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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.





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 August 6
London 'Local' Times 2007

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Writer & Commentator on Life



August 2007
copyright© don oddy

Publish August 6 2007

DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ August 5 2007

Perfectly Imperfect Condition - Good Enough

Déjà vu

Seems this day has so many similarities to my feelings same time last year. Well some similarities..

Actually the most important part of the day was spent in good company. Good family company over lunch and eating Al fresco, a good time and happy moments and recollections for one missing from the festivities of being together.

And later in the company of fellowship, my fellowship, AA.

So the day. Much downloading and saving of the videos on you tube, it’s a major task, there are so many I never kept copies and realise the nature of the you tube experience may change. So copies are good to keep. And it seems face book has uploading too, so another opportunity to spread the message of recovery!

After an excellent lunch the meeting tonight and then reading last years journal entry seem to have synchronicity and without doubt maybe it means I am on track as last year.

Good Enough

Odd that words said a year ago and circumstances today led to the same place, just being good enough is simply good enough.

As my video explains, it was a great chair today at the Flood Street evening meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. An old timer with years of experience and much to say, all to the good.

Step Four came up a lot tonight, making a moral inventory of ourselves and making changes to how we live, how we understand ourselves and how we need move with good enough speed towards making life work in the day.

Step four is seen as a tipping point as we get to see ourselves as real, all the faults and all the good as well. So its often hard to start and then hard to finish with any certainty that it might be finished. As denial fades new denials are as rampant as truth is elusive often, we learn by the day.

Indeed the steps are never finished in my opinion, we just live as we do as we change and the steps make sense when they make sense.

Not fixing just progress as one can. And the truth comes as truth can, as denial we had or have is lifted as we get truthful and honest about who we are and what we can do with our living.

In essence today has just reinforced my acceptance of life on life’s terms, we learn better choices, get real, live to truth as we may and let the world in, and ourselves out of the pit of misery drink afforded as it took its toll on our physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

We need find ways to be good enough, make a little progress or lots as time enables.

We need never be perfect, except? Maybe as I have suggested, perfection is an unfinished work, imperfectly perfect, capable of change and new ways. All to the good.

I have pushed too hard today, simply because I wanted to experience the day, and the payment is unfortunate in the pain department. I would have the pain tonight and recoup tomorrow, as rain is forecast and that’s ok too. I saw a great day. What a difference a day makes! Just for Today.




August 6 2006 [ only a lifetime ago]

Progress not Perfection

In our Fellowship Nobody is Perfect

Its good to meet with fellows and speak and share about the experience, strength and hope in life. So many thousands of us across this City of London, our fellowship is strong today, just for today. Quite an odd sensation to know we are merely good or less good in this one day time frame. We know better than anyone the mishaps of life and we know with mishaps, we need to take action and change.

We live in a world seeking to measure, to see all of us perform and realise our potential, but what do we do when we have no clue what we want or who we are? Some are lucky and gifted and seem to come into life with a programme for living. I had nothing of that luck, or maybe it was something nurture left out. There was much for me to worry about in early years I realise now, no more than anyone else, just maybe I was more sensitive to how things were with early nasty shocks to living.

"Being" seems to be the way for me, putting the being back into my living seems my way now. Learning to be just me, its not a clear goal beyond a concept in some ways as experience of life helps me with my human "being". Being me, a daily adventure in the man I am becoming rather than the man you knew or thought you saw. I am still that man and more. For nothing is lost in our journey where emphasis in living and being change.

Our meetings where one person shares their life story and we all pile in with our own similarities and not so much the differences, for the differences are mostly cosmetic things we have defining our personalities, not what is underneath for underneath nature wins our gifts to life. How we ended up in our fellowship of recovery, from broken wrecks to something quite ordinary and special. For in my world ordinary is the special that we all are when we get down to living and being ourselves.

Our "chair", the speaker of their truth hit home on some things close to me. I have written of acceptance more often recently. And the story reflected much of this acceptance we all seek as surely being the key. And accepting what we are in totality, not just the nice parts we might feel we can be open and share about. Its all that undertone that makes for complete being we mostly try and hide for shame will drive us so. To hide some qualities of us that we have learned are less than attractive to our world and how we might portray ourselves.

Our chair and speaker spoke with honesty, as murky parts came out. And in this revelation to the truth set free for many to talk about their darker nature and their history where in truth our shame may lie and keep us out of recovery.

And we recognise today that every emotions has its place to help us work our programme daily and enable better ways of living just this day. We have our deep of history, a bucket full of good and bad, and also we need accept the day and work at accepting both. For the history and deep of us, needs its acceptance or it comes home to haunt our daily lives.

Acceptance of our reality and what formed and made us so, and also accepting how we feel today, the why and what we can do, to help us move along and not get stuck in darker times and ways of living.

So we listened and told our parts to help us work a few paths out. Our action follow as we learn to cope and change the way we feel. We need to change our outlook and way we behave, less reaction and more responding to our situation…

Sounds easy when we see the benefit in front of us. And yet as our speaker shared, its easy to become indifferent and lazy in our ways and feel we have cracked our life problems. And then be caught out as if the passage of time has never helped us learn the errors easy to make. We have a constant vigil to maintain and keep sobriety, its easy to make a slip which puts us back, and almost start again. But that is our story over and over. We can be bold and take on more and suddenly be caught out as we forget to keep our daily maintenance and make our steps to recovery keep us safe in practice and not in just our thoughts. We are forgetful humans one and all. Which is why we learn we keep coming back and chant this rhetoric, until it sticks tight like a glue of life.

We can be undone in a moments thoughtless act, not just to drink, but anything which makes our ego play the fool in our living. And ego often is our undoing and our constant critic.
Yet we learn. And learn and learn again.
Some were listening and found we touched on spiritual matters as time drew on. This very spiritual programme we have, with God and God mentioned over and over. And most of us are spiritual yet God is not our key, it is our good conscience we revere, and maybe God might have a say when life expires and not before? It matters not to spiritual connections we develop. For spiritual is our stuff of life today, even when we might not emphasise in case we turn away the newcomers mind as they are still insane in their outlook and spiritual means something completely different.
This spiritual connection to living and being, the being of us and our feelings too, where we live and breath through feeling and don’t use intellect to drift to ego’s pit of despair and measurement of life served, not being at all I feel inside.

And being is the key to all my problems today. Good and up, sad and down, being able to feel my way to wherever I may go. I am unsure and know the spiritual me inside is simply growing with some care and practical steps to experiencing life for real in this reality.

A good meeting all in all, as honest Joe keeps coming back for more, and secrets slide away from me. And silence never serves good purpose in case we hide ourselves from the actual truth we might find. Or garner our ego’s drift to silence and to hold contempt when others might be in pain from living in the dark of us. So we learn the truth of being and accept the way things are, and our silence often indicates we defy the truth of all we are, in case it makes us change our views and outlooks of the truth.

And all in all, the progress made is never steady, sometimes fast and sometimes slow, we backslide then go forward again, we accept as acceptance informs us of our path in recovery. And there is nothing in us to recommend an ending on this journey of living to being. Mere progress and not perfection sought, we will never forget our progress made, if we keep coming back…

Copyright © Don Oddy

-/-





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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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"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 August 6 2007


Human error may have led to outbreak August 6 2007




Patrick Wintour and John Vidal

Government officials believe human error at the private pharmaceutical firm Merial Animal Health is the most likely source for the return of foot and mouth disease, it emerged last night.

As health and safety inspectors began examining the firm's laboratories at Pirbright in Surrey, Whitehall sources suggested the potential biosecurity lapse would amount to a breach of procedures rather than negligence, which could give rise to criminal charges.

Senior officials believe the virus may have been transported by an individual or by a car from the research complex to the farm at the centre of the outbreak, about four miles away. If the virus had been airborne, it is difficult to explain why other herds closer to the site were not first affected, sources told the Guardian.

Merial researches and manufactures animal vaccines, andshares the Pirbright site with the government's Institute for Animal Health (IAH). It has been established that the strain of the highly contagious virus found in the infected cattle was held by both organisations and was used in a vaccine batch manufactured by Merial on July 16.

Both the IAH and Merial insisted yesterday that they had good biosecurity procedures, which had not been breached.

Read The Guardian OnLine






Times OnLine August 6 2007


Driving age set to rise to cut youth death toll August 6 2007




Francis Elliott, Chief Political Correspondent

The minimum legal driving age is expected to rise to 18 as part of reforms to cut the number of deaths caused on Britain’s roads by novice drivers.

Ministers are to propose a 12-month training period for new drivers, in effect preventing 17-year-olds from holding a full licence, The Times has learnt.

A consultation paper, to be published this autumn, will also suggest a zero alcohol limit for newly-qualified drivers of all ages for a year after they pass the test. Novice drivers found behind the wheel with alcohol in their blood would be forced to retake their test. Motorway driving may also be restricted to more experienced drivers.

The Government is, however, to reject proposals to ban young drivers from ferrying their friends as unworkable. Nor are there plans to introduce an upper age limit.

Research by the Department for Transport (DfT) suggests that a 12-month learning period would save up to 1,000 deaths and up to 7,000 serious injuries a year.

Young male drivers are the biggest cause of death of young women in Britain. Almost one in two drivers killed at night is under 25. MPs on the Transport Select Committee last month urged the Government to consider raising the minimum legal driving age. The proposal has the backing of campaigners and insurers.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News August 6 2007


Foot-and-mouth: Inquiry ordered as questions raised over lab security August 6 2007



By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor

Gordon Brown has ordered an independent inquiry into growing suspicions that a virus may have escaped from a private science laboratory that led to the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Scientists from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) went into a laboratory operated by an American company, Merial Animal Health, at Pirbright, three miles from the Surrey farm where the outbreak was discovered.

They were investigating whether the virus had escaped from the private laboratory, which is licensed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) or a publicly-run laboratory of the world-renowned Institute for Animal Health (IAH). Both laboratories denied any breaches of biosecurity.

Police were on guard outside the site, underlining the fact that the HSE has the power to prosecute over breaches of safety. Reports last night suggested that human error may have been responsible for the outbreak, with the virus being transported by a person or by a car.

A separate independent inquiry, by Professor Brian Spratt of Imperial College London, was ordered by the Prime Minister into biosecurity at Pirbright but it could raise more far-reaching questions over the safety of Britain's laboratories, and whether Britain is protected from the nightmare of a potentially lethal virus escaping from a laboratory.

Defra said the disease had spread to a cow at another field owned by the same farm at Normandy near Guildford. It said that 38 cattle were known to be infected, and the cattle on the two additional sites, which together make up the same farming enterprise, were culled. The cattle on those two sites, which are both within the surveillance zone, showed no clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) but were culled in line with normal procedure and then tested. "Results have revealed that, of the additional animals slaughtered, one tested positive for FMD," said the statement.

An additional 3km-radius protection zone and a wider 10km-radius surveillance zone were placed around the second part of the farm. In addition, as a precaution because of potentially dangerous contacts, susceptible animals on one farm located next door to the field were being culled.

The IAH Pirbright laboratory was also covered by the zone. It is the only site in the country to be allowed to use a live foot-and-mouth disease virus in its research. But 36 other laboratories are also licensed in the UK by Defra to handle other animal pathogens and officials said the location of the others on that list could not be published because it would be " dangerous". One of the fears is that such viruses could be used for " agricultural terrorism".

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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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