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Beautiful But Not Pretty

August 25, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.— Proverbs 14.31

So here I sit at the Troos Hotel in Kampala, Uganda in modest comfort, after 10 days in rural Uganda with the poorest of the poor located in the district of Mityana.

In comparison to the people of rural Uganda I currently sit in the lap of luxury.

The Poorest of the Poor

The folk we work with live without electricity, running water, heating, air conditioning, or transportation (although a few posses motorcycles known as “boda bodas” seating up to 4 people on one boda). Their clothes are excessively tattered and a full third have no shoes at all. And they live in homes with dirt floors and often even lack latrines and so are forced to defecate in the bush. These are the poorest of the poor.

In fact when we take photos it is the first time in their life they have witnessed an image of themselves.

Access to Clean and Safe Water

However the most important item they lack is access to clean water. (The photo above is an image of the water they drink, water we wouldn’t even put our hands in. Providing access to clean water is our mission at Wells of Life. By year-end we will have provided in excess of 500 water wells serving up to 500,000 people daily.

Our mission of providing water to the poorest of the poor is probably the most important thing in which I have participated in my entire life. Two of every five children under five years old will die of water borne diseases before they live to the age of five. Diarrhea is common to all people. And of those who suffer from diarrhea 47% contract the disease because of failure to wash hands.

Thusly we teach sanitation and hygiene to those who have no knowledge of the importance.

The Shocking Happiness of the Poor

 However, the one thing that utterly shocks all visitors is the happiness of the poor. A gift of a soccer ball is like receiving a Mercedes Benz to these amazing people. Although exceedingly poor, joy is found by the simplest of pleasures. It forces visitors to reconsider your personal wealth—no matter your financial status.

Truthfully,Wells of Lifebrings water because we attempt to faithfully follow the actions of Jesus, by giving of time, treasure and talents to those lacking the basics of life. And I promise, NOTHING IS MORE REWARDING.

It is Better to Give than to Receive

So I encourage you to assume the role of a giver. St Paul quotes Jesus saying that “it is better to give than to receive.” You know what I am talking about because each of us has experiencing the joy of giving.

You may consider helping Wells of Lifewhich serves the poorest of the poor with very limited resources. But we continue because by grace, love, and the generosity of people like you. If not Wells of Life then I encourage you to give to the charity that is tugging at your hear.

You will never be the same. I promise!

Save the Poorest of the Poor

You Will Never be the Same!

Photo courtesy of Charlie

It’s Not Been Easy

August 10, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

One thing rings true in my life… it’s not always been easy.

But I am not alone, am I? In fact, philosophers and modern-day life-gurus all seem to agree that the most successful people in life have endured and overcome serious setbacks and failures.

You know it has become rather common to hear it said that “we don’t have problems, we have opportunities… for growth.” Although that may be true, it is of absolutely no meaning to someone who is experiencing some sort of ongoing trial or struggle. When you are in the middle of it, you often see no way out that is satisfactory. And yet you almost always do find a way to come out on the other side of darkness.

Suffering and the Hero’s Journey

I just listened to a podcast in which the point was made that the other side of darkness (light) requires a journey through that darkness before you can come to the light. Is this not the theme of Joseph Campbell’s study of the hero’s journey? The hero’s journey consists of a broad category of tales and lore that involves a “hero” who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory (often a self-imposed crisis), and then comes home changed or transformed.

Changed or transformed. Such is the blessing of trial and sufferings. You are better for it than you are without it.

I know it today… as I write. I am experiencing a couple of serious trials, which indeed bring about personal suffering. But as one of my trials nears closure I can already see the much needed transformation. I will be better for it.

How about you?

Suffering: The Road to Transformation

Photo courtesy of yacobchuk at istockphoto

#120 Dena Crowder: Voices-Inner Critic or Authentic Self

August 6, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

After reading Facebook entries by Dena on our Inner Critic, I published a blog on the subject titled “Silencing Your Inner Critic” which has received a tremendous response from readers.

Since there is so much more to talk about on that subject Dena has graciously agreed to come on the show to elaborate on this very important topic. We will attempt to describe how you can transform the voice of your Inner Critic to the voice of your Authentic Self.

A bit about Dena:

Dena Crowder is known as the most innovative strategist and consultant for creators and leaders.  Her clients include Grammy and Emmy award winners, CNN Heros, founders, writers, performers, educators, and upstarts from every industry.

Dena’s Mission is to Redefine Power so that we use power for good as she believes that “Pure Power” is the capacity to directly influence and manage your life… with wisdom and compassion.

Dena is also about to have the honor of speaking at an upcoming TED X talk on discovering your Inner Power to manage the Inner Critic.

Exercise: Want to Meet Your Inner Critic?

https://starpower.denacrowder.com/inner-critic/

Dena’s Journey with her Inner Critic

https://mailchi.mp/denacrowder.com/the-calling

 

You can reach Dena at www.denacrowder.com

For more with Charlie Hedges please visit www.thenextchapter.life

 

 

 

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Whatever Became of the Virtue of Kindness?

August 3, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.” Leo Tolstoy

Like so many character traits that were highly valued even 50 years ago, the virtue of kindness seems to have plunged along with so many other character traits that separate humans from all other species. Traits like humility, generosity, integrity, and honesty have held the civilized world together and if they disappear where are we?
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#119 Tom: 12 Steps for Better Living

July 30, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes  

I have wanted to discuss the subject of the 12 Steps for Life for several months now. I just had not found the expert I needed to guide me through a better understanding of the process.

My guest to day is my old, old friend Tom who has been working with the 12 Steps for more than 17 years. Although retired, Tom continues to serve at the Covenant Hills Recovery Center, which focuses on the biological, psychological, social and spiritual conditions of their patients.

Tom has worked with hundreds of people with some kind of addiction, teaching and implementing the 12 Steps. As a recovering alcoholic myself I have always been impressed by the power of the 12 Steps and I have frequently pondered the idea of how the Steps would be of immense value to the general population at large—not merely those suffering from some sort of substance abuse.

Tommy is my guy. He is the one that can lead a discussion on this intriguing and essential subject.

For more with Charlie Hedges please visit www.thenextchapter.life

Check out this episode!