THE BRIDGE – THE STORY OF SACRIFICE
I’m sure most of you have read this story, but if you haven’t watched the movie yet, I give you the link below, and you should watch it, you won’t regret~ ^^
There once was a bridge operator who had a young son whom he dearly loved. They were inseparable. The young boy often asked to go with his father to watch him work – to watch him raise and lower the draw bridge, allowing the boats to pass under or the passenger trains to cross over. One day the father relented and allowed his son to come with him.
“Stay here at a safe distance,” the father warned the boy, “while I go and raise the bridge for the coming boat.” The boy stayed where his father had left him and watched the bridge as it slowly lifted up in the sky. Suddenly, the boy heard the faint cry of an approaching passenger train – coming quite a bit sooner than had been expected. The father, up in the control room, could hear neither the whistle of the train nor the warning cry of his son.
The boy saw the train racing closer and closer, and he started to run along the platform to reach his father. Knowing there was a lever he could pull near the operating gears of the bridge, the boy ran to the door in the platform and tried to lower himself down to reach the lever. Losing his balance, he fell in to where the gears came together and was caught.
At the same time the father saw his son fall down into the hole in the platform, he saw the fast approaching train. In horror, he realized that if he didn’t start lowering the bridge immediately, it would not be down in time for the train to pass safely. The train would crash into the river below killing hundreds of innocent people.
The man was faced with an unimaginable dilemma – race to save his son at the cost of hundreds of lives, or sacrifice his son to save the passengers on the train.
He made the only choice he could and pulled the lever to lower the bridge. In spite of the noise of the descending bridge and the oncoming train, he still heard the anguished screams of his beloved son being crushed to death between the gears of the bridge.
The father ran to the platform as the train was passing by. Most people on the train simply ignored the man crying on the platform. Others looked out of the window and stared, totally oblivious of the unspeakable sacrifice that had just been made on their behalf. They gave no other thought or concern to this man who had just given up what was most precious to him so that they could live.
Do you see the parallel? Can you understand the picture this story paints?
The sacrifice of One offers life to all. God did not take pleasure in watching His Son die. It had to have been agonizing for God to stand by as Jesus died covered in the intense darkness of all of our sins. There was no choice…it had to happen. The sacrifice had to be made in order for us to be able to live.
And like those people on the train, we have the choice regarding what we will do with that sacrifice. We can choose to ignore it – to ignore God – not even bothering consider what God did on our behalf. We can choose to look at God briefly – to glance in passing – and then continue on with our own priorities and plans. Or we can acknowledge what it was that God sacrificed to give us life. We can embrace it and accept it on our behalf, and choose to live our lives for God.
Where are you on that train? Can you see the anguish in the Father’s eyes as you pass by? Do you know that He offered His greatest sacrifice so that you could live? Will you accept it? Will you choose to give your life to Him because of what He gave for you?
I’d like to tell you a story. It’s about a little boy who grew up in Sweden, in the ’60s and ’70s. His dad was this tall, good-looking army officer. His mom was this pretty but shy linguist. He had a brother and two sisters, and they lived in suburb of Stockholm. And that little boy was me.
I think I remember the first time my dad hit me. I was around three or four, I think I was walking in front of the TV and he kicked me, and I flew into some bookshelves. And I remember there was blood and my mom was screaming. You see, my dad had a lot of problems and he took it out on me and my mom. He never touched my brothers or sisters.
And this started when I was about three or four and went on till I was about 11 or 12. It was a really hard part of my life because I had to go to school with a black eye or, you know, some of my hair was missing because he’d been yanking my head. I think some of you may know what I’m talking about. I understand how you’re feeling.
You see, when you get abused at home, you have two choices, just like an animal: fight or flight. You can either run away, which was impossible for me because I was a little kid living at home; or you can fight back, which I couldn’t do because, you know, I was just a little kid. My dad was my size.
But I learned later there’s a third choice: you freeze. It’s like a gazelle being taken by a lion. You just freeze and go dead; all your emotions are bottled up inside. I would just lie there. When he was hitting me, I wouldn’t even cry. And, by the time I was 11 or 12, I was smoking, I was drinking, I was running away from home on stolen motorcycles, sleeping over in someone’s garage, but my dad always found me. Back home for another beating. Continue reading “On Healing and Forgiveness – Dolph Lundgren”
For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.
…The civilization now in jeopardy is all humanity. As the ancient myth makers knew, we are children equally of the earth and sky. In our tenure of this planet, we have accumulated dangerous, evolutionary baggage — propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders, hostility to outsiders, all of which puts our survival in some doubt. We have also acquired compassion for others, love for our children, a desire to learn from history and experience, and a great, soaring passionate intelligence — the clear tools for our continued survival and prosperity.
Which aspects of our nature will prevail is uncertain, particularly when our visions and prospects are bound to one small part of the small planet earth. But, up and in the cosmos an inescapable perspective awaits. National boundaries are not evidenced when we view the earth from space. Fanatic ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile, blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.
There are not yet obvious signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, and this makes us wonder whether civilizations like ours rush inevitably into self-destruction. I dream about it . . . and sometimes they are bad dreams.
In the vision of the dream I once imagined myself searching for other civilizations in the cosmos. Among a hundred billion galaxies and a billion trillion stars, life and intelligence should have arisen in many worlds; some worlds are barren and desolate. On them life never began or may have been extinguished in some cosmic catastrophe. There may be worlds rich in life not yet evolved to intelligence and high technology; there may be civilizations that achieved technology and then promptly used it to destroy themselves; and, perhaps, there are also beings who learn to live with their technology and themselves, beings who endure and become citizens of the cosmos.
Immersed in these thoughts, I found myself approaching a world that was clearly inhabited, a world I had visited before. I saw a planet encompassed by light and recognized the signature of intelligence. But, suddenly, darkness — total and absolute.
I grew up to study the brain because I have a brother who has been diagnosed with a brain disorder, schizophrenia. And as a sister and later, as a scientist, I wanted to understand, why is it that I can take my dreams, I can connect them to my reality, and I can make my dreams come true? What is it about my brother’s brain and his schizophrenia that he cannot connect his dreams to a common and shared reality, so they instead become delusion?
So I dedicated my career to research into the severe mental illnesses. And I moved from my home state of Indiana to Boston, where I was working in the lab of Dr. Francine Benes, in the Harvard Department of Psychiatry. And in the lab, we were asking the question, “What are the biological differences between the brains of individuals who would be diagnosed as normal control, as compared with the brains of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective or bipolar disorder?”
So we were essentially mapping the microcircuitry of the brain: which cells are communicating with which cells, with which chemicals, and then in what quantities of those chemicals? So there was a lot of meaning in my life because I was performing this type of research during the day, but then in the evenings and on the weekends, I traveled as an advocate for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
But on the morning of December 10, 1996, I woke up to discover that I had a brain disorder of my own. A blood vessel exploded in the left half of my brain. And in the course of four hours, I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. On the morning of the hemorrhage, I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life. I essentially became an infant in a woman’s body.
“Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had lifted darkness off the earth. Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was considered a transgressor who ventured into forbidden territory. But thereafter, men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.
“That man, the unsubmissive and first, stands in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about its beginning. Prometheus was chained to a rock and torn by vultures—because he had stolen the fire of the gods. Adam was condemned to suffer—because he had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with one and that that one paid for his courage.
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won. Continue reading “The Fountainhead – Howard Roark’s Courtroom Speech”
When I was seven years old and my sister was just five years old, we were playing on top of a bunk bed. I was two years older than my sister at the time — I mean, I’m two years older than her now — but at the time it meant she had to do everything that I wanted to do, and I wanted to play war. So we were up on top of our bunk beds. And on one side of the bunk bed, I had put out all of my G.I. Joe soldiers and weaponry. And on the other side were all my sister’s My Little Ponies ready for a cavalry charge.
There are differing accounts of what actually happened that afternoon, but since my sister is not here with us today, let me tell you the true story —
which is my sister’s a little on the clumsy side. Somehow, without any help or push from her older brother at all, Amy disappeared off of the top of the bunk bed and landed with this crash on the floor. I nervously peered over the side of the bed to see what had befallen my fallen sister and saw that she had landed painfully on her hands and knees on all fours on the ground.
I was nervous because my parents had charged me with making sure that my sister and I played as safely and as quietly as possible. And seeing as how I had accidentally broken Amy’s arm just one week before —
heroically pushing her out of the way of an oncoming imaginary sniper bullet,
(Laughter) for which I have yet to be thanked, I was trying as hard as I could — she didn’t even see it coming — I was trying hard to be on my best behavior.
And I saw my sister’s face, this wail of pain and suffering and surprise threatening to erupt from her mouth and wake my parents from the long winter’s nap for which they had settled. So I did the only thing my frantic seven year-old brain could think to do to avert this tragedy. And if you have children, you’ve seen this hundreds of times. I said, “Amy, wait. Don’t cry. Did you see how you landed? No human lands on all fours like that. Amy, I think this means you’re a unicorn.”
Author: Max Ehrmann about: Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann. Largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in devotional and spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972. wiki:Desiderata roots: Found in old Saint Paul’s Church, dated 1692 | Re-elaborated by Max Hermann, 1927 Curated By: S
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Jay Lakhani (Hindi:श्री जे लखानी; born December 5, 1948) is a theoretical physicist and a speaker on Spiritual humanism. He is the editor of two books related to the teaching of Hinduism in schools in the UK; Hinduism for Schools and Primary Hinduism. He received an MSc in Theoretical Physics in 1970 and is the first Hindu tutor to be appointed by Eton College for religious study. He is also an Education Director for the Hindu Council(UK) and the head of The Hindu Academy(UK).
He presented several TED talks and television debates, challenging the paradigm of strict monotheism, materialism, and the connection between spiritual humanism and science.
The Good Country Movement was started by Simon Anholt, an advisor who has worked with more than fifty countries over the last twenty years, helping them to engage more productively and imaginatively with the rest of the world.
Most of the world’s problems are really just symptoms of a bigger, underlying problem: that we haven’t yet worked out how to organise ourselves as a single species inhabiting a single planet. This can change.
Problems like climate change, pandemics, migration, human trafficking, terrorism and economic chaos are multiplying because of globalisation. These problems are too big and connected for any one country to fix them. We need to co-operate and collaborate much more closely if we’re going to make the world work.
But, most of the time, we don’t. Why not?
Because the seven billion people who created all these problems are organised in two hundred tribes called nations. Each one is run by a government that’s totally focused on the national interest: what will make us richer, happier, safer, stronger?
Can this ever change? Yes it can. It will change when we, the people who keep those governments in power, wake them up and tell them the world has changed, and their jobs have changed with it. Foreigners aren’t aliens, they’re humans just like us, and we care about them. Countries aren’t islands, unconnected to the rest of the world: they’re all part of one system. If it fails, we all fail.
Anybody can launch a Good Country project, start a Good Country Party, teach a Good Country course, write a Good Country book, make a Good Country speech, start a Good University, a Good School, a Good Company, a Good Village or even a Good Family. So please do, and write in and tell Simon about it.
The Good Country isn’t an organisation, an NGO, a charity or a company. It’s an idea: an idea that needs to spread. Please sign up here for updates, and contact Simon directly if you have a Good Country idea of your own.
The Story of God With Morgan Freeman: Series 2 Today, for better or worse, the power of religion touches all of our lives, no matter what our faith. This is Morgan Freeman’s journey to discover how our beliefs connect us all. This is the quest of our generation. This is the Story of God.
The Chosen One
Almost every faith has a figure its followers think was chosen by God. Muslims have Muhammad. Christians have Jesus. Jews have Abraham and Moses. Why do we rally around these chosen ones and how do they guide our faith? Morgan Freeman goes in search of the chosen people walking the earth today, including an American boy from the suburbs who is believed to be the reincarnation of a Buddhist Iama who has been returning in different bodies for almost five hundred years.
Heaven and Hell
What are heaven and hell? People of all faiths and backgrounds have contemplated these conundrums for thousands of years. Morgan Freeman sets out to learn how these unseen places have changed the way we live by descending into the ancient Native American underworld, investigating the phenomena of exorcisms and the gift of tongues, and meeting a woman who believes she has seen heaven.
Proof of God
Have we cut God out of our modern lives or are there still moments when the divine breaks through? Morgan Freeman meets a man who felt God’s presence on Sept. 11, learns how Muslims hear God’s voice in the Quran, comes across a tribe whose members believe they can channel the healing power of the divine and encounters a physicist who has faith that science will lead him to God.
Hans Wilhelm has written and illustrated over 200 books for all ages with total sales of over 42 million copies in 30 languages. He is a lifelong learner and teacher of the spiritual laws and he has inspired audiences around the world with his life-affirming concepts.
Until we create pages per video with transcripts, here are his more popular ones
This Blog is for anyone interested in Education, schools leadership and professional development. An ex-headteacher, I now write and talk about education, schools and leadership.. A Fellow of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership. Board member of SPTC. Committed to keeping it real for schools and teachers, using research to inform practice and development.
Brahma creates. Shiva destroys. Brahma is not worshipped. Shiva is worshipped. This is because Brahma creates Kama, Yama and Tripura, desire, death and the three worlds. Shiva is Kamantaka, Yamantaka and Tripurantaka, destroyer of desire, death and the three worlds.
Humans desire life, fear death, and construct three worlds because humans fear death more than any other living creature on Earth. Our fear is greater because we can imagine. We imagine what happens after death, we imagine a world without death, we imagine a world without us and wonder what is the point of life. Unable to make sense of things, we try to control life – we get attached to things, we resist change, and we create property. Human civilization is thus rooted in fear. Its a delusion. Brahmanda or culture is Maya. Continue reading “Maya and Deconstruction”
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
Clinical, intellectual, cynical.
There are times when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.
Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!
At night, when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.