Monthly Archives: March 2011

access denied

I am sure we all heard this or felt this at some point in our lives. Be it not being allowed into a night club, because you were too young (and I know we all tried at least once).

There are many situations in life that presents environments for rejection. None of us enjoy it though. Its everywhere, relationships that don’t go well, jobs that do not accept you. Families, friends, enemies, colleagues,etc. We are not strangers to rejection…….

I was wondering the other day, where did it all start. I think it started in the Garden of Eden. Before Adam and Eve sinned they never experienced anyone telling them you cannot enter here or there. Now I am not saying that if you were ever rejected, it was because you did a specific sin. Rather its because sin is present in this world and therefore we have rejection.

We have lost the real ability to see the truth, and simple things like trust eludes us. Therefore we cannot take people at their word and we judge intentions according to what we have experienced before. I am probably ranting here, but thats not the way we should be living don’t you think.

My question today is, given that rejection will come your way, how do we deal with it? And in today’s age there are so many levels for rejection to occur too, schools don’t accept you, colleges don’t accept you, universities don’t accept you. And if thats not enough, there is the whole digital world, facebook, sms, emails, all the more mediums for the possibility for access to be denied. It’s not just letters and people, its computers, banks, institutions,etc. How do we deal with it?????

I think, the simplest way is to know what you about, in that way nobody can really judge you wrongly. I mean in terms of your internal life, people will misinterpret, thats what people do. But as long as you know what you are about and who you are, the sting will not be so harsh.

You know that scripture, “Physician, heal thyself.”. Well with rejection “People get to know thyself”.

Just a thought from nowhere in particular.

Also from the next post and the entire month in April I will be spending time on debunking some common myths. Should be fun. Bye for now….

THO

the butterfly dilemma

Hello All

I am sure everyone knows the story of the butterfly, or to be more specific, the caterpillar turning into the butterfly. Just in case you never heard it yet, let me summarize it quickly.

Let’s say you happen to come across a butterfly emerging from the cocoon and see it struggling to emerge. You decide to help it and give it a pull. It comes out of the cocoon, but you then realise that the butterfly does not fly away and even looks deformed since its wings don’t fully open. You think maybe it just is that way, or maybe you were the one that did that to it. Second one would be correct, you did it to the butterfly.

Butterflies need that pressure and force when exiting the cocoon even though it looks difficult for them. It forces the necessary stuff needed to go where it needs to go. Not really rocket science today hey.
So why am I talking about this……

I have met a lot and spoken to many foreigners, especially Americans. When they hear you come from Africa (as they would put it) they suddenly come alive. They seem to have a really warped perception of what life is like here. Well we in South Africa are not really living in the wild, maybe somewhere in Africa people do live like that, but it is by choice. Anyway getting back to the point.

Most countries in the world have a really sympathetic tone when they think or discuss Africa. Everyone wants to help Africa. Now back to my butterfly story. Maybe we as Africa are at that stage of the caterpillar emerging as the butterfly. The unrest and violence, pressure and force, is needed to emerge and become what we are meant to be. Every other country has had that process sometimes without intervention.

I know our tendency as humans is to jump in and help, but what I am asking is… After all the “help” people have given the different people of Africa, has it changed Africa?

Maybe we need to “leave the butterfly to emerge” and simply see what comes out.

Sometimes we do it in our personal lives too, we try to help what does not need our help and end up causing more harm than good.

I hope we develop the wisdom to recognise where others are, to help or not help accordingly.

THO

fault finders

Hello Everyone

So today i wanted to focus on a really special bunch of people. Well the title gives that away I suppose. Yip you guessed, fault finders.

Now to start, I prefer to have these people around me every step of the way. I personally will not do anything until I hear their opinions. Whaaaaattttt you say?????
Before you shoot me, at least hear me out.

I think the most honest people are the fault finders, they are normally also the most perceptive. They have the ability to see the flaws in almost everything. They can see why things will not work, they have no issue sharing their opinions. I can go on and on.

I am not saying that you should become one, simply listen carefully, they can only make your company, activity, venture,etc, stronger.

Thats of course unless you want the positive peppy bunch who really never look at the down side. Well actually they help too, in getting what needs to be done, done.

But fault finders do help, in their own way. Now please find fault with that.

THO

f.a.g.

Hello All

There is always a lot going on in the world, and the latest thing dominating the news is the Japan disaster. I really hope and pray for the Japanese, but on the same stretch would really point out, that the survivors are to be commended. I mean no riots and looting, just people willing to rebuild and move on. So my Hat goes off to the people of Japan.

But to today’s discussion, I know F.A.G. can have many connotations, well I shall keep you guessing as to what I mean with it.
I was chatting to a friend of mine about the problems of the world. We were looking at the state the world is in and forces us to evaluate. It drew me to this conclusion.

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc. 1vs9 (italics added by me)

Thats my answer to all the world’s problems. Ha ha, well you say it cannot be so simple and further more thats not really an answer. Well give me some time and you will see what I mean.

You need to see that what this world really runs on here is F.A.G. and then you see where it stems from. F.A.G. (Fear And Greed)
You will see this best if you look at the charts of the markets, on the fact that it is the best method to see human psychology at its best and worst. Lets look at the Oil chart for the past few weeks.

Now before I go into it. Ask yourself, did the amount of oil on this earth change at any given time during these events? No right? Therefore you have to ask what drives these markets? You guessed it, Fear And Greed. Of course the charting is not so easily explained, but for the sake of proving to you what drives the market, you can see. Just the thought of unrest or instability and immediately the oil price breaks to new highs and then you can see on the charts that the price takes a break and only a matter of time and the Japanese earthquake stories start affecting it, and up it goes again. (At this Libya looks not ready to stabilize any time soon, so maybe we will see higher prices in oil in the coming months, maybe we should get those bicycles out now hey)

So what does this have to do with our lives? Well the actual amount of oil never changed, but what we paid for it did. The people selling the oil want the most for it, and will use any reason or circumstance to get you to pay top dollar for it. So as in the picture when the unrest in Libya occurred, they release fear into the market, and when people fear they panic. This leads to higher prices because people who fear do not think rationally, therefore the oil price can go up and we pay more for the oil that simply stayed where it was. In this way fear and greed is used to manipulate the masses.

From our perspective, the media gets us to believe that oil is a scarce commodity and this drives prices higher due to supply and demand. So let’s say there is no shortage of oil and it was freely available (which I do think it is) then prices should be lower right? But for the sake of the oil suppliers, they will never want people to know if there is an overflow. Anyway I think you catch my drift. And of course many people would disagree or even be able to explain it better. I chose oil specifically, because that really is the currency of our world today, its price moves the entire economy. I wanted us to see that our world is not entirely and completely truthful. And we would be fools to accept all things at face value. Though the world runs on fear and greed, we do not have to.

If you study history even a little bit you will find the same stories and the same outcomes. Always the strong dominating the weak. Really look at things and ask yourself, are we really living in truth? Or are we simply floating about every whim that fear or greed throws our way. Do we blindly accept everything that is told to us?

The world has not changed much over time, since the heart of man is the problem, and where we find ourselves is simply more time given for the heart of man to express itself. So there is nothing new under the sun, the world is not getting more evil. Its simply the heart of man more fully expressing itself. Its fear and greed from the inside out.

My question, is what runs you?

THO

lists, principles and becoming

Hello everyone.

Do you read books? Or at least walk around in a book store every now and again? I am sure most people have or is currently work at a company, right? I am leading up to a point here…….

Have you ever tried something new, lets for discussion sake say surfing. Now please while there are sharks in the ocean that is good enough reason for me never to put a toe of mine in there. Needless to say this is a hypothetical example. Well, so now you want to surf. Do you go sit in a class and learn to surf by the theory?
Does someone have to give you a ten point process and woo hoo you are now a surfer?

I will pause that example and come back to it later. I simply wanted to get us thinking on how we learn these days. There is no shortage of information, about anything in 2011. Be it a book, dvd, television, google,etc. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has the process or course, or ten pointers (though nowadays its 7 ways to be…….) Yet we still find ourselves lost in the bigger scheme, or even the simple things in life. Real living alludes us because we always trying to get there (wherever that may be, be it better sales, better income, marriage, children, better job, better car, better life)

Its not a bad thing to want to improve and go forward. I am simply asking how do we see that. Do we start by applying a list (like the 7 ways of improving you) or do we apply some principles that worked for someone else.

Today I want to ask, have we stopped looking inside? I can only say this from my life, but I rarely look inside myself. I mean you have to admit it, that life has so many things coming our way these days its had to find a moment and just keep quiet. Its hard to listen, easy to hear the noise, but hard to really listen.
Have you ever heard of a downpouring of the Spirit? I bet you never have, since its always an outpouring. So it comes from within and not from outside. You not going to find and become via a book, though it can help the process, it cannot replace something important, which I think we have lost a bit over time.

That would be impartation. So you want be a surfer (I told you I would come back to the example). The best way is to………….drum roll………spend time with surfers. Ha its not rocket science is it. I think we a bit greekish, with our definitions and bullet points and principles. We have moved away from simple impartation. Simple sharing and exploring together.

Once again I will say that bullet points and principles have there place, but they cannot replace simple impartation. You want to be like Christ, you can read about Him all you want, but nothing will change you more than simply spending time with Him.

THO

roadworks ahead

I am not sure if you are like me. I really really dislike roadworks. Traffic congestion, bumper to bumper, hot days. My patience wears thin. Also it seems the erode seemingly intelligent people’s brains since everyone tries to get somewhere faster, they inevitably end up slowing it even more, by chopping and changing lanes.
Well I guess that’s just one of my pet peeves.

But at the end of it I really do enjoy the end result, when the work is done and all is revealed with more space for all the cars, more lanes, bridges and so forth. Its really eye opening as to the plan behind all the mess in the construction phase. I sometimes wish they would send out plans as to what they intend to do, then at least we know what to look forward to and can sit through the rubble. I suppose life is just like that .

It made me think though. Life is a bit like that. When going through stuff thats not so good, we don’t get a blueprint as to what our lives will be once we are through with the trauma. We simply have to bite hard and grin a bear it. I think we could say that our lives are like roadworks…………… In other words in process. But since we like end results and not processes, we tend to really not like the walk in life. Even worse take just a few of us and put us together in a small space, and since we all “in the process” there will most likely be some fireworks.

And we are not privy to the master plan behind it all. The best we have is some hindsight, to know that it has worked out in the past, therefore it will work out in the future.

Well in simple terms, only God has that master plan, and I am sure for good reason, He only lets us know as needed. I am sure the roadworks teaches me patience. ( Lord I think I learnt my lesson so please let them finish the road works……) Anyway, what I am trying to say is, that we all are “in the process” at any given time. It will be a while before we get to the finish line.

So lets realise that there are roadworks ahead (maybe I should create T shirts with that on….mmmm great franchise idea) we know the greater plan is in good hands. Sooner or later we shall see the fruit of all the labour.

THO

H.R.

Hello Everybody

I know the title seems like a repeat, but this is not a repeat, this is not a repeat, this is not a repeat…. Anyway now that i have your attention, and I hope I do, let me start.

H.R. Human Resource Department, I am sure most companies have them these days. I am not sure I agree with the concept though. Firstly looking at the word RESOURCE.

“A resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability that needs to be consumed to obtain a benefit from it.”

For a more descriptive and thorough definition go here

Does that sound like a human to you? Do you need to be consumed to provide a benefit to a company? How did we get here? That is a tough question to answer. I will offer my opinion. If one goes back only a few hundred years you will soon realise how quickly things have changed. Let’s take a look and see if we can uncover the reason we are here. By no means is this an exhaustive historical description, its but a cursory look over recent history to explain the point, so consider it light reading.

Early mankind was largely agricultural, since it was to sustain themselves and later others with the produce. Also basic construction to live in. So we can say it was on a need only basis that we produced.

In the late 18th to early 19th century we moved to the industrial age where manufacture and large quantities were becoming more normal. I suppose you could say we started moving away from need only and the start of a process I will discuss later.

We have since perfected that and we have moved into the current age which is called the information age. This age has brought about an element which largely supports the idea behind Human resource. That would be the word and process called Automation.

Anyway to cut a long story short and get to the point. As a collective culture, and I know I have not done the entire topic justice here, we have moved away from simple needs based living to a wants based lifestyle. I would even go on a limb here and say that right now our culture lives on a desire basis. We now don’t really care much for the actual products, but more for what they can give us. If it offers more for less, we only care about the ideas, because thats what sells……

So to get back to H.R. well at the back end of this idea based society, and industry run on automation. We have lost our sense of humanity and started to see each other as resources. A means to and end. We look at each other as a way to fulfill our wants and desires, and that is a company’s bottom line these days. Their wants and desires and we are the resources to help them achieve that.

Even the industrial age workers were still seen as “assets” and looked after accordingly. Now employees are seen as liabilities and are the first to go in times of difficulty. Because at the end of the day every employee is a resource and therefore replaceable.

I think we have lost it, we have lost our humanity. I hope we go back in history and learn where we have erred, but…….

“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
Hegel, Friedrich

I know its not an upbeat end, but we really are in a sad place in terms of how we collectively relate to each other and I really do not see how we fix that without at least considering that maybe we are wrong…..

THO