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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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A stadium filled with men listen as Cardinal Adam Maida introduces speaker Michael Timmis at the annual men's conference.

This past Saturday I attended a men’s conference. This was a state wide Catholic men’s conference and the first one I have ever attended. The list of speakers was impressive, but the one I wanted to see was Mathew Kelly, an

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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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Broken?

Image by littledan77 via Flickr

The family dynamic is a very complex thing, it offers great joy and great sorrow. People have write songs and preformed plays concerning the family. Most TV shows are based on the family dynamic and certainly we have read many many books on the topic.

My family is no different, we have dynamics. We have out moments of great joy and great sorrows, and often times the co-exist. But at times one will override the other, the great sorrow of the loss of a parent or child will trump the great joy, becoming the dominate dynamic. Yet other times they seem to mingle and and the line between the joy and sorrow becomes fuzzy at best.

This gray area of the family dynamic seems to me to be the area were it sits the most. We seem to exist in a void of high and lows and allow ourselves to tread lightly on the soil of betweenness. Nothing wrong with that, for the most part. The great joys and great sorrows can be extremely taxing on ourselves and the over all dynamic of the family.

This is were I find myself, I am currently walking in the land of betweenness.

I feel no great joy or sadness within the dynamics of my family. Currently I am having “issues” with most of my family members. Not a good place to be… Some of the “issues” are of my doing and some are not, as is the case with most family dynamics. But what is different now is that I do not feel and great emotion over this riff. This saddens me in a way, but in other ways it does not. I am at a point in my life were the fight is not something I want to do. The battle field seems a long walk and I am not up to the walk to the battle field, nor the battle itself.

This fact bothers me, why am I willing to let the battle defeat me with out even a fight? Why am I willing to allow the dynamics of the family triumph over me? Family Dynamics are a powerful adversary to have.

To me, it seems that I have been beaten up for way to long, that I have allowed the family dynamics to control me and now I am just tired of it. I no longer want to be beaten up or controlled. I have bent to the will of others to keep the dynamic in a joyful mode and in doing so place myself in a field of regrets. I no longer want to walk in that field. I now want to walk in a field that I choose, be it joyful or not, it is my choice.

I am sure the family dynamic will mend itself, one day, but I do no that it will not be the same as it was. Each of us have changed and that change will affect the overall dynamic. The new family dynamic will still be filled with great joys and great sorrows but they will be defined a little differently now.

Paul

 

Complex Dynamics: Families and Friends
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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One of my favorite people to look to or to quote is Albert Einstein. I think is because we both are so much a like…. (I’ll let that one sink in a bit before I move on…….)

Truthfully I do see a lot of similarities between us, no I am not as smart as him, no were near, but we both share a thinking pattern. For anyone who reads my blogs or knows me personally will know that I am a person with an imagination and a positive attitude. Albert also has this trait, and I have quoted him several times, in fact I have a small postcard of his hanging in my office and I have read biographies on him. I find him to be a very interesting person. I have no ability to understand his math or his logic (most of the time), but I can understand his outlook and his way of dealing with the world. Today as I was thinking I should blog about something, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t want to blog about politics again, not because I don’t have anything to say, because I do, but because both of my blogs are not primary political they are primarily spiritual. So my latest rant concerning Obama will have to wait…. So what than do I blog about. As I often do when I don’t have a solid idea I will look up quotes on the internet (God’s gift for writers block). What I found was this quote from Mr. Einstein:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

I like that, in fact I teach that… I have from the start, I have always valued questions. To me if you are not questioning that you are dead, dead to the topic at hand, dead to the presenter, dead to the faith, dead to what ever it is you are not questioning.

To an insecure presenter or teacher the questions may come across as attacks, good question by e-magic.as if the questioner is challenging there domain. And they very well may be doing just that, and that’s ok. Hell if it was good enough for old Albert, than it’s good enough for me!

My overriding passion is my faith and teaching my faith to youth. In fact this will be the first time since 1990 that I will not be actively involved in a teaching ministry, but back to my point… My passion is my faith and the passing on of my faith (teaching). Part of this passion is also learning more about my faith on my own and taking formal classes. It is the process of questioning my teachers and my students that grow and learn more. It is the process of questioning that allows my mind to explore other areas it normally would not travel. It allows me the freedom to play the “devils” advocate in the name of knowing.

Questions are what makes America a land of the free, if were are not allowed to question of government, than we are no better than and no different than present day Cuba. Our ability to place our public officials under the microscope of public questioning is our key to freedom. My ability to question my faith is what makes my faith mine is my ability to question her teachings and to question my understanding.

Albert got it right, The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Think about a toddler and there constant why? why? why?, it is their ability to ask why that allows them to grow, why should that be any different for a pre-teen or teen, a parent of grandparent. Our ability to grow never ceases, just our own limitations placed on ourselves do. We have that same power as the curious 3 year old, the power of WHY… That power to change the course of events is not limited to the mind of a 3 year old, it is innate in all of us, it is our nature to question. God created us to question and he celebrates us when we do so.

A single question has changed the course of history, a single question can place common scene on it’s ear and turn right to wrong and evil to good. The power of a question should never be over looked nor should it be played down or belittled.

The question was asked of Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the King of the Jews?” and all of history was changed for ever. The question was asked, “What is the price of liberty” and a new nation was born.

The ability to question is our basic right as part of humanity, to stop questioning is to stop participating in humanity. Teacher and politicians and parents that stifle the questions of those they are charged with not only stifle that individual but also all of humanity.

Just imagine if:

  • Edison never question electricity
  • Ford never question the assembly line
  • Jefferson never questioned Liberty

It is the questions that have created the humanity we know today. With each stifled question our next Ford, Edison, Einstein or Jefferson might never be able to ask that all important, life changing question.

If we do not allow questions, than who will question poverty, hunger, global war’s and the outer limits of space or the inner limits of the mind? Sniffle one is the same as stifling all.

 

 

Just something to question….

Paul

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Sometimes I think God just like to mess with me, I think he get great pleasure out of seeing me get upset or thrown off task. Take this morning for example, I posted my first blog with no problem, I stat in on this blog with a solid idea of what I want to write, and BAM! My laptop decides its a great time to reboot with an issue.. So now as I write this I am running every security check, registry cleaner and spy program I have, to make sure it don’t happen anytime too soon, and to make sure all my data is safe.

Now I know God didn’t do this, but sometimes I wonder, maybe He didn’t like the topic I was going to blog about or maybe He just likes to see me get frustrated…. No matter, I can’t remember what the topic was, so it must not have been that great of an idea and I was able to get to some real work (my 9 to 5 job stuff).

But now I sit here with no real idea of what I want to blog about, no words of wisdom to give…

Funny how things work out, I had a “great” idea, or so I thought, all pick out for today, one little distraction and BAM, it’s gone… Life can be that way, we are moving along, and BAM, everything changes, we get distracted by the death of a loved one the loss of a job or a child is ill, and life seems to change, be it good or bad it changes.

What matters is how we deal with the BAM’s in our life, take my computer crashing this morning, I had a few options I could have taken, 1) Get mad 2) Fix it 3) Do nothing, or any combination of the 3, I chose to fix it, I didn’t get mad, I didn’t do nothing, I stopped what I was doing and resolved the issue, well in truth I had to my laptop went down.

When death or illness hits we have the same basic options, get mad, deal with it (fix it) or do nothing. Once again we can combine them anyway we like.  But what we choose to do will change the rest of our life… So choose wisely…

Paul

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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.

(more…)

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Pride is a very strong emotion, one that has driven people to extremes. We have witnessed the pride of a man (or a woman) bring them down in a blaze of fire, and we have seen pride rebuild a man (or a woman) from the deepest despair life can offer.

Why is this, what makes one emotions so powerful and at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

This I can not answer, but I can offer my own insights on the topic. Anyone who reads my blogs an a regular basis will know that I often times return to the subject of EGO (Edging God Out), well I think Pride has a small place in EGO.

The pride that causes harm, pride that drives a man to extremes is a pride that is unhealthy.

To have pride in your work, in your life and in yourself and family is a very healthy, and necessary thing. It is when that pride overrides all, when that pride becomes the end all to all that is when it enters the EGO, that is when it becomes a destructive force, not only in your life but all around you.

When we feel that what we do is more important that others, or when we think that our actions are defining moments, when we place ourselves at the very center of life, the EGO has began its destruction.

How do we know when pride becomes EGO, were is that line? I think we all have a different thresh hold, but I also think we all know, internally, were it is.

For me, EGO is the evil part of my being, it is the original sin of Adam and Eve, it was there EGO’s that told them to eat of the fruit, to want to become god’s themselves. Pride, the feeling of being more than they were.

We need to be proud, we need that feeling and that emotion, but we need to control it, and not allow it to take over, when it takes over, that is when pride becomes EGO, a destructive force.

I am very proud of a the volume of work I have created, the programs I have developed but I am also very aware that there is always something more, something better out there, that what I have created is good, maybe even great, and I take great pride in the work, but I know I am only one of many. I will not allow my EGO to take hold of it, I do not, for one minute, think that what I have created is anything more than what it is.

Pride and EGO often times share the same fine line. It is easy to step on way or the other, Pride becoming EGO and EGO becoming pride. Careful where you step, look and see were you are headed and say on the side of pride.

Paul

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