Posted in Future, Parenting

What Should We be Teaching our Future Generations?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about some vital skills our future generations will need to survive on our planet.

 

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Our kids are going to inherit this messed up world we inhabit and they’ll inherit all the problems our greedy society has created in our quest for more. More money. More possessions. More power. More. More. More.

 

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The thing is we’re teaching our kids that striving for more is the only way to be. It’s not.  We need to teach our kids the concept of enough and the concept of balance.

 

Why?

 

Because being in Striver mode all the time is not good for our health.  If we continue in Striver mode and we continue to reproduce at the rate we are, we’ll soon be fighting over smaller and smaller space. We’ll be producing more trash and our landfills will overflow. This is a problem. By any chance did you see the movie “Wallie?” The Trailer is below.

 

 

In the movie, humans have to leave earth and move out into space into a floating world because earth is no longer able to sustain life. It’s covered in garbage and all the humans are too heavy to move or exercise. It’s an awesome movie and I’d recommend watching it with your kids if you get the chance.

That’s where our society is headed if we don’t start taking care of our planet and each other. Haven’t you heard? Obesity is an epidemic.

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We need to teach our kids to slow down and take care of themselves.  Because we’re in Striver mode, we eat fast food and processed food. We do this because it takes less time to prepare and gives us more time to work. What happens when we reach that pinnacle of success? We have more money than we ever dreamed of, but we can’t enjoy it because we don’t have our health.

 

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Sad.

We need to slow down and teach our children to garden and how to cook for themselves so they can control what they put in their mouths. By doing this, they control their health.

 

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  We need to teach our kids to be fair. We can do this by teaching them to empathize with their fellow man. Empathy? How do you teach that?  By encouraging a love of reading.  By reading about different characters, our kids step into their worlds and learn about them.

 

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The more knowledge and tolerance they have for others, the better they’ll be at getting along with their peers. A vital skill when space is becoming smaller and smaller, wouldn’t you agree?

Reading you say? Yes reading. It’s also an awesome coping mechanism when you’re dealing with stress. Just an FYI. 🙂 Sadly, it isn’t a cure-all. We need to teach our kids how to communicate, using I messages so they can resolve conflict without a lot of negative feelings.

These Negotiation Skills will be in high demand in the future.

How can we teach this? By having our kids interact with their peers. Don’t let them play video games all day long. Don’t let them use their phones as their only means of communication.  Arrange play dates and get them outside, playing games, and solving their own conflicts.

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Last but not least. Teach them a love and respect for nature. Walking in nature is good for you. It’s called “Forest Bathing.” This practice originated in Japan, and there’s scientific proof it’s beneficial. Something I’ve known for a long time, but didn’t know there was actual proof of it.

 

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“A 2010 research review found that forest environments promoted lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than city environments. [6]

Forest environments have been found to be advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress.[7]

Nature isn’t just good for you, we as a species need the trees and the bees in order to survive. The bees are our biggest pollinators. Thirty percent of our food crop depend on them to grow and ninety percent of our wild plants depend on them to flourish. That’s a tall order for those tiny bees wouldn’t you agree?

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And trees? They provide oxygen. It takes TWENTY-TWO trees to provide enough oxygen for one person. There are 7.442 BILLION people on earth. That’s a lot of trees. Now do you see why it’s important to have a love and respect for nature?

 

Photo via Visual Hunt

So there you have it.  My view on some of the essential skills our kids will need to survive on a shrinking planet. Are there any vital skills I’ve missed? Share your thoughts!  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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Posted in Parenting, Teen

What is the Underlying Cause of Addiction?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you and that you’re having an awesome summer. We’ve had a couple of weeks of hot, sticky weather and it’s the type of summer I used to love. However, I’m old now and the heat isn’t quite as much fun. Thank God for Air Conditioning! 🙂

It saddened me this week when I learned of Chester Bennington’s death. For any of you who haven’t heard, he was the lead singer of Linkin Park and he committed suicide this week.

 

It just breaks my heart that someone who gave so much to the world struggled with drugs and alcohol. I was further saddened when I found out that Chester was abused when he was a child by an older male.

I’ve done a little research on alcohol and drug abuse and it’s my opinion that the majority of addictions stem from abuse. Either emotional, physical, or sexual. I believe an addiction is a form of self-medication that has run amuck.

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Addiction is a symptom of a much bigger problem. So we as a society need to stop treating addiction like it’s something to be ashamed of. We need to support our addicts and help them get better. How do we do that?

 

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Good question and I’m glad you asked. 🙂

We need to treat the underlying cause of the addiction. We need to get our loved one into therapy so he can deal with the abuse he has received. Once we give him coping mechanisms for that abuse, the need to self-medicate will disappear.

I know it sounds so easy, but we all know it’s not. Dealing with the shame, fear, and anxiety this abuse causes is extremely hard. Abusers are smart. They know how to manipulate and control their victims so they can come back and abuse them over and over again.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to speak up and stop them. A fine example of this is the documentary, “The Keepers.” I know I’ve mentioned this one a number of times, but I’ve got to say I’m amazed by the outpouring of support the victims of Father Maskell have received. There are over one hundred thousand members in their Facebook group and the majority of members offer support to the victims who are willing to speak out about the abuse they’ve experienced.

Their goal is to get the Archdiocese to release their files on Father Maskell. They’ve got a petition going where they are asking the Bishop to release the files. If you’d like to sign the petition, click here:

Petition for The Archdiocese to Release Files on Father Maskell

They’ve got about forty thousand signatures and they’re hoping to reach fifty thousand.  This is a step in the right direction. The church needs to be held accountable for hiding the abuse and not turning the pedophiles into the authorities.

There are other forms of abuse that priests and other members of our society are involved in as well. I’m talking about human trafficking. Recently, I watched the documentary, “I am Jane Doe.”  Here’s the link to the trailer.

I am Jane Doe

Teens are being taken right off the streets and sold online. They are forced to have sex up to twenty times a day. It’s happening in every state in the US. It’s not just a problem overseas. How do we stop this?

By arresting the people who pay for this kind of thing. Once you eliminate the demand there’s no one to buy the product. I know easier said than done. (I think I’ll save this one for another blog post. It deserves its own.)

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This is another form of abuse that will lead to addiction if these victims don’t get help. These victims did nothing to deserve this kind of treatment, but our society engages in victim-blaming quite often. So not only are they dealing with trying to come to terms with what happened to them, they’ve got society pointing an accusing finger as well. So you see how easy it is to slip into self-medicating behavior?

Once we step forward and stop the victim-blaming, we’ll be able to provide these people with the counseling and help they need. This is a huge step, I know. There are so many abused people in the world today. I’m not sure how to do it, but I’m open to ideas.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How about you? Do you have any ideas on what more we can do to stop this horrific abuse? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Health

Is Processed Food Poisoning Us?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the food we eat. I just watched a documentary titled, “What the Health.” It was eye-opening to say the least. To check out the documentary click the link below.

What the Health 

In this show, the producers claim it is the meat we eat that’s causing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They feel the public has been misinformed by all the health organizations who encourage us to eat meat. Their spin on the whole thing is these organizations accept donations from the meat industry and therefore, act as advertisers for it.

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I watched the documentary in its entirety and it did make me question whether or not their claims could be true. There were people interviewed on the show that were taking all kinds of medications for diabetes and heart disease and after two weeks of eating a plant based diet they were either off all medications or on their way there. They interviewed doctors who all claim that meat is the cause of many of our society’s sicknesses.  The popular theory is that all the pesticides and preservatives in our meat are causing these life changing illnesses.

The way our food is processed has come under attack before. In the documentary, “Fed Up,” it illustrated how sugar is added to our processed foods, like canned tomatoes and other vegetables (See the link to the trailer below).  It’s added to our soda and cereals as well.Now sugar is just empty calories, so if we’re adding empty calories to our diet, what happens? We store those calories as fat and now that we’re a more sedentary society, we don’t burn off those extra calories. Where does that lead us? Obesity. What happens when we’re overweight? We’re at a high risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Trailer for “Fed Up”

 

Photo via Visualhunt

 

We are literally poisoning ourselves with the food we eat. How sad is that? So what’s the answer? Well according to the producers of “What the Health,” we need to eat a plant-based diet. But where will we get our protein you ask? From nuts and beans.

 

I’m going to try and eat a more plant-based diet and see how I feel. How about you? Do you feel the way our food is processed is making us sick? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

**** On a side note, there were some conflicting claims between the two documentaries so keep that in mind if you watch them. 🙂

Posted in Writing

Have you Outgrown your Critique Group?

 

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’d like to talk about writing. I haven’t done a post on the craft in quite a while and I know it’s time.  In this post, I’m discussing critique groups. Are they beneficial to writers?

 

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A good group is invaluable to a fledgling writer as long as they’re offering constructive criticism. Unfortunately, not everyone offers that. There’s always one person in the group whose main purpose is to just criticize. If they tell you your writing stinks but can offer no advice on how to improve it, then ignore them. Remember there’s always one 😉

What happens when you’ve gone to the group for a while and the only feedback they can give you is your story is good. This is awesome to hear, but it’s not constructive to improving your writing. Now, maybe your story is that good.

Or maybe, you’ve outgrown the group. They can’t move you beyond your current skill level. This happens and it’s not a bad thing, but if you want to continue improving you need to move on. It’s hard because you’ve developed relationships with these people and some have even become friends, but in order to grow, you must join a new group or find an expert who can tell you where your story is weak.

The question is, how do you tell when you’re ready to move on?

Here are some guidelines. The first one we’ve already discussed, but it bears repeating.

  1. When you get positive feedback, but you feel there’s still something missing in your story.

 

  1. When you leave the group meeting, frustrated because you didn’t receive any valuable feedback and this has been going on for quite some time.

 

  1. Your skill level has grown so much that you’ve become the expert in the group. Remember the old saying, “If you’re the smartest person in the room. You’re in the wrong room.” That applies to writing groups as well.

 

The second one is the biggest indicator. When you’re feeling frustrated, it’s time to move on. Now I know your next question is move on but where to? That’s when I’d make my way to social media and search for some experts. One that I’ve found to be invaluable is Kristen Lamb. The link to her blog is below.

http://authorkristenlamb.com/

Kristen Lamb — Photo

 

Check her out, I’ve found her classes to be helpful as well as her advice.

In a few words, Kristen Lamb delivers.

 

There are other experts who can help you as well. Follow the hashtags #amwriting or #ontheporch on twitter and you’ll meet all kinds of experts who you’ll be able to establish a relationship with and go on from there.

Another expert who comes to mind is Angela Ackerman. Check out her website.

http://writershelpingwriters.net/

 

 

She offers all kinds of advice on the craft of writing and she’s frequently on Twitter chatting with writers. These people will help you hone your craft and if they can’t, they’ll be able to direct you to a person who can.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any advice for writers trying to improve their craft? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Parenting, social media

Making Connections with Social Media

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m going to talk about making connections, but first, I want to let you know I finished my novel!! Whoo! Hoo! (Wipes Sweat from Brow) Now to get it off to my Beta reader to see what she thinks. Hopefully, she likes it (crosses fingers).

Photo credit: discoodoni via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

 

But enough about that. Let’s get back on track and talk about connections. In this day and age of social media, we’re able to connect with people we haven’t actually met. Our circle of influence has grown exponentially. This is a good thing, especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself whether you’re a writer, or trying to become a social media personality.

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          When I say social media personality, I think of Kim Kardashian. Before she was a social media personality, she didn’t produce anything. After she became famous, she developed her own clothing line and I believe she has a makeup line as well. So how did she become famous? Her mother strategically leaked a sex video of her and an old boyfriend on social media. Instant Fame.

Another example of this is Logan Paul. He’s a video personality who became famous by making short clips on the social media site, Vine. He has over twelve million Instagram followers and has now branched out into acting. He’s in the movies “The Thinning” and “Chainsaw.” It would’ve taken him much longer to break into acting if it hadn’t been for social media. Click the link below to check him out.

Logan Paul’s Official Youtube Site

 

Social media is changing the climate of our world. It’s bringing us closer to people we would’ve never met. It’s closing the gap between celebrities and the common man, by turning the common man into a celebrity.

It’s also allowing people to come together for a cause. Now, we’ve always had this ability, but with social media people from all over the world can communicate about something they all believe in. For example, after the documentary “The Keepers” aired, their Facebook Group exploded. In fact, they had to shut down the group for a few days. It’s back up and has over ninety thousand members, all of them expressing their horror over the murder of Sister Cathy and the abuse that occurred at the school. There are people from all over the world in the group. Without social media, there’s no way they would all be able to get together and share their theories and show their support for the victims.

Image result for the keepers

          So, you’re asking, what is the point you’re trying to make, Lisa?

A fair and good question. My point is, social media is a way to garner power. That’s right.  I’ll use “The Keepers” as an example. One of the investigators posted in the group a request to write a letter to the Archdiocese asking them to release the files on Father Maskell (the priest who’s accused of abusing students).  Now, it’s hard for the Archdiocese to ignore letters from ninety thousand people. Can you imagine getting that many letters making the same request? Even if only half of them sent letters, that’s still forty-five thousand letters.

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          They can’t ignore them. For the first time in a long time, the common man has a tool to fight against people and institutions who hold power. This is incredible and I’m following “The Keepers” to see where this all goes.

Social Media, when used properly, is a tool that can help keep those in power in check. It can also help an introvert become famous, but  just like any other tool, it can cause damage as well. So use your tools for good and not evil.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about Social Media and the Trends that are happening in our world? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂