The Sexuality Conundrum

I’m sitting on a balcony overlooking a sea view to die for on the south coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa in this year 2017. In spite of this idyllic setting, the current world news intrudes and my thoughts turn to things less inspiring than white horses crashing on the seashore. I can’t help thinking about why the so-called tipping point of the Hollywood sexual scandals has occurred at this particular time when it is has been an open secret, not only in tinsel town but in the business world in general for a long time. What with unending wars worldwide and personal wars on the domestic front, in the shape of a lone gunman in the USA shooting on a crowd of people for no apparent reason other than that he could, you would think that there was enough negative energy out there lurking in every dark corner of the planet it seems. In our beloved South Africa, it appears to be even worse, with darkest Africa making a comeback in the form of cannibalism surfacing right here in KZN. The sad fact is all are symptoms of the human condition.

If this is so, what condition are they a symptom of? Perhaps the condition of a sick society infected by a lack of real love? God created man to love him, to serve him and to be with him in the next life, says the old catechism. The best description of real love is the well-known biblical verse on the definition of love 1 Cor. Chpt 13.  Be positive, stop being so negative echoes the voices in my mind, of so many well-meaning positive gurus out there. And yet still I find it hard not to wonder where we went wrong as a society. If there has been a time in history when so many wars have been fought on so many fronts giving rise to so many genocides and so much abuse of the weak by the strong, then I know nothing! The abuse, sexual and otherwise is not restricted to Hollywood. It is a pandemic that overwhelms even the most hardened stoic.

In becoming as advanced as we have done, did we throw out the baby with the bathwater? Or is it simply the cycle of life? I doubt it. Will people automatically revert to real values when the wheel of life slowly turns and at some point we remember what true value is; real value, as opposed to the fleeting, empty values of getting more, achieve more, spend more, use more, pollute more – in the name of progress? What you may ask is a real value?

With the groundswell of opposition to denuding of forests, rampant consumerism of natural resources, driven by big business greed for more and more power, most of us know that the real values have been discarded for the very ‘needs’  of humanity that are in reality mere ‘wants’. Very little is needed to survive but a great deal is needed to satisfy my lust for wanting, more of the same, day in and day out. So what has this to do with sexuality? Well, just about everything!

Disregard for the other by devaluing their worth, reducing people to transactional entities, “What do I get out of this situation?’ IS THE ROOT OF ALL OUR PROBLEMS! The wanting never stops! It cannot be separated from who we are as a society. Starting with family and how we relate to each other the glue that keeps a family strong, confident and progressive is trust, sincerity, openness and kindness. How often have we confused our children by doing things that lose us their trust; that teach them to be secretive and that show them cruelty rather than that rare ‘milk of human kindness’? The man who sexually assaults a vulnerable person was probably taught that he must always look for ‘what is in it for him’ in any interaction. How often have we not indicated this very same thing to our children when we say, ‘Don’t be stupid. Make sure you get what you deserve or, there is nothing for nothing and there is no such thing as a free lunch!’ All very good advice you may say, but therein lies the seed of Narcissus! It’s all about me, me, me!

This type of thinking has been acceptable for centuries and in spite of periods of enlightened thinking, it keeps repeating over time. From periods of serfdom, slavery and even later when primitive man evolved into fairly civilised society there has always been a class of people who were treated less than human by the stronger, more powerful group. What is it in our psyche that drives this behaviour? Has it now been so suppressed by a pseudo civilisation that it now emerges as this dirty, dark secret in families, at work and in society at large where the power play remains the same – I have the power so you must submit! Is it possible for us to change?

‘Oh dear, how morbid can you get?’ that small voice in my head again! The scene before me has changed from calm and balmy to choppy and cool. The sound of the crashing waves is less soothing as well. A light aircraft flies by, perhaps on a rescue mission or, simply tourists on a day out. Life goes on and perhaps that is all there is to it? Life being life.

I’ve not personally experienced a sexual power play that could not be managed by myself as an adult but the most vulnerable adults and very young children must be protected AT ALL COSTS because the children will grow up to be those vulnerable people who allow sexual abuse to happen to them, having bought into the idea that if daddy, mummy, brother, sister, cousin and neighbour abused me and nobody stopped it then it must be alright, and the cycle continues. When vulnerable children placed in government care at foster homes are made a top priority by society then fewer predators will go free. The vicious cycle of the victim turned predator will continue if we do not stand up to stop it!

And now it has become decidedly cooler. Time to go inside to my cosy nest? An indication perhaps that if by now you have read this far you may be in agreement with most, that perhaps I am too negative? That I should embrace the joys of life more? Perhaps your bright, sunny and positive disposition needs a dose of cool reality though.

Whatever your personal philosophy, the reality of the sexual abuse tipping point, along with the global shift in the balance of powers, notwithstanding the prevailing madness of powerful leaders, hopefully, has within it the seeds of a monumental wake-up call for humanity; a call that the time has come for restoring the fundamental real values that promote human development, without being self-destructive,  and values that are crucial to preserving the planet and the human race.  If you love your neighbour you will respect his home and yours, planet earth, too. It starts at home. Respect the people in your life and really love your children because loving anyone requires respect for them first.

So where is this sexual conundrum? We have to look at primitive society, for acceptance of our sexuality as natural and necessary for the continued existence of the species. But how to present this to children without turning it into something dark and secret, not to be spoken about? Huh, I hear you say, kids these days are bombarded with all sorts of sexual innuendo as though it was something nasty and they have no compunction talking about sex. Right, but that is why you as the parent have to be open. Encourage a questioning of all that they experience and hear, so that the child has the confidence to confide any concerns. This can only be done when the child is sure that he can trust the parent. The most diabolical thing to do is to betray that trust with abuse!

We have to combine the acceptance of sex as natural and good with the enlightened knowledge that unless we respect the other, we can misuse and abuse our sexuality. We do this to the detriment of society and personally, by a loss of our sense of identity, our sense of value and our sense of our person-hood, particularly when we do not acknowledge that our sexuality is precious. Precious in that it is given to us as a privilege of co-creating with the Divine Creator and it is something to venerate as a divine gift to be held in the highest regard, second only to real love. It is when we squander divine gifts with abuse and demean our neighbour through these gifts, that we turn on ourselves.

And now it really is quite cool and choppy in spite of the clear sky and bright sunshine. Another conundrum? So, what can we take away from all this? I think that the only way forward is, to begin with you and me. To make a change it starts here and now with us, by talking about it, then doing something, anything to help breathe cleaner, fresh air into a polluted situation. Honesty, respect and integrity develop trust, understanding and confidence for the children. Armed with these. they can stand their ground in any sexual circumstance unless very young and helpless. The sexuality conundrum does not have to be one.

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Why you don’t have to be Corrupt

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What do you do when you are surprised by a corrupt situation confronting you?  This is different from an awareness of corrupt activity that cannot be proved; you may be a close relative of the corrupt person or a close friend. Or, it may be that you had an idea about something not being quite above aboard but you were never quite certain about the facts; the corrupt person has access to a lifestyle that you know he cannot afford, or he associates with known criminals who have been openly accused of corruption and he is definitely not a criminal lawyer.  I don’t think it unfair to say that most people turn a blind eye to corruption and for various reasons such as, if you are a beneficiary, when you think it risky to speak out, your close family is involved, or something as simple as, it is more convenient to do so, finally, you think the capitalist system is designed for or susceptible to corruption so nothing can be done about it. The latter statement is a false belief. A more likely perception, and often more generally accepted one, is that corruption is endemic to the human condition as seen in the corrupt business world. This too is a false belief for the following reasons:

  • We always have a choice and the choices we make will impact on society for the good or not, of all and especially for the future of our planet.
  • Something can always be done about anything under the sun. It simply takes some courage and if we must dig deep then we should.
  • Systems, be they capitalist or otherwise, are always corrupted by the user, who makes the choice to be corrupt or not.
  • Once the choice to be corrupt is made it can only succeed with the support of others. Corruption cannot stand in isolation. Society allows corrupt activity to exist. You cannot point a finger at anyone if you pay a bribe for convenience, accept kickbacks for preferential treatment or bend the rules for friends and so on. When your choice is made out of pure self-interest it invariably is the wrong choice. We have to consider the greater good for society if we are to escape the harm corruption brings with it.
  • We can only stop corruption when we examine where, when and how we have been corrupt. That will lead us to why we make the choices we make.
  • Research and examine the impact corruption has on us individually and generally in the world. This will bring us to a point where we stop believing that it cannot be stopped. A change of attitude is all we need to make a difference. Making that change can be brutal but is imperative if we want to start caring about ourselves, our future and the future of the planet.
  • Understand that unless we nip corruption in its early stage, that whole barrel of apples will have to be thrown out, instead of just the one bad apple.

The corruption in my book, Stand Up Stand Down cuts across all levels of society and the remedy is applied with the help of the whole country, by people from all walks of life when the country marches peacefully in every large city.  A good outcome is only possible if the people have one goal and the will to work for the eradication of entrenched state corruption and personal corruption.  A victim in the story dramatically demonstrates this by making a sacrifice few are willing to make – he pays the price of losing his freedom, ironically for a crime committed to escape from corruption.

Visit my website www.lyndarogle.co.za

CORRUPTION

 

corruption img4

Why you don’t have to be Corrupt

What do you do when you are surprised by a corrupt situation confronting you?  This is different from an awareness of corrupt activity that cannot be proved; you may be a close relative of the corrupt person or a close friend. Or, it may be that you had an idea about something not being quite above aboard but you were never quite certain about the facts; the corrupt person has access to a lifestyle that you know he cannot afford, or he associates with known criminals who have been openly accused of corruption and he is definitely not a criminal lawyer.  I don’t think it unfair to say that most people turn a blind eye to corruption and for various reasons such as, if you are a beneficiary, when you think it risky to speak out, your close family is involved, or something as simple as, it is more convenient to do so, finally, you think the capitalist system is designed for, or susceptible to corruption so nothing can be done about it. The latter statement is a false belief. A more likely perception, and often more generally accepted one, is that corruption is endemic to the human condition as seen in the corrupt business world. This too is a false belief for the following reasons:

  • We always have a choice and the choices we make will impact on society for the good or not, of all and especially for the future of our planet.
  • Something can always be done about anything under the sun. It simply takes some courage and if we must dig deep then we should.
  • Systems, be they capitalist or otherwise, are always corrupted by the user, who makes the choice to be corrupt or not.
  • Once the choice to be corrupt is made it can only succeed with the support of others. Corruption cannot stand in isolation. Society allows corrupt activity to exist. You cannot point a finger at anyone if you pay a bribe for convenience, accept kickbacks for preferential treatment or bend the rules for friends and so on. When your choice is made out of pure self-interest it invariably is the wrong choice. We have to consider the greater good for society if we are to escape the harm corruption brings with it.
  • We can only stop corruption when we examine where, when and how we have been corrupt. That will lead us to why we make the choices we make.
  • Research and examine the impact corruption has on us individually and generally in the world. This will bring us to a point where we stop believing that it cannot be stopped. A change of attitude is all we need to make a difference. Making that change can be brutal but is imperative if we want to start caring about ourselves, our future and the future of the planet.
  • Understand that unless we nip corruption in its early stage, that whole barrel of apples will have to be thrown out, instead of just the one bad apple.

The corruption in my book, Stand Up Stand Down cuts across all levels of society and the remedy is applied with the help of the whole country, by people from all walks of life when the country marches peacefully in every large city.  A good outcome is only possible if the people have one goal and the will to work for the eradication of entrenched state corruption and personal corruption.  A victim in the story dramatically demonstrates this by making a sacrifice few are willing to make – he pays the price of losing his freedom, ironically for a crime committed to escape from corruption.

 

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and on : lyndaroglebooks.wordpress.com

 

 

How to deal with misplaced Guilt.

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Someone once said to me that guilt is a useless emotion. This is not true. Guilt has its place and is very useful in its proper place. Sometimes we feel guilty but do nothing about it, in this way it serves only to make us feel that we have done something about a situation when we haven’t. That is when it can be called useless because it serves no good purpose. If we can do something about a situation that makes us feel guilty then we’re obliged to do so. Wringing your hands in an agony of guilt because of the world’s starving populations does not feed anyone. Join a humanitarian world movement or feed the hungry on your doorstep if you can. Guilt’s chief purpose is to make you take action. Dismissing feelings of guilt as useless on the other hand, only serves to make one callous and idle, numbing the instinctive urge to do something. Instead we must embrace change and development. Here are some ideas.

  • If the guilt you feel is for something you did or failed to do, acknowledge, accept and compensate in reparation.
  • Identify the reason for the inaction to understand better what action to take.
  • Ask for forgiveness if this is possible regardless that you receive it or not. The act of asking is part of the healing process for both parties.
  • Unattended guilt does not go away, it merely corrodes over time.
  • If the guilt is secondary that is, by association, all the above still applies. Act as soon as possible!
  • Doing something about the negative feeling of guilt empowers and turns it into a positive for all.
  • When we habitually listen to our emotions by acting positively on our feelings of guilt, we gradually learn to avoid the unnecessary stress caused by inaction.

In my book ‘ Stand Up Stand Down’ the character Cathy loses the love of her life and spends a lifetime of regret because she does not have the courage to come forward to save him when she makes a selfish decision. The guilt she lives with erodes her relationship with her father. Another character, Caroline, realises when things fall apart in the family, that she is guilty of a self-deception that suited her selfish needs. The guilt felt by both festers for many years before a crisis forces their hand to do the right thing.

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Hard Choices

 

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How to deal with the Inability to make hard choices

In this series of discussions regarding overcoming the fear of making hard decisions, in particular with regards corruption, I will attempt to demonstrate positive solutions. Sometimes when we are faced with the inability to make a decision we feel paralysed, unable to act. Often we hope that if ignored the problem would simply disappear. Often the situation becomes worse. Vainly hoping for a miracle does not help either. I learned that doing nothing because we’re too afraid of doing the wrong thing solves nothing. The thing is to find the correct solution for a problem and being unable to act equals making the wrong decision. How do you know your decision is right? You don’t but pick a side anyway.

  • The very act of making a choice will bring relief and enables one to think more clearly.
  • The uncertainty saps confidence and increases confusion.
  • Stick with the choice once you make it. Going back and forth is only procrastination of the inevitable and a waste of life.
  • Decide who will benefit best from taking action and how.
  • Decide what you want to achieve by the action taken.
  • Understand that you cannot please everyone so, prioritise the benefits and the beneficiaries clearly.
  • Your choice must be guided by good conscience and enlightened self-interest rather than pure self-interest, that is, the benefits of the choice you make should not only benefit you. Deciding to leave a marriage and children to resume a neglected career when that career benefits only you is selfish interest and will come back to bite you. Deciding that if I am happy then my children would be too can be a false belief. If the choice is to leave with the children to protect them from an environment that hampers their development, even though they will be unhappy with the change, this is enlightened self-interest. In this scenario, every situation is different so make choices that best fit all the needs of the people concerned.

In the book, ‘Stand Up Stand Down’ Jason gets support from his family to pursue his attempts to expose corruption even as this threatens to destroy the family unit as they know it. He is only able to overcome the paralysis of indecision because his family sees the greater good that his choices will engender. The question the story may well be asking is, how many times have the choices we made been all about us and how often about enlightened self-interest?

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http://www.lyndarogle.co.za

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Stand Up Stand Down

CORRUPTION

Introducing my book Stand Up Stand Down once more may seem like flogging a dead horse but I gave birth to this baby, so I can only hope to breathe new life into it will have the desired results. As with a baby, the work only starts once the baby is born. The following posts will relate to every-day challenges that we all experience at some time or the other, experiences that the characters in the story have to deal with.

How to deal with the fear of reprisal when you make a difficult choice.

You discover that your brother, sister or cousin is involved in a corrupt transaction that could be harmful to himself, his family and society at large, should you expose him or not?  It is human to want to protect a loved one yet once that initial reaction passes, you realise that a better way to protect him or her, is to assist in reaching a safe but sensible decision that involves taking responsibility for the negative action that has resulted from decisions that have been made. How do you make the tough decision though? If it is possible persuade him or her to do the right thing before you get involved. If this fails here are some things to consider:

  • Know the consequences and decide if you can live with them or not.
  • Compare the stress of worry for safety with that of worry about silence and see which worry is manageable.
  • When fear or doubt sets in remind yourself that the good that can come of it is worth the risk.
  • Fear of dying or injury to oneself is a reality we live with daily, make sure that you have the protection to which you are entitled as a whistleblower. No one expects you to be reckless.
  • Remind yourself that instinctive self-interest that involves protecting a loved one only works if it is enlightened self-interest, that is, an interest that benefits you and the wider interest of society too.
  • Remember that evil thrives in a situation where nothing is done to stop it.
  • Consult with the rest of the family to get the family to support your decision.

These are all the considerations that face Jason Stanley, as he tries to be faithful to his calling as a journalist when he discovers a family link to corruption in my book, Stand Up Stand Down’.  As you read you may find it difficult to relate to his decision yet, unless we learn to make the hard decisions that face us daily, we are condemned to repeat mistakes over and over again, making no progress personally or as a society.

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www.lyndarogle.co.za

 

 

Fancy Someone In The Office? St Valentine to the rescue!

Are you looking forward to Valentine’s Day at work or do you hate this ancient, obscure ritual whose origins are buried in the mists of time?  Most of us are incorrigible romantics even though we like to appear calm and in control of our lives. We tend to become undone when that special someone enters a room or brushes past us in the office. If we try to talk to our dream girl/boy, we turn into gibbering idiots. What can you do about this unsettling state of affairs?  Oh, of course, here’s St Valentine to the rescue!

 As far as I know, the cards received from one’s secret admirer never reveal the author, so what’s the purpose of sending one again? Is it so that the unwitting recipient of one’s affections can employ some magical powers to return the compliment? Perhaps the card itself has the magical ability to turn a disinterested person into a smitten puppy with eyes only for you? Whatever the original intention of the secret practice, it has evolved into the not so secret purpose, to start a relationship in a way that leaves the recipient a way out, if the object of your affections is not interested, and it also protects the sender from outright rejection if there is no response. Hang on, if the card is anonymous how is a response possible? I’m told by a very reliable seven-year-old source that ‘you have to give them a clue silly…’ Okay, out of the mouth of babes comes the solution, a clue.

Now, what possible clue would work from a relative stranger to another, considering you just work mates, right? What on earth do they know about you to give them even the tiniest hint? Ehh, perhaps from the girl who brought the files to you last week; the guy you bumped into yesterday;  the girl you never talk to or cheekily, the man in your dreams! None of these may work, or if he/she gets it wrong then you could be in real trouble! Imagine your Valentine card starting a romance between two other people. Not exactly what you want, right?

 I guess one of the simplest things to do is confide in a reliable, trustworthy person to deliver the card; someone who ‘accidentally’ reveals your identity. Or find a helpful cleaner to put the card on your Valentine’s desk before anyone arrives and when she/he starts looking around the office searching for clues, you give her the broadest smile ever and find the flimsiest excuses to chat to her EVERY hour, to nudge her in the right direction! Exhausting you might say, but true love knows no bounds. 

 The one rule all smitten would-be lovers must stick to is, to make sure before you start a workplace romance that the person you want to become better acquainted with is available, for your sake as well as for everyone else. You don’t want to have to change jobs over a Valentine Day affair gone wrong! If you’re lucky enough to succeed in starting a relationship at work is it on Valentine’s Day or any other day, remember to keep it professional. No undue show of affection or anything else while at work; keep it for after hours, after all, said and done delayed delight is twice as gratifying!

 One more thing, those origins of the pagan fertility ritual re-invented by Christianity into St Valentine’s Day, make for interesting reading albeit a little confusing. The legend goes; a pope in the third century was the re-inventor, for the purpose of converting pagans to Christianity. Here it gets a little foggy. There were three Saint Valentines who were contenders for the title. The most popular choice over time was a martyr, who died for converting to Christianity after falling in love with a Christian girl!  Not the best way to convince pagans to convert but beautifully romantic! Now the big question is, would you give up your life for love? Or, to be a little more gentle on this beautiful day, what would you do for love?