What Would This Great Storyteller Have Said . . .

As Paul Harvey might have said: And now for the rest of the story.

Last week I was very critical of 3D printers and the potential disaster they represent to the world as a whole. The technology will make it so much easier to kill others and to exact some wild idea of fair play. I went on to talk about how dangerous it will make the world and how it will be for those who are brave enough to try and defend  our way of life and to protect our civil rights. I think of those who concern themselves with the safety of our homes and family. They risk their well being to ensure our security. I’m still fearful of that being jeopardized by somebody with an ax to grind. I understand the frustration and the unfairness–I do. But if that is the only way that we can show our displeasure and anger then we need to go back to the drawing board because it only strengthens the true forces of evil that exist around us. It slides right into the argument that we need to protect ourselves when it is these same forces of evil that we are concerned about. The ‘bad guys’ get more entrenched and legitimate citizens pay the price.

With all that said I must say that the video that follows my offering today has certainly made me sit up–shut up–and pay attention to all the good that 3D printers and that technology can provide for many of us. It is amazing what can be done to further our efforts to provide for many of those who can’t because of a lack of resources or political will.

The advances and designs of medical equipment will be upon us at light speed. I doubt that we be able to keep up with the changes in our personal, industrial, and scientific lives either. Just about anything that we can see or conceive will be duplicated and improved upon using 3D technology. Any of you remember the 6 million dollar man with Lee Majors? Inside of ten years that fantasy is likely to be a reality. There are already or near ready some designs and plans to build a functioning heart for human use. Those who have lost limbs to accident, disease or birth defects will opportunities to use artificial joints and organs that are only dreamed of today.

I guess my thinking has changed somewhat although I still believe that there will be an element who will always pervert progress. In this case the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks as this video suggests.

I applaud this father who refused to give up and instead fashioned a solution to his little boy’s problem. That’s what Dads are supposed to do and this man does it in spades.

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

All the best, Jim

Any and all comments will reach me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

 

 

What Are Kids Saying About All This?

This doesn’t happen very often. It is both scary and exciting. I’m speaking about an opportunity to witness the creation of a new unique and life defining development in the history of mankind. Sounds a bit over the top, I know, but when seen in context to other remarkable human kind developments it really isn’t. Consider that most innovations are created with the idea of being a great service to humans but inevitably someone figures out how to use the great innovations for negative purposes. Lets look at a list of ten big ones:

10. Splitting the atom–nuclear power

9.   The airplane

8.   The personal computer

7.   The television

6.   Rocketry-being able to beat gravity

5.   The automobile

4.   The submarine

3.   Antibiotics

2.   The internet

1.    The radio

Now we can add 3D printing to the list of notable inventions and innovations. This is Star Trek stuff just a few years ago. Along with these innovations and inventions comes a huge responsibility for society to deal with and unfortunately that means governments will get to determine how the world will respond to 3D printer guns. Charles de Gaulle once said that “politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.” This is my concern as well. If there is a way to screw it up they will find it. All the powerful will weigh in on this topic because there is either too much money to be made or lost. Either way society will have little to say about any outcomes.

Will the discussion focus on societies rights vs. individual human rights? Will the professional spinners (lobbyists) pervert the 1st and 2nd amendments yet again? Should it be the responsibility of government or the public at large being the people who elected the government officials in the first place. Both these groups should have an equal say in something so huge. This is the stuff that changes whole civilizations. I think about the first responders and how much they will need to change policy to survive. Anyone–ANYONE who has a gripe against a police officer, firefighter, EMS person, ambulance divers and the list goes on will become a target every time they go to work. How will that play out with the civil servants who are already dealing with shredded nerves. Try walking down a dark alley sometime late at night and wondering about who you might bump into or whether or not you’ll see your kids in the morning for breakfast. The police and others are already chastised for reacting to quickly to what the police believe are life threatening situations. Think about how it will be now when anyone could have a a gun capable of blowing your brains out. Hey, let’s pay them less and stress them out even more. I don’t think we can pay them enough to keep us safe-not now anyway.

I am not interested in sowing the seeds of paranoia and conspiracies. However, the reality is that no one will be safe from anyone who wants to make a point. No way of knowing which gang has what or which kid had a bad day at school or if his/her relationship just fell apart and he/she wanted someone to pay for that so BANG. Ooops, gee I’m sorry it won’t happen again. There is already a dearth of consequences for choices made in the judicial system so where will this go now? It seems that we make laws based on how much we can save the system if we excuse this or extend that. This is a train wreck waiting to happen–one that we are extremely ill prepared to deal with.

There will be NO way of tracking who has a gun now. No way of knowing how big and powerful it might be. I haven’t mentioned the threat from foreign agents/terrorists who will be a great deal more difficult to identify. I’m thinking that we are a great deal closer to a modern day “wild, wild west” then we were a year or two ago.

The group that I would be most interested in hearing from are the kids out there who have to live in this crap and fear everyday. When I say kids I’m referring to those who are teenagers and up. It’s their world as well and in some cases they have been hit much harder than the adults have. Let’s hear what they have to say. They seem to be much more energetic and creative about resolving these gun control issues that we adults struggle with.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by, all the best, Jim

To  make a comment or two please send it to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(photo image by utube.com. Image used for research, education or criticism. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image.)

 

 

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

 

 

 

What’s The Big Deal With Killing ?

Quick-get your guns so we can kill these animals. The little ones will be big ones soon anyway so what’s the difference?

There is so much killing going on everywhere these days and I am having a hard time understanding why. I get it on some level. People are  frustrated and resentful and mean spirited and angry–so much anger abounds. We seem to be losing the spiritual and emotional connection we had with life not too long ago. Life meant something as a standard. That’s what concerns me the most. What are we doing to each other animals or humans and why? To experience what satisfaction? What do we get out of blowing some innocent animal or person away just because we can?

Within the past week there was a shooting in Toronto where a young woman (18) was shot dead and a ten year old died as well. Many others were taken to local hospitals and cared for with many receiving emergency and life saving treatment. Then I see a picture of some rich kid standing in front of her latest conquest. She had managed to kill a rare black giraffe–oh wow-good for her! Some feat this was. She was pictured in front of the dead animal after, no doubt, doing a victory lap. She was quoted as saying her prayers had been answered. Rack up another one for GOD I guess. For her part she had been tracking a giraffe, with the help of a guide who should be ashamed of himself or herself, armed with a high powered rifle and a scope sight that could see a flea from 300 yards. Now there is a challenge for ya. My point in question here is the skilled and talented huntress gets a pat on the back by those as sad as she is and the man who shot all these people gets labelled with a mental health disorder of some kind and yet they both indiscriminately murdered living creatures. We are not talking here about ants or spiders either. So my question is what is it about murdering living things that gets some people all jacked up. If it’s about the culmination and thrill of the hunt then hunt with freakin’ camera bozo. Shoot a frame and not a bullet.

Look at the picture of this lioness. Look at her posture and the look on her face and tell me that she doesn’t love her offspring just the same as the human parent who lost her child or children. Does this lioness feel pain when she knows that her babies are dead? I’m thinking she does. One is called sport and the other a tragedy. They are both tragedies to me. Why do we have to kill anything at all in order to feel ‘good’ or excited. There is something terribly wrong with that. Get some help. Really.

The truly amazing part of all this, to me, is that we are no closer to understanding the purpose–the rational–the satisfaction of killing other entities at will. Is it about “just because you can?” Do people become mass murderers as a result of a mental illness of some kind? No. There are many who slaughter others who are quite “sane”-so what’s going on with them?

When I think about young folks who are violent and who commit murder and mayhem on our streets and in our homes how much has social media , music, videos, movies, electronic games, horrible role models who are more evident every day who are obviously above the law, those who never seem to be held accountable for their behaviour and their decisions contributed to the newly developed “violent entitlement” culture of the young.

As parents perhaps our permissive parenting model needs some adjustments and the initial goals of pursuing that model need re-tooling a bit. This isn’t about blame this is about moving the pendulum back to the middle of the spectrum. Perhaps that move back needs to include more discussion about the sanctity of life for all creatures not just some.

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

Comments will find me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo image used under the “Fair Use” provision. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

What Does It Mean To Be Authentic?

I’ll try to keep this little meltdown “authentic.

The other day I was thinking about the struggles that some have around being who they really are. So few of us really know and understand who we are and what we are supposed to be doing. How are we supposed to respond to the things that go on around us? What are we supposed to think? How are we supposed to think? What happens if no one else feels as we do or sees things as we do or feels the same about things that happen as we do?

And my question is “why do we care?” And then I got to thinking about my own life and how it is going by so fast and the older I get the faster it goes. There is so much I have to do yet and not enough time to do it all.  Now I have written about this topic several times but this time it feels different somehow. Perhaps it is because I am still doing the work I do and many of my clients are people with real issues and real hurts. Some are so depressed and others are so lonely. Still others are just bewildered by life itself.

The one most common comment or factor if you like is that most, not all, but most spend much of their leisure hours watching reality shows. I cannot begin to tell you just how sad I feel that so many folks only feel alive when they are watching someone else living their dreams or what they believe is a magic world of some kind. There are many who believe that this is real life and they would be much, much happier if they could trade places with the people n the screen.

But it is not just reality shows as I’ve come to believe. It is about people who wish they were anyone but who they are. How sad is that?

There are those who spend thousands trying to look different physically. They gather the latest trends in fashion or style hoping to be blended into the crowd that is seen as “it.”  Appearance is everything because they are afraid to be who they really are. At what point did we become so insecure and so lost? We try so hard to be all things to all people that we forget who we are and how important that is. We want to be connected to other people so much so that we are willing to give up our own authenticity-our own identity and uniqueness. There is only one of us. Why would we want to give “us” away so that we could become like someone else? We need to celebrate who we are and how we became us.

My hope is that we can stop chasing dreams, phonies and folks who are trying desperately to be someone other than who they are. These people are acting out roles that have been scripted for them. Is that really who you want to be? Not me-not for a second.

One client asked me this week “how do I begin being authentic”–Number 1–start being real in terms of how you see the world. Don’t be afraid of being different-of not going along with the crowd and don’t be afraid of stating your mind-saying what you really feel, think and how you see things. Be willing to speak your truth about things. Afterall your thoughts and perspectives have value because they are yours. Don’t give away your power to someone else. You have as much right to be you as they do to be them.

Other qualities of an authentic person:

–They are open and sharing about things that they are passionate about. They don’t balk at wearing their feelings out where others can see them

–Learning is important to authentic people and so is learning from the mistakes they make.

–Usually indicate a clear understanding of reality

–They look for the best in others and celebrate their achievements

–They understand what motivates them.

–Their words and their actions are consistent

In this day and age where we live fast and loose we are forgetting about a very important part of our humanity and that is authenticity–being true to oneself and living a life filled with honesty and transparency, being able to look at ourselves in a mirror and like who and what we see, not being ego bound but rather able to share joy with others and to find the most important lessons within our own fields of experience.

Most importantly is the idea that we need to live for ourselves and for what we are passionate about and then call on our fortitude, strength, drive and conviction to follow that through. We need to see that passion become reality and not remain some fantasy. Even in the face of being alone and being criticized.

Anyways, that’s how I see things today.

Any comments can be made to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

All the best, Jim

( Photo image by “joansanusi.com” used for education, criticism or research purposes only. I do not derive any financial benefit from the use of this image)

Teacher Centered Education vs. Learner Centered Education . . . ? Part 1

I will admit that the image I used at the top of the article is a bit overstated but not by much. Not every classroom looks like this regarding student interest but most are not too far removed from this image either. The point is there are some and that’s too many. After how many years of “investigating” alternate methods of educating our children we have come up with very little that would constitute any meaningful change and the learners in our school systems would likely agree. There has been a great deal of press coverage that has not done a creditable job outlining or explaining the new thinking about transforming education. It is so much more than just providing information and data and expecting the kids to pick it up or understand it in some form that they might be able to use somehow-someday-perhaps. The kids are telling us what they need and to date we have only paid them lip service.

I fully support, endorse, agree, and hope that we can find a way to listen to what our kids and the experts who know what needs to happen to move ahead are saying. We need to begin transforming education and the methods by which our kids are supposed to learn.

The place to start is to provide a simple, clear, no double speak and easy to understand description of the two options one of which is most likely to be implemented.

The first option is to tinker with what is happening and has been happening for a very long time. This option would see a minimum of change take place and not much improvement in the outcomes. Classrooms would continue to be served by one teacher generally at the front of the classroom who requires the learners (students) to be quiet and focused and to pay attention to what he/she is saying. This person is often referred to as the “sage on the stage.” The second option would represent wholesale change in that there is no “talking head or sage on the stage” but rather an educator who presents information by many different means–eg. technology, u-tube presentations, experiential methods–“Do and learn” instead of “learn and do.”

Many parents and the general public for that matter have been told a slightly different story about what a learner centered program VS. a teacher centered program is about.

Some of the misconceptions about a learner centered program suggest that the students will only study what they want. Many believe that kids aren’t mature enough to create a course of study that will be of use to them when they enter college or university. In fact the concern is that they will not be prepared to succeed at that level. Yes there will be some major changes in the study programs–certainly curriculum  will be different and yes the students will have choices about what they want to study according to their interests, skills and talents. Why would they study programs and try to incorporate information/data that they believe has no relevance to their ambitions or life goals. Although the challenge is about deciding and understanding the choices they make the other challenge is to decide HOW they will receive the data or information in a way that makes sense to them and that they understand. Here we are discussing the “pedagogy”–the method used or the practice exhibited when “teaching.” The old system would have students sit still, be quiet, allow the teacher to be in total control of dialogue and discussion. A new learner centered program would turn that around so that the students could speak, discuss, ask questions, work in groups thereby developing their skills regarding collaboration, communication and investigation but most of all it provides an opportunity for the learner to feel that they are in control or have some control of their lives, what they decide and which area of interest they want to pursue. This is as it should be. They want to be equal partners in the choices and decisions they are expected to make concerning their futures.

In the movie “Whose Life Is It Anyways” Richard Dreyfuss helps the audience see that we are each given a life which is unique to us and because it belongs to us we have a right to spend it as we choose.  It would be easy for a conversation about this topic to branch off in all directions. The point remains that we may not agree with the choices our children make about their education or any other decisions for that matter but as long as those decisions don’t encroach upon the rights of others to do the same–meaning make decisions that they believe are made in their own best interest, we really don’t have much to say unless asked for our opinion or feedback.

This is a 2 part series. Next week we will look at a variety of topics including:

–doing away with the need for homework; doing away with standardized testing; eliminating the use of “grades (grade 10 or grade 11 etc.) and grading in general; what it means to educate the ‘whole’ learner and who are the hard-to-serve learners? I’m sure there will be other topics as well.

We may not want to think about it but education and doing it in concert with the new social times is more crucial to address–NOW– than important issues such as poverty, homelessness, political correctness, immigration and on. This is not to take away from the importance of those other issues but this one is the one that will help solve the other social issues of our time.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

I welcome your views so please send comments to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

All the best, Jim

(use of the photo image by ‘getsomezzz.blogspot.com’ used for research, educational or criticism purposes. 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

Is Sex As Important As It Once Was . . .

Now I fully agree that I am not a spring chicken anymore but I am not an old prude either. As I survey my life I have come to understand that one of the most important aspects of human life on the planet has changed dramatically since I wore a younger man’s clothes. Being able to enjoy sex used to mean something and I’m sure, to many, it still does but for many more it seems as though it means very little beyond “a stress reliever.” I generalise to be sure but if we look at how we refer to enjoying sex over the years and what it meant you judge.

In the 60’s sex was, for many, a way of relating to another human being in a way that said how much they cared for their partner. It was considered the ultimate act or “gift”, if you like, that one person gave to another. It was something to cherish and was beautiful. The consent by a female partner meant that she cared for her partner and that the act was a special way of saying that “you are more important to me than any other.” It was a way of connecting in an absolute way that was not matched any other way. I guess that was a time when “no” really meant no thank you and that was respected.

Then came the “hippie” era, of which I was a part, and the meaning of sex and it’s importance in defining relationships changed-dramatically in some places. That was a time when “freedom” to express oneself was growing faster than many of us could understand. Sex became much more casual. It was a way of meeting someone or a way to demonstrate that you were “one of the adventuresome.” It also was a way of saying that this is my body and I will share it with those I please, when I please and where I please. It was truly the the definitive statement regarding defining one’s independence. Parents were rendered almost useless in trying to establish any rule for “law and order” and in many cases self-respect. Now I’m not complaining because as a young man I “benefited” from this lessening of the rules as did much of the free world but the meaning and importance -the innocence and the sense of connection established between two people had  changed forever. Enjoying sex with someone had lost it’s defining quality.

In today’s world we don’t refer to it as having sex as often as we say that we are “hooking up” with so and so. This is “kid-speak” for being or trying to be adult like. Having sex for some is about as meaningful as going to the mall to hang around for something to do. For many it means very little other than a way of gaining more attention or acceptance into a particular group of others. To me it sounds as though they are going fishing or something. Enjoying sex might be as enjoyable today as much as at any other time but the meaning and speciality of the act is, in my mind, long gone by. It has become more selfish than it has anything else. Again in my mind I believe that when society adopted the era of “near unlimited personal freedom” without much thought given to the possible ensuing social problems connected to such a shift we now see that the lack of those same social norms have lead to a wholesale change in our culture and value systems. Caring for self and preserving a sense of dignity seems less important to many.

Today our kids face dangers the likes of which have not occurred and sadly it is by their own hand. The incidence of STD’s like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis have reached all time highs in US history. If it’s happening there it usually happens here as well. Half of the reported cases of being infected with an STD, which number in the millions each year, affect the age group of 15-24 years of age. One of the most disturbing statistics in this age group indicates that the number of  newborns born with an STD is rising rapidly. That is selfish and that lack of knowledge or disregard borders on criminal to me. Outside of rape of incest there is NO defence for this fact.

I may be getting older but I am not getting to the point, yet, where I cannot feel sorry for the kids today who practice a disregard for anything that is special or once considered sacred besides their electronic devices. Parents—Where are you? If there ever was a time when parents need to stand up and start a revolution of their own-NOW would be that time.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

Any comments will find me by sending an email to:   jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

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