?  How is it that we seem to be missing entirely the intended purpose for our cohabitation and coexistence? I suppose the argument could be made that their presence in our lives is merely for our consumption, our comfort, and our amusement, but I’m sensing that there is something much more important going on here than simply that.

After the release of the “Blackfish” documentary, people began protesting and boycotting Sea World for the capture and captivity of killer whales; yet at the same time we are killing sharks in their own natural environment for doing what they naturally do.  We run the sharp blades of our recreational motor boats over the backs of gentle manatees in their native home, the warm rivers of Florida, severely maiming or killing them, and then turn around and sharply criticize the organization who has rehabilitated and released thousands of these wounded peaceful mammals back into their natural habitats:  Sea World.

What the heck are we doing?

If we continue to expand and build upon the lands where so many of these animals live and eat and breed, if we continue to squeeze them out of their natural environments to accommodate our desire for another strip mall or more high-rise condominiums, where do we expect them to go?  What do we expect them to do?  What will happen if we continue to adorn ourselves with the furs of minks, fox, and chinchillas?   What will happen if we continue to train pit bulls to fight to the death or if we continue to frequent and financially support the local Greyhound dog track, hoping to win big on the next race?  What will happen if we insist on continuing to be entertained by rodeos where harsh handling practices, such as twisting calves’ tails or painful electric shocks and tightly cinched bucking straps, are implemented to make animals run faster or buck harder?

I’m just wondering.  Because it seems to me we are truly missing an important part of our humanity here, some aspect of who we really are that is being overlooked or misunderstood or unawakened.  Might there be a much larger reason, a more divine reason, for why we have been given the extraordinary opportunity to share this thing called Life with these furry, scaly, finned, and feathered friends?  And if so, what might that be?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida.  To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

My assistant at my job who I became very close friends with, sabotaged me at work (I loved my job) and with my boyfriend who I was potentially going to marry. I never put it together until ultimately my boyfriend broke up with me, and the company I worked with for 27 years asked me to resign. Needless to say, I have been very sad for a long time and have been searching for healing, answers, something to help me feel good again, feel happy again, put those awful memories behind me, or I pray to bring my ex back but it’s never happened. She ruined my career and my life. I still relive, rethink the memories and feel so sad all the time. How can I get past this?… Cindy

Dear Cindy… I am very sorry you went through such a heart-breaking event. You had a triple whammy, really: losing a friend you loved and trusted, losing the man you loved enough to marry, and losing a long-time job you loved. Wow. It’s certainly easy to see why you have been searching for healing and answers and a way to feel good again.

You say you’ve been carrying this deep sadness for a long time. My question is, for how long? It is normal and healthy to feel sad during times of loss, and for some time afterward. It is not normal and healthy, however, to continue to feel deep sadness long after an event is over, and to continue to dwell on it. In doing so, you are actually continuing to create the sadness in your mind. Has this sadness become depression for you? If so, you may need to see a psychiatrist to help treat it, at least temporarily. On the other hand, if you don’t think you are clinically depressed, then as a spiritual life coach I would say it is time to become pro-active and to take your joy back. I would invite you to notice that that was then and this is now.

You say that your assistant ruined your career. While it may be true that she sabotaged you at that particular job, can you absolutely know that your entire career is ruined? Is it out of the realm of possibility for you to ever work in that type of job again, but with a different employer? What I’m trying to say is, a job is one thing; a career is another.

Likewise regarding your statement that she ruined your life. Dear Cindy, no one, and I mean no one can ruin your life except for you. Do you know what hell is? Hell is what you are putting yourself through by continually re-living these painful memories! It is so important for all of us as human beings to stand at the portals of our minds—to consciously choose to stop dwelling on things that are unhealthy emotionally, spiritually and physically. It is up to us to stop thinking thoughts that don’t feel good. We all have this ability and it isn’t as difficult as it might seem, once we start noticing the painful thoughts and start choosing to say to ourselves, “I’ve thought about this long enough. It hasn’t changed anything. All it does is make me feel bad, so I’m just not going to think about this anymore.” Then we intentionally shift our focus to something that makes us feel better, which can be a thousand different things. It doesn’t matter what you start thinking about as long as it makes you smile, laugh or feel good. It also helps to do something fun. Watch a comedy show, listen to positive music, pet your cat, take your dog for a walk in the sunshine—anything that feels light and good.

I get it, that you would like to understand why things happened the way they did, but if after all this time you haven’t come up with any good reason, then I invite you to allow yourself to move on, regardless. Given the benefit of time, surely some good thing will come as a result of it. For now, I invite you to trust that God knew exactly what It was doing when it brought you this experience. I invite you to rest in the knowledge that God doesn’t make mistakes and that everything that happens is for your highest good, or it wouldn’t be happening. I invite you to take charge of your thoughts and stop thinking about past pains. Start thinking about how you would like to start living now. There is great power in keeping our focus on the present moment, for when we continually dwell on the past (or the future, for that matter) we are robbing ourselves of the potential joy we could be experiencing now. We are depriving ourselves of the gift of life, the gift of the present moment. We aren’t really living at all when we do this. If we have tried and tried to understand something and we still don’t, then we just have to drop it and get on with this thing called life.

Please read Neale’s book, Happier Than God. It contains 17 steps to being happy, and if you start to implement these, I promise you, it will change your outlook on life. Just as you have created your sadness by dwelling on sad thoughts, you can create happiness by dwelling on happy thoughts. You are the creator of your own reality, dear Cindy, and it’s time you take your life back. It’s time you re-claim the joy that is your birthright as a human being. Please, please read this book. I promise, if you follow its advice and if you take charge of your thoughts and refuse to dwell on the past anymore, you will feel happier and happier.

You have manifested a great job and a wonderful man before, so you have proof that you can do it. If you can do it once, you can do it again because you have the consciousness of it. It will be much easier to find another dream job and another life partner when you are coming from joy because you will radiate that out into the world. And speaking of radiating joy out into the world, maybe the best thing I can tell you is this: Conversations With God says, if you want more joy in your life, the fastest way to have it is to be the source of joy for another. Take your focus off yourself, and start focusing on how you can bring happiness to others. The paradox is, when you brighten someone else’s day, you end up brightening your own.

(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Life Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com.

(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to:  Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com where our team is waiting to hear from you.)

An additional resource:  The CWG Helping Outreach offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services.  The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions.  What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God.  It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.

Ahhh…good old, poor old, Justin Bieber.  He has landed himself smack dab in the middle of the convergence of several double standards, hasn’t he?

Here’s my take…

On the one hand we raised him up, from the time he was little, and told him just how special he was.  We told him that because he was so special, and did such a good job of entertaining us that he could do virtually anything he desired…and we were going to give him the money to do so!

Ooops!  Then we told him that, despite the fact that there were surely people who knew exactly the behavior he was getting caught up in, it is not okay to do this thing.  We love you, but there are invisible rules to the game that he should have just known don’t get covered and ignored because of his status as special!

At the same time he got special status, because he is so special, and got allowed, as a Canadian National, into the United States to work and live, so that now he gets to be the target/example/representative of what is wrong with American immigration and deportation policies.

Let’s not forget that because he is so special, and because he makes so much money and entertains us so well, it is entirely possible he will be treated in a manner very different than any other 19 year old citizen, but without money, in this country…and this is before throwing in that lovely wild card of skin color.

Wow!  wouldn’t we all like to be so special?

Our relationship with celebrity (or anyone who we perceive as “successful”) reminds me of our relationship with God.  In these cases WE are God…and we act as we have had demonstrated to us God acts.

So just what has been demonstrated of God’s love and approval to us?

First we are told how loved and lovable we are.

Then we act as if we are as we were told, lovable and perfect in the Creators eyes, and we experiment with Life to figure out who we are.

But then we cross that invisible line that says, whoa!  you’re special, but not THAT special!  Better watch out or there could be some pretty dramatic results in the end…eternal results!

So, we give being special another go, but we keep an eye out for where that invisible line is, because we now know it is there…and, even though we don’t know it is what we are feeling, we are feeling just a little bit less special every time we stumble upon that line with God, and risk damnation with our next move.

This is the little play we act out with people like Justin Bieber, or any of the others in the news lately.  We love to play God, and have the opportunity, finally, to be the one condemning rather than being the condemned.

Here’s a twist, however…I have no problem with anyone “playing God”!  The problem I have is with how the part of God gets played by we Humans most of the time!  Yes, I capitalized “Human” in the same sentence as “God”.  I happen to believe we are individuations of the Divine, which gives us the opportunity to actually use our Humanity in a Divine manner.  We are not doing so.

All of that aside, in my view, all that we consider “entertaining” is actually nothing more than “diverting”.  Turning our attention away from something to something else.  We hand our power to something other than ourselves.

I think it is obvious what our attention is turned to, but from what?  At its core, quite simply, away from ourselves…away from our own thoughts, and our own Love.  We place it all outside of ourselves, and we reach out to find what will fill us, instead of looking in, with gratitude, at the great gift of this human experience that has been provided by Divinity.

The outside is great!  If we view it all through the eyes of our Divine connection.  So let’s go one more step…let’s look at Justin Bieber as part of that Divine connection, and even while we notice what isn’t working in his life, love all that he is…because we did co-create the circumstances that resulted in this moment, didn’t we?

(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com  She may be contacted at:                                                              Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)


How long will humanity allow this to go on…? The 85 richest people in the world own the same wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people. That’s half of the Earth’s population.

This mind-boggling statistic was released last week by Oxfam, the international organization that monitors life in Earth in many of its aspects, and reports to the world periodically about global conditions.

Is creating this kind of disparity the way that a spiritually evolved species constructs its society? Or is this a model that could only be put in place by the primitive species of the Universe?

That is the question placed before humanity today as billions suffer from not enough food to eat while fewer people than it would take to populate a fair-sized Manhattan cocktail party have enough wealth to end world poverty overnight.

The plain and unassailable fact is that the global economy does not work to produce the outcome that human beings have imagined (or at least hoped) it was designed to produce.

Indeed, even a casual observer can see that not one of the systems, institutions and devices that our species has put into place to create a better life for all is functioning in a way that generates this outcome.

Our political systems clearly are not working. Our economic systems clearly are not working.  Our ecological systems clearly are not working. Our health care systems clearly are not working. Our educational systems clearly are not working. Our social systems clearly are not working. Our spiritual systems clearly are not working.

Nothing that we have created is producing the outcomes that were intended. 

It is worse than that. They are actually producing exactly the opposite.

Our political systems are creating nothing but disagreement and disarray. Our economic systems are actually increasing poverty. Our ecological systems are generating environmental degradation. Our educational systems are failing to educate enough people in enough places to bring our species anywhere near the reaching of its full potential. Our health care systems are doing little to eliminate inequality of access to modern medicines and health care services. Our social systems are known to encourage disparity, prejudice, and injustice. And, perhaps most dysfunctional of all, our spiritual systems are producing intolerance, righteousness, anger, hatred, and violence.

What gives here? What’s going on with the human race that it cannot see even as it looks at itself? Where is humanity’s blind spot?

Might it be time to ask: “Is there be something we don’t fully understand here, the understanding of which would change everything?

Does anybody even care about this global economic inequality? Does anybody care enough about it to do something about it? Does anybody think they can?

Have we gotten to the point in our world where the conditions in our world are seen as being totally, completely, and utterly out of our hands? Have we given up? Simply given up?

Is this what our spirituality calls us to do? Give up?

Just wondering here…

Illinois Republican congressional candidate Susanne Atanus is asking you to believe that God is not only highly displeased with us, but that many of the life-threatening illnesses and precarious weather patterns we have been experiencing around the world are the direct result of an “angry God,” a God who means to inflict suffering upon thousands for the choices of wrongdoers.

What could be making God so unhappy, so disappointed, so furious that He would categorically punish so many people in such widespread and catastrophic ways?

The answer is clear and simple, according to Atanus:  “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she added, blaming natural disasters like tornadoes and diseases, including autism and dementia, on recent advances in the LGBT movement. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

It feels almost silly to give Ms. Atanus’s diatribe any thoughtful attention, to shift even for a moment our focus and energy away from the places and people in our world who really need it. But if she believes this, truly believes this — and is publicly asking others to believe it, too — how many other people might there be out there that also feel this way?

Well, apparently even those within her own conservative Republican party aren’t willing to stick their necks out as far as she has and have asked Atanus to drop out of the GOP primary for the 9th Congressional District.

Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, called Susanne Atanus’ comments “offensive.”  “She has no place on the ballot as a Republican,” he said.  “Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”

Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, said, “Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time.”

But Atanus is not budging.  She adamantly refuses to drop out of the race, perplexed why the Republican party is not standing behind her.

Is it possible that Ms. Atanus is only boldly verbalizing what many other people are thinking, but are just too afraid to say?  Is there that much of a divide between a God who would condemn a person for being gay and a God who would condemn a baby for not being baptized?  Are the conservatives who claim to be offended and righteously speaking out against Atanus also denying opportunities — and even God’s unconditional love — to these very same people by creating and defending laws which discriminate and deprive them of equal rights and freedoms?

So how should we react to someone like Ms. Atanus?  Do we just ignore the hate-filled tirades and antics?  Do we look the other way because these outlandish proclamations just simply do not deserve our recognition and attention?  Or do we talk about it, look it squarely in the face, and stand up to people like Susanne Atanus by saying, no, we do not desire to live in the kind of world which supports behaviors which are born out of a belief in an angry God?

What would you do?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida.  To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

Headlines are being made about the suffering possibly endured by convicted murderer Dennis McGuire, who was put to death with a new and previously untried method by the state of Ohio on Jan. 16 as punishment for his killing of a pregnant woman years earlier. The state used a chemical injection never before utilized to put someone to death, despite warnings from some medical experts who said that the process might produce what was called “air starvation.”

NBC News quoted an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution who wrote that McGuire, 53, “appeared to gasp several times and made several loud snorting or snoring sounds during a ‘prolonged’ execution,” which several news agencies said took nearly 26 minutes from start to finish. Other witnesses said that Mr. McGuire also clenched his fists repeatedly, and tried in vain to raise himself up from the table to which he was strapped, apparently gasping for air.

In short, it did not appear to be a peaceful death — leaving many to ask: Is paying with his life enough of a punishment for someone sentenced to death for a killing…or is it acceptable for that punishment to include abject end-of-life suffering and agony for nearly a half hour?

Yet the main question has been avoided through all the news stories and commentaries on this particular event: Is the death penalty itself appropriate in an enlighted society?

Our answer is no. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, we are not going to solve society’s problems using the same energy that created them. We will not put an end to violence by using violence, an end to anger with anger, and an end to killing with more killing.

All we as a people are saying is that killing is perfectly okay when we believe that “right’ is on our side. But of course — with exceptions for those who are mentally incapacitated — all people and all governments thinks “right” is on their side when they kill, or they wouldn’t and couldn’t do it.

The central question then becomes: Is it ever “right” to kill people if one’s own life (or the life of others) is not in immediate danger?

A man in Florida, a former police captain, pulled out a gun and killed another man with whom he was having an argument over texting in a movie theatre because the other man threw a bag of popcorn at him, and the former police officer said he thought the other man was going to attack him. (Why he didn’t simply pull out the gun and say, “Not one step further….”, rather than shoot the man point blank in the chest from four feet away is not clear.) So now, once again in Florida, we are going to have a chance to see if that state’s Stand Your Ground law is going to be applied to justify killing someone.

Yet the question in this quarter is not, “What does the law say?” And not even, “What does our culture in general say?” But rather, “What does the Soul say?”

What does your Soul say? What do you believe is justification for killing someone? And if you agree that the State should have the right to kill someone because that person killed another — should the State’s execution include abject suffering?

The grand announcement: “I am quitting drinking once and for all!” How many times are you allowed to say “once and for all”?  I know I’ve said it a bunch of times for a variety of different obsessions, compulsions, and addictions, not to mention bad relationships and the occasional snooze-button triathlon! Quitting, for me and many others, just doesn’t seem to work.

One of the most difficult aspects of making drastic changes in our thinking and doing is getting past the pre-wired thinking in our heads.  We can’t simply state we are not going to keep doing a behavior that we have engrained in our pattern for many years by saying we are not going to do it anymore.  No, it takes much more than that.  What needs to happen for a successful transition is a deep commitment, a plan, and support of those who love us.

“Conversations with God” states, “The moment you declare anything, everything unlike it will come into the space.” This is known as the law of opposites. It is the universe, or our soul, or our patterned brain, saying “how bad do you really want this?”  This process becomes a huge stumbling block in the life of an addicted or compulsive person. We crave the reward of the object of our obsession and the question from the unknown sets off an internal belief that we need the thing to survive.

This warped survival instinct causes the addicted to fall into the trap time and time again. But the power and glory that is derived from answering the universe with a resounding “yes, I am sure” cannot be understated. The law of opposites is in place for a very good reason.  This law is the springboard to our physical, emotional, and spiritual evolution. We could not make that leap without it.

The law of opposites presents the perfect opportunity for us to take full responsibility for our choices. All too often we choose the smaller choice, the painful yet comfortable choice, instead of pushing back on our craving.

So what is this law of opposites and why does it appear to conflict with the law of attraction, you may ask?  The law of opposites is simply providing a contextual field for our true desires to be experienced. We cannot know the joy and the power of stepping into a new creation without the resistance that this law provides.  Life is meant to be experienced, and the only way to do so is for the opposite of our desires to be present to show us the way.

For more on the law of opposites and the law of attraction, I suggest reading the book Happier than God. 

The application of this knowledge is crucial in overcoming addiction, obsessions, and compulsions. Why? It requires that one put faith in something outside of themselves. We must first believe that what is working for others can work for us. Then we have to put trust in something that is unseen.  When we experience the reward of this blind faith, we begin to build upon it.

Surrendering our destructive ways for the promise of better days and better ways is truly a difficult task in the human experience.  Many do not understand the plight of the addicted. All of life’s maladies call to us to face the law of opposites. Addiction is merely another hardship that we face so that we may fully experience the darkness so that we can eventually know that we are so much more than that.

I would like to extend the invitation to those who are inspired to write a blog on addiction and recovery to contact me with your vision. The column must reflect the messages of new spirituality.

(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional and auriculotherapist.  He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation.  You can visit his website Life After Addicton for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)

How can I heal the pain of my uncle’s death?

My name is Michael. I am a 37 year old man and nine days ago my very beloved uncle died. He was like a father to me. He always supported me, advised me, and was always so kind to me. When I was in trouble he always helped me. Now, after nine days since he left, I feel worse and worse. The pain I have in my heart is so terrible. How can I heal this pain, that I feel is killing me?

Dear Michael… First of all, please allow me to offer my condolences. I’m sure it must be terribly painful, losing the man who was like a father to you, who was so kind and loving to you. Any time we lose someone in our lives who we were very very close to, it leaves a huge hole in our hearts.

I would encourage you to allow yourself to fully feel all of the emotions that are naturally coming up for you, yet know that they won’t kill you. You see, even though it may feel terrible, grief is actually a blessing to us. It’s that emotion that lets us know that we have loved deeply. There is an age-old question that asks, “Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” I think for me the answer is, it is better to have loved and lost. Imagine how different your life would have been had you not been blessed by your and your uncle’s mutual love for each other. I’m sure your life would be very different if he hadn’t been in your life, so yes, by all means, grieve for your loss. Allow yourself to cry or scream or whatever wants to be released in you as you are releasing him from your physical presence.

Please know, though, that just because your uncle is no longer with you physically doesn’t mean he isn’t with you spiritually. Neale’s wonderful book, Home With God: In A Life That Never Ends says that the moment we think of a dearly departed one, their soul flies to us in an instant! And although we can’t see them with our eyes, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Sometimes, if we are highly attuned we can sense their presence.

Please also know that your uncle is your angel in heaven now. I promise you, he still loves you with all his heart, and is watching over you, blessing you and sending you his love. He may even try to find a way to let you know, by sending you a sign of some kind. If this happens and the thought crosses your mind that this could be him, please don’t disregard or disbelieve it. Allow yourself to entertain the possibility that he has reached out to you!

Trite as it may sound, time heals all wounds, dear Michael. Of course, time will never cause you to stop loving your uncle, but it can help you stop missing him so much. After you have allowed yourself to grieve fully, gradually start getting back into your normal routine of life. This will help assuage the acute feeling of loss you are experiencing now. And this is good, because I know your uncle wouldn’t want you to grieve forever. He wants what any father figure wants for their child (or nephew): for you to be happy.

Please buy a copy of Home With God and read it right away. It contains “18 Remembrances” that may change your understanding about the whole process of this thing we call “life and death”. When we understand what is really happening, we can be much more at peace about it.

If, after reading the book, you are still grieving very deeply, please reach out to one of the Conversations With God Life Coaches or one of the Spiritual Helpers at CWG Helping Outreach. I’ve included a link to the website below.

I send you much love, dear Michael, as, I’m sure, does your uncle. Blesséd be.

(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Life Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com.

(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to:  Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com where our team is waiting to hear from you.)

An additional resource:  The CWG Helping Outreach offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services.  The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions.  What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God.  It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.



An explosion in extreme wealth and income is exacerbating inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, Oxfam — a British humanitarian organization — has warned in a briefing published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.

News of the report has been posted on the Internet at Oxfam.org, and may be found here.

The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over, according Oxfam’s report, titled: ‘The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all.’ It is calling on world leaders to curb today’s income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels.

“The richest one per cent has increased its income by 60 per cent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process,” the posting on the Oxfam website said.

Oxfam warned that extreme wealth and income is not only unethical, it is also economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive.

In the Oxfam website article Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International, said: “We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.

“Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else – particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

“In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left.”

Members of the richest one per cent are estimated to use as much as 10,000 times more carbon than the average US citizen.

Oxfam International is a confederation of 17 organizations working together to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Its Internet posting said that world leaders should learn from the present-day success of countries such as Brazil, which has grown rapidly while reducing inequality – as well as the historical success such as the United States in the 1930s, when President Roosevelt’s New Deal helped bring down inequality and tackle vested interests.

“Roosevelt famously warned that the ‘political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality’,” the Oxfam website report said.

New global deal needed

Mr. Hobbs added: “We need a global new deal to reverse decades of increasing inequality. As a first step world leaders should formally commit themselves to reducing inequality to the levels seen in 1990.

“From tax havens to weak employment laws, the richest benefit from a global economic system which is rigged in their favour. It is time our leaders reformed the system so that it works in the interests of the whole of humanity rather than a global elite.”

What can be done? The Oxfam website article said that “closing tax havens – which hold as much as $32 trillion or a third of all global wealth – could yield an additional $189bn in additional tax revenues.” In addition to a tax haven crackdown, the article said, elements of a global new deal could include:

  • a reversal of the trend towards more regressive forms of taxation;
  • a global minimum corporation tax rate;
  • measures to boost wages compared with returns available to capital;
  • increased investment in free public services and safety nets.