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Archive 22 April 2007

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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 23 2007

Powerless - a Lesson in Life

How can we help and try help when asked? Sometimes the help we offer is not enough and is definitely inadequate to help. I guess what I am saying is the problems sometimes that we encounter with people asking is so big we don’t know what to do or what is best. And truthfully the person often asking for help is so distressed they can make no sense to reason out of the moments as they pass.

This weekend I felt so powerless and so unable to resolve how to support someone unconnected to me. I asked for help myself and called the Samaritans to ask for advice. And they simply agreed there was next to nothing I might do.

Well feeling completely unable to make sense or get enough information even to find where the person needing help was, I had to go out and find the police. And knowing where I live, there are always police around, they were able to go with me and do something to help. I could not do this on my own and I was left completely at the mercy of more technology than I will ever have. And with the good sense given me over the years and other experiences of similar instances, the police and I were able to make things safe until today.

Still and as will happen, the problem came back again today, and all the words and suggestions of the last 24 hours are lost. And this is really disheartening and very destabilising for me and for anyone involved. Powerless we are and we need find safety somehow. How this ended up in a muddle I do know, and am left with a sense of foreboding. When we are manipulated and trying to give a person the benefit of the doubt, we lead ourselves into difficult territory. Especially when are trying to help when in fact the person we wish to support is doing their utmost to avoid the truth.

And you know I just had a conversation which leaves me cold. The trouble is simply this when you know someone is manipulating and utilising controlling behaviour and they are far away, powerlessness is quite complete, and we get angry and very cross as we realise the way things are. At the same time a person will make gestures and threats and try keep control somehow. I am not able to help I realise now. And its done. And I am truly sorry it’s the way it is. What hurts most is this is not my issue and the solution is very simple and not for me to make. Sounds horrid and callous, no more so than the truth of what has happened to me. Guilt and worry, well we all have these things, we need realise why and what we can do. Sometimes absolutely nothing. And when challenged the person in all this gives up the game, stops the tears and realises the game is not working. Sadly I know the stages this goes through and the next stage is the most difficult and very hard. As the stakes are raised more self harm is the lever and the outcome is definitely out of my hands.

There are no more words to share tonight and it’s a very strange situation I find myself in. For as long as I can remember the best way to help people is to share the truth and not be controlled or manipulated. And this is just where I am tonight and it feels like shit.

This Morning April 23 2007

After some more calls last night I was able to understand a lot of what has been going on and realise this morning the nature of the difficult situation.

In the common language of the times and our fellowship in particular, it’s a case of "self will run riot."

When a person has tried to make an outcome so, when in fact nobody wants the same outcome, every effort to maintain control through whatever levers they feel they can use life gets very messy indeed.

Threats of further self harm have been made and truly I needed to know the person was not alone and not left to their own devices. This done I had time to reflect. And the answer next time this happens, not with this person, but others I have no doubt, is to be blunt and very clear.

The Skills of Support and Challenge

Years ago,Jim, a professional I worked with taught me the skills of support and challenge, and other elements of assisting anyone through difficult times. And two others Philip and Rosemary shared how to be assertive and have empathy too. I don’t share their surnames simply because its inappropriate here. I do have great gratitude for the training and experience they provided and I have been able to develop these attributes over the years. Training at business schools, Institutes of this and that have played a significant part in a set of skilss I no longer use a professional, they are strictly there for emergencies these days.

I am relieved for every element of training I have had over the years, the cost of this training and life experience today is astronomic for someone trying to acquire the knowledge, then apply and develop skill and aptitude through life experiences I realise no one in their right mind what want. I realise this is a self analysis, and also realise the places it took me in my career were far beyond rational limits and a duty of care motivated me to stick with people when others left them to wither away.

Life Experience - Burn Out

The harder we toil, the faster we can burn out. I have known and realised this over the years. I may have been a brilliant analyst and enabler of people in the past. And in order to switch off, which is not that easy for sensitive types who become counsellors or people helpers, we can become as deranged as the people we try help. Burn out is something most people will deny as I have in the past. There are however, limits these days to utilising that outrageously expensive education and experience and the career which led to my complete breakdown years ago. I need not put myself in harms way just because? Because I know the answers and the route to take. It would kill me slowly at first and then speed my demise into another deep where desolation becomes my companion yet again.

Knowing where to direct mostly is my endeavour these days, and not to go back to times past where my utility was tested to destruction. I need find other avenues and careers of endeavour, keep the balance in living and show up for life as best one can. And a career I cherished and others scavenged in the past, is done with professionally and now a gift when time and circumstance require it, simply as another human being and times requires..

Knowledge skill and aptitude is certainly a dangerous combination and we do well to know our personal limits or we suffer as badly those we try help.

Burn Out! Move on and live another life or we find no peace in simple living a day at a time.

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Guardian Unlimited OnLine April 23 2007

Sarko v Ségo in French poll: France sets up battle of left and right April 23 2007

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy, France's rightwing former interior minister, last night stormed to one of the most impressive first-round victories in French presidential history, making him favourite to beat the socialist Ségolène Royal to the Elysée in a fortnight's time.

The head of France's ruling UMP party emerged as the most popular rightwing politician in 30 years after promising to shake France out of its decline with a mixture of free-market reforms, and to restore "authority" with tough law and order measures, clamp down on immigration and instil a sense of "national pride". According to early official counts, he scored 30.5% of the vote.

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Times OnLine April 23 2007

Daily pill to beat genetic diseases April 23 2007

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

A pill that can correct a wide range of faulty genes which cause crippling illnesses should be available within three years, promising a revolution in the treatment of thousands of conditions.

The drug, known as PTC124, has already had encouraging results in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. The final phase of clinical trials is to begin this year, and it could be licensed as early as 2009.

As well as offering hope of a first effective treatment for two conditions that are at present incurable, the drug has excited scientists because research suggests it should also work against more than 1,800 other genetic illnesses.

PTC124 targets a particular type of mutation that can cause very different symptoms according to the gene that is disrupted. This makes it potentially useful against a range of inherited disorders.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 23 2007

Sarkozy and Royal go through as 84 per cent turnout sets new poll record April 23 2007

By John Lichfield in Paris

A democratic tidal wave swept France yesterday. A record turn-out of 84.5 per cent of registered voters in the first round of the presidential election propelled Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal into a fascinating - and possibly close - second round showdown in two weeks' time.

The triumph of the centre-right candidate, M. Sarkozy, who took a projected 30 per cent of the vote, was broadly expected. The success of Mme Royal - who scored an estimated 25.2 per cent, one of the highest scores of any Socialist contender in the history of the Fifth Republic - was much more startling.

Mme Royal confounded her critics, including many in her own camp. She became the first woman to reach the second round of a French presidential election. It remains to be seen whether her score will be high enough to give her the momentum she needs to overhaul M. Sarkozy in the final on 6 May.

The one-on-one televised debates, expected between "Sarko" and "Ségo" in the next few days, could be decisive. Despite his high score yesterday, there is a strong anti-Sarkozy mood on the left and centre of the electorate.

The centrist, François Bayrou, fell short with a projected 18.3 per cent of the vote but may turn out to be the potential king-maker - or queen-maker.

The veteran far-right leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, received a stinging rebuff with only 11.5 per cent, compared to 16.8 per cent when he startled the world by reaching the second round in 2002. This is the first time in 33 years that his percentage of the presidential vote has retreated.

At the age of 78, M. Le Pen's 30-year career as a xenophobic conduit for all France's social and economic ills is now dead - or may be on life support until he finds a successor.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine News April 23 2007

French contenders set for run-off April 23 2007

The top two candidates in the first round of the French presidential election are beginning two weeks of intense campaigning for the run-off.
Centre-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal defeated 10 others in Sunday's ballot, with a record voter turnout of nearly 85%.

Mr Sarkozy garnered 31% of the vote, while Ms Royal, bidding to be France's first female leader, took nearly 26%.

Centrist Francois Bayrou took 18%, and far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen almost 11%.

Mr Sarkozy and Ms Royal will restart their campaigns on Monday, with Mr Sarkozy addressing a rally in the eastern city of Dijon and Ms Royal due in Valence, in southern France.

BBC OnLine Full Story

BBC OnLine History April 23 2007

April 23 1979: Teacher dies in Southall race riots

A 33-year-old man has died from head injuries after a bloody battle broke out between police and demonstrators in Southall.
The fighting began when thousands of protesters gathered to demonstrate against a National Front campaign meeting.

The extreme right-wing organisation had chosen Southall Town Hall to hold its St George's Day election meeting. The area has one of the country's biggest Asian communities.

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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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