2010, has been one of those years. It has been a year when it seemed as if every area of life has been shaken to the core. Have you experienced a year like that? It is in such times as this that one becomes vulnerable and exposed to negative “self talk”. We are told that it is in such high risk times, stress levels increase, blood pressure is heightened and were are apt to make rash and irresponsible decisions that will only serve to place further challenges upon us.
“We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them”. Charles C. West
From another perspective, it is in such times that revelation and breakthrough can occur, if only we are in a frame of mind to perceive it when it comes.
“We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them”. ~Charles C. West
It has been my life experience that personal character development and an awareness of ones self is revealed in such times, yet we rarely appreciate it until we are “on the other side” of adversity. The sky always seems it’s brightest after the storm has passed and perspective is influenced by the way we choose to view things.
“Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them”? Rose F. Kennedy
Some years ago Zig Ziglar told the story of an artist who had turned his art to crime in the form of forging $20 bills. So accurate were his attempts that he remained un-detected for years until one day a local shop owner found smudged ink on one of his bills. The pursuing investigation resulted in his imprisonment. At the government sale of his estate, over one hundred paintings by the artist were sold and the resulting cash netted millions of dollars, so well received were his works. The artist had defrauded himself and deprived the world of his gift.
“Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it.” Samuel Johnson
It amazes me just what lengths a student will go to, in order to cheat the system of assessment and tests. Were they to apply the same energy in preparation, they would no doubt pass with flying colours. Of course many don’t and they’re day is consumed with scouring the internet, or texting mates for answers rather than studying and applying the process of learning. We have evolved a generation that is more interested in “clocking” a game rather than learning it through experience.
“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud”. Sophocles
Cheat sites plague the internet and forums flood gaming sites with codes to break the normal process.
“He that will cheat at play will cheat you any way” proverbs
I recently heard of a student who was put in touch with a team who will complete ones studies on your behalf for a fee. No process necessary, no learning required just straight answers for a fee. Our pre-occupation with continued education as a means of making ones way in the world, is now devoid of a time served apprenticeship of learning. We have gone full circle and now perceive maturity as the Greeks saw it (knowledge). Knowledge in itself is not maturity. One can have masters in communication, yet a string of failed relationships, or a doctorate in business management and declared bankrupt. Why? Education prepares you for life, but it will not live it for oneself.
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey”. Kenji Miyazawa
Life is all about tests and you avoid them at your peril. I believe the tests we face in life are tailor made to our personality. They are designed to fashion and develop us for life and living. No one said they would be easy and at times bring one to ones knees in desperation and wonderment. One thing is sure, when we have learned what we can from these tests, were we to apply that understanding to further challenges that come our way, we will be the better for it, emotionally, physically and intellectually.
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful”. Barbara Bloom
As we face this time of year when pressures mount, relationships, and finances are stretched, take time to step back and become better equipped for life and living. After all, the greatest of all frauds is to cheat one self.
I trust all my friends, associates, blog readers and students will have a safe Christmas and a year full of realised dreams and inspired hope.
“I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much”. Mother Teresa