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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.

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April 2007
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April 13 2007

Friday the 13th! DonInLondon - The Twelve Steps of AA

Yes it’s the night before Friday 13 2007.. Well if I were a superstitious person, which I ain’t, or am I? Anything with a feeling can make us a bit careful. So superstitious we all are to an extent. And it does no harm to be careful.

In alcoholics anonymous we have twelve steps of change and 12 traditions which hold our fellowship together. Most people are most concerned with the steps of change than the traditions when they first come to AA. The traditions become more important to us the longer we are about in sobriety, because they are integral to living sober a day at a time.

In the big world we have little frames of reference these days to hang our living around. Society has become fragmented and unhelpful to people in distress. I guess this is why fellowships spring up to get a sense of community back, to have a purpose and have a way of relating with others.

Society is all about change and modernity. And some of us who have picked up very bad habits which have led to addiction need more help than most to get back on track, and stay on track..

AA has helped beyond measure to get my sense of worth and value back, to find a way to live well a day at a time with whatever I have to make life work.

Simple and true, the big I am I was in my own mind has become more the equal of everyone and everyone as equal and important as me. Ego, fear, depression and worse, drink was killing me. And being a hopeless case it was AA which helped me get back to some sort of normal outlook again.

I have never listed the twelve steps of AA in my journal or maybe ages ago I did, so here they are:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

As you might get them and understand them straight away, if you are a normal person? Well for me the principles they outline and the appeal to good conscience is obvious. The God parts can wind some of us up, yet if we stay long enough to make sense of living again, we either find our God, or we find Good Conscience or some other system of belief fills our gap inside, which was filled with Alcohol or other drugs of choice.

The twelve steps provide a simple programme of change for complicated and often the desperate to quite a life of hell types like me. The beauty of the programme is it gives us back good choices to live normally when we have lost our way.

As we are a fellowship, without leaders and without status, everyone is the same size and equal. We get to know how to live and we share experience strength and hope when we go to fellowship meetings. We also take phone numbers for when we get worried and anxious and thirsty. We also find mentors in the programme who can help us. We live with care and share and help each other when we inevitable make a mess of some things.

Life is about learning and our mistakes as we develop more resilience and how to live a better life than before. We get to be ourselves and find ourselves along the way.

For some like me its slow progress for others they sail along as if this was their destiny. We all are making progress and we all know the fellowship helps keep us strong and aiming at a good living, and being a part of society again, rather than isolated and heading for a final end noone in their right mind would relish ever..

This is what we do. Be a part of society, make a living if we can, make a contribution and share with others how to be sober. We get esteem and leave ego only to be utilised in emergencies and dire times. We get to see the full picture of live and not just one through the bottom of a glass and worse, end up blind to life at all.

More as per usual tomorrow - just a day at a time!

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BBC OnLine News April 13 2007

Hopes fading for missing crewmen April 13 2007

The search is continuing for five crewmen missing after a Norwegian anchor handling tug capsized in the Atlantic, killing three people.

However, a coastguard spokeswoman says it would be a "miracle" if the five - thought to have been trapped inside the Bourbon Dolphin - were found alive.

Ten crew members were found after Thursday's incident, about 75 miles west of the Shetland coast.

Seven are in hospital, but the ship's owners said three others had died.

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Guardian Unlimited OnLine April 13 2007

'I am plotting a new Russian revolution' April 13 2007

London exile Berezovsky says force necessary to bring down President Putin

Ian Cobain, Matthew Taylor and Luke Harding in Moscow

The Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has told the Guardian he is plotting the violent overthrow of President Putin from his base in Britain after forging close contacts with members of Russia's ruling elite.

In comments which appear calculated to enrage the Kremlin, and which will further inflame relations between London and Moscow, the multimillionaire claimed he was already bankrolling people close to the president who are conspiring to mount a palace coup.

Read The Guardian OnLine

Times OnLine April 13 2007

'Fat' gene found by scientists April 13 2007

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

A gene that contributes to obesity has been identified for the first time, promising to explain why some people easily put on weight while others with similar lifestyles stay slim.

People who inherit one version of the gene rather than another are 70 per cent more likely to be obese, British scientists have discovered. One in six people has the most vulnerable genetic make-up and weighs an average 3kg more than those with the lowest risk. They also have 15 per cent more body fat.

The findings provide the first robust link between a common gene and obesity, and could eventually lead to new ways of tackling one of the most significant causes of ill health in the developed world. One in four British adults is classified as obese, and half of men and a third of women are overweight.

Obesity is a main cause of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. An adviser to the Government’s health spending watchdog said recently that the condition was a bigger national danger than smoking, alcohol or poverty.

Read The Times OnLine

Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 13 2007

A bloody message from Iraq: nowhere is safe... April 13 2007

The day a suicide bomber struck at the heart of Iraq's democracy

By Patrick Cockburn

Nowhere is safe. Insurgents struck in the heart of the Green Zone yesterday, one of the most heavily defended places in Baghdad.

The symbolism - and the bloody message - was clear with this attack on the home to the US-imposed democracy.

A suicide bomber cleared at least eight rings of security to blow himself up in the Iraqi parliament, killing eight people including three lawmakers as they were eating lunch. It was the most deadly attack mounted from within the Green Zone.

In a separate attack, the Iraqi capital was cut in two as one of the main bridges over the Tigris was blown up earlier in the day.

The Green Zone bombing was not only an assault on democracy. It was intended to undermine President George Bush's troop "surge", which is denounced as a sham by so many Iraqis.

But even Iraqis hardened to violence were shocked by the bloody scene in parliament. "I saw a ball of fire and heard a huge, loud explosion," said one witness. "There were pieces of flesh floating in the air."

The bodyguard of a Sunni member of parliament is suspected of detonating a vest packed with explosives in the restaurant beside the chamber where parliament meets. The success of a suicide bomber in penetrating one of the most tightly guarded buildings in the world could only have happened if he had help from other security men. The Iraqi parliament is well inside the heavily fortified Green Zone and is protected by eight layers of security, including at least three checks for explosives.

President Bush condemned the attack saying: "It reminds us that there is an enemy willing to bomb innocent people in a symbol of democracy."

The bombing is likely to increase scepticism that the two-month old American campaign to get control of Baghdad, the "surge", is achieving very much.

The suicide bombing is one of the most dramatic demonstrations of the extent to which the Sunni insurgents have infiltrated the government's own security apparatus. Other recent examples include the serious wounding of the deputy prime minister Salam al- Zubaie on 23 March by a bomber who got near him with the connivance of his own bodyguards.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine History April 13 2007

April 13 1964: Poitier breaks new ground with Oscar win

The acting profession's top award has gone to a black actor for the first time.

Sidney Poitier won the best actor Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field.

In the film, released last year, he played construction worker Homer Smith whom a group of nuns believe was sent to them by God to build their church.

The only other black person to win an Oscar was the best supporting actress award given to Hattie McDaniel in 1939 for her role in Gone with the Wind.

Alongside 'Rat Pack' actor Sammy Davis Jnr and, earlier, Paul Robeson, Poitier is one of only a handful of black men to gain recognition in Hollywood for roles not involving singing or dancing.

It has been a long journey to this moment

Sidney Poitier

It was the second time he had been in the running for an Oscar after losing out in 1959 when he was nominated for his part in The Defiant Ones.

"It has been a long journey to this moment," the actor said after he was presented with the prized statuette by actress Ann Bancroft.

Sidney Poitier's early life seemed unlikely to spawn a Hollywood star.

He grew up in poverty in the Bahamas in the Caribbean where his father was a tomato farmer.

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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.

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