Want to drastically lower the rates of crime, mental health
problems, and physical health problems across the country and the world?
Create a course on LIFE at every grade level that teaches
kids how to handle stress in healthy ways, how to communicate effectively, the
role nutrition and physical activity play in mood and health, and how to manage
It is the easiest, least expensive, and most far-reaching solution to most of the biggest problems we face–because schools are the one place to reach entire generations at the same time.
If enough people contacted school boards and lawmakers, things would change.
In fiction and in real life, settings can take on a life of their own. They almost become characters. For many, the burning of Notre Dame feels like a loss.
Though I walked through the cathedral years ago and felt sadness watching the flames engulf history today, what I was reminded of most strongly was the power of nature…of how in the blink of an eye, feats of architecture and human achievement can be erased.
That reminded me once again that the most enduring legacy we leave behind is not found in things–but rather resides in the minds and hearts of those we love.
By looking at the lesson in other people’s behavior and seeing ourselves in them.
Seeing ourselves as separate is the root of all loneliness
and hate. Was what the parents did in the college cheating scandal right? No. It
robbed their children of the chance to learn on their own merit and stole rightfully
earned entry from deserving students. In my opinion, that’s the tragedy.
But have you ever wanted the best for your children or wanted people to think well of you? Admission to a prestigious university reflects well on both the children and the parents. No matter how much money those parents had, they still didn’t think they were good enough for their peers. So, they attempted to buy self-worth for themselves and their children—not understanding that you can’t buy self-worth. It comes from within.
We all want to be valued. Social media is a platform in which we can lift others up. You have the power to make a difference in someone else’s life every time you sign on. Look for yourself in everyone you meet, and you will see we are far more alike than we are different.
No one likes being lied to, but it’s a reality of life. I have found the more you understand why people do what they do, the less influence they have over you.
Human beings are wired to feel pain, suffering, and fear in the face of rejection. From the standpoint of history, we couldn’t survive without other people–we needed them, or we would die. To be cast out of our social circle spelled instant doom. Though we are light-years ahead of our ancestors in terms of technological advancements, we are still operating with the same hardware. We still feel the same need to stay connected to others in order to survive.
But our survival agendas don’t always match up with someone else’s and vice-versa, because we have all had different life experiences. One person may feel a strong need for protection, while another may be trying to fill a constant void. Without the know-how to feel these things without an external influence, we seek what we know does work to temporarily ease our pain and fear–alcohol, food, shopping, gambling, smoking, drugs, attention, sex, affairs, and/or illegal activities, etc.
And then we lie when confronted about it…so we don’t get rejected for trying to meet a need we don’t know how to fulfill without the help of an external influence(s).
The irony is lying is often the biggest factor in relationships not working out–but not in the way people think.
Every lie a person tells is a barrier they place between them and the person they are lying to.
A thousand lies = a thousand barriers.
Think about that. When people engage in romantic relationships, the evening often ends with clothes off. Skin-to-skin contact. Genuine emotional intimacy ends the same way…with heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul contact. Just like you shed physical layers of clothes to get close physically, you shed layers of internal barriers and defenses to get close emotionally.
But how can you ever get close to someone emotionally if there are literally a thousand unseen barriers between the two of you–if one or both of you are wearing an emotional suit of armor?
This is why serious betrayals are so hard to overcome. Even if a person is forgiven, all the barriers/walls the person who lied has up are still there. Others can forgive them endlessly, but until they actually remove those barriers, they will most likely repeat the same behaviors over and over again because…
Living behind a thousand barriers is suffocating and lonely.
How can you tell? Look at the behavior. People who feel suffocated look for freedom, and those who feel lonely look for distractions from a variety of sources.
We are all guilty of this. We have all done something in excess, because we were trying to distract ourselves from ourselves.
In the end, the biggest lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves, and they are the root cause of every bad relationship we have ever gotten into or stayed in.
Do any of these feel familiar?
“He / She will change.” “I’m not enough.” “I can’t protect myself.” “I can’t be alone.” “I can’t open up to someone.” “I don’t deserve happiness.” “I’m not worthy.” “I’m broken.”
The one person you can always change is you. The most important thing you can do is consistently make better choices than you did the day before–and do that every day.
From the moment we are born, we need other people in order to survive. A very important part of growing up is learning how to rely on oneself, but many of the best experiences in life are shared with others.
Genuine friends believe in us when we have trouble believing in ourselves. They see the best in us and challenge us to rise to who we are capable of being. But they also see our flaws…and accept us for being human, knowing we are all works in progress.
Though families can be bonded fiercely, often times it’s our friends who make us feel the most at home…especially the ones who understand us and accept us exactly as we are.
While we don’t get to choose our families, our co-workers, our bosses, and for many people around the world–their spouses–we always get to choose our friends…people who understand our suffering and who celebrate our joys…people who accept us when others don’t and who get us on a fundamental level.
True friendship is a gift. If you have one real friend in this world, you have something no amount of money can buy.