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Category Archives: Health

FOOD FOR THOUGHT AT THE MIND BODY SPIRIT FESTIVAL

I spent the Queen’s Birthday long weekend at the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Melbourne. Sophia Think Tank was one of over 200 stalls welcoming over 15 thousand visitors seeking sustenance for their minds, bodies and spirits. Hundreds of those visitors stopped to talk to us and many of them signed on to keep the conversation going through our Café Conversations, a monthly face-to-face discussion group about how to seek wisdom. It was an exhausting, challenging, and wonderful experience.

A lot of our conversations started with ‘Why are you here? What are you selling?’ Those questions gave us an opportunity to talk about wisdom and how the world would be a different place if wisdom was applied in Parliament House, corporate board rooms, media outlets and even around family dinner tables.

We invited people to play our ‘Wisdom for Life: Who Says?’ game which often took the conversation deeper. The wisdom game involved cards with wise sayings from various people. Players had to guess who said the phrase, selecting from a series of pictures of people on the table.

One of trickier sayings was “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves”. Who do you think said that? No. Not Jesus or Solomon! It was Einstein. Only a few people got that one. We had quotes from Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Einstein, Solomon, and Jesus. Most people recognised the quotes from Jesus, but only a few knew anything about Solomon. Jesus was frequently recognised as a Master of wisdom.

Before they left, we invited people to sign up to be kept informed of future ‘Café Conversations’ and to read a one-pager which, in part, said…

Life throws so many questions our way and we often flounder in knowing the answers and the direction ahead. It can become really confusing and we look around for signposts and manuals and gurus, but we often carry on feeling alone and disappointed.

But there is some great wisdom out there and it does us good to be reminded of it along the way. Such wisdom for life comes from many diverse sources, sometimes from people who are well known in the world of ideas. At other times it comes from people who have lived full lives and offer their experience to us and sometimes it is to be found in the words of a child speaking knowingly into a situation.

Sophia Think Tank is all about such wisdom. Sophia is a Greek word meaning ‘wisdom’ and we spend a lot of time looking at the issues of today and seeking wisdom to apply to everyday lives… We believe that wisdom can be found in many different places and that the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, The Bible, is one of those places. Wisdom is there but sometimes it needs some good digging skills to get to it. But it’s worth it! Wisdom for the bigger social issues like youth suicide and political processes, and educational paradigms, but also wisdom for everyday issues of falling in love, staying in love, raising kids, growing businesses, and finishing well (just to name a few)…

On his travels, the Apostle Paul visited Athens. He looked around and found that the Athenians were a very religious people with many different gods. He found that one of their idols was to ‘the unknown god’ and he sought to share his understanding of God—his impartation of wisdom—in this context. He was invited to the highest venue for the sharing of new ideas and received some varied responses (read about this in Acts 17:15-34). As I reflect on my experience at the Mind Body Spirit Festival I can see some parallels and I am grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to ongoing conversations with some of those who signed up.

Food for thought.

(First published as Food for Thought on Eternity website)

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FACEBOOK, ENVY, AND VALUES FOR LIFE

The latest Food for Thought is a response to some research that found Facebook contributing to thoughts of envy and resulting in depression and loneliness.  You’ll find it at http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/food-for-thought-facebook-and-the-problem-of-envy

 

SPIRITUALITY: GOOD OR BAD FOR MENTAL HEALTH?

This week’s Food for Thought (yep….we’re baaaaack!) comments on some research out of the UK on mental health and three populations, the Religious, the Secular, and the Spiritual.

http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/spiritual-people-predisposed-to-mental-illness

Let me know what you think.

David Wilson.

 

LUST, DISGUST, AND SOCIAL WELLBEING

The latest Food for Thought blog is a piece on two media articles from last week, one on the idea that lust is good for you and the other about heightened sexual arousal and increased tolerance to things that usually ‘disgust’ us.  You’ll find it here.

 

YOUTH SUICIDE: THERE IS NO 3G IN HEAVEN

Last night’s Four Corners  entitled ‘There is no 3G in heaven’  was an excellent programme about youth suicide, especially in the City of Casey on the outskirts of Melbourne.  If you missed it please take 45 minutes to watch it.  You won’t be sorry.

Sophia Think Tank has been delving into the issues surrounding these tragedies and have come to many of the same conclusions that this programme comes to.  There are such a wide range of themes but one that is constant is the need to take more seriously the care of people suffering mental health problems.  The services need to be high quality, affordable, accessible, respectful, and deeply humane.  All of Community needs to sit up and take notice of this.  All levels of Government need to fund appropriately, training of mental health providers need to be trained in relational skills as well as psychological intervention, young people need to be consulted so we can find out what sort of care they would best respond to, peer support techniques need to become a part of High School education,  and so the list goes on.  It’s a whole of community response that is needed because we are all affected and we are all responsible.  No ducking allowed!

The Bible tells us to look after Society’s most vulnerable.  In the times of Jesus that referred especially to ‘orphans and widows’.  Today it includes young people who are suffering mental health issues.

The question then:  what can I do about it in my areas of influence?

 

Michael Schluter Video Parts 2 and 3

You can now view Parts 2 and 3 of the Urban Conversations with Michael Schluter on Relational Thinking.  Our apologies that the picture is lost in some places….. technical problems and all that!!  The sound continues all the way through and it is worth listening to.  Enjoy, be challenged, and blog with us…

http://vimeo.com/36208476    http://vimeo.com/36554902

 

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Relational Thinking: a vision for engagement in public life

At a recent Urban Conversation, Michael Schluter presented the idea that we should be involved in a new paradigm of thinking and acting that puts relationships at the centre of all we are and do.  He suggested that this is radically Christian in that this is what Christ did and those who profess to follow Him can do nothing other than seek to imitate this lifestyle.

Well, that got some dialogue going….

My question asks what would that look like in each of the Drivers that ST2 talks about.  How would Relatonal Thinking be applied to Media, Arts, Business, Sports, Community Services, Health,Justice, Law, Education, and Politics?  What are the specific challenges and what are the rewards that could be reaped?  For example, I do a fair bit of work in the Justice area.  Schluter mentioned that Relational Thinking would make a big difference in the Prison system.  Yep, it sure would!  But what would that look like?  I wanted to ask him on the night but didn’t get the chance.  What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you if you’re involved in one of the Drivers (and who isn’t in some way or other?) about the application of Relational Thinking in your area of expertise.

Come on, let’s keep the conversation going….

 

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