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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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altarboy2 Friday was a god day for me, I had time to catch up on some of my reading. I subscribe to 3 different Catholic newspapers and 3 different magazines, two Catholic and one political. The problem is time, when do I have time to read them all. Well Friday night I was able to slam through all the newspapers, than Saturday a new one arrived… UGH! But such is life.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United S...

Image by Rosie O’Beirne via Flickr

Ok, so here it is, I have been listening to talk radio on the way into work, and the big topic The Arizona law on illegal’s.  The Catholic Bishops seem to think the law is inhuman and some how degrading. The liberal bleeding hearts feel that the law is unjust and takes away the

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Abraham and Isaac (detail), 1645, by Rembrandt...

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I am sure as Catholics you have hear the phrase “Offer it up” as in offer up all your pain and suffering to Jesus. I know I have heard it and to me it often sounds like “Suck it up” a phrase we often times tell our kids when they get hut playing a sport or are unhappy about some work they have to do. It’s a phrase we use to tell them, some times life is hard, sometimes life ain’t fair, but get use to it.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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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.

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This was sent to me from a friend in India, not sure who the original author is, he never stated it… But I thought I would share it…

Positive words.bmpI remember my dad teaching me the power of language  at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success. 

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn’t realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy’s mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad’s voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.

I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy’s mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don’t fall!" And Tammy did. fall.     

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined.

Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can’t visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that.

For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn’t get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don’t drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball.     

My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn’t. I’ll never make it pro, but I’m now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.           

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do.

Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren’t paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.   

The point is made.         

If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won’t. Either they will be at the party or they won’t. I’m brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try.

Do they think I don’t know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I’ll try" come out of my mouth unless I’m teaching this concept in a seminar. 

If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can’t make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I’m not sure if I will be at your party or not. I’ve got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite."             

People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary. My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism.           

These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction.         

So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, " I’m fat. Nobody will like me. I’ll try this diet. I’m not good enough. I’m so stupid. I’m broke, etc. etc."   

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words.   

Notice when you or other people use them. 

But: Negates any words that are stated before it.               

Try: Presupposes failure.     

If: Presupposes that you may not.   

Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.

Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen.

Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen (and implies guilt.)         

Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.             

Can’t/Don’t: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.       

Examples:           

Toxic phrase: "Don’t drop the ball!"   

Likely result: Drops the ball     

Better language: "Catch the ball!"   

Toxic phrase: "You shouldn’t watch so much television."             

Likely result: Watches more television.   

Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"   

Exercise: Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself

using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

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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

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The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
    One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.
    He argued, ‘What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided
His best option in life was to become a teacher?’
    He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about
Teachers:
    ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.’
    To emphasize his point he said to another guest; ‘You’re a
Teacher, Bonnie..
   Be honest. What do you make?’
    Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
     ‘You want to know what I make?
    (She paused for a second, then began…)
    ‘Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they
Could.
    I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.
    I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their
Parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
    "You want to know what I make." (She paused again and looked at
Each and every person at the table.)
    ”I make kids wonder…
    I make them question.
    I make them apologize and mean it.
    I make them have respect and take responsibility for their
Actions.
    I teach them to write and then I make them write..
    Keyboarding isn’t everything.
    I make them read, read, read.
    I make them show all their work in math.. They use their
    God-given brain,not the man-made calculator.
    I make my students from other countries learn everything they
Need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
    I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe..
    I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the
    Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in
The United States of America .
    I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were
Given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.’
    (Bonnie paused one last time, then continued.)
    ‘Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money
Isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because
They are ignorant… You want to know what I make?
I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
What do you make Mr. CEO?’
His jaw dropped, he went silent.

 

Me, I am a teacher, in my daily job an din all I do. I have always practice the concept of using every moment as a teaching moment. Now please don’t get me wrong, I don’t quiz or question the youth about everything we do, I don’t spend time looking for the hidden teaching moment, but I approach all I do as a moment to teach and to learn.

I do make a difference because I choose to, If I was that Mr. CEO in the story above, I could have held my head high and stated that I to teach, but also if I was that Mr. CEO I would have never equated money with usefulness, I understand that the two do not go together.

Can you say you teach, for that sake of our children and of this nation I pray that you respond with a yes.

Paul

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Below is an article I read and I thought it would be very helpful to others, enjoy…

Paul

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7 Ways To Keep Going

By Therese J. Borchard
April 7, 2009

A woman who lives with chronic pain said to my mom the other day, “You can’t sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You’ve got to learn how to dance in the rain.”

That’s a perfect description of living with depression, or any chronic illness. But what do you do on the days you don’t think you can take the pain anymore? When you want so badly to be done with your life … or at least be done with the suffering? What do you do when anxiety and depression have spun a web around you so thick that you’re convinced you’ll be trapped forever in those feelings?

I’ve compiled a few tools for moving past that harrowing darkness, suggestions on how to emerge from a place of panic, and techniques on how to dance in the rain.

1. Escape from the pain.

Lately, when my thoughts turn dark, I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want another life … I want a reprieve from the pain. I’m usually at a loss on how to get there. I’m tired, frustrated, desperate, so my thoughts follow the path that has already been blazed throughout the years … and I fantasize about intoxication or some other destructive behavior that doesn’t require a lot of imagination.

How else can I escape … in a positive way? Instead of romanticizing about death or inebriation from booze, I can research new kayaking routes, bike paths, hiking trails, and camping sites. I can invest the time I lose in unproductive and dangerous thoughts into planning creative outings for myself and for the family that will give me/us the reprieve that I’m craving. I can be proactive about finding sitters for the kids so that my thoughts won’t revert back to “stinking thinking.”

2. Track your mood.

An essential piece of my recovery is keeping a mood journal. This helps me to identify certain patterns that emerge. As I said in my “Me on the Bad Days” post, depression can flare up seemingly out of the blue, like a thunderstorm. But often there are telltale signs that can clue me in as to why I’m feeling so fragile. You can catch these if you’ve been recording your mood over time.

3. Talk about it.

I can’t get a therapy appointment round the clock, so I had better invest in some friends that won’t tire of me telling them that my thoughts are turning to mush again.

Over the weekend I called two friends and my mom. “I’m going there again,” I explained. They know what THERE means … without my having to explain or justify. I don’t fully understand how gabbing heals, the scientific explanation of why venting does so much good, but I can surely attest to it, and confirm the connection between talking about something and feeling better. It’s like you’re a scared little kid in a lightning storm, and a neighbor, seeing that you’re locked out of your house, invites you inside and makes a cup of hot chocolate for you. Well, maybe it’s not that good, but it’s close, which is why our phone bill is way up this month.

4. Repeat: “I WILL Get Better”!

As I said in my video, “I WILL Get Better,” I think about my Aunt Gigi every time I wind up in the depression tunnel, and remember her repeating to me over the phone a few years back: “You will get better. Repeat that. You WILL get better.” Peter J. Steincrohn, M.D., author of “How to Stop Killing Yourself” wrote: “Faith is a powerful antidote against illness. Keep repeating – and believing: I WILL get well. If you believe, you help your doctor and yourself.” And this paragraph from William Styron’s “Darkness Visible” always reassures me:

If depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease–and they are countless–bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.

5. Take baby steps … a day at a time.

On mornings that I wake up with that nauseating knot of anxiety in my stomach, everything seems overwhelming. Getting myself to the bathroom so that I can brush my teeth feels seems like a triathlon in August. So I don’t attempt the triathlon. I only have to worry about getting my left foot down on the ground. And then my right one. And then I have to stand.

I’ll look at my to-do list and cross off two-thirds of it. “What on this list do I absolutely HAVE to do?” I say so myself. Everything else can wait. And then I start with the first thing, and do the first mini-movement that I need to do in order to accomplish that. If it’s getting Katherine dressed, that means 1. Finding Katherine. (That’s harder than it sounds.) 2. Picking out an outfit. (Ditto.) 3. Helping her out of her nightgown and into her clothes. (That’s where my nervous system almost shuts down.) And so on. Each item on the list can be broken down into a dozen mini-steps.

6. Distract yourself.

Some days I’m just not worth much. All I can do is distract myself … to keep myself from thinking about how awful I feel. Just like Fr. Joe carved figurines out of soap when he was depressed, and Priscilla made jewelry to keep her mind off of her anxiety, I will try to do anything to keep my brain occupied and away from my hurt, sort of like I did when I was in labor: baking chocolate-chip cookies, looking through old pictures, listening to Beethoven and Mozart, watching a comedy, swimming, running, biking, or hiking through the woods. (I didn’t do all of that in labor, though.)

7. Get out your self-esteem file.

For the past few days I’ve been carrying around letters from my self-esteem file in my pocket like a baby blanket. Some people have told me that my self-esteem must be shallow if I have to rely on praise from other people. Maybe it is. But I have to start somewhere, and anyone who has sat in that panic place where you want to end it all, knows that it’s virtually impossible at that time to come up with a list of your own strengths. So you have to believe what other people say.

Return to EverydayHealth.com

Therese J. Borchard writes the daily Beliefnet.com blog Beyond Blue (voted by Psych Central as one of the Top 10 Depression Blogs) and moderates Group Beyond Blue, the Beliefnet Community online support group for depression. Her memoir “Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes” will be released in January of 2010. Subscribe to Beyond Blue here or visit her at www.ThereseBorchard.com.

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Time for your self is important, each of us need to set aside a little time each day for ourselves. Now I can hear some people already says, sure maybe you have time to set aside, but me, I’m so busy that I barley have time to sleep, with work and the kids and this event and that even….

and so it goes….

Well I say bull crap to that!

No one, and I mean no one is that busy that they can not find 5, 10 or 15 minutes each day for themselves, I am sure President Obama does, and you can not tell me you have more stuff on your plate than the leader of the free world does.

I am sure he has time for his wife and kids and for himself. If he can find the time, so can we. It’s called time management, and its a skill we all need to learn. And it is one we can discipline ourselves in, if we truly try.

As proof to my point, the young man that lives with me, my nephew, he use to spend all his time after school doing nothing but homework. He would come home, sit down and start on his homework, stop for dinner than study until 10 or 11 at night, and sometimes wake up a 5am to study more. He did ok in his classes, but nothing great. I was on him for over a year to stop this madness and go out with friends, hang out and play a little , to take time for his mind to rest and time for himself.

This past semester I forced him to do so, I refused to allow him to come home a study, he had to go and do something else with his friends and than after dinner do his homework. He got his best report card to date! He has learned a lesson for life, that time for himself is invaluable. His comment to me after getting his report card was, “I guess to much studying is not to smart”.

No truer statement can be made, and you can replace the wordy studying with any other word you like:

  • I guess to much overtime is not to smart
  • I guess to much helping others is not to smart
  • I guess to much volunteering is not to smart
  • I guess to much ________ is not to smart

We all can find the time, it’s not a matter of needing more hours in the day, its a matter of using the hours we got smartly. If my 17 year old nephew can figure it our, we should be able to also.

Sit down and write out your typical day, hour by hour, see where your time is going, and discover how you can re order your day or remove from your day to gain 10, 15 or 20 minuets to give to yourself.

Paul

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I have friends and family members that are of the belief that their actions affect no one that they live in a bubble; their actions are there’s alone. What a sad way to live life. If you ask me, that is not even living. Our lives are made to connect to others, to interact with humanity, and to live one’s life as if you are an island unto yourself is not living, but rather dieing unto yourself.

The Human condition is a complex condition, one with many levels and deep interlocking connections. Your ability to manage this complex force will also determine your ability to navigate through life. Some people seemed better prepared for this task as others seem to fail and falter at every one of life’s twist and turns. Their ability to bend and move seems to be limited to a very small box or space; some will argue that the box or space is based on their upbringing, or the current environment they find themselves in. Others will argue that it is out of their control, that outside forces are dictating their actions. And some will say it’s just plain old bad luck.

I know people that fit all three types, and I know some who just don’t care, no reason for their life, and really don’t care. To me all of them have chosen their path. And all of them have chosen the wrong one.

Life is what you make of it, regardless of your upbringing, your luck or any other outside influence. The only person from above who truly understands their life is the one who states “I just don’t care”. That is the only true and honest response to why their life is a mess.

Now I know some will be saying, now wait, what about all the people that where abused and children, or grew up poor or had a bad hair day… and so on. And I respond, that truly is sad, and my heart goes out to them, but that is life. As youth we have no to very little control over our lives, and yes, we do use our life experiences to help us shape our future. And that is the key; we use it to help us shape our lives, not the other way around. Our life experiences do not shape us; we use them to help us. How he chooses to process that information is still up to us. I have read many books of children who have suffered unthinkable abuses, and have chosen to use that life of living hell as a reason to better themselves, to make this world a little brighter, for themselves and others. I have also heard stories of the opposite, kids from happy and healthy families, which decided to process the information for the negative, to harm all they can include themselves.

I have experienced both reactions with my family and friends. I have seen the effects of taking responsibility and the effects of blame. I have witnessed the growth and distraction of the human spirit, and I have seen the spirit of life diminish and grow with in that person. The connections between the two are directly related. Ones level of spirit, ones level of life, is related to their outlook on life itself.

The path we choose to live is our own choice, it is our freewill that determines our life, it saddens me to see people who are not willing to accept the responsibility of life. It breaks my heart to see a life wasted on the “what could have been’s” and the “what is was”. We all make choices, we all have the ability to move forward, stand still or move backwards. No magical force will move us, no history determines our path and no future is determined. The game of life is not a toss of the dice, but rather a thought out process of growth.

Paul

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