"Look at the human structure of all there is to see and allow yourself to become an indispensable part of everything you feel, everything you are and all you want to be. You will face life's difficulties like we all are made to face them, knowing that what we sometimes do is wrong, but also in the knowledge that what we more often do in our life and towards other people will be the right thing to have done. So do yourself no discredit whenever assessing the balance sheet and be not mean with your own applause.
Our very growth of goodness springs forth from a forgiving God, a loving family, faith in self, concern for neighbours and the constant display of upright values. The essence of our good is reflected in our inner strength to control our basest urge and contain our first negative thought about another; for after control and containment, the seeds of compassion take root in our most fertile soil and the path to eternal concern and consideration is paved out for the mere walking of it.
The best lessons I have learned in my lifetime have been the ones I have lived. In my earlier years of ignorance, impatience and indulgence, my attempt to find the truth did but scratch the surface, whereas my maturer actions of more seasoned years enabled me to strike at the very soul that is lost, yet seeks clearer direction. I now know that it becomes possible to retrieve the reins of salvation from the jaws of hell and to move back from the precipice of human destruction, for I have on occasion looked into the abyss and recoiled at what I saw. I have witnessed many vulnerable others stare at the human cesspit of uncertainty, hopelessness and doubt before plunging themselves into a pit of melancholy, lifelong misery, despair and depression.
I know that in my past profession as a Probation Officer, my ability to help others stemmed from having lived a life of good and bad, from having failed and succeeded, from having sinned and repented, but never from having put myself down, given up and thrown in the towel! Had I been endowed with only unblemished and wholesome experiences to call upon, I would never have got passed the front door in some of the houses I daily visited. They would have seen me for the well-intentioned 'do gooder' I never was or wanted to be. No! It was only my flawed character, my questionable lifestyle, my human weakness to succumb to temptation and my working class roots that stretched from hell to heaven that gained me entry into their houses and enabled them to trust my word and advice and see me as their 'friend.' I was able to work well with offenders because I too had offended in my past and thereby recognised them as being 'my people'. I was eternally blessed with being able to see past their crime that brought them to me, and sense the untapped goodness within the individual that remained still just beneath the surface, often embarrassed to show its face. I was able to sense the nature of the dreams they never dared to dream and occasionally bring their inner vision into joyful reality.
From what I had to offer, I know that when I best succeeded, I had managed to give out sufficient hope and inspiration and a strong encouragement for a belief in self. My relaxation classes of twenty-four weeks' duration taught them that we are all best content with our own company when we are most happy with self. My first group lesson always asked them to face the person on each side of them and pull a face. I told them that were they to succeed in their group aim of becoming a better and more confident person, they must be able to pull a face at life! My final group session always acquainted them with that wonderful quotation by the French philosopher, playwright and novelist, John Paul Sartre, 'If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company,' hence much of my group lessons were devoted towards learning to see oneself in a better light and learning to love oneself." William Forde: July 11th, 2017.