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Personal Responsibility
Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMental HealthParentingPersonal Responsibility
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Tags: AttitudeBehaviorGratitudeHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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Tags: Family/Relationships - FamilyMarriageParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconEverybody wants to know what I think about Madonna's public comments during her' very public and rancorous divorce.' I think they pretty much match her general public image, demeanor, and behavior.' I have always found her incredibly objectionable, offensive and intentionally vulgar - all under the rubric of free-speech and free-spirit.To start, I'm not convinced that most current celebrity marriages are indeed commitments of mind, body, and soul as they are intended to be (think Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward).' For the most part, very 'out there' performers are exceedingly centered on themselves and want someone to adore them, serve them, be a reflection of their perceived wonderfulness or importance, fulfill a fantasy or simply put...the sex was great and the public relations aspect boosts their visibility.When the so-called object of their affections becomes tiresome, more or less important or successful, demanding, and no longer reflects a narcissistic boost...they are dispensed with.When a divorcing spouse makes public vulgar, insulting, and humiliating comments about the other spouse, children are devastated and tend to either compulsively go towards the attacked party to protect and defend them, or compulsively go towards the attacking parent so they won't also be victimized by that parent.' Either way, children become emotionally fragmented, confused, and distrustful - and that will likely be an issue for their whole lives, especially when they are ready to establish relationships.Celebrities with the usual chaos in their personal lives are the fodder of media sales and ratings.' Celebrities with quality relationships are ignored (Tom Selleck, for example).These celebrity musical chair relationships are obviously not a great image for our impressionable youth.' Quite frankly, most divorces don't need to happen at all.' Weathering lousy times is a sign of character and commitment.' Most of the time when folks call me all angry and convinced they need to divorce, they are simplifying the situation because they haven't taken the responsibility needed to help maintain a quality comradeship.' I tell them short of abuse, addictions, and repetitive affairs, they should treat the one they want so much to leave as though they loved them with their last breath - for a month - and then watch and feel what happens.If one parent decides to leave for selfish or foolish reasons, the truth of the situation can be spoken to the children without the nasty parts.' For example, "Your mother, sadly, has decided to leave to be with a man she met on the internet.' I'm hoping that she will find that she misses us all so much that she wants her life with us back.' Until then, let's pray and stay as positive as possible."This approach states the truth, which I believe children in this situation need, but opens the possibility for hope.' Children will over time form their own conclusions when mama never calls, visits, or comes home.' That parent will have destroyed the relationship with their children all by themselves.I try to remind folks considering leaving for less than important reasons to stick around and create the kind of homelife that will best send their children into their adulthood with optimism and an open heart.' I tell them that this is their moral obligation...to put themselves second. More >>

Tags: CommitmentDivorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParentingPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconWhen marriages get difficult, people "bail out" by divorcing, and flippantly propose that the kids will be fine.' When school children are failing classes, the tendency in American education is to drop standards on performance examinations, drop the tests altogether, or punish the hard-working children by eliminating valedictorian status.' When folks decide that their business or financial situation isn't paying off, they declare bankruptcy and ultimately give the bird to those who trusted them enough to do business with them.' When the auto industry makes cars that aren't popular, Congress votes to bail them out financially.' When mortgage companies and banks loan trillions of dollars to people who can't possibly pay their monthly bills, we have a world-wide financial crisis requiring the average, hard-working citizen to give up his or her compensation to save the day.' When people do stupid things, like put hot coffee between their legs while driving a car, a company has to pay out from its profits to compensate for a customer's irresponsibility.This is not really about finances.' As many have pointed out, during the Great Depression, unemployment was higher than 20%, and people found themselves unable to pay their bills through no fault of their own.' This is 2008, and unemployment is about 5%, and people find themselves unable to pay their bills totally by their own fault!' Why?' Because they want to live a lifestyle they have not yet earned.This is about character and honor as well as the philosophy of earning your blessings.' I have told many a parent not to buy a home for their newlywed children, because they would be robbing them of something to work towards together , in addition to the thrill of the accomplishment.Dozens of CEOs are walking away from disasters they helped create with hundreds of millions of dollars of "reward."' Millions of Americans are walking away from the disasters they greedily and irresponsibly signed up for by putting their names to a promise they could not keep.This is not the American spirit of old, and it's certainly not the way to bring up our young people.' I hope they have learned from this.'' Instead, I worry they're just blaming the Wall Street fat cats or the Federal government.' To quote Shakespeare: "the fault lies not in our stars...but in ourselves." More >>

Tags: abuseBudgetFinancesPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconA recent female caller wondered if she should stay with and even marry a guy who spent the full first year of their relationship being violent.I immediately said, "You're a grown woman.' If you want to play Russian Roulette with your life you have the right to do that.' Please, though, have your Fallopian tubes tied so that you can't bring any babies into this situation to either be hurt directly or indirectly by a messed up, violent home-life."She wanted to know if people can change.' Well, the correct answer is....YES!' Of course people can change.' When people are motivated and disciplined and committed to being, thinking, and doing things differently, they can most definitely evolve in a positive direction.' It does take time and simply acknowledging the need for change is not (contrary to popular thought) 50% of the problem.' You all know that's true because every one of you remembers making a New Year's Resolution - which clearly acknowledges a need for change - and even a plan....which just evaporated with time and ennui.Therefore, in the context of this woman's call, a person prone to violence is not one who is going to make a quick change.' The caller wanted to know if there was hope that in the future...no matter how distant...that he could be different.' Well, sure - IF he makes the commitment and is committed long term to whatever it takes to change his way of looking at the world, intimate relationships, and his own identity.An interesting fact is that when people do make such profound changes, they rarely are interested in the people who wanted them when they were less positively functional, as they recognize that it takes a less functional person to be attracted to same.' Said in a bit 'o different way: emotionally healthy people, even though they may protest love and compassion, just don't commit their lives to a recalcitrant, unwilling to change, difficult, or dangerous person.' It is because of their own sad inner dynamics that they find solace in being involved with an unhealthy person...it makes them feel needed or puts the responsibility for their unhappiness somewhere else or is simply a place to hide from the threat of not being capable of a good life.This particular caller thanked me for my advice...I asked her to tell me what my advice was; she said, "I don't want to play roulette with my life."' I gave her kudos for making a healthy and good choice.' I also told her that she'd feel stupid for the time already spent, lonely for the company, scared of being alone, and more...but that this decision was still a healthy and good choice.You see...she is the one in her life she had the power and the necessity to change; focusing on him was just a way to hide from that.I love the beginning of happy endings...and that call was one of those. More >>

Tags: ChildrenDatingHealthParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsResponse To A Comment
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05/13/2010
IconI had an interesting call just the other day.' A husband and wife, each on their second marriages, called because the family dog, a dachshund, was consumed by a coyote.' The wife wanted to know how or if she could ever forgive her husband for this "National Geographic" moment.' It seems they've been feuding for quite a while: he doesn't like the dog to pee in the backyard and make the grass yellow; she doesn't like the dog to be loose in the street to pee because he could get eaten.'While these two were fighting, the dog got eaten.The righteousness in her presentation was astounding. It seemed she was willing to dismiss yet another marriage because she labeled her husband responsible for the dog's demise as he let the dog out.I asked her who the 'alpha' person in the dog's life was - every dog, no matter how attached to all family members, identifies the 'alpha' person as its owner and "main squeeze."' She immediately jumped in to say it was just everybody's dog.' He quietly offered that she had the dog before they married.' Oops!I then told her that she was responsible for the dog's death as she was not taking responsibility to walk the dog three or so times a day for its exercise and for it to eliminate itself where (a) it wouldn't damage their home property and (b) she could make sure the dog was safe.' That she was sad her dog was dead was reasonable; that she was looking for a cause of this event was reasonable; that she was blaming other than herself in combination with what is "nature's way" was plainly unreasonable.I suggested she apologize to her husband and promise, should she want another dog, to take personal responsibility for that animal.This leads me to a recent news headline, "Icelanders irate at lenders who ruined country." It seems that only one year after winning the United Nation's "best country to live in" poll, with its residents rated the most contented in the world, the result of a country's decision to swap cod fishing for a complex debt-laden economy exacted a heavy toll.They were encouraged by the government to upgrade to a more luxurious lifestyle by buying houses and cars that were financed by 100 percent loans with extraordinarily low interest rates based not on their own money, the strong krona, but based upon a spread of foreign currencies.According to news reports, "Icelanders are also increasingly angry, looking for somewhere to point blame for the country's spectacular fall."' "Somebody has to take responsibility," said one father complaining that his son has lost his savings.It took one 21 year old print machinist, Alvin Zogu, to give the most mature response: "We can learn from what they did wrong.' We can make better decisions." While governments and banks can offer "pie in the sky," it takes the individual decision to gorge themselves with pie while dangling in the air to cause the ultimate fall. More >>

Tags: ChildrenParentingPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconOne television show I'm both intrigued by and ambivalent about is called House .' It's a medical drama in which the main character, a physician, is a diagnostic genius...except that he almost kills his patients a number of times until he brilliantly deduces the correct problem.One problem he and his associates always have in diagnosing these strange presenting disorders is that, as Dr. House says, "everybody lies."' It would seem that patients will withhold information essential to their proper treatment because of shame, guilt, embarrassment or to get out of some potential problem -- even if it threatens their lives!' Sometime during the one-hour drama, for better or worse, the truth comes out.' Moral debates sometimes arise about the value of truth and honesty.During my radio program, I have often cautioned people about being too flippant with honesty...it is, in fact, not always the best policy.' For example, "Your child is ugly and below average in intelligence!" or "Aging is sure being mean to you...look at all the wrinkles between your chin and your chest!"' Now, they may be honest assessments, but must all truths be spoken if they are going to hurt someone with no reasonable or positive motivation or intent?' My answer is, "no."' My answer is to find something sweet and kind to say...there always are those aspects of a person or a situation.However, there are circumstances where the truth is essential; and sadly, so few of our young people believe that is so.' Every school age child in America knows that a sitting, married President looked right into the television news cameras and lied about having had a sexual relationship with a young, single intern.' What was astonishing was how quickly his supporters and political party members were to dismiss this kind of lying since it was "personal."'It's funny how "personal" impacts the world.' ABC News produced a story about college cheating using the most advanced devices our technology has to offer.' The piece centered on a Texas college freshman, Kiko Kho, who had used a see-through plastic pen, opened up the back and slipped in a strip of paper with vocabulary words on it so that she would pass her French exam.' If you think it is remarkable that she admitted all this to a reporter...hang on to something...she posted a video on YouTube detailing how she'd pulled off her cheat that received more than 120,000 hits.' Did she show remorse and argue against cheating?' Nope.' She did admit "it's not a good thing to cheat," followed up quickly by "everybody has done it."'''''Our young people watch television political talk and debates and hear time and time again..."that's not true,"' "that's false," or "that's a lie."' When I was a child all I heard about was that President George Washington didn't lie about that cherry tree...that was something to aspire to!In Jasper, Indiana, two of three challengers for a congressional seat have agreed to be hooked up to lie detectors during an October 21 debate, but an official with the incumbent's party dismissed the idea.' The Republican Party Chairman made this proposal to Democratic Incumbent and the GOP and Libertarian challengers.' The only one who declined to comment was the Democratic Incumbent...now that just looks bad.I think all political debaters, product promoters, attorneys, teachers, scientists, and students in exams should take advantage of lie detection technology...and that's the truth! More >>

Tags: Internet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityTelevisionValues
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05/13/2010
IconHere's a simple test for you to contemplate:'What do you get when you leave a golden retriever dog in a car on a hot day with the windows cracked a bit, and the dog dies from being cooked in that car oven?' Well, you get arrested for felony animal cruelty, with bail set at $20,000 while you await your trial, which, if convicted, will get you about three years in jail.Okay, did you get that one right?' Probably.' Next test is:' What do you get when you leave a human child in a car on a hot day with the window not cracked a bit, and the child dies from being cooked in that car oven?' You get to be on Oprah! with an entire audience of dewy-eyed women exuding understanding and sympathy.Disgusting.Here are a few view responses to that program: "I too saw that Oprah episode.' I scoffed and hissed as I watched the 'sympathetic nodding' of Oprah's audience who were apparently relating to the distracted, forgetful 'busyness' of a mother who was asked by her husband to drop the baby off at day care that morning.' According to this woman, that was something her husband normally did, and it was outside of her daily routine. She had a lot on her mind and was concentrating on what the day had in store for her at work.' That was her reason for forgetting the baby in the car!' I just wanted to scream!' Then a thought came to my little pea brain.' I wondered if these 'understanding' women in the audience would actually 'understand' if their husbands forgot their birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, or Mother's Day because he was stressed and busy, concentrating on work, blah blah blah. Hmmmm.....yeah, I don't think so; we all know what these women would think of their controlling, nasty, insensitive husbands for forgetting these important things in life." Oh yes, there was one thing that mother did remember.' With the forgotten, ignored, unimportant human being in the back seat, she evidently did make a hurried stop to get donuts for the staff, which means the child was also left alone in the car while she got those all-important calorie-laden munchies.Right after I brought this travesty up on my radio program, I received an email from a single, twenty-three year old man, who had been watching this Oprah episode with his girlfriend of two years.' His immediate take was that the woman, the audience, and Oprah were being utterly disgusting, offering sympathy to a woman - a mother - who didn't have her child on her mind.' It seems he went on and on to his girlfriend about the sacred obligations of a mother - i.e., putting the child first - and about how awful it was to see women clucking in sympathy for this neglectful mother and not for the buried child. His girlfriend was in sympathy with the audience and was aghast that he would have such a "cold, cruel" non-understanding point of view.'''He decided at that moment to break off with her, because he couldn't see any woman with that point of view being his girlfriend, wife, and certainly not the mother of his precious children.I tell you, I was very impressed that we have such real men among our young people today.'When Oprah and other feminist, liberal, influential women take the point of view that children are not the first priority, when they coo over the "pain" of a mother who leaves her child to slowly cook to death in a car instead of storming the citadel demanding jail time for reckless endangerment, neglect and manslaughter, then we have women telling women to have compassion for irresponsibility, self-centeredness and murder.' When we have compassion for evil, we show disdain for the innocent victim.Shame on Oprah. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal Responsibility
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