Storms and Shipwrecks…

Storms & ShipwrecksWhen a storm is still brewing over the waters and, the sky sickens into an ominous gray-black and, one feels the electric charge in our very skin… one may wonder:


Can we make it through this storm? Whether it may last only for the night as a pocket of violent turbulence or, be more relentless, more exacting. Winds and waves that will not be calmed until they have their way within us.

Whether the storm has its origin in the wildness of nature or of created things… whether the storm originates within us… does not change its potential devastating power.

Storms will come and test us all and, it is possible one will come that will end in our failure before the wind and waves recede. We may lose our house, lose our job, lose our most defining relationship… and still not lose ourselves, not lose our souls, not lose our faith. We may be stripped down to nothing in such storms but not loose ourselves.

This because the Spirit in the wind whispers Jesus’ words expressed at the Last Supper:
I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail even when you do . . . that your faith may even grow stronger through your failure.

I wish we would never experience a shipwreck; be it cancer, or car accidents, or financial ruin, or the death of a loved one, but I can attest to a mysterious truth experienced by those of us who have survived our own shipwrecks that… on the other side of them, there is a stronger, deeper, richer, more integrated life.
That on the other side of the storm there is a capacity to love without doubt, to live without fear, to be something infinitely more powerful than the men we were before such happened.

I am unable to fully understand all of the elements of God; of divine will, of good and evil, of human free-will and responsibility. I can only align myself with the greater wisdom of the Teacher and say that even though we might fail, our faith does not have to.

I can only say that even if all else fails… with faith, we will not.


Excerpted and compiled from: “How to Survive a Shipwreck” by Jonathan Martin

Copyright, Joseph Pereira 2011-2020

Thinking differently…

How many of us read a newspaper or walk around our offices and neighborhoods and wonder if the people we read about and sometimes interact with actually really “think” at all…?

There seems to be no shortage of headlines to shock our system; the discovery of some new fraud fed by greed and gullibility, rising pressures driving folks to catastrophic breakdowns… to mother’s abandoning their children, teenagers killing each other, father’s enslaving and abusing daughters. We read about wars, starvation and death, massive man-made ecological blunders that challenge life at a macro level, irresponsible excuses and inadequate governance responses… how many of us shake our concerned heads and think; “what were they “thinking”…?”

Do we ever get the feeling that “thinking” per se, any form of informed and balanced “thinking” at all, would be a “nice” enough goal for us humans in-general to strive for… to give us all a chance; a reasonable alternative to the “unbelievable stuff” we brace ourselves each morning to read and witness throughout the day?

Why such a big preamble to share a view on what it means to “think differently”? Because I believe it is relevant to note and foundational to try to understand the potential effect this continued exposure to abnormal occurrences; to such endless mass of challenges, may be having on our psyches…

Inner Conflicts

Image by Henry M. Diaz via Flickr

Are we at-risk of “normalizing” what we are continually exposed to? Of distorting and maybe even impairing how we think about ourselves and others relative to this world we live in? Are we in-fact sub-consciously “thinking differently” as it were, just so that we can keep functioning in a socially acceptable manner?

And if this may be happening to those of us who are relatively safe and well-off in our respective “developed countries” and neighborhoods, how desensitized and disoriented are those of us that live on “the edge”; at the center of these events…without the relative “safety” of structure and hope, without roofs and walls to mimic some form of emotional protection…surviving if at all possible instinctively, whilst facing challenges and extinction day-in and day-out to levels the rest of us probably can’t adequately imagine?

How differently – assuming we could – would we have to “think” to effectively help ourselves in these circumstances even if only marginally?

CNN broadcasts a segment titled; “Impact Your World”…it came to mind whilst I pecked-away writing this; to Impact Our World…is what “thinking” – differently or otherwise – aims to accomplish me thinks. What it means to me.

We humans were designed to think…we MUST THINK and have the opportunity to ACT on our thoughts not just in London or Chicago or Beijing neighborhoods but in Kandahar, Haiti and Khartoum…just a handful of examples to indicate a much broader geographic base, so that our thoughts and actions can collectively impact our world hopefully in a benevolent way. Otherwise, our world as we broadly experience it these days will in the end completely desensitize, overwhelm and possibly eliminate us all-together.

Some days as we “read the news”, this may not seem like such a bad idea if only we were able to hit a “reset” button without doing away with ourselves by the process.

Thank goodness we stopped and thought about it.

%d bloggers like this: