Africa’s example – seeing the good news when bad news “gets rusted on”…..

My Aussie colleagues have started blogging! (See “Colleagues a-blogging” at the right of this blog).  Australia/ New Zealand District Manager, Daryl Francis, has posted his thoughts from his home state of Victoria, prompted by a BBC broadcast…

Good news just isn’t always put on record effectively.  Sometimes bad news just gets rusted on, and sometimes we just don’t want to let it go.

Lately I’ve been enjoying a 3 part television series produced by Jonathan Dimbelby of the BBC called African Journey. In the series he covers about 7,000 miles looking at Africa.

Much of the media has taught me that this is a vast land – an incredibly beautiful land – though wracked with drought, poverty, illness and war. Now, that is certainly still true for too much of this continent. But Jonathan Dimbleby shows us a completely different side to the continent which much of the media has not been sharing with us.

On his travels across the many countries of Africa he tells of successful business enterprises, some exporting billions of dollars worth of raw materials annually – like cement, for example. There are time honoured industries that embrace the dignity and, yes, the nobility, of decent people carrying on their crafts through the generations. And, to me, really promising is the fact that there are young, vibrant Africans returning from studies in other parts of the world to use their talents to start industries in their homeland. I had no idea that Africa has a successful fashion industry whose designs are succeeding in Europe’s fashion houses. People are returning to Africa rather than staying abroad to start their businesses. This continent is flourishing at an amazing rate, whether the media acknowledges it or not.

Good news, stories of hope and progress, and greater freedom won from every form of bondage can be found in practically every corner of the world today. True, turning a deaf ear, a blind eye to the world’s problems will not see them solved – we need to know what the needs of mankind are in order to address them. But why is it that the bad news, the depressing news, persists when there is real evidence of progress out of darkness?

Well, good news just isn’t always put on record effectively. Sometimes bad news just gets rusted on, and sometimes we just don’t want to let it go.  How might we address that?

The public has to hear about the truth in order to acknowledge it and allow it to permeate its world view. Misinformation and inaccurate information, even plain suppression and superstition would hide truth, but is always unsustainable in the face of truth – the facts. Brought to light, truth has a habit of changing the world we live in. I like to define truth as reality brought to light.

Discovering that the world was not really flat changed the world we live in. Well, no, it didn’t really. The world didn’t change. Our perception of it did. When we looked at the world from a more correct viewpoint our horizons expanded!

In order to arrive at truth – to discover what is really going on – sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to let go of time honoured belief systems. Some of these are so rusted on they assume the sacred mantle of superstition. Remember, someone you may classify as being superstitious a few centuries ago would not necessarily have thought of themselves as superstitious.

Every major scientific advance has demanded that a preconceived notion be abandoned. Things heavier than air cannot fly is a classic example. No-one will ever go faster than the speed of sound is another. I read somewhere that someone once proved that a man’s lungs would collapse if they went faster than about 40 miles an hour – ignoring the fact that in those days they were riding galloping horses at those … gasp…  those speeds.

Limited thinking is not always blameworthy, but I’m not so sure about outmoded beliefs that are held to because of a closed thought or because some new idea upsets dearly held notions no matter how outworn they ultimately prove to be.

For instance, there is abundant evidence of progress out of the bondage of ill health, poor relationships, poverty, and broken lives through the sincere practice of Christian Science for every sincere thinker.  Sure, Christian Science practice demands a willingness to lay pre-conceived notions aside. Remember, navigation was a bit hampered by the rusted on flat earth theory. Progress doesn’t come until we give ourselves permission to let go of time honoured belief systems.

It’s a bit like letting go of the side of the pool if we want to learn how to swim.

Would I have relied on Christian Science for about half a century now if it wasn’t worth the effort? I’ve chosen Christian Science as my guide to life because it has proved reliable for me. At one point, when I had three children at home, with a mortgage payment due, having just lost my job, and less than $20 in the bank I turned whole-heartedly to see the truth of the lines of a hymn from the Christian Science hymnal that reads, “When all material streams are dried, Thy fullness is the same.” (hymn 224) Through prayer I really felt the truth of Mary Baker Eddy’s words, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” My family’s immediate needs were met in ways I could not have imagined, and I have not looked back in decades. Through prayer as taught in Christian Science, I have quite literally regained my sight, been totally healed of the after effects of picking up burning timbers with bare hands in under 48 hours, recovered the use of my arms and legs within a few days of them deciding not to work… I could go on for ages!

Hey, why would I dismiss something that works for me? Why wouldn’t I want to share the good news?

Thanks, Daryl!  You can read more of Daryl’s writing at Christian Science in Victoria.  Here is a fascinating clip from Jonathan Dimbleby’s “African Journey” on Maasai use of mobile phones.

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Author:Tony Lobl

I write and speak on spirituality from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I am also an Associate Editor for the Christian Science periodicals. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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2 Comments on “Africa’s example – seeing the good news when bad news “gets rusted on”…..”

  1. Clare Harwood
    December 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi Daryl,

    Thanks so much for your message for which I am deeply grateful and encouraged!

    When I read your blog I thought this is just so good, another way of looking at a similar topic. I loved your analogy with the rust too.

    Kind regards,

    Clare

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