Thursday, 28 January 2010

Alternative

Alternative

It’s a sad fact of life, the majority opinion is not always correct. Not that I dislike democracy, I think it is probably the best way to be governed, and greatly preferred to some very dark alternatives. Which is why I think a good democracy must have laws and ways to protect the minorities, even though that is sometimes irksome to the majority.

During my life I have had the privilege of working in many different areas, and had the opportunity to observing a great deal. I am more than ever convinced that the corporate majority way of ‘being’ just does not cut it, even though; sadly, that is often where we end up.

Some of the corporate organisations that I have observed include church, business, social services and education; regularly the ‘company man’ will tell me how I should do it and why my way of doing it is wrong. I look at what is being done in the name of the establishment and it frequently causes me to let out a load groan. They seem not to notice that what is being done is inefficient, usually lacking heart and passion, often controlled by Mr. Jobsworth. If sense is common, then I don’t see that, as it seems to be regularly lacking in practice. Corporations have become large, impersonal and dehumanised as anyone will know who has sat on the end of an interminable telephone answering system, stabbing at menu choice after menu choice as the tension mounts.

I look at Social services and think; this is just too big. If it was smaller, more personal, with more manageable units and real accountability, surely that would work better.

I am involved in education, running small schools, but often get told ‘that won’t work’, usually by people who have been trained ‘in the system’. 30 years of doing this has shown me that actually, it does work, and works very well!

Church is another area of involvement. When I first moved to London I took charge of a couple of congregations, their leadership at the time asked my why I was changing certain things, my answer was to try to do what I believed ‘church’ was supposed to do. Their response ‘do you know if what you are doing will work?’ I was honest and told them I did not know. They got very upset and said, ‘if you don’t know if it will work or not, but you are changing it, that’s a bad thing to do, why are you doing that?’ I responded without hesitation, ‘we already know that what is being done at the moment doesn’t work don’t we.’

As Anthony Robbins says, (he is a self-help author and motivational speaker) “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

In the business arena people talk to me ‘who know’ and tell me how to do it successfully. And usually it is not the way that I am doing it. I don’t think I have failed yet, it may depend on the measuring rod I am using, but what I am doing looks successful to me even though I am not doing it your way.


These advisers often tell me that what I plan to do ‘can’t be done’. But I am a stubborn curmudgeon and don’t understand the word ‘can’t’. In many instances, what they tell me can’t be done, I have already done successfully. But I save my breath because even if I did tell you I don’t think you would hear me.

Where am I going with this? What I am saying is be careful about throwing away, dismissing, casting cold water and poo pooing that ‘alternative’ idea, plan or operation. It might just be the answer we have all been looking for, just because it challenges your training, gets you out of your comfort zone or is not how it has always been done. Having no experience does not mean it will be a non-starter, be daring, be bold, be alternative!



Adrian Hawkes
Thursday, 28 January 2010
W. 684
Alternative or corporate see my lastest blog at www.adrianhawkes.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

My Wife

This is a post on a blog web site about my wife which I thought I would re post it was written by a friend who came to the party from South London

Learning to love from those who set the example

On Saturday I went to a friend’s 60th birthday party. It was quite an event, apart from the fact that it was so creative, fun and flamboyant, what struck me most was how diverse the people were there. Children, older people, young people, people from different cultures and places in society, all gathered to celebrate her birthday.

I think the reason for this is that she really is the coolest 60 year old I know. Why? Because she has spent her life loving people, fostering children, setting up a fostering agency, creating homes for asylum seekers, starting schools and churches in developing countries, hosting countless people in her home, she has made thousands of meals for people, she has created opportunities for people to get housed in London. She is scary generous with her money.

To do these things she has nurtured incredible Jesus qualities. She has an amazing way of accepting people just as they are without passing judgment, she listens, she is excited to see you, she creates time for people whenever they call, she gives away what she has (in fact one of her favourite quote is “give it away, give it away, give it away now” by the red hot chilli peppers!); She has weathered the life’s storms and held on to Jesus steadfastly throughout.

What motivates her? The love of Christ, compassion for the oppressed, and a zealous heart for justice.

She has authentic love for people, and to me is a genuine example of a Jesus follower.

• Who are the older people in your life that inspire you and why?

• Think of ways you can multiply those Jesus qualities in your life

• Consider ways you can bless those people today. Pray for them.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

BLASPHEMY

Blasphemy

I note from the Guardian that the Irish Doyle is suggesting that there should be, in Ireland, an extension of the blasphemy laws to include all offences to religion whatever they may be.

I note ‘Atheist Ireland’, a group that claims to represent the rights of atheists, responded to the new law by publishing 25 anti-religious quotations on its website, from figures including Richard Dawkins, Bj√∂rk, Frank Zappa and the former Observer editor and Irish ex-minister Conor Cruise O'Brien, who are opposing the law by trying to be as blasphemous as possible, I guess they hope publicity from their publication by being taken to court.

If you look at Pakistan, or India or places where blasphemy laws exists, it seems to me that they are often used by people not against blasphemy per se but rather to settle other scores, such as property disputes, or just to attack people that you don’t like; or as is often the case attack people with another belief system that you don’t agree with.

It also is rather strange that we want to stop people saying things against that which we believe, as if what we believe is not strong enough in its essence to defeat such nonsense. It seems to me that if my arguments for what I believe in, or where I get my value system from are so strong that your argument cannot stand against it therefore you must silence me or worse you must kill me seems an extremely strange way to defend ones opinion. Is your opinion so weak that you cannot argue back, you can only deal with me by silence me or by my death?

Let me also say that my mail tells me it is not the so called ‘religious’ people who are guilty of such nonsense. I have emails from a very learned atheist telling me that they would like to silence me, and that if they had the power they would most certainly use it to see to it that my views had no air time! “Soon the mental child abuse you inflict upon innocent children will be outlawed. BA(hons) MA” (direct quote from one of those emails that I get when talking on TV about God) Even when there is televised debate, the view being portrayed is not necessarily dealing with the real argument, those real arguments are often on the cutting-room floor.

I note from the Guardian article that Richard Dawkins is trying to be as rude as possible about God http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/01/irish-atheists-challenge-blasphemy-law?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

As a Christian does his view offend me or upset me? Well I don’t like what he says, and just because he says it does that make it right? I obviously don’t think so. Do I think that I need to defend The God who is there, I don’t think so, I think he is quite able to move to his own defense if he thought it worth while, which I doubt.

In terms of the word blasphemy, what is the dictionary definition: Blasphemies A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity. So it seems to me that you can’t get a more contemptuous act than that of the crucifixion of God, which is what happened. I think *’The God who is there’s answer to that act is splendid. The Resurrection!

Adrian Hawkes
3rd January 2010
w.569
* ‘The God who is there’ phrase used by Francis Schaffer the L'Abri community in Switzerland.
Hi there, happy new year, for those in Frozen uk, stuck at home, check out my blog new on one Would love to see your comments!

Friday, 1 January 2010

The Problem Of Morals

The problem of Morals

For many years I was Chair of Governors for a large North London school. We would regularly receive directives from Government departments asking us to work hard to create good citizens. Well educated ones of course. I sympathised with their desires.

In Ofsted 'speak’, and enshrined in Government legislation runs the SMSC theme. This requires schools to work on these four areas in the lives of the children; Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural. I am pleased that the Government, and in turn, school inspectors acknowledge that human beings are made up of more than just the physical.

The Bible has a strange little phrase; “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he;” Proverbs 23v7. Have you ever considered how strong your perceptions of yourself make you become what you think you are, and this is how you project yourself, which is why self confidence is so vital.

Let’s take this a little further, and argue that if we think we are just mechanical beings, they why should we not act mechanically, and what we do to each other, or how we do it is not really that important, we are, after all, just machines. Conversely, if we are just animals, then we can act like animals to each other. Some animals are nice to each other, some are not and will attack their own species, even eat them. For many species, mating is something to be fought over and has no connection with faithfulness, or reliability, and there is no moral basis to sexuality. If I am an animal, then that is how it is.

I recently worked with a committee comprising of Muslims, Jews, Christians and a variety of other religions, and in my sub-group, a humanist. We were debating morals in the light of the legislation mentioned above. My question is always, where do morals come from? The humanist argued that it is just part of being human, but is that true? In the sixties, I had a friend who told me he always had at least £700 in his pocket. I was, at the time, earning £15 a week, which was not a bad wage at the time. I asked him how he managed to obtain so much money at the ripe old age of 9. He shrugged and said “I steal it” I asked him how he could justify this, what did his family think, he explained that the only crime his family would beat him for was ‘being caught’, as far back as he could remember, parents, grand-parents, great grand-parents their life was simple ‘No one steals from us, and if we steal from them it’s only what they deserve, they should have been more careful, as we are.’ I pondered if that would be a good moral base for school children.

The question remains, where does a moral base come from? My wealthy young friend and his thieving family worked it out from a ‘human’ point of view. The humanist would say, ‘that’s how we get our conclusions.’ But is it?

On the other side of the debate, my Muslim, Jewish and Christian friends would all agree that a moral imperative must come from some kind of law giver, rather like the law of the land, produced by the legislature. Seems logical to me; is the ultimate law-giver God? A higher standard, from which to set a moral base?
I also pose the question; does our Christian heritage affect how we respond as individuals and as a country? When crisis strikes in Africa or some other far flung place, appeals are made and the UK public responds, and is well known for its generosity. I would argue that this response is due to our Christian roots, which echo down the centuries, reminding us we need to help those in need. I discussed this with my humanist friend, pointing out that there are countries equally as prosperous as the UK, but without the Christian heritage, who respond by saying ‘this is not our problem’. Why the different response? The humanist explanation is that Britain’s colonial history solicits this generous response, whereas other countries did not have the power of the Empire in their history. I do have problems with that explanation, from my reading of history, it seems to me that the Empire mentality was ‘get what you can for us’, perhaps I am wrong.

Can you help me out? Can you shed some light? Laws suggest a lawgiver; morals suggest to me that somewhere there is a moral ideal, invented by a moral giver. Or should we just come to our own conclusion, like my 9 year old friend with a big, fat, stolen wedge in his pocket, ‘if I don’t get caught, what’s the problem?’

Adrian Hawkes
21st December 2009
W. 805
New year and new page on my Blog The Problems of Morals... check it out www.adrianhawkes.blogspot.com