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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Emily Dickenson on Living With Loss

"You will not see me, so you must have faith. I wait for the time when we can soar together again, both aware of each other. Until then, live your life to its fullest and when you need me, just whisper my name in your heart... I will be there." Emily Dickenson

Thought for the Day: Last week two days after my surgery, I learned of the passing of a dear friend, Carolyn Raizes Davis, who I have known since I was around 8 years old. I regret that I could not go to Houston to be there for her family & friends. Today, I received a copy of a beautiful eulogy given by two of her daughters. They ended the eulogy with this quote from Emily Dickenson which Carolyn read every day after losing her & my dear friend, Amelia Samet Kornfeld, whom I have written about in my book & on this blog. I share it in honor of lifelong friends & hope it brings you strength to live your lives to the fullest even when you mourn loved ones you can only hold in your heart.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Motivational Mondays: Thank Heaven for Physical Therapy

Thought for the Day: It is now day 6 since my knee surgery & I went for my second physical therapy appointment. As I said a couple of days ago, my recovery is actually moving along at a pretty normal pace, however, it is a humbling experience. The pain is still an issue which I am managing with pain killers and ice. It is very strange to have to think about walking without a limp or remembering how to climb stairs the way I have for a lifetime. Fear of pain also gets in the way of doing things more naturally.

On Saturday, I went to my 1st physical therapy appointment with Amanda at Wilton Physical Therapy. I was amazed at how much progress I made even though the exercises were fairly simple. Since I have a doctor's appointment later today & Amanda Kaslowitz, DPT, CPT,  could not see me at a time that worked, I met with Tony Grabiec, MSPT, CPT, her associate. I came expecting to do similar exercises; however, I was in for some surprises. Tony pushed me to a much higher level. I could not believe the contortions he put my knee & leg through. Then, he had me do exercises I did not think were possible before I did them. When he had me climb onto a stationary bike, I thought he was crazy! At first, I could barely move the pedals. He raised the seat & encouraged me to pedal backwards or forwards as much as I could. Mind you, there was no tension on the bike, but I was pushing the pedals as far as I could. He encouraged me to pedal one full circle in either direction, but I could not do it yet. Finally, he made my knee into an ice sandwich with some electrical stimulation to help speed the healing process. My leg feels a bit stiff now & a little sore (thank goodness I took pain medication before my appointment), but I already see changes in how much I am able to bend my knee & sit more normally.

I don't want to bore you with the details of my physical therapy. Bear with me, there is a reason I am writing about this. Those of you who follow this blog know I have always been an active person. I chose to have this operation because I was in pain, could barely walk & wanted my active lifestyle back. I want to return to normal as soon as possible. As motivated as I am, I know that without a therapist like Amanda & Tony, I could never have done the kind of exercises I did today. Sometimes, no matter how motivated we are to change, we need people cheering us along the way to recovery. They have dealt with all kinds of injuries & know what to expect. They know how hard to push & when to let the client set the pace. Tony's confidence that I could raise my leg higher or bend my knee further will help me trust in my ability to recover. In psychotherapy, it is similar except that the markers are not physical. It can take longer to see progress.

Whatever challenges you are recovering from, take advantage of the therapists who can help keep you motivated. Has a physical therapist or other therapist helped you do more than you believed possible? I'd love to hear your stories.

Friday, October 25, 2013

#FF Follow Up Friday: Humbling Insights from Recovery

Thought for the Day: Today is day 3 since I had arthroscopic knee surgery. I am right on target with my recovery. I'm able to walk without crutches or a cane. I have removed the bulky bandages which were protecting my knee & am am down to just tylenol for pain. Tomorrow, I start physical therapy. I should be pleased with my progress & in many ways I am. However, I had hoped to be feeling better by now. The doctor & all those I spoke with, prior to the procedure, emphasized that it was minimally invasive, which it was, but it is still surgery. I thought that I would be back to regular blogging, but do not feel focused enough to write my normal posts. Much of my leg feels sort of numb & I'm not ready to dance the night away! I can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel & know it was the right thing to go ahead & have the surgery, but it may take longer than I had hoped to recover fully. I am also bored, but don't have the energy or focus to do much. I need to remind myself that it has only been 3 days since the operation & that it will get better from here.

The experience has made me both grateful & humble. I am grateful for the health I have had most of my life. Thankful that this was the 1st time I ever had to use crutches or a cane & for the strength of my legs & knees that have supported me as I danced, swam, & hiked through life. As I waited for the surgery, I began to notice how many people around me every day appear to have trouble walking. My issue was fairly simple & hopefully it will be repaired completely soon. Other people have not been as lucky as me. Knee &/or hip replacements are not as easy to tolerate & often do not succeed as well as meniscus surgery. Since this experience, I will never  look at a person limping or using a cane or a walker in the same way. I have always had tremendous respect for people in wheelchairs working to lead as normal of a life as possible. As patient & accepting of others' disabilities as I believe I am, this experience made me confront my own impatience with myself when my legs weren't working right. This experience has taught me that I need to be more patient with myself. If any condition becomes permanent, I hope that I will find ways to continue doing what I love despite whatever happens.

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope to return to regular blogging soon.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Motivational Mondays: Taking a Short Break: Aging Gracefully Vs Kicking & Dancing

Thought for the Day: I had planned to write a post earlier, but have been busy seeing clients & preparing for meniscus knee surgery early tomorrow morning. I also missed posting Sunday's Comics yesterday. I am not sure if I will have the energy to write tomorrow or later in the week, although I am hoping to be able to continue writing my blog. I understand that the operation is minimally invasive & hope to be back to swimming & working very soon.

When I was a teenager & young adult, I always hoped to age more like my grandmother than my mother. They had two distinct styles. My grandmother, whom we called Moma, aged gracefully. Even her hair complied with her aging, she never dyed it & it stayed mainly black with touches of grey tints till she was well into her 70's. People often mistook my grandmother for my mother since she cared for me and my brothers while my mother worked full time. Moma loved to garden & took walks, but never did any strenuous exercise, unless you consider raising 4 grandchildren  exercise. As she grew older she walked slower. She had a heart condition which at the time was considered inoperable, but I never heard her complain or even speak about it.

My mother's approach to aging was almost diametrically opposite to her mother's approach. She was always in a hurry. Driving from place to place trying to fit a few extra hours into her day. She did not exercise & had asthma most of her life. She hated getting older, dyed her hair & did not want to slow down for anything or anybody. Because she was self conscious she almost always wore high heeled shoes. As she grew older she replaced the 3 inch heels for two & finally one inch ones. No one could convince her to slow down, She would would age kicking & screaming. She did try to exercise a bit after she retired, but her asthma made it difficult to take up the stationary bike in her condo complex.

I took a slightly different path from both my role models. I think I believed that exercise would be my ticket to aging gracefully with a fighting chance to stay active & healthy in the process. I have danced all my life. Until about 10 years ago I would dance 2 or three times a week. In the last few years swimming which has always been a sport I loved has become my regular exercise. I plan to continue to be active as long as possible.

I have been lucky, too & have been pretty healthy. Therefore, I was taken by surprise by a sprained ligament which seemed to heal followed by what turns out to be a torn meniscus. I realize that, I have some of my mother's fight in me & I do not want to let my knee slow me down (I'm also in too much pain to let it continue without a fight!). So today I will have what seems to be a pretty routine operation that almost everyone knows someone who has had it & is now walking freely again. So I will hopefully be back to aging gracefully, kicking & dancing & blogging about the psychology of life regularly soon.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: The Song Remembers When by Trisha Yearwood

Thought for the Day: As I went through my mental songbook for today's post I recalled a song I heard in Nashville by songwriter Hugh Prestwood. It is a wonderful story song about how songs can take us back to significant moments in time. When I searched for it on YouTube, I found 2 versions. The rendition by Trisha Yearwood is powerful & beautiful. I also included Prestwood's performance at the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville on April 5, 2013 during Tin Pan South Songwriter's Festival. His performance in the round with Even Stevens and Lari White, brings back memories for me of the great intimate performances by hit songwriters in the round (I saw Lari White there with her husband Chuck Cannon a few years ago & was able to speak with them after the show.). I decided to share both for your weekend enjoyment. What songs bring you back to special moments in your life?

Friday, October 18, 2013

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: Why We Sleep, SleepTexting, If Your Child Is A Bully & A Mental Health Crisis

Thought for the Day: I am glad that Friday is here. Hopefully, it will bring a restful weekend. Personally, I am preparing for a procedure for a torn meniscus. I am hoping that the procedure will not interrupt my blogging, but will keep you posted. On my Motivational Monday post, I will write some observations on the impact of reluctantly slowing down when a knee holds you back. Today a few articles on the importance of sleep & how modern life is encroaching on our sleep caught my attention. Therefore, today's Fabulous Finds include 3 articles on sleep. I also found an article & video on the crisis in Mental Health systems in Great Britain. Given the implementation of ObamaCare that is happening here in the USA as I type, I hope the planners of our health plan are learning from England's mistakes & building a strong mental health component. Finally, I found an article & video, also from Britain, on what to do if your child is a bully. Please share with others & let me know what you think of these finds.

Here they are:

3) Chasing Slumber from Psychology Today By Mark Wolverton

4) From the BBC England's Mental Health Services In Crisis (Video & article)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Why Doesn't IQ Predict Success?

Thought for the Day: Today's trivia answer raises some serious questions. If you were baking a pie & only put in 10% of the ingredients, the pie would not be very tasty. Are we making a similar mistake in how we are educating our children? On Tuesday, I told you that parents & teachers might want to come back for the answer to the Psychology Trivia Question. Tuesday's Trivia Question was:

Psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success:

        a)  IQ counts for roughly 10%, 
        b)  IQ counts for roughly 50%,
        c)   IQ counts for roughly 80%, or
        d)  IQ counts for roughly 90%

What did you think the answer was? Be honest. Even I was surprised by the answer. IQ accounts for a) roughly 10% of a person's success. If you thought it was more like 50 or 80%, there may be some good reasons for the mistake. IQ or your Intelligence Quota is a very good predictor of academic success & even for future salary; however, when other factors are taken into account, it is not the best predictor of overall success. Studies have found that other variables lead to successful careers. People tend to prefer to work with people whom they like more than with those who may be more intelligent. The IQ tests measure parts of intelligence, but have no bearing on others. 

In the book, Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman describes some of the attributes fnot covered well in IQ tests which may be better predictors of success, such as self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, & social skills. How much time is spent in our schools fostering emotional intelligence? 

If 90% of success is not reflected in the variables measured by IQ tests, are schools missing the mark by focusing on standardized testing of reading, writing & math skills? Why are we not designing more programs that will build Emotional Intelligence? Would we be better off spending more time enhancing our children's social & emotional skills? The importance of teaching children how to deal with differences & learning how to respect one another may not only be important for reducing bullying in our schools, but also promoting our children's overall success in life. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this finding.

You can read more about Emotional Intelligence from these resources:
Wayne Payne tends to be credited for coining the term in his doctoral thesisA Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence from 1985 [1]. However, prior to this, it had appeared in Leuner (1966).[2]Stanley Greenspan (1989) also developed an EI model, as did Peter Salovey and John Mayer (1989),[3] and Daniel Goleman (1995).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday's Wake Up Moments: Thank You Congress

Thought for the Day: It feels a bit like July 4th in October. It has been a long time coming, but finally Congress has awakened & the shutdown of the government is over. It is unfortunate that a near economic collapse was necessary to get government back open & raising the debt ceiling. I hope that it will lead to an atmosphere of greater respect & cooperation in Washington DC & that we will not have a repeat performance in February. I spent most of the day working on some new therapeutic services that I will be offering soon & just learned about the agreement. More to come soon on the new programs.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Motivational Monday: How to Parent a Malala

* Malala Yousafzai
Thought for the Day: Today is Columbus Day in the United States in honor of Christopher Columbus' daring voyage which led to the discover of America. Today, I'd like to write about a brave teenager who has weathered a different kind of dangerous waters in the fighting for girls' rights to have equal education. Malala Yousafzai has been in the news for some time now. The 16 year old education & peace advocate survived an attack by the Taliban on her way to school. Miraculously she survived a bullet which hit her in the head only damaging her hearing & some facial nerves. The teen is fighting back by speaking even more adamantly for the right for education for all children. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but spoke about being glad she did not win. She has been honored around the world. She founded a Nonprofit foundation, the Malala Fund, to raise money for education for girls. Her recently published autobiography, I Am Malala, is an instant best seller. 

Her precocious wisdom & worldliness have been astounding all who hear her. On the Daily Show, host Jon Stewart was speechless after she spoke & then offered to "adopt her." As a psychologist interested in both parenting, education, motivation, & overcoming adversity, I have been thinking about what helps a child become resilient, confident & brave. Here are a few things that stand out for me:

1) Build your child's self esteem by recognizing & believing in your child's gifts. Every child has innate gifts. One of a parent's most important tasks is to recognize & believe in your child's gifts & abilities. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, her father, himself a teacher & political activist, felt that Malala was special from birth. He chose the name Malala from a Pakistani song.about a young hero whose "words can turn worlds around." Although it may not be from birth, look for your child's strengths & tell them what you see in them. How you see them helps them build a positive (or negative) self image.

2) Enhance self confidence by treating your daughters and sons as unique capable individuals. Her father also spoke about accepting that his daughter was a person equal to any boy. In a society that differentiates between the sexes, he treated her & his sons as equals & gave them equal opportunities. He even founded schools for girls.

3) Strenghten your child's ability to stand up for their convictions by exemplifying what you believe. Malala's father practiced political activism & spoke up in public for girls rights despite death threats by the Taliban. He taught her to speak up for what is right for everyone even when it may be dangerous to you personally. 

Malala's mother, on the other hand, did not go to school, does not know how to read & has avoided being photographed out of respect to her religious traditions. However, in her own quiet way she has supported her husband's progressive liberal beliefs & backed Malala's educational & social activist endeavors.

4) Teach your children the power of education as the key to economic & political freedom.  Malala's father exposed her to school from when she was a toddler, taught he both to love learning & to recognize the power it gives you.

All children have unique strengths & can become like Malala with the love & encouragement of supportive parents.

* Image Credits
Public domainThis image is a work of a United States Agency for International Development employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday's Comics: Every Rock Musician's Dream

Thought for the Day: Today's comic photo reflects every aspiring rock musician's dreams. This resourceful musician created a tee shirt to recruit groupies! Enjoy & have a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Gordon Lightfoot & Changes

Thought for the Day: The last couple of weeks I shared some of my readers' stories & songs that had special meaning for them over the years. Today, I'm sharing a song that brings back great memories for me. As I began to prepare this post, I was thinking about the fall & the changing of seasons. I'd love for you to share other songs about changes that have helped you cope with the inevitable changes in life, as well. I may share them here, if it's ok with you.

I learned the song, "Changes," many years ago. It was written by an extraordinary singer songwriter, Phil Ochs. However, I learned it from Canadian friends who were on a leadership training program with me in Israel after I graduated from high school. Somehow, since Canadian singer songwriter,  Gordon Lightfoot, made it famous in Canada, I was led to believe he wrote it. The lyrics & the melody are haunting beautiful. In songwriting when there is perfect pairing of words & melody, the song is said to have "prosody." Prosody helps a song communicate the emotions attached to the story.

I have not listened to "Changes" for many years. We played & sang the song so many times that it began to lose it's meaning for me. However, today, when I played it, it brought back the nostalgia & bittersweet feelings associated with the changes that are part of life.

I decided to share one of Lightfoot's other songs which I always loved as well, "Early Morning Rain."

In addition, if you would like to learn more about Lightfoot & his life & career, there is a longer video from a canadian Television show, 16X9 in 2012 with the 74 year old troubadour.

 Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 11, 2013

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: Flipping Classrooms, World Mental Health Day, Childbirth & Sexuality & Bullying Prevention

Thought for the Day: I don't know about you, but I for one am glad it's Friday. It has been a busy week & I am ready for the weekend. I hope you caught my humorous special edition yesterday Part II in Wake Up Washington: Putting Congress on the Couch. I'd love to hear your thoughts and reactions to the post since it is so different from most of my posts.

     For today I have some interesting articles for your weekend reading. A fascinating article from the NY Times, on "flipping classrooms," using video lessons at home & homework projects at school. This new concept has been helping kids in previously low functioning school districts make dramatic strides. The 2nd find is an article on taking care of yourself & helping those with mental illness on World Mental Health Day. Many people have held the opinion that natural childbirth leads to lower sex drive in women. The 3rd find this week discredits this myth. My 4th find this week is a bit disturbing. It seems that some programs intended to prevent bullying in our schools may be having the opposite effect & teaching bullies how to harm their peers. More research & more comprehensive programs must be investigated & implemented.

     Have a great weekend & I hope you enjoy these finds!

Turning Education Upside Down By TINA ROSENBERG

2013 World Mental Health Day: Taking Care of You By LISA KANTOR, ESQ. AND RACHEL TEICHER

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Special Edition: Wake Up Washington: Part II Putting Congress On the Couch

Thought for the Day: I tend to be a serious person, however, when a humorous creative writing idea comes my way, I try not to let it pass. Therefore, today, I am writing a special edition for the blog. I hope you enjoy it & feel free to share it with whomever will appreciate the humor. Maybe it will help Wake Up Congress. As always, I'd love to hear your comments & ideas.

On Wednesday, I posted some comments on the need to "Wake Up" Washington DC & asked you for some therapeutic suggestions. Today, I'm offering a few treatment plans (tongue in cheek) to consider for Congress:

1) Psychoanalytic Treatment Plan: Put Congress on the couch. Address early childhood issues, Oedipal conflicts & wishes to get rid of paternal figures & have presidential power. Pros: it could get to the bottom of the causes for the neurotic behaviors. Cons: It would takes years of intensive psychotherapy & the nation would be in shambles before the treatment was completed.

2) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Develop a plan to overcome ObamaCare Phobia using progressive desensitization techniques. Teach members of Congress relaxation techniques & combine them with imagining a hierarchy of their fears of ObamaCare from the least to the most anxiety provoking.  Have them stay relaxed while imagining all the scenarios & they will be ready to move on. Pros: It could be completed in a few sessions. Cons: It might not get to the underlying issues causing the phobias.

3) Marriage Counseling &/or Family Therapy: Meet with members of congress to see if the marital rifts between the two sides can be resolved. Focus on enhancing communication skills & learning to compromise. Try to help the "parental figures" (congressmen & women) consider the needs of their children (citizens) even if they cannot resolve their differences. Mandate participation in a parenting class for divorcing parents for all members of congress. Get them into mediation to find solutions on how to keep the government running despite their differences. Pros: It could make them wake up & start behaving in a more adult ways. Cons: To do marriage counseling or mediation they must 1st be able to sit in the same room & start speaking to one another. It may not be possible at this time.

4) Addiction Intervention & Rehabilitation: Since Congress seems to be in denial of their addiction to "obstruction of the democratic process," an intervention may be necessary. All family members (citizens) who feel Congress' addiction is self destructive would meet with the interventionist prior to meeting with the addict. Family members would need to be prepared to tell Congress how their addiction is impacting them & the nation & the consequences if they do not get intensive treatment immediately. Before involving Congress a treatment facility & plan for rehab would be chosen. Pros: It may be the only way to break through Congress' denial of their addiction. Cons: The inpatient stay would bankrupt ObamaCare & recovery would take too long.

5) Treatment of Cult Victims: Treat members of Congress for brainwashing by cult like factions. Pros: It might actually help break the impasses in DC. Cons: Treatments for cult victims are controversial techniques. They cannot be carried out without cooperation of the brainwashed victims. Members of Congress would never cooperate.

I know there are therapists following this blog. Anyone have some additional suggestions?

Thursday's Psychology Trivia: Is Persuasion In the Eye of the Beholder?

Thought for the Day: Today's psychology trivia question is:

     True or False:
         People who make eye contact are more persuasive and viewed as more likable & competent.

You may think you know the answer, but it may surprise you. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wake Up Wednesday: When Will Congress Wake Up & Stop Destroying Citizens' Dreams?

Thought for the Day: I have held my tongue since I try not to focus on politics. However, as the government shutdown drags on, I find myself wondering when will the politicians in Washington have a "wake up" moment & realize that without compromise everyone loses. It feel a bit like a game of Russian Roulette with the American people as the hostages whose lives & livelihood are endangered. The situation feels serious enough to warrant emergency action by the president, similar to presidential acts in the face of war or imminent threat of war. The financial implications of not raising the debt ceiling given the economic problems our nation is still struggling with are too serious to jeopardize the collapse of the economy. So many of my clients are already struggling with unemployment, fear of personal bankruptcy & the strain of financial challenges on their marriages & mental health, that I feel I must speak up. It feels as if Congress is simply blind to the struggles & feelings of the people back home. ObamaCare offers a ray of light to those under financial stress & is being implemented as I write, but Congress continues to try to undermine this initiative which they have not been able to stop in legal ways.  Too many American's lives & dreams depend on the continued improvement of the economy. One commentator on CNN today said that they feel we do not need specialists in hostage negotiations, but marriage counselors to try to save a nation on the path to a messy divorce. I'd be glad to try some family therapy techniques with members of Congress, if it would help them behave in a more mature fashion. What do you think? What will make Washington "wake up?"

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Psychology Trivia Question: Are People Who Make Eye Contact More Persuasive?

Thought for the Day: Somehow Monday slipped by & it is already Tuesday, which makes it time for a psychological trivia question.

     True or False:
         People who make eye contact are more persuasive and viewed as more likable &           competent.

What do you think? Is eye contact important when you are trying to convince others about something? Come back on Thursday for the answer.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday's Comic Strips: On Parenting

Thought for the Day: it's time for Sunday's Comic Strips. This one comes from The New Yorker Magazine's Book, The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker. It shows some of the challenges of parenting in this day & age. Children are often questioning parental authority. Remember you are the parents! Have a wonderful weekend! Come back tomorrow for a post on why parents need to pursue their personal dreams.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sat's Songs 4 the Soul: A Song Symbolizing a 21 Year Relationaship

Thought for the Day: Last week, I shared a song & a story about the significance of the song from one of my readers. I asked for others to share their songs & stories of how a song has helped them over the years. This week I have another story from a reader. Please keep sharing songs, I love to hear how they have helped you. Here's our conversation written with +Arlene Pick 's permission:

Arlene Pick
Sep 28, 2013
Wind. Beneath. My Wings. Bette. Midler. 

Barbara Lavi
Sep 28, 2013
+Arlene Pick That is a wonderful song. I actually met the songwriter a few years ago. Do you have a story to go along with the song? When you 1st heard it, how it helped you, who it reminds you of?

Arlene Pick
Sep 28, 2013
I chose this song for our wedding. Because my Albert. Lifted my hopes that. I was someone special. In his LIFE. 21 yrs. ago. 10/ 92

Barbara Lavi
Sep 28, 2013
That is a wonderful story. Is it OK to share it on my blog? Albert must be a special person. Happy Anniversary soon!

So in honor of Albert & Arlene's (You can see them together in her profile picture) 21 years of making one another feel special, I am sharing "Wind Beneath My Wings" performed by Bette Midler. The song was written by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley. I had the honor of meeting & speaking with Larry Henley at the Frank Brown Songwriter's Festival in Florabama several years ago. I have always loved the song as well. Today, one of my grand children will be celebrating their Bar Mitzvah. My children & their children bring me great joy & are the "Wind Beneath My Wings" as well. I hope that in my work I will help make the world a better place for them & their children.

Friday, October 4, 2013

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: How A Woman Plumber Saved 2,500 Children

Thought for the Day: Usually on Friday's I share Fabulous Finds on various topics that I read over the week. This week I am sharing something a bit different. It came to me in an e-mail. I actually hate chain letters or e-mails imploring that you send them to 10 friends or more or else you will have bad luck. Usually I do not forward them, since I find them annoying.  This one felt different, however, I still felt funny sending off a mass e-mail. Instead, I decided to post it on the blog & hope that you will share it with others in any way you feel comfortable. It is the story of a brave woman who risked her life to save children's lives. I do not know who wrote this e-mail, but have heard the story before & know it is based on a real person. Last week in my psychology trivia question, I shared the fact that only 42% of people who find out that a friend is suffering from domestic abuse do anything to help their friend & insure their safety. The psychology of bravery is not well understood, but we all could learn from Irena Sendler who could not simply stand by & ignore the tragedy that was occurring in Warsaw Poland. I hope you will share this find with others as a role model of bravery to emulate when we learn that others are suffering. Have a wonderful weekend.

Remember this  Lady?

Died: May 12, 2008 (aged  98)  Warsaw, Poland

During  WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

Irena  smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried.   She also  carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck,  for larger kids.

Irena kept a  dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the  ghetto. The soldiers, of  course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and  the barking      covered the kids/infants  noises.

During her time  of doing this, she managed to smuggle out  and save 2500  kids/infants.

Ultimately,  she was caught, however, and the Nazi's broke  both of her legs and arms and beat her  severely.

Irena kept a  record of the names of all the kids she had  smuggled out,  in a glass jar that she  buried under a tree in her back yard.   After the war, she tried to locate any parents  that may have survived and tried to reunite the  family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster  family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena  was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was  not selected.  Al Gore won, for a  slide show on Global Warming.  

Later another  politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as  a community organizer for ACORN.

In MEMORIAM - 65  YEARS LATER I'm doing my small part by  forwarding this message.  I hope  you'll consider doing the same.  It is now  more than 65 years since the Second World War in  Europe ended.

This  e-mail is being sent  as a memorial chain,  In memory of  the  20 million Russians, 10 million  Christians, 6 million Jews, and 1,900 Catholic  priests who were murdered, massacred, raped,  burned, starved and humiliated! 

Now, more than ever, with Iran , and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be 'a myth', it's imperative to make sure the  world never forgets,  because there are others who would like to do it  again.

This  e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.  Please send this e-mail to people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: When Are Married Couples Happiest?

Thought for the Day: On Tuesday, I asked:
    When are married couples happiest? 
         a) 1 year after they get married
         b) 7 years after they get married
         c) 3 years after they get married
         d) 2 years after they get married
         e) 40 years after they get married

There are actually two correct answers: c) after 3 years of marriage & e) 40 years after they get married. According to a new study by U.K. law firm Slater & Gordon  2000 people were asked about how happy they were in their marriages. The survey found that 3 years after they wed, couples felt the most relaxed & comfortable with one another & reported enjoying their marriage the most. The 1st year they were enjoying the afterglow of the wedding, but it may not feel real yet. In the 2nd year they felt they were still getting to know one another. By the third year of marriage, they felt they had finally figured out how to live together, quirks & all. The worst year was 5 years after the wedding. If they make it past the stresses of work & children to 7 years, the likelihood of staying happily married increases.

In an Australian study from  December 2012, the findings were slightly different. They reported what they call a "Wedding Day Hangover," with a decrease in happiness following the wedding. They found that couples married for more than 40 years were actually happier than newly weds! So it pays to stick with it & work on your marriage!

If you want to read more, take a look at this Huffington Post article where the idea for this trivia question arose.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Dr. Lavi To Do Over or Do Nothing, That Is the Question

Thought for the Day: Wednesday's posts have been either Words of Wisdom or Wake Up Moments. Today's Words of Wisdom are mine & I hope they can also help people discover some wake up moments. Here's my words of wisdom: "It's better to do over than to do nothing." No one likes to have to do things over. It's frustrating to have to repeat a task you have already completed.
Here's a second quote and why doing something is better than doing nothing...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday's Psychology Trivia: Marital Bliss: When Are Married Couples Happiest?

Thought for the Day: It's Tuesday & time for the Psychology Trivia Question. What do you think is the right answer & why? Here's the question:

     When are married couples happiest? 
         a) 1 year after they get married
         b) 7 years after they get married
         c) 3 years after they get married
         d) 2 years after they get married
         e) 40 years after they get married

Although you may think it is before they get married, that is not the answer. Come back on Thursday for the answer.