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Does It Make Sense To Say Life Makes No Sense? How Do You Make Sense Of Life? Are You Influenced By How Others Make Sense Of Life? We Are All In This Together But We Often Try To Go It Alone.

Does it make sense to say life has no sense?  Science has theories about life which it proves or disproves. Things we thought were inanimate and dumb actually are not that way.  Animals are miraculous animate beings with strengths and skills we have never thought of.  Not only are they necessarily not like you, they have their own ways of thinking, communicating and viewing the world.  Even plants react to certain stimuli.  What about us?

Are we blocking abilities because we think we don’t have them?  Who are you really inside?  We are fearfully and wonderfully made it says in the Bible.  Why do we often reject that?  Does everything happen for a reason but we think that we are unable to figure this out.

We are unique individuals.  We all have strengths and talents as well as weaknesses.  Why do we compete with each other when we can do so much more together?  Why do we constantly pattern ourselves against some other person’s standards and achievements?

When I was trying to decide on my career (the most important path in my life at that time).  I did not discern and value my own unique qualities.  I was always encouraged to consider what other people would think.  Individuality was lost in the shuffle.  I accomplished many things but society did not pat me on my back and my family had no idea about what I was doing.

Now the meaning of life is to determine your path in life and to allow yourself to meander a little.  Also be a little bit forgiving of yourself especially in this critical, hypocritical world.  We must combat these forces that hold us back and act as brakes on our vehicle of life.  Criticism, fault-finding, and belittling other people as a way of building themselves up by other people holds us all back.

The world is full of manipulations and plots to keep us from reaching our destiny.  The average fault-finders only want to build themselves up, not you.  This sabotages cooperation and promotes the power and wealth of a few.  Their motto is there is not enough to go around and I am going to get mine before you can take it from me.  What a grand scheme for these peoples’ lives which leads to substance abuse, relationships that may sabotage them and be unfulfilling, and a focus on things, not relationships.  They are not to be trusted and because of this, they think that everybody else can not be trusted.  What a flimsy throne that kind of ideology can make.  They focus on things that can not make them happy in the long run and backfire.  Remember how Scrooge ended up in The Christmas Carol.

Is It True That Only Those Who Do Good Can Feel Guilty?

Is it true that only those who do good can feel guilty?  Does it follow that those who do bad do not feel guilty?  On top of this, this propensity for those who do good to feel bad is often used against them.  People who do good (or the Goodies) when told that they did something wrong or that they made a mistake, it petrifies them and hinders their ability to do good in the future?  Are there a lot of people out there that don’t want people doing good and this is the best way to stop them because they have a conscience and are therefore fearful that they might hurt somebody? The Badies are out there making sure that they get what they want regardless of whether or not they hurt somebody.

The Goodies are fearful of being caught in a lie even if they didn’t know it was untrue until the Badies chastised them with it.  Badies lie all the time and to protect themselves from being called liars call other people liars to put the spotlight on someone else.  The best defence for them is a good offence.  The Goodies can become so busy defending themselves that they forget to point out the Bad Guy’s  mistakes.

How can this be helped?  The Goodies must become aware of what is happening so they can turn the tables on the Badies.  For example, “You call me a liar, when you lie all the time.”  When attacked this way by the Badies, a Goody can say this is none of your business.  A Bady attacked me once about my hair cut.  She loudly stated in a room full of family, “Who cut your hair?”  I replied by saying, “Who asked you?”  I had decided to not fall for her bait and to put the spotlight on her.  It did shut her up and the family members went on with their catching up.  Goodies can be too polite and these manipulators can count on this.

Badies not only lie, but they are good rationalizers. and can invent or find reasons why they are not guilty and should not be picked on.  It is important to recognise that if a Badie asks noisy questions and is not being polite that a Goody does not have to be polite either!

We all have boundaries and Badies especially like to cross them.  For example, within the nuclear family, certain issues are usually kept quiet and not shared with others especially when the Badies are just being noisy and want to lay these problems out in public so they can often give you bad advice and perhaps cause a spectacle.  People are not entitled to know your secrets.  These people can be very noisy.  I had one who looked up our friend’s phone number and called them inquiring about us.  Our friends had never met and were shocked and surprised when she called them up out of the blue.

The only boundaries Badies respect are their own and they are inclined to keep secrets.  They can be very outgoing and social when things are going good and disappear when things are going badly for them.  They can be very secretive that way and you can never get to know the whole person even when you find something that tells on them.  It may be a good idea at the time to use a Goodies address, but then something like information about bad checks pops up in the mail or on the phone.

Badies make a bushel barrow of mistakes themselves and they can go far in and  trying to cover up past mistakes which are often not found out about until that person leaves the scene.  They make up their own rules to benefit themselves like when a person (friend, neighbour, relative) dies that they will naturally inherit from him or her and even ask for that inheritance early.  See the story of the Prodigal Son” in the Bible.  They can walk all over a Goody when they are alive and when they are in the grave, they don’t stop.  An inheritance can be a windfall for someone but the will usually makes sure that all the bills are paid if there is money there to do it.  Doesn’t it make sense that the person, often a Goody, who helps the most, inherits the most, even if he or she doesn’t think he or she deserves it.

Guilt is the primary tool of the Badies and they often think to themselves that if I get people to look at another person who is doing “wrong” they won’t see what I am doing wrong.  Don’t look at me; look at him.  If these defensive maneuvers work, then they can get off Scott free.  When they judge others, they are usually revealing what others could condemn them for.  “Judge not that ye may not be judged; condemn not that ye not be condemned.”  It is written in the Bible.  For example, it is likely that the marital partner that desires to commit adultery condemns his or her partner for adultery either while desiring to do it himself or herself or while secretly actually indulging in adultery himself or herself.

 

Things That Children Absolutely Need (Which Usually Cost Nothing)

Children are like African violets.  (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.)  They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted.  Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of.  Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.

As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support.  When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant.  The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.

Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child.  Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.

Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction?  Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.

Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another,  This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling.  This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.

The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling.  Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive

Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases).  Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.

Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right.  The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought.  They often cost more time than money.  First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.

Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support.  A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian.  The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!

Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored.  “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed.  Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.

Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children.  Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost.  Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well.  The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.

 

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The Little PEOPLE

happyoldercoupleEvery time I think that the Little PEOPLE are getting ahead, I realise they aren’t.  I was very happy with the recent election because I felt that the new administration was supporting the middle class that was no longer the middle class under the current, soon past administration.

grandparent-and-grandchildWhat I have recently realised is that I have joined the lower class (once working class or even middle class in many situations).  We are squeaking by on social security and disability payments (which have been borrowed from to pay other government expenses)  and have to seek help like free food from The Master’s Hand locally.  Also in this area, if you have farm income (that counts against you as it is considered income before farming expenses are taken out) in terms of getting any extra government help.farmgrandchild

Most of us would contribute something to the economy if there was a way we could.  Most of us would like to have a voice in the new administration.  For example, most of Illinois voted for the new administration except for the heavily populated urban areas.  But where is our voice?  No one campaigned in our areas and we feel that no one has listened to our concerns.  What do you think?  Are there other areas of our country in the same shape?

Expert-Full-NYC-3Also who is the voice of the forgotten little people?  On the network that supported the election of the new administration, we are not represented.  They are again relying on experts who have no real life experience or it is so far in the remote past that they don’t remember it or so far removed from it, it doesn’t matter anymore.

rp_362536218_150_150.jpgAlso, there is pressure on these experts, especially women, to conform to certain standards not representative of the men and/or do not reflect what ordinary people look like.  It is nice for some of us to remain “young” and look youthful but is not the way most people look and it is easier to see the standards for men are less stringent than for women.rp_376403644_150_150.jpg

For example, most woman experts on this network look like they are ready to go to a cocktail party instead of a business occasion.  Yes, the men are nicely and appropriately dressed but they don’t have to struggle as much as women do to appear appropriately presentable, youthful and beautiful.rp_374315433_150_150.jpg

When are the Little PEOPLE going to be represented?  The overall wearing, wearing second-hand clothing, or in “high style” Wal-Mart,  but often foreign made, clothing?  We have a lot to say and we don’t have a lot we can do about our situations but suffer.  Welfare often misses us and as our social security or retirement checks do not raise, but inflation and the cost of living does and as things cost more and more, we have to get by on less and less with little or no representation in or help from society or the government!empty pockets

The Little PEOPLE do have something to say!  We have learned something through experience.  We do have “philosophical” discussions.  We can see things others more fortunate and potentially more powerful don’t.rp_228552603_150_150.jpg

Certainly how Little PEOPLE experience life has something to say about the type of life we are promoting for all!  Often as people do better and better economically, they tend to put people down who haven’t and consider their opinions useless and their motivations feckless!  Also other people who have done well often think the same way and might make fun of those who don’t.  How many Little People do you see in certain churches or certain social groups like the Elks?  Nuff said.rp_AVaP8ps9-q4L3Kdb3ETm_150_150.jpg

Sometimes You Have To Let Something Go To Make Room For Something New To Come In

rp_300px-Sabbatical_titlescreen.jpgAs you can see I am taking a sabatical this fall.  I have no classes to teach this fall which means it will be a squeeze financially but I will have more time to devote to writing for this website, more time to babysit grandchildren (which is a mixed blessing), more time to meditate in several different ways, and more time to pursue my own personal growth.

While I was teaching this summer (and taking an art class myself), I was feeling stressed out and at times it made me physically ill.  Do you think that as a psychologist I should have known better than that?  Maybe.  But I just know from past experiences that it is a sign that I should take heed of and do something about.

It took time and money out of my pocket in order to teach even though I have been enjoying it and growing a lot doing it.  Yes, I was paid but as a part-time instructor and only for what classes I taught each semester.  This summer I made an hour round trip trip to town four days a week for two months spending the whole day there two days a week.rp_300px-New_Life_Ranch_Sign.jpg

I will take two road trips this fall to see the evangelist Joyce Meyer and attend the homecoming celebration of my undergraduate college in honor of my class’s 50th anniversary.  I will be doing this on a shoestring; but I am not going to miss these chances to do something I want to do which only comes along once in a blue moon.

I have already gotten one surprise phone call offering me some financial help for one of my upcoming seminars after it was decided that I was not going to teach this fall. I also have recently found some books that answer questions I have been asking, but did not get the answers for that I have been gobbling up.

Yesterday, I caught up on some of my sleep and decided to do nothing that I didn’t have to do.  I missed one of my regular salesmen while I slept in the afternoon and I did not check on most of the things that I am checking on today and I did not turn my computer on.

I am growing.  I intend to explore new and old things that I have not gotten around to doing recently.

Spread A Little Joy

Customer Service center at 23d Street downtown...

Customer Service center at 23d Street downtown terminal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Customer Service can make or break a business as it can make or break a customer’s day.  I’ve recently made the point that I can be a grump.  One of my frequently used sayings is, “Sometimes, my patience, is tried.”

Sometimes I do not realize until too late that this is happening and I sometimes erupt embrassng myself.  Like the time I shook my fist in the third trip through the drive through getting a prescription filled after surgery (which I mentioned in my blog last week) or when I said, s–t! in front of the grandchildren.  It is hard to control yourself sometimes when you have reached your limit.

Today , I assigned myself the job of contacting the customer service departments of three businesses and like the rural salesman seeking a tire jack from a “grouchy” farmer in my favorite joke who says, “You can keep your God Damn jack!” when the farmer opens his door., I was ready to explode and had even had several conversations with the various businesses in my head before calling them.

After a couple of frustrating attempts to reach the various customer service departments, I made my connections and had a pleasant conversation with all three and resolved my issues satisfactorily.  I felt so good that I sat down to write this post afterwards.  Even though my first assumptions were that the conversations would turn out badly, I didn’t let that color my initial  conversations with them.  The more cheerful I was the more cheerful they were.  So spread a little joy this season or anytime.  “Please” and “Thank you don’t hurt” and don’t be rude if you can help it.spreadthejoyimages

A week ago at the phramacy drive though, I was in a nasty mood; but when I tried to resolve the issue over the phone talking to different pharamacies, I changed my tone of voice and let my mad fit go.  Sometimes things are not fair; but you don’t have to let them get to you and ruin your day as well as someone else’s day (whose fault, it might not have been initially).  Some businesses’s customer service departments are so nice that I think I could call them up to help myself feel better when I am down.

This leads to the final thing I want to say and that is the list of businesses, local, online, or national, that I recommend usually depends on how they treat me when I contact them.  I hope these businesses would also recommend me as a customer because of how I treat them.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

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Chained Emotions

Do you have chained emotions?  Yes, you do.  chained-emotionsEvery time you get to feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless when you look at something or think of something.  These are learned reactions and while they might have been appropriate when they first occurred, they are not helping you now.  I can leave the moment and ruin the day I am having when I do this.  I also can just let my imagination run away with me and after living in the past and reliving past disappointments, I can envision myself in the future having the same unfortunate things happening to me again.  No wonder I just can’t see any hope for me in my situation.  I can easily list the things that I can think of or see in my ordinary life or on TV or the internet that do this to me.  I have frustrating appliances that are on their last legs and feel extremely deprived because I don’t have new ones and anticipate the problems I will have when they “conk” out.

You have heard of self-fulfilling prophescies well I am creating them when I think this way.  I may feel bad when some “bad” thing happens but why does just the thought of something like that happen to elicit such a strong emotional response.  In psychology, it is called conditioning and it’s a learned response associated with a certain stimulus.  When this happens then whenever that stimulus appears again real or imagined, we automatically have that response.  What we focus on we get.  That is a self fulfilling prophesy.

Stop feeling what you don’t want to feel, stop being dragged down by past emotional reactions.  For example with a failing appliance, be thankful that it still works and lasted so long.  Be grateful for every extra load of dishes that get washed or cup of coffee that gets made.  Pretend this is not really your house so it doesn’t matter what the appliances are like.  Think of how much nicer the new appliances will be when you get them.  They will be spanking new, work perfectly, and save you lots of time.  You can get just what you want.  Go shopping but only with a positive attitude.  You know it pays to shop around.  Who knows you might find a bargain!  Remember that new car smell, the pristine appearance of a newly painted wall, how much fun you will have trying out a new appliance.  Focus on this not on that.

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The Cost of Living Affects People Unfairly

Money cash

Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

empty pockets

The percentage of their income that many people are paying for the cost of living in this economy is unbelievable.  Have you ever considered the gap between the cost of things in our economy and the ability of many people to pay for them?  The gap is getting bigger and bigger between what one group of people consider a reasonable amount of money for something and what another group of people can hardly imagine paying for something.

Because of how the cost of living effects them, more and more people are cinching their belts, doing without, and buying things on the cheap, or recycling somebody else’s trash.  This is the new group of poor which is being  being created by the number of qualified people who can’t get a job and the retires who find that their social security check, pension fund, and/or savings have shrunk in terms of what costs they can expect them to cover.  For example, paying $600 a month for house and car insurance may not seem like a lot when you are making $50,000 to $75,000 a year; but it seems impossible when you are on a fixed income of $10,000, $15,000, or even $20,000 a year.  Yes, there are people on social security who are getting less than $900 a month.

Many costs of living keep going up and up and we expect people to be able to pay them.  Costs to farm and raise a crop or a herd of beef, dairy cows, etc. are jaw dropping.  The profit margin keeps getting smaller and smaller.  Big business handles this by raising their prices and expecting somebody to pay them.  How have we come to accept this as normal?  I can tell you why people are buying imports from China, they can’t afford anything else.  Quality goods that have a longer useful life and home repair, maintenance, and appliance upkeep are unaffordable.  We have learned to skimp on things where we can (like using the dollar menu at the drive-through) and to do without things (that many people now consider a necessity) like a cell phone or inter-net access.

How did we get into this mess?  How did we come to accept the increasing inequality of the ability to pay the cost of living in our society?  We expect the little people of this country to pay the same big prices for some things that in reality only the disappearing middle (or upper class) can afford.  As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”  Where has the American Dream gone?  We thought this was ancient history, a time when royalty expected non royalty to pay starvation tax rates so royalty could live a gracious life style while wearing a blindfold when it came to seeing how this was achieved.  Power versus love.  Materialism.  People whom we have given authority to make decisions that are in our best interest are not doing it.  I would rather have a stove that works than pay for some government agency‘s meeting at a resort, wouldn’t you?  The Little Red Hen story also applies here too.

How have we come to accept this, this inequality of the ability of the citizens to pay the costs of living in our country?  Do you think that most of us should pay exorbitant prices for gasoline, medical insurance, and prescriptions and get by on little or nothing in the rest of our lives?  What is scary is that this may have been planned and controlled by the powerful and the wealthy in this country to be this way and we (like they thought we would) have come to accept this without protesting.  I know I have.

Once I made enough money to cover the cost of living and have a little left over; but now I don’t When it comes to eating out, I usually don’t.  For example, spending around ten dollars, tip and all for lunch is the max and is reserved for special occasions.  It is something that I do very infrequently.   When I am in town, I usually just get a drink and I am very selective about where I buy that.  I spend very very little money on clothes and as far as updating any rooms in my home like I see on HGTV, it ain’t gonna happen.  Lots of things don’t match, show a lot of wear, and are an eye sore.  I think my car would almost qualify as an antique.

For other things which are part of the cost of living, I pay what the economy demands.  This includes insurance premiums, utilities, gas, household supplies, but not food.  We have what we can afford that will stretch, not what we want.  When it comes to meat, we are very frugal; and we still cringe at the going rate for things like chicken wings and hamburger (but pay it anyway).  For a lot of things, we don’t have much choice, either pay what they ask or do without.  What happened to competition?

 

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How You Give Things Away

homemade-bread-800x800Do you know when you give things away?  Do you give things away without knowing that you do.  Maybe you don’t just give things away for free but maybe you don’t sell them for what they are worth.  Are you aware of what you are worth?  Do you have something of value to sell?  Can you actually afford to give this stuff away?

If you are aware of how you give things away, then you can get in control of what and how you give things away and you can do so when you can actually afford to do so.  Have you heard the story of the little red hen who grew the wheat, made the bread, and then gave it away, but did not keep any for herself  so died of starvation and could no longer provide the bread for others.   Of course, the little red hen even liked to grow the wheat and make the bread; but she could not keep doing this when she did not get anything in return and ran out of resources to do it.

One way that you give things away is by offering free samples; but you need to leave your audience wanting more.  This is when you offer to sell them more by getting something from them.  You have to sell it for more than the cost of the ingredients because your training and experience, your knowledge, your time and energy are worth more.  In order to develop new products, to offer quality services, to make improvements in your existing product, and thrive, you must price your product appropriately.

Everybody does not know everything and there is a good chance that you know something about something that is not common knowledge and could be worth an appropriate amount of money to other people who need this knowledge.

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Leading People On By Those Who Should Know Better

Academic

Academic (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Leading people on is a scam.  Here’s one you didn’t think about awhile back.  How many worthless college degrees are there out there?  How much in student loans is owed and can’t be paid off in this economy.  I bet you know at least one person like that.  I know several.

Colleges and their financial aid offices are leading people on.  These days a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a good job anymore, perhaps not even a job.  Accurate numbers are not being kept of people with college degrees who have given up looking for a job.  Also how many people are working only part-time or even at minimum wage service jobs?  Add to this the number of people who are working at jobs where a college degree is not needed and also in an area that they did not complete their studies in.  Last but not least how many people are stay-at-home moms or dads because even with their college degrees they can’t find a job that pays enough so they can afford a babysitter?

Leading people on is a scam in which promises are not kept.  College students are encouraged to acquire more debt than they can  pay.   Is this a problem with truth in advertising?  We have had that problem in the housing industry with people buying more house than they can afford.  It is not bad enough that these college graduates can often only get a job paying a subsistence wage with which they have trouble making ends meet.  Then they have to pay off  an exorbitant amount of college debt as well.  Is there such a thing as ethics to consider in loaning money to someone who will not be able to pay it back and in offering educations that won’t pay any return on the investment?

 

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