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"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.



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 30 2007

Acceptance & Forgiveness - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

I was just about half way through the day when writing earlier. And the mood was definitely shifting from the early hours where tiredness was definitely making me feel a bit off with perspectives and perceptions.

How we view life and living, so often we get drawn into unacceptable pretences we might wonder what we are about and doing. Unacceptable to me actually to pretend, whereas others might wish for a pretence, yet the years etched in denial and lines of hard times on faces makes the truth so obvious it hurts.

Hard Lines

A statement I often heard in younger days from my Grandfather. In truth he was my step Granddad, and I only remind myself so this evening. It never occurred to me until now, that he is not my mother’s biological parent. All the same the phrase hard lines is so true.

We see the hard lines on foreheads and faces. So etched they the lines of living we grow into as our world dictates how we deal and cope.

Tonight it’s a careful reminder. And tonight had its moments, where Ego and ego came out in two people in my meeting of the fellowship. Ego is what it is, a start of anger and denial and how dare it be happening to me.

I guess in the flow to forgiving and acceptance we can be bemused by our feelings when we realise the whole truth and context of a persons living and our living.

Choices

We do have our choices to live, and make the journey as we may. Best letting go that which is vexatious..

"Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,"

-/- Desiderata [excerpt]

And tonight I could feel the let go process all over again, as if it rolls out to chasten my ego and let in my confidence. I have nothing to reproach myself for and my conduct is as plain as can be. I am neither vexed or judgmental as the let go keeps working its charm to free me and everyone of self will running riot over truth.

Truth my safe haven, progress and not perfection. I see where I am tonight and let go how others may be. For indeed there are others impacted as we move and let go and go on our path.

Revelations as time affords and helps to thank our fellows as we step along, sometimes overwhelmed by honest acceptance in its raw state..

Simply be and let be. "Let it be" a Beatles song was a powerful evocative call to allow truth to settle and in many ways lessons we all learn and forget as we toil through life endeavours.

A moment can tear away the thing veneer of pretence and every element is unlocked to show the truth. Excoriation helps not one jot in that awful moment of truth when a lie exposed as it breaks all connection and condemns, informs and leads to acceptance as we may be inclined. Forgiveness needs come as swift as can be and lay bare what has occurred. And let go need happen as it may. With love is best or hate will manifest and send us through longer moments where great pain yields nothing but more of the same.

I am glad tonight the tiff and argument came out as two old timers got their wires well and truly crossed. Two ego’s glinted and the angry fire of indignant rhetoric slipped out, and then apologies followed as they may, as big hearts fought themselves and then each other, to find acceptance in those moments. It will take a tad more time I can see as hurt so often inflicted with a careless act of self denial and denial of others makes that consummate touch where humanity can break down and war declared will fester if forgiveness is lost to time.

Glad tidings from the night, my acceptance leads me where it will and forgiveness completes a half tortured look at reality. We are in the right place and time always on this spiritual journey.

The light so many seek has equal dark, as self will and good conscience rule in our inner moments. Life is life.. What emerges is our progress and our acceptance of life on life’s terms.


April 29 2007

Forgive Everybody Everything - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

I am no saint I realise everyday. Everyday the judgment I make about so many elements of life, people, places and things. I wish it different and practice like most a form of denial and filtering to get my perceptions to square up to my feelings.

These days I need and hear wisdom from others most days on how to conduct myself on a daily basis, and really and truly I do need their wisdom and good intentions.

Good Intentions

We all have them and wonder often what we may to keep faith with ourselves. And last night taught me great dollops of forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiveness for my judging and judgments past and present, forgiveness for others and their steady progress to a spiritual path. In a judging world the path of spirituality is dogged as are we by perceptions and misgivings.

Today

Well today after a night of wondering and accepting and listening to my inner voice of judgement, a trip out to a meeting of my fellowship helped me greatly. I had been quite judgmental last night, about what is right for me and how I behave. And of course how others have their rights to judge and behave as they do..

"Don’t put my Values on Others"

The most important part of a message at the Flood Street meeting. A person with decades of recovery making a simple one liner in a chair of many elements and this was really what I need to hear.

I do have my values, principles and ethics. My world is about transparency and not filtering and not denials of who and what I am. And in many ways it has been the best learning of last night how easy it is to assume what someone says is how they really are. And actually what they say is what they believe they are and not what they really are. The same is true of me too.

So no one is out of this fugue state in my guess at all of us who endeavour to find this spiritual path of living.

Progress indeed and not Perfection

A night like last night, a farewell event and a real event with much love and care. It was a good to be included and yet inside the inclusion I found exclusion and mishaps. Mishaps as others present themselves and mishaps in my estimation of connections and feelings.

Informed

I am better informed all ways today how love spans the decades, how changes and affiliations occur. How indeed families and friends and participants in living can easily assume and fall victim to their own codes and ethics. And of course denials of affiliation made profoundly will always dig deep into our spiritual reserves which in essence are just good for a day.

It is the harshest moment of all when we realise what is said in the spirit of honesty and care and love in its broadest sense is denied and shunned. The exclusion is complete in the intake of one breath, and the desire to be elsewhere is accepted on every level and every wish it were so. Exclusion born of denials and filters, misguided and misinformed, wreaks its gentle and pervasive toll on everything we have come to believe. And is then denied.

Filters and Denials

So deep and turgid, so transparent in a careless act of self preservation and self image, to project a connection which in actual fact is the essence of the truth. When such an event occurs we are best away and separate with cautious haste and disconnection. And suddenly the truth and the lie are the same, its realisation stings with a smack to our inner being, we reel and deny it and accept it all in a moment as we glimpse that insecure and elemental falsehood. And I see no need to repair of filter anymore a misguided lie to self.

So truly a spectacular path these last few weeks, as truth is burgeoning and falsehoods are slipping away.

Judge what is right for me

As do others without a moments hesitation and without the snap to hurt. Indeed they feel no hurt or sting. I have been blessed with truth. And being informed is the good news. I have had many dealings in recent weeks with distorted truths and falsehoods, not about me but around me. Of others trials and difficult moments. I am realising so much so quickly and understanding the nature of vulnerable and people who fear their very own right to a life. And more that some so driven by self obsession cannot break from the false nature and foundations of sand upon which they build their safe keep and castle walls.

Accept and Forgive and Let Go

Indeed the acceptance of the truth as we realise the false premise and deluded nature of some and how integrity shifts. There need be no blame, for we are part of the story. We need not let it continue as the fiction deprives our very being of spiritual growth. And our falseness undo’s any good done before.

We need let go and move on, be forgiving and find acceptance as our journey is made more open and half measure offer nothing but disturbance and inadequate connections. Lies beget and prevail as denial lays a trail to disquiet in our inner path. Sanctuary is complete in truth as we merely make progress to our journey in this one day.

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams"

-/- W.B. Yeats



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Guardian Unlimited OnLine April 30 2007


Blair's regrets over three wasted years April 30 2007




Blair's regrets over three wasted years

Reforms were too slow, says Falconer

Nicholas Watt and Patrick Wintour

Tony Blair is to tell health experts today that government reforms have saved the NHS. Photograph: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty

Tony Blair will mark his decade in office this week with "big regrets" at his inability to move more quickly to reform Britain's public services, one of his closest cabinet allies has claimed.

As the prime minister puts the finishing touches to his resignation statement, in which he will declare that Labour has transformed schools and hospitals, Lord Falconer, the lord chancellor, told the Guardian that up to three years were lost after the 1997 election victory. "One of Tony's big regrets, I think, would be that we didn't realise quick enough that if you genuinely wanted to change the way the public service delivered for the public you needed to embark upon a process of cultural change," he said in an interview to mark Mr Blair's 10 years in Downing Street.

"I think it is 99-2000 that he begins to realise that something more profound is required."
Lord Falconer, who has played a key role as Mr Blair's "fixer", said the initial period after Labour's landslide general election victory became an immense struggle, like "pushing water up hills".

The assessment of the pace of reform in key areas of domestic policy, such as health, education and welfare, comes as Mr Blair moves to underline the significance of his legacy.

He told Labour MPs last week "the achievements we have to our credit are durable", and today he will tell an audience of health experts that changes made by the government in the past 10 years have saved the NHS.

Read The Guardian OnLine




Times OnLine April 30 2007


Nurseries feel pinch as mothers stay home April 30 2007




Rosemary Bennett

The first evidence of an end to the “have-it-all” generation of women emerges today with thousands of nursery places lying empty because mothers are choosing to care for young children themselves.

Almost a quarter of nursery places are now vacant. The ideal of a woman juggling a full-time career with the demands of motherhood is going out of fashion as a new era of flexible parenting rights takes root.

At least a million parents have taken up their “right to request” part-time work instead of leaving their babies to return to the work-place full-time after it was introduced four years ago. The trend is expected to develop as mothers take advantage of their new right to a year’s maternity leave.

The first evidence of an end to the “have-it-all” generation of women emerges today with thousands of nursery places empty because mothers are choosing to care for young children themselves.

Read The Times OnLine




Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 30 2007


Darfur: War without end April 30 2007



As the world calls for action against Sudan, one man's story reveals why the suffering in Darfur will continue

By Steve Bloomfield in Jebel Marra

If Mohammed Izadein had met Elsadiq Elzein Rokero last year, he would have tried to kill him. Today, he calls him "brother".

Sitting on a straw mat in a simple mud hut in the village of Sabun, deep in the heart of the Jebel Marra, a fertile mountainous region in the centre of Darfur, Mr Izadein recounts how the two men - one Arab, one Fur - have become unlikely allies against the Sudanese government.

Mr Rokero, a Fur, is a general in the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). Mr Izadein, an Arab from the Talba tribe in the Kass region of south Darfur, was a janjaweed fighter, attacking villages in SLA territory. "Now, this man is my brother," Mr Izadein says, reaching out an arm towards Mr Rokero.

It is an alliance that symbolises the changes taking place in Darfur's four-year- long conflict - a war that has claimed the lives of at least 200,000 people and forced nearly three million from their homes. What began as a rebellion by three non-Arab tribes against perceived marginalisation by the Arab-dominated Khartoum government has escalated into a complex multi-layered conflict.

Mr Izadein signed a peace agreement with the SLA in Jebel Marra at the end of last year. He claims he now leads a group of 3,000 former janjaweed fighters from 12 different Arab tribes who have switched sides and taken up arms against the government they once served.

There are Arabs fighting alongside the rebels and Africans siding with the government. Arab tribes are fighting other Arab tribes - some are even fighting themselves. Desertification has increased tensions, between everybody, as tribes fight to gain control over precious water points.

If it was ever as simple to describe the conflict as a "genocide" of black Africans by an Arab government - and few analysts in Sudan believe it was - it certainly is not now.

Sudan's government is arming any group that is prepared to attack anyone connected with the rebels, be they African or Arab. In some cases they have even armed both sides of the same mini-conflict. It is less about ethnic cleansing and more about power. Khartoum, argue some analysts, may not even want the war to end. "This government has always had a crisis," said Dr Madawi Ibrahim, a Darfurian expert with close ties to the rebel movement. "You keep people busy with a crisis."

Read The Independent OnLine




BBC OnLine News April 30 2007

Cricket coach Woolmer 'poisoned' April 30 2007

Pakistan's cricket coach Bob Woolmer, who died of strangulation earlier this year, was also poisoned, a BBC investigation has learned.

The results of toxicology tests mean it now seems certain the ex-England player was rendered helpless before being strangled, the Panorama programme says.

Woolmer's murder in March during the Cricket World Cup in the West Indies cast a shadow over the tournament.

His remains were flown back to his home in Cape Town in South Africa on Sunday.

The casket, which had been sealed in a large wooden crate, arrived on board a commercial flight to Cape Town's International Airport from Jamaica.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History April 30 2007

April 30 1975: Saigon surrenders

The war in Vietnam ended today as the government in Saigon announced its unconditional surrender to North Vietnamese forces.

The President, Duong Van Minh, who has been in office for just three days, made the announcement in a radio broadcast to the nation early this morning. He asked his forces to lay down their arms and called on the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong to halt all hostilities.

In a direct appeal to the Communist forces, he said: "We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed."

The announcement was followed swiftly by the arrival of North Vietnamese troops. Their entrance was virtually unopposed, confounding predictions of a bloody and protracted last-ditch battle for the city.

BBC OnLine Full Story








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Ghandi

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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