Television, Radio, The internet and Social Media has a huge influence on people’s lives as a whole. According to Mark Stibbe’s observances, people’s reactions to the same kind of news can differ greatly from one nation to the next in keeping with their social mindset. How do two English speaking nations think very differently? Mark Stibbe explains… “A few weeks ago there was a story in the news that went viral on social media. It concerned a young Queen’s Guardsman on duty outside Buckingham Palace. During the Changing of the Guard the poor lad tripped over a manhole cover and fell, knocking his bearskin on the sentry box and dropping his rifle. Pictures of the moment – as well as a video of it taken by a spectator – went all over the world in a matter of minutes, arousing raucous mirth. A few months before the news was full of another story about falling. This time about Madonna. Madonna fell over during the performance of a new song live at the Brit Awards (I was watching it when it happened). It was the first time she had sung at the Brit Awards in twenty years. During one of her dance routines, Madonna’s cape – which was tied too tight – became snagged and she tumbled to the floor. Once again, the incident went global. Within minutes it was a headline on the BBC news programme that followed. What I observed in the British reaction to these events disturbed me. Thousands, maybe even millions of Brits found these moments deeply satisfying and even wildly entertaining. They took pleasure in these falls, enjoying the transition from gaping shock to gloating glee. This got me thinking. What is it about the British that loves seeing people in the public eye fall from grace? Why do we see such implosions – whether physical, moral, financial, whatever – as fitting targets for cynical mirth?” In America “All this is fiercely relevant to my own life. Nearly a year after my fall I found myself on the Eastern seaboard of the USA. I was there to lead a writer’s workshop. During my stay a crisis broke out in the church and I was asked to support the church’s leadership in navigating their way through it. When I went to the leader’s meeting one evening I was understandably nervous. How would they respond to me? They all knew that I had fallen. What would they say? When I entered the room I received one hug after another. These outstanding African American brothers and sisters weren’t in the least bit focused on my past. All they wanted to see was that I had brushed myself down and got up again – that I was walking by faith again and reconnected to my Heavenly Father. So there were no sermons, only shoulders. No gloating, only hugging. That, beloved readers, was a game changing moment for me. The next morning I woke up early as the golden New England sun began to rise. I started to reflect on the difference between this American response and the standard British reaction to situations like mine.” The Comparison “In Britain we love it when heroes become zeroes. We love putting people on pedestals and then knocking them down. It’s almost become a national blood sport. In America I see the reverse. Maybe it’s because of the American Dream. I don’t know. But over the Pond people love seeing zeroes becoming heroes. What matters to them is, “Are you going to get up again?” Regardless of what’s going on around us, what influence society may have on our daily lives, we have free will to make good and wise choices.” God Did Not Take Away Free Will From Us. Deuteronomy 11:26 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse Jeremiah 21:8 “Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.;” Sources: Mark Stibbe Award winning and best-selling author, blogger, script doctor, CEO of Kingdom Writing Solutions. ‘After the Fall’ by Mark Stibbe, Permission Attained – http://markstibbebooks.blogspot.com.au/2015_05_01_archive.html Free Will – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will Image courtesy of: www.freedigitalphotos.net/marin Where to Get Help in Australia Talk to your doctor who can point you in the right direction. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you. Visit ACA to search for a counsellor near you. Free 24/7 Counselling Services Lifeline on 13 11 14 Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 Headspace on 1800 650 890 Studying at aifc Equip yourself with a Christian counselling education and become skilled in extending God’s love and grace with empathy to the hurting out in the community. For those who would like to enrol in aifc’s accredited Christian counselling courses we have two intakes per year for courses commencing around the following months: At The beginning of each year in February. Mid-Year courses commence in July. Enrolment season opens 2-3 months prior our courses commencing. Enquire now and fill out the form with your details to receive course information by email. Enrol online here during our enrolment season. Those living overseas can study aifc’s courses via our Distance Based Program. The International Student Program enables those with a student visa to Study On Campus in Sydney. Note: A Master of Counselling course will be commencing in 2018. Contact aifc Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm with your enquiries on 6242 5111 or toll free on 1300 721 397 Share this Facebook Twitter Pinterest Where to get help 24/7 Helplines Lifeline: 13 11 14 Kids Helplines: 1800 551 800 Mensline: 1300 789 978 Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 Headspace: 1800 650 890 Talk to your doctor and see a mental health professional. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you.