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Weekly Word of Wisdom

Both Sides Now

“Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air

 And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way

 But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone

 So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way…”

From <https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/judy-collins/both-sides-now>

As a pilot, I discovered that during daylight, the sky is always blue. All I had I had to do, was to fly above the clouds to witness it.

The true ‘clouds’ in my life are the never-ending thoughts that seem to create all manner of negatives, especially fears in my mind. The solution for me was to rise above these clouds and live in that space.

I came to understand my true identity is me, not the thoughts in my mind. The ‘thoughts in my mind’ are placed there by the Ego – the speaker. I am the listener.

The purpose of the Ego (the voice speaking thoughts in my mind) is to protect me from doing or saying things that might be harmful and from me taking unnecessary risks.

Here’s the crux of the matter; the Ego cannot discern between risk and opportunity, it simply sees everything in my life as risk!

What is most important though, is how I respond to what I hear. If thoughts engender such things as fear, doubt, anxiety, and multitudes of other negatives, I simply observe them and then, allow them to drift out of my mind. If thoughts of love, joy, peace excitement and such fill me, I embrace them fully.

Above all, I need to decide to take risks when necessary in order to seize opportunities, or else lose them.

The skill needed in my life is wise thought management; considering that thoughts become actions and these will have a future consequence, it is vital I choose correctly. If I do not conscientiously manage the moment-by-moment stream of thoughts overwhelming my mind, I become victim to many negative feelings and even depression at some level.

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Weekly Word of Wisdom

Change 2

Changing Attitude

Mostly, changes, in all their forms came about unexpectedly in my life. Some were dramatically quick, others so slow that I didn’t even notice until they were upon me. In particular small changes were often like this.

If I give some thought; changes that I liked, I accepted; changes that I didn’t like, I resisted. Yet, I recall that often the changes that I embraced, were, in the long run not beneficial to me, and changes that I resisted became lost opportunities. In other words, accepting changes I enjoy was not always the right thing for me and similarly, those I resisted, because they did not appeal to me, would have been the better option.

What I discovered over the years was this; I am not always the best judge of what changes to accept and which to resist.

If I was to accept changes that came into my life without resisting, then I could in due course apply these changes, ultimately to my benefit. If I could not apply them to my benefit I would accept them until such time as I was ready to make other arrangements.

I think of recent lockdown regulations. Here was change affecting people on a global basis. As these changes were introduced by law, none of us could have resisted them, except under pain of heavy fines. We all accepted the changes and began to adapt to the situation, awaiting a day when we could return to, at the very least, a semblance of our previous lifestyles.

Change
Nothing is Forever, Everything Changes

Many of us started to work from home, adapting to being almost completely housebound and not enjoying the physical company of our fellow workers, family or friends. Many were put off work, some were paid state benefits; airline pilots were painting houses, change was the order of the day in every phase of our lives. For the most part it was, ‘adapt or die.’

I noticed in the beginning of this bizarre state, I resisted the enforced changes in my mind. But as time passed, I realized this attitude was fruitless and on the advice of several articles I read, relating to the subject of change, I did just that – I changed my attitude!

Knowing that I was helpless to resist the enforced changes I adapted to applying a different way of living, with a view to ‘putting a finger in the dyke’ until I could repair the hole.

I had no trouble sleeping after that.

Featured Image: Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Railway Track photo by Michael & Diane Weidner on Unsplash

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If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, writings are meant for people, not for dormant files on our computers, and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Lockdown March 6 2021

Lockdown

How are all you wonderful fellow-humans coping out there in this seemingly endless lockdown pandemic (I don’t know which pandemic is worse, lockdown or covid)?

Dolly Parton is attributed to saying: “I can’t change the wind, but I can adjust my sails.”

I have a saying: “There are probably, at this time, some things I might be able to change with regards to Covid and it’s partner, lockdown. But there is a huge amount that I will never be able to change, no matter how I try. For the sake of my sanity, my choice of which I can and cannot change requires wise reasoning.”

I am happily sane because I made a few wise decisions.

Continue reading Lockdown March 6 2021
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Forgotten Dream

Gallarus-Oratory

I was all of twelve years old and very impressionable; we were in 1954 Southern Rhodesia, an exciting country, wide open spaces, not many towns and even these were spread, miles apart from one another.

My father was the sole representative for a brewing company and travelled around the country a great deal, often taking me on trips along with him during my school holidays.

As long as I live, I will never forget the sight of one of the greatest water falls in the world, Victoria Falls. That was such a notable experience that I remember writing an essay about it at school. I was fascinated by the history we were taught at school regarding David Livingstone who was the first European to discover the falls and Cecil John Rhodes after whom The Rhodesia’s were named.

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Lockdown – Day Seventy One.

“The Giant Arises’

‘Humanity plans, but the universe orders the outcome of these plans.’

It is a most wonderful thing to realize that irrespective of what our governments put into place, only the universe will allow what is beneficial for all humanity, whether this is for today, tomorrow, or forever.

I live next to an airport; I think, as an ex pilot, that’s a cool place to have a home.

Continue reading Lockdown – Day Seventy One.

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Lockdown – Day 46

 

‘Snollygoster’

Politics is the breeding ground of the snollygoster politician.

Such breeding ground is not new to the universe, having originated in biblical times; its tentacles reach all over the world, no countries excluded.

It is driven by greed; but worse, it is the lust of humanity to exercise power and control over fellow humans. It is the worst and most dangerous virus in the world, having killed more humans than any plague in history.

Via the fear of a virus pandemic, we have been blinkered from seeing the real killer virus – a global economy ruled by snollygosters!

Continue reading Lockdown – Day 46

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Lockdown – Day 32

Day thirty two is upon us and we are now not certain of how much longer we have yet to go.

Our government has drawn up a five-stage lockdown process of which we are presently in stage five. May 1st. we move into stage Four, which conditions are less severe than stage five.

We are not certain of when we will move into the other stages, each being a little less stringent than the preceding. That, we are told, will depend on the progress of the Covid-19.

The principle of the extended and multi-phased lockdown is to allow our county’s commerce and industry to reactivate on an incremental basis.

Considering where we have been the last few weeks, I am sure most of us see this as, ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’

Aside of a fear of the contagion, there is the fear of how we are going to cope, as individuals, with the unexpected financial crisis created in our lives?

Worse that this is the question; will commerce and industry to able to recover the effects of lockdown from an already ailing economy, even with the promise of government funding? Will we still have employment?

Then there is the question that I am sure must have at least crossed your mind; is Covid-19 lockdown, necessary at the expense of the world economy? Is it perhaps another conspiracy theory, with media suggesting that there are those that have deliberately organized the spread of this disease?

The media, in all its forms, is having a field day in seemingly spouting anything and everything, truth or not, to a confused and fearful world.

Apologies, but I cannot offer you any answers or suggestions to the above boiling points.

What I can say, from my personal point of view is this:

  1. On a global basis, or for that matter, even a local one, I am helpless to do anything except obey the rules our government has laid down and encourage my fellow citizens via the means I have at home for contacting them.
  2. I have no fear for my own life, as my philosophy is that, each of us has an allocated time in this world. If my time has come, so be it. This philosophy, accepted by others or not, allows me to sleep well every night. Good healthy sleep creates in me an attitude that is able to encourage my fellow humans. This attitude is genuine and therefore easy to pass over to others.
  3. I do not live my life on a fantasy of what might happen in the future, nor do I have any regrets for how I lived my past, however wise or unwise I might sense that past to have been.
  4. I am grateful for my present reality, who I am, what I am, where I am. grateful for what I have, what is. This is the fullness of my life, as it is, in this moment now. I accept that I cannot look to the future for this state to come about in my life, as all I have is this moment now. What I do see is that as I live in this gratitude today, manifestations of joyful living and peace appear each day in my life. (Most of the preceding are the words of Eckhardt Tolle and is a reality in my life.)
  5. To remind myself of this fact, I maintain a gratitude journal, daily. Why don’t you try it? It will not beat the lockdown, but it will most certainly make it less painful.

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If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Lockdown – continued

We may just be able to end the national lockdown safely and re-start the economy – Alan Knott-Craig

BY ALAN KNOTT-CRAIG@GOODTHINGSGUYAPR 7, 2020 70,338 0

Johannesburg, South Africa (7 April 2020) – Alan Knott-Craig wrote an opinion piece that is going viral about how we need to get our minds around why it’s possible to be optimistic about South Africa right now, even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

With all the constant negativity being shared around COVID-19 and lockdown… Knott-Craig’s opinion piece on some of the positives right now is like a breath of fresh air.

He has permitted us to repost it to our readers and we believe it is an incredibly positive outlook in very uncertain times.

Read the full piece below:

South Africa might just get lucky

In February, our country was in bad shape.

Our stock market was over-heated. We were heading for a recession. We were heading for a downgrade. And then COVID-19 happened.

Our stock market collapsed. We’re now in a recession. We’ve now been downgraded.

Before COVID-19, Cyril Ramaphosa was bogged down in ANC political in-fighting, and Eskom was load-shedding every week.

Cyril now has no political opposition, everyone is too busy scrambling to fight the pandemic.

Eskom has stopped load-shedding thanks to the national lockdown easing demand from businesses.

Before progressing, let’s acknowledge that it is possible that this is Armageddon.

Health, economic and political Armageddon. The end.

Millions could die. Millions could lose jobs. Political upheaval could ensue.

Ok, got that.

But it’s also possible that COVID-19 is the best thing to happen to SA since the 2010 Soccer World Cup. South Africa sailed through the Global Financial Crisis thanks to the state-sponsored infrastructure projects for the 2010 World Cup.

We were lucky.

By some bizarre irony, our country’s ongoing battle against TB may just be lucky too.It may just turn out that most South Africans are safe because it’s mandatory to have a Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination when they are born to prevent life-threatening TB later on.

“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination, such as Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States, have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” noted the researchers led by Gonzalo Otazu, assistant professor of biomedical sciences at NYIT.

Let’s compare Spain to Portugal.

Portugal forces BCG vaccinations at birth, Spain doesn’t.

As of 5 April 2020:

  • Portugal: 10,524 cases, 266 deceased. 0.1% infection rate. 2.5% death rate.
  • Spain: 126,128 cases, 13,897 deceased. 0.27% infection rate. 9.5% death rate.

Spaniards are almost 3x more likely to get COVID-19, and 10x more likely to die.

India, like Portugal, administers the BCG vaccine to millions of children soon after birth to combat TB (tuberculosis). And like Portugal, Indian has seen a much lower infection rate, especially when you consider the higher risk of infection due to cramped living conditions and poverty.

And yet the USA, where there are no mandatory BCG vaccinations, has the highest number of infections, in spite of the USA’s being is 4x smaller, 28x richer and 13x less populated than India’s.

Thanks to South Africa’s mandatory BCG vaccination policy, we may just be less affected than many countries in the world.

We may just be able to end the national lockdown and re-start the economy.

Ending the lockdown will benefit SA in seven ways:

  1. Millions of jobs will be saved. Millions of families will be rescued from economic hardship.
  2. Universal BCG vaccination gives our country a comparative advantage over countries that don’t, i.e.: all developed countries, and all developing countries that don’t have the systems and/or economic means to enforce mandatory vaccinations.
  3. Cyril Ramaphosa can use the economic crisis as leverage to implement the much-needed structural economic reforms our country needs, without the ANC in-fighting that has previously hamstrung his efforts.
  4. People have opened their eyes to the power of online education. No need to have the world’s best math teacher living in Butterworth. No need to print and deliver millions of textbooks. No matter where you live, you can have a world-class education (assuming you have affordable broadband).
  5. Less flying and driving. Even the most hide-bound of executives have now been forced to telecommute. Turns out it ain’t so hard. Good for traffic. Good for the climate.
  6. It means Eskom’s grid can take a breather whilst essential maintenance is carried out and IPP’s prepare for selling directly to customers, reducing our reliance on Eskom, ultimately creating a stronger and more resilient power grid.
  7. It means the Moody and Fitch downgrades are pretty meaningless. Everyone is being downgraded.

Ending the national lockdown will be the best thing that our government can do to save our economy.

If the positive scenario pans out, South Africa will be the equivalent of a golfer hitting a duck hook into the water, ricocheting off a submerged rock, bouncing back to the green, and the ball coming to rest three feet from the pin.

We may just be pretty damn lucky.

The whole world is in it together, but, by some miracle, South Africa might be the best place to be in it.

Sources: Opinion Piece – Alan Knott-Craig 

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We all need to hear positive words about our country’s current status. Even if you do not agree with a particular opinion, its a lot better than the negative vomit that we are receiving from all over the place.

Share this if you think it might lift another person’s spirits.

 

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Lockdown – Day 7

Lockdown!

Day Seven is upon us, with fourteen days to go!

In a country where 75% of our population have a television service and 68% have internet connectivity, 85% have mobile devices; it is safe to say that most of our population are informed of world and countrywide events.

Yet, short of taking ‘house to house’ sample surveys among different income groups would you be able to determine a pattern of how the average person is dealing with the ‘Lockdown’ measures. These measures only allow us an opportunity to escape incarceration when going to the doctor, collecting medicine and foodstuffs from our local pharmacy and supermarket. One would be putting oneself and family members at risk, with every trip to these outlets – so, they could never be considered as a possible ‘break from incarceration.’

The scope of domestic dwelling and its effects on individuals is wide indeed. Do you live on your own, with a partner, do you have children, what are their ages? Up to the lockdown were you employed? What age are you/your partner, the list is long indeed.

As one can see, there is no ‘one size fits all’ in trying to determine how people would be coping. Judging from the above figures, it is safe to say that most people would, at least, have some form of entertainment and communication with others.

This means I’m in no position to tell you what’s happening to people in a lockdown environment.

What I am qualified to share with you is what’s happening in our cave, with the hope it might offer you encouragement, a few hints on safety and hope for the future, whatever that may turn out to be.

My wife and I have a two-bed-roomed unit in a well maintained secure complex. We are in a two kilometer radius from shops, pharmacy and restaurants. Eight kilometers from our physician’s rooms. My wife maintains our unit in spic-n-span condition and that includes regular sanitizing. She does our laundry daily. On shopping trips we don our masks, gloves and maintain strict social distancing. On returning, we sanitize all goods we have purchased. Place our shopping bags in the washing machine. We leave our ,going out shoes’ outside the front door We sanitize all surfaces where shopping was unpacked. Our clothes are removed and put straight into the washing machine. Then we shower, washing all over and dressing with fresh clothing.

We exercise daily inside our unit and go for walks daily within our complex grounds, calling on neighbors who are within our seventy-something age group; especially those that live alone.

My wife is a seamstress and sews; recently making masks, that we have given to our family, friends and neighbors. She maintains a daily journal and is a follower of many talented self-development gurus.

I have a little amount of telephoning work for two clients, once a week and I have a blog site, for which I write articles. I have an e-book manuscript for my first short story book. I am two thirds of the way through my first novel.

We spend time contacting our children, grandchildren, via Whats App’s, House party, and email.

At night we watch videos via Netflix or read.

We have a rule that we never repeat any information that is of a negative nature. We do not run our government down, even if we disagree with them. We only disseminate conversation and articles of a positive and encouraging nature.

This is especially in the case of the younger members of our family, who do not understand the drama of what is taking place and therefore become fearfully anxious and in extreme cases – losing hope.

We do not watch TV or listen to news-feeds. Never lose sight of the fact that the media is a mammoth and ruthless business and not always ethical. Much of the time what they disseminate is inaccurate or downright untrue; yet sadly, we are raised to believe what is dished up for us.

In last week’s article I said:

With any catastrophe there are certainly two issues that will arise in its wake:

  • We can do nothing to change the course of the catastrophe.
  • We can do nothing about the (possibly major) changes that will take place in our lives.

What we can do is train ourselves and our children to think and speak positively; look after ourselves, mentally, physically and spiritually. Do whatever we are easily able for our fellow humans, and trust that, this too will pass and better things are to come, however different they may turn out to be.

Consider:

 The Covid-19 Pandemic:

This virus is a friend come to teach us; whilst the wounds of a friend inflict pain and suffering, they are a godsend compared with the kisses of our enemy. Prov. 27:6.

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If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Lockdown!

Our President placed this country under lockdown as at midnight on Thursday, March 26th.

I am the oldest member of my immediate family, which consists of two children and five grandchildren, living in five different homes within a twenty five kilometer radius of one another.

I have never experienced a ‘lockdown’ before.

I grew up in the latter part of the great war and lived in tough post war times following D-Day. My father and three uncles were part of the war machine. One uncle was killed and thankfully my father and his brother came home to us.

I watched two sons conscripted into the war machine in the ‘80’s. Both came home alive, one was wounded and recovered physically, but never psychologically.

Thankfully my grandchildren have grown, one in his teens, four into their twenties. Two have university degrees and three are on their way; all have good homes.

At the onset of Covid-19, my grandchildren, faced with far greater media hype than I ever experienced, were placed in a situation of doubt and concern; notwithstanding their access to information on the internet and research skills acquired in the course of their education, or maybe, because of this fact.

We parents are faced with both the concerns for our children and the economy of our country; it’s population of fifty seven million souls; six million of which live in our city. We are concerned for our own Small Businesses, the livelihood of which supports our family.

This, in addition to our biggest concern for the potential physical effects of the virus upon our population in a third world country, which could not cope with a pandemic, like say, Italy!

In this country, we have the best government since 1994. Our President and Minister of Finance are very capable men (my opinion). So, from a security and economic perspective we have a small chance.

From the virus viewpoint, where the greater percentage of our people are not familiar with preventative measures that need to be applied and our country having very limited medical resource to cope with the size of our population, “Solum habemus fide in Deum – In God alone we trust.”

From what I can gather, our government, businesses and many responsible people, seemed to have galvanized themselves into action. If my Grandchildren asked me what more could be done to help, I would have to say that, outside of following good hygienic preventative measures and obeying what our government have instructed – nothing.

What I would tell them is: we need to look in another direction. Into that lesser understood place within ourselves. That place from which we receive priceless advice, honest advice, advice we are able to rely on.

In the event of some traumatic event affecting our family, our community, country, the globe, as the Covid-19 we face now, what is our very first turn? To fear. Fear of dying, losing a family member, relative, friends. Fear of lack, of material loss, of unemployment, the list is endless. Then we seek advice from wherever we can source it, reliable or otherwise, after which, we worry, even to the point of illness.

With any catastrophe there are certainly two issues that will arise in it’s wake:

  • We can do nothing to change the course of the catastrophe.
  • We can do nothing about the (possibly major) changes that will take place in our lives.

We should accept that the only place where we can make decisions affecting our future  is now, in this moment. The past is too late and the ‘future’, in reality, does not exist.

If we refuse to act in this moment now, we will find that our situation, after a night’s sleep, is in the ‘now’ of what we called ‘tomorrow!’

Among the farming and business population of the country in which I was raised, there was a common saying, “Next year will be better.” I left that country eventually, not by choice. The decision I had to make was almost immediate and I realize now that it was made in a moment called now. That ‘now’ was made fifty years ago and I am so grateful, that I made the move, as I have watched that country fall lower than its knees, laid waste by corrupt, greedy politicians.

Consulting our inner selves now and planning as to how we will live our lives, irrespective of what our decisions are, will allow us to navigate from today’s now, onward.

It will allow us to plan ahead, because that is wise; but to plan building our life’s foundations on a solid rock now, not wait for the elusive ‘tomorrow.’

It will allow us to live every moment of our lives in the now, because neither the past nor the future exist – the only time is, now.

We have been given an opportunity of, now twenty days, lockdown. An opportunity to:

  • Evaluate our relationships, spiritual and human.
  • Evaluate the things for which we need to be grateful.
  • Evaluate what is beneficial in our lives now and discard the unprofitable.
  • Evaluate what we tolerate and get rid of what’s useless for us to tolerate.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

In this moment NOW we have been offered a window of time to consider, what changes we can make, before changes, over which we have no control, will move in first.

Don’t waste this space pondering on what could happen, just make it happen.

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If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).