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attitude
Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCommon SenseHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have a friend who is temporarily without a computer, so I've been texting him.' I've found myself using the letter "u" for "you," and "r" for "are," but other than that, I try to use the English language the way it was meant to be spoken and written.I've complained quite often about how this text messaging thing is completely out of hand, and how your children should not be able to use such technology as it occupies way too much of their time without depth and without development of language skills.' Quite the contrary - spelling and syntax and content are out the window when it comes to these mindless exchanges.' Additionally, people of all ages are so focused on that little gadget that they ignore their responsibilities as well as their environment.Numerous states have had to implement bans on texting while driving - that's how utterly stupid people can get.' Text-related injuries and deaths are not limited to the vehicular variety.' In 2008, the state of Illinois proposed legislation that would make texting and walking (with or without gum) illegal!' Pedestrians who ridiculed the idea might now need to reconsider their stance.A 15 year old girl on Staten Island was obliviously thumbing away when she disappeared into an open manhole, falling five feet, scraping her back and arms, and landing in a pile of mush.' The workers were off getting cones and markers to barricade the opening, so it was a potential hazard.' However, if this teen were actually looking where she was going, not a thing would have happened to her.' Of course, her parents are going to sue.' Well, why not?' Your daughter behaves stupidly, so naturally you're going to look around for someone to sue.' Money versus common sense.' Oh well.If I were a purse snatcher or predator, I'd keep my eyes open for texting women who are moving through life without any awareness of their surroundings:' whether people, entities, or holes in the ground.' They make easy prey.I keep wondering...what if we looked at everyone's text messages over a 24 hour period of their life?' Would we find anything important being discussed?' I doubt it.' More likely, we'd just find them attempting to create a mini-universe to live in, where meaningless discourse makes them feel important or connected - or provides an activity where they avoid dealing with real life issues.What if this teen had stepped on a baby?' What if she had tripped over an elderly person who had then fallen?' What if she walked right into the hands of a kidnapper?' What if she didn't see a person doing harm to another (so she couldn't provide witness testimony to help the police)?' I could go on and on....but you get the idea.Yes, the manhole should not have been left unattended - those guys should all be fired.' Yes, she should have been looking where she was going.' That's just plain common sense.' This would have been a preventable accident if the men had done their jobs properly, and if this girl had shown better judgment. More >>

Tags: AttitudeFamily/Relationships - TeensPersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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Tags: AttitudeCommitmentDatingDisappointmentEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensFriendshipsHealthHopeMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancyPurposeSocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconI got this after I read a letter from a stay-at-home mom on my radio program: Dr. Laura:I am a 26 year old Stay-At-Home Dad who never wanted children, and until I saw my daughter for the first time, I was terrified that I would resent her for changing my life in a way I'd never planned (and yes, I do appreciate the irony of my situation).' I have served in the military, managed people, and worked as a laborer.' I have done many difficult things in my life, but being a full-time parent is easily the most difficult (and most rewarding) job I have ever had.' My daughter is the light of my life, and, despite my earlier fears, has only helped to strengthen the relationship I share with my wife. [Recently], you read an email on your program from a stay-at-home mother titled "Staying Home is NOT a Sacrifice!"' I was awestricken, and admittedly, at the end of the letter, I cried.' I've been described as "unemotional" on more than one occasion, and was even surprised at myself with the chord that letter struck for me.' While I have never considered giving up my career and my life as a childless young adult a sacrifice, I'd also never put it all into perspective for myself.' I am surrounded by people who have shown nothing but great respect for my wife and I for the fact that we live a much different lifestyle than we did prior to our daughter being born, so I am personally (and thankfully) unfamiliar with the hostility that stay-at-home parents receive.' And while I doubt that the people who would hear or read this woman's letter would disagree with her, I, as a man and father, would like to add a little reinforcement to this woman's declaration.' Staying home is NOT a sacrifice!' The reward of staying home with the kids is not only the end result of children having full-time parents, but in the act itself.' We are not giving anything up to be with our children; we are getting so much more from them than we would otherwise. It's unfortunate to me that not everyone can enjoy the special bond that a stay-at-home parent forms with their children, and I wish that the whole world could see my little girl run at me full-bore, and crash head-first into my legs, begging to be picked up, so that she can give me a big sticky kiss and bury her face in my neck. Yes, I do sometimes miss skipping town for the weekend on a moment's notice to go drinking or fishing.' Yes, I do sometimes miss having the money to go buy a new toy whenever I feel like it.' I do sometimes miss being able to make love to my wife anywhere in our home at any time.' But one sticky kiss from my daughter is worth infinitely more than every beer I don't have, every record-breaking fish I don't catch, every new toy I don't buy, and every intimate moment that has to wait until the baby has gone to bed. A proud, stay-at-home Dad More >>

Tags: acceptanceAttitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThe coordinator behind a children's coloring book that was pulled from FEMA's website recently is standing by her work, despite its controversial cover (which shows a child's drawing of the New York's "Twin Towers" on fire, with a plane flying toward them), according to Fox News.Ostensibly, this downloadable coloring book was created to help children cope with disaster, and was developed by Minnesota's Freeborn County Crisis Response Team after a tornado hit their area. "I stand firm that it was a very well thought out and useful resource for kids," Rose Olmstead told Fox News.' I think she is sadly mistaken.' I read the entire coloring book, and these are my observations and opinions:1. The title of the coloring book is "A Scary Thing Happened," a children's coloring book to help cope with disasters.' I would not have shown this to my child.' The cover has the World Trade Center towers burning, with a plane coming in for the second kill, a house with the roof blowing away due to a tornado, and a car that is smashed from the top - this doesn't resemble a car accident, so I don't know if a tornado was supposed to have hauled it up and then dropped it on its top before righting it, or what.' Can't figure that one out.'Here's where I take issue:' a tornado is an act of nature.' The tower disaster was an act of evil people determined to murder all those who didn't share their religion.' It's wrong to put these two together, because the explanations for these events are worlds apart, and people cope differently when other humans perpetrate heinous acts on purpose, than when nature does what nature does, or when accidents happen.' Coping with these two category types is psychologically different.' As you might guess, murder and mayhem perpetrated by man is much harder to deal with, because it becomes more personal.2. After highlighting terrorism on the cover, the book starts out showing excessive rain causing a flood, a tornado and a house fire - typical disasters for a community.' The text then says, "You may wonder why anybody would do this or why it happened to you." Well, are we blaming God for rain and high winds?' Who else could do this?' This is neither discussed nor explained. "...why it happened to you" is definitely a good question to ask, because that is what most people of any age would ask.' On the next page, the question is not answered.' The page just shows a child among three different images of terrorist-hijacked planes and World Trade Center towers.' This actually made me angry, because it was a pointless segue from the previous page.3. The next section is pretty good.' It talks about sadness, but then it throws in "You might think you made the disaster happen, but you didn't." What kid thinks a tornado or flood is their fault?' This book is just all mixed up with concepts, and ultimately, I don't believe it is helpful to children at all.4. One of the worst parts of the book is a section that mentions "In the disaster, there was no warning and no time to get ready." Well, people in flood, earthquake and tornado areas have family and community plans in place, and generally instruct their children on what to do.' The same goes for house fires.' This book leads children to believe that they have absolutely no power, because it does not inform them that there is such a thing as preparedness.' Coloring after the fact is cute, but preparedness before the fact helps children to anticipate and feel a sense of power vs. a feeling of helplessness.5.' Since this book doesn't really settle on one concept, it does not effectively deal with any, which is a shame, because the last part talks about discussing your feelings, doing good deeds, and taking care of yourself as a way to cope.'I stand with the people who wanted this book pulled because of the cover with the burning towers, but I stand with them more because of the quality of the effort than just because of a controversial cover.Disasters have different origins:' those that are natural are dealt with one way, while those that are perpetrated by humans are handled another way.' If FEMA wanted to do a book about how to deal with the fear that there are millions of people who want us dead because of their blind bigotry, hate, and misguided sense of spirituality, well, that's a very different book from this one. More >>

Tags: attitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe Health section of The New York Times on March 2 debated the usefulness of bribing school children with money, toys, candy and electronic gizmos to have them attain better grades.When I was in school, it was cute stickers and the pride of getting a good grade that you could brag about that made your parents all sorts of happy.' The good grade was the proximate award for all the hard work.' Getting the reputation as being smart was a good thing, and becoming valedictorian was great, as was qualifying for scholarships of all sizes for college.' Spending a lifetime knowing you worked hard and earned what you had the hard way was the long-term reward.Now, some geniuses want to rob children of all of that.' These greater minds than ours want children to fight for things of substance (money) rather than for things of glory (purpose).' Not all endeavors have a high rate of financial return:' a hospice worker helps the dying and their families face their fears of death; a fireman runs into burning buildings to save complete strangers from a horrible death; kindergarten teachers introduce our children to the world of budding independence, self-confidence, social maneuvering and the alphabet...and that's only a few examples.Frankly, we need more kind and compassionate people than we do more "A" students in this world, as it turns out that the greatest thieves (many CEOs, crooked politicians and Ponzi scheme giants), terrorist masterminds, and general sociopaths all have very high IQ levels and got great grades.How about us giving financial rewards, candy and electronic gizmos to kids who go out of their way not to bully, tease, steal, lie, sexually harass, or sexually act-out?' Or to those who won't drink or take drugs or steal or backtalk their elders?'Would that work, I wonder? More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenCommitmentEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconA frequent caller "issue" is this: someone in the family has died, and somehow, in the midst of everyone's grief, the caller has the time and energy to put anger and resentment toward someone who did not write, call, send flowers, show up, nor acknowledge the events in any way.Well of course this sounds strange, and perhaps even insensitive or even hostile, but there usually is another side to the story.' The caller never seems to have any information or insight which might explain why this happened, and I'm left with a suggestion that they simply call or visit and see "what's up."' This is generally met with even more anger as though I'm putting some extra burden on them when indeed they're the one who has been hurt or slighted.There are two explanations for this situation:First: when we are emotionally devastated by some sort of hurt or loss, it is not unusual (since we feel so out of control of our life's circumstances) to focus all of that pain towards something that we perceive as a slight.' The "offending" person literally becomes a kind of emotional dumping ground for all our chaotic and excruciating feeling.' In other words, we displace our grief into anger at someone or something concrete, because events often are not within our control.Second: sometimes, in our hurt, we feel unique and the center of the universe.' Our pain is the only pain that matters or, at least, it is the worst pain imaginable and we expect everyone to care and be solicitous of us.' When someone has issues in their own lives, we resent even having to consider that as important, and we can't imagine that interfering with our needs (or narcissistic vision of the world).For the sake of compassion, let us consider the "first" understanding as the most typical and powerful motivation and re-direct our energies into helping others who are suffering the loss right along with you - and not worry about others whose stories we simply don't know. More >>

Tags: acceptanceAttitudePersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconHow did we as a people get so "knee jerk" about going into therapy every time we face a challenge or disappointment?One caller to my radio program was having her three year old son tested for muscular dystrophy, a devastating illness, and the results wouldn't be coming for two weeks.' She wanted to know how to "cope" with the two week wait.' I told her that she was simply going to feel stressed and scared - that was normal, and was to be "endured."' She, like many others realizing they had to feel some emotional pain for a while, asked if she should go into therapy!I asked her what she thought the folks who blazed the trail west in covered wagons did when people died of illness or accident, or if the Indians attacked or food got scarce?' Did they all line up in front of a therapist's tent to express their pain and look for a magic cure to get through the sometimes unpleasant realities of life, or did they pray, hold onto each other and ultimately....endure?She laughed, and said, "I see what you mean." We are sturdier creatures than we take credit for.' I am a licensed therapist, and there are, indeed, situations in which individuals cannot endure, due to a distinct compromise in a person's ability to be rational, such as mental illness or severe trauma.' In these situations, I refer people to mental health professionals.'But most things in life that we must deal with often are best served with some love, some advice, some prayer, and an acknowledgment that sometimes life just doesn't feel good for a while.I have told innumerable callers that there is no quick fix for a bad situation - and sometimes, there is no "fix" at all.' I tell them also to turn to each other (family and friends), rather than turn on each other with resentment, frustration, or anger.Much of life must be endured.' There is still always beauty, such as seeing the flowers among the fertilizer, and there is always light (hope and alternatives). More >>

Tags: AttitudeHopePersonal ResponsibilityReligionValues
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Tags: AttitudeCharitymotivationRegarding Dr. LauraValues
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Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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