17-18year olds answers to: Revenge, justice, reconciliation &/or forgiveness; with which do you agree and why?

17-18year olds answers to: Revenge, justice, reconciliation &/or forgiveness; with which do you agree and why? (Linked to Characters in a play)

One of our grade 12 set-works in Dramatic Arts is “Nothing But The Truth” by John Kani. I was blown away at the maturity and insight shown by my learners in their answers. They are mixed race, but the majority is Black-African. It is WONDERFUL to see that there is a generation coming up who understand how to move on from the past and build a better future. In the context of some Black-African students currently wanting to ‘erase’ South African History due to their personal agendas and inability to forgive and learn and grow and move on, these answers from my learners were a true blessing to read. Finally, some sense in the context of “Our Country”. Enjoy the read. (I have left them mostly unedited from the exam scripts; they are in no prescribed ‘order’ at all)

  • I am a firm believer in forgiveness. If the oppressed got up and started to do the same thing that was done to them it would just be a never-ending cycle and we would all just feed on hate.
  • Reconciliation, because how do you expect to get over something if you always hold a grudge about it? How will violence make anything better, because you are just as bad as the other person? Take the information and truth you have and forgive that person and try to move on with your life now, knowing the full story.
  • Revenge is no use, because it doesn’t make you a good person either, because you won’t be different from the other people who killed other humans.
  • When you understand what has happened and how you feel about that exposed truth, then you are able to accept the truth, acknowledge it and thereafter move on, knowing that it has happened and it is time to move on from that point.
  • It is always good to forgive, people shouldn’t be judged for what they did in the past.
  • Confessing things takes courage. It isn’t easy trying to move on, but knowing that all is forgiven will make your journey seem clearer because then your conscience is clean. It also gives other people closure to have the real truth.
  • In the play Thando says, “We could have gone for revenge…but how would that have made us different from them?” I agree with this because getting revenge could not satisfy your feelings and emotions. It just makes you more angry and it shows others that you are weak mentally.
  • Confess and speak nothing but the truth. Revenge is not always the solution to every problem, that is why you have to be a better person.
  • It’s about African Humanity / Ubuntu. We are one, no matter the colour of our skin, we need to be kind to each other as one nation.
  • Everything deserves justice, truth and forgiveness. I believe that you can’t get anywhere in life if you hold grudges and you can’t get anywhere if you aren’t being real with certain situations in your life, you won’t go anywhere if you’re still holding on.
  • Our country wouldn’t have achieved our democracy if it wasn’t for reconciliation, truth, amnesty and forgiveness, and also peace.
  • Forgiveness is the key to a clear start and moving on. Forgiveness should come from within in order to create the capability to move on. If we carry out heavy burden of pains from the past with us in the present and the future, then we will always be influenced negatively by those burdens and this won’t assist anyone in any way. There will be no change in societies; there will be no better outcomes. But truth be told, forgiveness doesn’t come easily or quickly, but it is needed for a brighter future.
  • What happened, happened in the past, now it’s the present with its new generation and people need to be united as one and live for tomorrow.
  • Throwing back the bad to the bad is like throwing petrol on to a fire – it only makes it worse. In any situation, not only apartheid, one has to be the bigger person, and by that I mean stop showing others that you are fighting back and make them feel bad by calming down. That brings peace.


Prayer for Rhodes University – South Africa

Dear Lord, I don’t understand. I was at my Alma Mater only a few years ago. There was exactly a third Black-African, a third Indian-African and a third White-African staying in my res. A white and black-subwarden; and the year before: one Coloured and one Portuguese. A Black-African warden, a White-African Hall warden and an Indian-African head of residences. Race was never an issue, we were there to study. We were there to grow. We were proud to be in a place where “Leaders Learn”; that was the point.

Now it is with a grieving heart that I read news and posts about people putting this amazing University down in all respects. Saying that it is a racist place, a place that hasn’t transformed, that hasn’t provided for every person who is there… and Lord, I cannot see how any of this is based in fact. None of my Rhodes University experiences involved any prejudice, racism or close-mindedness, in fact it was everything of the opposite. Discussions, ideas, philosophies, unity, conversation and open-mindedness were all that I experienced there. It was a wonderful space to feel at peace and integrate myself with a fabulous culture of ‘leaders learning’.

Everything in me knows that academic institutions are about learning, not about self, but about all, about not thinking you ‘know-it-all’. Lord, why are people bringing their pasts with them, when they are in a new place? Why are people being close-minded and bringing the hate, prejudice, self-righteousness, personal injuries, fears and angers they have been brought up on into a place where they are supposed to bring open minds and hearts to be the change that we need – into equality, wisdom, peace, forgiveness and all that is good?

I don’t understand why students would want to destroy such an amazing place for a political agenda? Why would they desire to take away from neutral, open ground and make it a power game? Why are such young students so deeply entrenched in the fear, anger and hate from their homes that they cannot let it go when on neutral ground? Why is their view so distorted that they cannot see the truth of the learning and growing ground that Rhodes is? Lord, how can they learn anything new, or grow, when they won’t let go of their prejudices or cast away their old ideas? Lord, you ask us in Your word to RENEW OUR MINDS, so why can’t they? Lord, why can’t they cast away the hate of decades ago to embrace the gift they have in the 21st century? Lord, everyone in this country has had to forgive, has had to let go in some way, with something, and it has been a challenge for everyone, a slow process and one that we have taken on as a country admirably. Yet now, Lord, now youth who weren’t even alive when the atrocities happened are so full of hate, fear and anger, how Lord, how? What personal experiences could an 18 year old in this country have had of apartheid, except those their homes have generated or held on to?

The 18 years olds have seen the transformation of education for all, electricity spread throughout the country, even without the means or maintenance to provide it, water is being distributed, things have been changing. I lived in both regimes Lord, I can see the good You have done, we have worked for. I don’t understand Lord, why do these students want to take Rhodes back into the nasty past that was legally ended over 20 years ago? Why can’t they see the privilege they have been blessed with, the privilege of being in an integrated culture? Integrated in that no-one group has power or preference over another, and I know that Rhodes practices equality, I was part of the culture from waitressing to residence to extra-mural clubs and activities.

Dear Lord, I am praying, I am praying that YOU would change and move in the hearts of the people who still hold onto hate, fear, anger, prejudice and all that destroys. I pray that you would take away the self-righteous, destructive nastiness of ego, resentment, self-will and desire for power and ‘victory’, that is killing the better desire to do good for ALL. Please take away the sad practice of seeing only surface colour, of seeing only one’s own agenda, of taking away all credit due to the elders who have built up every single one of the privileges that students take for granted today. Lord, I pray that people would not see surface colour, but the skeleton beneath – the bones that will return to dust – and realise how unimportant body is. Lord, I pray that in losing the shallow views, all people will begin to see what is important – mind and soul. I pray they will begin to realise that QUALITY Lord, QUALITY is what is important… such qualities as forgiveness, kindness, honesty, comradery and loving others as much as one loves one’s self. I pray people will begin to look at BIG pictures and not their own personal agendas, which are full of weakness, manipulated thoughts and constructed perspectives. Allow people to realise that University is about deconstructing the past via theory to reconstruct the present in practice. Move in amidst all the hate Lord; the “We’re right, you’re wrong” logic; the ego-desires for power and being ‘superior’. Lord, none of us can see everything, all of us are limited and we go to higher learning institutions to learn, grow and understand this. Lord, please don’t let people steer away from the fact that the more they study and learn, the more they will realise that we all know so little. The more they will realise that time will grant them wisdom. The more they will realise that being still, listening and being aware and full of attention to everything around them is far more helpful, kind, uplifting and rewarding than shouting their mouths off, making as much noise as they can and making a mockery of what their forefathers have worked so hard to achieve. Lord, I pray that Your Will, will be done, that You will have the victory in changing perceptions and mindsets: from being so bound up in an unchangeable past to being moved up into new and positive-potential-fulfilling views.

Lord, C.S.Lewis put it so poignantly with regards to “love others as you love yourself”. May others be open enough to take in his words: “Now that I come to think of it, I have not exactly got a feeling of fondness and affection for myself, and I do not even always enjoy my own society. So apparently ‘Love your neighbour’ does not mean ‘feel fond of him’ or ‘find him attractive’. I ought to have seen that before, because, of course, you cannot feel fond of a person by trying. Do I think well of myself, think myself a nice chap? Well, I am afraid I sometimes do (and those are, no doubt, my worst moments) but that is not why I love myself. So loving my enemies does not apparently mean thinking them nice either. That is an enormous relief. For many good people imagine that forgiving your enemies means making out that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite plain they are. Go a step further. In my most clear-sighted moments not only do I not think myself a nice man, but I know that I am a very nasty one. I can look at some of the things I have done with horror and loathing. So apparently I am allowed to loathe and hate some of the things my enemies do. Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin, but not the sinner.

For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life – namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery, we ought to hate them. Not one word about what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is in anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again.

The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that’, or is it a feeling of disappointment, even sheer determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, then white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything – God and our friends and ourselves included – as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

Now, a step further… I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the First World War, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together in a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it. I imagine somebody will say. ‘Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?’ All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think a man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one’s own back, must simply be killed. I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it anymore. That is not how things happen. I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves – to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world, or another, be cured,: in fact, wish to do good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice, when he is not.

I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But then, has oneself anything loveable about it? You love it simply because it is yourself. God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but he has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works. We have then to go on and apply the rule to all other selves. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves. For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco…” C.S.Lewis, Chapter 2, ‘Mere Christianity’.

Priorities – why are some people’s priorities so messed up?

20150829_085916Once again my life experiences have woken me up in this force from within me that could probably be seen from many angles: 1) Passion, 2) Anger, 3) Hate, 4) Fear, 5) Conviction, 6) Insult, 7) Holy Spirit… and whatever other emotion / force that people assign to the burning ache that happens in one’s chest that shouts: “You just have to stand up for this”… it seems most of my blogs are “sourced” from “that” place.

This blog, once again, revolves around the “Names” of Universities in South Africa saga. In particular, my alma mater: Rhodes University. Decades ago there was a guy whose surname was Rhodes, and there is the belief that the man (who no-one in the 21st century ever met, or could ever know) doesn’t deserve to have his name used anymore, because government has changed and a minority group believe that they should erase all white history in South Africa. I.e. they want to destroy DECADES of history, they want to cost the University a FORTUNE in ‘rebranding’, ‘re-heading’, and ‘re-marketing’ a mix that has worked for years. A little group of upstarts has decided that the alumni, who have put MILLIONS and MILLIONS into their “Rhodes” University, should now put more into it to pay for their little itch that dislikes a man who they’ve never met, dislikes an apartheid system they never lived in, and, in so doing, cause great annoyance, frustration and a waste of time and money because they have no respect for HISTORY.

This nonsense really has NOTHING to do with present day South Africa, anyone walking around the Rhodes Campus would know and feel how fantastic it is; and that has NOTHING to do with the NAME and EVERYTHING to do with the PEOPLE – of ALL races who live, work and study there.

This little group appear to be against white people in their essence and by nature interested in segregating themselves – this is wholly evident in the fact that they still call themselves the: “Black Student Movement”, thus, by their own title and own choice of label (that no-one is demanding that they change in this 20 year old multi-racial-EQUAL-Rights South Africa) they are telling the world that “Black” should be alone and separate from everyone else. How can ANYONE let a group who see themselves as a singled-out-more-important-separated race, in a VERY multi-racial society, dictate what the majority desire?

If they wanted to do this LEGITIMATELY, LEGALLY and DEMOCRATICALLY, then they would put out a VOTE to EVERY Alumni, every current student, and every lecturer in the decades of databases and ASK THEM TO VOTE on whether or not they want the name of their University to change. I have NO doubt in my mind that the hundreds of students I studied with will vote to KEEP OUR UNIVERSITY NAME … Why? Because of the Nickname. As students we all took on the “Rhodes” and reduced it to a “Rat”, we even have a Pub Called “The Rat and Parrot” just off campus. That Rat symbol – THE RHODENT – became the symbol for all of us for our student identity. We have mugs, bags, t-shirts, pens and all the other branded paraphernalia, with our “RHODENT” on it. I even have a bumper sticker. The Rhodent – a lowly rat, that holds no-one above anyone else, has become what the name means to students AND NOT the guy who died decades upon decades ago.

Interestingly, however, this little group of upstarts occupied the VC’s office – illegally. They have put graffiti on campus property – illegally. They are photocopying wads of the VC’s “Private and Confidential” documents – illegally – and are “playing” with journalists, like they are important. There are THREE: ILLEGAL, GO TO PRISON, offences going on and their supporters are blind enough to say – no, it’s all about that dead guy and what we think he stood for, and what history books portrayed…? Seriously?

How about skipping over a past that no-one can change, getting over your personal issues about whatever prejudices you have, and jumping into the 21st CENTURY where you can CHOOSE your view, and choose to see a new meaning for the name? Take on the “Rhodent”, take on the change, respect the history, respect the reminder of where we have come from, respect that change has to happen, and we can’t change or erase the past, and we shouldn’t desire to change or replace the past, because IT IS THAT PAST that got us to where we are today. IT IS THAT PAST, that history, that has taught us the lessons we need to remember, we need to acknowledge and we need to make sure we never repeat.

Changing a name will not erase racism. Changing a name will not erase the anger and hurt in anyone’s heart – it will only aggravate and cause more hurt because it is saying one group’s history is more important than another’s. Changing a name is expensive, in an economic climate where we should be focusing on spending money on NECESSARY things. Changing a name will not change the history that has already been laid down. Acceptance is the only way to move forward peacefully.

What has gutted me more than anything about these little upstarts is their lack of appreciation for the privilege of being at Rhodes; their lack of respect for their elders, the alumni and the VC; and MOST of all – their SCREWED UP priorities. I really am heart-broken, that in the 21st century – 20 years AFTER apartheid, that they have not moved on from the past where other people were treated horrendously and into the present where they are free to IMPROVE the situation, instead of make it worse and create a century-long feud like the Capulets and Montagues in “Romeo & Juliet”.

Why are they not protesting against the fact that a woman is raped every few seconds in this country?

Why aren’t they protesting against the fact that the ESKOM bosses, who have cried “no funds” to give the people electricity, have received MILLIONS in bonuses? Or how about the fact that the government, who haven’t effectively managed coal energy, are now wanting to manage NUCLEAR ENERGY?

Why aren’t they protesting against the fact that in a time of poverty, 25% unemployment, water shortages and shocking educational statistics, the president has spent a quarter of a BILLION on his ONE house?

Why aren’t they protesting against the fact that pollution is killing us; that the world’s population is currently bringing itself to EXTINCTION for the first time ever in the millennia of the history of life?

Why have they placed The Name of an over 100 year old University as more important than the issues of the 21st century?

I don’t understand… and my mind asks: Which political party is sponsoring these little upstarts? What is their “REAL” agenda? How can a mass of people let them do what they are illegally doing? It’s apartheid all over again – Hitler all over again – one little group dictating to the masses and the masses letting them. . .  and still society is apathetic and lets it happen… ugh

What’s worse is that those supporting the name change appear completely clueless that “Rhodes” University does not teach or lecture racism; completely clueless that being racist is something that is ‘learnt’ from their parents and those they mixed with in their school years. Racism is not something anyone ‘learns’ at University, it is actually part of the baggage that individuals have chosen to take on from their elders. Changing the name will not get rid of the baggage, only the individual can choose to let go of it.

Part ONE: If you are a ‘victim’ of divorce, don’t read this

By fascinating twists of fate/God, I ended up at a “Singles’ Evening” last Friday night. Following a church leaflet, an art exhibition and then personally knowing the organiser, by the end of the week I had promised I would come along ‘to keep the organiser company’. Walk into the event and bam these guys arrive at your side and introduce themselves… it was rather weird to have guys I didn’t know just ‘appear’ out of nowhere all of a sudden. Anyway, one in particular ended up being around for most of the night, and being a meet and greet in a Christian capacity, I naturally told loads of stories about the awesomeness of God in my life and how different my journey is to all the ‘traditional’ followers and ‘church/pastor-guided’ followers. How I take the “God and the Spirit are IN ME” more seriously than ‘they are in someone-else, whose soul I can’t see for real’… I shared, he asked loads of questions and I answered. I listened to his story about himself, and then, as was the point of the exercise, I drew a symbol on his name card in order to ‘represent’ him, according to what I had heard. I won a prize because one of the organizers couldn’t believe how spot on I was after such a brief interaction… So, the evening continued with a dance class and I ended up partnered with him, which I thought was a blessing in disguise, as the guy could not dance to save his life, so I ended up teaching him. We were, however, supposed to be changing partners, which another guy pointed out, so that happened and the new guy told me off for leading, which frustrated me because it was a swing and he was dancing it at the pace of a waltz! GRRR, UGH!

From dancing we went back to the tables, and thus the original guy. He confessed that he had become a Christian when he was 21 and dancing was forbidden, so he hadn’t danced since then. The church had also forbidden him to choose his bride, they chose her for him and he wasn’t allowed to court her, so he spent time in “fervent prayer”, and, after that, he married her. Surprise, surprise the marriage ended in divorce… but get this… he said that he believed if he had have courted her, then maybe they would not have wed, but at the same time he believes his ‘fervent prayer’ and Bible clarifications had shown him that he was making the right decision. Thus, he feels that the Devil was in the words that were fed to him and his marriage didn’t work because of her lying. He didn’t believe his ex-wife was ever a Christian and thus he was a victim in the whole thing and he was angry because she made him divorce her, which now puts a “blemish” on his “perfect” Christian record! But he is ok with it all now, he has accepted it.

Oh my greatness! BAM – in my humble-met-this-guy-once-opinion – I got it. I got why he was still single. I got why she couldn’t be with him. I got why he was probably often depressed and was using God as a crutch. “Victim” “victim” “victim” replayed in my mind… Seriously, he is a grown man! He is supposed to be responsible for himself, he should be as much to blame as anyone else that his marriage failed. How on earth can any woman live with a man who is expecting to be treated as ‘perfect’, we live in a fallen world, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ human being? How can a grown man, who made the choice to sign the papers, made the choice to leave, made the choice not to give his wife freedom to make her own choices and believe what she needed to believe, made his own choice not to court her, made his own choice to let others decide his destiny, claim “I’m a victim” – and I’m not embellishing here – the words “I was a victim” literally came out of this guy’s mouth. Like he was expecting God to live his life and his wife’s for them. Expecting God to “act” and “make” their marriage work. Expecting that “God” would intervene and “make” them find each other and they had to do no work…

They went to counseling he said and that should have made things work, but it didn’t… She went to counseling, that is a BIG DEAL, that is an affirmative: ‘I’m in this to make this work’… no, this guy didn’t see it like that – he saw himself as a ‘victim’, that he was the only one who was “Christian”, that he was the only one … BAM – if you are thinking “ONLY ONE” and you are married – BAM – that’s the thought that will make you become “ONLY ONE”, why? Because that is what you have thought, put out into the Universe, ‘prayed’ in your unconscious… and God grants us what we ask for… marriage is: “We”, “Us”, “Together”… NOT: “Me” “I” let’s sit in our corner alone and know we are ‘victims’…

I went home angry. Angry that people are allowed to wallow in this ‘victim’ nonsense. No-one is a ‘victim’ if what has happened has been created by their own choices, their own actions. They are experiencing their own: CONSEQUENCES. I couldn’t have a man around who was permanently reminding me that I’m not perfect {not saying this was the case for this guy, it was just an impression I got}, that I’m not … not… not… that will kill anyone, everyone… I think what got me the most may have been that: Here was a man who was a missionary, going out to people, spreading God’s word and I’m wondering if he’s read it? God tells us we are not victims, that we are sufferers for HIS Glory, that we have to live through HARDSHIPS to become more like Jesus, more empathetic with others, to become weak so God can be our strength. We, as Christians, do not suffer because we are ‘victims’, we suffer because it is a way to learn about being human, a way to experience things that those who need to be saved will hear from someone who has been where they are, knows the hell of divorce, of abuse, of neglect, of pain and whatever else we journey through. Whatever circumstances of suffering come our way, which they have to on this broken planet, Christians know it is being lived through for the Glory of God. The choice as a Christian is to see the positive, see the learning curve, acknowledge God’s strength and power to get us through it and then use it to uplift others… it is NOT to go around saying: “That woman has blemished my perfect Christian record!”

Oh my word! What crossed my mind: What is this guy sharing in his ministry? That God wants you to be perfect? That God wants you to ‘be good’? That evil makes you a ‘victim’, so you don’t have to take responsibility, because it’s ‘the Devil’s fault’; it’s ‘the ex’s fault’, it’s ‘the church’s fault’? What crap!

Nothing we CAN DO can make God love us more; NOTHING WE CAN DO can make God love us less. Here I was thinking that Christianity had evolved to understand that it is has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with God’s Grace. Here I was believing that those out their sharing God’s love, understood what LOVE is – kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, generosity UNCONDITIONALLY… not you have the option of: “victim”…

Part TWO: If you are ‘depressive’, don’t read this

It all grated me so badly… and I took it to God in my confusion, was I in the ‘wrong’? Was this man entitled to behave in this ‘unmanly’ way by claiming ‘victim’? When I asked him if the Devil was using the Bible to steer us away from God – as he said about his ‘fervent prayer’ – then how do we know when it is God or the Devil speaking to us? He had no response… UGH! These people who go around making all these statements, and the minute you challenge them to discuss / break down / work through it, they close the conversation like they are the only ones who are right and what they believe is the final word; ANNOY ME! If you have a belief / statement / a truth, then BACK IT UP with SENSIBLE evidence and proof in real life terms and practice! Back it up so you can have an intellectual discussion about it! So annoying…

God’s reply to my confusion – SO BEAUTIFUL! So PERFECT! So REAL! I LOVE my God, and His perfect timing and perfect answers and the way He openly and freely deals with and responds to any questions I ask. It is such a blessing to receive more knowledge, more information, more guidance on the way to discovering truth. His reply was in the SAME book I have already been blogging about “Temperaments…”. In a previous blog I broke down Choleric, Phlegmatic, Sanguine and Melancholy… I jump around (typical Aquarius trait) and usually have about 4 books that I am reading at once, my mood / instinct guides me as to which chapter to read, and when. I LOVE it how God often leads me to two different books by my bedside and then when I get to chapter 4 in the one, at the same time as chapter 10 in the other (for example), they are on THE SAME topic, at the EXACT right time I’ve asked the question that both chapters answer. I genuinely do love those moments :)

According to Dr Tim LaHaye: Depression is caused by hypocrisy… lie this guy at the event (Part ONE) was saying his wife was a liar and not a Christian, meanwhile, he was not practicing Christianity either. Double standards… like there is a guy I know and he phoned me up quite annoyed because his great niece hadn’t said thank-you for the gift he’d given her… and there I was holding the phone in disbelief because the grandfather hadn’t thanked me for the Christmas or birthday gift I’d given him! Hypocrisy, so many people are blind to themselves.

Secondly, Physical problems lead to depression / forms of ill health… obviously I can’t comment on this, as I didn’t know the guy.

Thirdly, is this option of “the Devil”, the guy had literally pointed out that the “Devil” had influenced his reading… LaHaye says he doesn’t buy the “Devil” card, because if you are Christian and Spirit-filled, then God wins, God is the focus and everything in God is good, thus this point is illogical.

Fourthly, rebellion and unbelief. I’ll put my spin on this, you have a Soul that belongs to God and should be behaving in a Godly manner and you have a body and ego that behave in an unGodly manner… put the TWO together inside yourself – Godly and unGodly, BAM – depression. The fight and rebellion goes on to create torment for the being… if you do unGodly things to satisfy your ego / pride / desire for money / desire to please yourself etc, and/or tell yourself God (who is in you) doesn’t exist, OF COURSE your Godly side is going to be pissed off and react… depression is the reaction, the consequence.

FINALE – THE BASIC, TRUEST CAUSE OF DEPRESSION – SELF-PITY. “The truth of the matter is, a person becomes depressed after a period of indulging in … self-pity. I have questioned hundreds of depressed individuals and have yet to find an exception to this. I have had a number of people deny at the outset that self-pity was the cause, but upon thorough questioning they finally admitted that their thought process prior to the period of depression was one of self-pity. Many did not recognize their self-pity until I pointed it out, but they had still indulged in a self-induced “pity-party”.

Dr McMillen points out the many physical illnesses produced by the emotions of jealousy, envy, self-centredness, ambition, frustration, rage, resentment and hatred. He then observes: “These disease-producing emotions are concerned with protecting and coddling the self, and they could be summarised under one title – ‘self-centeredness’.” He further indicates, “Chronic brooding over sorrows and insults indicates faulty adaptation, which can cause any condition from itchy feet to insanity. The most common form of faulty reaction is ‘self-pity’.””

The following chapter then goes on discuss “THE BOTTOM LINE OF YOUR WEAKNESSES: Selfishness”; beginning with: “Selfishness: Destroyer of relationships”. “A study of human history will reveal man’s inhumanity to man caused by selfishness, which is the basic cause of all the heartache and misery from the beginning of time …It is the one sin that has destroyed more interpersonal relationships and sparked more conflict than any other. Selfish persons think first, last and always of themselves. Such an attitude appears most clearly in their conversation and conduct, particularly in the home, the central arena of life.

When two lovebirds say their vows to “love, honor, and cherish each other” … Whether or not they do is not dependent on how much money they make or where they love… It all depends on how selfish they are. For I have found that selfishness is the main destroyer of marriage. In fact, every other contributing factor to matrimonial breakdown, from “communication problems” to “sexual differences” to financial pressures and even the emotional conflicts of anger and fear, can all be traced to selfishness.

Nothing is more destructive to a marriage than selfishness. “I insist on having my own way!” “I can spend our money as I please!” “I” problems create a myopic marriage partner. Selfish people are rigid and intolerant of other people’s desires and insensitive to other’s needs or feelings.

It is almost impossible to love a compulsively selfish person. I have noticed in my associations with three and four-time divorcees that they are very selfish people; one disastrous experience is followed by another, and all are blamed on the other party. They seem incapable of recognizing the selfish culprit.”

Selfishness – impatient, unkind, proud, stingy, suspicious, self-seeking, inconsiderate, demanding, hostile.

Love – Patient, kind, sincere, generous, humble, polite, trusting, gracious, unselfish.

‘Taken from: Spirit-Controlled Temperament by Tim LaHaye, 1992 Post, Inc., La Mesa, California.’


God answered me… There are no ‘victims’, people are their own creations. People choose their attitudes, choose their perspectives, and choose their methods. Depressives, failed marriages, diseases and the like are mostly created by the people involved. No-one on this planet should be blaming anyone else for anything, instead, in my opinion, they should be looking at their actions and realising that if the motivation is self, then they are going downward very quickly and karma will be boomeranging back with consequences for many years to come. It is every individual on the planet’s personal responsibility to actively practice love and not selfishness, and until everyone actually gets that, this world is going to stay broken and full of dis-eased and unhappy people, which, logically leads to depression – from focus on the self – selfishness – depression, cycle goes on and on; until love, unconditional love, can break it, and the only unconditional that exists in human knowledge; the only REAL constant that exists in human life is God the Father, His Son Jesus and The Holy Spirit. There is no other way to learn Love, except through them. Take the Godly out of your life, and it will react, it has to, it is fighting for good, and good always wins.


3599 views at sunrise today …

DSCF7301My Sunrise this Morning on this occassion :-)


Weird to think I simply began blogging and now… :-) … hoping that something of what I have typed and posted has touched one soul at least in those 3599 views… it would mean that some be good has been done.

Be blessed – be chasing those dreams and stay away from the Frankl “Existential Void”, it’s torture to be in that place without purpose! May you ALWAYS know that you have a purpose and engage with it, run with it, live it and know that it is the point

Who is setting life’s standards in the 21st century, what are they? why?

I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this before or not, in all honesty, I’ve never managed to keep up much over a long period and the fact that I now have over 180 posted blogs over a span of years has quite surprised me! So now I may end up rewriting on topics that I’ve already blogged about, sorry if I do, but I know people who repeat the same story at every gathering they are at (do you have that family member too?), and I’m not doing that, so I forgive myself. This time: Standards.

I’m once again being confronted with the notion of: “Shannan, your standards are too high.” This bothers me, it has always bothered me. “You can’t expect things from people.” For example, twice now within the last few months I’ve given birthday gifts to others for their significant birthday, and I didn’t receive a “thank-you” from either of them. Upon texting the first to explain the origin of the gift, I didn’t even get a reply. The second, I messaged a week later and she replied with an apology and sincere thanks. So expecting a “thank-you” for generosity and giving my time and finances is not on… When did “ingratitude” become an acceptable standard? So my moan is not about the expectation, it’s about the now ‘accepted standard’ of: “you are supposed to give a gift/s”.

Further to this, in my classroom, the learners have said that my standards as a teacher are too high, that being from both learners and some teachers. That I’m too passionate, I work learners too hard, do my job too well, and I shouldn’t be or do as I do because it only creates stress i.e. if I stop being so passionate and working to achieve high standards, then I wouldn’t get tired or be stressed…
So my ‘standard’ of doing my job to the very best of my ability is: ‘too high’. So what’s ok then? Half a job? Half commitment? Low standards and expectations? So I’m not tired? When did society and human beings decide that settling for less is ok? How can that be ok? I had a professional in a different field tell me to change careers the other day because teaching is too much stress and hard work and I should go with something that makes me more money and is “easier”… I told him straight how tired I am of people thinking that lesser-IQ-intelligent, lazy, apathetic and less passionate people should be teachers (which must be their meaning by their reasons for telling me not to be a teacher). If we let the less organised and less-proactive individuals become teachers, in my opinion, then the cycle will ‘re-cycle’ itself; it will replicate itself, and lazy, apathetic, disorganised and uninterested learners will be created, or: frustrated, under-mentally-nourished misfit deviants will make everyone know that they exist and are unchallenged. The microcosm of a school will become the eventual macrocosm of that society of learners. It only makes sense to me to have THE TOP Educators in Schools, to get them in, to pay them, to develop them, to embrace them as the artists who will be carving the morals and standards of the generations moving through schools and into the business world. We have cluster meetings with people from numerous other schools and their principals aren’t at school to approve things, because the principals are at their second jobs where they make more money… Is that the standard? Why do people tell me I’m at fault for my standards when I see it that anything less is going to create far less?

A significant other: “Just go have sex already, your standards are too high, guys will be intimidated”. Seriously? How can a human being think that way? I can’t even comprehend how people can think that my standards of honesty, respect, manners, upholding my dignity, being kind and helpful and generous are “bad”? How? They get upset that I won’t go out and spend hundreds on getting drunk like they do, so I can vomit it up like they do, have car accidents like they do, get arrested for drunk-driving like they do, destroy my liver, kidneys and brain-cells like they do… why? I make enough mistakes in everyday conversation without needing to add alcohol to the mix to make it even worse. I think that when God gave me such bad physical reactions to alcohol in the first place, when I was in university, that He did me a BIG favour. Same as when I tried smoking and it made me vomit the taste was so bad. When did our standard become: Cool for sleeping around and gathering diseases; cool for getting so trash-drunk that you can’t walk or find your way home; cool for sticking poisonous sticks between your lips and making everything around you smell horrendous? When did it become a “bad” thing not to be sleeping around, not to be drunk every weekend, not to be smoking your funds away?

Relationships: I wouldn’t hook up with a guy who had a girlfriend and that made him bleak with me… when did it become ok that the person doing ‘right’ was treated as being ‘difficult’ / ‘wrong’ / ‘too good’? Can there be such a thing as “too good”? Being honest with another person and telling them exactly how I feel and where I’m at… why does that make me a “bad” person who shouldn’t be spoken to anymore? I wish more people were always honest with me, it would be so much more helpful than trying to fix the hell that lies create, especially as that trust can never be built up again. I want to be trustworthy, I want to be loyal, I want to be honest, healthy, real, genuine, open and the best that I can be, so why does society keep trying to make me feel like I should be less than that?

Who do you want teaching your children? Lazy? Apathetic? Couldn’t care less? Disorganised? More interested in their tea break and eating cake on Cake Day? People…

Who do you want to marry? Someone who’s dishonest? Disloyal? Untrustworthy? Angry all the time? Insecure? Continually changing to suit others? People…

Who do you want to have children with? Someone unreliable? Drinker? Smoker? Materialist consumer-addict? Someone purely image conscious? Only out to please other people, no matter what? People…

My every answer to all those questions is “No!!!”… so how can I “drop my standards” and “expect less”, when I desire to live a life that had a gloriously uplifting and helpful impact on the world?

I’m so tired of this “do as I say, not as I do” approach to others; “do as I do”, that’s what it should be. Full Stop.
People – Why can’t they all just hook up with Jesus Christ and His Standards for Life? If His standards were a ‘norm’ instead of the ‘low’ standards I face every day, then I’d be a MUCH happier person!