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Archive for August, 2011

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Proof of Faith?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

I overheard a very interesting conversation the other day and it has had me thinking ever since. I have debated writing about it and as usual my need to put my thoughts down in order to fully appreciate and understand them myself has won out so I have decided to throw caution to the wind and actually post about… religion! I know, scary, controversial stuff right?

As some of you may know and others may not care, I was raised by two lapsed Roman Catholics and spent my summers with a zealous French Grandmother who saw it as her life’s mission to save me. Those summers saw twice weekly masses conducted neither in English or in French but (yes if you can believe), completely in Latin! I didn’t have a clue what was going on but was prodded and told when to sit, when to stand, when to kneel and afterward I as a child 5 or 6 would spend Sunday brunch with my grandparents and their friends discussing the service and of course everyone they saw their at a local Salisbury House. I wasn’t allowed to speak unless spoken to. Believe it or not with all of the other insanity of my childhood – those summers were some of the best and some of the worst times of my life. The best because I actually felt cared about in some way by my grandparents even though her caring consisted of telling me everything that was wrong with me, my family and my life but they spent time with me. I also got out of the house I shared with my abuser so that was always a plus. They were also some of the worst times because I was introduced to a world that I was supposed to strive to raise myself to be and yet all I could see was hypocrisy, intolerance and controversy – everything that these people of faith professed to be against on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights but practiced full force the rest of the week. Even a child could recognize it.

All in all I grew up with a pretty good knowledge of Catholicism and Christianity. I have read the bible cover to cover and practice the dogma of services by rote even to this day. Although because of my parents aversion to the church and my only access to it during the summers of my childhood, I never did take my First Communion and looking back now,  I am grateful because I would hate to have to turn my back on or break a promise I made to follow any faith religiously, pardon the pun. As an adult who has researched and who has lived with a foot in two very different worlds I have a very strong faith in a higher power, I choose to call that power God for lack of a better term but it could very well also be called Karma, the Universe or any other name you choose, the name means nothing to me, it is my belief that everything happens for a reason, that there are powers and energies beyond our ken, far more powerful than us out there, the belief that the human spirit goes on as an energy form throughout the universe long after the body dies – these are the beliefs hat matter to me. Not the ‘stories’ told in a bejeweled house of worship, not the rules and regulations one must follow to be ”saved’ from themselves, not the belief that anyone who believes different is ultimately wrong and suffering. None of those practices have anything to do with my practice of spirituality although I have witnessed how much they have to do with other people’s forms of religion.

The conversation I referred to at the start of this entry had to do with a religious research effort to find proof of evolution, proof they state they did not find thus proving in essence, Creationism. I found the irony in that amusing. Did I comment on it or try to open a discussion? Nope, not at all. I have found that religious discussions with Religious people don’t often go well – why is that? Well I don’t really believe it is their personal fault but most religions believe to the exclusion of all other beliefs so that although they preach tolerance and acceptance, for the most part they all have one thing in common – they are right, everyone else is wrong or at least misguided and in need of being saved from themselves. Just think of the Ten Commandments – what is the first of them all? “Tho shalt have no other Gods before me”. Sums it up right? Any other God is wrong, no other belief is allowed or tolerated. Not exactly the start for a frank discussion or a sharing of ideas and opinions.

Anyway – what really caught me about the conversation of Evolution vs. Creationism is the idea that lack of proof of existence actually proves the non-existent when the religious speak of Evolution. One of the ladies actually laughed and said, ‘Man evolving from ooze – impossible!’ and went on to talk about how this lack of evidence the research found proves that God created Earth and man in his own image. I sat and wondered, pretending not to notice but thought about the opposite and the reaction I would get if I pointed out that there is no proof of God either so what does that mean for all religions? I think it would have made a great discussion, but only if people are open to the debate, open to theories alternative to their own. Am I? Of course I am. I believe in a higher power. I believe that everyone has their own version of that Higher Power so whether you choose to call your’s God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah – and follow any type of dogma to find your own comfort – all the power to you, you have that right. Can I disprove your faith? Nope. Can you disprove mine? Nope – that is the thing about faith, it is there or it isn’t – there needs to be no proof, to each their own and whatever works for them – I am happy for them and open to hearing about it – I actually find it fascinating.

So why is it that the majority of religious people I encounter are so against discussing other religions, other faiths? I actually had a group of ladies once, after finding out that I am not a Christian, tell me that they felt sorry for me that I don’t believe in anything, that I have no faith. Huh. Regardless of what I told them they just ignored it and assumed that I will have an eternity of damnation, that I am a lost soul because I don’t believe in what they believe.  I find that so very sad. The world would be a much better place, so many wars and deaths would be avoided if we could all just agree to disagree on the subject of faith and realize that none of us have proof, none of us is right, none of us is wrong and that we can all believe what we want to believe without feeling threatened by the beliefs of anyone else. If you are a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, A Hindu, a Satanist, an Atheist – whatever you consider yourself to be, really what does that have to do with me and what I believe? Not a damn thing. That is a great thing about Faith, it doesn’t need proof, it doesn’t need a consensus and it certainly does not rely on the opinions of others.

So to all my spiritual, religious and scientific friends…. do what works for you, and I for one would love to hear about it!

Peace Out!

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We’re killing our kids!

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Over the summer I have been working on some professional upgrading and catching up on all of the professional journals and research that I have gotten behind on.

What has astounded me (even though it shouldn’t) are the scary new statistics regarding childhood obesity and obesity related diseases. It was bad enough that the World heal Organization had to rename adult-onset diabetes to ‘type II’ diabetes because of the amount of children who have been diagnosed with it. This disease was once unheard of in children and is now quite common to find. If you don’t know Type II diabetes is a life-style disease and while genetics may play some role in your risk of getting it, this risk factor can be overcome with proper diet and exercise—something too few of our children are getting.

Other diseases that were once unheard of in children which are now becoming more and more common are: high Cholesterol, hyper tension, heart disease and arthritis. What is happening to the children of North America that is putting them in mortal danger from their own bodies?

What is happening to them?? WE are happening to them! Us, the adults, the parents and the role models for these children are killing them with our laziness, our ignorance and our indifference to their health. We are sacrificing their health and longevity for the sake of our own convenience and even their short-term happiness. And by short term, I mean short term. It is much easier to give in and go through a drive through to see a smile from a toddler than to force them to eat their vegetables—because we want to see those smiles don’t we?

I don’t know about you but I personally would prefer to see them smile when they are 30 and living a healthy life. I would choose to not see them cry in pain with daily injections, blindness, or amputation in later life than smile today, but obviously I am in a shrinking minority according to the amount of children out there with lifestyle related disease.

I honestly don’t know how better to say it—I see it every day in clients who are terrified to change their family’s eating habits for fear of dealing with children and even spouses who rebel or resist, choosing instead to continue unhealthy practices.

What is wrong with us as parents—what happened to the role of the parent that has turned us into slaves to our children? Giving them whatever they want instead of whatever they need?

I have heard the excuses, I have heard the rationalizations but I am sorry—if your children are overweight and unhealthy there is no excuse, there is no one to blame but you—their parent.

Unless your children earn the money, buy the groceries, set the menus and do the cooking, their diet is strictly within the control of their parents and if they no longer are, their habits are 100% influenced by how they were raised again—by their parents. I feel sorry for these children who’s parents don’t seem to care enough about their health and future to take the steps they need to help them as children.

If you are one of these parents, and are spitting nails at me right now, that’s ok, I can take it. Hopefully once your anger at me fades you will look a little differently at your children and realize that their future, their present depends on you.

 

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