new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Accidentally on Purpose

Everyone loves a love story, right? We like to hear stories of how people got together. Of how they first met and how that relationship developed. Stories of how love blossomed in unlikely circumstances or between two people whose worlds have collided. We delight in tales of people falling in love. It's beautiful. It's romantic and it's why romantic comedies are so popular. The bliss of love is the reason Mills and Boon sell squillions of books. But do people really fall in love?

Falling indicates an action which is unplanned and uncontrolled. You can fall off something like a cliff, or off a horse or a bike. You can fall down the stairs or down a hole. But all that sort of falling usually results in some sort of injury and is consequently not something we desire. Even an adventurous young boy doesn't climb a tree and plan to fall out of it. Falling in love is the same as the abovementioned falling activities in that it's likely to result in harm. In us getting hurt. In the case of falling in love, the pain will be from a broken heart.

However, is love really an accident? I don't think so. I reckon that people choose to 'fall in love'. It happens as a result of choices. If we think of love as an ocean, then there are two responses. Some people run and jump in to the water. Other people wade in carefully. Whether cautious or reckless, a choice is still being made.
We choose how we respond and react to people. Love is a choice not an accident. I don't believe that ruins the romance either, and I'm sorry if you do. Love is still beautiful. In fact, it's more valuable and praiseworthy when it is deliberate.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sack the government

We must get rid of the Kevin Rudd led Labour government in Australia. We no longer have a choice. When they are to blame for everything that's wrong in this country, what else can we do? Thankfully, there is an election approaching fast so we can vote them out and with the arrival of a new government all our problems will be over.

No more boats arriving from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan loaded with desperate refugees seeking asylum in our great nation. No more waiting for surgery, no more medical disasters caused by a lack of money, no more people sleeping in corridors because there aren't any beds, and no more hospital patients dialling triple zero to get drinks because there aren't enough nurses. The health system will be miraculously healed in the blink of an eye. Finally, and most importantly, there will be no more dishonesty in Australia. Liars, cheats, and frauds will vanish. The evil that men do will cease. Shonky businesses won't use the fact that they are bidding for government tenders as an excuse to overcharge. That's called "price gouging" and it will never happen again under a new government.

One of the government's responses to the Global Financial Crisis was to spend and spend big in order to stimulate economic growth and offset the worldwide downturn. Three of these big spending programs have been in the news over the last month or so. The Home Insulation Project, The Schools Building Project and another project which builds housing for Aboriginals in regional and remote areas. Apparently in its haste to roll out the money for these projects as fast as possible, the government overlooked the fact that some people only see advantage for themselves in certain situations. For example, when the government says that everyone can have their homes insulated for free, some people think that represents an opportunity for them to make a lot of money very quickly. Safety standards? Proper accreditation? What? Who cares about that?

Building companies see that the government is handing out money for school building projects and aboriginal housing projects so they dive in for their share of the action. It's a feeding frenzy on public money.No problem as long as they do a good job. As long as they do it properly. As long as they don't overcharge. The trouble is that some did.

This may disturb you so I hope you are sitting down. There are dishonest people in our society who think nothing of cheating and lying or doing whatever else may be required to get what they want. There are people whose main concern is the dollars in their pocket. The government should have known that their good intentions would be torn to shreds by selfish frauds. They should have foreseen the extent to which crooked business people would rip them off. A government so naive should not be allowed to continue governing the country.

If you agree with me and can't read the intense sarcasm in my words, then you are the naive one. The truth is that every system that has ever been designed to benefit society in any way has been abused by selfish, heartless, and lazy people. Fact. We are being ridiculous in the extreme when we blame the government for human nature. These are good programs which have in the majority of cases worked very successfully and benefited many Australians, but thanks to the squeaking wheels of rorting and gouging, some people want to scrap the whole thing, and of course it's all the government's fault, so let's sack them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Party Pooper

Interesting story from Denmark this week about the Carlsberg beer company tightening their rules on drinking at work. Workers have stormed off the job in protest at no longer been allowed to drink beer whenever they like during the work day. Most work places have water coolers but Carlsberg employees have had unlimited access to beer coolers. These have been removed and the workers may now only drink at lunchtime. Presumably, management is still trusting personal responsibility to prevent drunkenness which is how it worked before the ban.

Everyone knows the effects of alcohol which is why drinking it has usually been considered an out of work activity. A social activity. Of course, liquid lunches are infamous in many workplaces and particularly in some professions. However, being sloshed is not conducive to efficient work practices. Booze may loosen the tongue and remove inhibitions in some cases but is that they kind of personal interaction we want to encourage at work. Think about where you work. How would it be if alcohol consumption was not only permitted but encouraged by the provision of beer coolers, for example?

According to The Opinionated Beer Page ( http://www.tobp.com/humor/work.shtml)there are 25 reasons why drinking beer at work is a good idea. See the website for the full list if you're interested but it includes, increasing the chance of seeing your boss naked, making burping in meetings acceptable, raising the chances of getting pay rises because drunk bosses are more likely to say yes, and the number one reason on the list of why beer drinking should be encouraged in the workplace is that it is an incentive to actually show up to work. I know this list is supposed to be humourous but isn't this kind of humour the very reason why we don't want people getting smashed at work. This list was probably written on company time by a drunk employee.

On a serious note you have to wonder about the health of people who drink beer like water, and although the news reports don't contain any reasons for the change of policy at Carlsberg, I think it's safe to say that there has either been an accident as a result of someone being drunk, or that the company is increasingly worried about such an occurrence. So they should be.

Call me a party pooper but if people knew how to control themselves then we wouldn't have any problems at all. The sad truth is that we don't always know how to control ourselves so we have all these rules about what we can and can't do and, where we can and can't do it. Suck it up Carlsberg brewery workers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I am Right

Nobody wants to be wrong. When my children challenge me on something they believe to be fact, they don't always accept that I know more than they do and that I am more than likely right. We have 5 cent bets. That's how we settle the debate. We bet 5 cents and then we Google the facts. They don't usually pay, but that's bedside the point.

We like to think we know things and that we have answers to questions, and solutions to problems. Being right proves our worth. It makes us better than someone else. Smarter. More resourceful. The spirit of competition boils beneath the surface of many of our actions and relationships. Yes, it is stronger in some than others, but at a deep level, I believe everyone wants to be right. We want to know our actions are justified, our decisions are wise, and our answers are correct. We need to know that we are living right and travelling down the right path.We do whatever we can to make things right in our lives. To fix what is broken.

This hunger stems from basic needs which all people possess. The need to be loved, the need to feel useful, and the need to belong. These are universal needs. What many fail to see is that our longing to be right is actually a desire to be right with God. The problem is that we can't do anything to make ourselves right with God. That relationship which He intended all of us to prosper in is damaged because we think we are already right. We can't admit that we are wrong, that we have done wrong, that our need to be right is a manifestation of our pride. We don't have all the answers, we don't know everything (in fact most of us hardly know anything)This conceit rears its ugly head in our relationships where we actually work against ourselves and our real desires because we are broken. We hurt ourselves and others despite our best efforts not to. We are messed up.

Jesus Christ is the only remedy. The only solution. Easter is all about God fixing the problem by sending his Son to die for us. This is right and true. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend. The only way to be right with God is to accept what Christ did for you, believe it and believe in Him.
When I consider what Jesus has done for me, my need to be right seems childish and pathetic. I only need to be right with God.