Dear Diary…Day 1

Diary: Day-This week I was reminded that if something seems or sounds too good to be true it likely is. We, in North America, have had it pretty good for a long time especially when it comes to governments and leaders. For the most part our southern friends have had reasonably good, reasonably stable leadership of some kind to guide them through the tribulations of days that were bothersome or trouble some. In Canada we haven’t always been so lucky. That appears to be what has happened in North America in the last while. Trump, with no class and no style, no sense of decorum or propriety and no understanding of the global importance that goes along with the job is settling in for remainder of the four year term that he was given after an embarrassing and juvenile way of campaigning. I’m not sure he even talked about policy-any policy. He just garbled on about some characteristic he could poke fun at regarding each candidate that dared to challenge him. Again so typical of a school yard bully. Nice going Donnie. North America is real proud of you.

Recently I read that if you we to take a pig into an upscale haberdashery, outfitted him with a well designed and well made suit of clothes, a pair of expensive shoes, silk tie (yes some men still wear them), and a hand cut and hand stitched tailored shirt and then dressed him up that at the end of it all you would have is a very well dressed PIG. No matter how you dress Donald up and teach him how to speak properly he will always be what amounts to nothing but that pig in the haberdashery. Trudeau, on the other hand, seemed able to pull it off. He had quite a few of us convinced he was the real deal–shame on us-shame on me. However, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, his father, was who and what he purported to be. He had smarts and he had balls and he knew when to employ the use of each. Unfortunately his son was/is not as fortunate.  If both Trump and Trudeau were in front of me now I would refer them to the photo of Clint and ask them to read the caption aloud and then comment on its content. I am sure the answers would be enlightening.

From someone as sad and as morally bankrupt as  Donnie (Little Hands) Trump there really is little hope that he will ever ‘get it’. He is destined to float on the eternal cesspool he vowed to drain with all the other ‘swamp dwellers’ he invited in to feed at the public trough until they can gorge themselves no more. Even his own ‘party friends’ are getting fed up with his boring shenanigans. He has become predictable by his ignorant tweets that depict more of a spoiled school boy than a grown man who is supposed to understand the importance and the couth it takes to function effectively in such a social and public setting. He enjoys no values except greed, no compassion or insight, and  certainly no moral compass of any kind. He fancies himself to be a very bright and intelligent person. I guess it’s possible to learn a thing or two if you have been bankrupt as many times as he has.  He shows he has learned the fine art of bullying others and intimidating competitors.

But with Justin Trudeau we hoped we were getting a different type of behavior. He was supposed to know and protect/preserve the sanctity of the office.  Instead we got a more polished brand with a ‘snappier’ exterior but the same duplicity as we have witnessed south of us for the last two years.  We are critical of Donnie’ Little Hands’ because, unfortunately what he does and says reflects on us all. I remember hearing somewhere that “bombs know no boundaries.” We are seen as a global partner with someone we share the territory with and that makes us just like him.

Trudeau is different in that he had witnessed how to navigate politics from one of the best and seems to have learned nothing. What both of these people don’t seem to grasp is the lasting and lingering stink of corruption that surrounds both of them and our respectful countries. They haven’t just tried to cheat the system (we would expect that from Trump) but they have, especially in Trudeaus’ case, traded away any hope that we could have a decent, honest, and productive government that we, as Canadians, could hold up for the world to see and say that we are  proud to be Canadians–THAT’S GONE.

So how do we prevent a repeat of a guy like Trump coming to power. Trump could not operate or survive in a system  where he couldn’t berate and mock his opponents or where he could lie, without accountability, more often than being truthful.

There are three basic things that would need to change and therein lies the problem: Do we or the Americans have the political will to amend the appropriate laws of the land?

  1. Candidates cannot state or claim they possess or are aware of certain facts that, if challenged, cannot be defended or proven. Claim without proof results in that candidate resigning from any future debates, meetings or discussions until they are able to provide the documented truth they claim exists.
  2. Candidates will use proper names and appropriate identifications when referring to other participants. Failure to do so means they are no longer eligible to participate in the immediate ongoing debate or discussion.
  3. Participants will not make any comments, proclamations or interrupt another candidate in any way until that candidate relinquishes the floor. If they do then they will be asked to leave the floor for the remainder of the debate or discussion.

If a candidate continues to offend at future meetings or refuses to acknowledge the 1,2,3, amendments  then their name(s) are withdrawn from the ballot at poling booths come election day. Perhaps a bit Draconian but needed to keep people like Donald Trump respectful like it or not.  Perhaps viewers and others would have a chance to hear and decide for themselves what the candidate is talking about–policies and issues may actually be presented instead of the incessant disrespect that now passes for sarcasm or humor. In any event belittling someone or someones’ message does not add anything to the conversation except a demonstration of horrible manners and a bad case of  diarrhea of the mouth.

That’s how I see things. Agree or disagree–your choice  but let me know by sending me an email at jim.lifechoice@gmail.com or go to my web page at jimcloughley.com

All the best, Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Our Most Important Messages Come From The Least Expected Places . . .

I am grateful to be back and able to pass along some wisdom that I learned contained in an email that a friend sent me. I can’t even say who authored it. But it turned out to be very important to me at a time when I needed to make sense of what was happening around me.

It has been said that we are likely to feel most alive the closer we get to death. I agree. Recently I experienced some news regarding a health issue that lead me to believe it was entirely possible I was living on borrowed time and there was very little that I could do to change that reality.

I recognized how easy it is for  some of us to get so caught up in ‘living’ our lives on a day-to-day basis that we overlook or pay little attention to what are the most important lessons for us to really focus on. We spend so much valuable time trying to make up for past mistakes or we paint ourselves as people who are unworthy of having a good life. What I realized in this time is that each new day is an opportunity that I deserve to begin a new way of living and that I and only I can make that happen for me. I said more than once to myself during this time that if I got another chance to live my life again I would be much more  attentive to what are REALLY the important things in life. Many of us we believe that if we ‘get on with life-if we get down off the meat hook we have been displayed on for much too long’ that that somehow makes us terrible self centered egotistical people who are not decent human beings. It is difficult to live a life of service to humanity or to enjoy simple moments of pleasure with friends if we can’t get passed some punishing idea that somehow we should never forgive ourselves.

I mentioned an email I received earlier. Six short ‘stories’ which remind me of how important each of us is to each other. We have wisdom to share and gifts to grant to each other as well..

“SIX LITTLE STORIES”

{1}

Once all the villagers decided to pray for rain.

On the day of prayer all the people gathered,

but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s FAITH.

It is important for me to live my life by what I believe to be true for me and not to get caught up in what others think of me or would wish for me. My faith is a result of recognizing that we have to be ready to accept good things into our world and we never know when that will happen. If we are not ready for it we could miss it when it comes to us.   

{2}

When you throw babies in the air,

they laugh because they know you will catch them.

That’s TRUST.

We have very little if we don’t earn the trust of others. When someone we care about gives us their trust we have earned something very special in deed. Real trust is to be valued and honored. But should we lose that trust that doesn’t make us ‘bad’ people. We are not perfect. We will make mistakes. It does, however, indicate that we have much to learn about who we are before we go hoping for trust again. 

{3}

Every night we go to bed

without any assurance of being alive the next morning,

but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That’s HOPE.

I see many people walking around who have a far away look in their eyes. They look, talk, and walk like they have given up on life or they believe that life has given up on them. I would suggest these are people with little or no hope in their lives. It saddens me to see that because I understand it doesn’t have to be that way. Awful things happen to us I agree. But if we are not able to see the good in others or to witness the good deeds of others we are already dead. Look into the eyes of a newborn and you will see hope.   

{4}

We plan big things for tomorrow

in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

That’s CONFIDENCE.

How can we know what the future holds for us? That’s why it’s called the future. If we look around us we see fascinating things happen to others all the time. We hear stories of miracles all the time. Just being alive is a miracle for some. Miracles can happen to us as well but never will if we don’t believe they can. We have to be ready to receive them. Have you ever done something nice for someone just because . . . ? What did that feel like? Good I’ll bet. Just when you were feeling sad or depressed you were able to feel ‘good’ because you did something other than worry or feel sorry for yourself. Good things can happen if we open the door and let them into our hearts. 

{5}

We see the world suffering,

but still we get married and have children.

That’s LOVE.

The world truly can be a terrible place full of suffering but love is about us and not about them. We don’t need to live by what others  think or do-at least not in our hearts.

{6}

On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence

‘I am not 80 years old

I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’

That’s ATTITUDE.

A little bit of attitude can go a long way to getting what you want. It is attitude which determines the quality of our lives and that is something that you can control. 

Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories.

All the best, Jim

Comments welcomed-send them to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com. and I’ll get back to you.

Kids Need Parents Not More Friends. . .

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”—Jim Morrison

There is little that goes on in our lives today, if your are a parent, that creates more excitement, disagreement, and conversation than the discussion that ensues about whether or not parents should be their kids friend or remain their parent. There are also a number of misconceptions as to what that means. It is not black and white. It is not cut and dried. But it can get complicated if one of the parents or both for that matter can’t see the distinctions.

Is it possible to have a close, meaningful, active and fun loving relationship with your kids and yet retain a parent-child posture with clear boundaries and responsibilities? Absolutely. Whose the adult here and who is the child? The adult needs to establish, reinforce and demonstrate those boundaries often in helpful, nurturing and caring ways. It is up to the adult to present the characteristics of what the relationship with his/her children will look like and the purpose it will  serve. For some children a ‘friendship’ with Mom or Dad can be very confusing. Let’s consider the purpose or functions of parents. Parents are challenged and expected to be mentors, teachers, protectors and role models for their sons regarding how they need to act around others especially females and the importance of respecting others and their rights as human beings.

If your child is female then Mom needs to demonstrate what is appropriate and what is not. Dad needs to help her understand what to expect from a male and how she needs and deserves to be treated. He also needs to model that behavior when interacting with Mom. Our children need us to lead the way as their parents in this regard. Parents need to model appropriate behavior when settling disputes and disagreements with other people when in public or over the side yard fence. They need to model appropriate public respect and behavior for themselves and others in a way that is not punishing or embarrassing.

Parents also have experience to draw on so when junior asks the tough questions about relationships or what is right or wrong and why, he/she will get the correct answers or responses. Friends don’t do this kind of stuff nor are they supposed to. Many are also not equipped emotionally or mentally to provide responses that are clear, concise and understood. Friends seldom say ‘no’ where parents often need or feel the need to do so. If a parent says ‘no’ then they need to be clear about why they are saying ‘no’. These are the opportunities that present themselves as learning opportunities–another ‘something’ that friends are not able to manage.

Instilling a sense of self-confidence along with the ability to self-assess their skills and talents is extremely important to the overall development of a child. My belief is that this is one of the things that is lacking in many of our kids today. Too many feel entitled to success some how. It seems as though they were never helped to understand that they need to earn success.

The school system itself needs to own much of this criticism because of it’s unwillingness to treat and teach our kids as whole learners. ( To know more about this go to jimcloughley.com –click on Programs–Help Our Kids Learn) . Present day school systems are content to deal with education from the neck up believing that more data crammed into their heads is the way to go and that rote learning, which is an outdated and ineffectual way of teaching our kids today, is the way to learn. Having said this it makes the role of the parent all that more important today.

Our kids have friends to play with and to dream with and to experience ‘kids things’ with. They need parents to help them live life on life’s terms. This by no means suggests that parents can’t have a wonderful, close, meaningful, fulfilling, and fun filled relationship with their kids. It just means that there is more to the job than being an entertainment coordinator for your kids. Parents are the most important asset and resource that our kids will ever have. Let’s give them what they need to succeed. Their friends will take care of the less important stuff.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Agree or disagree send me your comments and your thoughts to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com. Thanks for stopping by.

(Image by advantage4parents.com. I derive no financial benefit for the use of this image.)

 

Are Our Lives Really Just A Day Long . . ?

As I have come to understand my life started out as most do. I woke up and it was dark as usual. It seemed like I had been asleep or resting for a long time. Then all I remember was I was moving. I was going somewhere and it was a bumpy ride. I wasn’t liking this much. All of a sudden I noticed this small light ahead. It kept getting bigger and bigger-brighter and brighter until-BANG-I was in a whole different place. Some of me was in-some of me was out (I think it was out) and it was cold. There was a lot of noise now and I was not happy about being here. Before I knew it the long ride was over. Hands were all over me and then someone smacked me and I wanted to scream Hey!What’d I do? Someone picked me up and I felt warmer. Well I wasn’t sure about whether or not I was going to like this place so I started to wail. What I really wanted was to go back to familiar territory. One thing for sure was I was hungry. At least I think that’s what I felt-hunger? Next thing I knew I ended up with this big soft thing that I could put my head on and if I squeezed it stuff would come out. It was warm and not bad.

This was the beginning of my day known as “Morning.” (the morning of my life)

Time passed me by and I got to the point where I was tired of being carried around so the first chance I had I started to learn about being mobile. Big people that I had come to recognize as my parents helped me and soon I was able to go from here to there with little injury.

Soon I went to a place where other people like me were hanging out. They were dealing with the same issues as I was. Bathrooms and what was supposed to happen in there. Not being able to capture that thing with legs but didn’t look like any of us was frustrating and when I did get it and pulled it’s head it got angry and other people rushed to take it away from me.

Sooner it seemed I went to a place called school but I saw less of the people who used to spend a great deal of time with me and then I started to ride a thing called a bus. That was fun for a while. I went to a “bigger school” with crazier people although some of them did things that made me laugh.

I think they called my next stop “public school.” My days seemed longer-sometimes really hot-sometimes really cold and sometimes not much fun. One day my parents told me I had to “work” doing things around the house. Most of that entailed cleaning up messes that I had made. Then I had to learn how to be nice? to other people. I didn’t know why but they said it was the right thing to do-so I did it. Turned out they were right. The longer I was around the more they taught me and the more I felt OK doing it. As it turned out I stopped going to these “smaller schools” and started to go to bigger places with more people than ever and I was learning strange stuff I really didn’t want to know about.  This time space, as it turned out, was called the “Afternoon” of my life.  This was really a great time for me. Freedom to do what I wanted. I met some interesting people who dressed and talked differently than I. Some wore dresses, some had long hair, some had beards and mustaches and some were called “hippies”. Music was great, I entered a relationship with alcohol and cannabis which I believed would lead me to a greater understanding of the universe. Truthfully it ended up being a most tumultuous relationship and not always ending well. I learned that girls were more fun to be around than they used to be and I learned about respecting other peoples opinions and values and rights. Along about this point I started to tune out most of the adult voices in my life in favor of  younger more dymanic voices. This was my second great mistake. I stopped listening to my parents and older folks figuring they were out of step and didn’t know what people like me needed to know. I missed so much of their wisdom and knowledge. They had been where I was going. I regret that decision now.

Eventually it became time to get serious about how my life was going to be spent and I started on a career path that was an awful choice. I did it for a long time reconciling the choice with the idea that this is what folks do to raise a family and buy a home and have toys and things. I learned that I alone was responsible for being the author of my own story. As it turned out it was a great time to be alive. There was a vibrancy all round. I needed my parents to guide me and to listen to me but I never asked them. I thought I knew better. I didn’t.

I had my family and changed my career in mid stream-good move. I had struggled to learn but learn I did. I managed to get it right, at least for me, and I’m good with how it all turned out. This has been and continues to be the“Evening” of my day. I’m still healthy; I still have enough energy to do most of what I want and most of the time the means to do it. I realized some successes and I continue to use some good advice “from back there” that, somehow stuck with me.

The last stage of my day is “Twilight” and although I’m not there yet I will be soon enough.

There are seven points that I’d like to share:

  • value what you have learned no matter how you learned it.
  • never pass up a chance to learn something new-even at this stage of your day.
  • don’t get caught up with what others are doing or not doing.
  • don’t suffer stupid people easily.
  • never forget who your friends are.
  • patience is often over rated.
  • time is your most valuable resource

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Thanks for stopping by, All the best, Jim

jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

 

So I’m Hearing Big Business Can’t Be Trusted . . .

Where was this picture taken?–could be anywhere. It seems this scene is becoming more and more common place these days. This could be the town YOU live in. Let’s hope that this pic wasn’t taken on an ordinary day.

There are, of course, pros and cons to the cap and trade program but for me one of the benefits of living with a cap and trade policy is that the quality of the air that ALL of us breathe will be better. We can only hope that water pollution and earth bound pollution would be positively affected as well. I’m thinking about my granddaughter and other peoples’ grandchildren and their children. What gives us the right to condemn them to a life of illness or cancer or lung disease. They don’t even get to have a say in what happens to them. Actually, they not likely think too much about pollution. Inherently they believe that the adults in their lives will protect them from the bad things that could happen to them. How we doin’ so far?

Meanwhile morons like the one just elected would spend 30 million dollars of our money fighting to open the gates to big business so they can continue to screw us over under the guise of working in our best interests.

Government paid lobbyists and spin artists will be paid millions of dollars to tell us why they are right and we aren’t. Just a minute–Our newly elected government citing fiscal responsibility as part of its platform will spend 30million dollars on court costs and fees and pay professional spinners many millions more so that big business can make more money by using our environment as one huge toilet. All of this while claiming to be operating in our best interests. Really? Don’t you just love politics.

To be clear if big business grew some “nuts” and worked to support the general population and to promote a sense of responsibility and true citizenship we wouldn’t need a cap and trade policy. This is more about their greed and egotism and yet they ask us why we don’t trust them to act in our best interests. To be clear I’m all for profit on investment but how much is enough and at what cost?

Anyone remember the”acid rain” concerns in the 80’s? It’s interesting to note that the U.S. has had a cap and trade program to curb sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions in effect since the 80’s and it is still in play without any of the ‘fears’ of the naysayers coming true. Emissions have been reduced by 50% with no negative ramifications to big business. The big winner has been the environment and a generally healthier population.

So some of the general concerns pro and con:

Businesses that have chosen to be more responsible concerning the environment can actually make a profit from a cap and trade situation. For instance, If they have already lowered their emissions below what they would be assessed at they can sell the balance of their emission allotment for cash. The cash would come from those companies who haven’t been able to or haven’t bothered to be responsible partners on the planet and are now required to lower their emissions or be penalised in order to continue to do business.

The government can also purchase emission credits and then resell those same credits at increased values to companies who are not in compliance and need to be or continue to be fined. The money that is raised either by fines or by selling emission credits would then be used to fund the development of new energy sources that would benefit businesses as a whole.  As capitalists there are times when we need to understand that to make money sometimes money has to be spent. Business cannot continue to suck the daylights out of the very people who contribute to their bottom line. Those companies who are forward thinking will be and should be rewarded for their foresight and their diligence–progressive thinking helps as well.

To those businesses who are whining about not being able to compete because of unfair differences of production costs I say–“If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”–can’t compete that’s your problem. Isn’t that what business says to us?

Perhaps some kind of a sliding scale of tax credits for equipment bought to lower emissions? Perhaps business could suggest something. Perhaps we could all work together with the best interests of everyone in mind not just those looking to get to the bank more often.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, all the best, Jim

(Photo image by cnn.com. Used for research, criticism and/or educational purposes. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

Comments to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

 

 

Teacher Centered Education vs. Learner Centered Education . . . Part 2

Last week I wrote about some of the on going discussion concerning how the earlier approach to educating our children has served us well but the time has come to reform the system so that our kids are more suitably prepared for the needs and challenges they will experience   when they enter the marketplace seeking employment. If we listen to our children and young adults we will hear them speaking about the need for a more relevant education and not being fully prepared to embrace the expectations that the marketplace will demand from them especially when that concerns a lack of soft skills–critical thinking, being able to collaborate and work in groups, to be a self starter and to demonstrate creativity and problem solving skills.

Recently I was asked the question: “Who has the most influence with our kids when we think about education and learning?” With little hesitation I responded by saying “parents–no doubt in my mind.” This is not a criticism levelled at parents–there is no “blame” intended here. Parents are the initial providers and guides responsible for their children’s view of the world they live in. Not only do parents send the messages but they also create the images that influence the thoughts, morals, values and insights their children will bring to the world. Unfortunately there are many parents who don’t understand this connection. Our children seek reassurance involving their search for their identity, their purpose and their feelings of being connected. If they don’t get those needs met at home they will get them met in other places but they will get them met.

Schools, then, become the next logical place to get that training. Schools and their purpose have changed dramatically in the last 20 years but curricula and teaching style/approach have not kept up to the need for change. Children have indicated that they need a different approach and so have those professionals who are asked to provide services to promote safer and more convivial communities. In many instances the services those professionals provide are stretched to their financial limits with no remedy in sight.

A group of colleagues who are experts in the field of providing progressive education have helped me put together a very brief outline of what this new approach could look like: (In no particular order of importance-it is all important)

–Kids learn at different speeds. Some are slower at grasping concepts than others. It doesn’t mean that they are slow learners but rather it takes a while to understand the concept and how to apply it in a practical way. We cannot demand that they learn quicker than they are able and therefore we need to do away with the “grade” system. There are alternatives that can be used to gauge a learners progress that are much less stressful. Grades are great for grading the quality of meat or eggs but not human beings. The “learners” will tell us when they are ready to move on to the next level or the next unit regarding a particular topic. To push them before they are ready or able just sets them up for failure.

–No homework or very limited amounts of it. “Home work” should be done at school as part of a group learning exercise so that more kids can learn at the same time rather than a teacher (educator) working with one student at at time. In some instances kids will learn from other kids by discussing solutions that other kids found. There is no proof that more homework promotes more learning.

–Learners (students) will work with their mentors/coaches (educators) and parents to design a learning/study plan that reflects the learners interests, skills, talents and strengths. Before you start with “Kids don’t know what they want or he/she will take all the easy subjects first” know that kids are voracious learners-they WANT TO LEARN and they will apply themselves more diligently if they are really interested in what and HOW the information is presented.  Kids need to have a sense of having some control and some input into what and who they become when they reach adulthood.

–Standardized testing is not particularly helpful to the child but more so for the program itself. Many funding formulae are attached to the outcomes of standardized tests. Schools with higher test results often get more money. Kids don’t benefit by being compared with how others are doing. At the least test results need to be discussed with the learner to find out what can be done to raise their own test scores if need be.

–In many instances hard-to-serve kids are not those with mental health problems or behavioural problems but rather those who are bored, disinterested or having trouble assimilating the information into their day to day lives and therefore don’t see the point to listening.

–Curricula must address the needs of the “whole learner.” Kids need to learn about the causes of stress, depression, anxiety and panic–what they are–and how to mange the symptoms. They need to learn much more about substance abuse and drug abuse and how they affect physical functioning and what is dependence?

There is so much more to know and learn about regarding learner centered education. Go to U-tube and type in Sir Ken Robinson. He is an expert in the field. He offers so much clear and basic information about learning and education. He does offer a book among the many he has written on this topic targeted specifically to parents to help them understand how to get in involved with their kids, the educational system and how to get the most out of it.

As parents we need to be interested and excited about what and how our kids learn. We also need to be concerned about what is going to happen next regarding education because it can help determine progress, stability, well being, quality of life, fairness and social justice,  freedom and solutions to world issues like homelessness, poverty, global health and wealth. I want to know that our kids will be prepared for what is coming and perhaps be an integral part of that change process. They are or can be the true agents of change. We need to make sure that they have what they need to to be successful.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, thanks for stopping by, Jim

Other videos about the need to change education by Sir Ken Robinson-click on the highlighted text.

Comments to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo images by ‘gettingsmart.com’–used for the purposes of education, criticism or research. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

 

Is There A Difference Between Selfishness and Self Interest? . . .Surprise!

I wonder sometimes if we, as a civilization, are becoming more of what we expected from each other or are we becoming more self-interested? And if it’s about paying more attention to self-interest is that a bad thing? What are the differences between selfishness and self-interest anyway?

Remember when we were kids our parents and grand-parents would tell us not to “brag”-that wasn’t nice to talk about yourself. Our churches preached on giving all we have to others first and not to pursue wealth as a goal. In my day to day work with other people I often deal with those who are conflicted by the use of alcohol or drugs or perhaps it’s a gambling addiction or a shopping addiction. Many folks present with sex addictions or being addicted to the Internet. Are all addictions simply about being selfish or can they be about putting their self-interests at the top of their list of what they believe is in their best interests? Who really knows why people use “stuff” until they realize they can’t live without it? One thing, it seems for sure, is that the line between selfishness and seeking self interests is fine at best and often blurred. Many struggle with trying to determine which is which.

When we watch today’s parents struggling with this dilemma in terms of what to tell or say to their kids it is somewhat easier to understand the behaviour of many of our kids today. They have not received a clear message regarding which is which and so they just do what feels right at the time with not a great deal of consistency. I often wonder if our struggles with bullying aren’t a by-product of the lack of an unclear explanation of which is which. Our schools say it is wrong to bully others but do they present a clear explanation of “why” it’s wrong? Perhaps the bully’s argument would be that when they are holding power over someone else that is the only time that they feel good about themselves. How do we counter that logic?

There are many instances when we have justifiably made a decision to react or respond to something or someone in a way that would suggest we put our own best interests and desires ahead of others. I remember a time when I had a chance to attend a function at the last moment and it was something that I really wanted to attend but I had told someone that I would do something with them. I chose to offer a bit of “untruth”and attended the function instead. We pass these times off as telling a “little white lie” with little or no harm done. I try not to do that anymore.

However, I still need to be able to explain the differences between the two states of mind. Is there a clear distinction between the two? I’m not sure there is but I can recite some of the principles that are recognized as being part of one camp of thought or the other.

Someone who is said to be “selfish” is one who gets his/her own way and does so by ignoring or not taking into account the rights and well-being of someone else. If I get what I want on the back of someone else I would be seen by most as being selfish. It is not a matter of getting what you need but instead it’s what you want. It then becomes a matter of not caring how your decision affects anyone else. At this point folks would say “yes, but what if I need so and so. Obviously if something is life threatening involving your life or the lives of others that takes priority over everything else. If you had to harm someone else in order to prevent harm coming to someone else therein lies the issue. I believe you do what you feel is right and deal with the fine points later.

The difference with pursuing something connected to “self-interest” is that you don’t continue on at the expense of someone else’s freedoms or rights. That doesn’t mean that we can’t carry on but we need to help the person who will be affected by our decision understand why we are doing what we plan to do and that we continue, not because we don’t care about the other person and their rights and freedoms but because we need to do what we are about to do–it is important to our well-being.

So the distinctions  are: selfish–wants met with no regard to how others could be or would be affected. Self-interest–needs met with regards to how others might be affected by our behaviour.  Not everyone will understand and there will always be some who see what we do as selfish. Hopefully there will be those who see what we did as being motivated by “self-interest.” There is no preventing the dichotomy that develops. Truly, I am more concerned about what WE are left with in our being and how we look in the mirror and say that was the right thing to do.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

Comments will find me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com. All comments are welcome.

(Image/quote resource used for education, research or criticism purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image).

Hypocrisy Is Alive And Well South Of The Border

Now don’t get me wrong here–I am no fan of Roseanne Barr. I don’t see the attraction but that’s just me. But I do disagree with how the whole business that went down around her crass and ridiculous comment went.

Comedians today have a carte blanche it seems when they perform their shows–anything goes under the protection of the U.S. Constitution. Early comedians and through the era of Vaudeville were controversial for their time,true, when they were considered to be entertainers. But they actually used wit, body language and circumstances to make fun of audience members or to engage the paying customers. They would paint a verbal picture of situations that were common place for most of the audience members so that they could basically laugh at themselves. Generally all in good fun. Unlike today. Today comedians have to embarrass audience members. The use of course language and innuendo are so common place that they are expected. Folks listening are disappointed if they don’t hear “F”this  and “F”that. Hardly a sentence is spoken without 4 or 5 expletives uttered. If I wanted to hear that I could go to any mall these days and hear the kids talking like this for nothing.

My point here is that anything goes these days and no one seems to mind. For Roseanne to claim that her mistake was the result of using some medication is really unfortunate. She simply went too far thinking she was being “funny” when sarcasm and ridicule seems to be the rule of the day for comedians. If a comedian isn’t making people laugh by making fun of another group or person they are considered to be not very entertaining. To me The Marx Brothers were among the best to ever grace a stage. Brilliant minds and impeccable timing–great comics.

Did Roseanne step over the line–absolutely. I am convinced that she knew exactly what she was saying and doing and plain didn’t care. She is used to getting away with anything that is supposed to pass as humor. She was sitting on top of the comedy world with the top rated show-who was going to complain to her about what she said. She was a cash cow. She could be brilliant if she wasn’t so concerned about maintaining her well deserved reputation for being crass and seemingly not caring about what she says or whom is affected. She is paid well for being the “bad ass.” Now all the good work she claims she has done to support and stand for the less fortunate will go out the window because she just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to shoot off her mouth. At the other end of this are the folks that had cashed in on her popularity who saw an opportunity to nail her and then appear to be the rescuers and supporters jumping on the current bandwagon issue.

Should she have been fired? As I said she needed to go. The mistake I believe the networks made was cancelling the show. They could have had their cake and could have eaten it as well if they had simply called her into the Ivory Tower and fired her right there for what she said. There is no way they could have condoned her comment. They needed to make a clear and immediate statement about what is unacceptable. However, by doing it as they did they overreacted and put how many people out of work? Those people didn’t make the comment–she did. Families lives were affected. Peoples careers were affected and it didn’t have to be that way. They went way too far for me.

When you put what she said up against what Donald Trump has said and admitted to doing what does he have to do to get “fired?” Is what she said any worse than the things that he has admitted openly to doing or saying? I think not. The Republican party needs to be ashamed of themselves for supporting such a hypocrite and by supporting him they show themselves to be nothing more than hypocritical as well. What a joke the whole bunch of them are.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim

Comments to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo image used for education, criticism and research purposes. I derive no financial benefit from using this image by USA Today.com)

Are You Resting Or Relaxing? The Benefits Are Important To Our Health

First of all we need to be clear just what it is we are referring to when we say that we are resting or we are relaxing. Chances are you have the terms mixed up or you use them in exchange with one another. They are not the same nor do they mean the same thing. However, both are vitally important to our overall physical and mental health and well being.

So what is rest? What does it mean to be at rest? We are living in a day and age where we have been told that if you are lying around doing nothing then you are lazy or you are unproductive and will never be successful. Success takes hard work and dedication we are told. I always thought that success was about being able to do what the other guy was doing only doing it better, faster and working more efficiently. There seems to be , most often, a feeling of guilt associated with inactivity. How many have experienced difficulty being able to “rest” when they go away on vacation. It feels as though there is always something to do or that needs to be done and somehow it is our responsibility to do it.

Being able to “rest” is likely one of the most difficult things for people to do. I believe that part of the reason for this is we tend to confuse relaxation with resting. We don’t really understand what it means to rest or to be to be at rest. Rest for me is finding a state of being that allows me to do absolutely nothing and feel good about doing it. It provides me with a chance to rejuvenate my senses and to enjoy who I am  are as a person–comfortable in my own skin. It’s being able to recognize the “rhythm” of life around me and feel a part of it rather than the cause of it. Rest can be about sleeping although it certainly isn’t the only time that we can enjoy being at rest. When I am able to reach a state of being at rest I am able to rededicate myself to being more aware of the world around me and I am able to see, smell and hear all the wonderful parts that life has to offer me but only if I take the time to pay attention. I was walking a street the other day when I came across the magnificent smell of fresh bread baking somewhere. No big deal but it was so pleasing. Hearing something that is so out of the ordinary or seeing the sunlight that travels through dew drops in the morning. Most of us pay little attention to such stuff–we’re too busy doing…? to notice things of simple beauty. Being in that state of  existence is being at rest for me.

Doing nothing and enjoying it is so important to our mental and physical health. So many people become ill because they don’t understand the need for the body and the mind to rejuvenate and to be”off duty” for a while every day. As marvellous as our bodies are they will carry us only so far before they begin to break down a piece at a time until they say to us–“I tried to tell you and this is what happens when you don’t pay attention to the messages I am sending you.” We become ill or we injure some part of our body because of a lack of stamina or a reduction of strength.

Folks have a similar problem trying to understand what it means to relax. Relaxing isn’t about doing things you like to do or that don’t involve work of some kind. How many of us work to live or do we live to work?? If you are not working then you are not “getting ahead.” Relaxing is giving our bodies permission to slow down and to replenish the energy resources and sources that we require to carry us through our days so that we can compete and provide for our families or to satisfy something that we believe we want or need. I was chatting with a buddy the other day and we got around to what he was planning to do that day. Going golfing was his response. Now this is a man who is quite competitive but has a handicap of about 18. But his goal is to lower his handicap substantially by the end of the season. For those who play golf most would say they enjoy playing the game but relaxing is not how they would describe the event. How successful cn one be trying to hit a round object with a bent club in his hand? I digress.

We need to be aware of what works for us when thinking about being able to relax and rest. These get to be choices we make and adjustments we make in our daily routines to accommodate the continued demands of our bodies and minds to provide us with the resources we need to manage ourselves efficiently and effectively. Your personal success and longevity could well depend on what you choose to do next.

Anyway that’s how I see things. All the best, Jim

Comments to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Disclaimer: Photo resource used for education and research purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from the use of these images. Thank you to ‘sanyangfrp.com

They’re Doing It To Us—AGAIN . . .

So who is that fourth guy on the pic at the top of the page? I bet half the folks out there have no idea what his name is let alone what he does and what he says he stands for. His name is Mike Schreiner and he is the provincial leader of the Green Party. Now as of now I’m not a supporter of the Green Party but that could change only because the other three are boring as hell. NO imagination and not much in terms of being honest. If they were honest they would share how they are going to come by all of this money they are throwing around like they had it.

The major TV networks don’t cover Mr. Schreiner much. Does anyone even know what the Green Party’s platform is about? Does anyone even care? Frankly I’m ashamed to say that provincial and federal politics are embarrassing and are a joke, albeit a very expensive one. Oh they do make a few attempts at instituting meaningful change in the lives of the people who pay the freight in this country. But democracies are not run by the “will of the people” a much as they are by the will of the ‘boardrooms from coast to coast.  Our system is still the best in the world but it lacks creativity and guts. It lacks integrity and true co-operation with each other. The recent cash grab to cover electoral promises being the legalization of cannabis for personal use still rings in my head. However, that’s a whole other topic for me.  At least the Green Party seems to be willing to speak about some life changing issues. I do think that it is hypocritical for these three “top guns” to shun the GP especially when they espouse the concepts of freedom and diversity but show nothing close in practice.

I, for one, would like to hear what they (GP) have to say in contrast to the other three parties. I would like to here it on a national TV station.  Maybe, just maybe, they have something of value to add to the mix. At least they seem to care for the environment in spite of what Ford and his mentor D.Trump have to say about it. But then no one has really put credit to the idea that either one of them is brilliant either. Are we destined to get what others pay for?

We have three major leaders running for the same office and they are:

Kathleen Wynne. She became premier under sketchy circumstances. I can excuse some of her initial mess due to the situation that McGuinty left her to deal with. Don’ tell me she didn’t know but I can see how her hands might have been tied-for bit. But she also came with an agenda that seemed to occupy too much cranial space which could have been better spent dealing with the problems at hand. She really didn’t show any creativity or indicate that she had any idea about how to govern and be innovative. Perhaps her greatest achievement will be overseeing the plan to specifically name particular parts of our anatomies. She didn’t lend much to the political landscape and now she can’t even decide on a clear platform representing her own party. She is content to say that she supports quite a bit of what the NDP is talking about. Now there’s a real confidence booster if you are a Liberal.

Then we have Andrea Horwath. Out of the four leaders she has probably stepped up her game the most. That’s not saying a great deal but at least she has developed a personality, a new look (for her) and is showing it off to the electorate. As for new issues or new ways of going about the province’s business–nada. It’s the same tired stuff repackaged with some different numbers attached to it but it is the same approach we are used to hearing about. Again, lacking any creativity and making it difficult to get excited about any new approach to help more of us share the Canadian dream. The same folks are handling the money and are likely to continue to do the same things with it as they always have and that is not sharing much more of it with us regular folk.

Now we get to Doug Ford. Comes from money and knows how to keep it. No political experience to speak of and reminds me far too much of  Donald Trump. They are cut from the same cloth with a similar message. Truthfully, I would not expect anything different than what we have seen from him. If given enough time Mr. Ford would self destruct just as good ole Donny has. Yikes–don’t do it folks.

NOT ONE OF THESE CANDIDATES MENTIONED THE ONE MOST IMPORTANT CRISIS OF THE DAY–THE NEED TO CREATE A NEW PARADIGM CONCERNING EDUCATION(Go to jimcloughley.com/learn) for more about this important issue).

What are they doing to us–AGAIN?  They are simply telling us what they think we want to hear. As voters, we are not asking the questions that need to be asked either. Candidates must be forced to provide an explanation of “how” and if they can’t then they get no press time until they stop talking about all of our money they are going to give back to us. Use your vote wisely and make them accountable–don’t let them buy your vote.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

 

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