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Is Getting Something Better Than Giving Something?

Is getting  something better than giving something.  When you receive something, do you appreciate it?  When you give something, do you want to be recognized for doing it?  Getting something often leads to wanting something else and so forth and so forth.  Where does it stop?

Materialism is just the state of chronically wanting something new and never being satisfied.  People who are materialistic often do not recognize this about themselves.  They are too busy patting themselves on the back with each new acquisition and looking ahead to what they have to have next.  Materialism builds the economy.  I don’t know what else it does.

If we not so busy acquiring new things and finding a place to put them we might stop, rest, and catch our breath.  This could be quite peaceful.  Often people are so busy acquiring things, they are too busy to enjoy them and sometimes, the purchase is wasted because it is never used or even thrown out and rejected.

Often our materialism even bleeds over and effects our children.  We become competitive with other parents and have to have the biggest, and most unusual birthday party for them.  Sometimes, the children are even too young to appreciate them.  One attraction is often enough and since the attention spans of children can be short; they may tire of the party and need a nap or need real food besides candy, cake, and pop.

Materialism often leads to buying things and doing things that are impractical and require more upkeep than they are worth.  Gas logs can be better than wood fires in a fireplace and of what use are several different homes requiring upkeep that are used infrequently.  It has always seemed to me that skillfully planned and meticulously cared for gardens are wasted unless there are people around to enjoy them.

When Is A Compliment Is Not A Compliment? When Is Criticism Not Productive?

rp_7276688008_157c6001e4_m.jpgCriticism disguised as a compliment can be deadly as well as just plain mean and “snarky”.   Many a fainting flower has sub combed to the projected hatred of others even when he or she doesn’t deserve it.  One way is when a “put down” is disguised as a compliment.  Such an act can permanently damage one’s life.  How many people have stopped going to church when this is done by a “well-meaning?” individual?  “My, that is such a nice outfit.  Do you dress like this every day?”

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

Churches are supposed to be places where well-meaning individuals want to bring more individuals to Christ.  Or are they?  Some people in churches like to think that they are God’s chosen “elite” where only those properly initiated into the ways of the church are allowed to belong.  Membership seems to be by invitation only for those who will appreciate the selectiveness of their invitations and will protect and obey their canons.  If looks could kill, some people could die when they enter churches like this.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgSome church people feel that their criticism of others is well- meaning and will make others better Christians and they are only being helpful; but often there is an underlying current of hatefulness,  righteous anger, and  severe judgmentalism.  When this is coupled with a victim’s underlying current of self-condemnation and guilt, it can be extremely damaging and make him or her feel unworthy of being a Christian and keep the person from ever going to that church or sometimes any church again.


Materialism. Does It Create Selfishness? Or Does Selfishness Create Materialism?

rp_5798468679_59ea50286a_m.jpgHow often have people been led astray when they develop covetousness?  People see what other people have or they are taken in by advertisements that promote buying something new or different that everybody will want to have next.  I am a helpless fan of HGT TV and think that I want to have a kitchen with granite countertops and should paint my walls in shades of gray instead of beige.  Both you and I know these decorating trends will fall out of fashion and demolishers will take their sledgehammers to perfectly good counter tops and cabinets and trash them to make room for whatever new trend is being advertised.

It is even worse with women’s fashion and I am guilty of this too.  I can tell when my wardrobe is looking out of date and throw away or give away things that are not in style anymore that I still could wear.  I read a high-level fashion magazine where items of clothing and accessories sell for thousands of dollars.  Some of them are very attractive and I would like to get one of them but don’t have the dough.  I did buy a name brand fashionable purse once and was very proud of it and I carried it until I wore it out.  Surprise, surprise.

I am not offended when people pay more money for well made, name brand shoes and purses that they will keep longer than a less well-made item.  The same can be true of clothing, but sometimes I see skimpy fashion items without linings or support of underlying supportive material that ordinarily would add cost to the dress, blouse, or skirt.  I am not surprised that men, however, seem to do this and their clothes, however,expensive, seem to last longer than women’s clothes. and their styles do not change that much.

rp_374315433_150_150.jpgCars are also set up for planned obsoleteness.  I, however, would like an attractive, well-made car with good mechanical reliability that I could not wear out quickly and/or not replace until it did or until I found a newer car with features not available when I bought my first car.  A sign of the weakening of the economy is when older cars begin to have more value because people can not afford to buy newer cars.

It is interesting to note that people are now seeking out and buying vintage items of clothing, furniture, and accessories.  Things are still not considered to be antiques until they are much older than things considered vintage.  Wouldn’t it be nice if people developed their own tastes and focused upon buying things that were genuine and well made because they could not be easily replaced?

Do we focus on things rather than experiences?  Do we rate experiences by how expensive the things that we use in these experiences are and not how it felt?  Consider weddings, for example, people often value their wedding experiences based on how much they cost.

rp_AVaP8ps9-q4L3Kdb3ETm_150_150.jpgFor example, there was a wedding on the farm on the lawn and a simple fried chicken meal catered by the local grocery store which was served buffet style in a newly built hay barn.  There were individual cupcakes instead of an expensive wedding cake. Appetizers were served from an ice cream bar manned by some of the bride’s friends.

The bridesmaids all bought their matching sundresses on sale at their local J.C. Penny stores.  The lovely music was provided by the local church’s bell choir.  The wedding dress was a sample and was not specially ordered. The only participant in a fancy dress was the bride’s shepherd dog as the flower girl.  The guys wore khakis and polo shirts in coordinating colors.

All the cars were parked in an open field.  Folding chairs were set up on the front lawn for the service.  The officiant was a family member.  Just imagine what the whole thing would have cost if the bride had it catered, used a wedding planner, and had rented a special venue.  Would the memories have been the same?

materialismmoralandsocialMaterialism leads to clutter and the need for more and more space to store the stuff in.  Often these things require special care and take up time that could be used to do other things.  The Vanderbilt Mansion  in North Carolina is something to see and contains many rare items which you might not see anywhere else, but it  and its contents cost so much to maintain that it is almost too expensive to visit because of the entrance fees that need to be charged to maintain it.

Materialism can also lead to people seeking the fame associated with having such rare and expensive things.  Things can also become obsolete and need to be replaced by newer, betterer and rarer things. Materialism is the love of things and can depend on the reinforcement provided by others.

Materialism would have trouble existing in a vacuum where no one cares about it.  Imagine sometime in the future and some useless object that was part of a fad was found by someone from the future.  For example, what would that person think if he or she found a stash of hula hoops?

Joining In On Doing Something Wrong Does’t Make It Right

People who sin or do something that they know they shouldn’t do often encourage others to join in with them.  Somehow this makes it more okay.  Have you ever done that?  Did something you knew was really wrong but did it when you saw others doing it?

Have you encouraged others to join in with you in doing something you really knew was wrong because it encouraged you to do it and somehow made it seem more right than if you did it all by yourself?

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgGang violence is like that.  People who wouldn’t ordinarily destroy property, curse, pick on other people are more likely to do this when they can get others to join them in doing it or they can join a group that is already doing this and they feel there is safety in numbers.

Bravery occurs when a person does something all by himself or herself without the support of others or the example of others doing it.

Who Are You Really? The Journey To Finding Yourself

archsedonaTwo years ago in November I went to Sedona, Arizona, to find myself; but I did not want to take any old trip or stay in any hotel or spa.  I wanted it to be a form of a retreat.  I went to find myself and for that reason, I wanted to go alone.  I found the site for Sedona Soul Adventures which offered an individualized retreat with three days of personally designed spiritual retreat with appointments with local practitioners of meditation, massage, and other types of personalized spiritual experiences.

(If you call Soul Adventures and set up a retreat, mention that you found them on this website.)

dscn3233I wound up staying in a Yoga house in Sedona and I had my own room and the offering of vegan meals for a set affordable price.  I was also directed to a local agency to rent a practical older car in good shape.  I set up two experiences on my own:   a visit to a power vortex with my own guide and a one-day bus trip to the Grand Canyon

rp_696548439_4a98411eeb_n.jpgIt was a wonderful experience and it was all part of my goal to establish who am I really?  Do you know who you really are?  Even before birth, various experiences shape you and determine who you are going to be.  Are you thinking right now, “Wait a minute, I know who I am.”  But do you know how you got to be that way?    

Why Children Are Easy To Use And Abuse

  1. Children believe what they are told because they don’t know anything else.
  2. Children think that almost everything is fun.
  3. Children usually don’t refuse an invitation to do something they think might be fun.
  4. Children are easily frightened.
  5. Children can go with someone they don’t know if they think that he or she is removing them from possible danger.
  6. When children are kept sheltered, this might make them more vulnerable.
  7. Ignorance is not always bliss.
  8. When an adult tells children something that they don’t know they usually believe the adult.
  9. Children, when faced with a new request, might not know it is wrong
  10. Children are naive and are easily shamed if they do something that was wrong but didn’t know it.
  11. Children learn early that if they do something they later found out was wrong, they don’t tell to avoid punishment.
  12. Children can be forced to repeat something they feel is wrong because they think they might be physically punished, their parents might get hurt, or no one would believe them.
  13. Children can also block memories from their minds because they are too painful.
  14. Often children often don’t know any better.
  15. Children are gullible.
Prevent Child Abuse With the Truth

Prevent Child Abuse With the Truth

Keep Your Comments To Yourself Or When Criticism Is Not Productive?


Well, Shame On You! (Not All Nuns Act This Way)

Either I already know them or I don’t want to hear them.

Oh, you were just being nice or you wanted to set me straight?

You wanted to be sure I knew something so I wouldn’t embarrass myself or you!

You wanted to show off your superior knowledge and I was a willing victim.

Stop and think before you say something like that because you might reveal more about yourself  than you may reveal about me.

Truly meaningful and loving comments build me and you up at the same time.

Next post will be, “When A Compliment Is Not A compliment.”

When Is Being Disabled A Disability?

rp_300px-Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svg_.pngPeople often do not display common courtesy to the disabled.  They are often discourteous, inconsiderate, and just plain ignorant.  God, that does sound pretty inconsiderate, discourteous, and just plain stupid of me.

I have disabilities. caused by arthritis, a possible spinal cord injury, and inheritance.  I work hard at overcoming my disabilities especially when I or other people expect me to do things that are often awkward and unsafe for me to do.  For example, changing two litterboxes.  I have trouble maintaining my balance and walking especially in unfamiliar or crowded places.  Also, I can’t see behind me without turning my body around and I have trouble with dropping things.

Can you imagine what other people might think of me when they don’t know and/or acknowledge this?  I often take a back seat when other people are up moving around so as not to be knocked down.  I can’t carry a tray.  Can you imagine how this might effect me when there is a buffet?  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who spontaneously help me and that is a blessing.

I can do a lot of things on my own when there is no one to knock me down, butt in line, or otherwise take advantage of my disabilities?  Do they even know that they are taking advantage of my disabilities?  (Oh, in case you don’t know, I have had physical and occupational therapy; but some of the best therapy I have had is when I learned how to do something myself (and I could do a whole post on that).)

rp_308895522_e2ab0d2ebd_n.jpgI usually get myself to events and can go places while there if they are not too far away and there are no steps involved, but it does take me time.  This why I sometimes find it difficult to get to the bathroom and back during breaks and (get this) when I get to the bathroom someone is probably using the handicapped toilet stall that doesn’t need it i.e. to change clothes or to have a time-taking bowel movement or just because it is more convenient.

I guess some people are more considerate of others even when it is inconvenient than other people.  I have an aunt that had polio not only did she recover from that but later she went back to teaching with some accommodations.  (I was going to say several accommodations; but that that might make her mad if she knew I said that.)  I am much more understanding of her situation now than I was then.

It appears that some people don’t notice that some people have disabilities.  They often sometimes unconsciously or consciously take advantage of these people.  As a disabled person, I do often feel possibly unfairly limited by this.  I have a kitchen with an island in the middle which is convenient now for me, but I often have to wait for other people to go ahead of me when I or they think I would take too much time and bother.

If you see a disabled person sitting back and waiting for others to get finished doing something, it may not be because they want to, it may be because they feel that they have to.  Do you agree that people often do something around disabled people because they can, not because they ought to?

P.S.: I don’t feel disabled when I am in my recliner reading a book or watching TV.  It also does get me out of changing my grandkids’ diapers!rp_9429411558_188837b502_m.jpg


“Zombies” In Nursing Homes

We have a long history being unable or unwilling to meet the needs of older and even younger people with disabilities without warehousing them in nursing homes.  Yes, there are standards of care that these homes must meet; but people often only want to provide minimum standards of care so that the home will be reimbursed.

Recently a friend of mine was admitted to a nursing home and I have visited there several times.  The thing that I noticed on my visits there were the people who looked like “zombies”.  Previously I had only seen people who were catatonic schizophrenics that looked like “zombies.”

The people I saw in the nursing homes were neatly dressed and had their hair nicely combed, but they sat silently and immobile in a chair or wheelchair.  At mealtimes, their chairs were moved so that they sat up next to the table.  These women and men posed no problems as long as they remained that way.

They had joined the troop of the forgotten.  They caused no trouble for the staff and would stay anywhere the staff had put them.  I guess you could call them the living dead or “zombies.”  It seemed like they had just given up and the staff saw them that way too.

Do You Have Someone That You Can Completely Be Your Self With?

rp_300px-Grouptherapy.jpgDo you have someone you can completely be yourself with and if the answer is no, why not?

Laugh until dawn.  Cry until you run out of kleenex.  You should have gone home hours ago.  They (your family, friends, or roommate) may have filed a missing person’s report on you.

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

I once spent a weekend on the river with a friend where time was forgotten and i never thought of going about going home.  I have never forgotten it and how free I felt.

Sometimes this happens just once and you can never make that connection with that person again.  If you broach the subject at a later time they look at you blankly and perhaps act like they don’t even  know you.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgWhy are our secrets so dangerous, perhaps even terrifying, that we can not even share them safely?  Secrets and the making of them and the keeping of them can be terrifying to some people and in some circumstances, even deadly.

This is often part of falling in love.  Being completely open with someone is a good start.  But this often changes as the relationship matures.  For how many married couples is their spouse also still their best friend.

Toddler having a temper tantrum and screaming at her mother. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.It can sometimes be hilarious when a person is with his or her friends and can be completely open.  Recently this happened twice to me.  One was in a nursing home on a visit to a friend which lasted til lights out and in the other, we decided unanimously to have the place where we were meeting as a “No Thong Zone” in the future.