When I was a teenager, I experienced an unexpected moment of spiritual awareness as I lay in bed, deeply troubled by a doctor’s prognosis. I wasn’t praying as such, yet I suddenly became aware of a divine presence, loving me. That calmed my troubled thoughts and prompted a physical healing. At the time, I was a non-religious Jew, and I wanted to understand how such a healing could happen.
‘The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing.’
No doubt, it would be great to see a few more folks at church on Sunday. As nice as it is to have an entire pew (or two, or three) to myself, I’d gladly give up the surplus real estate for even a handful of extra voices to back me up on the hymn-singing.
An article I read recently, entitled "Why butter and eggs won't kill us after all: Flawed science triggers U-turn on cholesterol fears," really got me walking down a memory lane depicting my own changing views about food's impact on health, and my resulting eating habits. It also prompted me to ponder how, in this world of ever-changing food theories and advice, we can make the right choices, and feel and be healthy.
How can we determine what is good or detrimental to our health?
It seems hard to find answers when there’s such a constant stream of changing information to sift through. Now there’s even the concept out there that it’s not how you eat, exercise, and work that matters, it’s what you think about how you are doing them that actually makes the difference!
In meiner Kindheit hatten wir keinen Fernseher zu Hause. Als Fußballfan war ich auf die Konferenzschaltungen des WDR angewiesen und voller Spannung erlebte ich am Transistorradio, wie zwischen der Gelsenkirchener Glückauf-Kampfbahn und dem Dortmunder Westfalenstadion hin- und her geschaltet wurde. Und zwischendurch ab und zu der Ruf eines Reporters: „Tor im Berliner Olympiastadion!“
(In my childhood we had no TV at home. As a football fan, I had to rely on the conference calls of the WDR and bursting with excitement I experienced at the transistor radio, as was between the Gelsenkirchen Glückaufkampfbahn and the Westfalenstadion switched back and forth. And between now and then the cry of a reporter: "Tor in Berlin's Olympic Stadium!")
Summer is here and many families are flying off for vacations or to visit friends and family. But in many cases, travelling is becoming an increasingly difficult enterprise. Long lines through security, delayed or cancelled flights and missed connections are commonplace. We also hear increasing reports concerning sometimes violent interactions on planes and in airports, now called air rage. Many feel the whole experience of travel is so exhausting that they need several days to recover physically.
A scar is a constant reminder of a wound from the past. It may serve as evidence of a horrible event, useful only in establishing guilt in a court case for example, but it also prevents the individual from fully letting go of the memory of the hurt that may have attended the wound. Scars can be unsightly, resulting in the telling and re-telling of the sad experience. Some psychologists opine that verbalising a negative experience may lessen the mental damage, over time. Scars can be physical or emotional. Emotional scars, by their very nature, are invisible, internalised, yet they govern the attitudes, thoughts, even decisions of the sufferer.
According to a report published in The Lancet, climate change is having as much of an impact on our health as it is on the environment.
The news may not be all bad, say Lancet editors Richard Horton and Helena Hui Wang, since this realization could reduce a complex and all-too-easily dismissed problem to something everyone can relate to and, presumably, will want to do something about.
Today 7/7 survivor Gill Hicks praised "the power and brilliance of humanity". She said "my life was saved by strangers, people who never gave up, people who risked their own lives to save mine." That's London at its best! But was there also another factor in her survival?
Old friends from my post-college, early-career days recently found me through social media. Their name and greeting popped up in messages I received in recent months, and each time one did I was whisked back 25-30 years, when we first worked together, socialized together, and came to know each other well. I then discovered just how much has changed over the years when I saw a recent photo they attached, or heard about their children and grandchildren, and especially when I found out a few of them now have a strong interest in spiritual and religious matters. That recurring comment was a big surprise. Not because any of my friends had openly dismissed religion when I first knew them; it just never came up in all the years we knew each other. Not a hint. Ever.