Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sanctifying our RAINBOW nation - forever

Ethnic cleaning of Christians in the Middle East.


Everyone please be aware of what's brewing. We need to not take sides.

We live in South Africa. Those of us who do.

We have Christian (Catholic, Methodist, Protestant, Orthodox and others) and Muslim (multiple kinds) and Jewish (Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and others) and Tibetan and Buddhist and Zen and Black and White and Brown and Gay and Lesbian and Straight and non-believer and Agnostic and Atheist and men and women and so many other types of friends. We have friends who are leaders and friends who are managers and friends who are generalists and friends who are doctors and friends who are just your day to day kind of person.

We love all of them / us. We have a very special RAINBOW nation and we MUST keep it.

The only way we can keep it is if we have freedom of speech and freedom of association and freedom of religion and freedom to be who we want to be. If we allow some people to control what can and can't be said and what can and can't be worn and who can and can't be prayed to or with, then we are on a road to ruin. It doesn't matter who these people are and what their beliefs are.

South Africa and South Africans are truly special people. Before Islam, one could say that everyone was Hindu or Jewish or Christian or Buddhist or Atheist, etc. Before Christianity one could say that everyone was Hindu or Jewish or Buddhist or Atheist, etc. Before Judaism we were other types of people.

But how can we possibly say that someone who lived before any of these ways of life automatically went straight to hell?

We can't.

Its like saying there was no gravity until Isaac Newton discovered gravity in the 17th Century!

The distance from heaven to hell is very very very small. It is a state of mind! The more ignorant and the more one sided and the more intolerant we are, the bigger the distance from heaven to hell or from hell to heaven.

In this 21st Century with its internet we have an opportunity to find good in things and good in each other and good in our RAINBOW nation.

Please everyone. Lets VALUE what our forefathers Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo and FW de Klerk and Helen Suzman and so many others have done for our corner of the world, a corner we call South Africa. They are and were heros. Each and every single one of us separately and together can also be heros. We just have to sanctify our RAINBOW nation.

And if and when we do this, everyone will want to join us and share in the beauty of our part of the world. A tiny world in a huge cosmos. A world where we should love and share, not take and blame.

My friends. Please lets remain friends. Lets not be strangers. Lets be better friends. Lets learn about each other and respect each other and help each other and be compassionate to each other. Now and forever.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Stay on Facebook or leave? My thoughts on the 22nd July 2014

I thought of leaving Facebook because of all the vitriol I am reading. But there is so much good about Facebook.

If you take sides in any of the conflicts without considering the other side's view and without going to the countries concerned to find out for yourselves what is going on, then please unfriend me.

If someone came up to you and said you have 3 choices: change to my religion; pay me 5 ounces of gold; or die; you might say that there is no freedom anymore.

If you want freedom, you need to be free inside your self.

We need societies with Freedom of Speech, with Freedom of Association, with Freedom of Religion, or the choice not to have a religion, with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

One of my friends said that non-believers must pay a tax to stay alive. I said that would be like people who don't believe in e-tolls and who don't pay the e-tolls being told that they will be shot.

Come on people. Please don't be ignorant. Please speak and ask and discuss and spend as much time understanding as you do attacking.

99.999% of each of us is exactly the same, but we constantly put that tiny 0.001% in front. That tiny difference caused by the way we think. We should be able to think differently, but we shouldn't have to think that if we think differently that people will hate us or love us, or look down on us or look up to us.

I pray that we will find compassion in our hearts to love the "stranger", to love the "other". The word "stranger" is one of the most widely used words in the Old Testament. And that is for a reason. We must take the time to understand the stranger. And in many cases the stranger is someone sitting at our Dining Room Table!!

I have unfriended two people today who I know mainly on Facebook. They are both people who have an incredibly good track record of looking beyond the hearsay that they hear, and finding the truth behind what is happening, but both of them have taken sides without considering the "other". And I don't care which side you take!

And I have stayed connected to the "other" to a friend who is prepared to listen, even though she has a view. And this leaves a door open for two strangers to get to know each other.

In 1982 at the age of 17, there were 3 people in my residence in Stellenbosch who wanted to convert me. I came up with a very wise saying: "Whatever happens in our discussion tonight, we will remain friends exactly where we are now at the beginning of our discussion." And this saying has served me in good stead of have discussions about race, religion, gender, politics, and all sorts of things that might have ended badly, but for the fact that our discussion didn't change our relation as it was at the beginning of each of these discussions.

So I care that you take the side of compassion, of truth, of generosity, right conduct, forbearance, dedication, meditation and wisdom and that you get rid of intolerance, ignorance, jealousy, hatred, greed, etc.

If your heart is filled with blame and with a lack of taking responsibility for your own place, then please open your hearts to the possibility that it can be filled with love and compassion for yourself, for your soul, and that should you find yourself in this frame of mind that you will find others to help you remove the blame that you have. Blame is the oldest emotion we have. It started in the Garden of Eden. Just as it starts in all of our gardens.

So again please everyone. Let us try to understand each other, and lets not be strangers.

Friday, 18 July 2014

South African Inflation


South African Reserve Bank raises interest rates half a percent in the past year to 5.75%. That's a 9.5% increase in interest!

Perhaps someone can explain something to me? As more and more of the economy is in the hands of government and as our taxes rocket, for example via electricity, water, rates, fuel, e-tolls, carbon taxes and many more new taxes in the pipeline, and the government mismanages large scale projects like the Eskom build which has cost the taxpayer at least R100 billion extra already, and whilst private expenditure is already on the way down and car sales are down, and the government is taking parts of existing land and business for itself, and people have less money to spend on more expensive food, how then can the government increase interest rates, when it is the government which is the cause of most of our inflation?

I guess that government needs even more tax and a way to get it is to raise interest rates which banks have to pay to government?

The Chinese example of removing excess from an economy is to raise the bank's reserve margin. In my opinion, this is a much better way to manage inflation, as it doesn't effect existing borrowers.