All was lost it seemed. Two men were engaged in thoughtful conversation as they headed home, walking down the road each carrying the burden of hopelessness. Their world had been crushed with the death of their teacher and mentor, someone who had turned their world upside down and given them a profound sense of renewal, perhaps even redemption. Now it was gone and the future looked bleak.
Maybe most of us have felt at one time or another the same gloomy sense of disheartenment, stemming from an unforeseen upheaval. Today’s concerns over politics and government, community relations, drug abuse, economy, and other highly-publicized issues can cause unwanted anxiety and lethargy. Or, maybe the worries are more personal in nature and solutions appear out of reach. What are the chances for recovery? Actually, they are good. Read more…
This is National Volunteer Week.
Scene: A regular Joe driving home to see his family after a hard day. He comes upon a beat-up, broken-down car along the side of the road. This average guy, named Jim, doesn’t hesitate to stop and see what help he can give to the stranger standing nearby.
The year was 1929. Life was difficult. And it would not get better for a long while. It was a desperate time when daily life for many revolved around one thing: looking for a way to stay alive. It was also a time, interesting enough, when generosity abounded.
Love and its manifestations of giving, kindness, and compassion have long marked the best of human nature. Whatever impels someone to give of himself even when he has little to offer has pulled many individuals through difficult times.
Scientific investigation on the effects of love in our lives has uncovered some interesting findings. The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, founded at Case Western Reserve University, has been looking into the subject. Part of its mission statement includes answering the question: Does the sincere love of neighbor contribute to the happiness and health of both those who give it and those who receive it? Read more….
“Turtles all the way down.” That’s the now famous response to a scientist’s inquiry as told in an anecdote by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time. After explaining the basics of astronomy and the relationship between the earth and sun, a little old lady expresses her disbelief to the scientist and pipes up, “The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”
Hawking continues, “The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’ ‘You’re very clever, young man, very clever,’ said the old lady. ‘But it’s turtles all the way down.’”
There’s both humor and heartbreak in the old lady’s retort. Such determinism has propelled the achievements of many a visionary. It also illustrates the stifling nature of a stubborn dogma that can blind thinkers and shutter what should be the open-minded nature of true science and scholarship.
Today’s healthcare practices offer a similar dichotomy…Read more
Looking for love? Want a lasting relationship? Content with your singleness, but enjoy solid friendships?
Love predominates many conversations this time of year. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day (SAD) or avoid the whole thing, the deep seated desire to connect with others in meaningful affection is a recurrent impulse. What satisfies that yearning?
There are over 124 million singles in the Unites States, many of whom are looking for a partner. The promise of finding that perfect someone is the hook of online dating sites and apps. A billion dollar industry numbering over 2500 sites in the U.S. alone, these match-making services use complex algorithms to gauge compatibility. It’s all about the numbers. The hope is they lead to higher connectivity rates and more permanent bonds.
But do mathematical formulas equate to true love? Is there more to the science of love than a personality matrix? Can we go even deeper? Read more…
“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”
A fresh start! We all appreciate that. Some even crave it. A new year can be the catalyst for a healthy turn-around as we focus our best efforts on what’s important to our well-being.
There is nothing magical in flipping the calendar. But there is something appealing about closing the door on unhealthy behaviors and their consequences. A healthy, new beginning can result when one gives him or herself permission to leave behind past failings. The next step is to solidify in some practical manner the positive steps required to achieve our wellness goals.
Positive health is an emerging concept that an interdisciplinary team is investigating with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This pioneering approach to health promotes patients’ health assets while focusing on key factors that include subjective influences like optimism. This can add to a healthier and longer life according to the organization.
But what happens when optimism wanes? Read more…