The Twilight Zone of Belief Systems ⋆ Politicrossing
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The Twilight Zone of Belief Systems

Imagine a cabal that might murder you if you seek to leave

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In the Middle East, as the Biden Administration seeks to unravel the extraordinary achievements of President Trump, start new wars, end our oil independence, and re-arm Iran, one can only wonder how long before Islamic fundamentalists re-emerge as a worldwide threat.

Concurrently, I had a strange dream. I was invited to a locale where everyone spoke well, dressed well, and seemed to conform to some belief standard that I couldn’t fully comprehend. As a friendly guide drove me about, it seemed that more and more people were conforming to this belief system. It was like The Stepford Wives meets The Wicker Man in The Twilight Zone.

Hail to the Party

The residents seemed nice enough, but when you didn’t tow the ‘party line,’ things got  dicey. Everyone was expected to adhere to the same views. Children were indoctrinated at an early age, and, most alarmingly, no one was allowed to leave without an extremely compelling reason.

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I was induced to become part of this community, while I sensed danger if I stayed. In order to depart, I had to convince everyone that I would return to my soon-to-be former home, round up key items, sell off big assets such as my car, and tie up loose ends. As far as I know, they were buying my story. Then, I suddenly awoke and began to contemplate what I had just experienced.

Dreams are largely drawn-out dramas from unresolved affairs during the day.  What led me that day to such a dream scenario, with such detail? Beyond Biden’s blunders, I had encountered a Pew Research Center study which showed the religious preferences and cultural norms of Muslims, independent of sect, in regions around the earth.

Most compelling, among Sharia supporters, the median percentage of Muslims, by region of the world, who favor executing individuals who leave Islam is as follows:

South Asia              76%

Middle East            56%

Southeast Asia      27%

Central Asia            16%

SE Europe                13%

Defectors Beware

Depending on the region, one out of eight (as in Southeast Europe), to as many as six out of eight Muslims (in Southeast Asia) approve of execution for defectors of Islam. Even if the percentages are off considerably, shockingly, hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide agree that anyone who seeks to forsake Islam should be put to death.

Imagine a cabal where between 13% and 76% of its members believe the group has the right to murder you if you if you seek to leave. Whether you were born into the group, married a group member, or voluntarily joined, you are in this group for life.

No Way Out – Given your experiences with the group, or based on your travels, suppose that you’re inclined to leave this group. According to the group’s code, you have no right to leave and if your intentions are discovered, your life is at stake. Would any civilized society tolerate such a group?

A Religion or a Cult?

In the U.S., we’ve witnessed cult leaders who, in their erroneous belief that they had God-like powers, would rather kill themselves and their followers than allow people to defect. We have seen fanatical leaders, such as the Reverend Jim Jones, and the Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh, who believed it was their right to sacrifice their own people when they deemed fit.

Consider a group such as Islam that contains 24% of the world’s population – nearly one in four people on earth – approaching 1.9 billion. The leaders of this group believe they have the divine right to execute anyone who deigns to leave the group. Is this not a cult that enslaves its people – at least mentally, if not physically and emotionally – with little or no hope of making free choices?

Is this not a cult where the individual is subordinated to the will of who knows what? In civilized societies should a belief system such as this be deemed a religion at all?

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Business

Smart Move in a Rough Economy: Help Your Boss to Shine

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives

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Making your boss look good can only reflect favorably on you. Both your boss and his or her supervisors will appreciate this.

The best way to make your boss look good is to handle your work efficiently and thoroughly. If your boss is fair, he or she will give you credit for the work, increasing your chances of promotion.

If your boss is not doing his or her share of the work, leaning on you unfairly without giving you the credit, it’s still likely that you’ll be promoted when your boss is promoted. That person knows you’ve been doing more than your share, and he or she won’t be able to take a new position without your help.

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Becoming a Mentor to Others

Maybe you’re only 27 years old, or perhaps you’ve only been with your present firm for a year and a half. Yet, with your previous experience and achievements, you may already be in a position to serve as a mentor to junior members of your organization. This can be accomplished on an informal, ad hoc basis, and you can literally choose the amount of energy you’re willing to commit. Helping junior members always looks good to those above you, especially at performance review time.

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives. This three-way strategy includes reviewing your job description, deciding precisely what your department’s goals are, and determining your company’s objectives:

Your Job Description

First, knowing your job description and honoring it, or amending it if necessary, protect you from any misunderstandings. It will also give you an idea of the part you play in the total picture of the organization, an important factor in your work satisfaction and chance of promotion.

Your job description ideally contains all the important activities of your position, the knowledge you need to have or acquire to perform those activities, and some sense of your overall role. If your job description does not adequately detail the information you need to know and the responsibilities you have, now is the time to change it.

Company Goals

Second, learn and understand the goals of your part of the company. By whatever method your organization is broken into groups — department, division, project team — your group has objectives.

Goals are important to guide actions as well as to mark milestones. Knowing your group’s goals will help you to set priorities for your own work and make wise decisions concerning how jobs can best be done.

What is the Mission?

Finally, be aware of your organization’s mission. Any organization, from the smallest business to the multibillion-dollar corporation, has a mission. If you don’t already know it, find out. Your organization’s brochure, annual report, promotional literature, or employee handbook will have the mission spelled out.

The mission will unify and give meaning to all the division or department goals. Although conflicts among divisions will occur because of the nature of different responsibilities, a solid base can be produced when all employees realize the overall mission of the organization.

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Business

Lessons of the 2020s: Unanticipated Events Happen

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being as well as on our time

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By now, nearly everyone has mentally marked the first few years of this decade as strange and, for those on the right, entirely upsetting. While we can’t guard against the unknown, or anticipate radical moves emanating from Washington DC, we can seek to do our best with what we have and what we know.

Each day when you compose your to-do list and begin proceeding merrily down it, do you take into account what is likely to occur in the course of a day? No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling the products and tasks unexpected obligations, interruptions, and other developments arise that are going to throw us off.

How do you react when you are humming along, and all of a sudden, you get an assignment from out of left field? Perhaps your boss has asked you to jump on something immediately. Maybe a client calls. Maybe something gets returned to you that you thought was complete.

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To Be Flustered No More

If you are like most professionals, you immediately will become flustered. The intrusion on your time and your progress means that you are not going to accomplish all that you set out to before the end of the day. Is there a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish?

I believe there is, and it involves first making a miniature, supplemental to-do list that accurately encapsulates the new task that you need to handle. Why create this supplemental to-do list? It gives you focus and direction, reduces anxiety, and increases the probability that you will remain buoyant at the time of its completion and be able to turn back to what you were doing before the task was assigned.

If you don’t compose such a list, and simply plow headlong into the unexpected challenge that has come your way, you might not proceed effectively, and you might never get back to the to-do list on which you were working.

Anticipating the Unexpected

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent more than intrusions on our time; they represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being. Some people are naturally good at handling unexpected situations. Most of us, however, are not wired like this. Interruptions and intrusions on our workday take us off the path that we wanted to follow, and tend to be at least momentarily upsetting.

So… when executing the items on your to-do list, proceed ‘knowing’ that there will be an interruption of some sort. You don’t know when it is coming or how large it will be, but it will pull you off course. The key question for you is: can you develop the capacity to maintain balance and equanimity in the face of such disruptions?

The good news is that you can, and it all starts with acknowledging that the situation is likely to happen, devising a supplemental checklist to handle the new task, and as deftly as possible, returning to what you were doing.

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