Wednesday, November 18, 2009

“Not knowing” can be a Cause of great Anxiety and Stress for All

I was talking to someone recently, who has a great deal of suffering in his life. Like this person a large part of the lives of those suffering is due to the fact that they do not know how things will work out or whether indeed there is a solution to their problem(s).

By Yemti Harry Ndienla

Couple of weeks ago Mr. Fritz Mbome, and Likowo Ndobedi, took centre stage at The Church of The Holy Spirit, Schaumburg, IIIinois, to declare WHAT THEY KNOW (their love for each other) in front of God Almighty.

Their act (the exchange of vow) was a true demonstration, and guarantee of LOVE acknowledged by God including the men and women who cramped the House of God, and reception ground at Palatine there after.

The issue here is not to surround you with the sensation of this wedding, noted to be one of the best in recent times nor to tell you how profound Mr and Mrs Mbome know or love each other but to give you an idea of the “Power of Knowing”

“Not knowing” can be a cause of great anxiety and stress for all. Often married couples or those in relationships do not know if their spouse really loves them. This doubt can be a cause of great anxiety.

Some children, even as adults do not know if one or both parents ever really loved them. So they carry this burden with them every day of their life.

There is part of our human nature that always needs to know things for definite. We have a need to understand and be in full possession of knowledge in order to be at ease with ourselves, others and our surroundings. This can be a healthy trait in our humanity but at times it can also be a curse (translate as disadvantage) especially in terms of prayer and our spiritual life.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Curiosity killed the cat?” Well, if we stress ourselves too much over the things we don’t know or understand, we can become despondent, negative, desperate and even make ourselves ill. Wanting to know too much can be a dangerous exercise.

In terms of prayer and faith, acceptance that our human knowledge is imperfect and that we will never fully know God via the intellect, is an important step if we are to make any progress in our prayer life. God is a Mystery and we are invited to enter the Mystery not through our head but through our heart.

A very good spiritual book from the Middle Ages is called “The Cloud of Unknowing”. It counsels all of us who pray and especially those who are trying to pray through difficult situations, not to trust knowledge, but to trust the things of the heart.

The anonymous author writes “Knowledge is full of labor, but love is full of rest”.

When we are fretting too much over unknown futures or solutions to problems, let us remember that we can do little to improve our situation by “thinking”. On the other hand, by praying with our heart so as to experience the ever loving presence of God we can find rest.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bribery/Corruption? IMF official given $200.000 cash farewell gift!

Senegal's president admitted that he hosted a special dinner at his palace for a departing International Monetary Fund representative - only to have a top aide erroneously send him off with nearly $200,000 in cash as a goodbye gift.

The Associated Press

President Abdoulaye Wade's admission has prompted the opposition in the West African nation to call for an investigation.

Wade said his top aide gave the cash to IMF country director Alex Segura after a Sept. 25 dinner at the presidential palace marking the end of Segura's three-year term. Wade issued a statement Tuesday in which he said the gift was not a bribe.

A top aide to the president asked if he should give something to Segura as is custom, the statement said.

"The president said yes without specifying the sum, as there was a common practice," the statement said. "The top aide was mistaken about the amount and realized his error later."

Wade did not specify what the proper amount was supposed to be. Nor did Wade say if the Senegalese government had followed a similar practice with other diplomats or foreign officials.

An IMF statement said Segura left the president's house immediately for the airport and only later discovered that the gift was a large sum of U.S. dollars and euros. The IMF said they have returned the money to the Senegalese government.

Wade said he was not attempting to bribe Segura.

"It doesn't make sense to talk about corruption of someone who is leaving permanently without the slightest chance of meeting each other again one day," Wade said.

Wade, the 83-year-old leader of Senegal, has come under increasing criticism for corruption allegations. He recently changed the constitution to alter the length of the presidential term from five to seven years. Last month, he announced that he planned to run for a third term - meaning that he could be in office well into his 90s.

He has dismayed former supporters through ostentatious displays of wealth, including renting numerous suites in a luxury hotel in Switzerland this summer for his annual summer vacation. His Swiss holiday, which one newspaper claimed had cost the government at least $1.6 million, came at the same time that Senegal suffered devastating rains that flooded entire neighborhoods, causing some 264,000 people to lose their homes.

He also has raised eyebrows by giving important portfolios to his son, Karim Wade, who was raised abroad and is not fluent in Wolof, the predominant local language. The elder Wade has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by his son.

Opposition legislator Imam Mbaye Niang said he will ask parliament to investigate the recent gift.

"Wade has to be taken to court for spending national money illegally," he said. "Unfortunately I am sure that we will not succeed because the opposition is the minority in parliament."

An IMF statement issued late Monday said the Washington-based organization would launch an independent investigation into the matter.

"The president explained that the money was intended as a traditional farewell gift to Mr. Segura in recognition of his contribution to Senegal, and was not in any way intended to influence either Mr. Segura, who was leaving the country permanently, or the IMF," the statement said.

The IMF said that Wade had acknowledged the amount that was provided was a mistake. The bank said Segura informed his successor on the night of his departure and they agreed that Segura would transport the money to his destination, Barcelona.

"With Mr. Segura worried about missing his flight and, concerned that there was no place to leave the money safely in Senegal, he decided to take the money aboard the plane," the statement said.

The IMF said they returned the money to Senegal's ambassador to Spain in early October. Segura has since returned to Washington, the statement said.

Sphere: Related Content