Are you getting ready for winter? Maybe summer? It could be Autumn or Spring depending on where you are and when you’re reading this post.

I’m always amused when I get emails from companies telling me that winter’s almost here when we’re about to launch into summer or celebrating the arrival of spring when we’re in autumn.

Our world is so connected now that we see friends on Facebook telling us what a wonderful summer they’re having while we’re shivering in front of a heater.

The Internet often shows us people on the other side of the world in a different season. To them, that is the ‘universal’ experience. They’re so immersed in their own reality that they can forget that we’re in a different season. And we do it too. We talk about what’s going on for us when it’s quite different in other places.

Seasons of Life

I sometimes wonder if in the same way we can be blind to the fact that we can be in a different season in life to others around us. When we assume that just because our lives are sunny that life is sunny for others we can miss the opportunity to be there for someone who is facing a difficult season. We know from our own lives that what is being displayed on the surface isn’t always a great indicator of what’s happening inside.

You might have seen quotes like, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”


That doesn’t mean that we have to be treading on eggshells with everyone all the time. We can’t second guess everything we say or be so overly sensitive that we’re frozen into inaction, but it does mean that what seems obvious for us may not be what someone else is experiencing.

There’s a verse in the Bible about how we treat others that most people would know in some form or another.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

Do Unto Others

We don’t just ‘do unto others’ so that we can expect them to treat us well. The verse doesn’t come with the caveat that we should do well ‘unto others’ as long as they do well ‘unto us’. This isn’t transactional, it’s just about how we should act. We can’t control how others treat us but we can control how we treat others, and that’s what we’re being called to do.

If we would appreciate others treating us gently, even when we muck it up, we need to treat others the same way. If we appreciate being shown kindness, honesty, integrity and respect, we need to be showing those things to others.

That doesn’t mean that we just excuse bad behaviour. I want others to help me become a better person so I appreciate correction, but I want it to come from people who have my back and are concerned for me rather than just someone wanting to pay out on me.

We never know what season others are facing, and we can’t just assume that others are in the same season that we are, so it makes sense that whatever season we are in, we treat others as we would want to be treated in our best or our worst seasons.

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Changing Seasons

Today is the first day of spring in Australia. I’m looking forward to the mornings being a little brighter and the days being a little warmer. I particularly enjoy spring because it’s so much better for cycling.

The winters in Perth are never very severe. It never snows and while the weather might get a bit chilly and a little wild at times, I can generally still ride my bike throughout winter. Having said that, spring is just so much more comfortable.

What about you? Which is your favourite season? Choose your favourite in the poll and if you like, tell me in the comments why it’s your favourite.

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Summer or Winter?

I got an email today letting me know about some great summer savings from a large international computer and electronics company. (I don’t want to name them … but think fruit.) I thought it was pretty interesting considering we’re in the first week of winter.

I know that summer is on the way for those in the northern hemisphere but surely when you have customers all over the world you should keep in mind that the US isn’t the only place in the world. The majority of their customers probably do live in America but you’d have to think that they have a sizable customer base below the equator.

The fact that I had to tell them where I live when I signed up for their emails should have given them the information they needed to get the seasons right.

I know it’s only a small thing and there are so many more important things to be concerned over but it just felt like they were saying that unless you live where they live, you’re not all that important to them. Probably not a good message for an international company to be spreading.

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Birth date and personality

Some new research has astrologers in a spin. They’re claiming that scientists are now discovering what they knew all along. The scientists say it’s all down to biology.

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that birth date can affect personality.

Research has revealed the time of year a person is born can influence his or her personality, health and even whether they are male or female. But rather than being written in the stars, studies are showing that it is the season of birth that predisposes individuals to different traits.

So it seems it’s not really about astrology but about the time of year and the circumstances surrounding our birth. It would appear that it has a lot more to do with whether we’re born in a hot or cold month and the kinds of foods our mothers ate during their pregnancy than what ‘star sign’ we’re born under.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

We looked at the latest research on air today and talked about our connection with the planet and our universe. Are we really a product of the seasons? You can hear our discussion using the media player below.

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