Thursday, June 30, 2011

Religion, sex and politics: Religion

Religion, sex and politics: Religion

The mighty ‘they’ always tell us there are three things one should never discuss at a dinner table. Religion, sex and politics. This caveat, of course, can be extended to other occasions, including a virtual friendship ring. Why? Because the debate leads to argument- how often does everyone achieve the same viewpoint on any of these three subjects...right?

Talk about it! BUT PREPARE TO LISTEN AS WELL AS SPEAK. If we remove the fear factor from a controversial subject we open ourselves to new ideas and we learn to respect another’s view.
Let us here discuss religion. You may not agree with me, but if you listen you might nod your head and grant me certain points...and come back with a few of your own. We may never agree, but we will respect each other’s ideas.

There are the big ones: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism. Lesser ones such as Scientology and Shintoism. And then there are a host of smaller cultural beliefs spread across all continents, which includes Shamanism, Wicca etc.
Looking at it dispassionately, what do all of these generally have in common? Some believe in one God, others in the multiple, so it’s not that. Some have elaborate ritual, others are simplified, so it’s not that either. Some demand constant worship, others leave it up to the individual, so it cannot be that.

Answer (in my opinion): each teaches to live a wholesome life, to respect others, to know love as one’s driving force.
In my view this common factor should be celebrated. How can it matter how you worship, where or when or even to whom? Why go to war, when both sides believe in the same ideals, simply calling it by a different name? Why are we blinkered?

Speak and listen...and live and let live.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Talk to the wings

Ally stood before the Gates of Heaven and wondered if the man with the mighty wings would allow her to enter. Always they told her how she would amount to so little, not even God and his angels would want her.

The guard approached, seeing her hesitation. ‘Hello, Ally. What qualifies you to enter yonder gates?’
She hung her head. ‘Nothing.’

‘That’s not true. Have you not been a good person?’
Ally lifted her head. ‘I think so.’

‘Have you helped others unselfishly? Have you listened to those who needed to talk?’

‘And have you ever believed in yourself?’
‘Once,’ Ally whispered.

The guard smiled. ‘That would be the day you saved Jack from drowning, despite your fear of the sea. Belief and courage. Once is enough to change all, Ally. Even a moment is enough.’
‘But I’m nothing!’ Ally shouted. ‘I did not change the world, I did not stand out. I lived alone and left nothing behind!’

The guard smiled again. ‘Because of the belief that saved a life, you saved yours. You walked away from those who hurt you and became a friend to the world, Ally.’
Ally frowned. ‘Really?’

‘A hungry boy knocked on your door and was fed. A girl afraid of failing discovered her strength because you listened. A dog hurt lived because you took him to those who could help. Remember the tabby? You gave him a home. And the day your mother came to you and told you she was sorry, did you not forgive her? A soul does not have to be noticed and recognised by the many to qualify as a soul that achieved greatness. A moment of belief changes all, Ally.’ The guard offered his arm. ‘Come. Enter.’
Smiling, Ally took the proffered arm and entered into Heaven.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In the sky

A bit of tech and not so tech in the heavens above. A chopper ride is great, but meandering the skies with little more than a lawnmower and a parashute must be something special.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A little sunshine!

When you live near the sea with mountains all around, you're gifted with many photo-ops! This is a small selection of some wonderful sunsets. Enjoy!