Monday, November 17, 2014

Who's afraid of Catholic schooling?

By Margaret Wente
August 16, 2014

(excerpt from Wente's article below)

The irrational attack on Catholic schools isn’t just in Canada. They’re under siege in other secular countries, too.

And it’s not just Catholics who have people spooked. Trinity Western, a small, private Christian university in British Columbia, is thought to be so threatening to the public interest that its law graduates – if there ever are any – will be too tainted to practise law in most of Canada.

Good grief, people. Where is our cultural confidence? We love to brag about our tolerance and diversity. We’re not threatened by people from far away practising their faith – but along comes a Christian and we shriek in horror. It wouldn’t kill us to practise what we preach.

... go to Wente's full article

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Alpha askew theory: how bullies are made and how to unmake them

This is by far one of the best talks out there with immense insight into human nature. Gordon Neufeld reveals his "alpha askew theory", which is responsible for creating the bully instinct (an attachment based syndrome).

Before getting into the heart of the matter, Dr. Neufeld discusses attachment within marriage. He explains how spouses want to be with each other, and want to give their hearts to each other, but NOT as equals. Marriage vows are all about taking care of each other, and so this calls for a need for dependence. To care for someone means that there must be a willingness to accept being cared for, and to depend upon that caring. Unfortunately, in today's western culture, we have completely educated ourselves out of our own instincts, and we have become obsessed with equality and independence. Marriages are now strained because of this.

Neufeld explains that good marriages require a healthy and fluid interchange of the alpha instinct between spouses. This means that spouses also have to accept the concept of dependence. Both spouses can't be leading at the same time! We have to alternate and accept the desire to want to be taken care of. If the alpha response is not fluid, and it gets stuck, then individuals will begin to feel that they always have to be in charge and in control. In other words, if a person is "stuck in alpha", then they'll develop an unhealthy alpha complex, which could lead to trouble.

Interestingly, while people with a strong alpha complex feel the need to help, it is NOT out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather due to their alpha nature of wanting to dominate. Neufeld mentions that this phenomenon is often found in first born siblings: they become "stuck in alpha". Neufeld himself shares how he had an alpha complex growing up, and how he always had to be in control, and on front and centre stage.



Wounded alphas

But the problem with alphas is that they are human too, and are easily wounded. Defences are erected, and if these defences get stuck, then impulses associated to caring and responsibility become divorced from the instinct to dominate. This is the beginning of a bully. There is a need to dominate, but there is no longer a need to take care of and assume responsibility for the other. These individuals then become tearless and fearless, and are no longer moved to care or be responsible. The bully instinct is now born. Exploitation of vulnerability then occurs to assert dominance. Interestingly, the alpha instinct was meant to take care of the other, but in the bully, the alpha instinct becomes perverted.
Never let a bully know that you are hurt. They will just exploit the vulnerability. Bullies assert their dominance this way.
Neufeld explains that applying consequences to bullies doesn't work. It only hardens their hearts. Sensitivity training also doesn't work because it only equips them to exploit the vulnerable. One should never reveal weakness to a bully. This is the reason why anti-bullying programs in schools are failing.

Bully rehab

The unmaking of a bully has to go to the root of the problem, and not just dealing with the symptoms. One has to foster right relationships (hierarchical) with bullies, and attempt to soften their hearts, thereby moving them to take responsibility rather than to dominate.

In the last 3 minutes of the video, Neufeld provides a great personal example of how he was able to counsel a gang leader, which ultimately lead to a successful reversal of his instinct to prey on the vulnerable.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Persecution of Christians in China

photo credit: T.CSH via photopin cc
It's no surprise that Christians are being persecuted in China. Within the next 15 years, China will have more Christians than anywhere else in the world.

...more

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's missing from your child's education?

Click on image to watch the TED Talk video
This TED Talk by Cameron Herold is worth watching. He explains how the standard model of education is missing something very important: how to encourage children to become entrepreneurs. Instead of focusing on traditional careers such as doctor, lawyer, accountant, or engineer, being an entrepreneur should rank equally among them. I agree with him.

Learning traditional subjects at school is important, but it won't be the end of the world if our children don't master them. Experiencing failure is good for a child, and educators and parents should not try to protect children from failure. Failure builds character, and can help a child to figure out what they are good at. Educational success doesn't have to be defined by grades, as Cameron explains very well in his own case. If children are taught these skills, then they may become entrepreneurs, capable of employing others, and bettering society:

image taken from Cameron Herold's TED Talk video
My wife and I have already started implementing some of Cameron's ideas in raising our own children. They are learning how to earn money (rather than receiving an allowance), how to negotiate, and how to find meaningful work around the house for payment. We hope that this mindset will help foster some of the skills that are mentioned in the TED Talk.

All children are different, and they all have their own unique God-given talents. As parents, it's our job to identify and encourage their strengths, rather than being overly focused on correcting what we think are their deficiencies.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hey young people: now’s the best time to get married and have kids

By Matt Walsh
October 30th, 2014 | The Matt Walsh Blog
6) You don’t have to wait for ‘The One.’
This isn’t The Matrix, nor are we living in some godforsaken Disney movie. I can’t believe, with all of our modern cynicism, that we still hang onto the fairy tale notion that there is one single, specific individual waiting out there, looking up at the moon longing for the romantic embrace of the one and only person destined to be their lover for all eternity.
I don’t mean to scandalize you, but here’s the reality: The One doesn’t exist.
You aren’t fated to love any particular person. You choose to love them, and when you marry them you reaffirm that choice every day, forever, until death do you part. There’s nothing written in the stars. It’s got nothing to do with destiny or whatever silly crap you read in a Nicholas Sparks novel."
... read Matt Walsh's entire blog post (it's excellent!)

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jason Evert coming to Ottawa (Nov.6-8)

November 6

Parenting: Teens and Sexuality - A Catholic Conversation
November 6th, 2014 at 7 p.m.
St. Paul High School
(for adults)

November 7

Love or Lust
November 7th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament Church
(registration is required | Info: Ted, thurley@archottawa.ca, 613-738-5025 x231)
For youth in grade 7 - 12

In this seminar, which has been delivered to more than one million teens on six continents, Jason Evert reveals the compelling vision of God’s plan for human sexuality and present an uplifting case for practicing the virtue of chastity. By addressing the issues that we struggle with most, such as sexual pressure, pornography, modesty, and starting over, Jason offers encouragement for teens to maintain their purity or begin again if they’ve made mistakes in the past. Eucharistic adoration and confession will be available.

November 7

How to save your marriage - before meeting your spouse
November 7th, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.
(registration is required | 
Info: Ted, thurley@archottawa.ca, 613-738-5025 x231)
For young adults 18+

Young Adults often feel lost and discouraged in their attempts to find authentic love. Nearly all of them long for healthy and happy relationships, but so few seem to find one. In this seminar, Jason Evert explains how today’s young adults can successfully navigate through the single years of life, avoiding the lies of the world and discovering God’s plan for human love.

November 8

Porn Detox - men and women
To register: beamanconference@gmail.com or 613-325-5447

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