Monday, 27 November 2006

Encouraging thought

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
- Edward Teller

Friday, 17 November 2006

November 17, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   There is a new online discussion forum that is being promoted through the United Church of Canada called Wondercafe (www.wondercafe.ca).  The purpose of this online forum is to promote and encourage discussion about a variety of topics (including religious beliefs) in an open and accepting manner.  I found the responses of some of the participants to be quite interesting.

   First...there is a group that believes they are RIGHT!  No ifs, ands or buts.  They seem to feel that the only way that they can get their point across and change others’ minds is to keep hammering incessantly the message, “YOU’RE WRONG!  YOU’RE WRONG!  YOU’RE WRONG!”

   This response has an immediate effect of totally killing any future conversation.

   Secondly, there is another group, not quite as harsh as the first, but close, who seem to feel that that only way to dialogue is to quote Bible verses (nothing wrong with that in the right context) and not venture a single original thought of their own.  Again their message is “You’re wrong because the Bible says…”

   Again, their response does nothing more than stop any progress that could have been made in terms of furthering the conversation along as they are not really willing to participate or respect the others views.

   Thirdly, there is a group that is somewhat willing to listen to others’ opinions, but they still think everyone else is wrong and feel compelled to point that out every once in a while.  However they are more polite about it and thus conversation can continue, and isn’t immediately stifled.

   Fourthly, there is a group that is willing to express their views in a gentle, nonjudgmental manner.  They are willing to dialogue with others and find out why they have a differing view from their own.  They are able to share in an enriching experience of learning something they didn't know.  They don’t agree with everything the others say, but they are open to listening and learning so they can find common ground.

   When you are faced with differing views from your own...how do you respond?  Do you shut down the lines of communication, or do you gently and respectfully allow the other person to express their views and be heard?

Beth


Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Friday, 3 November 2006

November 3, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
     I don’t normally get involved in political discussions, but this whole “Belinda Stronach” deluge in the media the last month has been a little hard to ignore.

   Contrary to what many media personalities have said in the past, I, personally, do not find Belinda to be a wonderful role model as a politician or businesswoman for Canadians - women and young women in particular.  Granted, you cannot believe everything you read or hear in the news, however, it is precisely what we are hearing and reading that shapes what type of person we perceive Belinda,  and other public figures, to be and what kind of role model she is perceived as.

   If we want to be effective role models for others, and especially for the youth in our communities, we need to learn a few things.

   Firstly, we all need to learn that ‘demanded’ apologies are a waste of time.  Either you wait forever for what you consider is “your due,” never receiving it, or you do get the apology and it is as fake and insincere as can be as it has been forced from the person.

   Second, we all need reminded that you sow what you reap...what you give out will be what is returned to you...life always mirrors back to you what you are showing life.   If you feel that you are being treated poorly, how are you treating others?

   Thirdly, we all need to learn that being a ‘victim’ is a personal choice.  Now it is possible that someone could rob you or beat you.  Thus, you are a victim of a robbery or a beating.  However, once the event happens and is done it is your choice whether you move on or wallow in the hurt and misery of a victim mentality.  You cannot turn back the clock and undo actions, words or thoughts so you might as well get past it and learn from the experience.  Let it go!

   Fourthly, we all need reminded that no one is exempt from the consequences of their actions.  When the consequences seem delayed we have tendency to get complacent and think we got off Scott free.  The truth is there are consequences to everything you do, whether for good or not.  We must remember to consider the consequences before every decision we make.

   Whether we realize it or not, we are all role models to those who interact with us every day.  Are you a good role model?

Beth


Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.