10 things volunteering can do for others and you!


1. There’s nothing like giving to others. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
2. People do need people. Although some animals need help too.
3. Meet other people you wouldn’t ordinarily ever come in contact with.
4. Share your knowledge about something: for example, art, writing, music…
5. Helping older people is a good thing. Some of them are very isolated, and this is not a good way to live. There are many children who need someone too!
6. Put good karma in the universe. ( I’m not sure there is such a thing, but
who knows?)
7. You would be surprised how many people you help will want to pay it forward and help someone else.
8. Maybe learn a new skill while you’re volunteering.
9. Stretch yourself further than you thought was possible.
10. In the process, you will make some good friends.

What have you gotten out of volunteering? Share your experiences and thoughts.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman: How could drugs kill someone so smart?


I am a movie fan, and I really admired Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’ve watched his Capote more than once, and have enjoyed him in other movies. When I heard he died from a drug overdose I was shocked. I’d seen this man on the PBS show Charlie Rose, and he’d always impressed me as an extraordinarily thoughtful and intelligent person. He really delved into his characters. 

I really shouldn’t have been that surprised. For a brief time, I worked at a drug and alcohol facility and talked to a lot of addicts. I have to say some of them had sad stories about growing up, but some of them weren’t like that at all. Some of them were people you would never imagine would become addicted to substances.

I think being human makes us all vulnerable to wanting to feel better. 
It’s just so sad. What a waste of humanity.
Rest in peace Mr. Hoffman.

Seeing my bad behavior reflected in others : It’s never too late to change!


When I was a little kid, I used to tattle on my sisters,  even when they didn’t really do anything wrong. I’d say, “mommy she’s hitting me, or pinching me, or kicking me.” Sometimes those things would happen, but more often they didn’t. After all, siblings do regularly plummet each other.

One day I was playing at a neighbor’s house. I was about 7 or 8.  I distinctly remember sitting in a treehouse.  I was listening to the little sister constantly complain about her brother. I suddenly realized that was how I was acting. It didn’t make me happy to see my own annoying behavior mirrored back at me. After that day, I stopped the tattling.

Another thing I’m still not good at is accepting apologies. My husband can say, “I’m sorry” and I still go on. I think I’ve done that with other people too.

I took me until today to realize that is not good behavior. I won’t give you the details, but I apologized to someone about a minor infraction and they were still upset.

From this day on, I will be accepting people’s apologies. Really accepting them.

Who says it’s never too late to change? I’m 63 and 1/2.

Is there a behavior you display that you can change. Did you ever have one of those wake up moments.

My two older sisters and me!

My two older sisters and me!

What kind of a world are we making for our children?


Another bulletin comes on the TV about another shooting, this time in a mall in Maryland.

What bothers me most about my reaction is that I’m not shocked. Shootings around this country are becoming a commonplace thing. Do you even pay attention any more when those “special bulletins” come on TV interrupting the violent program you may be watching, (You might even not be watching TV, you might be playing those realistic killer video games. ) Could there be a connection? Duh, yes.

What worries me is my little grandson. He’s so sweet and innocent. What kind of world does he have to look forward to? Is he going to have to be locked down in his house at certain times of the day.

I remember when I went to school. It was one of the safest places in the world. The thought that somebody would come in the school and harm the children was the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. Everything was orderly, and kids didn’t have to be frightened.

I did see changes come  when I was still teaching school. We had several lock downs because of the rumor of drive-by shootings. Those guns again.

Something tells me that our gun policy is not working. It’s getting more and more like the wild west every day. I’m thinking even the wild west isn’t as wild as our society is becoming these days.

I heard some conservative woman on TV suggest that we should lock more people up in mental institutions to solve this problem. As far as she could see, the problem had absolutely nothing to do with too many guns. I won’t even dignify her by mentioning her name. (She is the one with the long blonde hair and the irritating voice. )

It looks like I’m going to do most of my shopping online. I’ll try not to worry about the future. But I really wish my grandson’s mother would start thinking about the benefits of home-schooling.

Dr. Phil’s show is sordid, but sometimes nuggets of wisdom emerge


An icon illustrating a parent and child

An icon illustrating a parent and child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hate to admit this, but I do sometimes turn on the Dr. Phil. TV show.  It’s really sordid. Sometimes,  I wonder if his guests are merely actors pretending to be real people.

I didn’t fully watch his show today, but at the end of the show, he had  a psychologist on who had some good tips for listening to your kids.

Listening to your kid’s concerns and problems is one of the most important thing a parent can do.  It’s called paying attention to them.

Remembering the chaos that surrounds children makes it sometimes difficult to give them your full attention. Fulfilling their physical needs sometimes takes precedence over their emotional ones.

Today’s parents have to be exhausted. Both parents, or only a single parent,  have to work full-time jobs to make ends meet. Some parents are working more than one job. I can’t imagine how hard it would be today. Gas prices, food prices, and all those valid problems.

I think cell phones, computers, I-pads and all that technical stuff has to make it even harder to talk to your kids.  It bothers me when I’m out somewhere, and people are paying more attention to their phones than their kids. It’s a little frightening. Some of those kids have forlorn expressions on their faces.

What really bothers me when  both parties, the child and the parent, are busy on their communication devices. Then, they don’t seem to be together at all.

Tips for listening to your kids

Put all that stuff aside when your kid is talking to you. Fully look at the child. One thing the psychologist pointed out is that children can read your body language and your facial expressions. They’re going to pick up on whether you’re really listening.

Do reflective listening. See if you can tell how the child is feeling. Reflect this back by saying, “I know you’re feeling hurt, or I think you’re feeling…… Don’t make it phony. (I had a friend who always used to say, “I hear you.” Finally I asked her if she’d gotten that expression in her graduate course.).

Be supportive. I think that’s also important. Try to see their side of things. Then discuss it with them. You may not agree, but at least know how they’re thinking

What do you think? How do you listen to your kids? Please don’t do it holding your i-phone!

Weigh in on “The Biggest Loser”: Gimmicky or Real?


I hate to admit it, but I am a regular watcher of “The Biggest Loser.” I use it to motivate myself to keep on a good eating and exercise program, but I have some problems with the show.

Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition winner

Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition winner (Photo credit: audiovisualjunkie)

Problems I have with this show

First of all, trainer Jillian is a real witch. She’s really mean to people, then she does  pop psychology on them. She seems like she has a split-personality. On one hand, she is nasty, then she puts on her happy face and sweet voice. (She calls everyone sweetie when she’s being nice.)   I really hate when she gets contestants to drag her around as a weight. Plus, her smile is crooked which gives her a devious look.

On the first episode this season she threw most of her team out the door and told them to consider leaving.  (The poor people were all throwing up because the tasks she made them start out with were too hard.) Did she have to start them out with such difficulty?   Several contestants considered their options and went home. Can you blame them?

Last week she made some poor woman go in a coffin for a few minutes. It was to help her realize that she needed a new lease on life. She was fooling around with serious stuff. It’s a good thing the woman, who is claustrophobic, didn’t end up going crazy.

The other trainers are easier to take. Why Bob has tattoos going all over his arms and everywhere is beyond me.  Why get your body in shape, than disfigure yourself.  I like Dolvett, who is the boxer. He seems to have his head on straight. He, like Bob, have a more positive approach then Jillian.

The challenges

I have to hand it to the writers for thinking up those bizarre challenges. Traveling through bubble gum, slogging through mud. throwing them off heights. Contestants on that show are either desperate for money or attention. Some of the stuff they make them do seems downright life threatening. Last week they had to hold up weight, and when they couldn’t anymore they were dumped into water.

It does manage to hold my attention, so I guess the writers know what they’re doing.

The weigh- in

What kind of person would get up with all their flab hanging out to millions of people? All the contestants on “The Biggest Loser.” The weigh-ins are really odd. Who loses 12 pounds in one week? Either they’re starving them to death or working them too hard. They make it seem that this is a healthy weight loss. If someone loses 4 or 5 pounds in one week, you’d think the world had come to an end. I think this give people the idea that losing 10 to 12 pounds a week is normal. I wonder how many of the contestants end up with eating disorders after the show is over?

You know, some of those people are going to regain most of their weight after the show is over. They never talk about that.

Although I find some real serious  problems with this show, it does manage to motivate me. I think about what I look like, my health and what I’m eating.

I do like the promotion of exercise, but at my age, I’d never attempt half the stuff they do on the show. I do a lot of water aerobics, elliptical machines, and walking. I would never be willing to leap off of high places. Not even for money.

They added kids this season

Thank goodness they’re not making the kids put on embarrassing clothes, and put them on the scale. It’s mostly a promotion of exercise and healthy eating. Naturally, some of the parents of these kids are also overweight. Last week, they showed a teenager pleading with her mother to also try to lose weight, so she won’t die. Wasn’t it real exploitation  to show this on national TV?

Do you think this show is exploitation or it’s an earnest attempt to motivate the viewers? Or just get ratings? Is it ethical to humiliate people on TV to get good ratings, and people like me watch?

 

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Why are our 21st Century Heroes so narcissistic? The Tipping Point for me: Lance Armstrong


English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the old days that I remember, our heroes were strong, humble, and caring for others.  They did not make speeches about how great they were. This might explain why so many of us admire Barack Obama. The President

Lance Armstrong getting mobbed

Lance Armstrong getting mobbed (Photo credit: ShapeThings)

English: This photo depicts Donald Trump's sta...

English: This photo depicts Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

typifies old-fashioned behavior. He isn’t big on name calling, boastfulness, and he  loves his family. He’s not afraid to tell us that either. He also manages to appeal to our human positive side too.

In contrast to him, we have a lot of boastful narcissists continually taking the spotlight. It’s good to have a good self-image, but do you have to tell everyone else about it? Can you get outside yourself for five minutes?

Then we have members of Congress, who do nothing but argue and name call, and put themselves first. No wonder we’re all so discouraged.  If you ask me, they all need a good talking to about really caring about other people. What happened to respecting the office of President of the United States? People used to do that.

Media Narcissists

The latest media boastful heroes have been Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, and now Lance Armstrong.

Donald Trump is the example of the professional “I am great person.” I think people are finally sick and tired of him. He is nothing but a bully. He does prove the maxim if you tell people how great you are, they will believe you.

I watched “The Apprentice.” At first I thought he was nicer than people thought. But, as time went on, I realized first impressions can sometimes be correct.  He operates by telling  people how great he is, makes them call him “Mr. Trump,” and basically sets himself up as a king.

He rewards the people who are the most competitive and cut throat like him. He fought with comedienne Rosie O’Donnell by calling her names.  He challenged the President of the United States  to supply him with proof of his birth. He said “if he does this, I will contribute to the charity of his choice.” Really?

Then we  have good old Arnold Schwarzenegger walking all over Maria Shriver by fooling around right under her nose. He’s another one who managed to convince us to see his movies and elect him Governor.  Why? Because he told us he’s great and people believed him. He is trying to come back. I don’t think he’s going to make it. I think he went too far.

Now, we have Lance Armstrong. A person we thought was admirable turns out to be a pathological liar and a  bully. During his Oprah interviews he proved that he has little insight on his poor behavior and how he hurt other people. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if he comes back like other people displaying poor behavior.  Personally, I’ve had enough of him.

Yes, I’m talking about Bill Clinton. A lot of people forget he was impeached for his bad behavior.   I wonder what happened to the girl he victimized. But everyone forgave him, and he’s more popular than ever.

Maybe one day, the tide will turn. Maybe one day we’ll get back to politeness, good behavior, and acting civilized.
What do you think?