June 17th, 2012

Building a Relationship

Carl Rogers in his 1961 classic On Becoming a Person discusses building a relationship. He teaches the first step in building a meaningful relationship is to be genuine. This sounds simple and obvious but it is not. We often project something we want to be or something we want another to think we are. But this false projection dooms any hope of building a constructive relationship.

To be genuine we must be aware of our feelings. We must then express the feelings and attitudes which exist within us. “It is only in this way that the relationship can have reality, and reality … [is] deeply important as a first condition [of a meaningful relationship]”. Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (1961).

Rogers said this over fifty years ago. He was right then and his words remain true today. Drop pretense be yourself and allow yourself to be real in your relationships. You and those in relationships with you will go beyond a false facade into a meaningful relationship.

    June 10th, 2012

    How to Act (from Marcus Aurelius)

    Never under compulsion, out of selfishness, without forethought, with misgivings.

    Don’t gussy up your thoughts.

    No surplus words or unnecessary actions.

    Let the spirit in you represent a person who moves forward like a soldier patiently awaiting your recall from life. Needing no oath or witness.

    Cheerfulness. Without requiring other people’s help. Or serenity supplied by others.

    To stand up straight-not straightened.

    Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (edited by PAT).

      June 2nd, 2012

      Tragedy in Seattle

      This edited passage from Stephen King 11/22/63 is in memory of the tragic killings that occurred in Seattle on May 30, 2012:

      When I saw Mike squeeze Bobbi Jill’s hand, telling her by touch to counterspin and shoot through his legs, I was suddenly back in Seattle, watching Bevvie-from-the-levee and Ritchie-from-the-ditchie.

      It’s all of a piece. It’s an echo so close to perfect you can’t tell  which one is the living voice and which is the ghost-voice returning.

      For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens you see that the world is barely there at all. Don’t we all secretly know this? It’s a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes pretending to be wheels of cogs, a dreamclock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life.

      Behind it? Below it and around it? Chaos, storms. Men with guns. People who twist what they cannot dominate and cannot understand. A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark.

        May 27th, 2012


        Manners were important in the 1950’s. Manners started to lose importance in the 1960’s with the whatever free spirit attitude. This flowed into the 70’s, and evolved into the what’s in it for me 80’s and 90’s. Now in the techno twenty first century many are too self centered and technologically isolated to be concerned with manners.

        But manners still have their place. Try the following:

        Greeting. Personally relate to daily contact people. Great the store cashier, the bank teller, the barista, the … with “Hi how are you today.” Look at the person and thank him or her when leaving.

        “You’re Welcome.” When someone thanks you say “you’re welcome,” as opposed to “no sweat” or “no problem.”

        “Pardon Me.” When walking closely in front of a person or brushing a person say “pardon me.”

        Cell Phone. Set cell phone to vibrate. Do not answer cell phone when in the company of others especially only one other. Same for texting. Do not talk on cell phone in public places including parks  and  trails where people seek solitude.

        Respond. Respond to invitations, telephone calls, letters and personal e-mails.

        Thank you. Write a thank you note when you have been a guest.

        Timeliness. Be on time.

        Think About Other Person. As for a manners guide treat the other person how you want to be treated.

          May 20th, 2012


          It is easy to talk. It is easy to think when another is talking to prepare to talk. The tendency of most is to think and talk, think and talk.

          It is difficult to listen. It is difficult to internalize what a person is discussing without thinking ahead at the expense of listening. It is rare in our society for a person to internalize what a person is discussing with a focus on what is being said.

          Listen is defined as: to hear something with thoughtful attention : give consideration listen to a plea. (Webster). “Thoughtful attention” is the key to what it means to listen. “Thoughtful attention” cannot be done without thinking only about the message. As the definition says when one is listening he is giving the message “thoughtful attention.”

          Try to listen for a change. Concentrate on listening. Listening changes how we process. This is because we hear the message with “thoughtful attention.” Two things happen: We fully internalize the message without filtering it with thoughts on response; the speaker intuitively realizes this, and infers we care.

            May 13th, 2012

            Use Your Gifts

            The belief in a natural hierarchy is no longer given credence by thinking people. Although the gifts we receive at birth are naturally (but unequally) distributed, this does not make a person with more gifts better than another.

            In life “all that counts is how we use the qualities with which we have been endowed, not the qualities themselves.” Luc Ferry, A Brief History of Thought (2011) at 73.

            There is a place in the universe for all qualities. What matters is how we chose to use our  gifts. When we use them to make the world a better place we live to our highest level.

              May 5th, 2012

              The Greatest Sin




              C.S Lewis in Mere Christianity teaches there are sins of the flesh and sins of the mind. To Lewis the greatest sins of these two sin categories are sins of the mind. Lewis maintains the worst sin of the mind is to think we are better than another. Thus, to Lewis the sanctimonious long time church goer who judges the prostitute entering church as a sinner and non worthy is a greater sinner than the prostitute.

              William Blake goes further saying the only sin is the accusation of sin. “Accusation in any of its forms, is a negative judgment, and a negative judgment in any form ruptures relationship-the classical definition of sin.” Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Biology Of Transcendence (2002) at 128.

              Both are correct. To hold yourself  superior to another is wrong. It is the badge of arrogance and conceit. On a universal level this thought process destroys nations. Remember we are all made up of the same cosmic stuff. We are all in constant motion. We are all in this together. No one’s cosmic stuff is better than another’s cosmic stuff.

                April 29th, 2012

                Appreciate Your Health

                Health is a funny thing. When we feel good we usually assume this is how we are supposed to be. We take feeling good for granted. When we get sick it is often an all encompassing experience. We are faced with at least a temporary loss of our health-our feeling good-and we don’t like it at all.

                Of course we have control over our health to a great extent. We usually have no control over traumatic injury occurring, and we lack control over genetic health issues. But we do control what we eat. We do control what we put into our body in the form of water, food, drugs and alcohol. We do control our activity level. When we make wise choices in the areas we do control we are rewarded with health.

                Try living in a way that maximizes your health. You will be the beneficiary of a better life. You will save resources that can be used to help those who need the help from a health standpoint. And you may be so lucky that you can take your health for granted-at least until you lose it.

                  April 22nd, 2012

                  Simplicity is Beauty

                  It’s easy to get caught up in the complexity of modern living. Often our schedules are tight with little flexibility. Those of us who live in the city are faced with traffic and people on their own mission. Often all we think about is getting to our next event. There is little time to stop to reflect in today’s busy world.

                  I think we can agree that the complexity of modern living can be a hassle. If complexity is hassle simplicity is beauty. Now a days it can be difficult to get to simplicity. Now a days it can difficult to appreciate beauty.  But it does not have to be this way. After all our life is what we make it.

                  We can chose to slow down. We can chose to live in the present. We can chose to appreciate what is around naturally right here right now. We can chose to appreciate nature: the beauty of the flowers and the trees; the beauty of sun rise and sun set. These things are simple, and simplicity is beauty.

                    April 8th, 2012

                    Second Week of April-Positive Acceptance

                    Recently I reached what feels like a higher level. I better understand a role model of mine who says he is happy and content. He feels good about himself. He looks forward to his work and the next challenge. He has an aura of  positive acceptance.

                    Acceptance in the positive sense is a wonderful thing. Acceptance in the positive sense is to see the good in people and things. Acceptance in the positive sense is to have career confidence- accepting the result knowing we worked at our highest level.

                    Positive acceptance comes from hard work which gives us confidence as we climb our career mountain. Of course we must watch our step and take nothing for granted. But as we climb we feel good about our route and we enjoy the climb.