Monday, April 04, 2016

Avoiding cynicism

Are you torn between optimism and pessimism about the world ?...and particularly the people in it ?. You are not alone .GK Chesterton in writing about one of the world's most joyful and effective people creators in fiction said this about  Dickens;
" The world can be made beautiful again by beholding it as a battlefield"
the only antidote he and we note to false optimism and joyless approval of ALL  is "a sudden and pugnacious belief in positive evil" .
Dickens didn't put evil in his characters because he wanted to create character but because  evil in character is a real and present danger .   There are reasons to fear - know them better \

Copyright Emperors Academy  4th April 2016

Friday, August 14, 2015

Let your yay be yay and your nah be nah

RE Booing at sporting events

What a laugh . all this fuss about booing at sporting events . These last few weeks have seen the religious left ( eg Jane Caro on ABCTV ) pontificating about how one should behave in the auditorium .
"One mustn't boo" was the conclusion after many could not conclude their sessions with the Sanhedrin over what is sinful in the new age. Unfortunately the new age has been ignoring the question of sin long enough for it to come back and bite them big time

Fortunately for some of us,  sin is just normal and its best to limit your attention to your own , or you might just spend your whole life worrying about others instances .

Booing can be  quite OK - telling someone what you think about their behaviour is what good friends do. Honest face forward confrontation is not only not condemned in scripture - its advocated from the Creator in the garden and fig leaves upwards. Nah is a boo just as Yey is a hurray !
In a booing crowd,  you simply can't always tell whether a comment is racist or deeply hurtful to someone . Should we all stop booing so there is no confusion about whose sinning ? No - we would never enjoy the idea of game playing -most people are not hurt by words used in a game. Players shake hands at the end to assert that .  
We feel for Adam Goodes and anyone who "gets it all the time" because some of it is probably racist and deeply personal and  hurtful  . People hide behind words; so what can we do about it when we still believe in primacy of free speech . Same with people who feel ostracised because of their unusual choices,  looks or gifts - its hard .  Speak back , questioning and points of order are all good options to counter .  "Tough it out "is good advice for all of us when it happens to us. you are not the one!

The reality is its easy to go beyond just telling someone what you think of their behaviour ( to their face  - which is not a sin ) particularly when you are angy .
Anger is not a sin.  this is News to some in the new age which just shows how much splashing in  backwater some progressives get to  - " Be angry but don't sin " puts the two subjects in context .( Ephesians )
The sin is when words are cutting words and involve physical and verbal violence ( both considered as prosecutable and serious matters in our code.

So,  some booing is Ok and some is not . "No I disagree " they say in parliament each day ---nay . I even said "yay" in Parliament last week even though sign says "silence in the gallery" .  I said "yey" when Gavin Jennings said the churches  do a very job in welfare when another member asked "if they pay their  share of taxes" .

If we aren't allowed to play games or respond to what we see and hear ,we don't learn to test limits and grow up .
Maybe we can't all shake hands at the end of the game, ( great symbol)  but at least we can and mostly do go back to talking like grownups after the game.  see you there ---noise anger and all !

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Giving us enough space - to enjoy ourselves in

The old territorial imperative is a real and necessary one .   So how do we manage it ?  WW2 shows how  easily it can get out of control .
The need for land was seen in the 20th century as an imperative for wealth - which it is NOT , Hopefully in the 21st then , it will be seen more as a potential poverty trap idea that is not only,  not good for the earth  or for people who try to use it as a way out of poverty.

The following is a response to a key dilmemma  to personal and corporate sustainability .  Do we need to avoid poverty by sharing more of our resources  OR  is the question - how do we encourage the use of space so we don't witness Collapse?

Jesus came to bring good news to the poor - not land and not riches . The societies that followed his lead have beecome soem of the most egalitartian and welath sharing communities ever . Does his key message  mean he didn't care about poverty ? Maybe he wasn't as preoccupied as we are with equality ; I think its fair to say he would have accepted that simple ambitions to establish  equality were often both unnatural , unnecessary and unachievable. We were created equal in some ways but different unique and diverse  to occupy different sized spaces ----that suit us as individuals.. He said there will always be the " poor with us "Commonwealths share but never fully focus on complete equality in income .
The reactionary 20th century West has been focused on  justifying the quest to create equality and its a false and unsustainable target .

Back to the primary need for "the good news" above equality.  Hope is more important than anything - resilience driven hope; Individual's sense of hope  for an  individuals given sense of space . So who should provide that hope in a concrete and sound way to them and their poor communities ? - -thats the question !
I don't suggest that being poor is always right and that the stats presented about the drift in income over the last 50 years should not disturb us
 Whats important is HOW we act for others to make societies share more and have more genuine hope. The stats tell my generation that their caring ( and trickle down, non planning , do what you feel like culture) has been ineffective and that we MUST find a better way . This could mean we stop  experimenting with the latest method of quick fix and look at resilience building in communities - ways we did things BEFORE ( don't all gasp you automatic progress worshipers )
One of the reasons our generation has been so ineffective in bringing hope in poor communities is that it  focuses too much on simple accounting stats ( blinkered views of economy as all or nothing competition policy - for example) - overly simple concepts of equality about cash can easily prevent us from seeing the hope and beauty of diversity say in shared capital assets --in paradoxes you may only see in having "the poor with us " . Poor people can choose to live in poverty because they love being on the land.
Take all the money ,opportunity and incentive drained off productivity in Australia TODAY by those seeking to make us "more equal ". Ways that work for the good of the community can see scarcity as no big deal ( God will provide ) and provide genuine hope and healing for the poor . Rural people seldom get paid properly for their produce so they are condemned to " poverty" - is that wrong ? Should we not differ in our approach when working with the poor esp as I said above in the resilience limited machine  of earth use --- a special case where collapse ( jared diamond ) is possible on the edges and hope is impossible if you don't turn around and go back
 I ask that we follow not the latest trends in development theory but hold  fast ---we follow Christ in bringing healing before  we try to bring economic development -the objective  authorship of the resilience agent should be the job of someone like a doctor - a trained gift . . Rural Resilience evaluation is my profession and its a rule there to not to interfere ( trying to create more equality ) without seeing the whole picture .
I may disagree with some in not rejecting poverty outright but I agree with any who say  ALL OF US could/ should focus much more clearly in rescuing and talking repentance on the edges of potential economic collapse . I hate the way competition policy dominates economic theory but to undermine it takes a thorough big picture recognition of the limited role it has within the cocoon.

Many of the farmers I work with here in Australia live destitute lives than those overseas because their communities don't really care to effectively support them. How many Filipino farmers commit suicide on the basis that no one understands them ?

My/Our generation,  as the presentation "the rules" shows so well has FAILED to do anything to stop the slide and therefore  we need to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. The question for those who want to support better and more secure development  is:  is it by reinventing the wheel or seeing what we did right to keep our societies more equal in the past ?( the story behind the story ) ; Any review should not be at the mercy of more quick fixers  but insist on FIRST THINGS FIRST -   truly understand the intransigence factors and diversity factors in poor rural communities . DISCOVER the complexity of those who understand what it is to be rich and poor in the one space .

Monday, April 08, 2013

Being a strong leader or person

There were many things to appreciate about the first woman Prime Minister of England,  Margaret Thatcher ; her humility , her desire to bring the basics back to economic management .  her passion to do what's right .Her desire to follow through; She was a giant in a world full of wimps

For many of us while personal strength is important , the strength of partnerships is more important . We are built to build households ecos To work together .
The traditional view is that when women have to lead in the house , the men are not leading enough . This is, not that we don't need strong women ; but the best partnership is when we have strong men and women together . Emotion is important but we need reason to build with it .
The danger then with passion alone then  is that unless you really do know what to change,  you may do more damage to our society and democracy than you realize   You may even, by bad targeting kill the wrong things,  and leave the disease to grow .
People can even exploit your passion to get you to do things they want but you to do. If you are wise , you will ask around and take time to think about it.Whether you area a man or a woman you can benefit from the objective friendship of another .
Both Thatcher and Kennett tried to reign in the bureau ,
but its bigger than ever ( esp if you look at the fund manager bureaucracy )

Myself  and Anthony Jay worked in the bureau - we tried to help the ignorant on both sides make better public good decisions,  but they and their angel like followers decided that business knows best - it clearly doesn't know as much as we would like,  and its not broad --so western democracies are up the creek without a paddle;They ignore the basics on the ground (picture of the tiles in Victorian House of Parliament)
The best advice I could give is no more than is written there .

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Feeling hard done by ?

Try this . When you think YOU need a lift ,.....try, just try giving someone else a lift.
You know what - we are all in the same boat- wanting but not getting all the understanding we want( me too). If you are going to insist on help from others you could be waiting a long time.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Go for it - the world is yours

My mum is always on this subject - "the world is yours to fully explore and discover things in" .
Why then to do so many feel hemmed in?  Do we really need to be part of a  herd?  After all, we are social animals.  When is it wise to revise and go exploring? Clearly we all need to do it sometime to test whether our parents are as clever as they make out . We would be stupid if we didn't do this. The tools we use to test our impressions though are important ; we would be wise though if we watched and listened more than we touched ? And I am definitely not talking about " Home and Away ' or much that is on TV 
Tolkien said "Not everyone who is wandering is lost"  and wrote great works to remind us that exploring is OK and even necessary . But as his works suggest ,we all also seem to need a home ( Shire ground ) to come home too.  Exploring for the sake of exploring doesn't seem to work - many people get lost,  hurt and bitter .They may get what they want,  but be worse off than before ; Take Hamlet  .  Still other plays and stories from real life remind us that that only way forward is to go back first . Progress is through the trunk and not through each and every branch.
As Plato and Tolkien indicate,  its only really possible to see the world if you both visit the cave and come out of it . You were born for a challenge  and you will have more than just crocodiles and herds to deal with. 
Childlike rebellion is normal and natural for children , but when adults don't grow out of that -- it's a real worry ; wars against everything don't go anywhere and show a lack of maturity in development  -Some cynicsm too is necessary,  but to know the price of everything and the value of nothing can just be the price of bulldozing your way through life. This rebellion is quite understandable in children but pathetic when it its accepted by parents as a right and the  right order stuff in households   ( ABC production " The Slap" talks to this position and its effect ) ; when it becomes the raison detre of ecomia ( compare the communion of reasonable boundaries -in the picture above --there is water , hill , samekind , different kind, and material boundaries  and feet to explore with  ) 
Unless you have a better idea,  I like Tolkiens idea that the deepest cave is the one we can make for ourselves--holes we dig for ourselves . How deep do we have to dig to stop ignoring the direction in which the light is coming from - if we don't truly admit our weak and reactionary position , our inherent weaknesses, vulnerability and those tried and tested ways offered to us for personal safety and security.   Get on with your life and choose the direction by studying the landcape and your company( esp your own mind)  carefully.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don't ever lose your sense of humor
Sometimes we can lose our sense of humor OVER the most serious of matters. Like " You,  me  and our understanding of our standing as individuals ".

Self worth & Self Belief . The problem that Rowan Atkinson has so well recognised  in the above clip is that our sense of hurt is often subjective; and therefore not a good game for law discussions.( getting above the law, by not relying on it ,  is always better too)
Having a thick skin is also good for our image of ourselves. If we can't accept a bit of criticisim we become dangers to ourselves, our families and our society ( Think of the phenomenon of "exaggerated sense of entitlement " ) Criticism doesn't mean they are right in what they say. As you deal with it you may like to enjoy the attention .
The Brits have after 25 years ( January 2013) taken the word "insult" off the offence books and many of us have said " hooray" .Noone likes to be or "feel insulted",  but,  lets face it ( key ideas here ?)- our best friends and our parents make us feel that way  .
People who care for us  can make us feel insulted , but are not trying to put us down as much "put us in our place".' Our parents and friends , if they love us , want us to be realists - "this is how good you really are;"  "you're not as good as you think you are "" try harder next time' you might be happy with your lazy effort but your next boss won't" "Don't let others be your constant critic - be your own best critic " .Some do it , not intentionally to hurt, ( it always hurts?) but to deal with our pride and STOP the train wreck --to stop  a fall and  depression tendency and cycle later .
We don't need to talk here about the enormous racket of insults that have nothing positive to say about your limits,  but have everything to do with the authors limits . Projection of feelings of inadequacy from one person to another make up the majority of insults,  I guess .Learn to forgive and learn to forgive yourself first. 
To add to the confusion --it is true that sometimes , the person who you feel is insulting you is simply not listening... and they don't want to know.  When your friends do it -it can because  do they love you enough to keep you on the road to fulfilled ( cf false ) expectations .

If a stranger makes you feel insulted, and it is isn't done in complete ignorance of your explanation ( ie they have been listening to you carefully) I suggest you ignore the feelings of being put down and try to find out whether their offer of a better way of thinking isn't infact worth more thought .You may only know if they, or you, are ignorant,  if you investigate their claims.
People who hang it on you for the sake of making themseleves feel better are everywhere : our jails would be full if we let such projection nonsense really worry us.
Be tough  and be thankful if criticism is a common face to face encounter like it often can be healthily  at home . Stuff thrown at you in the heat of a moment may be less helpful or worthy of consideration . Criticsm doesn't kill you , but it can make you stronger .

Self worth is not dependant on how we feel about oursleves. Christians believe our self worth is a gift  to each and every person on earth . No mere human can take it away.
Self belief is a seperate thing that is not sacred because it is a subjective thing .People often take the one and forget the other . Take what is often good but temporary and ignore what is more basic and more substantial; the secondary and shaky is substituted for the solid and secure .  Freedom from sin is a real  status thing ( cf self belief) that you can get , which means that it has some objectivity - you are only free from self criticsm or others criticicsm if you know forgiveness for yourself .
  Too little resistance to the demands,  ideas and excuses of others (incl Too much silence) leads children to find themselves in a unreal world of unreal expectations and unself recognised sin. In such tense and precarious situations even a small insult can set a bomb off - or be too easily be interpreted as criticism -
The insult  can too easily be seen to be interpreted as criticsm of self worth , when in realityyour self worth is a given ! Some people just never see that and some parents never see that in themselves , risking the transfer of poor attitude to their children .Hold onto the idea that you are worth more than " may sparrows " . more than even the most loving people you know think you are .
 The 8thcommandment  protects your right to protect and defend your right to self worth;  but not to defend anyone against specific sins - which must be dealt with individually and internally .We all need to be criticized because,  if we wanna  be honest , whether its our own or others , we are better with truth than without it .