Dear Readers: Today’s advice question comes from one of my students in the CWG Online School, who has recently decided and declared his life calling is to be a “good Samaritan.” When I read his response to one of our homework questions, I knew I wanted to share it with all of you in the hopes that you will gain from his experience:
As I was leaving a take-away shop with my dinner recently, I passed a guy who was just sitting on the sidewalk with no shirt on, an unkempt look, a bottle of beer and a shopping bag which seemed to have all his possessions in it. As I walked past he says, “Hey, old mate.” I chose to ignore him, thinking, “I do not need this hassle or want to deal with this at the moment. I just want to get home, I’m exhausted.” And I then let fear take over.
He says again, “Hey, old mate,” but louder this time. I chose to ignore him again and kept walking. Again he says “Hey, old mate,” and his voice is quite loud. This then got the better of me and I snapped at him and said quite loud myself, “Are you right? What’s Up?”
He then looked at me and slowly turned his head away and looked towards the ground – and I just got in the car and drove away, feeling angry and also like a heel. Then I beat myself up a bit and thought of a thousand different ways I could have handled this differently. I could have acknowledged him at least.
Maybe he was down on his luck and just hungry and I could have bought him a $9 meal from the take away shop, as I had the money. And not let fear take over. Maybe he might have only wanted to know what time it was, etc. So this was a real eye opener for me to see that I have a long way to go in having the right attitude and how I perceive others and how I might respond in unusual situations. I am feeling a little lost at the moment… Ben
Oh, Ben, don’t you see the perfect irony in this “chance encounter”? If not, please let me show you how it looks from my perspective:
1. You decide and declare Who You Really Are, which is a good Samaritan.
2. You meet someone on the street who, in the past, would have frightened you, simply by his appearance—unkempt, drinking beer, apparently homeless.
3. You forget your decision to be a good Samaritan and you do the exact opposite, reacting as you would have in the past, rather than creating as you would like to from now on, when faced with this type of situation.
4. He looks you in the eye, then slowly looks away as if to say, “You forgot, Ben, to be a good Samaritan. Here I am giving you the perfect opportunity to fulfill exactly what it is you say you are, and you forgot.”
5. You, of course, feel terrible because your actions were out of alignment with your new decision about yourself.
Please, please forgive yourself for forgetting, dear sweet Ben. We all forget… until we don’t anymore. And remember this encounter, always. Then the next time something like this happens, you will choose differently, thus allowing yourself to feel really good about remembering, then acting on, your decision to be a good Samaritan.
Do you know what the definition of “sin” is? It’s missing the mark. Whose mark? Our own! When we commit a sin we’ve fallen short of who we say we are, knowing we could have done better. Now, “go and sin no more,” dear Ben. You are growing into higher and higher states of awareness, and these growing pains are all part of the process. This is Life, giving you the right and perfect opportunities for you to step into your next grandest version of the greatest vision you ever held about Who You Are.
This was a perfect life lesson for you. And now, the “Moral of the Story”:
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson!
(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.
Two weekends ago, 9 people died in car crashes in the Central Florida area. 9 people in one weekend. A spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said that most of the accidents were caused by aggressive or distracted drivers.
And while it is shocking to hear that 9 people died in car fatalities within a two-day period of time in a single metropolitan area, it is not altogether shocking to hear the reasons why.
Our roadways have become a dumping ground. Not for our trash or unused items — well, there is that, too — but for our energy and emotions. Whatever semblance of kindness and compassion we claim to feel towards each other seems to mysteriously vanish the moment we place ourselves behind the steering wheel of our cars.
But why is this?
What is this phenomenon?
When we gather in a shopping mall, we do not behave this way. Do we?
When we pass people on the sidewalk, we do not behave this way. Do we?
When we attend functions our local communities, we do not behave this way. Do we?
So why are we engaging in the kinds of behaviors in our vehicles which contributed to 9 people no longer being on this planet with us?
Sure, there are occasions in our lives when emergencies arise that cause us to feel rushed, stressed, hurried, pushed, and pulled. But I am sensing that more and more people are living their lives as though the entire experience of their life is one big unsettled emergency. We frantically scurry from appointment to appointment. We enroll our children in more activities than they can reasonably enjoy or maintain. We intrude on our much-needed hours of sleep to be more productive in our days. We say “yes” when we really truly want to say “no.” And then, when we can no longer sustain such a fever-pitch level, what do we do? We flood our bodies with caffeine and sugar and other stimulants so that we can do more and more and more.
Like I said earlier, it is not shocking to hear that people are driving aggressively and distractedly, relying on the anonymity of their vehicles provide a place for the fallout of overloaded and hectic minds.
Why are we in such a hurry? Where are we really trying to go? Who are we actually trying to beat? And if we think we know who it is we are trying to beat, what is it we are trying to beat them at?
And perhaps the most important question of all: What does the long-term picture look like for our planet if we continue at this pace?
If life is not one big unsettled emergency, then what is it?
(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.)
Last month in the United States saw the return of CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in which the conservative political groups get together and toot their own horn and hold a straw vote as to who they want to see run for president in 2016. And as the reports on CPAC speakers began emerging, I was utterly amazed as how the definitions of some words have been twisted to the point where they mean exactly the opposite of what the common definition holds them to mean.
For example, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated that the Republican party is the party of “tolerance”. Say what? This is the party who has, 50 times now, tried to repeal the Affordable Health Care act, something that the Republican party’s 2012 candidate, Mitt Romney, advocated for and signed into law in Massachusetts years prior to Obama’s becoming president. This is the party who is pushing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman. This is the party who considers some human beings “illegal aliens” (as if a human being could be illegal!) and who refuses to lift a finger to help the poor and the unemployed/underemployed. This is the party who is making a concerted effort to block the ability of the poor and minorities to vote in the next presidential election, both through laws requiring voter ID cards and through redistricting. This is the party who believes that a woman’s body won’t get pregnant if she is raped and seeks to refuse to allow a woman to have an abortion for any reason. This is tolerance?
During a panel discussion, right-wing talk show host Michael Medved claimed that gay marriages have never been banned by any state in the US. Of course, that’s because a gay person can get married IF they marry someone of the opposite gender. Racists used the same argument for not getting rid of laws that banned blacks from marrying whites: blacks could get married as long as they married another black person! We weren’t violating their civil rights by not allowing them to marry who they loved!
Michelle Bachmann, once a candidate for the US presidency, says that gays are “bullying” the American public and contends that the bill recently vetoed by Arizona’s governor that would have allowed legal discrimination against gays based on deeply held religious beliefs was about same sex marriage and had nothing to do with gays! This redefining of “bullying” is an insult to those who are truly being bullied.
Mark Sanford, former governor of South Carolina, claims that the federal government did NOT “shut down” last October! I guess not conducting business for fifteen or sixteen days is just an extended break for Sandford. (Of course, this is the man who told everyone he’d be hiking the Appalachian Trail and then took a flight to Argentina to be with his mistress. I never new the Appalachian Trail went that far south!)
The Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber recently compared the “persecution” of anti-gay business owners to that of the Jews under the Nazi regime. (Liberty Counsel is closely associated with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University (Falwell of Moral Majority fame)). Such a comparison degrades the true horror of the Jewish persecutions of the Holocaust.
Scott Lively, a virulently anti-gay pastor, called Vladimir Putin a “defender of true human rights”!
Fred Phelps (who has nothing to do with CPAC) is another example of how the meanings of words have been twisted. Fred, who recently celebrated his transition day, ran the notorious “God Hates Fags” and “God Hates America” websites (along with a lot of other sites of groups God hates), believed that he was being loving by picketing the funerals of soldiers who died in Iraq or Afghanistan because unless we stop being a “fag-enabling” country, according to Fred, we’re all going to end up in hell. So by making us aware that “God hates fags”, Fred was doing something very loving and trying to save our souls. (It was recently revealed that Fred had been kicked out of the Westboro Baptist Church, the church he started and who organizes and participates in the picketing of funerals, several months before his death.)
There is a renewed push for laws to protect what has been termed “religious liberty”. While this sounds like a wonderful idea, what it is really pushing for are laws that would allow people in the public sector (business owners, landlords, etc.) to discriminate against someone who violated their “deeply held religious beliefs”. In other words, legalized discrimination.
The fracking industry is running commercials on television and radio about how safe fracking is for the country and the benefits that fracking provides us by making us more energy independent. And yet in 2012, the fracking industry produced more than 280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater (which doesn’t include the other toxins produced by fracking, such as methan poisoning of groundwater tables, which the fracking industry claims doesn’t happen.) Much of that wastewater was produced in states that are in the midst of droughts and in states where water is a scarce resource. There has been a marked increase in the number of earthquakes in the states in which there is a lot of fracking as well. In Oklahoma, for example, there has been average of about 75 earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or greater in the four year period from 2009-2012. In 2013, that number jumped to 222. And if the pace of the first six weeks of 2014 continues, Oklahoma will experience a whopping 780+ earthquakes this year! (Source) And when they wanted to frack near the home of an Exxon Mobile corporate bigwig? He joined a lawsuit to prevent it from damaging his property value. But it’s “safe”!
Don’t get me wrong: this kind of thing has been happening for a very long time. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Maggie Gallagher, Pat Robertson, James Dobson (just to name a few): all these right wingers have been twisting the meaning of words for years. Some for decades. (Yes, it happens in the Democratic party and among liberal causes as well, but these groups have nowhere near the media coverage and exposure as the conservatives.)
But what is surprising is how blatant the distortions are becoming. And what is frightening is that many recent studies have shown that there is something called the “backfire” effect. This means when you explain the distortion to people and explain the real truth, they become MORE likely to believe the distortion is true!
And the problem isn’t just with the famous (or infamous). It’s among the “common” folks as well. Just the other day, a friend of mine posted a cartoon in which one character stated that she was pro-choice and the other asked a series of questions like “Can I choose to smoke?” and “Can I choose to drink a large soda?” The first character always replied “No” and gave some reason like “It’s bad for you.” After six such questions, the second character asked “What can I choose?” and the first answered “An abortion.”
I pointed out to my friend that this cartoon was filled with lies because people CAN smoke, they just can’t smoke in public where their smoke will be breathed by others who do not smoke. (Her response was “Then don’t go to places that allow smoking”, but if that’s everywhere, then what choice do I have but to sit at home?) I demonstrated to her that every statement was a lie, except of course that one can (for now) choose to have an abortion, usually after jumping through a bunch of hoops.
She replied that the cartoon was just an opinion and everyone was entitled to an opinion. I proceeded to explain to her that opinions have no right/wrong and cannot be shown to be demonstrably true or false. And she simply repeated that she was entitled to her opinion, as if repeating it was just an opinion would change the definition of opinion!
What, you might ask, does this have to do with the Global Conversation?
Our goal, so to speak, is to open a dialogue so that we can discuss possible changes in that which we have refused to change (or even discuss really!) for the past 2000 years: our understanding of God. It is going to be challenging to hold a meaningful discussion if the different sides of the conversation don’t even have the same meaning for words.
We are going to have to find ways around, over or through this very large hurdle if this dialogue is to take place. Talking amongst ourselves really accomplishes nothing because we’re “preaching to the choir”. We know we have to change and expand our beliefs about God and our Oneness and the role of humanity in this universe. The key is to get others involved in the conversation in order to have a chance to create the kind of world we all say we want: a world of peace in which we all live according to the beliefs we hold dear, respecting the rights of everyone else to do the same.
When people don’t even agree on the definitions of words because the national figures that support their current beliefs twist words so that they mean sometimes exactly the opposite of what they actually mean, this conversation becomes much more difficult. Not impossible, mind you. But more difficult. And it becomes all the more urgent because now, before we can even begin to discuss expanding our beliefs about God, we have to find common ground once more on what we mean when we say “compassion” and “tolerance” and “liberty”.
If you are intrigued by and enjoying the global conversation taking place here, you may be doubly intrigued by the opportunity to connect even more closely with the Conversations with God messages that generate these discussions — and to interact in an even more personal way with CWG author Neale Donald Walsch, the publisher of this newspaper.
Daily interaction with Neale, vibrant exchanges with members of a vibrant community, and deep, rich, ongoing explorations of the CWG material are all part of the landscape at www.CWGConnect.com.
This is not something you should be missing.
A gentleman has posted on the Neale Donald Walsch Facebook page a series of reactions to my last headline story at this online newspaper, and I should like to respond to him here.
I do so with eagerness and joy, because this is what The Global Conversation is all about. I believe it is conversations just such as these that can begin to generate a global movement toward changing many undesirable aspects of our global experience.
The gentleman posting on Facebook is named Martin Brower, and he writes:
“It’s hard to believe the junk you people believe, not a shred of proof, logic, reason, or accountability. It’s the hippie movement, ‘if it feels good just do it’. I would suggest reading some history. Society has been way worse sexually, violence was way worse, morality was way worse. There will always be a person that wakes up in pissed mood and is not mentally stable and no laws will stop it.”
To this I responded:
Right. Movies, video games, television has no effect on society whatsoever. That’s why sponsors may $5 million for a 60-second ad on the Super Bowl…because messages have no effect.
Mr. Brower then later posted:
“While it makes you and others feel good about shifting blame it resides in the consumer, stop driving your car, grow your own food, don’t use electricity, exercise and then you will sleep well.
“NOBODY has a gun to the head of anyone that smokes. Those companies would disappear as soon as their cash flow was gone if PEOPLE would stop buying them. McDonald’s would sell salads only if people wanted them. Until you start taking responsibility for your own actions you will always be in bondage.”
Here now is my further response to Mr. Brower:
My Dear Martin…Now you have echoed the whole point of the article I wrote. Yes, that is what I had hoped to convey. Of course it is not the “fault” of the tobacco companies, or the gun manufacturers, or the makers of violence-laden movies or video games. It is the mass public that consumes these products and the displays, in some sad cases, the behaviors they generate, and only when the mass public ceases to desire these products will the human species release itself from its bondage. Thank you for putting it more succinctly, and more verbally clear, than I managed to do.
Yet there seems to me to be no question that this is a circle. That is, one thing affects the other. And there also seems to me to be no question that, for instance, the creators of ugly, violent images influence the minds of millions of human beings — some of them, very young — and help to produce the mindset that generates a taste and a hunger for more of the same. And so the vicious circle completes itself.
Take smoking, for instance. This is as good an example as any. When smoking was high on humanity’s list of self-destructive behaviors, my observation was that television commercials played a major role in its increasing popularity. Messages like images of the “Marlboro Man” (who, ironically, died of cancer) made it seem manly and macho to smoke, and jingles such as “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should,” and Pall Mall’s famous tag line — “Wherever particular people congregate” — helped convince an addiction-prone public that smoking was a very cool thing to do. (There was even a brand of cigarettes called Kools!)
When smoking commercials were finally banned from U.S. television, and movie makers agreed to remove depictions of magnetically attractive, charismatic people lighting up and inhaling cigarette after cigarette on camera, smoking in the United States went down (speaking of statistics).
So there seems to me to be no question, Martin, that mass media affects mass tastes, mass desires, and mass hungers…and mass hungers and mass desires produce the incentive for the makers of products and services that feed those hungers to continue to do so — and to hope to increase them. It is, as I said, a vicious circle. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? That is an elegantly frustrating question. But there seems to be NO question that if you remove one, the other will disappear.
Yet so long as the makers of video games and the producers of movies and the creators of television programs (to use just a few of the examples cited in my article) refuse to accept responsibility for the role they are playing in keeping this circle intact — so long as they insist that THEIR activities are having no impact whatsoever on OURS, and that they play no role in CREATING our tastes and desires, as opposed to simply serving them — the chicken will produce the egg, which will produce the chicken, which will produce the egg, and the collaboration will continue.
I think the point of my article, Martin, was to describe the collaboration. And then to arouse sufficient awakening to cause sufficient interest in creating sufficient backlash to generate sufficient desire to pop the bubble of our illusion that one thing has nothing to do with the other.
I have enjoyed our discussion on this, Martin, and I thank you for your very articulate observation, as noted above.
Perhaps together we can cause an awakening — or (to speak more accurately), add energy to one that is already occurring.
Sending best thoughts…Neale.
AND ON THAT THOUGHT…Allow me to switch now to an exchange I’ve had right here in the Comments Section on this page with a Global Conversation reader who posts as “Mewabe.”
Mewabe was responding to an earlier entry from reader Christopher Toft, who wrote: “I have been flirting with the Humanity’s team website, trying to wrap my head around the concept. It’s weirdly confusing to me. I feel like ‘How can we have a humanity’s team?’ what does this mean? I don’t understand the idea. The idea feels fuzzy to me, difficult to comprehend. I expect it to be an evangelical organization, trying to ‘convert’ people to ‘Nealism’ and of course it’s not. It something more complex and integral (To borrow Ken Wilber’s phrase) than that, that I don’t understand yet.”
Mewabe replied, in part:
“I do not believe that there is one solution, one magic formula, one person who has it all figured out…I think change will take teamwork, and many different approaches, all complementary.
“I have never been ‘converted’ to anything…because I know who I am. I resonate with bits and pieces of things here and there, but cannot ever espouse another person’s worldview as if it was my own, because it is not and cannot be. This is why I have a natural resistance to all religions, all ideologies, all spiritual movements and all forms of group thinking, because I have and always had my own thoughts.”
Now, here is my entry in that portion of the ongoing discussion here…
My sweet friend, Mewabe…There seems to me to be just the slightest contradiction in terms in what I see you so eloquently expressing. On the one hand you say: “I know nothing about Humanity’s Team, but I focus my efforts elsewhere. At any rate, I do not believe that there is one solution, one magic formula, one person who has it all figured out…”, then you add…”I have a natural resistance to all religions, all ideologies, all spiritual movements and all forms of group thinking, because I have and always had my own thoughts.”
Then, on the other hand you say: “I think change will take teamwork, and many different approaches, all complementary.”
This seems to be exactly the opposite energy of your statements just above. For how is “teamwork” possible if nobody joins the team? How will “many different approaches, all complementary” be created, much less undertaken, if every human being resists “all ideologies, all spiritual movements and all forms of group thinking”?
Doesn’t a football team gather in a huddle to engage in “group thinking” to determine what the next play should be? Hasn’t all truly forward-movement-generating human activity been the result of some sort of human collaboration, not unlike the Evolution Revolution invited and suggested by Humanity’s Team?
If we resist the exhortations of others to join together in spiritually revolutionary movements — and do so on principle because it feels that resistance to such collaboration is resistance to GroupThink — do we not in the same stroke eliminate any possibility of overcoming and changing what humanity’s unconscious collaboration has already produced?
Is Conscious Collaboration not far more beneficial than Unconscious Collaboration? If the fulfillment of our highest human desires is our highest human goal, does not a Collective Effort to achieve a Collective Goal better generate that Collective Experience?
The point I was hoping to make in my article above is that right now, humanity’s Collective Experience is not being driven by humanity’s Collective Goal, but rather, by the Collective Goal of smaller sub-sections of humanity which, while working assiduously to produce particular outcomes, is denying any role in creating them.
Lovingly submitted to our Collective here, for discussion…
On April 17, most of America’s wealthiest citizens will no longer be paying Social Security taxes for 2014.
That’s right—The average member of the 1% of wage earners won’t pay into our Social Security system for the last seven months out of the year. Even while Paul Ryan’s new budget proposes new tax cuts for these millionaires and billionaires, they don’t even pay Social Security taxes for the whole year.
Tell Congress: Now is the time to make millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as the rest of us into Social Security.
Our Social Security system is primarily funded by payroll contributions (or FICA). But what most Americans never realize is that payroll contributions are only paid on the first $117,000. Once the FICA cap of $117,000 is reached, millionaires and billionaires stop paying into the system, while the vast majority of Americans continue to pay in on all of their salary.
The American people know that Social Security benefits are earned through hard work no matter what their income bracket. These benefits provide crucial financial stability for individuals, families and communities during times of transition starting at retirement, the onset of a disability, or the loss of a spouse.
Tell Congress that it’s not fair for millionaires and billionaires to stop paying into the system while the average American contributes on all income.
Social Security Works will be partnering with SEIU to deliver your petition signatures in events around the country. With your help we can lift up the voices like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Mark Begich, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Brian Schatz, Jeff Merkley, Tom Harkin and dozens of members of the House of Representatives who understand that Social Security is a foundational system and that millionaires and billionaires must pay the same rate as the rest of us to make it stronger.
Sign the petition to Congress:
Now is the time to scrap the FICA cap and make millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as the rest of us into Social Security.
Social Security Works
And so now we have 20 students randomly stabbed in the chest, back, and abdomen in a blood bath at a high school outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the hands of a sophomore boy who is in police custody, being questioned, at this writing.
Where are we going in our society? What is happening to the Body Human? Did this kind of thing occur with this kind of frequency during my youth? No. Plain and simply…No.
The makers of increasingly violent video games played by millions of children around the world for the past two decades continue to deny, to this day, that those graphic depictions of fictional violence have anything to do with the sudden and shocking increase in actual violence in our youth.
The makers of increasingly violent motion pictures watched by millions of people around the world for the past two decades continue, to this day, to deny that those graphic depictions of fictional violence have anything to do with the sudden and shocking increase in actual violence in our society.
The makers of increasingly violent television programs watched by millions of people around the world for the past two decades continue, to this day, to deny that those graphic depictions of fictional violence have anything to do with the sudden and shocking increase in actual violence all over this planet.
Nobody has anything to do with anything.
The makers of laws guaranteeing free and easy access to assault weapons, and the manufacturers of those weapons, have nothing to do with the shocking number of killings by guns in the U.S.
The purveyors of porn and the providers of easy access to it now on the Internet, together with the creators of the increasingly raw and explicit sexual content in all forms of our entertainments — from television to music to films to videos to comic books, for heaven sake — have nothing to do with the sex-run-wild environment of our society today, in which the beauty and the wonder and the sacred intimacy of physical love has been reduced to a primitive act of self-gratification, and crimes of sexual violence are on the increase everywhere.
The producers of genetically modified crops and the manufacturers of chemical after chemical after chemical and the makers of cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco have nothing to do with the through-the-sky statistics of cancer and Alzheimer’s and birth defects and the slow but sure degradation of the collective Body Human.
The proponents of fracking and the extractors of more and more oil and the clearers of entire old growth forests and the releasers of pollutants into the air and into the waters and into the earth itself have nothing to do with the warming of our globe, the obvious and undeniable changes in our weather patterns and the once slow and the now rapid despoiling of our environment.
The lawmakers behind the unending machinations and stalemates and spying and erosion of personal rights coming out of Washington and many other seats of power around the world have nothing to do with humanity’s growing frustration with and lack of trust in its ability to even govern itself.
The powers behind a global economic model that allows 5% of the world’s people to hold or control 95% of the world’s wealth and resources have nothing to do with the widening hopelessness, despair, and suffering of the world’s teeming masses, nor their increasing restlessness, anger, and violence.
Nobody has anything to do with anything.
Oh, and one more thing. Lest we forget. Let us be clear that the preachers and speakers of the ever more strident claims of our species’ incredibly intolerant religions have nothing to do with the numbers of people killed or maimed in the name of God under the banner of protecting God’s “honor,” expanding God’s kingdom, or demonstrating God’s authority.
We have decided that we live in a world where nobody has anything to do with anything.
And most human beings are, apparently, content to leave it at that. After all, they can do nothing about any of this. So what can be expected of them…?
CWG says that everything…everything…is an opportunity to decide, declare and to demonstrate who we really are. Even, and especially, the things that seem most devastating and tragic. Such as the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Over on another of the CWG sites, The CWG Helping Outreach, we had a discussion about what messages, to us as individuals, and the world, might be gleaned in the wake of this still only “apparent” crash.
We discussed several things. Transparency, or the lack thereof, of governments and their agencies immediately after the disappearance. (CWG says we should live in a world of transparency.) The need for updated tracking capabilities in aircraft. (It would seem you and I can be more readily tracked via our cellphones than can an airplane!) How the media handles such things. (Can we say speculation and sensationalism?) The Spiritual knowing that no one does anything that isn’t, at a soul level, of their own choosing, including dying. That we all, those of us observing, and those of us who participated in the event, may now decide who we are in connection to it.
It would appear that one reason they haven’t been able to find the flight, and the reason it is still an “apparent” crash, is because the searchers were sidetracked by all of the trash we, as a human race, have thrown into the ocean.
An article in CBCnews Technology & Science describes the extent of our ocean trash.
“‘Basically, the world’s oceans are plasticized,” says Marcus Eriksen, executive director of the 5 Gyres Institute, a conservation group that researches the amount of plastic pollution in the planet’s seas.’”
“Oceanographer Charles Moore, who works with the Algalita Marine Research Institute in Long Beach, Calif., estimates there could be 200 million tonnes of plastic debris floating in the seas. This calculation is based on the belief that 2.5 per cent of the world’s plastic lands in the ocean.”
“These estimates don’t include the detritus that’s sitting at the bottom of the oceans, which, as he says, is “virtually unknown.”
Also from cbcnews/ World, this graphic is disturbing to me:
There is overwhelming evidence of the destruction to marine life caused by our trash. Yet we continue to thoughtlessly consume and dispose.
I must now make a confession. I got lazy. I lived in Taiwan and Denmark, and each of those countries charged for plastic bags, so I got into the habit of either reusing those bags, or bringing my own, reusable, bag. I carried them with me in my purse at all times. Then, after moving back to my home country, the U.S.A., I gradually got out of that habit.
So I have decided, and am declaring, that I will now recommit myself to always having at least one reusable bag in my purse, and always have a bag of reusable bags in my vehicle…my demonstration of who I am. This is one of the remembrances I have been caused to notice because of flight MH370.
I will, further, encourage all others to do so, both with my words and with my actions. I will also agree publicly with those who wish to charge for plastic bags. I will continue to support organizations and people who wish to create a change in how we use and dispose of our resources.
It is my feeling that one of the reasons the Malaysian flight was created and agreed to, on a soul level, by these wonderful souls, was to cause us to look at what we are doing to our world. The end of their lives is, realistically, just a blip on the radar of human experience, but…drawing attention to what is contributing to the possible end of the entire human race would give immense glory and meaning to these deaths. Perhaps, if we let it, this flight might just be looked at in history books as the beginning of true environmental change.
That is what I have come up with, so far, regarding the “meaning” or “purpose” of the disappearance of flight MH370. What have you decided? Remember, nothing has any meaning, save that which you give it!
(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com She may be contacted at: Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was very young, maybe eleven or twelve years old, hanging out with a friend at “The Pit.” The Pit, as we called it, was an old foundation of a house that was dug into the ground. We made a makeshift roof out of junk wood and metal we had gathered up from our neighborhood. This became our version of a tree house that we would hang out in and do “kid stuff.”
At this point in our young lives, “kid stuff” was gathering up Playboy magazines and stealing beer and cigarettes from our houses and maybe even some of our neighbors’ houses. (Sorry, Mom and neighbors.) Call it boredom, call it fitting in, call it copying adult behavior, or call it small-town living. Whatever you call it, not every kid did it the same way, so the bottom line is this was just our way.
I was raised Catholic. My family went to church pretty regularly and I attended Sunday School taught by the priest or nuns. My brother was an altar boy, and I choose to follow in his footsteps. I really think I did it because sitting in church was murderously boring, and at least being an altar boy gave me a job and a purpose for being there.
I certainly listened to the teaching. Again, some of it did not interest me much and other parts of it were just confusing. I did, however, learn that good people went to heaven and bad people went to hell. This seemed to be the crux of every fable, story, or parable that we examined. I also learned that the lines were sketchy, at best, of what was the difference between “good” and “bad.” There were some behaviors that the teaching was pretty clear on, though. And by the time I was a pre-teen, I had already done some of the “bad” ones.
Now, I don’t know if the church was clear on the whole “forgiveness of sins” thing, or perhaps I didn’t pay very close attention to that part, but I was pretty sure that there was a good chance that I was doomed to hell at an early age. And to be really honest, I didn’t care. If I am going to be completely candid here, I will admit that I never really cared for the whole “born in sin” thing. In fact, it really made me kind of mad.
Back to that day in “The Pit.” My friend and I had just found a new thing to do. I do not remember who, what, or where we got the idea from, but we decided to crush a bunch of No Doz tablets up and snort them. I clearly remember us saying “since I’m going to hell anyway.”
I would like to be really clear here that I do not blame my religious upbringing on my decision to practice risky behaviors like abusing drugs. The point I am trying to make here is that I believe that my young mind rejected the idea of my being born in sin. The term “sin,” to me, meant “bad.” So if all people where born “bad,” what is the point of that? What message does that send to someone of that age? Or for any age, for that matter?
Here is where your personal power can be experienced: Stop calling yourself bad, stop labeling your behavior as bad, stop judging others’ behaviors as bad. Look at things and see if they are producing the outcome which you desire. If not, call them “no longer useful” and move away from them.
Start taking notice of your preferences. There is a huge distinction between “preference” and “addiction.” If your choices are not producing the life you say you want to lead, choose again. Does this sound too good to be true? I assure you it isn’t. And people are doing it all the time. The only thing that limits you is what you think limits you.
The only thing stopping you from making changes in your life is your fear of the unknown. Life is here to conspire with you, not against you. It has been my experience, and the experience of many others, that when we decided to give sobriety a chance, life got better. The Soul offers us unlimited grandeur; the Mind desires to keep things small. The Mind is all about survival; the Soul knows survival is guaranteed.
I choose today to hold beliefs that serve my purpose. Fear-based beliefs no longer work for me. Conversations with God tells us that “obedience is not creation.” I would say that obedience is an escape hatch that we use in order to not be responsible for our choices. I have heard Neale say, “no one ever does anything they do not want to do.” I have placed a great deal of thought into that statement, and I would agree.
“Most people on earth don’t believe in God as God really is because it is just simply too good to be true.” ~ NDW
(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, recovery coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery. Kevin has a passion for holistic living, personal awareness training, and physical meditation. You can visit his website Life After Addicton for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)
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We will change as a society when we change the Cultural Story that we tell ourselves and each other about Who We Really Are, and Who We Choose to Be.
There is no such thing as “right” and “wrong.” There is only “what works” and “what does not work,” given what it is we are trying to do. Yet the decision regarding what it is we are trying to do — as individuals and as an entire society of sentient beings — is a delicate and meaningful choice, filled with nuance and subtle distinctions that re-create us all anew in every single moment…and that, not incidentally, recreate God. For God is the sum total of all that We Are, and we are the sum total of all that God Is, and Life is the process by which these two are reconciled as One.
Let us decide, then, at every Choice Point of Life, what we would want Our God to do and be. Not what we think God would do and be, but what we would want Our God to do and be if we could create the highest rendering of Divinity that we can possibly imagine, and place it on the canvas of our lives.
Life invites us to step into the picture of our own creation and call it Beautiful.
Can we say we are doing that today? That is the question before every human soul at this hour.