AS I SEE IT! (a social comment) May 22nd 2011

Some people say that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it. In my opinion I think that is a pretty fair assessment of the situation.

I was recently reminded of the Raurimu massacre, where 14 years ago, Stephen Anderson gunned down ten innocent people, in the tiny little hollow at the doorstep of the mighty Ruapehu.

Anderson was found not guilty by reason of insanity, on six counts of murder and four attempted murders.

He now lives in the community and has turned to religion to seek inner peace.

Too bad about the victims families, those still grieving the loss of their loved ones. Yes, it has been said time is a great healer but how can a nation forget?

Can they? Sadly we do, ask the average person in the street who is Stephen Lawrence Anderson and I doubt you will get a second glance.

We read almost with daily monotony, another victim, another committed to a mental institution because of a heinous crime.

Mental Health services are overstretched under resourced and lack the funding to deal with the increasing number of people calling on their services for help.

We do all have a choice, in some sad twisted way; Anderson’s was a cry for help, sadly altogether too late. Certainly lessons have been learned from that tragedy, but as time has marched on, we see and hear more and more about our failing mental health system. Too little, too late.

People turn to bizarre cults and beliefs to find solace inside their tormented worlds.

We only have to look at the latest prediction, the world, according to American Preacher, Harold Camping should have ended by now. People quit their jobs, euthanized their pets and sold all their possessions to follow this crackpot.

Across the ditch, a couple who claim they are Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene have set up base in Queensland and are drawing in disciples from across the country. Cult watchers along with mental health agencies are watching with interest as people from both sides of the Tasman pack up to follow these eccentrics. Some of the facts behind his fledgling movement make for alarming reading. Vulnerable followers, worried relatives, busted relationships and doomsday predictions, form the backdrop to this group that has everyone talking.

In the uncertainty of today’s fast paced world, Life really is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it.

Live your own life, embrace it to the very best of your ability.

You only get one crack at it. Make it count.

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