Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘human’

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Aristotle

Stop and think about that for a few seconds, excellence is not an act but a habit… This leads to the logical conclusion that excellence can be and in-fact is  a learned action. Like all habits, good and bad, we must learn to perform the action.

The problem is we have associated the word habit with a negative. Think about it, smoking, over eating, drugs, drinking, all are habits and all are negative. How often do you hear someone state that they have a reading habit or an exercising habit or any other positive act as a habit.

But Aristotle knew the truth, he understands the human nature, any act, be it positive or negative, is a learned act. So if one can learn to smoke than one can learn not to (I know this because I have done both). If one can learn to speak poor English, than one can learn proper English. If one can learn to scam others than they can learn to give to others.

Aristotle’s statement did not give economic status as a prerequisite to creating excellence. In other words he did not state that a person of a lower class can not achieve excellence, he just simple stated that it is a habit.

If we truly believe that all humans are created equal, that logic states that all have the same opportunity to create positive habits.

So start today, create a new positive habit and make it a habit to refer to positive things as a habit, such as I am making in a habit to read more positive books, or I am making it a habit to eat healthy. Make new habits, one at a time, that will change your life for the better.

 

Paul

Read Full Post »

"The last of the human freedoms is to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances." -Victor Frankl

 

For anyone who has ever read this blog or my other blog, you know that freedom is a major theme for me. Often times I use the word Authentic Freedom because we all to often mix up what we believe is freedom to what freedom really is. Well I think Mr. Frankl got it right!

Freedom is a slippery thing and has many sides, but we still are the masters of it and we decide how we choose to use or abuse it or is some cases how we neglect it or abandon it. 

I have long been a believer in the you make your own destiny, we choose to react to situations in a way that will give us the outcome we desire. I have seen two people process the same information yet each will tell you a completely different story and will react to it in an almost predictable way. A negative person will always find the bad, the down in any situation and they will project that feeling in to the situation causing it to be a negative feeling or outcome. Were as a positive person will take a negative and turn it in to a positive, they will find the positive in any situation and project that emotion in to the situation causing a more positive outcome. It truly is in our control, I myself have seen it and have participated in it,as have we all.

So what makes one positive and one negative? Why would one choose to be negative? Well there are many reasons or theories:

  • Genetics
  • Hard wiring in the mind
  • Life experiences
  • Attention
  • Born that way
  • Just want to be

All are valid and I thing in some small ways all are true and all play a roll in it. And the same can be said for the positive person, all the same valid reasons are just as true for the positive person, what I think it comes down to is this. I choose to be positive or negative because from being one over the other I gain greater joy, greater pleaser. Yes the negative person gains joy from there negatives. If they did not they would not be negative. Just like a smoker gains pleasure from smoking, a negative person gains please from the negativeness of there life. They create it and nurture it, so they must enjoy it. Now some may be saying well that’s just silly, no one would choose to be negative, but really is it that silly of a concept? People choose to be whipped and chained up for sexual pleasure, and most of us would have to say that, that doesn’t sound like pleasure to us. But to them it is, to them it is a great pleasure the pain turns them on. If this is so, than it stands to reason that a negative person must gain pleasure from there negativeness or they would not be negative.

It is our choosing, our freedom to choose our response to anyone given situation. This freedom to determine our reaction is one of the greatest freedoms we have, it truly is an authentic freedom. We read about people in horrific situations, Nazi concentration camps, torture chambers and such, yet we also hear of the love they felt or offered or the sacrifice they gave and the positive out look on life they still maintained.

The film “I am David” is a perfect example of how our outlook on situations will determine the outcome of the situation. It tells the story of a young boy who, with the help of a prison guard, escapes from a concentration camp in Eastern Europe, and of his journey to Denmark. Along the way he meets interesting people and has many adventures. In this movie David has a very negative outlook on life, with valid reasons, and yet he is met with some very positive opportunities that turn negative, based on his projection unto them. In the film David grows, and as he does, his negativeness changes in to a more positiveness, causing the events in his life to become more positive. Yes I know its a film, but the concept is the same.

We control our outcome, we determine the reaction we choose to give to any given situation. Life is full of opportunities to see good or evil, positive or negative it’s in our power to see it as we please, it is our last freedom, one that no one can take form us.

Paul

Read Full Post »

This is take from an online article in Time magazine…..

 

Time.com

  • By EBEN HARRELL Eben Harrell 29 mins ago

A professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Robert Feldman has spent most of his career studying the role deception plays in human relationships. His most recent book, The Liar in Your Life: How Lies Work and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, lays out in stark terms just how prevalent lying has become. He talked to TIME about why we all need a dose of honesty.

What are the main findings of your research?
Not only do we lie frequently, but we lie without even thinking about it. People lie while they are getting acquainted at an average of three times in a 10-minute period. Participants in my studies actually are not aware that they are lying that much until they watch videos of their interactions.

One of the reasons people get away with so much lying, your research suggests, is that we are all essentially dupes. Why do we believe so many lies?
This is what I call the liar’s advantage. We are not very good at detecting deception in other people. When we are trying to detect honesty, we look at the wrong kinds of nonverbal behaviors and we misinterpret them. The problem is that there is no direct correlation between someone’s nonverbal behavior and their honesty. "Shiftiness" could also be the result of being nervous, angry, distracted or sad. Even trained interrogators [aren’t] able to detect deception at [high] rates. You might as well flip a coin to determine if someone is being honest.

What’s more, a lot of the time we don’t want to detect lies in other people. We are unwilling to put forward the cognitive effort to suspect the veracity of statements, and we aren’t motivated to question people when they tell us things we want to hear. When we ask someone, "How are you doing?" and they say "fine," we really don’t want to know what their aches and pains are. So we take "fine" at face value. (Read a TIME story on ground rules for telling lies)

Do you feel deception is a particularly relevant topic to our society?
We are living in a time and culture in which it’s easier to lie than it has been in the past. The message that pervades society is that it’s okay to lie; you can get away with it. One of the things I found in my research is that when you confront people with their lies they very rarely display remorse. Lying is not seen as being morally reprehensible in any strong way.

You can make the assumption that because it often makes social interactions go more smoothly, lying is okay. But there is a cost to even seemingly benign lies. If people are always telling you that you look terrific and you did a great job on that presentation, there’s no way to have an accurate understanding of yourself. Lies put a smudge on an interaction, and if it’s easy to lie to people in minor ways it becomes easier to lie in bigger ways.

You say in the book that recent DNA evidence suggests that 10% of people have fathers other than the men they believe conceived them. So is lying pretty widespread in our intimate lives, too?
Research shows we lie less to people that we are close to. But when we do, they tend to be the bigger types of lies. And the fallout is greater if the deception is discovered.

You show how lying is a social skill. Does that mean it’s part of an evolutionary legacy?
I don’t think lying is genetically programmed. We learn to lie. We teach our kids to be effective liars by modeling deceitful behavior.

In your book you offer a way to cut back on lies. What’s the "AHA! Remedy?"
AHA! stands for active honesty assessment. We need to be aware of the possibility that people are lying to us, and we need to demand honesty in other people. Otherwise we will get a canned affirmation. At the same time, we have to demand honesty of ourselves. We have to be the kind of people who don’t tell white lies. We don’t have to be cruel and totally blunt, but we have to convey information honestly. The paradox here is that if you are 100% honest and blunt, you will not be a popular person. Honesty is the best policy. But it’s not a perfect policy.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, I will admit it, I watched the services for the King of Pop… I had to see it for myself, and all in all , it was well done. But it does bring up some questions that we as a society must answer.

The media and fans and even some nonfans have turned Michael Jackson in to a saint a world peace maker a ambassador for race relations, and well the truth be told he was a troubled man with many issues.

I too think that he was a very gifted and multi talented person, and I agree that he brought happiness to the world through his gift. And yes he should be praised for this, but the out pouring of grief for this man, whom most of us did not know on a personal level is, well jest just say its a tad bit overboard.

King of Pop or not, Mr. Jackson had issues to deal with. In the limelight or not, he is human and should be held to the same standard as all others are help too. It seems that we often times forgive the sins of the famous with all to much ease. Lets look at a few of his:

  • Accused of child molestation
  • Drug use
  • Self hatred

I do not list them to be disrespectful, but to point out that MJ was not a saint, as most of us are not. That we must be willing to accept him as a whole being. He was not a monster as some would like to make him to be, but nor is he a saint as others would like us to believe, but what he was, was human, like all of us are.

To counter balance the short list of his sins, lets look at his humanity, he was:

  • A Son
  • A Brother
  • An Uncle
  • A friend
  • A Child of God’s
  • An Entertainer like no other
  • Listed in the Gunnies book of world records for the Pop Star to give the most to charity
  • and lets us not for get a Father

To be fair to him we need to list all his traits, good and bad, but we mustalways keep in mind that he, like us all, was human. Mr. Jackson was a frail little boy locked up in a mans body, the issues run deep with in his soul and in some ways we all have a little responsibility for this, we as fans place him up high, create a god of him than we abandon him in his hour of need, we play to his vulnerabilities to fulfill our needs, leaving him empty and spent. We treat our stats as our own personal play things and disregard them when we are done with them. Mr. Jackson, like all of us was given the gift of free will, he chose to do the drugs and other acts of self pity and hatred, but lest us not forget that we all, in someway, enabled him to do so.

You may not be a Jackson fan, so you may be saying, “Not Me”, but I would say to that, “Yes You” because if you did not do it for Mr. Jackson you did it for some other star. Indirectly we all all played a roll in this, in someway we all enabled him, in some way we all can take a small bit of reasonability for his demise just like in some way we all can take a bit of responsibility for his rise to stardom.

 

RIP Michael… May God Bless your soul…

Paul

Read Full Post »

The other day I wrote a blog concerning a TV program I watched about the Knight Templar’s. The basic idea of what I was writing was the fact that the TV show spent 10 to 20 minutes talking about how mean and evil the Knights were, yet gave just a fleeting mention to the fact that they were protecting and defending the Holy Land from attach from the Muslims.

I found the responses I received interesting, I posted this blog on my STATIC Youth  blog site, but also on my Linked In site in the Catholic Group I belong to. The STATIC Youth site received no comments, but the Catholic Group on Linked in, wow! I was called a Liberal Catholic, told to go to confession and basically my faith call in to question because I dared to say that the Knights may have done some bad things.

I responded to this person for a little bit, but I have decided it matters not what I say to him, he is just dead set on saving my soul, regardless as to what I have to say. It’s almost like tossing a life ring to someone on dry land. Now please understand, I am not saying I don’t need salvation, because I do, but what I am getting at is I have explained to this person, several times, that I am not what he thinks I am, nor and I attaching the Catholic Church. But that is just adding facts to it, and he will have none of that!

It did make me stop and thing a bit, here I am, online, have a major discussion with someone I don’t even know, being accused of anti-Catholic views, and basically  being told I am not a Catholic at all. How is it, that a person feels they can make such statements concerning someone they never met nor has he read anything else I have written, and based on his responses to what I have said to him, he will not read other things I have written. Have we gotten to a point were people feel free to attach you, to call in to question your convictions over the net. Have we allowed ourselves to be fooled in to thinking that we have gained knowledge of a persons soul or being over the net?

In some ways, yes we have, look at all the so call “long distance” relationships started via chat rooms, or people who claim friendships to IM friends they never had met. We have allowed the simple task of typing to each other replace face to face, we have allowed the net with all its cool and amazing possibilities to overshadow human contact. So in a way, I have lead myself in to this little mess, but contributing to it. Such is life…

Now, I will continue to post, and I will continue to dialog with others on the net, and yes i will continue to add people to my “friends” list, I just found it interesting, that’s all.

Paul

Read Full Post »

Can we help it? Often times we will say, or we will hear someone say “I can’t help it” or something along those lines. The excuse is an easy one, we take the responsibility off of ourselves and place it someone or something else.

We are becoming, and some would say we already are, a society of blamers a people who have no personal responsibility to anything or anyone, including themselves. Don’t believe me, just watch the news, read the paper or listen to people talk about their problems. Seldom will you hear someone say, “Man it’s all my doing, it’s all my fault”, but you will hear them say “If only so and so would have…” or “If I didn’t have bad luck, i would have no luck”

I know I have done that very thing, tried to find others to blame for my screw up, I look for an excuse for my failure, I seek out reasons why I didn’t do what I was suppose to do, any old reason will do from the dog ate my paper to I was feeling al little under the weather.

The reasons my be true, but most often than not we create the reasons to justify our actions or inactions. We allow our minds to create situations to facilitate our need to blame others. It is truly a remarkable ability of the human race, no other creation can do this, if a dog fails to go the the bathroom outside he can not state that he could not help it, he cannot blame the other dog in the  house.

So can we help it? Do we have the ability to take the blame head on? I think we do, but I also think that modern society has programmed us not to. The pop culture is one of blame, we are told from a very early age that it is everyone else’s responsibility or fault, not ours. We have to work counter to what the culture tells us, we have to start teaching our children to take responsibility and we have to no longer accept the “I can’t help it” mentality.

It wont be easy, but the results will be a household full of peace and understanding, one that takes responsibility for there own actions and allows for mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. Personal responsibility is a virtue we seem to have lost over time, like many virtues this one seems to be viewed as old fashion, out of date and just plan bad for the persons self image.

But what can be better for ones self image than personal responsibility? Pop culture has begun a sterilization of humanity, and if we do not stop it soon we will not be able to. We must teach our children and re-teach ourselves to take personal responsibility, once we have that back, other areas will fall in to line. We will not have as many teen drug issues, or pregnancies. Abortion rates will drop and kids will stay in school longer. We would have less violence and more acceptance. Personal responsibility is the key that will turn the lock on society, it will unlock the potential of society and allow the greatness that we are capable of to flow and flourish.

Can we help it? Yes we can, and we need to start at home, with ourselves and our families. there is no over night remedy, it will take time, but change starts at home, and from there it will grow to your community, and beyond.

 

Paul

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »