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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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May 2007
copyright© don oddy

May 27 2007

God or Good Conscience DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Tolerance and Love

For all my life I have been gifted with an outlook which helps me understand diversity, tolerance and love. As you may have noticed over the last few years I have had to find a way to live life in recovery from addiction to alcohol. Many people I meet these days have found help in fellowship. The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me find a spiritual path to living simply one day at a time. There are many fellowships which provide ways to live and make life work.

I have the greatest respect for anyone who believes in God and the same respect applies to those who do not, or don’t have an opinion or like me have not found it necessary to make up my mind and rely on "Good Conscience."

For me "good conscience" is our collective wisdom and understanding about how we live in society and share our lives. We all learn what is right and wrong? I accept we do and we are best served by tolerance and love and utilising the collective wisdom we all have from experience and history.

One day we will find peace and harmony, acceptance and equality. All the good mankind can do will help us all live in peace and harmony. We are a long way away from those days to come.

A Spiritual Path

For me life is about a spiritual path. Seeing reality as it is, with less denial or filters I might have as my own outlook and sometimes prejudice get in the way of good living and harmony, tolerance and love.

The spiritual path in its simplest form is working to live and experience life as real as it can be, the good and the bad, and learning to know the difference between right and wrong. We learn how we may live to good conscience as we experience this world. Spiritual is our true connection to this time and place, as real as it may be. And simply living life the best we can.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Whether I am living with "God Consciousness" or and living to "Good Conscience," I have found the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me find a spiritual path. That is to work and live to the good, be honest and willing to endeavour to the best of my ability. It has been and continues to be a remarkable journey in sobriety.

I have come to understand that fellowship, a set of steps to help me change my attitudes and behaviour to live well with what I can do let go what I cannot do.

Simply being true as I can be and sharing and supporting each other, this remarkable fellowship saved my life and many others.

Sometimes when we become enthusiastic and find a path which seems so right and proper we can often get single minded.

In a fellowship so diverse with people unique and authentic, we simply have one purpose to maintain. A desire to stop drinking and live sober.

Whether you believe in God or good conscience or both, if anyone needs help to make life work and get into recovery a day at a time, then AA may be right for you.

AA helps us get our personal choices back. It also makes life work a day at a time. If you are a tolerant and loving person, can accept some people believe in God or do not, live and abide to God’s will, or simply Good Conscience. Or indeed as most people I find are somewhere in between and undecided, follow good principles of living and endeavour as Nature and Providence provide.

This fellowship of AA works if you work at changing yourself, accepting help and support and living to good principles. It cannot fix a person, a person learns to live well and to their personal principles and Good or God’s conscience. Be flexible and live well as we all learn a sober and spiritual approach to living a day at a time can be the greatest gift as we live in peace. Excited by living and relishing each day as best we can. And for some of us who have incapacities and other maladies, it can work just as well too.

We work at living, as hard as we can, no fixing or running away. With a great deal of help from our friends and fellowships of course! If we work hard at recovery life will turn out as best it can. We are not superhuman, we have every human frailty as much as anyone. And we find a way to live as we may, just one day at a time and as we can.

For those who need help, seek it. For those who have medical support, use it and always get advice from trusted sources and people you can identify as helpful to you.

Common sense is what we learn most, and wisdom to live life without fear as much as we may.

Here are two versions of the twelve steps of change. Change is what we do, we don’t fix, we live life as best we may, making progress.

Progress not Perfection!

Twelve Step Fellowship

For anyone who would like to work the steps, these are two versions of the Twelve Steps. the first is the current and original twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. the second is an amended form which is offered as an "Agnostics" 12 Steps and provide a platform for changing our lives and outlook to sober living one day at a time whether you are a believer in God or and Good Gonscience.

For me as a believer in the common good and tolerance and love, I have come to believe AA is a fellowship of loving people who live life as good as life offers. And simply have one desire, to live sober one day at a time. What we believe is personal choice and as we come to understand life. May this always be so and as we know,

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man..

-- Shakespeare

God Conscious - AA 12 Steps Spiritual

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 the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Good Conscience 12 Steps Spiritual

For anyone who would like to work the steps, this version of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provides slightly different wording of the six steps that make reference to God or a Higher Power. This version of the Twelve Steps seems to have originated in agnostic A.A. groups in California.

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

2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.

[Original: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.]

3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.

[Original: Made a decision to turn our wills 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 ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

[Original: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.]

6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.

[Original: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.]

7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.

[Original: 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 meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.

[Original: 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.

Serenity

God or and Good Conscience

"Grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the Things I can

And Wisdom to know the Difference"





Life May 25 2007



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Guardian Unlimited OnLine May 27 2007


Lebanon gives rebels last chance to yield May 27 2007




Militant Islamic groups threaten widespread bloodshed if army tries to seize camp by force

Mitchell Prothero in Nahr al-Bared

The Observer

Senior officials in the PLO and Hamas were yesterday attempting to broker an end to the bloody siege of a Lebanese refugee camp, which began last week when the Lebanese army engaged members of Fatah al-Islam, an al-Qaeda-inspired group, after a bank robbery in the city of Tripoli.

The efforts came as Lebanese government officials said they were giving mediators the opportunity to persuade the militants to surrender, before ordering the army to move in.

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Times OnLine May 27 2007


Police to get tough new terror powers May 27 2007




David Cracknell, Political Editor

NEW anti-terrorism laws are to be pushed through before Tony Blair leaves office giving “wartime” powers to the police to stop and question people.

John Reid, the home secretary, who is also quitting next month, intends to extend Northern Ireland’s draconian police powers to interrogate individuals about who they are, where they have been and where they are going.

Under the new laws, police will not need to suspect that a crime has taken place and can use the power to gain information about “matters relevant” to terror investigations.

If suspects fail to stop or refuse to answer questions, they could be charged with a criminal offence and fined up to £5,000. Police already have the power to stop and search people but they have no right to ask for their identity and movements.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News May 27 2007


Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health May 27 2007



Expert links additive to cell damage

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they may cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA.

The problem - more usually associated with ageing and alcohol abuse - can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.

The findings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.

Concerns centre on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservative used for decades by the £74bn global carbonated drinks industry. Sodium benzoate derives from benzoic acid. It occurs naturally in berries, but is used in large quantities to prevent mould in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper. It is also added to pickles and sauces.

Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance. A Food Standards Agency survey of benzene in drinks last year found high levels in four brands which were removed from sale.

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BBC OnLine News May 27 2007

Stop and quiz powers considered May 27 2007

The government is considering giving police officers across the UK "stop and question" powers under new anti-terror laws, says the Home Office.

The proposal, allowing police to ask people about their identity and movement, is among measures being considered by Home Secretary John Reid.

The measure is so far used only in Northern Ireland.

Police elsewhere have to have "reasonable suspicion" a crime has been committed before they can stop people.

Anyone who refuses to co-operate could be charged with obstructing the police and fined up to £5,000, according to the Sunday Times.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We are considering a range of measures for the Bill and 'stop and question' is one of them."

Political correspondent Norman Smith said the proposals were likely to be "hugely controversial".

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BBC OnLine History May 27 2007

May 27 1964: Light goes out in India as Nehru dies

Jawaharlal Nehru, founder of modern India and its current prime minister, has died suddenly at the age of 74.

He was taken ill in the early hours of this morning at his house in New Delhi. He had returned from holiday at a hill station near the capital the previous evening, apparently in reasonable health.

It is believed he suffered a heart attack, and although specialists fought to save him for much of the day, he passed away early this afternoon with his daughter, Indira Gandhi, by his side.

News of his death was broken to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, at 1400 local time (0830 GMT), by cabinet minister C Subramaniam.

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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