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Good morning dear reader & welcome to my world for another week. My inspiration has been overflowing this last few days. The news is filled with unlikely stories to enable reflection & share some thoughts. Two years ago, who would have imagined Donald Trump & Jacinda Ardern would be addressing the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow? Bill Cosby, once a cultural icon, about to face years in prison; & a year ago Tiger Woods could not sit or walk because of back pain, predictions suggesting he would never win another tournament, or perhaps even play competitively.

And Mr. Rogers is back in the news. Google honoured Fred Rogers on the homepage of its search engine last Friday to celebrate the filming of his first episode on September 27th 1967. The year decimal currency changed in New Zealand. If one takes the time to Google the short video, you will learn or perhaps remember, Mr. Rogers often named his characters for real people in his life. (Queen Sara was named after his wife, for instance). His mother hand-knit all the cardigans he wore on his show.

Fred Rogers was not the only television personality to begin a show fifty years ago. Hawaii Five-O & The Mod Squad, among many others would qualify as well. But Google chose to honour Mr. Rogers instead. So, I wondered why Fred Rogers’ & his popularity would compare to the times we live in today. Fred Rogers’ message was simple: “I like you just the way you are.” One could suggest we are starved for such unconditional affirmation today because we find it so seldom in the world.

The basic problem is not just others condemn us for our failures. It appears we condemn ourselves for failures also. When others criticize us, their attacks are hurtful, of course. But no one knows us as we know ourselves. No one knows our failures like we do.

No matter how much we succeed in life, no matter how much we do & own, no matter how much popularity we gain, it is never enough. When others affirm us, there is often a voice in the back of our minds which says; “it is because they do not really know me.” We can spend our lives trying to compensate for our failures, but we will never succeed.

Also in the news this week, an article on an organisation called Southern Response.  Many of you dear reader may probably have never heard of them, but they are the government agency who took over the run off of all AMI claims after the Christchurch Earthquakes. It transpires they have been fabricating claim settlement offers to claim recipients…

It was not until lawyers started requesting copies of insurers’ files it was revealed final pages of the detailed repair analysis (DRA), including full costs, were in many cases omitted from the package sent to customers. It turns out the second DRA not disclosed to the homeowner showed higher overall costs to repair or rebuild their home. One example settlement alone @ $362,555 when full estimate was $513,416  1

We need a shift in perspective, a way of seeing ourselves as giving rather than condemning. But there appears to be little in our culture which provides this option. This loss changes everything about how we see ourselves. So, here is an invitation to you today: stop measuring yourself by what you think of you. Stop trying to do enough good to be good enough. Just do it, & perhaps think of how this will actually affect others when you do. Can our world wait for such appreciation, even one more day?

So, what is in your news this week friends? Hopefully more of a Fred Rogers rather than a Southern Response.

Thank you for taking the time to be with me once again. I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes for the weekend ahead. I look forward to being with you all again next week.

1  Duncan Bridgeman @ NBR ~ September 21st 2018

Kenn Butler
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