Blog #581 Forgiveness

Forgiveness is Miraculous!!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/real-healing/201102/forgiveness-is-miraculous

Are you carrying that grudge?  Does it make you feel good to be mad at a person that somehow hurt you?  Is the grudge against a family member? Could it even be a father who physically abused you?  Could it be against a mother who never showed you any love, told you she hated you and wished she hadn’t given you birth?  Pretty heavy stuff!!

This article (by a M.D. with a master’s in mental health) says this (a long quote):

First – the grudge HURTS the person holding the grudge!!

“There are many consequences of unforgiveness including effects on the immune system, muscles and brain function.  As well, being unforgiving affects relationships and separates individuals and families. Psychologists feel that holding grudges restricts our own personal freedom.

Many people withhold forgiveness because they feel it allows them to get retribution – “pay back” – against someone who has hurt or betrayed them.  In fact, the reverse is true. Holding onto anger and unforgiveness only hurts the individual who is holding onto it.”

If you are holding a grudge, you are only hurting yourself.  The other person (even if they know it), has moved on.

The author also says “It’s important to recognize that forgiving is not the same as saying that what happened to you was right or good.  Forgiveness is without judgement.”

The author writes: “Not forgiving keeps you chained to the past.  “In my career working with individuals who have been traumatized, I have been amazed at the miraculous power of forgiveness.  I have seen women who were abused or neglected as children, release their trauma with forgiveness.  A male patient who suffered for decades with severe depression and chronic thoughts of suicide was able to express his anger in therapy towards the person who hurt him and whose abuse almost cost him his life and eventually come to forgive this person.  They both expressed feeling as if a weight was taken off their shoulders. They also felt more free to move forward with their lives rather than being stuck in the past.”

Self-forgiveness is hard: “Possibly one of the most powerful and miraculous forms of forgiveness is SELF-forgiveness.  Being unforgiving to yourself may seem like just a case of having “high standards.’  However, this leads to low self-esteem, self-hatred and self-defeating behaviors such as addictions, overeating, eating disorders, self-harm.”

An old proverb states:- “A person who hates (blocks love), must dig two graves”.

One grave for the person that wronged them; but the second grave is for themself.  It will hurt to say to the person “I forgive you”, but it will get the weight off your shoulders.  Move on – forgive!!!

On a related note, most religions suggest that only God can judge and condemn a person to hell (or whatever passes as hell). Don’t play God and just let God do the judging.  

What do you think?

Do you have somebody to forgive today?  DO IT!!!

Bruce

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Blog #580 HUGS!!

Hugs!!!  (Yes, Hugs!!)

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/health-benefits-hugging-ncna920751

The Health Benefits of HUGGING!!!!

Can I give you a BIG HUG?


This article says “Researchers found those who were hugged were less effected by interpersonal conflict, than those who weren’t hugged.”


Okay – I am a hugger.  Unfortunately I have learned that some people don’t want a hug.  There are times I want to give a hug – of forgiveness, of support for somebody going through trials, of showing God’s love to another person.  But, in today’s society, a man hugging a woman who is not his wife (or family) is taboo; and a man hugging another man is also off-limits.

I was recently watching a video by Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King, who talked about being on a television show with a white male Christian.  In the middle of the discussion, the man asked Dr. King if he could hug her. She said her immediate thoughts were “NO – I don’t want you as a white male to hug me”; then her second thoughts were about her mother, Coretta Scott King, who had tried to instill the concept of being gracious in her children.  In that they were recording a television show, she knew it would be gracious of her to hug the interviewer. She said that hug was a ego-breaker; it caused freedom and healing deep within her. It touched her deeply. Can a hug do that?


This NBC News article from October 25, 2018 has four great advantages of hugging.  Let’s look at them.

-1 Hugs May Temper The Stress Of Conflict — Even Before It Starts

Researchers found that “the effects of a good hug can soothe you throughout the day “

The researchers said: it’s because touch deactivates the part of the brain that responds to threats, and in turn fewer hormones are released to signal a stress response, and your cardiovascular system experiences less stress.”

Hmmm … so hugging can cut through the stress – we should be hugging more -as there is more than enough stress to go around.  [Aside, maybe Nancy Pelosi should give Donald Trump a hug!!!]

-2 Hugs May Boost Your Immune System

The researchers here wrote: ““An over-aggressive immune system can lead to damage to bodily systems, increasing our risk for a variety of illnesses. However, to the extent that hugs make us feel safer and more cared for, they can buffer against experiences that might otherwise threaten us, protecting us from mounting an over-aggressive immune response.”

They even suggest that hugs can help a person get over the common cold!!!  Human touch conveys LOVE and a lot more!!

-3 Hugs And Affection At A Young Age Can Keep Children Healthier In The Long Run

The article suggests that we need to HUG our children!!!  This research found: “She told us, in her study, individuals who reported emotional and physical abuse in childhood, and limited love and affection from a parent, were most at risk for health issues later in life.”  Do you want your children to be loved and healthy, or abused and at health risks?

-4 Hugs May Good For Your Heart In More Ways Than One

This research was on couples – a group where hugs were expected had lower blood pressure than a group where hugs were not expected.  (Hmm – maybe I need to throw away those high blood pressure pills and get and give more hugs!!!)

Yes, there might be times to refrain from hugging – but there are also times we do need to hug – to express love and forgiveness, to express acceptance, to say “you are special to me”.  So even you Kristof – consider yourself hugged this morning (as well as Beth and the other readers of this blog).

What do you think?

Have you hugged someone today?  Will you hug somebody today?

Bruce

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Blog #579 Being Accountable

Being Accountable

https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/8-habits-of-highly-accountable-people.html

“Holding one’s feet to the fire”

The link today starts with this story (is it somewhat akin to your work):

“It’s a common story. You end a strategic meeting. There are several initiatives on which everyone agrees are important to complete by the end of the quarter. Everyone at the table says they will contribute to get it all done, but when the end of the quarter arrives very little of the list actually got accomplished. It’s not that these were bad people or that they didn’t work hard. In fact they were likely all highly responsible members of the team. The problem was that no one was actually accountable for making sure the initiatives were complete.”

In business circles, there generally is a ‘boss’ and almost always some kind of annual review.  In that case, accountability happens. It might be like this: “Hey White, you were to accomplish XYZ this quarter and you got none that done.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

I stammer out “I just didn’t get to it Ms. Boss”!!

The boss asks back “And why not?  What came in the way of getting XYZ done?”

In looser organized companies, there might not be a person to check on how things are going – and the people are not being held accountable.  That might be like this: “Hey White, you were to accomplish XYZ this quarter and you didn’t get that done.”

I answer: “That’s right, I was working on other projects and those projects, although nice, were not of a high enough priority to jump into my work schedule”.

Boss replies “I understand” and walks away.  

In my annual reviews in the past, there were three parts:  

-1 What did you get done this year?  (from last year’s plan)

-2  What is your plan for next year?

-3  What resources are you going to need to get your new plan done.

Depending on the circumstances, it might be that  the priorities changed, that a new assignment superseded the old assignment.  (I can see that in the military – a conflict broke out in southeast Asia that caused a major shift in our plans and resources).  In technology that can happen as well – upper management opted for a brand new CRM system and that changed the direction. BUT … in those cases, a person should still be accountable for the assigned duties.  

Accountability can occur in other situations.  When raising children to be responsible people, parents assign them duties – like take out the trash, sweep the floors, run the vacuum, take your younger brother to his Cub Scout meeting, etc.  

If a parent was to just say “That is okay”, the child would probably take advantage of the situation and just let duties and responsibilities drop away.  

Are you accountable to somebody?  Are you responsible to yourself? What if you don’t get done what you have assigned to yourself (such as losing weight, stopping smoking)?  Do you just pass it off? In such cases, maybe you need a ‘nag’ to be accountable to. It might be better NOT to be a spouse – maybe a close friend.  “Hey White, you said you were going to lose weight this month and you gained three pounds. What are you going to do about that?” If you are really serious about this you need to be accountable to somebody!!  The statement at the top “Holding one’s feet to the fire” means somebody is keeping you on track.

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog #578 My Two “Best” traits

My Two “Best” Traits!!!

https://www.today.com/news/why-you-procrastinate-how-stop-wbna42578065

I want you to know about my two BEST traits.  I am so glad I have these traits – and you don’t!!  (So, ha ha on you!!!)

These traits are:

-1 Procrastination

-2 Rationalization

I am very practiced in these traits – and wanted to share them!!

Okay, yes, I am very practiced in these traits – and I don’t want to be so good at them!!!!

The attached article (from April 15, 2011) relate mostly to people who wait until the last minute to submit their tax returns – but the thoughts are good.

The article states:  “One study found procrastination makes us poorer, fatter and unhealthier.”

Yes – I am going to start that diet “tomorrow”!!!

Yes – I am going to open that savings account “tomorrow”!!!

Yes – I am going to eat more salads, vegetables and fruits and cut out the sugary drinks and sweets – starting “tomorrow”!!

Guess what, “Tomorrow” never comes.  When the clock hits midnight, “tomorrow” becomes today – and I wasn’t going to do those good actions until “tomorrow”!!!

As the article says “It’s not a time-management issue. For the vast majority of us, it’s usually about doing a task we’d rather put off, like taxes or scheduling a colonoscopy.”  (Or, going to the dentist – or fixing that hole in the roof)

The suggestions in this article suggest:

-1 Chip away at the situation in “bite-sized chunks”.  The “I have to do it all today” mentality defeats us before we even start. If we want to lose 20 pounds, do it a pound a week (or maybe 2 or 3 pounds a month.  If we want to do our taxes, break it into steps – getting the W2 forms organized be one day; finding all the data for deductions might be another day.

-2 Some people worry about about being perfect.  The article suggests “Get over it”. You can work on improving quality and speed – and work towards being very good.  And, even though some gymnasts get perfect 10 scores – they don’t get them every time.

A perfectionist was so disappointed so years ago and went to his rabbi to talk about it.  The rabbi went to his shelf and brought down a book about baseball records. The very best batters get hits about ⅓ of the time.  Even the best pitchers lose a game occasionally. Nobody gets a hit 100% of the time, nobody wins every game!!

How about you?  Do you procrastinate?  Do you rationalize your thoughts?  Do you put things off until tomorrow?  (Don’t look at me, I’m guilty as charged!!!)

Bruce

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Blog #577 MLK and Non-violence

I have a dream (do you?)

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/i-have-a-dream-speech-text_n_809993.html

This past week,we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King day.   I want to reflect on a couple of things from his legacy.

From Matthew 5:38-40 we have:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.’”

So, according to Jesus, it isn’t to be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  The concept of ‘You hurt me, I’m going to hurt you’ isn’t going to be valid. Over many years, the Hayfields and McCoys kept the violence going – going higher and higher.

But, the new way is to not resist an evil person!!  If that evil person hurts you, stand up and let them do it again.  (Hey – that doesn’t make sense!!!). Maybe I’m at the latter stages of my life (age 71).  Maybe I know what is ahead of me (death). So what if somebody slaps me on the right cheek, should I really turn my head so that person can slap me again on the left cheek?  

When do I stand up for myself?  When do I draw the line and fight back?  Dr. King (and Gandhi from India) stressed NON-VIOLENCE resistance.  Turn the other cheek, don’t fight back, be passive.

Wikipedia describes this as: “Nonviolent resistance (NVR or nonviolent action) is the practice of achieving goals such as social change through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, satyagraha, or other methods, while being nonviolent.”  (I had to look up satyagraha – as the Indian form of nonviolent resistance. )

The Washington Post (from January 15, 2018) has this: “In the autobiographical chapter of his first book, King wrote that he had ended his formal education in 1955 with all his influences converging into a “positive social philosophy,” which emphasized “the conviction that nonviolent resistance was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their quest for social justice.”

If a person or group fights back, the violence escalates.  An eye-for-an-eye easily becomes ‘one-upmanship’. Your group hurt one of our members, so we are going to hurt TWO of your members – and the hatred and bloodshed grows.

Can non-violent resistance work?  I’m not a real analyst, but in India, the British gave in and left; in Alabama, the various marches and economic sanctions won.  (The Birmingham bus company lost revenue with Blacks not riding the bus). There is the expression that the pen is mightier than the sword; and it might be that lost dollars/lost revenue might be mightier than the pen!!

I’m not sure how this might apply to me – or to you.  I hope it means that hatred can stop. That we can talk, that we can reason together.  Yes, at times (most times?), I’m a Pollyanna – that everything will work out alright. But, it might mean counting to ten (then one-hundred); turning the other cheek; or walking away from a fight.  In the Back to the Future movies, Marty McFly bristles as being called “Chicken” – but ultimately wins out.

What do you think?  Can we change our world by marches, signs and non-violent means?

I don’t know!!

Bruce

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

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Blog #576 Charity Support

Charities – how to evaluate

https://www.charitynavigator.org/

There are so many great charities out there.  There are organizations where almost 100% of the contributions go to the charity and others where the organizations pay professional fundraisers up to 88% of the contributions.  

At my church yesterday there was a missionary organization promoting his organization.  It did sound real good. They also indicated that about 96% of the money given goes directly to those in need.

But,the organization was new to me.  Yes, their work was good; yes, they were improving the lives of poor people around the world.  But, I hadn’t thought of them before. There are great charities in my area – food banks, groups that can help those ‘down on their luck’ with help on utilities and other needs. I needed to reflect on whether it would a better use of our funds to support a very good international ministry organization with local organization.

Using the data from Charity Navigator, the Cancer Survivors’ Fund spends about 89% that goes to fundraising.  So, out of $100 you give to Cancer Survivors’ Fund, the organization puts about $8 dollars going to the receivers.

Now, with so many charities, how do you know which ones are good and which ones are maybe using “too much” of the contributions for overhead (such as fundraising expenses, officials salaries).  Now, let’s be honest – organizations do have overhead – offices, salaries, accounting expenses, mailing, and other. What is ‘reasonable’ in a salary?

There are other issues that can be tracks with Charity Navigator – like CEO and compensation.

This website also gives some tips for contributors:

-1 Be proactive in your giving.  Do you have special interest in particular areas?  Did one of your parents or close relatives die of cancer?  Do you want to want to support cancer research? My father had Alzheimer’s as did my mother-in-law.  

-2 Research organizations before giving.   I have checked out the various organizations that support Alzheimer’s research – and two are top rated.  There are scams that spell or change valid organizations names slightly different and piggy back on the real organization.  

The Federal Trade Commission (ftc) has this suggestion

“Here’s the rundown. After a hurricane hits, people rush to help those in need. If you are making a donation for hurricane relief, remember to give enough thought to where exactly you are sending your money. Because scammers are hoping that generous people like you, in your eagerness to help, won’t do your homework so they can steal that money.” (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/08/avoid-hurricane-relief-charity-fraud-0)

-3 Long-lasting and real change.  Depending on the charity and the nature of the gift, some organizations (like Cancer Research and/or Alzheimer’s Research) are working towards finding solutions to those diseases.  For hurricane relief, it may go to governments helping rebuilt infrastructure (roads, telephone and communications, water and more). You can also look at specific hurricane relief, such as rebuilding schools or churches.

-4 Determine how to give – one-time gift, monthly gifts, check or credit card.  Maybe you can’t afford $1200 now, but you can afford $100 a month for a year.

-5 Follow your investment – your giving for at least six months.  Did the money go to those that needed the support? Was it a good investment in helping others and a good investment in your specific area of giving.  Was the organization diligent in keeping you informed (most will have newsletters and webpages)?

To finish, I would like to recommend one particular charity where 100% of the funds go directly to the recipient:  “The Bruce White Retirement Fund”. Yes, 100% of your gifts will go to me – to keep me solvent and flourishing in my senior years!!!  (Just kidding of course!!!)

Was this helpful?

Bruce

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Blog #575 Autonomous Ships?

Unmanned ships?  Really?

https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/the-future-of-maritime-trade-unmanned-ships/91999?utm_source=dd&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=01202019&variable=8e233d577055ce202c56c4a28f1e4dc7

The future is autonomous – for cars, for trucks and for ships!!

This article says:  “These plans are altering the face of shipping, shaped for centuries by sailors and explorers whose actions formed the bedrock of trade and transport. But increasingly, say observers and industry insiders, autonomous, unmanned commercial ships represent an unavoidable future — one where human errors can be avoided, financial margins improved because of fewer wages and lower fuel costs for lighter vessels, and the impact on the environment reduced.”

““The magnitude of cost-saving potential [when it comes to autonomous and unmanned vessels] is huge,” says Oskar Levander, senior vice president of concepts and innovation at Rolls-Royce Marine.

“Lives can also be saved with unmanned ships. According to insurance company Allianz, 2,712 people died because of maritime accidents in 2017. In all, 94 ships were lost that year to accidents; 1,129 have been lost over the past decade. “One of the main advantages of unmanned vehicles is that it allows for operations that do not put human lives at risk,” says Richard V. Lawson, CEO of the Washington-based International Ocean Science and Technology Industry Association.”

————————————————————————————

So, ships carrying thousands of new Honda vehicles from Japan to the US might be in autonomous ships.  Ships carrying soybeans from the United States to China might be autonomous.

The article suggests that the majority of shipping/maritime accidents are caused by human error or fatigue.  With sufficient sensors, unmanned vehicles can handle rough seas, not get tired, override human errors.

It takes about two weeks for a ship to travel from Japan to the United States.  This link suggests crews of 20 to 30 (https://www.universalcargo.com/how-much-cargo-can-the-largest-shipping-container-ship-really-hold/)

https://work.chron.com/average-salary-workers-deep-draft-vessels-7101.html

This link suggests a salary of $73,000 in 2011 – let’s use $75,000 for 2019,  That is about $6,250 per month – or about $3,000 for two weeks. So, a crew of 25 crew members making $3,000 for two weeks would be about $75,000 for those two weeks.  An autonomous ships would have crew costs (in theory) of $0. For a year that is about $1,800,000 in crew savings. Throw in the concept that human errors and fatigue will be cut to zero, and autonomous ships make financial sense.

If we consider that the delivery of cars from Japan will be to west coast ports.  Then the cars can be loaded on autonomous trucks for delivery to your car dealership – and when you buy the car, they too will be autonomous – and car insurance and other expenses will be lower (or non-existent).

So, the world’s transportation is changing.  Unmanned/autonomous vehicles, and drones promise to affect everything that is shipped from around the world.  

For my friend Kristof – will we have autonomous airplanes for packages?  Can UPS or FedEx (or Amazon) have a whole fleet of autonomous planes?

What jobs will people have in twenty years?  No ship crews, no truck drivers, cars without ‘drivers’ – hmmm. (I’m retired!!!)

At age 71, I may or may not see this – but this could be a real ‘game changer’!!

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog #574 The 4:8 Principle

What are YOU thinking about?

Okay, this might be a little preachy today – but let’s take a look at The 4:8 Principle – both Biblically and from Tommy Newberry

This is Philippians 4:8 (Bible)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Hmmm … what goes into your brain?  Are you angry? Are you upset? Are you anxious?  Are you not sure about life? Do you hate people? Are you thinking about suicide?  Do you look in the mirror and see beauty – or ugly?

Or from Zig Ziglar:

“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

Or from Change your Mind, change your life by Gerald G. Jampolsky

“Most of us want to change the world, but  only a few of us are willing to change our own  minds!” Yet there is a shift taking place in the  world, where more and more people are recognizing that it is our own thoughts and attitudes that  determine how we look at the world”

The 4:8 Principle says to put GOOD things into your brain – whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right.  

I’m rereading The 4:8 Principle this week.  I know I need to refocus my brain.

Some people / philosophies talk about meditation – this is meditation.  What is going into your brain. I am going to be getting up earlier and instead of getting the first cup of coffee (or … maybe I will have that first cup of coffee to really be awake), I’m going to spend 15 to 30 minutes meditating on whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely (like my wife), admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.  I have the time to do this (as a retired person), but you can make time for this. Cut out on 15 to 30 minutes of television (once I know the weather forecast, I can turn off TV!!). Cut out a computer game. On the commuter bus, close your eyes and meditate. (If you are driving, you can do it, but I’m advising not to – closing your eyes and not watching traffic could be a problem!!!)

I’ll let you know in a month how it is going!!

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog #573 Volstead Act/Prohibition

Volstead Act

2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of the (maybe) Biggest National Experiment in US History.  Informally known as the Volstead Act (after Andrew Volstead, congressman from Minnesota)

During World War I, there was a wartime prohibition.  The slogan “Bread Not Beer” was used to suggest that the grains that could be made into beer, would be better served by using them to make bread.  

In today’s blog, I am not looking at the value of lack of value of alcohol (although arguments have been made on both sides for a long time), but the action of the congress, representatives and the people relating to the prohibition of alcohol. (Aside, it would have been great to interview my grandmother on this topic.  She was a strong member of the WCTU – Women’s Christian Temperance Union.)

It made a difference between the ‘wet’ and the ‘dry” side of alcohol – maybe not unlike the differences we are finding between liberals and conservatives today.  It is noted that alcohol has ruined many families and other organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous has a strongly crafted 12-step approach for those who find themselves as unable to stop drinking.  [Kudos to my friend B.S. and others who have recognized their dependence on alcohol and have supported those who are fighting their own personal battles with alcohol.

With the impending end of World War I, the Wartime Prohibition on alcohol was ending as well.  Bread not beer could go on to mean bread AND beer. Generally those with strong Christian values opposed alcohol.  Relying on Ephesians 5:6 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” and Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”.  Generally conservative Christians supported the prohibition of alcohol to avoid “debauchery”, “drunkenness”, and “carousing”.

“The bill was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson, largely on technical grounds because it also covered wartime prohibition, but his veto was overridden by the House on the same day, October 27, 1919, and by the Senate one day later.”  It takes a 2/3rds vote of both the House and Senate to enact a Constitutional Amendment (the 18th amendment), and so Prohibition came into force at midnight on January 17, 1920.

The law had three basic provisions:

  1. to prohibit intoxicating beverages,
  2. to regulate the manufacture, sale, or transport of intoxicating liquor (but not consumption), and
  3. to ensure an ample supply of alcohol and promote its use in scientific research and in the development of fuel, dye, and other lawful industries and practices, such as religious rituals.

So, religious groups such as Lutherans and Catholics who used wine in their communion rites were allowed to have an ‘ample supply’.

While the nations desire to regulate morality was probably a good desire, the results weren’t as good.  It caused a rise in bootlegging (making of illegal liquor), rum running (boats filled with alcohol – and frequently rum from the Caribbean islands – would anchor just beyond the three mile limit and speed boats would ‘run’ around the law enforcement boats to bring the alcohol to the shore for illegal distribution.  Canada became a supplier of alcohol – and fed Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and other cities with alcohol. In the back roads of some areas (mostly Kentucky and other places in the south), some people had stills and produced ‘moonshine’ liquor. The quality (especially of moonshine) was suspect and sometimes even fatal.  

The social acceptance and outright flaunting of alcohol use grew and in 1933 the Twenty-first amendment voided the Eighteenth amendment (Volstead Act).  

It does raise the question – can government regular ‘morality’.  Is it morally wrong to have alcohol? Alcohol can be linked to many illnesses and expenses – such as loss of productivity of workers after a ‘night on the town’. Drunk driving exists with families affected by drivers under the influence of alcohol (or other intoxicating items).  How does this apply to marijuana and other drugs? Can government and should government regulate that issue?

So, nothing is really solved but the debate continues.

What do you think?

Bruce

(I have a six pack of beer in the refrigerator.  It has been there for six weeks and in that time, I have consumed two bottles.  I’m anticipating I’ll have another beer in a few weeks for the Super Bowl. But, I do know way-to-many families broken by alcohol.)

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Blog #572 Motivation I

Motivation 101

https://open.buffer.com/increase-your-motivation-tips/

The next few days, I’m going to look at motivation.  This actually may be as much for me as for my readers.  I’m up a few pounds (about 15) in the past two months – and I need to get motivated to get to the gym more – and away from the table more!!!.  (oops – I “needed” some easy motivation, so I stopped writing to have a snack – see my problem – I can ‘justify snacks with sugar and chocolate; or peanut butter with real butter.  And … ouch … when I need a minute or two to ‘clear my brain’ I’ll play a game of Firecell Solitaire – what a waste of calories and a waste of time. Maybe I need to go to the library or someplace when I’m writing my blog – so I can stay focused.)

So, looking at motivation

The article I’m looking at today has some unusual aspects of motivation – so let’s look at what Dan Wang (author of the article) has to say:

-1 Strike a high-power pose for a jolt of confidence.

There is a concept “Fake it until you make it”.  You are setting up your brain for success. Stand in front of a full-length mirror in a ‘power pose’.  You are STRONG!! You can DO it!!! Have you watched a football team coming on the field before a game?  The football team is positive, ready, and their poses are high-power. (There are also low power poses as well – check out the link).

-2 Tell yourself you are going to have a fresh start.

The author gives a sample note to yourself:

“Gosh, I complain of being busy all the time, but how much of it is spent wasted, unproductive? From now on, I’m going to make the most of the minutes every hour, and deliver my work with time to spare.”

If you have been putting something off for a while, TAKE THE FRESH START!!!  

TODAY – do it; don’t procrastinate (okay, Bruce – finish this blog and get to the gym – before you ‘have to’ have another snack – or play another game – DO IT BRUCE – Finish the blog and get out of the house!!!)

-3 Eat some chocolate (or other dopamine-releasing reward.

The author has these comments about the values of chocolate (especially dark chocolate)

“Here are some of the things that happen when you eat some:

-. It increases both serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm, and also phenylethylamine, which promotes stimulation. White chocolate does both even more intensely.  (note to Bruce – YES – I love ‘white chocolate’ Yeehaw!!!)

-. It triggers a release of dopamine, which will elevate your heart rate and significantly increase motivation.

.- It also results in a mild antidepressant effect, literally because your brain responds to the stimulants by promoting blissful emotions.

So, with some chocolate (white chocolate), striking a high power pose I can get my fresh start motivation going!!!

-4 Make a contract with yourself (and a friend)

[Check out http://stickk.com] – a website to get you

How about a donation of $500 to your favorite charity?  Wouldn’t that be nice? Well, how about you and your friend making a contract, where if you reach your goal (such as losing weight or stopping smoking) -the favorite charity gets the money; and if you DON’T reach your goals, your least favorite charity gets the money (think KKK or the ISIS fighters).  Would you want your money going to THEM? NO!!! So, you will be highly motivated to reach your goal.

-5 See Green!!!   

The author isn’t talking about money – but that researchers have shown that the color green.  The author writes:

“How can you get more green in your life? Go outside! Take a stroll in a garden, or anywhere with shrubs and greenery. Is there a local park that people around you like to have lunch at? Are there lots of trees that you can walk around? Are there at least a few patches of grass by your workplace?

Well, I was impressed with this article – the High-Power Pose, the contract with the friend and the other points.

I need to get on it!!!  How about you? What do you need to get motivated to do?  If you a like me, you’ve added a few pounds – let’s get motivated to reach our goals.

Bruce

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