The Great Confusion: Part 2

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Christ crucified…a stumbling block?

In a previous post I touched on the subject of the human heart or soul as being the source of our actions, whether for good or evil. I also mentioned the theological concept that all of humanity has been separated from God through sin, i.e. we have all missed the mark of God’s highest standards for our lives, as individuals and as nations. Finally, I referred to the historical life and death of Jesus Christ as God’s way of reconciling Himself to all of humanity.

Continue reading “The Great Confusion: Part 2”

I don’t do STUPID any more…

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The first time I heard the statement, I don’t do stupid, I burst out laughing. A young man in his late twenties was expressing his exasperation at the stupidity of an individual who was attempting to enforce a set of ridiculous proceedures and methodology in the workplace.

The scene was a large automobile dealership. As a relatively new employee, the obviously intelligent young man asked a simple question:

Why do we do things this way, when there is a much simpler and easier way to go about it?

That is when the cow manure hit the proverbial fan. After all, new employees, especially young people, are not supposed to ask questions and challenge the holy grails of methodology and procedure in the workplace.

This is the way we have done it for thirty years…just shut up and do what I tell you to do!

The young man looked at his manager straight in the eye and said, “I don’t do stupid“. A week or so later, he handed in his resignation and went to work somewhere else.

Of course, this young person was correct in his idea(s), but could have used a little more finesse in his approach. Unfortunately, management did not see it that way. They were stuck back somewhere in the dinosaur age and were still micromanaging their employees like the 1950’s. Later, this young man was smeared as being lazy, unreliable, and insubordinate. In reality, the top-down management style of this particular dealership had just been put in its rightful place – stupid is as stupid does.

It was not much longer after that I began to signal my own intentions of leaving and my dissatisfaction with the high school mentality of some of the dealership management and many of its relatively uneducated employees. I felt disappointed in myself that I had put up with this nonsense for four years of my life, four long years that I could not get back. Being educated and underemployed in a situation where management and many of my co-worlers had barely got out of high school was NOT a fun situation to be in. This is NOT an expression of arrogance or elitism – it is an expression of frustration of having to work side by side, shoulder to shoulder with CAVEMEN ūüôā

My father, a former high school teacher, once said to me, “Ignorance is no excuse”.

What he meant was that instead of wallowing in ignorance, making excuses as to why I couldn’t do something – figure it out. If I do not know how to do something correctly, instead of hanging on to “I don’t know how”, get out there and learn how to do it right.

I think I kind of went overboard on the “learning” part of the equation, spending some seven or eight years in post-secondary education, much to his chagrin ūüėČ Nevertheless, I do not regret taking the necessary time to get an education, as it has greatly enhanced my understanding of the world I live in. I am not referring to the mass of information that colleges and universities disseminate into the minds of the relatively young. I am talking about the ability to think critically, debate, and to research continually. If anything I have learned through all those years of learning, it was to be a life-long learner.

Unfortunately, for some, learning almost stops after high school. People may adapt to their chosen field of work (and obviously learn new things) but they often remain immersed in the same narrow social and cultural situations as they did in high school. They do not venture outside of that which is comfortable to them, and thus, they never really grow intellectually and often spiritually also.

Of course, one cannot apply this kind of generalization to all people everywhere, but it is certainly true in much of western society.

I have often heard the statement,

Who needs an education…I have street smarts!

Well…what can I say to that? I have street smarts too, and an education! I went back to pursue a post-secondary education later in life BECAUSE of what I learned on the street.

Sorry bud, but street smarts alone do not cut it in the real world.

Again, this particular individual is justifying, for whatever reason(s), that education has no value and that learning on the street, including experiencing the hard knocks of life, is the best approach. I just happen to disagree.

One of the things I learned while working in a far northern health district is that former addicts do NOT always make the best drug and alcohol addiction counsellors. It was a cultural norm and acceptable social reality in the North to hire former addicts with a minimal educational background (certificate or diploma) to serve as addiction counsellors to their own people (the Metis and Aboriginal or Indigenous people of the North). The reality was that a few of these counsellors had an extraordinary high rate of absenteeism in the workplace. When a formal inquiry was made as to why this was happening, nine times out of ten the individual(s) concerned had fallen off the wagon and were once again deep in the grip of their alcohol or drug addiction. The pressures of the workplace, including the normal expectation of the counsellors fulfilling the requirements of their job was too much for some. As soon as management would zero in on a problematic employee, they would go on stress leave for six months costing the health district and the taxpayer a disproportionately large amount of money – only for the cycle to repeat itself over and over again.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I feel great compassion for many of these individuals – one or two of which I would consider to be friends. Addiction of any kind is a horrible thing to overcome. But, the decisions the health district made in hiring and then carrying these ineffectual employees over a long period of time was just plain STUPID, in my opinion. The concept that a supposedly recovered addict with street smarts and a minimal education is ideal as an addiction counsellor is ludicrous to me. The best counsellor we had in the entire health district was an educated young person from another country half way around the world. To the hiring managers and board who held to the old and ineffectual ways of doing things, this came as a great surprise. This person’s success as an addictions counsellor only seemed to amplify management’s own ineffectiveness and narrow point of view.

There is so much more that I would like to write about publicly, but unfortunately I am bound in perpetuity to privacy and procedural contractual obligations, not to mention personal ethics. There is much we can learn from life and living. If we possess a broader framework to comprehensively understand the philosophical, cultural, and religious underpinnings of society, we will do even better. Does any of the above necessitate that everyone should pursue some sort of formal post-secondary education? Of course not! But I can highly recommend venturing out of that which you are accustomed to and comfortable with, in order to truly become a life-long learner – a seeker of truth. Consider developing critical thinking and debating skills, and taking the necessary time to develop research skills – that alone will serve you well your entire life.

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God…we will talk…just as soon as I finish being busy…

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This morning I woke up feeling a little out of sorts. My dreams were a bit of a mishmash of movies that I had recently watched and real life experiences all thrown together in a high-speed blender. The colours and seeming distortion of people and events was rather psychedelic almost like an impressionist painting.

I have learned over many years to pay attention to my dreams – no matter how bizarre they may be. I am certain that there is some sort of scientific explanation for our dreams and many old wives tales as to their meaning, nevertheless, I also believe that God can and does communicate to us through our dreams.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:15 NIV

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The Fight for True Freedom in Canada

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True North Strong and Free
I have both family and friends who are (or were) Canadian soldiers. They knew when they enlisted that serving their country and protecting our national sovereignty and foreign interests could cost them their very lives.
And now we have a Prime Minister who is seemingly willing to throw all of that away in order to secure his own future in international politics, and apparently push his Islamic agenda on Canadians. This DOES NOT SIT WELL WITH ME, and I will do everything within my power as a Canadian citizen to ensure PM Trudeau and the Liberals are opposed at every turn politically, and are unceremoniously booted out of power in the next election.
We can accomplish more than we think as ordinary Canadian citizens, if we choose to do so. The Liberals are counting on Canadian apathy in order for them to push through their financial mismanagement, immigration agenda, limiting or squashing free speech, the pushing of individual rights over the greater good of society, and so forth. The list of immoral and unethical agenda(s) of the Liberal party is almost endless.
To witness the NDP and the Conservatives united together in opposition to the Liberal Party is a rare moment in Canadian history.
Take heart and do not give up the political battle towards maintaining true freedom in Canada ūüôā

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A Reasonable Decision Against Common Sense?

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Almost my¬†entire¬†life I have been confronted and¬†affronted by people who thought they knew what was best for my life. Although many of these individuals meant well,¬†their misguided advice¬†only served either to insult me or enslave me to the various cultural “norms” of Canadian society. Although I love and respect some of these individuals, their advice, on occasion, was not necessarily in my best interest, but was rather a preprogrammed notion or desire of their own to be lived out in my personal life. In fact, by the time I finished high school I had it up to my “eyeballs” with the unsolicited advice of others. It was about then when I realized that everyone one of us has some sort of agenda in life, not only for ourselves, but, unfortunately for others.

A lesson I need to take to heart as an “advisor” to my young adults today.

I find it interesting when I come across people who are conformists to the letter “C”, especially when it comes to following the preprogrammed expectations and norms of Canadian society. Even the “rebels” of our society often follow an obvious preprogrammed script, as it were.

During the time I worked in the Northern part of our province, predominantly amongst the Aboriginal and Metis people, I was continually amazed at how many of the youth had taken on the Gangsta Rap or Hardcore Rap culture that, as far as I understand, originated predominantly amongst African Americans in the USA. They talked the talk and walked the walk of a Rapper, not realizing that they were simply conforming to another sub-culture of American society. Somebody, somewhere was getting filthy rich at their expense.

Granted, life on the Northern reserves and some of the more isolated Metis communities, for lack of a better descriptor, is absolutely tragic. My words would do no justice in describing the poverty and despair that I witnessed. Alcohol and drug abuse, overcrowded housing, violent crime, incest and other forms of sexual abuse, the list is almost endless. In fact, one small community that I worked in had the highest rate of teenage suicide in the country. The population of the town was only 5000 including the peripheral reserve communities.

As a civil servant working in the field of Communications for a Northern health district, I felt it was part of my responsibility to keep the general public informed as to the tragedies occurring all around me. Yet, more often than not, I would face obstacles, gag orders, and even threats NOT to publish the facts, from my perspective, by the powers that be. As a non-partisan civil servant, there is not a whole lot of wiggle room. I had no choice but to conform and comply to government orders and demands. Eventually, I would see a general press release put out to the public that obscured the real issues and made the political leaders smell like a rose.

Of course, there was always somebody in the health district who was willing to leak incomplete or even non-factual stories to the press and the local press would eagerly run with it. Fact checking was overlooked in favour of sensationalism. Besides, it would reveal the source(s) of the leaks. I always found that unethical and distasteful. Tracking down the source of the leaks could never be a rewarding experience either, and I did not envy those who were assigned to that task.

I am very¬†thankful I made the decision, a number of years ago, to return¬†to my home to be with my family on a regular basis. I took on mind-numbing job(s) in the city for another few years before I made the decision to move towards the crossroads of semi-retirement. Sometimes the things that we witness and experience just aren’t worth the cost to our emotional health including personal peace and joy.

Looking back,¬†I now know that God Himself was leading and guiding me back to a place of peace and contentedness. There’s no place like home ūüôā

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What does the Scripture say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination?

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The innocence of a child who knows only of LOVE.

Introduction

As one who lives in a predominantly secular humanistic society, there remains much confusion and conflict over racism, prejudice, and discrimination. It seems that the more Canadian society tries to find answers and/or solutions to the aforementioned, the more our society contributes to the problem rather than eradicates it.

As a follower of Christ, I look to our Creator¬†and the Scripture for answers to age-old problems termed “hatred” in modern society.

Continue reading “What does the Scripture say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination?”