Friday, January 18, 2013


(I wrote this before Christmas - no idea why it didn't get posted at the time...)

"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose."

Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

I came across this quote a few days ago in a book of quotes I was leafing through checking if it would be a suitable gift for someone and it jumped out at me. It reminded me of a conversation with Rosie at the World Conference about grief and 'why did Annie have to die?', and how much easier that was to answer until it was Natalie who had died too. I was reading this quote just a few days after the Sandy Hook shootings and endlessly we were hearing about it on the news, plus the anguished pleas from various concerned others on facebook that we not forget the deaths of children in Pakistan, Afghanistan etc at US miltiary hands. To what purpose are all these deaths? The individuals taken from us too young from illness, those who lose their lives in conflicts between countries and within the heads of disturbed individuals?  

I've heard various responses about god's will, etc some off the scale of idiocy as far as I'm concerned and others more reasoned. Peter Beck's words in the wake of the fatal February 22nd 2011 Christchurch earthquakes came back to me that (to paraphrase) the earthquakes weren't an act of god, they were an act of nature, the acts of god were in the work of those doing the rescue and clean up work. So I guess in theory the same can be said in terms of everything having a purpose - it isn't the events themselves that happen for a reason but it is how we respond to them that can give them purpose and meaning.

This year some friends of mine in Scotland have been doing 12 challenges in 12 months in 2012 to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Our F/friend Anders has Cystic Fibrosis and is currently undergoing assessment for a lung transplant - he has given them a sense of purpose (why else would you ride a tandem up the 7 hills of Edinburgh in Victorian costume or do every single class at at training gym in on day?), same as all those who have been fundraising for cancer research and hospices have been motivated by the loss or impending loss of someone dear to them or from the gratitude for still being alive thanks to earlier research.

Adversity is a strange beast , but it can often bring out the best in us.

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