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Health
05/13/2010
IconMy birthday was a little over a week ago, and my husband actually got away with setting up a surprise party for me.' I went to the party location under the guise that we were going to use a 'Happy Birthday' coupon for a free dinner.' It was wonderful to see the many people who have meant, do mean, and always will mean something important to me (and the cake and dancing were great too)!I want to mention one particular gift:' a bocce ball set.' I sent out all my gift 'thank yous,' and when it came to the bocce ball set, I said something like ''Thank you so much for the bocce ball set.' I don't know how to play it, but, heck, learning yet another sport is a great idea!' Ha ha ha!'I added the 'ha ha ha' because I hike, I play tennis and badminton, I shoot pool, do yoga, race a sailboat and work out...and do at least one of these daily .' But then I thought about my 'joke' and realized it IS a very good idea to learn yet another 'whatever' all the time.' Part of the joy of being alive (and a large part of what keeps your brain and body healthy and your mood positive) is having purpose in your life and learning something new all the time.People who don't continue to grow, be challenged, learn and be involved in activities tend to 'contract,' have depression problems, and compromise the quality of their aging and actual life span.So, while this blog is not an ad for bocce ball, it is a suggestion (and don't forget who's making it!) for you to constantly challenge yourself with everything from crossword puzzles to chasing butterflies.' The more you are invested in the opportunities of living, the more you will enjoy it and be alert and happy. More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEat Less-Move MoreEducationExercisegrandchildrenHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThere's a new study out from San Diego State University saying that children and young adults today are the most anxious and depressed of the last seventy years.I'm not surprised at all.' Having too many choices is chaos.' Morals and values have been sacrificed in favor of infamy and fortune.' When sports heroes are infamous and rich'because they took drugs to increase their performance, that is demoralizing to kids who work hard to aspire to athletic greatness simply by practicing a lot.' When other young people get famous for flaunting drugs and anti-social behavior, it makes it difficult for the kids who simply work hard.When you have a major Hollywood producer/director putting together a movie to excuse and explain Hitler (in context, he says), you have a generation that has no clear understanding of evil.When you have military dying in the fields of foreign countries because we are at war with a religious ideology that wants to terminate western civilization, and one of their combatants is caught and tried only as a common criminal, you have a generation that is confused.When you have a culture that does not support the basic building block of education - the family - we have children turning to equally confused peers and pop culture.When the people in positions of power, authority and fame turn out to be of little character, you have a generation that doesn't know what to respect or whom to emulate.It all matters.Our kids pay the price. More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFearHealthMental HealthMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityStress
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05/13/2010
IconA number of people have expressed to me that they feel somewhat guilty that their lives are so blessed and/or peaceful right now while people are being blown up in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places - and by their own countrymen!' Or that people are suffering and dying by the tens of thousands in Haiti in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake."How [they ask] can I dare to have a good day when all of this is happening?"I think that's a good question asked by decent people.'The answer is simple:' what choice do you have?Shall you undermine yourself and those who count on you by crumbling under the awareness of this cruelty of people and nature?' Does that add to the miserly of the world?' YES.' Does that minimize the misery of the world?' NO.Your job is to do and be your best and to bring light into darkness in your own mind and home, and among family, friends, and community.' Where you have the wherewithal and the expertise to extend that to deserving people and places, do so because all humanity benefits by your action of caring - if not aided directly , then at the very least inspired by your example.Where you can't extend yourself to some place around the world, be cognizant that compassion and love in a circle around you has a ripple effect to help perfect the world for whatever moments of bliss might exist.' They add up.'Whether close at hand or off to a distant land, when you extend mercy, you do an act which magnificently defines humanity. More >>

Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityCivilityHealthHopePersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconI notice that there are way too many people who want to believe that "not wanting to know something is true" will magically make it " not true."' If it worked, I'd bottle and sell it.I'd like a dollar for each caller to my radio program who complains about some extraordinary behavior or circumstance that is making them miserable in their relationship, whether they're dating, already married, or married and three kids later!' I ask the dreaded question: "Did you see/know about this before you...?" At first, frankly, most people lie and say "No." Sensing they're being defensive, I push.' Finally, they admit it by modulating it: "Well, it wasn't that bad." Meaning, of course, that they knew it and didn't want to know it.Why does this happen?1. We don't want our dreams and desires squished.2. We are so far along with our feelings and actions (sex, engagement, long dating) that we simply don't want to lose what we have, or we don't want to lose face.So, the next step is "magical thinking:" "Well, LOVE should fix this," or "It's really not that bad," or we simply just try to ignore it.' When parents or friends bring it to our attention, we find ways to extinguish reality by claiming that they are just exaggerating or wanting to hurt you or take away your happiness or are too bossy or too critical.Every now and then I get a caller, as I did recently, who was only dating a few weeks and was seeing what some would call a "red flag."' She wanted to check it with me to see if she was being unnecessarily cautious or critical.' After listening to her, I complimented her on listening to that small voice inside which was telling her "NO...not this one!" So what I wish for all of you this new year is to listen to that small voice of good sense, and put aside emotion and magical thinking.' The road to hell is not built with good sense.Keep that in mind. More >>

Tags: FearHealthMental HealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconEarlier this month, I took a call that I thought was a perfect example of how "moral nearsightedness" is overcoming American society.This twenty-something young woman was pregnant out-of-wedlock, "shacking up" with her alleged fiance (they are living with his father), and the fiance doesn't have enough income to support a wife and child.But that's not why she called!! In fact, when I pointed out the irresponsibility and immaturity of conceiving out of wedlock with a guy incapable of supporting a family, I got back: "Well, that's not my question!" (And, by the way, she didn't want to have a wedding until after the baby was born and she got her figure back in order to wear a white gown).Her question actually related to her mother.' Apparently, her mommy came to visit and "got it on" with the fiance's dad.... all night .' There were other children (of other family members) in the home when this was happening.That's as far as she got when I said: "It's genetic." She responded with: "What?" I repeated and expanded: "It's genetic...having no moral foundation for decisions.' Like mother, like daughter." Now that may sound harsh to you, but truth often is, and there was nothing I could do to change anything about this situation.' She was already "shacking up" and pregnant; her mother already had humped the maybe future father-in-law.' Her question was going to be about confronting her mom about this outrageous behavior.' I couldn't bear to hear her even go there, considering she was the pot and the kettle all by herself.It's a shame both of our eyes point only outwards.' It would be a far, far better thing if one of them turned inwards. More >>

Tags: EthicsFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismHealthMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityRelativesShacking UpShacking-UpSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt's bad enough when people drive and talk on the phone - they don't have the use of their phone hand for maneuvering the car (and in many states, talking without a hands-free headset is illegal), and they are totally absorbed in a conversation, meaning they're not looking alertly for pedestrians, bicyclists, a herd of buffalo or other cars.' What's even more egregious is the texting craze which has the driver looking down and reading or dialing or writing and not even looking ahead at the road for several seconds, which could mark the difference between life and death.For Victoria McBryde, 24, those few precious seconds meant her death.' 22 year old Phillipa Curtis has been convicted of the death of Ms McBryde - caused by texting while driving.' The victim's car had broken down and was by the side of the road with all its lights on and emergency lights blinking - a bit hard NOT to notice.' Nonetheless, she was killed instantly when her car was rear-ended by the texting Ms. Curtis, who will spend only two years in prison for this crime.This all took place in Britain, which has added jail time to a conviction for killing by texting and driving.' Ms. Curtis' phone records indicated that she had exchanged nearly two dozen messages with at least five friends, mostly concerning her encounter with a celebrity singer she had served at a restaurant where she worked. That's what was so important?' For that, someone had to die?? Death due to dangerous driving (e.g., texting) is on the level of drinking while driving, and can earn four to seven years in jail.' Apparently, the perp was a pretty, seemingly sweet young thing, and so her jail time was minimized by the judge - a sentence that was met with anger by the victim's family as well as the by the prosecutor...and by me.Ironically, it was also discovered that the victim herself had sent a text message and talked on her cell phone using the speaker function while driving before her car broke down.'Please don't think you are invincible, and the laws and recommendations about driving safely apply to everyone else, while you are "special."' The lives of these two young women are forever changed.' One life was forfeited; the other woman is jailed and living with the guilt of having killed another human being because she just had to gossip to five friends about seeing a rock star.' Sad. More >>

Tags: Common SenseHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesPoliticssexless marriageSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: AddictionChildrenEat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPoliticsSmoking
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Tags: ChildrenHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconStudents in the American Fork High School Marching Band swept the awards not long ago in a competition at Brigham Young University.' What made this story interesting and somewhat controversial is this:' on the way back from another competition held in Idaho, the driver of the bus in which the students were riding fell asleep at the wheel.' All of the students survived.' The one fatality was the 33 year old instructor who grabbed for the steering wheel when she noticed the driver was out cold.The controversial part occurred because some people believe that it is unseemly for life to go on, for joy to be in people's hearts, or for friends and relatives to be happy and involved in their lives when someone dies.' Some people believe that it is disrespectful, cavalier and insensitive for others to carry on as though a tragedy didn't happen.' Generally, this belief comes out of a confusion of pain, emotions and guilt over survival.I think it's a good thing that these students competed, and they did so in remembrance of Heather Christensen, the teacher who saved their lives.' And that's the point:' she saved their lives so they could live, love, and play music.' I believe they showed her immense respect by playing in her honor, continuing with the competition for which she coached them.'' Her immortality comes from being remembered fondly by her students who used the skills they learned from her to create the music she loved so much.When someone we love dies, we don't honor them by denying ourselves the normal pleasures of life.' I find that to be an insult.' Life is precious, and when somebody is gone from life, that which they lost should be treated with the utmost reverence by squeezing every moment of dignity, creativity, joy, adventure, work, love, compassion and fun that is possible.' This is the way you honor the deceased:' you carry on and do something of value with your life.The students received a long, standing ovation as they marched off the field and embraced in tearful hugs.' What a fitting memorial to a brave, caring teacher. More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageEducationfamilyHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelativesSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have watched film adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in all its incarnations many, many times, and I recently watched the 2005 film version again. I love the film...no matter what criticisms may be about a portrayal or a performance. I clearly have a profound attraction to this work.First and foremost, I love the utter regard the men had for women, which is evident from how they addressed them: "Miss..." (and their first names if they were single) or "Mrs...." (and their last names if they were married). Men bowed upon entering and leaving a woman's presence, and women curtsied, even under unpleasant conditions. Flirting was ever-so-subtle: a look, a light "accidental" touch of a hand. A man romantically yearned for and tried to earn the affections of a woman. The sweetness of the regard for women in this era (particularly in upper and middle classes) was something to be admired, and something we now miss. There was a clear distinction between a "good" woman and an easy, loose woman or whore.That distinction is gone today. Now, women put down good money for music that represents them as whores without pay. So many young men are casual about women and sex in general, and sex is a casual expectation almost always fulfilled.Young women scoff at dignity and modesty as just stupid, prudish, sexist notions. They "shack up" with some dude without a marital commitment, yet expect the love and respect, fidelity and loyalty to exist without the spoken vows, only to be disappointed, hurt, and generally confused.There was a recent film comedy, called "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," in which Matthew McConaughey (in a twist on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" ) got to go back into his life to see all his old girlfriends. There was one scene in the television ad for the movie which showed a seemingly endless dining table filled with hundreds of girls. Obviously, this was meant to show how shallow and manipulative he had been. To me, it just showed how many stupid girls there were (and are), "putting out" in a situation where there was clearly no respect, regard, or intent.Men used to have to ask a woman's dad for permission to "court" her, even when the woman was an adult! Now, all he has to do is show her a bedroom, back seat of a car, or a motel room, and the date is sealed. When men had to explain and express their intentions, they had to take the whole activity of dating much more seriously, as there were personal and social consequences to misleading a young lady. That reputation would annihilate any chances he might have had of marrying a good woman. He'd have to move states or provinces away. Now? That kind of rakish reputation makes girls/women want to line up to get some from an infamous entity.The women's revolution did not raise any consciousness worth elevating. It mostly diminished a woman's sense of herself as special, minimized her value in the minds of men, put sex on the level of animals, created a nanny/baby-sitter/institutionalized day care financial boom (as women gave up the blessing of nurturing their own children), increased the use of abortion as a birth-control technique when an accidental pregnancy occurred with a guy who did not want fatherhood, created perpetually unhappy, angry, nasty wives, and made it very difficult for "nice girls" to be respected and cherished.The last scene in Pride and Prejudice between the two now-married lovers has them discussing what she wants to be called by him when he is not using her given name. He suggests one name, and she rejects it sweetly, because it is what her father calls her. She then asks him what he will call her when he is angry. He, not being able to envision that situation, talks to her about always letting her know how lovingly important his happiness in wrapped up in her...forever...and he kisses her gently about her face as he says "Mrs. Darcy" over and over again. He gave her his heart, his life, his vows, and his name. And, in that era, giving a woman your name was the ultimate public and private statement of his total commitment to her, which makes that scene so moving to most of us, and infuriating to feminists who see that scene only as ripping away the woman's identity.I always cry at the end of the movie.I cry also for what women have given up in exchange for wanting to have it all and not be subordinate to a man. I don't know...I kinda think being on a pedestal is not subordinate. But what do I know? I'm only a recovered feminist. More >>

Tags: AttitudeChildrenDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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