The Arms Race: How will it end?

Historically war has usually been a land grab. Land grabs have been going on for centuries. When you think about it, it is all territorial. Territorial behaviour is an instinct that animals have: they defend their territory and also wander into other animals’ territories. In that regard we are just like them: tribal animals.

War in the West has been glamourised under the guise of patriotism, serving one’s country. But there is no glamour on the battlefield, and only grief and trauma with ceremonial tributes at the end. No glamour in remembering countless deaths of loved ones

After heroes on the battlefield come home, post traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, loneliness, sometimes unemployment and little compensation for their efforts awaits. Bonds of friendship made during battle, remain intact in memory.

War today is all about profit and a race to be the winner. The race for technological supremacy is based on fearmongering about being annihilated by artificial intelligence embedded in military hardware.

Planning for war will not help us survive if the planet dies from lack of care: environmental damage , pollution, animal extinction, and climate change. Expenditure on social changes like affordable housing, poverty, hunger, and the homeless would help to reinvigorate our economies. We could manage our economies without the need to manufacture goods and services for war. We need to look after our planet.

REFERENCES:

1. ABCNews24

2. SBS TV

3. The Financial Review 2030 – 21

4. ABC 4Corners 10/08/2021

5. David Attenborough documentaries

5. Greta Thornberg: 2 documentaries

6. ABC Landline – Solar technology

Can’t Sleep? 10 Tips to help

It is one of those nights when again I can’t sleep because of back pain and restless legs. Who knows what temperature it is because it’s hot one day and cold the next. How many blankets do you use and how many layers of clothes do you need to be comfortable enough to get back to sleep? I don’t know.

I watched part of the sci-fi series of Battlestar Gallactica before going to sleep. If you have watched the series you know how addictive it is. Probably not a good idea to watch before going to sleep. During the morning news robots that can use guns and grenades are driving around in army jeeps have been invented and developed.

In The Gallactica series robots rebelled against their human masters and wiped out most of the human race with nuclear bombs. Now we have a virus attempting the same thing. Viruses are engineered to wipe out or decrease the population of a dominant species that is endangering the lives of other living organisms on the planet. This is to produce equilibrium so that all of the planet’s ecosystems can survive. Viruses are very determined and successful in their mission. Maybe the dinosaurs caught a virus. No one knows.

It is close to midnight now and I am writing in my notebook. I Don’t write online because that is supposed to keep you awake, depriving you of melamine. I have set my device to ‘greyscale’ at night so I am not tempted to use the addictive properties of colour. This is not the reason I cannot sleep. Anxiety is keeping me awake.

The best remedies for sleeping are:

  1. Go to bed at the same time each evening.
  2. Wake up at the same time each morning.
  3. Don’t drink coffee, caffeine or stimulants before bed.
  4. Stop eating two hours before bedtime.
  5. Turn off your mobile phone or computer 2 hours before bedtime.
  6. Turn off the TV one hour before bed.
  7. Get enough exercise during the day.
  8. Make sure you don’t go to bed with any problems unsorted.
  9. Find some quiet time to relax your mind; meditate, paint, sing or play relaxing music. Some of my best writing ideas come to me at night. I write or do the dishes, walk around or suck a peppermint when I can’t sleep.

Age with dignity

SPIRITUALITY

It is such a waste if we spend so much time trying to please others, manage our reputations to fit into this world, be accepted by everyone and to be “normal.” But we are not of this world. We are only visitors here. If we get caught up in the materialism of this world and forget our spiritual existence we will never be able to give anything good or worthwhile to humanity, animals, the environment or the planet. When you come from a spiritual place you are centred, relaxed and at peace. You can better connect with your purpose and fulfil your destiny. Your destiny may end up nothing like you thought it would but it will be so much better. There will still be suffering and challenges to overcome because no one is immune but if you have spiritual faith and belief you can keep on going. Fear is only a thought in the mind. If you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone remember your spiritual place. You belong in this world because you exist and are a part of the planet itself. don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Dream big and keep faith that your dream will live and grow.

Written by Carmen Verne

Are you having a Hard Day? Tips to help you.

How many people can you count on to be there for you AND can people count on you? Life can be hard and with this pandemic it is so much harder then usual. If you think life will always be easy you are deceiving yourself. It gets hard for everyone at some point in your life. Throughout all the daily challenges remember your:

SELF ESTEEM: = Thinking well about yourself – ” I am good, great, generous, considerate, strong, awesome etc. It is not important for others to hold you in high esteem. Very few people have that experience. It is more important for you to hold yourself in high esteem, to remember who you really are. You are better than others will ever give you credit for. You know who you are better than anyone else. And remember no-one is perfect.

SELF RESPECT: = This is so very important because others say respect has to be earned. That means you are dependent on others to judge you.

But you must demand respect. It is a basic human right. You respect your dog. You respect others and other amazing life forms on the planet. You are just as deserving of respect, so do not let anyone disrespect you.

Self respect means taking good care of yourself – good diet, exercise, relaxation, creativity, and be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else.

SELF WORTH: = “I belong on this planet – It is my earth, my spirit, a part of me which is my universe”. No one can take that away from you. You are no better or worse than anyone else. What you think about yourself is more important than what others think or say about you.

You are valuable. You can contribute in small ways. You are needed even when people do not notice you. You are not a commodity that society would have you believe. There are always people who will care about you. Having self worth is a test of your character. There are lots of good people doing it tough right now but still helping others in need.

You are the guardian of your life. Take good care of yourself. Solve one problem at a time and you will become confident, strong and resilient. It is important you know your self worth, not what others deem your worth to be.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Nothing will defeat you more than your thinking so always replace negative thoughts with what is going well in your day, even if it is a small thing.

What has gone well for you today? Have you seen or heard something that brightened your day? Was it a bird, a flower, a cloud, the sun shining?

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Where is the humanity? -Political collaboration and the misuse of Power

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

So many interesting reads in the weekend Financial Review 26-27June 2021

REVIEW ARTICLE 1.

A well researched and written piece of history by author Michelle Wright titled ‘France’s Dark Wartime Secrets’ from her book “Small Acts of Defiance” (Allen & Unwin).

Young people need to know what happened in World War 2: the collaborations with the enemy, the unsatiable grab for power and land by dictators, and the horrendous ethnic cleansing and death of anyone opposed to a totalitarian regime. The old, infirm and disabled were not exempt.

Unfortunately ethnic cleansing still remains today in a few regimes. Nations object but don’t act. Nazism taught everyone well how to turn the tide of public opinion to accept the unacceptable.

REVIEW ARTICLE 2.

The article on p38 about Iran, and nuclear weapons, by Bret Stephens was a great political analysis of the Middle East despite the absence of a discussion of the role of Arms sales: specifically the $2 Billion Arms sale to Saudi Arabia by Trump early in his presidency and the bombing of Lebanon. These Arms and weapons will be used in the Middle East long after the West has left. The West has not learned that going ‘gun ho’ into the Middle east is like going into a hornet’s nest, and there is no ‘winning.’ But there is oil, profit and a boost to the US State’s GDP ( Gross Domestic Product). I cannot see an end to tensions in the Middle East

REVIEW ARTICLE 3

I never miss articles by Laura Tingle, Chief Editor 7.30 Report, Australian Broadcasting Commission, who always states the obvious and has no hesitation in critiquing operation of the current government. Here one could interpret their political machinations as perverse and in disarray, unresponsive to the concerns of the people they represent. Personally I believe the government is listening to some of the people’s concerns but it is firm in it’s ideology. It has it’s own goals, agenda and will do things in it’s own time, terms and schedule irrespective of any fallout.

My beef with the government is it’s long history of neglect and abandonment of the needs of the disabled, the frail aged and the homeless but that is another story.

We need to fight for the needs of society’s most disadvantaged, otherwise we are inhumane. We need peace and more kindness in the world.

As always I am interested in your comments.

REFERENCES:

. ABCNews24

. Australian Financial Review 26-27 June 2021

The Invisible Disability

The need to monitor legislation

There aren’t enough resources to fund Aged Care,, so we were told, so Aged Care funding was continually cut until COVID19. Now it seems there is money to burn for the economy to stay running. The Government gave everyone out of work extremely generous payments.

A Covid deaths crisis in Aged Care settings revealed the extent of Provider’s and government cover-up of neglect, abuse and discrimination for this sector of the population.

Poorly run Residential aged care homes were given A ‘s for accreditation while residents needs remained unaddressed I.e. neglect and abuse were rampant.

During the Covid crisis Carers initially refused to turn up for work leaving residents without care for days. Dead bodies left rotting in rooms shocked the Defence Force, who were directed to care for residents, and the nation. This is shocking discrimination against the frail and vulnerable aged in our community.

The government has stepped up during this pandemic in an admirable way BUT now that a spotlight has been shone on the appalling nature of ageism, will the system improve after Covid19 or will it revert back to profit before people? We can only hope, and continue to lobby for the rights of the aged and disabled. This is the humane thing to do and I invite you all to join me in this endeavour.

References:

. ABCNews24 – 2015 – 20

. Ten News at 5 -2015-20

, The Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – 2019-20

Decreasing stress and anxiety using Boundaries

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Friendly but an intimidating and strong stance

You know how it is. It happens all the time. Someone misread your good intent. They may have listened in to your private conversation. They might be bossy, rude, mean and butt in. It is none of their business, right? Of course, but you do need to be thoughtful with your words when or IF you reply. You also have the option to ignore their comment.

Occasionally people can be curt, or dismissive and then leave abruptly. This is rude behaviour and shoud not be tolerated. These people can be toxic for your health and wellbeing. Avoid them in the future.

SOME REMEDIES:

You can ask people if they are having a bad day. Be prepared to listen or if you can’t,
leave as soon as possible viz:

Word examples to use:
“Sorry if you were offended”
“Sorry I am busy right now”
“I have an appointment”
“I have to meet someone”
“I have a phone call”
“I need to go to the bathroom”
(OR just ignore them).
These are quick fixes if you are in a hurry, running late or feeling unwell.

No one is perfect so do not beat yourself up if you occasionslly put your foot in your mouth. Everyone does it sometimes.

Whenever you can, surround yourself with people who know how to be kind, respectful and considerate. If they are also helpful you have struck gold.

Getting back to boundaries: the way you stand, walk and talk conveys a lot about how you interact with others. Your posture and facial expression will convey what your boundaries are in any situation: whether or not you can be intimidated, and/or whether you are friendly and open.

You decide what facial expression you use. Practicing in a mirror can help. Are you practicing your happy face or your intimidating look? Also practicing your stance. Are you standing upright or a little hunched, or leaning to one side? Upright is the confident pose. Again you can you practice your stance in a mirror.

Depending on the situation you can choose to look friendly or you can choose (for safety) to look intimidating. Hopefully you will be able to look friendly all the time but you have your intimidating look and stance as a back up. The latter and your words defines your boundary.

Assertiveness is the ultimate boundary tool. Assertiveness involves being calm, rational, and patient with your words.

Repetiion of the phrase you wish to convey works really well if the other person is not listening. When they can acknowledge your statement you can have a real conversation. Patience and persistent repetition is key to your verbal assertiveness. It does not involve aggression or submission. Repeating a phrase over and over again: that is admirably assertive.

Always remember that you can be in charge of a situation. If you are patient in how you react and respond, it gives you confidence and space to feel good about yourself and how you relate to others. You don’t have to ever feel bad about yourself because you have done your best.

Changing the Global Economic Paradigm

Keynesian Economics, Monetary and Fiscal policy based on credit does not work anymore. Its’s time for a big change. We need to implement a Planetary Sustainability Theory.

Increasing population in order to increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) Is no longer a viable option if we are to survive a scenario of harsher global climate. Our planet does not have infinite resources for population growth.

A huge water supply shortage exists in Australia with the worst drought and heat on record persisting and testing the patience and resilience of residents, not only in severely impacted regional areas but all over the country in every state.

Desalination plants once scoffed at and ridiculed by the Federal Parliament during the last drought are now being utilised. They are not a joke anymore.

What do we need to do to address water shortages and reduce carbon dioxide emissions? How do we preserve existing wild habitats for native animals? How can microplastics be removed from our oceans, land and atmosphere?

We cannot eat and drink money.

There are so many unsolved problems which cannot be resolved simply by throwing money at them. We need our nation’s leaders to cooperate in creating a globally sustainable future for current and future generations. We do not need leaders who bury their heads in the sand and say everything is fine when their actions speak otherwise.

Now is the time to speak out to challenge inaction and “more of the same”.

Do you have ideas and important things to say to our leaders?

REFERENCES:

ABC News and Current Affairs
ABCNews24
The Guardian
The Australian Financial Review
SBS News and Current Affairs

Are You Stressed? Helpful Hints

What are your expectations? Are you stressed, anxious or depressed?

Positive thinking can be part of the answer to making you feel better, but mainly you need to consistently think well about yourself. Never think bad thoughts about yourself. This is KEY. From here on in, every day you are only permitted to think well about yourself. e.g.

I am smart and intelligent
I am courageous
I look good today
I can smile if I decide to
I am a good human being
I will ignore what others say about me unless it is good
I always have good intentions
I am not perfect and that is OK
It is good in fact because I am not a robot. I am a human being and I am allowed to make mistakes. Learning from mistakes is a good thing.

In order to think well about yourself you need to practice every day beginning when you wake up.

Start by being thankful for the day. Think of 3 or more things you are thankful for:

e.g..
Thank you for the sunshine
Thank you for the rain
Thank you for the birds
Thank you for my breakfast
Thank you for my shoes

These are things we often take for granted but they are all important for your well-being.

I make notes in my diary to remind me how to take care of myself. Here are some of them, and you can make up your own reminders that you feel you need.

. Follow my intuition (gut feelings)
. Have no expectations
. Let emotions flow freely but don’t act on them
. Listen more and talk less
. Be patient because you don’t know what other people are going through
. Be especially nice to people at the checkout (They get a lot of abuse)
. Be thankful for what you have
. It is OK to complain if someone is abusing or disrepecting you
. Every day say or do something good for someone else

What good things can you think and say about yourself?

What are you thankful for?

What reminders can you think of to take better care of yourself?

What can you say or do to make other people feel good about themselves?

How healing are the Psalms?

green grasses on sahara desert

Photo by Greg Gulik on Pexels.com

Why were the Psalms in the Old Testament written? All that raw emotion: crying and wailing in the desert. Then praise and thanks to God. What can we learn from that? Why do we love the Psalms so much? God seems closer to us because we can relate to the nature of human frailty, the love and devotion we long to share, the suffering we all bear at some point in our lives , and the need for someone to listen , understand and help us. The resilience and strength we have. It is all laid bare in the Psalms.

The Hebrew name for the book of psalms is TEHILLIM, poems and hymns of praise to God. They are songs of worship, comprising longing for God, complaint and requests for help, forgiveness, redemption and prophesy. They are all “sacred songs” depicting devotion, complete faith and trust in God.

So much has been written about the book of psalms from the Old Testament and you can find many online at thebiblehub.com

My favourite is Psalm 42:2
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” and
Psalm 42:3
“My tears have been my food day and night” and
Psalm 42:4
..”I pour out my soul within me”

In these psalms the author always remembers how God has been good in prior times being there to help, so the psalms always ends with thanks and praise to the Lord.

Psalm 42:5
“Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance”
Psalm 145:18
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him”

There are 150 Psalms so you can find a lot to digest and relate to. It is a literary feast.

Psalm 150:6
“Praise the LORD”

What are your favourite psalms or verses in the Bible?

Mental Health and the Bible

Are you paying attention to your mental health? And what does it have to do with the Bible?

For many, knowing the presence of God, that He loves us and will be there when we are in desperate need of help is a viable way to feel sane in a crazy world, where the pace of life and the plethora of stimulation is difficult to escape.

We know that Jesus retreated to a quiet place to pray to the Father. He found peace and tranquility away from the crowds that gathered around him wherever he went.

The message to be conveyed today is that more than ever we need to look after our mental health. It needs to be incorporated into a daily routine. As we focus on diet and exercise in order to be healthy we also need to maintain a daily focus on our mental health, so our day and our thinking is not wrapped up in the addictive nature of consumerism where we are bombarded with WANTING things. The more we want the less satisfaction we obtain because “things” are never enough. We need to be observant and appreciate what we already have. Thank God for everything He has given us.

The Bible is a great tool to utilise for tending to our mental health. We can find bible passages to exemplify this. Jesus regularly took time out from his ministry to de-stress.

“Now in the morning …before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there he prayed.” MARK 1:35

He decreased his physical stress by going for a walk, his mental stress by being alone to think, and his spiritual stress by praying to nourish his spirit.

If you have anxiety you can read PHILIPPEANS 4:6,7 and MATTHEW 6:25,26. There is much in the Bible to assist with living a peaceful life.

We need spiritual food to nourish our souls. God is already with us wherever we go. If we remember that He is available to us all the time and is our best friend, then we know we have someone who is always reliable, dependable, generous and loving. When there is no one else, having faith in God at the forefront of our consciousness, is all we need to get through the tough times. The word and example was set by the Lord: to walk in His ways, to speak and act in righteousness, to be generous in spirit, have compassion, and to gather together in community to help one another. This is good for our mental health.

It is useful to incorporate mental health activities into our daily routine:
. exercise – as simple as going for a walk
. nature – solitude for
evaluating and positive thinking
. prayer – spiritual sustenance
and peace.

Other actions we can take to look after our mental health include;
. meditation
. positive thinking
. counselling
. reading books
. being around positive people
. being in a support group
. being involved in community
activities
. doing things that give you
pleasure e.g.. hobbies, sport
etc
. volunteering

If you are struggling and need extra support there are information and help lines to call: In Australia:

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Lifeline 13 11 14
Anxiety Disorders Association 03 9853 8089 (Wed – Frid 10.30 to 4pm AEST
Head Space 03 9027 0100
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Mens Line Australia 1300 789 978

REFERENCES:
The Bible: The New King James Version
Meditation by Domyo Sater Burk
Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power on Channel 10 weekly Sundays 5am

Written by Carmen Verne