Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
The ability to talk to each other, trying to understand where someone’s argument comes from, and actively looking for the best case the opposite view can throw at you, is my idea of fun and learning from constructive criticism. If I am wrong, or have left something out I would rather be corrected, or commented on. Perhaps I need to be clearer in my views, or even rethink them.
Free speech is that you never know what you may need to hear. Filters that others put in place for your own good are easily subverted to control the flow of information. We must be on our guard, and acknowledge that debating in the light of day disinfects what can grow in the darkness of the underground unchallenged.
When on ministry for the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a child I was on the door step with an Elder (who led the local bible study group I attended). The lady that answered the door wanted to discuss blood transfusions but all the elder wanted to do was give her a little pamphlet on the promise of a paradise earth. I felt moved to answer her question (which gives me shivers now).
My answer was that the bible mentions not to digest blood. That medical reasons suggest blood is not always the best option (even the pope got sick having one after being shot) and the bible asks us to have faith even if it means our death. We have confidence in the promise that saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when put into a burning furnace honouring only the true God, and the salvation through Jesus that should we die that will not be the end of us. She was moved and willingly took the magazine booklet about blood transfusions.
Whilst noting that booklet on my ministry report card, I was berated by the Elder. Did I not think he knew best, about planting a small seed that may bloom into salvation rather than my deluge of information that could flood away any hope of salvation? This tirade went on for five minutes, and only ended when I replied I was moved by the Holy Spirit to answer her question that she may see it was love for God that would make me willing to die and not the words of man.
I remember going home after ministry to my bed in tears. Looking back on it, I realise that he was right. Too much information may stop someone joining the faith, and answering questions should be about making someone want to join, not giving information as a witness for Jehovah. Yep, I guess the term Jehovah’s Witnesses led me astray. I thought the truth would set you free, rather than we must get membership numbers up.
Vowed to myself then and there that as much as I could, would give what I know and in the best ways I know how when circumstances are appropriate. Perhaps some may consider it showing off, that I am belittling their experience or knowledge. Misconstrue what my purpose is in doing so, even actively taking out of context what I am trying to say.
Which is that discourse, the sharing of information and knowledge is the best way of developing human thought and keeping our inquiry honest. This applies to those you count as with or against you.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog
No blogs till next week; brother’s birthday tomorrow sadly had a seizure today so hopefully he will be up for it. Will leave you with a thought from Brad Pitt that ties in with my previous blog on The Comfort of the Supernatural.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog
Have a great time trick or treating!
Don’t drink too much:
And lady pumpkins remember to take precautions or else:
Happy Halloween all!
Thanks to White Hart Inn in Bodmin for hosting a Halloween Party earlier today for special needs. Great atmosphere brother was dancing to the great mix of spooky music and pop tunes. Us below in our capes:
As regular readers know, I look after my brother who has severe learning difficulties. Sweet natured and fun to be with, he is dependent on others and cannot communicate. He will need safeguarding for the rest of his life.
To fail vulnerable people is not just failing in a duty of care – it is inhumane. At Winterbourne View care home in the UK endemic abuse was cruel and sadistic towards those that could not comprehend what was happening to them, let alone defend themselves. They were let down badly by the care system. The under cover investigation by the BBC Panorama team has finally led to nine support workers and two nurses being sent to prison when a whistleblower had not been listened to.
Yet some of those abused have had further safeguarding alerts in their new residential homes – in one case leading to a criminal inquiry. In a broadcast tonight:
Panorama is set to report that at least 19 of the 51 former Winterbourne View patients have been issued with safeguarding alerts since they were moved to other care homes – according to NHS figures
There may well be no excuse for failure as the Government Minister Mr Lamb said today. We will continue to have problems until we have a situation where there is enough capacity to cope with demands on the care system so sub standard homes can be closed without causing homelessness. Plus more competition should drive up standards with family’s having more choice.
If we continue to fail in regulating care, where users cannot speak out, whistleblowers are not listened to, and families input invalidated, we will not be the compassionate society we aspire to be.
The vulnerable will take the brunt of our failure, not us. That is the stark harshness of it all. No one said life was fair. It’s time to fight for those that cannot fight back.
A reader from Denmark kindly shared my blog on Dawkin’s forthcoming book on Twitter – and to thank them for increasing readership signed up to thank them.
So if you want to follow me on there I am JPSargeant78
New place in a village that has the charm, quiet and friendliness that sometimes slips by with the modern pace of life.
No Wi Fi till 28 April, and with lack of 3G blogs will be quiet till May.
One quick thought on admissions to Church of England School dropping to 10% for children of the faithful church attendees. 90% of the way there – education is for the whole community without restrictions based on your parents income, class, religious or political opinions or privileged quotas based upon these arbitrary factors that have nothing to do with the child.
Time for lunch!
A good lunch, at a venue that has Wi-Fi once I had registered my details that is ….
Tim Rice wrote “A Winter’s Tale” for David Essex, misquoting Shakespear’s play by mistake. Yet when the cold wind chills to the bone, my mind reflects on the past year. Not just because the year is nearly out but to numb the body from the icy sensations running between my skin and a wool rich Italian coat. Not always caused by the weather.
This self reflection was helped along by the first Christmas card coming from my ex. In answer to her question, returning my Nintendo DS and games would go a long way towards it. However, this is the first full year since being 19 I have been single. Seeing as next month I am 31 this has been an atypical year.
I have been single, though I have not been without affection, only lacking what was mutually agreed as a missing firm foundation. I just managed a long distance relationship in Germany at University in my 20s; the prospect of one in the United States into my 30s makes me grateful she realized that would be too much for either of us, newly single people, to embark on.
At the time after this revelation was delivered, suddenly stranded on my own in Stratford Upon Avon having seen Henry V, I felt like I had seen my Christmas puppy get run over on Boxing Day. Almost exactly a year to the day in Shakespear’s hometown, I am glad to have been spared seperation across the pond. Still have fond memories of puppy love.
Returning to Henry V, love seems like a lot of tennis balls rolling across the stage. It is everywhere going in all directions, but watching and grabbing onto one is enough to give you more then tennis elbow. You will be aced often, unsure of your footing. Still worth taking a swing though.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers – do not dispare. Because, as Shakespear observed elegantly, love is comical, beautiful, a tragedy. Though our adventures mean the world to us, Time Rice observed why should the world take notice of one more love that has failed?
I know that Summer shall come again, and that those long Summer Days will lengthen those lustful enchanted evenngs. I am in no rush. The best things come to those who wait, even though it is just another Winter’s tale for now.
As friends have testified I have suddenly become active on facebook, whether stating that I am having onion soup or latest status asking for advice over whether my first iTune album download should be Guns n Roses’ or the Kings of Leon’s album. The f button on my iPhone home page allows me in seconds to update it.
So through facebook I learnt that a former work colleague is pregnant when she posted the first sonogram; become more aware of the hobbies and interests of my new work colleagues (which will come in handy for Secret Santa which I am organising) and discovered that out of my friends I have been voted:
best father (potential)
With such ringing endorsements this single young man (I believe that when I leave the 18-30 group in January that cannot be used any more in an absolute sense, hence getting as much mileage out of it as I can now) feels he has enjoyed his bachelorhood for long enough. At least I should go into the Christmas Party tonight with more of an air of confidence then the song “How Soon is Now?” ringing in my ears. Hold on to your friends.
Surviving the Christmas Party
How do you survive a staff Christmas Party (the politically correct Holiday Party can take a running jump. Call a spade a spade for crying out loud)? It seems fairly obvious and common sense:
Don’t talk shop
Don’t drink more then you can handle (absolute drunkenness)
Don’t become unsober quicker than the people around you (relative drunkenness)
Beware camera phones
Try to not look for love at the Party – better places to woo without other work colleagues watching you
Mingle like your social life depended on it
On that note better make sure the house is organised, as some people may well end up crashing at mine tonight. Not that I am trying to break any of the rules above. Though sometimes that is the charm about rules; they make such a charming clinking sound when they are broken. The only think is the sound can reverberate for far longer than you had intended.
Met up at the Skeptics Social at the Swan and Rushes in Leicester last night for ale. Penny and Chris (organizers behind picketing Ken Ham speech) kindly gave me a lift home after a few pints of Bishops Farewell.
This meant a walk in the cold crisp morning of minus 3 celcius/26 farenheit of an hour to the station. My trusted bicycle was left there, so I had the pleasure sound of crunching ice underfoot while keeping perpendicular.
What I would not give for skywalks being in Britain the way they are in Minneapolis. There was a charm though seeing the dark night give way to the dawn and coming across the solitary bicycle turned upside down in front of the cinema. The topsy turvey nature of that time gave the impression of change as fall gave way to autumn and night to day at this moment.
I continued on foot with hopes that my bike, like myself, would still be upright at the end of the journey.
I arrived at the station where the morning dew that had settled on my hat had by now turned to ice. Twenty minutes later breakfast at the work canteen was a welcome relief as warm food entered my system while the snow started to cascade down outside the window.
Through all the winter days ahead, I intend not to compain if more mornings are like this.