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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.





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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July 2007
copyright© don oddy

Publish July 5 2007

Being There - July 4 "Independence Day" DonInLondon ĎDay In Lifeí

Difficult days. I wonder sometimes how we ever get on with anyone in the this world.

In some ways we need to have the best of times with people we know and the worst of times. We then understand the good and rather unfortunate elements of life which can hang on and be troublesome. In this instance its how I used to be. A drunk..

Judgment

Sometimes we can be very judgmental about people and their behaviour. And if we hold to old perceptions of what life has been and what life is today, we can become very cynical. I just had a hum dinger conversation with another tonight, and you know the trouble is we have history, both of us are not saints. And yet somehow in the world of now, all the old crap can surface.
It can be hard to put down old times and not get on with now. And certainly a person like me with a long and difficult struggle with alcohol has many flaws.

Of course these flaws can be thrown back at me, and its disheartening to find old memories and accusations made can still hurt. I guess they always will, yet the amends these days is to live and be open to change.

I cannot shrug off some criticisms levelled of past behaviour and truly they really deserve criticism.

At the same time its tough to hear and even more tough to be accused of drinking now some years after being stopped and in recovery. I guess anyone who finds disagreement will do what they feel is appropriate to make their point. The point at the moment is not about me, so I leave it there for now. I can understand harshness and truly when we realise we cannot change opinion without a change observable by those who criticise.

Old wounds

Right now old wounds need not be picked over, and with a strong sense of sadness I cannot really see the point of going backwards when it serves no purpose but hatred and trouble. This is so true not only for me, but anyone who has had conflict and tried resolve anything and still hold a power play over another. It makes me unhappy and quite frankly unable to be compliant. And if old beliefs hold I cannot change or make level headway or find basis to relate at all.

Let go and let go

We have to do this. And in reality anything from a past like mine and others, which has lots and lots of disparate and difficult times. Well its really got to be forgiven somehow and when it does not work first time, do it some more, or conflict is never resolved.

None of My business

Maybe in recent years I have learned more about minding my own business and doing the best I can now. But I cannot be compliant if it is done to make another feel better. Or to be codependent in my behaviour or a supplicant in a pejorative sense to another.

Life Generally is a Struggle

And in my living these days its not raking up any past or holding anyone to ransom on their choices and outlooks from years gone by. Or I would certainly drown my sorrows with drink. And worse contemplate resentments which I feel are overdue for forgetting and leaving where they belong, long past. Or consequences are we fear more than we live free.

Well Being

We need well being and to stop hating and worse fighting. Its got to be my path. And I am allowed to be disagreeable and allowed to form a view of what I do and where I go. I need not try control or manipulate truth. Indeed not manipulate anyone, especially people who I love and cherish. Even when it feels like they try manipulate me, that is not love at all, its something sinister and violent in nature.

Lives Diverge

And what seems to be very apparent is lives do diverge, we move on and stop dealing in the past. Amends need be made as can be, and the truth is in relationships we can own and deal with our own stuff, and not others stuff. Or we put ourselves too high in ego and worse can find ourselves too low in esteem.

Viewpoints

We get so many different ways of looking at the same situation, and sometimes situations are what they are and we are best served letting them be. Its so difficult and so important often to let things be as they are. And its not for me to judge one darn thing. So I donít these days.

Elements of Living

Whatever we do, we make our way as best we can, and this applies in all respects to how we relate and live.

Some of us end up nowhere for a long time and gently find our way again. The truth of me in the past, maybe too compliant and malleable because I was a drunk. And now I am not. And the truth now is patently clear most of the time. Be agreeable as one can be, but donít interfere in other peoples business.

A deep sigh from me

I would prefer to have amicable days and good company and not hark backwards to things I cannot change. Maybe change opinions and make better days possible, be the person I can be now, and not some half vague version of years gone by.

Consequences Are

They are what they are, and as mentioned not by me, we need draw lines under the past because it just cannot be applied now. Conditions change by the day, and there is flexibility to change or we go straight back to old times.

Old Loves

There have been healing moments and acceptance of the past from lovers and friends.

And I do feel my part in some matters leave me so off the pitch I donít know how to get back on it. And truly if there is room for inclusion, as life is so busy and full for everyone.

Missing out on Life

We can feel that way if there is a hole in life which mortifies us. Or we can realise that interest and focus are such that what we think is the right way, is completely impractical and destined to failure. People are free to choose life as they live it, not to anotherís will or emotional stipend.

Attitudes and Outlooks

We all have them based on what we know. As we are prudent and circumspect and learn that people do change, they do move on, and either we move together or we move apart. And it matters not which outcome, what matters is acceptance of life as is on lifeís terms. We are not here to direct others to our pattern or indeed this world with my old pattern would have expired long ago.

Sensitive Old Me

So my Achilles heal, as you know it was drink without a doubt, and a suggestion I had been drinking tonight made me very cross. I need let it go though, as with all things forgiveness is not dependent on what others think of me, its what I know to be true, a day at a time. Would I seek company which puts me down to the old drunk I used to be, indeed why should I ever go back to those times? Let go feels all I may do with safety both ways round.

In other years in my life, I did not want to know myself, let alone be part of life at all. And I have no doubt criticism of me was due and well founded.

Disease and Denial

The truth of a disease which is all about denial is not just about my denial. For a long time and without doubt its true most people do not understand the disease of alcoholism. And why on earth should they? Absolutely it helps if you do know the disease, but why on earth go to the trouble if you are not an alcoholic? It can be better and more satisfying to disbelieve and hold to old grudges if anger is still there and in truth may will be for ever.

I donít know the answer

But when harm is being done, we are better often to leave well alone and not stir up old troubles. This I have learned over the last few years in recovery. Especially when trying to find ways to make amends. Some amends lead to more trouble and discord than can ever be put right. And the cost? The cost or price or the bargain cannot be harm either way.

Where am I Now?

I need accept words said and understand the difficulties we all face dealing with things outside our influence and truly are not our concern. We have love of people we know, we know also pain and suffering. This a general observation. And when we hear pain and anger, veiled in judgment or couched as observation, then we are best served by shutting up and going our own way, and away from the harm.

World Wars Egocentric Stupidity

I can see how things go with big things and small things. Open and honest seems of little use when judgment and then some form of control comes to bear on people who cannot accept other ways of life.

From the family unit, busy and fully engaged, to satellites equally busy and fully engaged. We are so diverse we can sometimes forget the basics, of similarity and fellowship. What more to say. Nothing tonight or just this

Forgive everybody everything every day, and let go resentments which blight life as surely as our own attitude to living can blight others. Let go, let go some more..


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Big Issues London











"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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Guardian Unlimited OnLine July 5 2007


After 114 days in captivity, BBC man celebrates freedom ... with a haircut July 5 2007




Conal Urquhart in Gaza City

The last hour of captivity for Alan Johnston was perhaps the worst. His guard burst into his room in the early hours of yesterday morning and told him to get dressed. His regular captor, "an extraordinarily moody man with dark rages", had been joined by some new gunmen who looked "totally wired".

"I thought, this is bad news," said Johnston, who, on his first day of freedom yesterday gave a remarkable account of his 114 days of captivity in Gaza, an experience which he likened to being "buried alive". The BBC journalist, who looked tired but ebullient, was freed just after 3am local time following intense negotiations between Hamas and his kidnappers, the Dogmush family and their militia, the Army of Islam.

"The last 16 weeks were by far the worst days of my life," Johnston, 45, said. "It was like being buried alive, removed from the world. It was occasionally terrifying, with people who were both unpredictable and dangerous." His first act on being freed was to call his parents. He also asked for a razor - to get rid of that "just kidnapped look" - and a grilled steak.

He said being free was "fantastic". "You want to do everything at the same time, to read books and newspapers, go to the movies, go to the beach and sit in the sun, and eat and talk."

The road to freedom had begun when his guard and the new gunmen took him to a car for what was to be "the most appalling ride of my life". The guards were hysterical and swore at each other as they drove through Gaza City. They were petrified of leaving their stronghold and crossing the Hamas checkpoints which have become a part of life in Gaza. They took their anger out on Johnston, slapping him and banging his head against the car door, the first acts of physical violence he had endured since being kidnapped.

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Forgotten hostages July 5 2007




Sonia Verma in Jerusalem, Deborah Haynes in Baghdad and Philip Webster

Watch video of Alan Johnston being released

Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist freed by his Gaza captors after a worldwide publicity campaign, interrupted his celebrations yesterday to remember five British hostages whose plight has gone almost entirely unreported since they were kidnapped in Baghdad 38 days ago.

While the BBC organised vigils, demonstrations and petitions to keep Johnstonís case firmly in the headlines, the Government has imposed a virtual news blackout on the Baghdad kidnappings, refusing to disclose even the names or ages of the hostages.

Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats, questioned that strategy last night, saying: ďThe lesson from Alan Johnstonís very remarkable and very welcome release is that it shows how important it can be to make sure that hostagesí names are not forgotten and stay in the news.Ē

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News July 5 2007


In his own words: Alan Johnston on his release July 5 2007



'You have to have been a prisoner to know how good freedom is'

The past 16 weeks were just the very worst that you can imagine of my life, like being buried alive, removed from the world.

Sixteen weeks of solitary confinement with difficult, unpredictable people who did talk occasionally about killing me. It was hard to see how it would end.

It became almost hard to imagine normal life again. I literally dreamt many times of being free, and always woke up back in that room.

The great fear is the fear of being forgotten... It's a battle to keep your mind in the right place. You've got to believe somehow, some day, some way, it's going to end. You will not grow old there.

They were often rude and unpleasant. They did threaten my life a number of times. There was one 24-hour period when they seemed to get very angry and chained me up but that only lasted 24 hours. They were even occasionally friendly. One of the guards would let me go through and watch his television. But it was very grim.

On Tuesday night, when they took me downstairs and said you're going to Britain, they had actually said that once before when they moved me to another prison, so I was really fighting the desire to believe that it was all about to end.

And even when I was in the car, I thought at first 'They are just moving me again'. Suddenly the car screeches to a halt, they drag me out and sling me towards more gunmen.

But then I recognised one photographer and I thought, this looks better. And then round the corner there's my old friend who I'd worked with for three years. And it was over. And it was the most extraordinary moment of my life, as they say in journalism.

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BBC OnLine News July 5 2007

Bank expected to raise UK rates July 5 2007

The Bank of England is expected to raise UK interest rates from 5.5% to 5.75% later, as it resumes efforts to reduce inflation.

Most economists predict the rise after Bank governor Mervyn King said recently that inflation remained a concern.

They also point to the fact that while rates were kept level in June, four of the nine members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted for a rise.

However, a minority of analysts do feel rates may remain on hold for July.

These economists point out that while the most recent figures showed that inflation remained above the government's 2% target, it did actually slow to 2.5% in May from 2.8% in April.

A rise in interest rates from 5.5% to 5.75% would put an extra £16 a month on an average £100,000 repayment mortgage, but it would be good news for savers, who should receive more for their investments.

Mixed housing signals

There is also some dispute about the ongoing strength of the housing market.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History July 5 2007

July 5 1981: Police attacked in Liverpool riots

Up to 30 police officers have been injured by flying missiles as rioters took to the streets of Toxteth, Liverpool.

Latest reports suggest that nearly 200 white and black youths have been attacking police, cars and shops with petrol bombs and bricks.

They have staged pitched battles with officers on Upper Parliament Street and Lodge Lane, charging at them with milk floats.

At one stage police in riot gear were forced to retreat as angry mobs hurled bits of scaffolding, bricks and petrol bombs.

At least four buildings were set alight, one collapsed and there was a pall of smoke hanging over Upper Parliament St.

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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DonInLondon, London Times Glocal, Day In The Life, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Don Oddy, Times Online, BBC Online, Guardian Unlimited, Independent Online, Movies, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Fantastic Four Silver Surfer. Just For Today, DonInLondon London Times Front Page Local, Day In The Life, DonInLondon, DonInChelsea You Tube, London Times, Don Oddy, Times Online, BBC Online, Guardian Unlimited, Independent Online, Movies, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Oceans Thirteen, Fantastic Four Silver Surfer. World Naked Bike Ride 2007, Just For Today, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Oceans Thirteen.DonInLondon London Times Front Page, Day In The Life, DonInLondon, DonInChelsea, London Times, Don Oddy, Times Online, BBC Online, Guardian Unlimited, Independent Online, Reuters Online, Movie News, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Oceans Thirteen. Naked Bike Ride London 2007, Just For Today, Love, Peace, Serenity. DonInLondon London Times Front Page, Day In The Life, DonInLondon, DonInChelsea, London Times, Don Oddy, Times Online, BBC Online, Guardian Unlimited, Independent Online, Reuters Online