Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The deterioration of family values R5

The deterioration of family values R5

Since World War 2 when women were encouraged to join the work force en mass, to replace the men who went to war and keep the economy and the war effort going.
There has been a deterioration of family values and a breakdown of the family unit, a trend where a mother was not at home to take care of her children, monitor their behavior, help with the homework and discipline when and where necessary.
The advancement in technology has harmed family values. The Media and Television has totally destroyed any comprehension of values in our society. We have become a materialistic society – No holds barred.  
The lack of discipline and total disregard for authority and respect is clear to anyone who has watched the past 50 years and seen our society’s values deteriorate.
One example alone is that 50 years ago a teacher was happy to go to school to teach, a teacher was respected and looked up-to, a teacher could discipline.  Today teachers fear for their lives they are petrified by their students, discipline is restricted both to teachers and parents alike.
This scenario caries on to other social interactions of society today, and the situation is getting worse and worse every year.
You will notice that many families who come from other countries have a very strong family values, tradition, good education, respect and the children excel in their studies. That is because they have not had the chance to be influenced by our overly liberal society.
The education of our children begins at home and continues in school – the parents and the school must take a proactive approach to teach our children values and respect.
In today’s society a teacher is not permitted to discipline a student, the teachers will be sued, not to mention that teachers fears for their safety.
Parents in today’s society are also restricted as to how to discipline their children; in many cases parents are getting sued. In many cases children would never dream of treating their parents with such disrespect 50 years ago. Today some parents are afraid of their own children.
Abuse has been and will be with society to eternity that does not give society the right to prohibit discipline; a few acts of abuse should not cause society to prohibit proper discipline.
When an individual or individuals utilize a vehicle to commit a crime cause the death of others, does society prohibit vehicles altogether, no, a vehicle is very important for our everyday life.
Well, the discipline of our children by parents and teachers is extremely important for our society and the preservation of humanity.
It seems that our society is so busy chasing the dollar, fame and glory, that anything goes all values goes out the window. We should be an example of honesty, integrity and respect to our children.

Are Americans patriotic and proud enough to defend, protect and bring family values back to America? Is America ready to fight for honesty integrity and justice in our society, eliminate corruption and fraud, waste and self serving programs?

Re-invigorate our economy, rebuild our industrial base and decrease our dependence on foreign economies and resources.

YJ Draiman, Northridge, CA.
Tell me and I will forget
Show me and I may remember
Involve me and I will understand.
– Chinese Proverb.

We all want health, happiness, prosperity and life
We, the people, are losing our values. Drunk with decades of material indulgence unbalanced by authentic spiritual endeavor, we’re fast becoming corrupt. We look to objects for happiness and fulfillment. We go shopping when we feel empty and depressed. We elevate billionaires and Hollywood entertainers to positions of public acclaim they have not earned.

AMERICA IS not experiencing a crisis of leadership so much as a crisis of values. Politicians cannot provide them; they are mere caretakers of public business, and are as much in need of values guidance as the rest of us.

So whence do values stem? From faith - From religion.

From a belief in lofty ideals that are not man-made. It is religion rather than politics that teaches that all humans are equal and of infinite value and therefore matter more than ephemeral material objects. It is religion that teaches that family is sacred, marriage is a sacrament and relationships are a more reliable road to happiness than careers. And it is religion that teaches that one good deed – even if it isn’t captured on camera or broadcast on TV – has the power to change the world.

Monday, July 18, 2011

All human life is sacred – from conception to death.

All human life is sacred – from conception to death.

However, we confront a culture in America today that doesn’t hold human life as sacred, but rather, as disposable. This mindset has led to court approved abortion on demand, efforts to legalize assisted suicide, and more.

As a result, human life is cheapened. Countless precious lives are ended - often inside the womb - and society loses more than anyone can imagine.
The Alliance Defense Fund is helping to defend the sanctity of human life, and actively works through its legal efforts to:
  • Defend the free speech rights of advocates for life
  • Oppose efforts to legalize euthanasia
  • Oppose public funding of abortion
  • Support parental consent and informed consent laws
  • Oppose partial-birth, and all other forms of, abortion
  • Oppose methods of "research" or "family planning" that require the taking of human life
  • Defend the right of conscience for pharmacists, nurses, and doctors to refuse to assist in the taking of innocent life
Our goal is to reform American law so that all human life will be respected and protected from conception to death through the power of an alliance

American Family breakdown

American Family breakdown

This is a look at the breakdown of the American Family.

The breakdown of the America family is a serious problem today. In the history of our nation, there has not been a single generation raised with the societal conditions that we have. The disintegration of the family has always preceded the decline of a culture. In this paper, I hope to present the functional theory of sociology in respect to family disintegration. I want to present some reasons for the breakdown of the American family, and I want to present a possible solution to the problem.
As someone who is training for ministry and family counseling, I hope to present my beliefs, clearly and adequately supported with statistics, that God's plan for the family system is the best. I want to begin to support my thesis with some statistics of the problem. I then want to show statistics of families that follow God's plan. The results of the two family systems are significantly differently.

The Functionalist Theory of Sociology
The functionalist theory sees the norm of family as "one husband who is the father, one wife who is mother, and the children." Anything other than this ideal is a deviation from the normalcy of values. "According to this point of view, the family is a basic unit of society that serves the purposes of socializing the young, regulating sexual activity and procreation, providing physical care for family members, and giving psychological support and emotional security to individuals. The precarious position of the family in modern society is seen as stemming from the fact that the family's share of these functions has been dwindling while other institutions have taken on greater responsibility."
In a "Summary of Comments Made during the White House Briefing on the Family," Dr. James Dobson made this comment about the family. "A family is not a collection of individuals who happen to live at the same address. They are people who share an intimate and complex connection with one another, being related by marriage, birth or adoption. Together they form something larger and more significant that the contribution of each person taken singly. That association, locked together by love and lifelong commitment, must have a secure place in the American legal structure. To continue to undermine its foundations and erode its authority is to destroy the very fabric of American life."
How is the American Family Fairing?
A 1994 Georgia court docket shows that nearly 20% of the court cases were divorce. In 1992, one city led the nation in divorce per capita. Last year, 1997, this same city was the divorce capital of the South. It also led the nation in child abuse for two years straight. Currently, at a local middle school, at least thirty teenagers are pregnant. These are just some statistics that evidence the weakening family system. The disintegration of the family has always preceded the decline of a society.
What Are the Reasons For the Decline?
In my research, I have found two major reasons for the decline of the family. The first thing that I want to expound on is "no fault" divorce. In 1969, California permitted divorce when "irreconcilable differences" arose, thus becoming the first state with a "no-fault" divorce law. Nearly all the other states soon added no-fault divorce options to their existing laws. "No fault divorce, which swept the United States and Canada in the early 1970's has been a disaster, making it easier to modify a marriage contract than to escape from an agreement to purchase a refrigerator."
In "Social Problems," the authors present a graph of Marriage and Divorce rates between the years 1910-1993. The marriage rate has slightly declined from around 10.5 per thousand to about nine per thousand. The marriage rate peaked around 1945 and has declined except for two small raises in 1965 and in 1980. The divorce rate has steadily increased from around one per thousand to around 4.5 per thousand. The highest jump in divorce rate came between 1975-1993. If the present divorce rate persists, within another generation roughly half of all marriages will be ended by divorce.
The second problem I see is cohabitation. Many people believe that living together before marriage will enhance their chances for a lasting relationship. Sociologists Larry Bumpass and James Sweet of the University of Wisconsin found this belief to be untrue. Twice as many couples that live together before marriage have divorced as those who do not.
What Can a Family Do?
The keys to a good marriage are found in the Bible. The first key is to show appreciation for each other on a regular basis. Romans 12:10 says, "Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another." The second thing is that we must express our admiration, love, and respect for our families. Romans 13:7 says, "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."
When a man and a woman enter the marriage covenant, it is expected of both to submit to one another. Submission doesn't mean bondage, it simply means to adapt to the characteristics of the other partner. A godly husband will not be a tyrant nor a taskmaster, but he will be a loving provider and protector of his family. The husband
Should "love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:28)."
The wife should submit herself to the authority of her husband. This submission was to be "as unto the Lord." She is not in any way a secondhand citizen, the wife is a helpmate to her husband. A submitted wife is one that her husband can trust. She is like the "Virtuous Woman" in Proverbs 31.
In summary, the situation our nation's families are facing is dire, but there is hope. When the family returns to the original blueprint that God designed, we will begin to see America strengthened. The family can change the nation in one generation if they will follow God's Word.

Family values

Family values

IndividualityWe're happy with who we are. We honor those who work to secure freedom to express our individuality. We respect others by accepting their race, religion, culture, opinions, hobbies or other interests as valuable to them. As we develop and express our various talents we enrich each other's lives as well as our own. Wouldn't life be boring if we were all the same?
IntegrityIntegrity means being the same person inside and out, all the time. Whether in public or in private, we keep our commitments, accept responsibility for our own actions, and are honest and fair with everyone. And yes, it means always telling the truth and being good, just because it is the right thing to do. We know that personal integrity is required to earn another's trust, and is therefore the basis of all human relationships.
IndustryOnly through hard work and dedication can we realize our goals and dreams. We are diligent in our work, using all our talents and always doing our best, no matter what the task. We expect fair compensation for our labors but avoid excess. We strive to be self-sufficient, never expecting others to do for us what we can do for ourselves.
KnowledgeThe joy of learning can last a lifetime. Seeking knowledge begins with asking questions, then pursuing the answers with energy and creativity. We learn when we can accept the answers, even if they are not what we expect. The freedom and understanding gained by knowing the truth are our rewards for the pursuit of knowledge.
CompassionAll of us have needed help at some time in our lives. As well, our success always comes with the help of others. So we freely give our time, talents and resources to those who are in need without reservation or expectation. We patiently seek to understand the needs of others, and offer our assistance whenever we can without waiting for someone else to help.
FamilyWe all belong to a family. Our family bonds gives us identity; a way to recognize ourselves with a culture and heritage all our own. We support each other, depend on each other, respect each other and comfort each other. We are also members of larger families; our community, the human family, and the family of life on Earth. We accept the responsibilities of being a part of these families, only receiving what we need so that others may have their share, and helping to strengthen the family through our service.
OptimismLife is full of promise. We have goals that motivate us, and look to the future with a sense of purpose, knowing that we can make a difference. Though our individual influence may be small, it will spread from our family to others, and to future generations. Our purpose is to work together to bring about personal fulfillment in our lives and peace in the world.
It means always telling the truth and being good, just because it is the right thing to do.

Respecting others, elders and people with opposing views and opinions.

What exactly makes up a strong family that possesses good family values? A family that sustains its members — that supports and nourishes the members throughout the span of that family. A strong family unit creates a safe, positive and supportive place for all members to thrive. They are able to utilize resources and to live together in a fairly healthy manner.
The adults in a strong family set the tone. They are good role models that lead by example. They reach out to friends and community and teach their children the importance of doing the same -- and that becomes part of who the children are. They work together to solve problems, and they pass their skills on to the next generation. Some important elements of a strong family system are family cohesion, family flexibility and family communication.
Cohesion- In families cohesion would be defined as the feeling of being loved, of belonging to the group and being nurtured by it. Although closeness is good in a family unit, there must be a balance between being together and being separate. A person must be able to develop their individuality, while being supported and confident within the family. A few things that bring a family together are the commitment of other family members, and the spending of time together.

Flexibility- There must be a structure in a family or it will become chaotic and will not be a peaceful setting for a family. Conversely, there must be flexibility or the family becomes rigid and the authority figures become resented. We could compare a successful family to a democracy. There are leaders, but the whole group is involved in the decision making process. Although the leaders are in charge all members develop the ability to cope with stress, and at times lead. While the family works to avoid stressful situations they work together to solve problems, without blaming, criticizing and finding fault with each other. Families that tend to have a strong spiritual base seem to have a sense of well-being that facilitates this working together in times of stress.
Communication- Ever hear the saying, “What we have here is a failure to communicate?” A lack of communication can rip a family apart and destroy them. Things that facilitate communication are the things mentioned so far -- family closeness, flexibility, time spent together, spirituality. All members must feel a freedom within the group to express themselves freely.
Another very important factor is the relationship between the “head” couple. In a family that is parented by a happily married couple, people are able to express themselves more freely. What they might say isn’t filtered through the problems of the “guardians.” A happy marriage seems to set the tone in the house. It spills over from the family to the community and a healthy family will be reaching out to help others. They do not tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the world.
A very important thing for families to teach their children is how to make good decisions. If they have watched their parents making well thought out decisions over the years, they will tend to be good decision makers themselves.
A healthy, happy family benefits our whole society. Among the children of strong families their is less crime, less divorce and less emotional problems. They tend to go on and have strong, healthy families of their own, having learned from their folk’s example.

The relationship between your children starts early. Learn how to harvest healthy interactions between brothers and sisters.

The deterioration of family values R2

The deterioration of family values R2

Since World War 2 when women were encouraged to join the work force en mass, to replace the men who went to war and keep the economy and the war effort going.

There has been a trend where a mother was not home to take care of her children, monitor their behavior, help with the homework and discipline when and where necessary.

The advancement in technology has harmed family values. The Media and Television has totally destroyed any comprehension of values in our society.

The lack of discipline and total disregard for authority and respect is clear to anyone who has watched the past 50 years and seen our society’s values deteriorate.

One example alone is that 50 years ago a teacher was happy to go to school to teach, a teacher was respected and looked up-to, a teacher could discipline.  Today teachers fear for their lives they are petrified by their students.

This scenario caries on to other social interactions of society today, and the situation is getting worse and worse every year.

You will notice that many families who come from other countries have a very strong family values, good education, respect and the children excel in their studies. That is because they have not had the chance to be influenced by our society.

The education of our children begins at home and continues in school – the parents and the school must take a proactive approach to teach our children values and respect.

In today’s society a teacher is not permitted to discipline a student, the teachers will be sued, not to mention that teachers fears for their safety.

Parents in today’s society are also restricted as to how to discipline their children; in many cases parents are getting sued. In many cases children would never dream of treating their parents with such disrespect 50 years ago. Today some parents are afraid of their own children.

Abuse has been and will be with society to eternity that does not give society the right to prohibit discipline; a few acts of abuse should not cause society to prohibit proper discipline.

When an individual or individuals utilize a vehicle to commit a crime cause the death of others, does society prohibit vehicles altogether, no, a vehicle is very important for our everyday life.

Well, the discipline of our children by parents and teachers is extremely important for our society and the preservation of humanity.
It seems that our society is so busy chasing the dollar, fame and glory, that anything goes all values goes out the window. We should be an example of honesty, integrity and respect to our children.

Yehuda Draiman, Northridge, CA.


Are Americans patriotic and proud enough to defend, protect and bring family values back to America? Is America ready to fight for honesty integrity and justice in our society, eliminate corruption and fraud, waste and self serving programs.
Re-invigurate our economy and decrease our dependence on foreign economies and resources.

Tell me and I will forget
Show me and I may remember
Involve me and I will understand.

n     Chinese Proverb.

Protecting Family Values

The family is the most basic unit of any society or nation. Without healthy, functioning families, a culture cannot survive.

God created marriage as the unity of one man and one woman. This has been both the legal and traditional understanding of a marriage – literally – for millennia, since Eden.
Sadly, many radical activist groups in the U.S. are attempting to twist the law to change the definition of marriage and the family to include same-sex "marriage," polygamy, polyamory, and other structures. These groups scoff at the idea that there is any fixed or known set of values or beliefs that is generally good for families or culture.

We should fight against numerous attacks on marriage and family values, including efforts to:
  • Allow children unlimited access to pornography over the Internet in public libraries
  • Allow those engaging in homosexual behavior to have preference to adopt children and be foster parents
  • Allow those engaging in homosexual behavior to serve openly in the military
  • Expose children to explicit sex education materials contrary to parental approval
  • Deny parents the right to raise their children before God as they see fit

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Tolerance for Intolerance


No Tolerance for Intolerance

One of the essentials of a good community, that is, a community in which each of us can build flourishing lives for ourselves and those we care about, is tolerance. Tolerance matters for the obvious reason that the diversity of interests and desires people have is sometimes so great that we don't even understand why others should think and behave as they do; and yet we acknowledge their right to do so, because we cherish the same right for ourselves.
Thus, the very possibility of society turns on tolerance. Society involves people getting along peacefully all the time and co-operatively most of the time, and neither is possible unless people recognize the entitlement of others to their choices, and give them space accordingly.
But here, of course, is the familiar rub: the paradox of tolerance, which is that a tolerant society is at risk of tolerating those who are intolerant, and allowing movements to grow which foster intolerance. The profoundly dismaying spectacle of the contemporary Netherlands illustrates this point. What was one of the most inclusive and welcoming societies in Europe has been stabbed in the heart by people it sheltered and who have grown into intolerant activists wishing to impose conformity and censorship on others by violence. And alas, it has happened here [in Scotland], too.
The remedy for the paradox of tolerance is, of course, that tolerance can't tolerate intolerance. But this truism is often greeted with the response that if tolerance is intolerant of something, it is in breach of itself: it becomes self-defeating in another way. The answer is to insist that although it's natural to think that tolerance is a warm, woolly, feel-good attitude, in fact it is a principle: it's an ethical demand that everyone should respect everyone else's rights and liberties. And this does the trick all by itself. Tolerance is not a demand to license just anything whatever, least of all behavior that threatens the rights of others. Tolerance thus has its central place in the good society along with other principles that stop it from being a merely flabby acceptance that anything goes.
These are the principles of pluralism and individual liberty, which essentially require tolerance, but indicate its rational limit. Insisting on this vital point is what explains why tolerance not only cannot but must not tolerate intolerance.

Honor, Honesty and Integrity these are not just words

Honor, Honesty and Integrity these are not just words

At times we feel maybe justified in violating a part of our own integrity.
We don’t measure the effect that by doing so, the amount of damage
that it does to others as well as to our own soul.
We speak of justice; we speak of honesty and doing the right things in
life. We are sometimes confronted not so much by the violation of
these principles but by the impact they have on our own spirit.
Feeling betrayed by those you trust, who have in some way acted in a manner that you may never understand,
will have an impact on your life. This may only be for a moment or maybe a lifetime;
each person has their own emotional point of tolerance to transgressions that may have been committed by even the most trusted among you.
These words are what make’s us civilized. They are the fundamentals
of our own character. We can not be responsible for someone else’s
behavior but we are in total control of our own. Our behavior in any
setting should be guided by these words.
We can forgive others, but it is not easy for us to forgive ourselves
when it is our actions that bring forth circumstances that no one
wants. I have felt recently that betrayal, that dishonest act that just
hurts and saddens the soul. Of course, that does not make that person
bad or evil. It is an act that does not help for the survival of a group.
I believe in the biblical statement that vengeance is the Lord’s it is not
mine to give. When dealing with anyone in any capacity honesty is the
guide. Integrity is the path to take. Honor is yours to own. Weep as
you may for an infraction of another upon you; forgive as that
transgression will also corrupt your soul to a deeper distrust of all.
For the transgressor it will be easy to do that which they may feel is
right, though the action violates all honor or self respect which creates
havoc and chaos on others. Maybe to be honest will allow one to sleep
at night. My heart pains, for those who have chosen the path of least
resistance, which is the path to destruction.
Integrity doesn’t mean that you become some cold, stoic person, and
vacant of all emotion. Integrity just means to flow with your honest
feelings and actions ensuring that they are in alignment with propriety.
If you don’t like what you are doing then honor yourself by doing the
best job anyway. You can always change careers.


Ethical values provide the foundation on which a civilized society exists. Without the foundation, civilization collapses. On a personal level, everyone must answer the following question: What is my highest aspiration? The answer might be wealth, fame, knowledge, popularity, or integrity. But if integrity is secondary to any of the alternatives, it will be sacrificed in situations in which a choice must be made. Such situations will inevitably occur in every person's life.
A 1987 popular movie portrayed the unscrupulous dealings of people involved in securities trading based on nonpublic (inside) information. A key character, portrayed by actor Michael Douglas, in a dramatic scene says, "Greed is good!" The implication is that greed is an acceptable motivation and that business people will do anything to make money, including engage in unethical behavior. In reality, greed is unacceptable, and unethical behavior will destroy a firm's ability to make money. Although the goal of any firm should be to increase its owners' wealth, to do so requires the public's trust. In the long run, that trust depends on ethical business practices.
In the United States and other free societies, people often have the freedom to make their own decisions about the "right" thing to do. Before the American Republic, a common belief was that where there was liberty, anarchy would result because people would be unable to govern themselves. Yet Americans were free and well behaved. How could this be?
The great English writer, G.K. Chesterton, observed that America was the only nation in the world founded on a creed. He said that creed was set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence. Chesterton was referring to the second paragraph of America's founding document: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
America's founders established a nation based on widely held ethical values. In George Washington's farewell address to public life, September 17, 1796, he said that the survival of freedom on American soil would have nothing to do with him, and everything to do with the character of its people and the government they would elect:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.... In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all the connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the others, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?... [R]eason and experienceboth forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
In addressing the Massachusetts militia in 1789, John Adams, the second U.S. President, said, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Whether a person derives ethical values from religious principle, history and literature, or personal observation and experience, there are some basic ethical guidelines to which everyone can agree. In the July 1992 issue of Management Accounting, James Brackner, member of the IMA Committee on Ethics, stated:
The universities are responding with an increased emphasis on ethical training for decision making. For the most part, however, they ignore the teaching of values. For moral or ethical education to have meaning, there must be agreement on the values that are considered "right."
Michael Josephson, in Chapter 1 of Ethical Issues in the Practice of Accounting, 1992, described the "Ten Universal Values." They were as follows: honesty, integrity, promise-keeping, fidelity, fairness, caring, respect for others, responsible citizenship, pursuit of excellence, and accountability.
In considering the impact of ethical values on a society, Chuck Colson made the following observation:1
Societies are tragically vulnerable when the men and women who compose them lack character. A nation or a culture cannot endure for long unless it is undergirded by common values such as valor, public-spiritedness, respect for others and for the law; it cannot stand unless it is populated by people who will act on motives superior to their own immediate interest. Keeping the law, respecting human life and property, loving one's family, fighting to defend national goals, helping the unfortunate, paying taxes--all these depend on the individual virtues of courage, loyalty, charity, compassion, civility, and duty.
When ethical values are falling, people often turn to government for help. However, there is little government, especially in a free society, can do when its citizens are unethical. Echoing the sentiment of President John Adams, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, in his 1978 address at Harvard University, stated the following:
Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society has turned out to have scarce defense against the abyss of human decadence, for example against the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, such as motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror. This is all considered to be part of freedom and to be counterbalanced, in theory, by the young people's right not to look and not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.
The purpose of ethics in business is to direct business men and women to abide by a code of conduct that facilitates, if not encourages, public confidence in their products and services. In the accounting field, the AICPA maintains and enforces a code of professional conduct for public accountants. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) also maintain a code of ethics. Professional accounting organizations recognize the accounting profession's responsibility to provide ethical guidelines to its members.
Can ethics be taught? At some point in life, ethics must be taught. People are not born with innate desires to be ethical or to be concerned with the welfare of others. The role of the family includes teaching children a code of ethical behavior that includes respect for parents, siblings, and others. The family bears chief responsibility for ensuring that children will receive the necessary education and moral guidance to become productive members of society. The basic values such as honesty, self-control, concern for others, respect for legitimate authority, fidelity, and civility must be passed from one generation to the next, a fundamental process of the family. The breakdown of the family is associated with some terrible social problems. In an editorial in U.S. News and World Report, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief, wrote:2
It has been fashionable to glorify the trend toward single-parent families resulting from high divorce rates and unmarried child-bearing. One million kids a year now watch their parents split up, and a like number are born out of wedlock. This selfish rationalization substitutes the happiness of the adult in our moral codes for the well-being of the children. Career and self-fulfillment have got ahead of caring responsibility. The results on children have been devastating. The developing child needs love, stability, constancy, harmony and permanency in family life. These needs have been casuistically sacrificed in the adult's quest for freedom, independence and choice. ...The impact that family disintegration has on children's life is a national crisis that has weakened our social fabric and placed unbearable burdens on schools, courtsprisons and the welfare system. The nuclear family must be nurtured. It must be at the center, not the periphery, of social policy. Too many policies and attitudes undermine this central value.
The United States in the 1990s could be described by the words of Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the season of despair."3
From 1960 to 1990, the U.S. population increased 41 percent. During the same period, gross domestic product increased 250 percent; social spending by government (in constant 1990 dollars) increased from 143 billion dollars to 787 billion dollars, a 450 percent increase; inflation-adjusted spending on welfare rose 633 percent; on education, 225 percent. These statistics might lead one to conclude that Americans are characterized by hard work, generosity, and a commitment to education. Some other statistics are not very encouraging. The rate of violent crime increased 355 percent; divorce, 125 percent; illegitimate births, 428 percent; children living in single-parent homes, 193 percent; teen suicide, 214 percent; and scores on the S.A.T. dropped 75 points. America faces some difficult social problems. The best way to respond to these problems is not always clear. Yet, to sit back and ignore the problems is clearly the road to disaster.
The twenty-sixth president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, said it best: "To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." More recently, the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting (Treadway Commission) indicated that curricula should integrate the development of ethical values with the acquisition of knowledge and skills.4 John C. Burton, dean of the Columbia University Business School, in a speech to the American Accounting Association, stated that the declining influence of social institutions has increased the role educators must play in shaping values.5 Cal Thomas made the following assessment: "If we want to produce people who share the values of a democratic culture, they must be taught those values and not be left to acquire them by chance."6
Specific responsibilities of the accounting profession are expressed in the various codes of ethics promulgated by major organizations such as the AICPA. The AICPA's first principle of professional conduct states: "In carrying out their responsibilities as professionals, members should exercise sensitive professional and moral judgments in all their activities."
A profession is formed on the basis of (1) a generally accepted body of knowledge, (2) a widely recognized standard of attainment, and (3) an enforceable code of ethics. A code of ethics is a crucial element in forming a professional. The three major accounting professional organizations have an ethics code.
The main reason for having ethical guidelines is not to provide a cookbook solution to every practice-related problem, but to aid in the decision-making process for situations that involve ethical questions. Business persons will encounter novel situations in their jobs and will need ethical guidelines to handle them effectively. Ethics codes are necessary to provide such guidance. To aid its 100,000 members in resolving ethical dilemmas, the Institute of Management Accountants recently established an "ethics hotline." Ethics counselors offer confidential advice, solace, and comfort to management accountants who may have no other place to turn for help.
When societal values are deteriorating, maintaining high ethical standards in accounting and business grows increasingly difficult. People will undoubtedly ask, If everyone else is cheating, then how can an ethical person possibly succeed? Nevertheless, the real question is, how does one measure success? Exhibit 1 provides a poignant essay on the foolishness of measuring success by the accumulation of wealth or power.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When government is big enough to pretend to give you everything you think you want

When government is big enough to pretend to give you everything you think you want

When government is big enough to pretend to give you everything you think you want, it is big enough to take from you everything you have -- including your freedom and your property. – President Gerald Ford in a joint session of Congress (August 12, 1974).

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Instead of continuing down the path of perpetual governmental assistance and centralized power, together lets redirect our district and country back to the road of individual freedom and personal responsibility. The partisan bickering and divisive discussions in Congress have done nothing. It is our responsibility and duty to make sure that our country returns to the ideals that it was founded on.

I am a person who confronts issues directly. When I am representing the people of Los Angeles in Los Angeles City Hall, I will always be available and accountable to YOU, my constituents. I will represent the people of LA in a way that is both beneficial to our home, and favorable to our city at large. I will review ALL legislation before voting on it, instead of just relying on partisan voting as a way for determining OUR voice in City Hall. With your input and support, together we will have a strong voice in Los Angeles City Hall and with that voice we will take bold actions on the economy, jobs and the city debt.

On March 5th, when you are given the opportunity to exercise your sacred right to vote, I ask that you entrust me with representing your interests in Los Angeles City Hall. Together, let's work on bringing the very best back to the City of Los Angeles. Let us avoid wasteful spending and special interests. Let’s put partisan politics aside for meaningful compromise. We are responsible for the direction of our City and as YOUR Mayo, I will make sure OUR voice is heard, and that OUR issues are made priorities

Anyone who supports government by the people for the people and means it in practice has my support. We need less government, less spending, fiscal responsibility, business & job friendly environment. Absolute honesty and integrity is a must. No bailouts, business must stand on its own - or go out of business.
Enforcement of current laws.
Power to the people.
We should put all elected officials on commission base, maybe this will put some fire under them to perform better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happiness Explained and other emotions - feelings

Happiness Explained and other emotions - feelings

Happiness is the undying quest of life, the unquenchable thirst and the insatiable hunger of all human kind. Happiness is what we all seek for, what we long for. But can such bliss be nothing but an elusive state of mind, which is here one moment and gone the next, or is such a positive outlook attainable for a lifetime? Perhaps it is, it just is

The extraordinary power of love can be overwhelming and transforming. Love is indefinable and yet all pervading.

Nature provides us with the very essence of life. However, the world is increasingly taking recourse to synthetic and toxic materials, which is polluting the atmosphere and curtailing human longevity. It’s about time we shifted the accent to nontoxic, nonpolluting and eco-friendlier natural habits and habitats.

Breathing is synonymous with life. Yet, for most of us, it is just one more of those things that we take for granted. After all, it is just about inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, right? Wrong. And it’s high time we realized that

Despite centuries of Man’s continued existence on this planet, he has failed to conclusively solve the riddle posed by two indelible facts of human existence—Life and Death. What is Life? Religions have preached about it, philosophers have pondered over it and ordinary mortals have lived through it. But the eternal mystery of Life still eludes us.

The human quality of forgiving everyone and everything including yourself is taking a step nearer to enlightenment and the ultimate peace of mind. To forgive, the masters would have us believe, is the best gift you can give yourself.

Ethics and Values
It is said that evolution is as much of a biological issue as it is an ethical one: the higher you are on the evolutionary ladder, the more important become ethics, or the concepts of right and wrong. In fact, what sets Man apart from animals is a heightened sense of ethical and moral value—be it in the soothing realm of the family or the rapidly competitive world of work

Success is what dreams are made of. Success is about making it in life. Fast cars, expensive penthouses, designer labels—in other words, high material viability is the new success mantra. Yet we see large hordes of people demanding to do more than that by trying to find a common denominator for success. No longer weighed in terms of tidy bank balances, success is now regarded as all-inclusive quotient of material, emotional and spiritual gratification. Belying Alvin Toffler`s apocalyptic cry against capitalism and urbanization, success does not remain merely a socially abrasive economic phenomenon in a highly competitive world. Today success represents a holistic and positive attitude to life.

Attitude is everything. If you think you can, you most certainly can. Success is not closeted within some kind of brick and mortar premises. It assumes the individuality of a complete act executed with perfection. Material achievements do not define life. We do not remember the sports stars for the products they endorse but the spirit of achievement they represent. In the abundance of positive attitude underlies the grandeur of a truly rewarding and rich life.

Ancient Indian wisdom believes that the most qualifying aspect of success lies in following the four Purusharthas (tenets) of life. The Purusharthas are based on the four tenets of artha (wealth, social security), kama (fulfillment of desire), dharma (principles) and moksha (salvation). Wealth or artha means earthly possessions and material gains. People usually work hard to procure such standards of success, and yet, find themselves wanting more. Desires condemned by puritans the world over, is motivating force behind all action that manifests as success. High moral credo or dharma is a life based on principles. However the crowning glory to successful life is moksha or freedom from all desires. Artha, kama, dharma and moksha patterns a rite of passage for an adult life. According to Indian thought, success depends upon the smooth transition of an individual through each of these passages

Total transformation is perhaps the ultimate evolutionary step that the spirit can take. Yet, what has always been on the fringes of human endeavor—the preserve of saints and sages—is today moving into the mainstream. With modern day strains and stress-related problems, transformation is becoming your business and mine. Transformation is being sought as a solution to life’s problems and as a tool for personal development.

Less than a century ago heart disease was an extremely rare disease. However, today it is the cause of death of more people in the world than all other deadly diseases taken together. The most encompassing researches and studies on heart health have indicated that lack of happiness and gratification is by far the biggest risk factor resulting in heart problems. Since happiness is amongst the principal expressions of love, only those medicines that are love-based can truly and completely heal the heart and protect one from disease and ageing. If fear is the motivating factor that compels someone to go for a particular treatment or initiate major changes in life style or diet the chances of disease prevention or recovery are minimized. The current approaches for achieving heart’s health, free from any life threatening condition, are primarily symptom-orientated and do not deal with the underlying causes.

In many developed countries fatality rate from heart conditions have decreased a bit. This has happened due to breakthroughs in medical education and new medicines, the bypass surgeries and the angioplasties. Now the beneficiaries of these advancements are living, but with consequences. The less healthy hearts still beat, but they are not strong enough for living and enjoying a good quality of life.

Apart from giving a wide range of side effects most presently used treatments for heart diseases transfuse enormous fear in body cells, which react by releasing large amounts of the stress hormones. This by itself can threaten the healing system. Until lately, these treatments were conceived to be more or less safe but are now distinguished by leading heart centers and resources to be the primary cause of a new ailment known as chronic heart failure. Chronic heart failure is a gradual death-experience that has attained epidemic ratios. The inability of the science systems to make this organ healthy again instills the obligation for healing back to where it always belonged. That is the heart, body, mind and spirit of every being. It opens the way for alternative healing.

Believe it or not but the tendency to think that one will have a healthy heart all life lone without any extra effort is inherent by birth. Have u been taking your heart for granted? Are you waiting for something tragic to happen to realize how fragile this human organ truly is? The chances are the answer is a big yes. The sooner one takes the waking call and stops’ expecting the heart to perform well in spite of all one does the better.

The heart is merely not a pump - it is the headspring of every feeling and emotion, whether it is delight and excitement or gloominess and frustration. Mental and emotional tenseness disrupts the emotional heart, whereas, a junk diet, insalubrious lifestyle and absence of physical excises weakens the physical heart. Several illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol and obesity are also known to be the contributing factor for heart ailments. Smoking is also a major contributor to coronary diseases. Smoking may actuate coronary spasms where the blood vessels of the heart are pinched or narrowed, causing chest pain or a heart attack.

A holistic approach to keeping the heart healthy requires one to nurture the emotional along with the physical heart. Prevention, as known, is always better than cure, however, in case of health of the heart there is less possibility of a complete cure. However, the possibility remains but only possible with an holistic approach. Salubrious diet plans and an active lifestyle coupled with emotional freedom will lay a strong foundation and ensure that the heart beats with life till the very end.

For most of us, aura is that golden glow emanating from deities` images in calendar art. However, this energy field is not the sole property of divine beings. We all have it—including dogs, cats, a block of wood or a piece of paper. And, in each case, it depicts the personality, health and the spiritual evolution of its material half

Wellness or good health is that state of vibrant equipoise between the individual and the universe. A state in which the body, mind and spirit are free and fully expressive

What is the next step in human evolution? Where are we, as a species, going? While some people believe that we have reached the acme of our possibilities and that now it’s time for entropy to take over, others believe that the superman is yet to come. Considering that the human race has been on earth for a very short span in this planet’s evolutionary scheme, it does seem more likely that we have tapped only an infinitesimal percentage of our potentials

An absolute power in modern society—money makes everything click! It remains the single source of almost all temptations and motivations ever known to man—entire empires and kingdoms have been raised and decimated for the lure of the lucre. Today, when social scientists raise ethical issues over the nature of man’s relationship with money, many agree about the constructive potential involved in making it. But at the end of the day the most eternal of all facts is that—all of us need it!

Omnipotent. Omnipresent. Omniscient. These are recognized as the universal attributes of God. But who or what is God and for that matter, which is the one `true` path to this Divine Soul? Should we meditate on a formless Supreme Being or worship a Divine idol? Better still, should we realize Him within our very own selves? These questions have plagued mankind down the ages and continue to do so till date, so much so that nations are erected in His name, wars fought and innocents massacred!

All in the name of God—and that `authentic` path, which might lead Man to this Supreme Being

What is death? The final good-bye? Or a transition from one level of existence to the other? Most religions talk of an afterlife. In fact, almost all concepts of morality are based on what’s going to be meted out to us after we die. So, does that make death a moment of mourning, a sad occasion when we see our loved ones for the last time? Or is it a moment of celebration, when we prepare to break free of the mortal form and exhilarate in the communion with the eternal?

Personal growth
Personal growth is the process of unfolding your full potential and achieving what you came to the earth for—your own Godhood, no less!

What does work mean? Is it just a means to earn your livelihood? Or is it an expression of your perception of life? If so, then, while choosing your career, should you go by what’s lucrative, or by your inner instincts and aptitudes?

As a natural state of mind, tolerance indicates an ability to coexist with others, to respect alternative points of view, to neither dominate nor be dominated. It suggests both the ability to be yourself as well as allow others that freedom. It is both sturdy individuality and acceptance of other points of view

When we share, we break out of the boundaries of our ego and recognize the humanity of the other. Sharing breeds inter-dependence, happiness and harmony

The word `stress` is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy". A condition or circumstance (not always adverse), which can disturb the normal physiological and psychological functioning of an individual. In medical parlance `stress` is defined as a perturbation of the body’s homeostasis. This demand on mind-body occurs when it tries to cope with incessant changes in life. A `stress` condition seems `relative` in nature. Extreme stress conditions, psychologists say, are detrimental to human health but in moderation stress is normal and, in many cases, proves useful. Stress, nonetheless, is synonymous with negative conditions. Today, with the rapid diversification of human activity, we come face to face with numerous causes of stress and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."
—Thomas Jefferson

The Dynamics of Stress
In a challenging situation the brain prepares the body for defensive action—the fight or flight response by releasing stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline. These hormones raise the blood pressure and the body prepares to react to the situation. With a concrete defensive action (fight response) the stress hormones in the blood get used up, entailing reduced stress effects and symptoms of anxiety.

When we fail to counter a stress situation (flight response) the hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the blood stream for a long period of time. It results in stress related physical symptoms such as tense muscles, unfocused anxiety, dizziness and rapid heartbeats. We all encounter various stressors (causes of stress) in everyday life, which can accumulate, if not released. Subsequently, it compels the mind and body to be in an almost constant alarm-state in preparation to fight or flee. This state of accumulated stress can increase the risk of both acute and chronic psychosomatic illnesses and weaken the immune system.

Stress can cause headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorder, allergies, insomnia, backaches, frequent cold and fatigue to diseases such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart ailments and even cancer. In fact, Sanjay Chugh, a leading Indian psychologist, says that 70 per cent to 90 per cent of adults visit primary care physicians for stress-related problems. Scary enough. But where do we err?

Just about everybody—men, women, children and even fetuses—suffer from stress. Relationship demands, chronic health problems, pressure at workplaces, traffic snarls, meeting deadlines, growing-up tensions or a sudden bearish trend in the bourse can trigger stress conditions. People react to it in their own ways. In some people, stress-induced adverse feelings and anxieties tend to persist and intensify. Learning to understand and manage stress can prevent the counter effects of stress.

Methods of coping with stress are aplenty. The most significant or sensible way out is a change in lifestyle. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, physical exercises, listening to soothing music, deep breathing, various natural and alternative methods, personal growth techniques, visualization and massage are some of the most effective of the known non-invasive stress busters.

Stress Can Be Positive
The words `positive` and `stress` may not often go together. But, there are innumerable instances of athletes rising to the challenge of stress and achieving the unachievable, scientists stressing themselves out over a point to bring into light the most unthinkable secrets of the phenomenal world, and likewise a painter, a composer or a writer producing the best paintings, the most lilting of tunes or the most appealing piece of writing by pushing themselves to the limit. Psychologists second the opinion that some `stress` situations can actually boost our inner potential and can be creatively helpful. Sudha Chandran, an Indian danseus, lost both of her legs in an accident. But, the physical and social inadequacies gave her more impetus to carry on with her dance performances with the help of prosthetic legs rather than deter her spirits.

Experts tell us that stress, in moderate doses, are necessary in our life. Stress responses are one of our body’s best defense systems against outer and inner dangers. In a risky situation (in case of accidents or a sudden attack on life et al), body releases stress hormones that instantly make us more alert and our senses become more focused. The body is also prepared to act with increased strength and speed in a pressure situation. It is supposed to keep us sharp and ready for action.

Research suggests that stress can actually increase our performance. Instead of wilting under stress, one can use it as an impetus to achieve success. Stress can stimulate one’s faculties to delve deep into and discover one’s true potential. Under stress the brain is emotionally and biochemically stimulated to sharpen its performance.

A working class mother in down town California, Erin Brokovich, accomplished an extraordinary feat in the 1990s when she took up a challenge against the giant industrial house Pacific Gas & Electric. The unit was polluting the drinking water of the area with chromium effluents. Once into it, Brockovich had to work under tremendous stress taking on the bigwigs of the society. By her own account, she had to study as many as 120 research articles to find if chromium 6 was carcinogenic. Going from door to door, Erin signed up over 600 plaintiffs, and with attorney Ed Masry went on to receive the largest court settlement, for the town people, ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in the U.S. history—$333 million. It’s an example of an ordinary individual triumphing over insurmountable odds under pressure. If handled positively stress can induce people to discover their inherent talents.

Stress is, perhaps, necessary to occasionally clear cobwebs from our thinking. If approached positively, stress can help us evolve as a person by letting go of unwanted thoughts and principle in our life. Very often, at various crossroads of life, stress may remind you of the transitory nature of your experiences, and may prod you to look for the true happiness of life.

Stress Throughout Evolution
Stress has existed throughout the evolution. About 4 billion years ago, violent collision of rock and ice along with dust and gas, led to the formation of a new planet. The planet survives more than 100 million years of meltdown to give birth to microscopic life. These first organisms endured the harshest of conditions—lack of oxygen, exposure to sun’s UV rays and other inhospitable elements, to hang on to their dear life. Roughly 300,000 years ago, the Neanderthals learnt to use fire in a controlled way, to survive the Glacial Age. And around 30,000 years, Homo sapiens with their dominant gene constitutions and better coping skills, won the game of survival. Each step of evolution a test of survival, and survival, a matter of coping with the stress of changing conditions.

Millions of trials and errors in the life process have brought men to this stage. Coping with events to survive has led men to invent extraordinary technologies, beginning with a piece of sharpened stone.

From the viewpoint of microevolution, stress induction of transpositions is a powerful factor, generating new genetic variations in populations under stressful environmental conditions. Passing through a `bottleneck`, a population can rapidly and significantly alters its population norm and become the founder of new, evolved forms.

Gene transposition through Transposable Elements (TE)—`jumping genes`, is a major source of genetic change, including the creation of novel genes, the alteration of gene expression in development, and the genesis of major genomic rearrangements. In a research on `the significance of responses of the genome to challenges,` the Nobel Prize winning scientist Barbara McClintock, characterized these genetic phenomena as `genomic shock`.This occurs due to recombination of events between TE insertions (high and low insertion polymorphism) and host genome. But, as a rule TE’s remain immobilized until some stress factor (temperature, irradiation, DNA damage, the introduction of foreign chromatin, viruses, etc.) activates their elements.

The moral remains that we can work a stress condition to our advantage or protect ourselves from its untoward follow-throughs subject to how we handle a stress situation. The choice is between becoming a slave to the stressful situations of life and using them to our advantage.

Enlightenment or illumination is a fundamental philosophical concept which beyond religion and essentially means being illuminated by acquiring new wisdom or understanding.

The Buddhist Bodhi, Zen Satori and Hindu moksha all refer to this state of being. In all these traditions, enlightenment means one is ultimately free from the cycle of suffering and rebirth and to be born only to save others by aiding them in the path toward Enlightenment

Yoga is a way of life. It is predominantly concerned with maintaining a state of equanimity at all costs. All yoga schools of thought emphasize the importance of the mind remaining calm, because as the saying goes, only when the water is still can you see through it. Yoga Darshan or Yoga Philosophy also happens to be a valid discipline of Indian metaphysics (Brahma Vidya). It is the result of human wisdom and insight on physiology, psychology, ethics and spirituality collected together and practiced over thousands of years for the well being of humanity.

The basic idea of yoga is to unite the atma or individual soul with the paramatma or the Universal Soul. According to Yoga philosophy, by cleansing one’s mind and controlling one’s thought processes one can return to that primeval state, when the individual self was nothing but a part of the Divine Self. This is the sense encapsulated in the term samadhi. The aim of the yogi is to be able to perceive the world in its true light and to accept that truth in its entirety.

In Sanskrit, the term `yoga` stands for `union`. A yogi’s ultimate aim is to be able to attain this `union` with the Eternal Self with the help of certain mental and physical exercises. It is often said that Hiranyagarbha (The Cosmic Womb) Himself had originally advocated the traditional system of yoga, from which all other yoga schools have evolved. But for all extant knowledge of yoga and its practices, such as yogasanas and pranayama, the entire credit goes to Maharishi Patanjali.

Patanjali systematized the various yogic practices and traditions of his times by encapsulating them in the form of aphorisms in his Yoga Sutra. In this momentous work, he describes the aim of yoga as knowledge of the self and outlines the eight steps or methods of achieving it. These are:

• Yamas or eternal vows,
• Niyamas or observances,
• Yogasanas or yoga postures,
• Pranayama or breath control exercises,
• Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses from distractions of the outside world,
• Dharana or concentration on an object, place or subject,
• Dhyana or the continuance of this concentration-meditation and
• Samadhi or the ultimate stage of yoga meditation.

Don’t we all come to this world as guests—constantly striving to find the golden rule of a successful rapport with everybody and everything we come across? From birth to death a person’s success or failure is measured by the kind of relationship he/ she have had with elements of this world: people. Nature and beyond it all, with the spirit behind this "relative world". But striking the right chord in a relationship often proves a hard nut to crack.

The world seems to constantly echo with a disconcerting chorus of voices, the result of frustrated relationships between parents and their children, husbands and wives, friends, siblings, in-laws, employees and colleagues—individuals disillusioned with themselves for not being able to relate successfully to their environs.

The most interesting aspect of this scenario is that, today there happens to be no dearth of methods to arrive at that elusive "success" in the act of relating.

The phenomenal flux of changes in every sphere of our lives since the last century has redefined the role of human relationships. Social revolutions such as the women’s lib, the cult of the individual, and even the human potential movement have re-patterned the basic premises of relationships. A good relationship today is not one that just lasts but one that coexists with self-respect, individuality and the need to grow.

For it to thrive successfully, marriage counselors and psychologists, also, stress the need for this kind of "space" within a couple’s relationship. An individual in a marriage shouldn’t be a repository of one’s own needs and desires; in fact both the people involved should be totally committed to their relationship. They must be ready to take responsibility for themselves as well as the relationship.

How to Make Relationships Work

• Don’t try too hard to convince the other person of your love. Love and trust yourself more. This will relax your love defenses and enable you to give yourself totally to relationship.
• Don’t question the other person’s love all the time.
• Feel the oneness of the universe. Step beyond the `me first` conflicts that mar relationships. This would help you be complete within yourself.
• Don’t use your relationships to fulfill your expectations.
• Know yourself. Analyze the cause of your reactions.
• Acknowledge the other person as an individual. Grow and let grow.
• In a conflicting relationship, check where you went wrong rather than where the other person failed. Listen to each other. Communication strengthens the foundation of a relationship.
• Take the first step in working out a relationship without worrying about who is in the right. Don’t depend on any person and don’t let the other person depend on you.

One of life’s greatest achievements is to grow and let your seeds grow. Nothing in life is more fulfilling than watching your children blossom. More so when you have to nurture, educate and guide them towards a life most suitable to them. Millions of parents do it all the time—some, with a lot of effort, some without a thought. So, what really is good parenting? Is it discipline, moral education, freedom to let your child be what he is? Or is it something more subtle, something that goes by the name of life’s lessons?

But it might be a good thing to remember that, no matter how eager or ambitious we are in shaping our children’s lives, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. Swami Vivekananda, founder of Ramakrishna Mission, uses the analogy of growing a plant to drive home the point:

"You cannot make a plant grow in soil unsuited to it. A child teaches itself. But you can help it to go forward in its own way. What you can do is not of the positive nature, but of the negative. You can take away the obstacles, but knowledge comes out of its own nature. Loosen the soil a little, so that it may come out easily. Put a hedge round it; see that it is not killed by anything, and there your work stops. You cannot do anything else. The rest is a manifestation from within its own nature."

"You cannot make a plant grow in soil unsuited to it. A child teaches itself. But you can help it to go forward in its own way. What you can do is not of the positive nature, but of the negative. You can take away the obstacles, but knowledge comes out of its own nature. Loosen the soil a little, so that it may come out easily. Put a hedge round it; see that it is not killed by anything, and there your work stops. You cannot do anything else. The rest is a manifestation from within its own nature."

• Teach values such as honesty, integrity, patience and self-control gradually and steadily, that too by your own example.
• Praise them openly and often, reprove secretly and seldom; reprimand the bad behavior, not your children.
• Teach them self-esteem and self-confidence (something they’ll carry for the rest of their lives).
• Restrict television watching and recreation time. Keep a watch on your children’s company.
• Try to keep alcohol and drugs away from the house, or keep them in moderation.
• Maintain a happy and loving home environment.
• Give a lot of your time to your children, both quality and quantity.
• Make humor and laughter a part of your relationship with children.
• Allow children to grow and learn through the mistakes they make.
• Hug and show feelings of love whenever possible.
• Communicate gently but clearly and firmly.

• In a time of nuclear families in which wives also contribute to the family kitty, it is imperative that fathers too share the responsibility of bringing up a baby. Don’t view the time spent with your child as a chore. It is an integral part of your life that will help strengthen the parent-child bond.

• The keynote in approaching fatherhood is to relax. A baby is responsive to the parent’s feelings. If you are anxious, so will the baby be.

• A baby often makes demands on its mother at the most outrageous times, leaving her exhausted. At this time you can encourage her by taking on some of the tasks—such as changing nappies or waking up in the night to look after necessary chores.

• It might seem difficult to change your lifestyle that the baby’s presence would inevitably demand. You may have to say good-bye to indulgent hobbies that you have developed over the years, the partying that used to be fun. But if you allow yourself to get involved in the process of your child’s growing up—building blocks with him, doing jigsaws, and reading from picture books—you will discover a new joy, as you watch the wonder of life unfold through its eyes.

Current medical wisdom regarding the rearing of children, upholds some traditional Indian practices while rejecting others:

• Avoid pre-lacteal feeds like honey water, glucose or formula milk.
• Talcum powders serve no purpose and can be avoided. Soaps, if used at all should be mild.
• If your religion your child to be circumcised, postpone circumcision till a later stage and make sure that it is done by a qualified surgeon.
—Dr Promilla Butani in Parenting
• don’t give the child any water or juices until he starts on solid food.
• Avoid applying kohl in the baby’s eyes.
• Take any ailment, even a minor fever, seriously in a newborn
• Avoid putting ear or nose-rings
• Use cotton clothes and diapers.
• After feeding, burp the child. Don`t let the child lie down face-up immediately after feeding.
• Don’t try tricks such as coating your child’s thumb with chilies to rid it of thumb-sucking habit. These are psychological problems that should be handled by a pediatrician.
—Dr Dwarkadas Motiwala

We alternately love them and hate them, but one thing’s for sure—what would we do without them? Our companions for life, our competitors, our confidantes, our rivals, our comrades-in-arms against the whole mad world—what would we do without them? No other bond in the world can beat siblings at sharing such a unique and complex love-hate relationship!

The true worth of having had brothers and/or sisters around while we were growing up never strikes us till we are way past our childhood. The most important lesson we learn at that stage of our lives, is how to get along with individuals other than ourselves. That was also when we learnt to develop social values such as cooperation, honesty, kindness, and tolerance.

Learning such important social skills usually takes a lot of time, but they are imbibed much faster while living with brothers and sisters. Children with siblings learn how to share and resolve conflicts quite easily. And with the right kind of guidance from parents, siblings also get a lot of practice in learning how to be cooperative, supportive, and nurturing to others.

In other words, we probably turned out much better because we had that bullying older brother or the irritating younger sister it prepared us for all the important relationships we encountered later in life.

Tips for Managing Quarrelsome Siblings
• Let siblings express their feelings.
• Try to comment only on the disagreeable behavior and avoid telling one child that a sibling is better at something.
• Try to give each sibling according to his/her individual need.
• Don’t take sides in sibling fights. Instead, try to let the children work out differences on their own.
• It takes time and persistence for you to learn new ways of treating your children and for them to learn new ways of getting along. • Don’t give up.

A friend is someone who walks in when the whole world walks out. Our friends are equity shares we earn in life. We continue to reap dividends on them throughout our lives. Yet today how many of us have shoulders to lean on outside our immediate familial relationships? In a highly competitive and result oriented world, we seem to be drifting away from each other all the time. This is not to say that the world is short of amiable individuals, but rather that we have forgotten the art of maintaining positive camaraderie. In a mad rush to keep up with the fast changing pace of urban living, we fail to nurture and care for basic ties of love and warmth that binds us all together.

Tips for Better Friendships

1. Being Fully Committed
2. Taking Personal Responsibility
3. Taking Care of Yourself
4. Being honest, and
5. Doing Your Work—will allow you to experience the love, happiness, joy, and quality of life that you deserve, and is worth your best effort!

As parents seek admission in schools for their children, they need to pick up the prospectus, fill in forms, seek information, and even go through long tests. All for the elusive `perfect` education for their child... Is it possible to have both—academic skills as well as a free and happy childhood?

Talent is not synonymous with creativity. For, unlike the talent concept , which most often means being good in a certain field, the concept of creativity is that it is a point of view, an approach towards the mundane that transforms every blade of grass into a wonder of life

The Latin term "communitatus" from which the English word "community" comes, is comprised of three elements, "Com-" - a Latin prefix meaning with or together, "-Munis-" –that means "the link" and "-tatus" a Latin suffix suggesting diminutive, small, intimate or local.. German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies, defined that "community" is perceived to be be a tighter and more cohesive social entity within the context of the larger society, due to the presence of a "unity of will." He added that family and kinship were the perfect expressions of community but that other shared characteristics, such as place or belief, could also result in a community. Pehaps, the key is “unity of will”. Communities can be truly empowering and could provide a tremendous support system to all of us. The Indian term “satsang” that talks of a group of like minded souls is the seeker’s solace, support and mainstay.