The recent public controversy over vaccination has produced strong opinions – and surprising divisions – in contemporary Australia on the competing concerns of public health and toleration of diversity. In a recent “Open for Discussion” interview (“Vaccination – A researcher’s insight”, October 20), Associate Professor Julie Leask spoke of the need to reach out for the cooperation of the “people in the middle” on this issue, and that’s where I find myself – perhaps surprisingly to many – as a Christian Scientist. The long experience of Christian Scientists as a religious minority might in some ways point to the possibilities of a “middle path” of mutual respect and understanding.Continue Reading
The ratings don’t lie. And they are telling us that millions are watching TV programs such as Who do you think you are?
That’s clear evidence of just how fascinating we find it to trace our family histories back through the generations. And to watch celebrities doing so!
In particular, I’ve been intrigued with how moved the featured personalities are by the heartbreaks, injustices and challenges experienced by their ancestors, even though they are encountering them for the very first time.
Shocking discoveries also pepper family histories,Continue Reading
Who says so?
Our government does, so do more and more medical practitioners, and even health funds are speaking out, saying this is what Australians need.
Does this mean developing a new model of healthcare? Well, it might already be taking shape – growing out of the advances being made in new fields of medical research, such as the spirituality-mind-body connection, epigenetics and neuroscience.
But what should the final product look like, if we are developing a new model of healthcare?
What does “being well” actually look like?Continue Reading
The issue of violence is prominent in our community conversations at the moment. Terrorism, drug-related violence, domestic and institutional abuse, and even road rage are insistently crying out for our attention and solutions.
Despite serious efforts over many years to prevent violence, to deal with its effects and to punish the perpetrators, there’s now general agreement that violence will continue to escalate and to propagate fear in the community until we find and treat the real causes.
Fundamental beliefs that underlie and perpetuate all kinds of violence are: that humans have an animal nature prone to competition, self-preservation and aggression;Continue Reading
This year Youth Week in NSW announced their partnership with NSW Health for National Youth Week 2015, running from 10-19 April. Their website advises that governments across Australia are committed to improving sexual health outcomes and are making every effort to inform young people how to prevent sexually transmissible infections (STIs). However, the website states that they have stopped short at addressing the cause of the problem.
It is suggested that the proliferation of online pornography is compounding the problems associated with promiscuity. This article reports a surprising advocate for a pornography-free society, while asserting that knowledge of our mental and spiritual nature gives the ability to be an agent for change within ourselves and in the wider community.
International Volunteer Day falls on 5 December each year; a day established by the United Nations to raise awareness of all that volunteers add to our economic and social development, at every level in the global community.
Did you know that your “attitude of gratitude” which has led you to volunteer is adding to your health and wellbeing; whether it’s in collecting for a worthwhile cause, giving your time and expertise in community service organisations like Surf Life Saving Australia, working on school P&Cs or for Meals on Wheels or church-based community organisations?
Scientists have been accumulating considerable evidence that verifies what spiritual thinkers have long affirmed: “a grateful heart” that is ready to be of service is beneficial to our health.Continue Reading
Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.
Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.
Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved. Over time they may come to accept the charade as part of themselves.
For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.Continue Reading
It is fascinating to trace your family history back through the generations. Millions agree, considering the popularity of TV programs such as Who do you think you are?
I find it amazing that the well-known personalities who delve into the past are quite emotional about the heartbreaks, injustices and challenges experienced by their forebears, who they have only just discovered existed. On the plus side, this has led to healing in families when today’s standards and insights about race, religion, circumstances and nationality have been brought to the table.
Genealogy websites are just as popular. My cousins had traced our family tree back several generations. So, earlier this year we visited a family estate in Ireland and our namesake town in England and felt the warmth of belonging, despite never having visited before.
On the downside, shocking discoveries about forebears, such as a relative who promoted slavery, or great, great-grandparents who included criminals, prisoners, millionaires and paupers, all pepper family histories. Not to mention records of disease and mental illness resurfacing over the generations.Continue Reading
The years between 15-25 are frequently a time of questioning and great discovery, but like many others I found them difficult. I had to deal with chronic disease, failure in my chosen career, a persistent lack of self-worth along with indecision about an alternative career path, and loneliness.
Although never diagnosed, a psychologist would probably have called me depressed.Continue Reading