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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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May 2007
copyright© don oddy

May 7 2007

Just a short note, to acknowledge the words from another you tube subscriber.

Live and let live

It is true, as I need to live and let live, this applies to everyone too. I am grateful for a gentle reminder. Its so true…

Tonight there have been tragedies and worries for many as the Bank holiday has turned from gentle times to the very worst of times.

I don’t often listen to the news late at night, but tonight with a need to check my services were working, the news I heard was very sad.

World news and UK news just seems laden with awful stories. Puts my small concerns in perspective. Circumspect I am.


May 7 2007

Bank Holidays and No Holidays - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Last night I went to Flood St for the 7:30 AA meeting. it’s a good evening to go to a meeting. In fact any evening is a good evening to get along and hear some experience strength and hope. Which is of course a key to living sober.
Someone said a long, long time ago, there are no days off in recovery which is why I get along to a meeting most days.

I left early last night, two reasons, I knew my blood sugars were off a bit, I could not read the signs on the walls and there was disturbance in my head from to and fro’s between the sharing of fellows. And of course being a bank holiday there were more people than usual. In truth the combination of not seeing too well and the dark coming on, with the added disruptions was impeding my listening and absorbing.

I have learned when I am disturbed, well not to ignore it these days. And disturbance makes my life feel out of kilter if I persist and pretend all is well.

So leaving early felt the best solution. I did text a friend to offer my best wishes to the person giving the chair. Hopefully they were conveyed. The effort counts less than if the message was received just yet. It feels a bit disrespectful to go early. And it is, but and the but is to take care of me and not just sit for the sake of it.

The Chair

A very resolute and strong message. And of course I can identify with most anyone’s message of experience strength and hope.

I did not get where I am today without experiencing many of the horrors of alcoholism.

The Shares

There seemed some people who felt themselves a bit special and different, and they said so. In the fellowship I have learned when we do exhibit special and different feelings they usually come from our ego, rather than our esteem.

There are no real differences for an addict, we do our worst, and the worst is simply being stuck in the disease rather than recovering from it. The notion that anyone’s journey into disease and dependence is any the less worthy of note really is not true. However we get our addiction we can rest assured there are no cushions as we hit rock bottom.

Rock Bottom

The place where we languish. it’s a hard and horrid as anyone can imagine, where choice is lost and drink or whatever your poison is takes over and makes us all as sick as we can be..

I don’t feel special and different this morning, just grateful to wake up. Special and different does not apply to anyone. We are merely on journey’s where we can be unique and authentic in our travels, yet each of us has equal rights and equal sized conundrums.

Rock bottom, I was once asked how many I needed in this life? Some of my rock bottoms could be as bad as the next, and truthfully the worst of it was lived in stupor.

Rock bottom a nasty reminder when we recall that life did not work at all, the rock bottom is just as bad, no matter what takes to it, its as bad as it needs to be before we surrender and realise self will, will never work when we are up against rampant addiction.

As the specials and differences were clearly articulated last night, and there seemed a bit of a scramble to speak, and mostly in long moments where we have heard it all before, maybe my agitation made me come away early.

It never sits well to hear people with lots of recovery time sound off as different and special, as if they have found a path superior to us inferior ordinary alcoholics..
Today

Its bank Holiday Monday

The bank holiday is as usual cloudy and likely to be wet. Not the wet of wet places where alcohol flows for me. I am free of that torment and glad to report, that life is pretty ok.

Gratitude

Seems I might have been served more to write a gratitude list last night, a gentle reminder that I am alive, I cope with what is on my agenda as best I can. That there is room for improvement a day at a time. And its quite difficult I know, but worth the effort to get out and see people in the world.

I have friends who are about and I am uncertain where they are in recovery terms.

Seems the recovery road changes daily for us all and some may be feeling left out, left behind or starting all over again. The problem never goes away.

No Holidays in recovery?

In some ways when we get clear of our rock bottom, when we find honesty and truth and support and fellowship, well maybe the holiday is always there on a daily basis. The holiday we have as we are free from addiction in our recovering state. In deed our day at a time is not only a utility, it opens the doors to a way of living which helps us make progress and able to live life as well as we may.

I am relieved in many ways that there are no holidays from ourselves on this road of recovery, as often when we least expect temptation, it hits us right between the eyes. As I write I feel secure. That the one day I have and the routines established, and the return to living in the day works, as long as I work at it and recognise everyone deserves the same opportunity, at progress and not perfection.

Progress

Slow or fast as we progress, there is no examination, there is no reward beyond life itself, and that reward, the best of it and the worst of it, keeps us informed and on a track of usefulness again. A gift, this one life. Sometimes we might be taken aback and unaware of what we may encounter. Whether its good or bad, at least we are here to be a part of it. And this change in me, to be able to understand the gift, well that is beyond any dream I ever had to get this far along in a precarious life like mine. And these days its just as it may be, no more special or different than any other.
Except to me of course, it’s the only one I have, just like you!


May 6 2007

Spiritual DonInLondon ‘Day in the Life’

Spiritual, of soul: relating to the soul or spirit, usually in contrast to material things. Is the briefest of definitions which helps me make my own definition of spiritual? Most likely the briefest description provides more for everyone to connect. The more we define something the more we worry out our preferences and then we get tied to a principle or value.

As we develop our understanding, or misunderstanding of life, its quite difficult to pin us down. The more we are living and breathing, the more elaborate our outlook and truth and our reason. Sometimes the more we have wisdom. It does not follow though that we are always right or righteous!

We are always in a pickle, trying to work out what we really mean when we share our thoughts and feelings. They tend to change by the day, the week, the year. As we get on and learn more from life, life gives us clues to our purpose.

Primary Purpose

In deed our primary purpose is to be alive, to experience the world and live in it. This is our reason for living. We live in a Universe which seems infinite, and we have a connection to it as long as we are in the land of the living. And we know we have purpose as we are part of humanity. We leave our mark, our imprint as do all things in this world.

We forget and lose our way as much as we find a way to live. We make the best of what we have, or we make the worst of what we have. Both ways are just ways. Sometimes it seems fair and good and other times the world is a desperate place and we would rather not be here.

Survival and getting on

Are we good at this, are we able, do we do what we are designed for? In essence of course we do, nature provides a template, a pattern we have as strong as instinct we may see in other species, yet we forget these primary reasons for living as we utilise our thinking and feeling.

Science and Detachment

As we have become more sophisticated, more scientific and certainly more detached from the natural world, we lose sight of many fundamentals it seems. We do this because we can. We live as if we are in a dream often, sort of experiencing our world as much as observing it. Like a film like some sort of rehearsal. We forget and place filters, denials and much thinking between us and the real world we experience.

As we seem somewhat removed from the real action, as we live and work, and just occupy our space we can live as if in dreams. And only come down with a bump when reality kicks us to wakefulness and shows us just what is real and what we imagine.

When you read this, you can critique my words, you can apply your thinking and feeling and make sense of what I write, or you may dismiss it. You will filter to match your perceptions of reality.

Reality is Perceptive deep

As I write this the goodness of the time spent in recent weeks is softening and losing its texture..

The texture of how we feel and live in the moment is forever in flux. The principles, the truth is always reforming and reshaping.

As soon as the words, I have had the best outlook this last fortnight than in the last ten years, I almost feel the power of my experience losing some power.

Powerful Times

We recognise significant events. We live powerful moments, and then we relish or hasten them away with forgetfulness when sad, and we cherish when they are to our good..

Good conscience and Spiritual

As we live, we are in the moment, we are here to experience and make sense, to enjoy, to endure, to live as life and reality truly are. None of us has a hold on truth or spiritual, it is gifted as we may understand. No opinion on any of these matters is exclusive or pure and right. We make it what we will as we comprehend and experience living

Experiencing spiritual

We do it all day and every day, the intent in our spiritual development is best served through understanding nature and providence, what we see is what we get, the wisdom of the years forming as much as we can, a brief interlude in infinity where we live and make sense of purpose.

Purpose

Is as we determine are led to experience. We have teachers a plenty, best keep an eye on our wisdom and how what others share and how it relates.

Experience is our best informer. Choices made with what we know, what we believe and how life can be a blessing or a catastrophe is formed in our outlook. Best not let early experience sour the beauty of this world. Or be held to ransom as science and life show us more of Nature and Providence.

We have no tablets of stone these days to hold us like hostage to doctrine or others notions or wisdoms.

Take heart as each day manifests, we are best served with open minds, growing wisdom of the years and values which support and develop life and living.

As soon as I write and this is read somewhere sometime, the world turns and more wisdom informs the reader one way or another, my words lost in others thoughts and feelings, never to be the same ever again..

As it may be..



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China Today






Guardian Unlimited OnLine May 7 2007


Cheering crowds hail Sarkozy's triumph May 7 2007




Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy was last night handed a mandate to change France after a massive turnout in one of the most divisive presidential election campaigns in the country's history.

As rioting broke out at Bastille, on the other side of central Paris, the rightwing former interior minister promised to make France love itself again. Mr Sarkozy, who was criticised for exploiting racial and social divisions in his campaign and accused of brutality by his opponent, the Socialist Ségolène Royal, declared: "Tonight is not the victory of one France over another." He vowed would represent "all of France and leave no one by the side of the road."

But as he talked, there were reports of car-burnings in the suburbs and trouble flaring in Lyon, with police firing flashballs after skirmishes between leftwing activists and Sarkozy supporters.

In a master stroke of political showmanship, Mr Sarkozy staged a huge celebration rock concert to launch his "economic revolution" in Paris's Place de La Concorde, where heads rolled from the guillotine during the first French revolution. But last night, he promised no less than a national resurrection built on hard work.

Read The Guardian OnLine




Times OnLine May 7 2007


France votes decisively for Sarkozy and change May 7 2007 2007




Charles Bremner in Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy won the French presidency yesterday with a solid majority that he described as a mandate for a moral renaissance and the radical reform of the welfare state.

Thousands celebrated late into the night after Mr Sarkozy, 52, the leader of President Chirac’s Union for a Popular Movement, defeated Ségolène Royal, the Socialist, with 53 per cent of the vote. Their bitter duel drew a near-record turnout of 85 per cent. “Together we are going to write a new page of history,” the victor told cheering supporters.

Ms Royal accepted defeat with a smile, telling supporters that she had relaunched the Left. “Something has risen which will not stop. Let us keep intact the energy and joy . . . of this campaign,” she said. Her Socialist colleagues were, however, bitter over their party’s third presidential defeat in a row. “The flag of the Left lies on the ground,” Laurent Fabius, one of the most senior Socialists, said.

Mr Sarkozy delivered a lyrical victory speech, promising to be “the president of all the French” and to introduce immediate and radical reform. “The French have chosen to break with the ideas, habits and behaviour of the past. I will restore the value of work, authority, merit and respect for the nation.”

Read The Times OnLine




Independent OnLine 'Indy' News May 7 2007 2007


The two faces of Sarkozy May 7 2007



He made his name as a minister who was accused of dividing France with his hardline rhetoric. But last night he won the race to succeed Chirac and vowed to be 'a president of all the French'

By John Lichfield

France has taken a sharp turn to the right, electing Nicolas Sarkozy by a thumping majority to be President for the next five years.

M. Sarkozy defeated the Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal by about 52.7 per cent to 47.3 per cent.

Although a centre-right President will replace a centre-right President on 16 May, M. Sarkozy, 52, represents a much harder, less compromising kind of right wing, but also protectionist, politics.

Clashes immediately broke out in Paris ­ and a dozen other cities ­ between riot police and left-wing youths protesting against M. Sarkozy's victory.

In an energetic, but sometimes disturbing, campaign, M. Sarkozy promised to cut taxes and curb trades union rights but also to restore "moral values " allegedly betrayed by successive left-wing and centre-right governments for four decades.

Read The Independent OnLine




BBC OnLine News May 7 2007

Victorious Sarkozy pledges unity May 7 2007

France's new President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy has called for unity after a bitterly-contested campaign.

The conservative won a clear victory over his socialist rival Segolene Royal, gaining 53% of the vote with a massive 85% turnout.

Mr Sarkozy said the French people had chosen change and he would use the mandate he had received to achieve it.

After the result was announced, there were minor clashes with protestors in Paris and some other cities.

Several hundred rioters in the Place de la Bastille threw bottles and stones at police, shouting "Sarko-fascist".

Two police officers were injured in Nantes, where 1,000 demonstrators turned violent. Arrests were made in half-a-dozen cities, but the violence soon subsided.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History May 7 2007

May 7 1945: Germany signs unconditional surrender

Germany has signed an unconditional surrender bringing to an end six years of war in Europe, according to reports from France.

This evening the Ministry of Information has confirmed that an official statement declaring the end of the war, will be made simultaneously in London, Washington and Moscow tomorrow.

The day has been declared a national holiday to mark Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). The following day (9 May) will also be a national holiday.

The BBC's Thomas Cadett watched the official signing at a schoolhouse in Reims, northeastern France, which serves as the advance headquarters of the supreme commander in Europe, General Dwight D Eisenhower.

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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