Bits 'n' Bobs

 

Introduction


Welcome to my Bits 'n' Bobs page. Here I will be putting the likes of informative and thought provoking articles, both mine and others. Christian articles and the likes can be found on my biblical potpourri page. The link button to that page has been placed midst my Christian poem list which is on the same page that lists all my poems.

Note:
Please bear in mind that any article appearing on this page may be added to or improved upon at any time.

"The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with."
Eleanor Holmes Norton (1937- )


1. Duty And Purpose



Our duty and purpose while here on earth, and more so given the times that we’re living in, is…

To ease the pain and suffering of others whenever and wherever we can.
To defend and ensure each others right to freedom of expression and civil/religious liberty.
To seek disarmament, peace and harmony.
To do all we can to make society safer, healthier, sounder, loving and caring.
To lose ourselves in others and humble self-sacrificial service.
To pull together for the greater good, for the preservation of our environment and its well-being, and in order to undo any damage foolishly created.
To fairly share Earth’s bounties.
To use Earth’s resources, land, sky and sea wisely.
To spread light and brightness, hope and encouragement.
To work to find answers to anything afflicting humanity or individuals.
To uphold the sanctity of life.
To protect innocent creatures.
To learn and grow constructively, and without pain to others.
To develop a tender compassionate heart, a noble, wiser, educated and stretched mind, maximum health, and thus a prolonged life.
To enjoy and appreciate each others company, successes, diversity, individuality, talents and abilities.
To leave this world all the better for our presence.
To play our part in the cycle of life via daily work and duties.
To ensure that the needs of all are met, especially those of the weak, injured, handicapped, disabled, vulnerable, widowed, and aged
To run to the rescue of any who're being abused, violated, oppressed, or attacked.
To defend the wrongly accused or wrongly imprisoned.
To denounce and expose anything and anyone treading on human rights, causing injury, hardship, poverty, suffering, starvation, environmental damage, cruelty to animals, plotting carnage, war and strife, or inciting hatred and bigotry.
To warn of dangers and traps.
To denounce and expose secret societies.
To give equal voice and thought to minorities.
To uphold truth and expose error.
To keep all in positions of authority honest and accountable.
To lessen government interference.
To denounce and expose all attempts to create a New World Order, regardless of how benign, clever or sweet such may sound, and regardless of any circumstances, for such would in time become the ultimate gift for the ultimate dictator, or dictators — and given that evidence indicates that many calling for such, and in a position to orchestrate such, and crouched within the shadows of certain organisations or institutions, have an evil but hidden agenda.

To not abide by the above is to ensure our own short-lived happiness, a corresponding karma, judgment, and ultimately, our own demise, that of others, and even Earth’s.


2. Potent Words



I love you    I care about you    I missed you    I've been thinking of you    You're often on my mind    It's not the same without you    Here's something for you    I feel for you    I understand    I forgive you    I've forgotten already    That's okay; I don't mind    Yes     We all make mistakes    You were right     It's my fault    I'll take the blame    I'm sorry    Please forgive me    I need you    You mean a lot to me    Thank you    I really appreciate that    I like what you've done    You look great    You'll be fine    Tell me about yourself    What's on your mind?    Would you like to off-load?    I've every confidence in you    I knew you could do it    Well done!    Good on you    I trust you    I believe you    You did your best    I'm sure things will work out    I'm sure you'll get there    I spoke up for you    I checked on your behalf    Don't worry, I'll think of something    Mind if I walk with you?    Can I confide in you?    Can I help?    Would you like a hand?    I'll do it     I'll get it    I'll say it    It's no trouble     Anytime    I don't mind waiting    My pleasure    I'm here if you need me    I won't mention it to anyone    I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter    I value your input    Let's give them the benefit of the doubt    Give them time    I'm sure they didn't mean it like that    Let's try again tomorrow    Would you like another piece?


3. Until



Until everyone is able to follow their own path, (without injuring another);
Able to follow their own dream and implement their own plans;
Able to live without being deprived of the necessities of life;
Able to live their life without being intimidated, threatened, violated, hindered, pressured or forced to conform to some majority or new order of things;
Able to defend them self against wrongful accusation or imprisonment via the full and impartial weight of the law;
Able to freely express their opposition, discontent, or disagreement without fear or punishment, and likewise, able to point out wrongs, error, charlatans, and those abusing positions of authority or influence, without fear or punishment;
Able to practice their religion without interference or ridicule, or to discard religion altogether;
There'll never truly be peace on earth, but continued troubles, discontent, hidden agendas and activities, unpleasant surprises, and oppressive dominating powers, or an all encompassing one.


4. Why Earth's Woes?


A more balanced approach to such.

Normally I would have placed this in my Christian section, but because Earth’s woes are affecting us all, both Christian and non-Christian, I felt that the non-Christian would benefit from this article should they be prepared to see it through given that it does contain a Christian perspective, though one that’s in contrast to that which many Christians wrongly express. So, if you’re a non-Christian, please take the time to peruse this article and to even tell me what you think.
It seems natural for many Christians to consider Earth’s current woes as being the outward expression of God’s wrath — judgments, they call them, and often these Christians are militant placard carrying, street marching, protesters whose behaviour is often far from true Christianity. I'm reminded of those Christians who I recently saw on the news (13/1/2011) who were protesting outside a church where a funeral was taking place. My, what shameful behaviour.
Though a Christian myself, and one who sees such woes as having something to do with God’s restraining hand  being slowly withdrawn due to the rebelliousness and depravity of mankind whose time has come, I think there’s a little more to this scene than meets the eye.
It’s my belief that the woes afflicting us all are largely self-made — by that I mean, the result of mankind’s folly, not acts of God. After all, the Earth has a fragile ecological system — that is to say, everything is dependant on everything else.
Who’s responsible for stripping the Amazon, denuding the Earth of trees, polluting and plundering the seas, filling the Earth and air with toxins, irresponsibly dumping waste, unnecessarily depleting Earth’s resources, creating potential slips and floods, endangering species, etc? It’s man!
There’s no question that mankind has badly affected the way this planet operates and that we are reaping the results, be that unstable and disastrous weather, the melting of the polar icecaps, hotter temperatures, or perhaps even earthquakes. Earthquakes, you say? Well, who in recent history has been letting off powerful explosions under the Earth’s crust. Could such detonations have affected the tectonic plates, created huge craters, leading to certain underground disturbances over time?
Between 1946 and 1958, twenty-three nuclear devices were detonated at Bikini atoll, (where the bikini got its name from, by the way), and don’t forget all that radioactive contamination that resulted. Such doesn’t just disappear.
After the Second World War the United States, along with their French and British allies, frequently tested nuclear weapons in the Pacific region. France began testing nuclear weapons in French Polynesia from about the mid-1960s. Remember Moruroa atoll?
Yes, there has been atmospheric testing, underwater testing, and underground testing, and all over the world, and we wonder why we’ve problems. This Earth was not designed to handle such destructiveness, nor that radioactive contamination.
And what about those drums of nuclear waste that were dumped under the ocean? What about all the damage to the environment from all the wars that have taken place, and those chemicals that have been cruelly used. And we wonder why there are mutations, birth defects, etc.
As far as wars, famines, poverty and starvation go, much of such can be attributed to man again, for there are clearly those behind the scenes who’ve been instrumental in deliberately creating wars, mayhem, releasing this and that upon society, and so on, for their own selfish, twisted, and deluded agenda — effectively the human agents of an evil supernatural force.
As far as health issues go, mankind has largely created such via lack of care or through outright abuse. And look at what humans consume, let alone those drugs that are doing the rounds, etc.
As far as society goes, mankind has largely created the problems that abound by forsaking those things that once held society and this world together. Therefore, it’s no wonder things are coming unstuck. In other words, we’ve been fouling our own nest, creating ticking time bombs, potential disasters, destroying those very things that acted as safeguards. We seem to be hell-bent on selfish pursuits, show little regard for others and things that matter, and many even have their heads in the sand. To put it another way, we’ve been too busy eating, drinking, and being merry, and it’s finally catching up with us. Look at the violence, corruption and perversion that the movie industry is churning out! Nothing is sacred anymore. It seems that anything goes now. Is God responsible for sexual diseases? Hardly! Such is linked to promiscuity, not God
And take a look at the Christian community. Can you tell it apart? Hardly! Tragically so, there has been a wholesale sell out here too. Christians have forsaken this or that, have been questioning the Bible, watering it down, altering things to suit, accommodating to please, and have been imitating and embracing all that they’ve been warned to leave alone — in other words, they’re hardly on the straight and narrow anymore, many foolishly thinking that they’re saved when they’re not.
Thus, I wouldn’t  blame God. He didn’t even have to provide us with a way out!
In summary, I don’t see all these things as God’s judgments in the sense of Him standing there and saying, “Okay, I’ll create an earthquake today,” or, “I’ll send a famine today,” or, “I’ll send a flood today.”
I simply think that three things are occurring:
1) We’re reaping the results of our own rebelliousness and stupidity, and the results of what we’ve foolishly been doing to the Earth. All this has had a huge societal impact, and is impacting ecologically too.
2) This earth is breaking down under the weight of sin’s decaying effects.
3) As mentioned at the beginning, I believe that God’s restraining hand is slowly being withdrawn due to the rebelliousness and depravity of mankind whose time has come. And where evil and wrong are more prevalent, His restraining hand may well be being withdrawn more frequently or strongly. I'm quite sure that if it wasn't for His restraining hand, humanity would have self destructed long ago.
Yes, as far as God goes, I personally believe that He has simply been adopting a more hands-off-approach, allowing these things to occur, and more so, in order to get our attention. He knows this Earth is coming to an end of sorts, and that we well all be destroyed unless we repent of our foolishness, have a change of heart, and accept His escape plan. Otherwise, should He prevent these things from occurring, we would simply continue to eat, drink, and be merry, only to self destruct and perish forever. We need to be forced to our knees, so to speak, for our own good. Sometimes we seem to need more than one shake up.
The only time that I see God deliberately causing anything is, when the plagues of Revelation (see Revelation chapters 16,17,18, then 13) take place, such occurring just prior to Christ's return when mankind has finally filled his cup with iniquity and pledged allegiance to the religious/political and blasphemous New World Order “beast” power that we’re warned will enslave, persecute, and even kill. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I've sometimes wondered whether those plagues might once again be the result of man's folly. Consequences that God allows to occur as punishment, things that will snowball perhaps, things He could have held in check, but not this time. But don't quote me on that one.



5. In Times Like These


In times like these especially, what a difference it would make…

If those who are very wealthy, be they pop stars, actors, entertainers, business men/women, etc, were to refrain from spending their wealth on lavishly indulging themselves, be that on over-the-top parties, outrageously priced cars, jets, super yachts, chattels, mansions here and there, regular extravagant country to country jaunts, etc, and instead, used their wealth to alleviate suffering and poverty at home and abroad, be that via providing equipment, food, medical supplies, clinics, housing, education, clothing, opportunities, etc. It could be said, that how much one has left, after they’ve given, indicates the true state of their generosity. Yes, how much is still sitting in their bank account? Assets? You might like to read my poem, or view the power point, “I’ve A Duty, I’ve A Reason.”

If governments, local councils, etc, refrained from spending money on the likes of trips to the moon (that’ll never work for us, can’t), the proliferation of weapons, fire works, extravagant buildings, unnecessary and expensive statues, memorials, events, or titivations, and instead, spent it on animal welfare/protection, food banks, refuge centres, cheaper public transport, recycling, mental health services, free or cheaper medical care and aids (such as crutches, spectacles, dentures, artificial limbs, hearing aids), etc.

If the likes of heads of state, members of parliament, chief executives, refused to accept and justify unacceptable (some would say obscene), unwarranted salaries, bonuses.

If those in the medical profession, be they doctors, dentists, surgeons, optometrists, etc, cut their charges, accepted lower profits, and particularly helped those on low incomes, benefits, be it via free services from time to time, or be it via reduced costs.

If those with skills, be they an electrician, computer whiz, builder, mechanic, lawyer, etc, volunteered their service/ability from time to time, without charge, in an effort to help those in difficulty and struggling financially, and also cut their charges in general so that their services were more affordable to all.

If those who own businesses showed more concern over their staff and the community than their profits, improved wages and conditions (certainly where warranted), sought to produce quality products at a price that showed generosity and thought, rather than possible greed.

If husbands and wives put all their effort into trying to make their partner happy, putting them first, loving and caring for them (self-sacrificially), displaying affection, compassion, sensitivity, building them up, supporting them, being their for them, being faithful, transparent, non-violent, nor manipulative, and not placing unfair expectations on them.

If both parents and children made a greater effort to understand each other, worked together for the greater good of each other, showed mutual respect, were more tolerant and forgiving towards each other, and more sensitive to each others needs, less judgmental.

If you and I lived more humbly, focusing on needs rather than wants, not the indulgent or unnecessary, and instead, used that money (that we might have wasted) to help those in the community who are poorer, struggling, or by giving it to food banks, charities, sponsoring children overseas, doing our bit to halt poverty and suffering around the world, etc.

If Christians truly lived according to their Bible, displayed tolerance, love, compassion, and a non-judgmental, nor self-righteous attitude, allowed others to respectfully challenge their beliefs and actions without responding negatively or showing a bias. Let me add that there’s a difference between self-righteously judging and the necessary evaluation, rebuke, come discipline. You might like to read my poem, “To Judge Or Not To Judge.”

If all, whether Christian, Muslim, or atheist, put self last, insisted upon a higher standard within society, appreciated and respected values, morals, etiquette, showed tolerance, fairness, and compassion, sought peace, valued the sacredness of life, upheld law and order, freedom of speech, civil/religious liberty, non-violence.

If all in authority humbly sought to serve rather than dominate, to aid rather than hinder, to improve rather than worsen, to give rather than take, to protect rather than injure.

If no one killed creatures for sport, cruelly experimented on them, confined them to cages for self gratification, or mistreated them in general.

If all acted responsibly towards the environment, took pride in themselves and their surroundings, took care of their health to the best of their ability.

Could you add to or improve upon this? Are you in agreement or not? Tell me.


6. Reasons


Ten Reasons For Caring

1) Caring shows that we have a heart and a conscience.
2) The greatest happiness and satisfaction comes from losing ourselves in others.
3) Every human via their very being is precious, and worthy of time, effort and love.
4) We’re all linked by origin and lineage; we’re one big family.
5) We’re all suffering in one way or another.
6) We all know how easy it is to err, and that many are paying terribly for their error.
7) Caring will place us on the side of right, light, and hope.
8) What goes around comes around. In other words: If we don’t show care towards others, care may not come our way when we need it.
9) Pulling together is the only way we can improve the lot of humanity, cut back the damage we’ve done to our planet, and lessen damage in future.
10) We’re all in the same boat (earth), are facing the same apocalyptic scenario, and time wise have the same narrow window.

Ten Reasons For Taking Care

1) Our lives are only capable of lasting a certain length of time. By not taking care of ourselves we might decrease that period.
2) By not taking care of ourselves we might suffer from health problems at an earlier age, and as a consequence, no doubt for a longer period of time.
3) By not taking care of ourselves we might create unnecessary problems or misery for ourselves, and for our loved ones too, affecting quality of life.
4) By not taking care of ourselves we might add to the already overtaxed medical system and budget blowouts depriving others (even ourselves) of assistance when it’s needed.
5) By not taking care of ourselves we might add to the already stretched and under funded organisations (and resources) involved in attending to us, such as search and rescue.
6) Overusing and mistreating any organ or member unnecessarily, or sustaining unnecessary injuries (via the likes of certain sports, fun activities, etc), might see us pay a price that may well out weigh the pleasure we get. Pain just for a buzz?
7) By not taking care of ourselves we might be less well off financially due to certain expenses incurred, be that due to doctor or dentist visits, travel expenses, etc.
8) By not taking care of ourselves we might influence others who’ll possibly suffer similar woes, adding to the burdens their loved ones and society has to bear.
9) By not taking care of ourselves, or in general, we might display a lack of wisdom and common sense, even a recklessness and disregard for others.
10) By not taking care of ourselves, or in general, we might even inadvertently harm someone else.

Ten Reasons For Being Yourself

1) It’s being yourself that makes you very special, the unique person that you are.
2) The world will be all the less for you hiding behind someone else. Such stifles your individuality.
3) We can never be someone else no matter how hard we try.
4) Trying to be someone else may upset that person you’re trying to be.
5) Everyone is human, faulty, has their own issues, uses the bathroom! So don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re no better or worse.
6) Trying to be someone else leads to confusion, emotional illness and stress.
7) Trying to be someone else is somewhat acting dishonestly, deceitfully.
8) You might disappoint those who like you the way you are.
9) Not being yourself holds you back from contributing in your own unique way.
10) No matter how little you think of yourself it won’t alter your value. Your worth is based on your very existence.

Twelve Reasons For Speaking Out

1) Where freedom of expression or civil/religious liberty is under threat.
2) Where others may be endangered.
3) Wherever there is prejudice and bigotry of any kind.
4) Where someone is being wrongly maligned, as one day that someone could well be you.
5) Where truth is under attack or lies injured.
6) Where an injustice is occurring. Every injustice ignored sees injustice grow.
7) Where there are those who need us to speak on their behalf.
8) Where it’s cowardly to not speak out.
9) You may not get another opportunity than the one that comes your way.
10) Speaking out shows that you have a mind and will of your own, an inner strength.
11) It builds character, courageous muscles.
12) It encourages others, sets a valuable example.


7. Your Hearing's Precious


Seems sad but true that most have to lose their hearing, or suffer damage to their hearing, before they truly appreciate it, or appreciate it as much as they should.
So how do we lose or damage our hearing, including ending up suffering from tinnitus (noises within the ear), a miserable thing on its own?
Well, other than via some misfortune (certain antibiotics and other medications, ear infections, explosions, etc.), or a general deterioration due to age, there are two ways in which hearing loss occurs:
1) Via conscious exposure to noise, willingly or unwillingly.
2) Via unconscious exposure to noise.
The latter occurs due to ignorance, or due to what we think are benign noises — in other words, noises that we don’t think are harmful when they actually are, especially accumulatively.
Our hearing deteriorates over time not just due to specific occurrences but due to accumulative exposure to noises in general throughout our lifetime. Therefore, if we truly value our hearing, the idea is to lessen such exposure.
The following is a list of noise damaging examples that can result in immediate damage or accumulative damage (wear and tear on one’s hearing), and bearing in mind that while we can’t always get away from such noises we can limit exposure to them, and take precautions.
Here we go:
1) Remaining in a room where there’s a loud babble of noise. The longer one remains the more likely and worse the damage may be. Examples: General gatherings which would include wedding receptions, parties and other such functions, church luncheons; and venues would include bars, night clubs, airport terminals and the likes.
2) Machinery. Examples: Lawnmowers (better to use a push mower), electric power tools, electric kitchen equipment (food mixers, blenders), electric household equipment (vacuum cleaners), hand drying machines in public places (some excessively noisy).
3) Guns, explosives, crackers.
4) Screaming children (worse if they’re being held), classrooms where yelling children are present, childcare centres, kindergartens, playcentres.
5) The unnecessary slamming of doors, windows, cupboards, the loud shuffling of pots and pans, crockery and cutlery, which near one’s ears may do damage instantly or accumulatively. Also, the whacking or throwing of things, or the dropping of things that can result in a loud noise — thus, we need to be more aware, cautious, careful.
6) Hammering.
7) Alarms, sirens, whistles, horns.
8) Music volume, and especially from stereo headphones sitting over or in the ear. Best not to enjoy music at all via this means.
9) Fax machines and the likes via the telephone receiver.
10) Sports events, general events, shows, where there’s loud noise due to people either yelling, whistling out, or even singing in mass, loud music, fireworks, hailers, starting guns, motor racing, revving, acoustic feedback, etc.
11) Shopping malls where there are many people and an accumulation of surrounding noises in general.
12) Transport. Example: General traffic noise, riding on motorbikes, being in or near noisy cars and trucks. Bus, train, boat, and plane travel. Airports where shrill engines are running.
13) Noises coming from work being done nearby, or machines that are stationed nearby.
14) The low frequency noises coming from amplified sound (woofers).
16) People shouting near your ear.
17) Driving any reasonable distance with the window down. Such will wear the hearing quicker in the ear that’s closer to the open window and road.
Perhaps you can think of more.
If you value your hearing, I would recommend that where you are exposed to even moderate noise, that you insert, where practical, some kind of noise dampening device into or over your ears. And don’t be afraid to put your hands over your ears in public regarding certain loud noises that go past you or that you pass by. Don’t worry what others might think — you’re hearing isn’t worth damaging for the sake of pride. If your hearing is already damaged then that’s all the more reason to take care of it.
Our ears can be damaged easier than we think! Its not until the damage becomes noticeable that we finally register and become regretful — in other words, the damage can be slow and subtle, hence the danger. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Too many don’t take action until it’s too late. As long as we think we’re hearing well we don’t concern ourselves too much — therein lies a major problem. Remember, we only hear as good as we’re hearing.
Hear today, gone tomorrow. It can be that quick. Take care — you’ll miss it badly!


8. Words Of Wisdom


Appreciate and treasure your very existence, the opportunities that your birth has presented — yes, appreciate and treasure each moment, day, week, month, and year, for your lifespan is just that — a very limited span of time, one that passes very quickly, but usually unnoticed until you’ve far less time than more.

Appreciate and treasure your loved ones as if you only have that present moment with them, for their life may cease the very moment that present moment ends; and also never treat them less than well, lest their departure leave you with greater pain, deep regret, and even guilt.

Treat everyone as you would like them to treat you, bearing in mind that what goes around comes around, (in some form or another), be that sooner or later, and even after you’ve seen the error of your ways, and also bear in mind that those whom you mistreat might seek to harm you, might seek to get back at you somehow.

At all times display courtesy, politeness, good manners, due respect and etiquette, bearing in mind that should you not do so, you might upset the very ones that you’ll have cause to regret upsetting, be they the likes of a potential father-in-law, employer, judge, tutor, or benefactor.

Learn to go without, and cultivate generosity, not just as a character building exercise, but for the sake of others who’re less fortunate, and who have as much right to life’s necessities as you, and bearing in mind that one day you may well be in need yourself.

Always forgive others and even yourself, never seek revenge, and don’t harbour grudges or bitterness, for by so doing, such will turn in on you like a cancer, eating away at you emotionally and physically, and thereby adding to any pain and injustice that came your way, depriving you of hope and joy, preventing you from moving on and being a blessing to others, or negatively affecting those dearest to you.

Value and uphold the rights of others, their right to freedom of speech, (be it pleasing or displeasing), and civil/religious liberty, lest you suffer from the same erosion and loss, and join them in becoming subjects rather than citizens.

Avoid gossip, armchair judgments, and unconstructive criticism, lest such return to bite you, and always be honest with others and transparent in all that you do, freely admitting your faults, mistakes and failures, and thereby freeing yourself of skeletons and potential accusations.

Never indulge in bigotry, nor allow bias or prejudice to play a part in your dealings with others, and always give them the opportunity to state their case and disagree, to respectfully challenge what you believe, uphold and practice, thereby being receptive and prepared to change should their argument have validity.

Always put another’s best interests before your own, giving them the time of day and the benefit of the doubt, respecting their right to privacy and quality of life, appreciating their individuality, talents and input, being quick to apologise where at fault, and at all times displaying hospitality, thoughtfulness, compassion, genuine affection, and loving concern.

Always show respect to those in authority, (be they right or wrong, and lest your lot be made harder), and value the wisdom of those who’re of mature years, or experienced in their field.

Always choose good over evil, aligning yourself with that positive force in life that leads to better outcomes and blessings; always act justly, fairly, and impartially, and seek to turn any enemy into a friend that they may thereby cease to be a threat.

Never mistreat any creature [animal, etc], for they’ve the same right to life as you, and are no less deserving of tender loving care, and bear in mind that their very presence (and more so if they’re in one’s care) poses a test that reveals the state of an individual’s heart, or the heartbeat of society.

Value and look after your health via exercise, self-discipline and temperance, via consuming only that which is beneficial, and via avoiding that which could injure, lest your journey be more painful, and your loved ones burdened, thus adding to society’s costs, lessening your lifespan, and leaving your loved ones grieving much sooner.

Appreciate what you have, for many haven’t even that, and appreciate the fact that what you currently have you could easily lose, for life is unpredictable, and has a way of unpleasantly surprising the ungrateful, those who take things for granted, or who don’t give thought to the things they should.

Take time to enjoy the company of good friends, relations, and family, to savour the taste of beneficial food, to listen to uplifting music, to enrich the mind with noble and useful material, to marvel at the wonders of nature, to pursue a constructive and pleasurable hobby, to have wholesome fun, to share experiences that foster hope, and to regain physical and mental strength through peaceful relaxation and heavenly meditation.

Go out of your way to ease the burdens and workload of others, to visit the lonely, the ill, the despondent, the incapacitated, the incarcerated, and to assist in that which is charitable, bearing in mind that your benevolence and kindness should also include vagrants and strangers.

Develop a positive attitude, face your fears, don’t be afraid to express your emotions, roll with life’s punches, allow yourself to be moulded by life’s lessons, and put past mistakes and misfortunes behind in order to move on, in order to give others the benefit of your own experiences, and in order to leave something behind that will make a positive difference and even show a change in direction.

Seek to improve on your capabilities, to gain new skills, to experience and learn all that you can in order that it may help you grow and mature, become more well-rounded, and that it may give more depth to your understanding, thus developing within you a more holistic outlook, an ability to appreciate the lot and concerns of others, to think outside the box and not be confined to the narrow views of some.

At all times maintain your dignity, refraining from course language, crude expressions, bawdy, riotous, slothful behaviour, childish outbursts, pettiness, vindictiveness, and sulkiness.

Never indulge in mind games, nor manipulation of any sort, nor attempt to force others to accept or do something against their will, but rather, use gentle persuasion and sound reasoning, allowing them to decide for themselves which path they'll take, as is their right.

Always do your own research and investigating, drawing from many sources and weighing the various arguments, lest you be taken off track and swayed by the majority, (so often wrong, and usually made up of sheep who let others do their thinking for them and thereby decide their destiny), and lest you perpetuate error and mislead others in turn.

Appreciate that a moment of carelessness, any inattention, fooling around, or any unnecessary risk, could result in serious injury to yourself, (or others), much misery and suffering, the loss of your hearing, eyesight, a limb or limbs, all of which might thereby deprive you of the ability to participate fully in life, to pursue and enjoy that which once gave you much pleasure, or even deprive you of life itself.

Take pride in your appearance and surroundings, for should you not do so, it could work against you, for others may be less inclined to lend you their things, rent you their home, or may consider you unworthy of their generosity, or unfit for some role that would please you.

Value and look after the environment in all that you do, be that via careful use of contaminants, or their non-usage, be that via recycling and avoidance of wastage, (lest you help deplete the earth's vital resources), or be that via taking care of what you possess in order to ensure its longevity, and thus not unnecessarily and irresponsibly add to the stockpile polluting the earth, and which fouls your own nest.

In summary:

Use your time, mind, body, abilities and resources in a way that will bring maximum return rather than minimum, that will produce good rather than evil, that will keep you free of injury, ill-health, and trouble, (as much as is humanly possible), that will keep you free of accusation or charge, that will help to resolve, solve, or improve, that will prove of benefit to others and the creatures that share our planet, that will make the world a better and brighter place, and that will leave behind the sweet aroma of your selflessness, bravery, and positive contribution.


9. Wealth


Wealth isn't wrong in itself. After all, some folk inherit wealth, some folk accumulate wealth via a business that prospers, and so on. Thus, the problem isn't wealth as such, but the fact that many are living in poverty, going without their needs, or dying of starvation, while others have way in excess of their needs, aren't doing what they can, or as much as they can, to alleviate the lot of these who're less fortunate. And many, if not most, are guilty of grossly misusing their wealth. What these folk spend on pure and outlandish selfish indulgence would keep millions from dying each year. Therefore, as mentioned, the problem isn't wealth, but often, or mostly, the person who has such wealth. And I guess that's where the problem will always lie.
If one doesn't have a conscience, nor a sense of duty or responsibility, they'll clearly stand idly by, as it were, while their fellowman suffers unnecessarily. Given there's so much wealth in the world, there shouldn't be the amount of suffering that there is. However, one doesn't have to be wealthy to be guilty of such, as most of us could probably do more than we do
that is, if we are doing anything. And sometimes the needy are right next door, or very close at hand. We are living in times where the need is so great. Even if we that is, those of us who're not wealthy  were to forgo some of our seemingly minor indulgences, we would spare many from a horrid death.
I must also mention that the reason we have the poverty and starvation that we do on Earth, is not because the world is overpopulated, (because it's not, far from it), but simply because of  human greed and selfishness
oh yes, and because of the manipulating of things that goes on behind the scenes.
Let me quote someone, "We have an abundant resource and potential to produce much more than is required to sustain a far greater population than we have."
Personally, with so many suffering today, I couldn't in all conscience spend money on things like a second house, a speed boat, a vintage car, and so on. Not when I think of how many I could help with that same money. Yes, while the Western world parties and so forth, others die before they even reach school age. Where's the justice in that?



10. Welfare


This article is designed to bring some fairness into the welfare debate, and to also provide a more balanced perspective. The following quote is also worth pondering on too.

"Charity sees the need, not the cause."
German Proverb

I felt compelled to pen the following given the unfortunate attitude that I've seen being exhibited by so many here in New Zealand who have a beef with the welfare system or those who're on a benefit — yes, armchair critics with no coal face experience and who've never been on a benefit, nor had need of a lower rental government house, for that matter. And let's remember too, that for those who have been there, been there is a very different experience for many people.
It has been my personal experience that those who are the most vocal in their condemnation are those who have been blessed with a nice home and car, savings in their bank account, and so on, and fair enough too, there being nothing wrong with such things. But midst their good fortune, their holidays abroad say, their two cars perhaps, even a batch somewhere, they complain bitterly about being overtaxed and turn on the welfare system or those who're on a benefit, (or at least certain ones who're on a benefit).
Such people remind me of someone who's complaining because someone has taken the little crusty ring off the top of their apple pie. Haven't they still got their pie? If I were them, I would just be focusing on enjoying what I have, not complaining lest an earthquake or personal tragedy rob such from me. In other words, let's appreciate what we have while we've got it rather than looking at what others supposedly are taking from us. Such people also remind me of someone who has a generously laden apple tree on their property of which they're observing with binoculars and complaining because their poorer neighbour has just taken some apples off a branch that was hanging over their side of the fence. Perhaps twenty apples to the observers three hundred. And yet, look who's counting.
I remember bumping into someone we know, (a number of years back, that is), who casually asked, (as folk do), how I and my family were. "Oh, we're battling along," I replied, given that we rented a government house, had a number of kids, no money in the bank, and were barely getting by. "Yes, we're struggling too," she said, and then continued, "I lost my job recently, so just hubby is working now." Here they were, lovely home in a relatively expensive area, two cars, boat, batch somewhere where they went for regular breaks, husband on a very good wage, and to add insult to injury, a few weeks later headed overseas for another holiday. Struggling? You've got to be kidding, I thought, their house no doubt paid off given their ages and incomes. The truth of the matter is that they really had no idea of what struggling is all about.  Imagine not being able to afford to go to the doctor. Such folk are simply struggling, (if you can call it that), because they're trying to keep up with a certain standard of living that they desire but hardly need. 

"Many of us have a failure to distinguish between want and need."
Clive Hamilton

I might add too, that it's fine for folk to ask how you're getting along, but how many dip into their pocket in order to help? "Oh well, I hope things improve," they might say, when they could've helped things to improve. I can only remember one old gentleman who did so on asking how we were. Yes, the odd five dollars hardly goes astray, and can certainly make someone's day, believe me.
As far as those who are in fact ripping off the welfare system go, (and draining money), let's remember that there are people ripping off the system in general everywhere, many at the top and employed. And then there are the likes of drunk drivers, (many employed and doing nicely too), who cost the country millions and millions every year, and who also create victims who also take up more hospital beds and drain more money. Adding to the drain on taxpayer's money are those who're injured whilst involved in extreme sports or foolish ventures; those who're injured whilst committing crime; those who're injured whilst carousing, (not to mention that injury to their victims); and those who due to wilfully abusing their health, (be that through diet, drugs, smoking, etc), end up requiring medical assistance and/or a hospital bed. Shall I go on?
And let's not forget those who make money from another's misfortune or ill-health, (via excessive fees); the likes of plastic surgeons who play on the beauty thing, charging and pocketing scurrilous amounts of money; wealthy people receiving entitlements they don't need, (at the expense of the taxpayer); those who go on strike in order to get a wage increase when they're already on a good wage; landlords who hike rents after an earthquake; those CEOs on salaries that are clearly unjustifiable and quite appalling, and then there are undertakers. Yes, so many are on the make one way or another, or are getting what they hardly need, or what they shouldn't get. And how many businesses put profit before people via unreasonable mark-ups? And amongst all this, I guess you've heard of corporate welfare.
As far as bludgers go, (a nickname given to some on a benefit), surely bludgers come in many forms. How many people, (especially those who're well off), put their hands up and say, "Seen as it was my own fault, I will pay the cost," or, "Seen as I don't need it, I won't take it."
In my experience I have found the most kind-hearted, generous and sacrificing people to be those who're lacking in material wealth. And the most penny pinching, penny conscious, to be those who don't need to be so. Hence why many of them visit the op-shops depleting those shops of clothing (they've picked over) that was intended for those who're poor. I mean poor! Many (via such) are getting cream on top of their cake, a cake that may be said to already have cream on it when compared to the lot of others who don't even have a cake. My wife and I were told of a lady who used to visit such shops in her Mercedes Benz, believe it or not. Well, they do take a lot to run, don't they? I thought it was a Rolls Royce, just quietly, but my wife's memory is generally better, so a Mercedes Benz it is. However, as time has gone by, there's now a string of expensive cars parked nearby. So what must that be saying? And while I'm on the subject, I knew a doctor with two homes and a working wife who likewise visited such shops. And yet here we are fixated on beneficiaries.
So why is there such a sustained attack on the welfare system. Well, I guess it's a handy scapegoat. The welfare system is a necessary and humane response. A necessary drain on pockets. It's something that we all should learn to live with and come to value lest we have a need of it too. The answer lies in how it's managed. Governments who adopt a slash and burn approach, or who take a heavy hand to such, simply cause as many problems as they solve, even worse ones. Personally, I'd rather err towards a government that's heart isn't connected to its head than a government that's head isn't connected to its heart. Better a little left than a little right, perhaps. The ideal? Taking the best from both the left and the right until you have a healthy balance. While people continue to swing strongly to the left or strongly to the right we'll never actually get things right. And many don't believe that they have swung. Half the problem.
A little sympathy is a fine thing too. Many of those who are on a benefit don't have the joy that comes from owning their own home, don't have a car, (or have a wreck), don't get a proper holiday, or any holiday, are often sick via worry and stress, are in debt, have little if any money in their bank account, and wouldn't be able to get a job if they tried due to high unemployment, age, constant health issues and the various kinds of discrimination that goes on, hence why some can be out of work for years and why they're the last ones that folk should condemn.  
Let's look at this a little further. I've often heard folk saying that there's work out there for those who really want to work, implying that many who are unemployed don't want to work and would rather sit on a benefit. Such an attitude effectively taints all who are out of work. It would do well for such critics to ponder on the following:
There may be a number of job vacancies
and countrywide, there could even be quite a lot, at any given time but when one breaks those vacancies down into towns and cities and into what is suitable for any one individual, it's quite another story.
Let's take a middle-aged man who is unskilled and out of work, and then peruse the vacancies in his local newspaper
that is, the town or city in which he lives. What do we see, (ignoring the political correctness nonsense, and being practical and fair)?
Jobs that are only suitable for women;
jobs that only women would want to do; jobs that most employers would only hire a woman to do.
Jobs that require someone who has a trade builder, plumber, etc.
Jobs that require someone who has professional training
doctor, scientist, etc.
Jobs that require proven managerial skills, or experience in a certain field, (there and then)
paramedic, physiotherapist, fireman, etc.
Jobs that  would somehow cut across someone's religious beliefs or ethics.
Jobs that are too far away to be viable or practical.
Jobs that not all can cope with -- high-rise window cleaning, mining, etc.
Plus, the middle-aged man that I've used as an example, might also have certain physical, emotional, or medical conditions that restrict his abilities, (who wants a lame duck, it seems), and he may even have past convictions
and, sadly so, certain disfigurements or off-putting things that see most employers backing away from.
And no doubt more things could be mentioned.
In summary, the amount of vacancies that he could sensibly apply for at any given time might be very few in the scheme of things, and how many are waiting in the very same queue wanting the very same job?
And while we're on the subject, here's another thing that's worth thinking about:
In times of high unemployment, (and the problems that result from such), why do those men and women who don't need to work continue to do so, thus adding to the problem in the sense that they are unnecessarily filling jobs that others who're out of work could do with? Perhaps those who don't need to work do so because they are bored at home, like the job they've got, enjoy the social contact, want another overseas holiday, or simply remain working because it makes them feel useful, though there are lots of other ways in which folk can make themselves useful. However, whatever the case may be, their absence from the workforce would certainly make a big difference because there is a lot of them out there. Sometimes in life, for the good of others, or society in general, we should be prepared to make certain sacrifices. Isn't that what love for our fellowman is all about. Better that than those with young families having to go on the dole, (the unemployment benefit). Better that than having out-of-work young folk getting into trouble due to too much time on their hands, frustration or disillusionment.

Yes, so let's be a little more thoughtful when it comes to those who are unemployed, and more so during those harder times. 
When one is speaking about those who're on a benefit, or when one is mentioning the woes of those who're on a benefit, those who're condemning them often say things like this:
1) "We worked hard for what we've got."
Well, that may be so, but they're still blessed in the sense that they have much to be grateful for given that many others aren't as fortunate as they. Best they enjoy the ninety five percent that they have than waste their time getting ulcers over that five percent they think someone is draining from them. Compared to others many are living like kings yet complaining as if they're paupers. Some folk just don't know how well off they are.
2) "Their problems are of their own making."
Oh? I find it quite ironic that in this "Don't judge me!" age these people are doing just that. And who are they to judge. Some also point to certain things that someone on a benefit might have, and say, "Boy, they're doing alright on a benefit."  But how did they acquire that car or whatever it might be?
Was such gifted?
Did family or church members chip in?
Did they win such in a competition?
Was something a birthday present or a Christmas gift?
Did someone die and leave it to them?
It's a bit much when someone who's on a benefit is made to feel guilty because they're enjoying an ice-cream.
Might someone have shouted them that meal at a restaurant?
And what about that expensive looking European car they're driving, or that's parked up their drive?
Are they minding it for someone who said they could use it?
Did they somehow get it real cheap? Such things do happen, you know. And they hoping that nothing will go wrong with it. And don't forget that some things look better than they are.
Or once again, was it given to them? Should they not take it and use it because of what other people might think? Nor eat that ice-cream in public too? Come on you guys.
And there are those who won't help certain parents who are on a benefit because they feel that those parents shouldn't be on a benefit. One downside of this is, that the children of those parents suffer as a result. Why penalise innocent children? It's not their fault. Thus, it's better to help those parents even if they shouldn't be on a benefit than to see those children suffering more so. Why effectively help a bad situation get worse?
3) "If I can do it so can they."
Such a statement is often far from the truth and very cruel, and is sometimes even stated by those who once were on a benefit themselves but have since lost touch, or who've succumbed to the erroneous "You can do whatever you set your mind to" mantra propagated by the positive thinking brigade. There's a big difference between thinking positively and the 'positive thinking' gospel that's doing the rounds today, (and raking in good money, I might add). A gospel that has serious flaws.
There are those on a benefit who may be deemed by some as able to enter the workforce, but who, (due to certain issues they have), just don't cope out there. There's a big difference between those who're outright bludgers and those who are struggling to cope. And let me add, that just because the latter may seem to be having a great time on a benefit, it doesn't mean that they actually are. Don't we sometimes see cancer victims smiling and laughing? Aren't those on a benefit allowed to have some fun, some pleasures in life too? Do we doubt their illness or condition? No, such is simply a perpetrated myth thats validity only applies to the outright bludger and that's so often is used in a universal way as if all who're on a benefit are having a great time. It's hardly fun being on a benefit. Who would enjoy the stigma? Who would enjoy having to check in and out, getting asked this or that, being told to do this or that, having no say, the insecurity, and so on? And how many are actually reaching out from their ivory towers (or better paddocks) and helping these folk so that they don't become a burden on a burdened system? If we're not prepared to help someone who's broken down on the road of life, we can't complain if they're slowing down the traffic and holding us up. Yes, it's so easy for folk to comment when they're on the other side of the fence.
Folk on a benefit may well appear to be getting by in the sense that they're paying their bills — rent, etc — but the truth of the matter often is, that in order to pay those bills, they and their family are going without decent food, medication, are missing meals, not going to the doctor when they need to, not managing to keep their needed car warrantable or its oil changed, making do with cast off and well used clothing, going without adequate heating, and as a result, via lack of money, not attending to things that need attention, (including their health), and which in time will therefore create bigger problems and more expense, and effectively create greater dependency on others and the State. Thus, if the taxpayer doesn't get hit one way, they get hit another. Folk in such a vulnerable situation only need one major expense to befall them and they're in dire straits.
Those who make the three statements I mentioned earlier remind me of those who think that prisons are too comfortable and want them made less so. I wonder how they would feel if they ended up in one. Just being in prison is misery enough. Some seem to have a very uninformed idea of just how miserable being in prison is. Personally, I'd rather talk rehabilitation than dungeons. Even if prisoners had a TV it would hardly compensate for their loss of freedom and all that goes on in prisons, (violence, sex attacks, threats, intimidation, etc). And bear in mind that if prison conditions are made worse, such will also affect the innocent person who is wrongly accused and sent to prison — and there are many of them, even on death row. And that person may well end up being you one day!  No, knee-jerk legislation is folly and all to common.
Such thinking also reminds me of those who clamour for the death penalty. I don't like to say it, but if you really want a perpetrator to suffer, leave them in prison for the rest of their life. Executing them hardly punishes them, as once they're dead, that's it!  No more suffering. Thus, you've effectively defeated the whole purpose of making them pay. Some aren't phased by the thought of departing this world. It may even be what they want at the end of the day. But years and years cooped up in a cell is hell. Most people when they've suffered the loss of a loved one due to some perpetrator don't think or react rationally or objectively. While such is very understandable, it's far from sensible.
Anyway, getting back to those who don't cope or are struggling in general:
When such are forced up against the wall by pushing them out into the workforce, or by removing their benefit, they may simply turn to crime, (or further crime), or midst their inability to cope, commit suicide, or take their distress and frustration out on society, and somewhat understandably. Hence some of the mass shootings we see, not that I'm condoning such. When will we learn this? Many of those who're on a benefit have complexities within their situation, and complexities that stem from their unfortunate background, and those complexities are only aggravated by harsher measures and insensitive attitudes. Those who stand and judge often have no idea of what's really going on in that person's life. And remember that when a person on a benefit is threatened, so is their family, so let's spare a little thought for the wider picture.
As a kid I remember those adults who complained about council workers who seemingly stood around all day leaning on their shovels. "What a waste of taxpayers money," they cried!  Well, the way I see it, at least they were off the streets and their family being taken care of. Things are invariably better that way.  It's better to be too soft than too harsh, it's better to be generous rather than miserly. Answers don't always lie in an accountant's notebook. Hence why I repeat that an accountant type approach can actually worsen things. We need to consider what the cost to society is when people are forced up against the wall. It may be greater than paying benefits to those we consider bludgers and more disastrous to society.
However, aren't their checks and balances? If there were, surely we wouldn't have quite the problem we do. How many people who abuse their government rented houses by knocking them around are being held accountable for such. If they're not being held accountable why complain about such housing draining taxpayers money. Deal with the problem makers. Don't slash and burn the system, and don't get stuck into the ones who genuinely are not able to cope and who need support. Don't go by appearances. In other words, go after the real bludger.
And by the way, where is the support for those who're struggling? The truth is that there is not the degree of support out there that is needed, so forcing those back into work who don't cope out there simply forces the problem in another direction and onto others out there who may receive the brunt of it in any which a way. Some folk only cope because they're on a benefit. And let me add too, that doctors don't always fully comprehend or pick up on what's going on within someone, (emotionally or physically), hence why some folk may not get a doctors approval to remain off work when they should remain off work. Many doctors no doubt have the same welfare bashing attitude. Thus, some folk who're already on a benefit and are struggling are best just left alone lest greater problems ensue, and more so if they're not harming anyone and not committing crime. Yes, better some wastage than the trouble that may come through being tight-fisted fiscally. The tighter the rope, the greater the tension. And snap?
Is the welfare system a sustainable system? Of course it is, but only where there's the will. And morally, their should always be the will, there should always be a way. Most people are too busy looking down the wrong end of the telescope, too busy picking up on that unfair and undue anti-beneficiary sentiment.
Far too often, all we hear about is the so-called bludgers. It's time that myth was separated from fact. Finally, there's no shame in being on welfare, unless one is a bludger, and hey, who knows all the facts? So let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

"This emphasis on the tribulations of the middle classes not only validates the preoccupation of wealthy people with their own financial circumstances, but crowds out sympathy for those who are genuinely struggling."
Clive Hamilton

Yes, stop asking questions, put your check list away, mind that look on your face, change those thoughts that you have -- and help rather than hinder! Yes, let's stop filling beneficiaries with fear and insecurity which can lead to greater stress and arguments within the home, and those flow on effects, many affecting society.
Remember: The welfare system is a country’s heartbeat. Thus, strong beat — healthy condition, weak beat — terminal condition.

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare,
social justice can never be attained.”

Helen Keller  (1880-1968)

Why welfare?

Well, there are more people than there are jobs.

People fall on hard times, are made redundant, become unwell, or are maimed.

Where there's no welfare system, or where the welfare system is lean and mean, there is a resultant rise in crime, homelessness, domestic abuse, prostitution, suicide, black markets, general lawlessness and civil unrest.

Welfare does not decrease people's motivation to work, (bludgers excluded), but in fact can give them the opportunity to participate more productively in their society in other ways.

Welfare is necessary as a socially stabilizing institution.

Welfare is an investment by society in human beings.

We have an obligation to help our fellow human beings.

Welfare provides support for the most vul­nerable members of society, and, at the same time, a basic standard of care and support for all.

Unwell, or out of work people, who are left to fend for themselves, can soon become even more dependant on others, or the state, given that their deteriorating condition or situation leads to greater need, (worsening health, hospitalisation, etc).

Welfare gives social protection in the event of insecurity.

Welfare is the country's heart, and hearts work best when they're beating well.

Welfare promotes benevolence.

Welfare is part of the collective responsibility.

In Jewish tradition, the poor are entitled to charity and justice as a matter of right rather than benevolence. 

Contemporary charity is simply a continuation of biblical practices.

In the meantime, policies should be developed to improve people’s welfare, to create jobs, thus cutting back one's need of welfare.

This article was upgraded 16 December 2015

11. Low Rental Government Housing


It appears that whether one is in low rental government housing or on a benefit of some sort, they have to suffer an unfair stigma, (abusers aside), and the longer they’re in such housing, or on such a benefit, the worse they’re frowned upon.
As far as low rental government housing goes, many who’ve been granted such are unable to rise above their low income, and their circumstances are oft compounded by the likes of:
Physical or emotional set backs, (which may have even been there from the beginning);
Financial set backs caused by this or that;
Rising prices that affect the cost of living;
Children that come along, (and be that for whatever reason);
Loss of employment or intermittent employment.
Therefore, the securing of a deposit for a home of their own soon begins to fade, and as time goes by they can become more dependant on help than before, help that often isn’t there or as much as it should be. Such being why folk shouldn’t be restricted to a time period regarding such housing but be able to remain in such housing as long as their need remains. Here we’re talking about fairness, compassion and wisdom, the latter referring to the fact that when we deprive folk of security such can create the likes of:
Physical and emotional problems, (or further physical or emotional problems);
Effectively drive people to commit suicide, turn to crime, or become violent and generally lawless, (not to mention those marital-cum-family break-ups);
And as mentioned before, push them towards even greater dependency on others.
And don't forget how people get settled in their neighbourhood thus making friends and so on, and why moving folk on needs due care.
The truth is, that when folk are boxed into a corner they oft do anything in order to survive, hence those worse offences that affect society, and why sometimes it’s wiser to put up with a higher than desired welfare net-cum-cost than to end up with greater problems in society-cum-even greater costs in the long term.
Part of keeping people well and stable is providing them with a certain degree of security which naturally will come at a cost, but a cost that we must carry for the greater good. Hence the importance of providing for those less able, less fortunate, and unfairly affected. And by the way, its all very well for folk to come up with a deposit for a house, but then they’re faced with rates, insurance, maintenance costs and so forth, and bearing in mind that the only house such people are usually able to afford is one that requires a lot of doing up — in other words, money they’ll possibly not be able to find.
Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when they’re starting out in life which holds them back. Let’s not condemn such folk but help them lest via our hard-nosed approach, indifference, or lack of compassion, we make matters worse which eventually impacts on all.
So many who condemn are people who left school, got a job, got married, and as a matter of course secured a house and moved on without any real set backs nor conditions that hindered — they therefore oft condemning out of an ignorance that so easily develops for many when things have gone relatively fine for them; an ignorance that’s more concerned about its pocket than the well-being of others, which oft translates to those slash and burn policies that are devoid of compassion and driven by a short-sighted ideology.
Just like popularity is the preacher’s enemy, (given they soon dilute their entreaties), so too can money and materialism become the enemy of compassion and understanding, and also why some who once weren’t well off so easily choose to forget such having reached the realm of the better off.
As far as I’m concerned, the welfare system and low rental government housing is something to be very proud of, for such shows a community that’s compassionate, realistic, fair, generous and all embracing.


12. "Shouldn't Have Kids Unless You Can Afford Them," They Say


Many people set out believing that they can afford children but misfortune visits them after they’ve gone ahead.
Many people set out believing that they can afford children but due to an economic downturn struggle to maintain them, so to speak.
Many who’ve had children experience a marital break-up and with costs no longer shared encounter greater financial difficulty from which both they and their children suffer.
In essence, every married couple has the right to have children whether they be poor or rich given that the primary purpose of the marital union is to procreate and the couple thus see their image, (that fusion), reproduced in their offspring, though whether to have children or not should be a personal decision. But having said that, no couple who would like to have children should be left with the permanent regret of not having had them because of that “Shouldn’t have children unless you can afford them” mentality.
Because children are a necessity economically, they need to be had even if folk can’t really afford them, (though within reason, of course), otherwise such can prove injurious to one’s country which it has already to a number of countries.
What also needs to be born in mind is that couples need to have more than just two children, otherwise the population simply remains static, and this, only if those two children remain alive. Therefore, even two children per couple aren’t sufficient to rectify the situation, and this made worse given that not all couples are able to have children and that some folk remain single all their life.
With the last two points in mind, (and for one thing), society therefore needs to create affordable housing, (for rent or purchase), for those who’re less well-off.
And by the way: This planet is not overpopulated but simply parts or pockets of it. If it weren’t for animal farming, (one reason for the Amazon jungle being decimated), millions and millions of more people could be fed.
I personally find it funny how folk enjoy others' children, and their skills or talents which they oft benefit from, and even marry them, but condemn those who had them in the sense of so many, be that five or six, say. It's a bit like condemning folk for poaching but taking and eating what they poached.


13. Regarding Children Who Remain At Home


I’ve always found it hard to understand why certain folk say: “At his (or her) age he (or she) shouldn’t be living at home.”
Seems some parents can’t kick their children out of home soon enough. If that’s the case, why did they have them? Such might be understandable if their child is a serious disruption to the home. But otherwise, dwell on the following:
1) If a child isn’t married, (or may’ve been married but their marriage is over), and gets on well with his or her parents, why shouldn’t he or she remain at home, (or return home), if such is fine with their parents?
That son or daughter may prove to be a blessing, especially where their parents are in their later years. Where their parents are in fact in their later years, it’s surely best that they enjoy their parents company as much as possible before they pass away. Once gone they’re gone for good.
2) When children go flatting, (possibly leaving their parents with two or three empty bedrooms), they unnecessarily take up rental accommodation that may be in short supply and sorely needed. And thus unscrupulous landlords hiking rents which penalises those genuine folk who aren’t too flash financially, and really in need of cheaper accommodation.
3) So many of these children who are flatting are trashing their rental accommodation, making nuisances of themselves via their loud music and unrestrained parties, bedding the opposite sex at their convenience, (mixed flatting making things worse), and are simply drifting from drug haze to drug haze.
4) When young folk go flatting they’re removed from the better influences of home, (any bad influences aside), parental oversight and direction, and even a more wholesome family circle-cum-friends and relations.
5) And given the times we live in, surely it’s better that such young folk remain at home where resources can be pooled and they save their pennies for a brighter future.


14. Mind Those Charlatans


I assume you’ve heard the expression, “Everyone’s a comedian.” Such is sometimes sarcastically stated when someone’s cracking jokes. Well, it seems that these days everyone’s also a marriage guidance counsellor, a sexual therapist, a psychologist, a motivational guru, a financial expert, an astrologer, a faith healer, a psychic, or a medium. Can’t you just sense something?
It seems that if one can come up with a clever book, (or seminar), conveying how to have a blissful marriage, a terrific sex life, a fat bank account, happiness by the bucket load, an out-of-world experience, a miraculous healing, or contact with the departed, that they’re bound to become not only popular but handsomely rewarded financially. Hello?
And I guess the reason that such folk are so successful is because so many people are reaching for the latest magic wand, don’t want to face up to reality, have been bewitched by New Age nonsense, (really age old nonsense in new garb), are just plain gullible, or are in a very vulnerable place.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against worthwhile material pertaining to certain subjects, and there are many genuine people out there producing some very good material, but hey, when it comes to every man and his dog producing such, (much of it truth peppered with error, pure nonsense, or simply flawed in some way), it really makes one wonder, and brings home the necessity of seriously scrutinizing such.
The downside of all this is that it often has folk wandering all over the place until they finally stumble on what’s right — that is, if they do. And with so many books out there, all with their own ideas on what will work and so forth, one might well ask,  "Who's got it right?"
The world is full of charlatans, (with followers by the thousands), and nowhere is this more clearly seen than via the likes of mediums with their bogus books on the “afterlife” and their TV programmes where they supposedly impart soothing messages from the departed to the gullible sitting in the audience. When I say gullible, I don’t mean that in an insulting way, but in the sense that midst their grieving (vulnerability) they fall for the mediums chicanery. If only people spent more time thinking things through logically.
If these mediums are able to have contact with spirit beings who impart such knowledge, or the departed ones themselves, why do they have to ask so many probing questions of those in the audience. Surely the spirit beings or the departed ones would tell these mediums straightaway. Yes, it’s quite amusing, and very telling, how it takes all that messing about. Oh dear, all that static on the airwaves!
I once watched a programme on TV, (wish I’d taped it now), which showed how these sophisticated conmen or con-women (mediums) operate. It was quite an eye opener. It's an art form, believe me. But when folk are feeling desperate and vulnerable they will try anything. It’s the “just in case” syndrome. Most of us have been there done that. I’m sure that some of these mediums are deluded enough to actually believe in what they’re doing, which makes them all the more dangerous, and given that Christians believe that there are fallen angels, (evil spirit beings), I would imagine that some mediums are in fact being fed via such, (in some way), but certainly not truthfully as such beings love to deceive. If only these mediums truly knew the forces that they are playing with. Many who once dabbled with such forces have some pretty horrific stories to tell.
Why would evil spirit beings do nice things, or speak the truth? And as far as good spirit beings go, they would hardly operate via charlatans, and wouldn’t cruelly string folk out, nor would they be slow in presenting information to psychics that would prove a blessing. Besides, if the dead
could make contact with us, I’m sure they’d be capable of doing that themselves. Not that I believe the dead have somehow, in some form, left their grave and departed for some other destination yet (Heb 11:39,40), where, as mediums try to convince, they somehow communicate. Such is simply pagan fiction that found its way into the realm of Christian belief (doctrine) via the apostasies that crept into the early Christian Church via Greek influence, for one. No wonder mediums are having a field day! If such were true, what would be the point in Christ's second coming resurrection? He'd hardly come back just for bodies if folk were somehow already up in Heaven.
And tell me, why do so-called psychics need to be taken to the scene of a crime? Seems the source that’s providing them with that telepathic information has that oh so familiar static problem, and a faulty GPS system. Can't they just ask those spirit beings? Thus, my heart bleeds for the victims of these psychics and mediums who sincerely believe the rubbish they’re told. Yes, hit and miss. If they're really good, more hit than miss.
If I published a book saying how I was a medium and had contact with spirit beings who imparted certain messages, I’m sure that in time, (with a certain exposure), I would soon have a following, and folk believing that what I was saying was true, (or that it might be true), especially if I came across as very genuine, and even more so if I was somewhat respected within the community, or a celebrity.
And then there are those astral conmen,
*astrologers who have people following their daily predictions. I once took the time to check out my so-called star sign and the daily predictions proffered. I discovered that I wasn’t simply an Aries but actually a mixture. A bit of this and a bit of that — lol. Such reminds me of that psychology nonsense that once again places people in similar little boxes — sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic. And surprise, surprise, once again you’ll probably find that you’re a bit of this and a bit of that, just like I found. I hope that you'll excuse my yawn. My understanding is that the origin of such is Babylonian astrology.
As for the astrologer’s predictions? Once again, just clever humbug, hit and miss, nonsense that percolates within the subconscious, if one's silly enough to dwell on such, that is — in other words, it’s just mind over matter. Things have a way of turning out the way we let them. If we’re a bit of this or that, part this or part that, which prediction would actually be the right one on the day? I mean, think about it. The one for the Aries person, the one for the Virgo person, the one for the Gemini person…?
And then there are those motivational books such as Dale Carnegie’s How To Stop Worrying And Start Living. Please don’t give such to someone who’s struggling emotionally or suffering from depression, as if all they need to do is to think positively and they’ll come right. Motivational books may have their place, but beware those who think that the likes of depression is simply a state of mind that positive thinking will cure. Such is not only naïve, but insensitive and dangerous given the complexities within an individual's mind, background and life in general. And that’s where such books can mislead the uninformed or misinformed. Along with their misleading, "You can achieve anything you want to" nonsense. Hardly reality based. Such is the bedfellow of the positive thinking carry on. Yes, another subject, but suffice to say, there is a big difference between thinking positively and positive thinking
a tired old mantra that does more harm than good, and that is full of more holes than a sieve.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some genuine people putting out some very good material, but even here, one needs to tread with care. One example that comes to mind is, The Five Love Languages by the Christian Gary Chapman. Teaching that your spouse's love language may be that of receiving gifts is simply foolishness, in my mind. Such is teaching spouses (husbands and wives) to have a selfish expectation, almost as if it’s their right to have such, and get such. Pity the husband, (for example, and who might be the sole breadwinner), who’s unemployed or on a meagre wage. So much for
that relationship perhaps, should gifts not be forthcoming, if receiving gifts is his wife's love language. While it’s nice for a husband to surprise his wife with a little gift here and there, (and so a husband should, I feel), it shouldn’t become an expectation on the wife’s behalf, (nor the man's). Such expectations cease to be surprises effectively, and, I might add, (as far as Christians go), are contrary to the selflessness that the Christian Bible teaches.  For the Christian it's all about giving, not receiving.
Rather than such being a spontaneous act that comes from a man's heart, it thus becomes something that he feels he had better do or needs to do, otherwise... And all because his wife has been foolishly taught that her love language is that of receiving gifts. And hence her expectance. What next? It's all about how you treat a woman, (your spouse), not about gifts which can become an insincere and selfish way of attempting to get certain favours. And gifts, (just like anything else), can become taken for granted, cease to excite the same. Oh, another one? How nice...yawn. A trip to Disneyland might be fun, but were one to visit Disneyland each day, it would soon just become a bore.
Quite honestly, you can read all the books on marriage you want, but at the end of the day, its that little word “me” that’s mainly responsible for marital troubles. If the husband is doing all he can to selflessly please his wife, and the wife is doing all she can to selflessly please her husband, both will eventually get what they want. The problem is that we seldom see such selfless behaviour, but it's where the answer lies. it’s all about dying to self, and after all the books on marriage are read, that’s what it ultimately comes down to. Why run around in circles. Begin where it really counts. That same advice applies to our relationships in general. The problems within society, and with Christianity too, largely stem from that same “me” mentality. 
And while we’re on the subject of books written by Christians, another one that comes to mind is, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. As far as The Purpose Driven Life goes, it’s a book that rather than confronting Christians with what they need to hear, simply lulls them into an even deeper Laodicean sleep via pop psychology, humanistic theology, and a watered down gospel that pleases itchy ears. It’s message is far from apostolic given it’s lack of balance, worldly fusion, and error. Funny how such books are so popular today. Or is it? Yes, it’s not just buyers beware, but readers beware, and watch the likes of those charlatans parading as mediums, or those faith healers who're just as bogus, (popular and wealthy), and that just like mediums, are popping up everywhere these days. Signs of the times?

*The following plucked article bears out my comments regarding astral conmen:

The abrupt dawning of the age of Ophiucus

AFP January 15, 2011, 3:53 pm

WASHINGTON - Thousands of people woke up to the realization this week that they aren't who they thought they were. Worse still, neither was that partner they always thought they were so compatible with based on their astrological signs, because this week it was announced that many of us were reading the wrong horoscope. "Over the 2,500 years or so since the zodiac was established, your sign has moved about a month relative to the sun and stars," wrote Robert Roy Britt in a posting on Live Science that was republished by a newspaper in Minnesota, triggering the zodiac panic. "You're no longer what you think you are, and so if you're an astrology buff, perhaps poised to make a New Year's resolution based on the stars and a reading of your supposed personality, know that you're actually following observations, predictions and advice aimed at another person entirely."
The shift in the alignment of the stars, which has come about because the Earth has been wobbling on its axis for millennia, means most people go back a sign. Warm-hearted, patient Taurus becomes selfish, quick-tempered Aries. Eminently practical and prudent Capricorns are now blindly optimistic and careless Sagittarians. And many Sagittarians are now Ophiucus.
Oh what?
Ophiucus. It's the hitherto little-heard-of 13th astrological sign. Apparently the Babylonians had an Ophiucus column in their daily horoscopes but it got dropped somewhere between their civilization and ours. In any case, news of the celestial shift and of Ophiucus's resurrection sent astrology buffs reeling. If they weren't wondering how to get rid of the Scorpio tattoo that they just had done when it turns out they're really Libra, as Michele Zipp did in a blog posting on The Stir, they were pondering some of the other existential questions raised by the change. What, for instance, are Ophiucus's personality traits? What signs are compatible with Ophiucans? And do the lyrics to the song from "Hair" that go, "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius" have to be rewritten? It would become "the dawning of the age of Capricorn", which doesn't really work with the meter of the song. Knowing that famous Ophiucans include the late Sir Winston Churchill, rocker and reality show star Ozzy Osbourne, the late US comedian Richard Pryor, and pop star Britney Spears, all of whom were born between November 29 and December 17, sheds little light on what the sign's personality traits are. In fact, wrote John Abbott in Kernel Press about Ophiucus, "To claim that people as disparate as Ozzy Osbourne, Winston Churchill and Richard Pryor have a similar set of characteristics is nonsense."
The news of the heavenly shift is in fact old -- Britt's story links to another published on Live Science in 2007, in which the shift in the heavens and Ophiucus were announced, and Abbott wrote his piece in 1996, which is why he didn't mention Britney Spears -- she released her debut album in 1999. Britts and Abbott both point out that astrology is not a science, a hint that no one was supposed to take the redrawing of the zodiac map too seriously. But for some reason, the whole thing went viral after the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis picked up the story and got an astronomer -- a real scientist -- to comment on it. The astronomer was swamped with phone calls, and the Star Tribune's website got more than 183,000 hits on Thursday. "If we had checked our horoscope, maybe we would have seen this coming," chuckled the Star Tribune's Bill Ward in his column on Friday. According to a survey conducted in 2009 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans believe in astrology. That's 75 million people who could now be worried that someone is trying to Ophiucus.


15. Getting Folk To See


I'm sure we've all heard it said that truth is stranger than fiction, and if such is so, then surely no more so than today with all the things that are going on. And hence why one should keep an open mind, read broadly, investigate thoroughly, and avoid the bias trap that gets in the way of so many discovering the truth about anything. We've all got to find out for ourselves what is correct. Not just blindly adhere to what our parents, friends, teachers, ministers, politicians, or anyone else has told or taught us. Nor get fooled by things that come in nice packages but are actually danger in waiting.
I'm a great believer in freedom of expression and that all should have the opportunity to say what they believe or think in the public arena. Take that away and we're doomed! The only ones who should be silenced (so to speak) are those who clearly teach or preach violence and outright hatred. Let's not confuse things. For example: One should be allowed to publicly state that they believe same-sex sexual acts are wrong and injurious, and that they believe such shouldn't be condoned in any form. But that's where it should end, no further. Those who practice such acts should still be treated humanely, be shown the same love and compassion that all should be. Second example: One should be allowed to publicly state that they believe a particular religion is misleading people, and that certain doctrines it holds are wrong. But that's where it should end, no further. Condemnation is one thing, bigotry and persecution quite another. Yes, it's one thing to condemn and oppose someone's beliefs or actions, quite another thing for us to mistreat them personally or collectively.
Now, back to where I came in. Given that truth is stranger than fiction, we shouldn't dismiss every conspiracy theory that turns up, nor should we put an end to such in any way. While some conspiracy theories prove to be false, some prove to be true, certainly given time. And I assume we've all heard about the 9/11 conspiracy theory. Does it have validity? Well, wisdom would surely have us checking such out, for if what's being said is so, it wouldn't pay for us to be ignorant of such, and we also need to draw from the best material that's available out there. After all, there is a lot of rubbish, and even the wisest of folk can get fooled. One needs to compare this and that, check out the fors and against. It's no good just reading what suits. We need to view both sides of an argument. Hopefully neither bias nor patriotism will get in the way of any serious inspection. And at the end of the day, YOU, must be the judge.
I must add too, that only those with something to hide would deny such websites the freedom to operate and deny folk the opportunity to inspect such.
Getting the masses to see what they need to see, (for their own well-being, or others), or simply trying to reach folk individually in order to achieve the same, is not an easy task, and nor has it been for those who have made such their mission throughout this earth's history. It's a tragedy that so many aren't receptive to what they need to hear, but what makes such even worse is, the rampant self-delusion that's out there.
Though not a follower of the likes of America's Got Talent and American Idol, such are glaring examples, for here we see hundreds of people (from among the thousands) who strongly believe they're good singers, or are very talented, when in fact they're woefully not so!
Their lack is clearly obvious to the judges, those in the auditorium, and those watching via TV, but clearly not obvious to these sadly deluded souls who take umbrage at being told that they aren't good singers, aren't talented, or don't have a good act. Maybe some do know it's so, but simply want their 5 minutes of fame.
Though the judges shouldn't be rude or sarcastic, one can certainly understand their frustration which clearly boils over at times given how many deluded hopefuls they have to wade through, hopefuls you would think would know better. (Mind you, I have to admit that these judges are terribly inconsistent! And I do wonder about their ability to judge at times).
This delusion I'm mentioning is not restricted to such "wannabes" but is also found in other areas, hence why we see people embarking on the ridiculous, the foolish, clinging to certain views or beliefs that are unhealthy, or that are way off track, or following some leader of a cult. It often intrigues me as to how folk can be so blind to their faults, foolishness, unreasonable views, or lack of talent, and hence why getting folk to see what they need to see can be a very difficult task.
It's rare to find folk who are truly open-minded, balanced, able and willingly to see and acknowledge their faults or mistaken views, and who're able to objectively analyse whether they do have a talent or not.
The state of those who're deluded isn't helped by parents and friends who, rather than being honest, furnish them with praise that isn't due, thus adding to someone's inner delusion and effectively helping them to continue making a fool of themselves.
Yes, people can certainly mystify.


16. UFOs


This article is really just an extension to the one above
article 15.

As a Christian, I have always considered UFOs, (and even ghosts), to be the work of evil supernatural beings playing tricks on humanity. But that said, I must admit that I have in fact entertained the possibility of such also being the clever behind the scenes activity of certain humans, alias agencies.
Such a possibility was heightened in my mind when I stumbled across what I guess is considered a conspiracy theory. Perhaps you may already be aware of such — NASA’s blue beam project. Such was apparently first brought to the attention of the world via an investigative journalist by the name of Sergo Monast, a Canadian. He and another journalist, both of whom were researching Project Blue Beam, died of heart attacks within weeks of each other although neither had a history of heart disease.
According to this conspiracy theory, (and I think I’ve been around long enough to realise that there’s often a degree of truth in some of these theories, and some may be right on the money), NASA, among other clandestine things, has been working on projecting three-dimensional optical holograms into the sky in preparation for some coming deception that is tied in with a New World Order. According to this theory, at some point in the future, space-based laser-generating satellites will apparently project simultaneous images to the four corners of the planet, and even in every language and dialect according to the region.
According to this theory, the UFO sightings that have been seen around the world, are part and parcel of this experimentation that is going on. Interesting isn’t it?
Given that the Christian Bible talks about a worldwide persecuting and controlling religious/political End-time power surrounded by signs and wonders, it does make one stop and think. Presumably these images would endorse such a power.
By the way: If it’s true that certain cures have been found, and inventions that could solve things, but which are being secretly withheld, the question is, “Why?” — and could it be that such will be pulled out of the bag at some future time as part of the signs and wonders mentioned, and in order to authenticate such a power?
Getting back to where I came in, I must say that given the cleverness of man today, I can't see any reason why a UFO couldn't be built, and perhaps they have been, and are part of the equation like I mentioned at the beginning.



17. Regarding Chocolate


Chocolate contains tannin, theobromine, (the primary chemical), and caffeine.
Caffeine negatively affects and alters brain function. Without a doubt, it's a drug, one that can create an addiction, hence why many can't seem to do without their coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate fix, and can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. While it initially gives one a lift mentally, it eventually leaves one with less mental alertness than before. It's believed that it can even lead to dementia and is known to cause birth defects in babies. Caffeine is also a diuretic -- that is, it dehydrates.
Caffeine and theobromine are methylxanthines. The presence of methylxanthines in the body can lead to the development of cysts and benign tumours, particularly in the female breast. It's believed by many in the medical profession that methylxanthines can likewise affect the male prostate.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans. The cocoa pod processing, which is carried out in countries where sanitation levels and production standards are low, is one that attracts various kinds of contamination — among them: urine and excreta from dogs and rodents, moulds, bacteria, and insects. Hence the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare acknowledgment of such. This agency attempts to limit such contamination by requiring that visible or solid animal excreta must not exceed ten milligrams per pound; that chocolate powder must not have more than seventy-five insect body fragments in three tablespoons of powder. Can you believe it! They realise that such contamination is part and parcel of the scene, and therefore are foolishly prepared to accept a degree of such — a degree that is clearly injurious, let alone appalling. And it may well be that this contamination is responsible for resultant allergies, and not just the chocolate itself.
As a cancer control measure, women are advised to discontinue taking tea, coffee, cola, and chocolate. Why? Because they contain methylxanthines.
Chocolate is loaded with sugar and contains high amounts of artificial flavours, colourings, and various chemicals to keep it fresh.
Chocolate is also responsible for increasing calcium excretion, and can cause headaches, nervous irritation, muscle twitches, disturbed sleep, anxiety, and depression.


18. Politicians


We will never get sound government until we get sound men, (or women), men of integrity, noble character, who won't lie, fudge, dodge, skip, hide, twist, stretch, fool, make excuses, behave childishly, bullishly, or pedantically, nor succumb to ego and popularity;
men with no personal axe to grind, and who've no left or right agenda, but simply a passion for improving the lot of their fellowman, creatures, society, Earth, a passion that's displayed in policies that don't polarise, stigmatise, rob Peter to pay Paul, sell of the family's heirlooms, (the country's assets), imperil the safety, health, liberties, rights, and quality of life of its citizens, give government greater control over its citizens, favour the rich over the poor, and that aren't draconian;
men who won't feather their own nest, misuse privileges, fleece, indulge in cronyism, manipulate things to their advantage, chase the baubles of power, pander to certain quarters, promise and not deliver without good and acceptable reason, nor cave under pressure;
and men who've no skeletons in their cupboard.


19. Keep This In Mind


Always remember that those who’ve an evil agenda, and who do not have your best interests at heart:

Malign anyone and deny anything suggesting or saying otherwise.
Seek to silence opposition, destroy or withhold evidence, remove opportunity and avenues for complaint, and appoint those who will bow to their wishes.
Use circumstances or situations to their advantage.
Make promises they won’t keep.
Make ambiguous statements.
Say things that they know you’ll want to hear.
Avoid answering questions directly.
Twist the truth.
Bend or change the rules, interfere in the due process.
Feign ignorance regarding certain underhand activities, or point to anyone or anything rather than themselves.
Hide behind popular causes, religion, positions of authority and institutions.
Create problems behind the scenes that they then profess to have the answers to, thereby receiving approval to implement those answers which further their plans.
Provide fake evidence.
Are often charismatic, influential, wealthy, very educated, or benign seeming.
And usually tell you that they do have your best interests at heart.


20. A Sure To Work Plan

...for turning things around.

Ban sexually explicit images, gratuitous violence, gore, crudity and foul language from TV, DVDs, videos, and movies.
Introduce higher standards for advertisers and broadcasting in general.
Require total transparency and accountability from those in positions of trust and leadership, be they politicians, teachers, preachers, doctors, the police, etc.
Instil respect for authority and the aged, and strong penalties for foul-mouthing or cheeking a police officer.
Begin an intensive rehabilitation programme for offenders and the incarcerated.
Install a zero tolerance for violence of any kind (e.g. bullying, beating, animal cruelty, home invasion, rape, murder); for general lawlessness (e.g. graffiti, disorderly behaviour, swearing or spitting in public, intimidation, rioting), and for drink driving.
Outlaw gangs and any organisation that actively indulges in crime or the promotion of violence, vandalism, and outright religious or racial hatred.
Vigorously promote standards, values, etiquette, modesty, chastity, moderation, and selflessness.
Introduce an aggressive recycling programme that leaves no stone unturned, and encourage the production of recyclable products.
Work towards the complete destruction of weapons of war, create a disgust for weapons in general, ban the sale of imitation (toy) weapons, and also the likes of computer games that encourage participation in violence.
Foster contempt for wastage, junk food, abuse, vandalism, intemperance, bigotry, and unworthy intolerance.
Protect, uphold and support heterosexual marriages and families as the bedrock of society.
Require all who indulge in criminal activity, drink driving, (or drug driving), dangerous pastimes, or extreme sports, to pay for their own medical costs regarding injuries incurred during such, and enforce reparation for the victims of crime.
Make life and relationship skills a part of a school’s curriculum.
Encourage effective discipline within the home and school, and require a fair accountability from teachers and parents.
Outlaw the killing of any creature for sport, vivisection, and unfair caging practices.
Ensure freedom of expression and civil/religious liberty at all cost.
Foster self respect, due care and appreciation, and pride in one’s appearance and surroundings.
Encourage business owners to be community minded, environmentally responsible, and more staff orientated than profit driven, (happy employees, larger profits).
Outlaw corporate greed.
Enforce severe penalties for damage to the environment and zealously work at limiting and phasing out harmful production practices.
Provide a humane safety net for the unemployed, the unwell and injured, and provide the appropriate support services.
Actively address the problem of noise and other irritants within society, including certain dangers (e.g. toxins, genetically predisposed aggressive dogs).
Ensure that all have access to basic needs (e.g. food, clothing, warmth, shelter), free education, affordable healthcare, and cheap public transport.
Find better ways of utilizing the land for greater productivity and sustainability.
Ban brothels, strip joints, and abortion on demand clinics.
Remove pornography, non-medical drugs, (which effectively includes alcohol, it being a drug too), and casinos.
Reduce and set a ceiling on appallingly high salaries of CEOs, mayors, politicians, consultants, etc.
Usher in a return to beautiful, uplifting, relaxing, bright, joyful music on radio stations, in public places, and within the home.
Embark on an aggressive and continual tree planting exercise.
Completely overhaul and streamline the justice system to ensure fairness, neutrality, and sensible sentencing (sentences that fit the offence).
Discourage unnecessary activities, events (e.g. fireworks), even sports (e.g. drag racing), that waste precious resources (e.g. petrol, oil), money (that could aid food banks, etc.), and that pollute and endanger the environment.
Ensure that only those of the highest calibre get held up as public role models….


21. Is It Possible...


...just possible — that overtime — wars, (alias forays), have been deliberately generated in order to:
a) Feather the interests, and line the pockets of, those who’ve something to gain from such — an elite group or secret organisation?
b) Weary the world’s population so that one day they’ll accept anything for the sake of peace? In this case, not just wars, but general unrest and skulduggery within any particular nation, (one’s own or other), hence the following:
2) Is it possible that behind the governments of the day, and at all levels of society, and within various key institutions and organisations, and secret societies, there are those working in various ways to eventually bring about a New World Order that will achieve some selfish, evil and totalitarian end, but that is being pitched to convince otherwise, and thus using certain humanitarian and environmental agencies, etc, that will all get on the same bandwagon unaware of the waiting trap?
3) Is it possible that infiltrated religion, in a particular and even subtly tailor-made form, will combine with politics to form a Church and State union come power that will eventually stretch around the globe enforcing its dogma and dictates on all?
4) Is it possible that humanity is being prepared, (via the media, the education system, books, movies, etc), for a great deception of some sort in line with the above?
5) Is it possible that people don’t want to know about such, or refuse to believe such, due to naivety or some underlying fear?


22. A Poem By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Sympathy

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opens,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wings
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!


23. Eight Keys

The key to life is attitude.
The key to success is perseverance.
The key to marriage is commitment.
The key to youthfulness is humour.
The key to health is diet.
The key to happiness is self forgetfulness.
The key to growth is receptiveness.
The key to learning is attentiveness.


24. A Poem By Gary Turk

Look Up

I have 422 friends, yet I am lonely.
I speak to all of them everyday, yet none of them really know me.

The problem I have sits in the spaces between,
looking into their eyes, or at a name on a screen.

I took a step back, and opened my eyes,
I looked around, and then realised
that this media we call social, is anything but
when we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut.

All this technology we have, it’s just an illusion,
of community, companionship, a sense of inclusion
yet when you step away from this device of delusion,
you awaken to see, a world of confusion.

A world where we’re slaves to the technology we mastered,
where our information gets sold by some rich greedy ....
A world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion,
where we share all our best bits, but leave out the emotion.

We are at our most happy with an experience we share,
but is it the same if no one is there.
Be there for your friends, and they’ll be there too,
but no one will be, if a group message will do.

We edit and exaggerate, we crave adulation,
we pretend we don’t notice the social isolation.
We put our words into order, until our lives are glistening,
we don’t even know if anyone is listening.

Being alone isn’t the problem, let me just emphasize,
that if you read a book, paint a picture, or do some exercise,
you are being productive, and present, not reserved or recluse,
you’re being awake and attentive, and putting your time to good use.

So when you’re in public, and you start to feel alone,
put your hands behind your head, and step away from the phone.
You don’t need to stare at your menu, or at your contact list,
just talk to one another, and learn to co-exist.

I can’t stand to hear the silence, of a busy commuter train,
when no one wants to talk through the fear of looking insane.
We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies
to engage with one another, and look into someone’s eyes.

We’re surrounded by children, who since they were born,
watch us living like robots, and think it’s the norm.
It’s not very likely you will make world’s greatest dad,
if you can't entertain a child without a using an iPad.

When I was a child, I would never be home,
I’d be out with my friends, on our bikes we would roam.
We’d wear holes in our trainers, and graze up our knees;
we’d build our own clubhouse, high up in the trees.

Now the parks are so quiet, it gives me a chill
to see no children outside and the swings hanging still.
There’s no skipping or hopscotch, no church and no steeple,
we’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.

So look up from your phone, shut down that display,
take in your surroundings, and make the most of today.
Just one real connection is all it can take,
to show you the difference that being there can make.

Be there in the moment, when she gives you the look,
that you remember forever, as when love overtook.
The time you first hold her hand, or first kiss her lips,
the time you first disagree, but still love her to bits.

The time you don’t need to tell hundreds, about what you’ve just done,
because you want to share the moment, with just this one.
The time you sell your computer, so you can buy a ring,
for the girl of your dreams, who is now the real thing.

The time you want to start a family, and the moment when,
you first hold your baby girl, and get to fall in love again.
The time she keeps you up at night, and all you want is rest,
and the time you wipe away the tears, as your baby flees the nest.

The time your little girl returns, with a boy for you to hold,
and the day he calls you granddad, and makes you feel real old
The time you take in all you’ve made, just by giving life attention,
and how your glad you didn’t waste it, by looking down at some invention.

The time you hold your wife’s hand, and sit down beside her bed
you tell her that you love her, and lay a kiss upon her head.
She then whispers to you quietly, as her heart gives a final beat,
that she’s lucky she got stopped, by that lost boy in the street.

But none of these times ever happened, you never had any of this,
When you’re too busy looking down, you don’t see the chances you miss.

So look up from your phone, shut down those displays,
we have a finite existence, a set number of days.
Why waste all our time getting caught in the net,
as when the end comes, nothing’s worse than regret.

I am guilty too, of being part of this machine,
this digital world, where we are heard but not seen.
Where we type and don’t talk, where we read as we chat,
where we spend hours together, without making eye contact.

Don’t give in to a life where you follow the hype,
give people your love, don’t give them your like.
Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined
Go out into the world, leave distractions behind.

Look up from your phone, shut down that display,
stop watching this video, live life the real way.

Taken from a YouTube video clip.  One inappropriate word left out, hence the...