The Golden Rule and LBGTQIA


Those of us who do not fall into the category of LBGTQIA can at least have empathy for the hostility, criticism, and rejection they face. They, too, are human. They, too, have rights and freedom under the Constitution of the United States among free and democratic nations worldwide.

All of us need to follow the Golden Rule:

  • The Golden Rule, treating others as you want to be treated, is one of human history’s oldest and most universally agreed upon moral principles. We believe this ethical maxim’s spirit has helped prevent violence, starvation, exploitation, and discrimination.

In honor of LGBTQIA + Month

A poem and more:

“It’s hard to be who you really are

When the world around you feels so far

From accepting the way you love or feel

It’s like your heart is under a seal

You want to shout it from the rooftops

That you’re proud of who you are, no stops

But fear and shame hold you back

From being open about your love track

You see others living their lives,

Without a care, without any strife

While you hide in the shadows, in the dark

Afraid of being judged, afraid of a spark

But know that you are not alone

There are others like you, in this zone

Together, we can stand up and fight

For our right to love, to live in the light

“It’s hard to be LGBTIA,

In a world that’s not always okay.

But we’ll keep pushing, keep being true

Until the world finally accepts me and you.


Latent Feelings.

Some individuals may fear that they have latent LGBTQIA+ leanings. This fear may come from various sources, such as societal pressures to conform to heterosexual and cisgender norms, internalized homophobia or transphobia, or a lack of understanding and acceptance towards LGBTQIA+ identities. 

However, it is important to note that having LGBTQIA+ leanings is not something to be feared or ashamed of. Sexual orientation and gender identity are complex and varied, and it is perfectly normal to experience attraction or identify outside of heterosexual and cisgender norms. Individuals must explore their identities and feelings in a safe and supportive environment without judgment or discrimination.

Additional Information:

The LGBTQIA+ community is a group of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. The community has been historically marginalized and discriminated against.  Despite progress in recent years, it continues to face significant challenges. This essay will explore the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, the challenges they face, and the progress made in recent years.

The LGBTQIA+ community has a long and complex history that dates back centuries. Throughout history, individuals who identified as anything other than heterosexual were often persecuted and discriminated against. The first known gay rights organization was founded in Germany in 1897.  The modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement began in the 1960s with events like the Stonewall Riots in New York City. Since then, the movement has grown and evolved, with significant progress in recent years.

Despite this progress, the LGBTQIA+ community continues to face significant challenges. Discrimination and violence against LGBTQIA individuals are still prevalent in many parts of the world. Transgender individuals, in particular, face high rates of discrimination and violence. Transgender women of color are at significant risk. Many LGBTQIA+ individuals face challenges in accessing healthcare, housing, and employment.

However, there have been significant advancements in recent years. In the United States, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, and several states have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The LGBTQIA+ community has also gained more visibility in popular culture, with more television, film, and literary representation. In addition, organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD work to promote LGBTQIA+ rights and advocate for policy change.

Despite progress, much work must be done to ensure the LGBTQIA+ community is fully accepted and protected. It is important to continue advocating for policy change and promoting education and awareness. The purpose is to combat discrimination and prejudice. To repeat:

Whether the issue is sexual or gender identity, race, religion, or ethnicity, we need to return to teaching our children the “Golden Rule.” The Golden

Rule is:

One of the oldest and most universally agreed-upon moral principles in human history. We believe this ethical maxim’s spirit has helped prevent violence, starvation, exploitation, and discrimination.

However, people do not honor or believe in the Golden Rule in the United States and worldwide. If more people believed in and taught this rule to their children, we would have a more peaceful and fair world.


Homelessness, What are the Causes?

  • Homelessness, what causes it?

As the world progresses and advances, homelessness remains a persistent problem. It is a complex issue that affects individuals, families, and communities, and it is a problem that requires a multifaceted solution.

Some people become homeless because of economic hardship. Others may struggle with mental health issues or addiction. Family breakdown, domestic violence, and natural disasters can also contribute to homelessness.

Whatever the cause, it is important to remember that homelessness is not a choice. Nobody wants to be homeless, and those in this situation deserve our compassion and support.

There are many approaches to addressing homelessness. Still, one thing is clear: it requires a collective effort. Governments, non-profits, and individuals can help homeless people.

At the government level, policies and programs can make a significant difference. Non-profit organizations can provide food, shelter, and other help to those in need. They can provide affordable housing, mental health services, and addiction treatment.

As individuals, we can volunteer our time or donate money to organizations that help homeless people. We can also advocate for policies that address the root causes of homelessness and support those struggling.

Ultimately, ending homelessness will require a sustained effort over many years. But by working together and addressing the underlying causes of homelessness, we can make a real difference in the lives of homeless people. We can create a more just and compassionate society for all. And what are some potential solutions?

  • Mental Illness and Homelessness

The Role of Mental Illness in Homelessness

Healthcare for severe mental health conditions can be costly and inaccessible. Mental illness can lead to substance abuse and housing instability without treatment.

Sometimes, the onset of severe mental illness may precipitate a crisis that results in homelessness. Schizophrenia or depression can lead to a job or housing loss, quickly leading to homelessness.

Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses make access to consistent, quality mental health care often impossible due to financial constraints and logistical issues. The stigma of homelessness and mental illness can stop people from getting help.

Societal Structures and the Cycle of Homelessness and Mental Illness

Social and economic structures play a significant role in homelessness and mental illness. Socioeconomic inequality and lack of access to affordable housing contribute to homelessness. Additionally, this cycle perpetuates a lack of robust mental health services and the criminalization of mental illness and homelessness.

Despite the widespread nature of these issues, societal resources allocated to address them often need to be improved. Stigma, lack of knowledge, and bureaucratic red tape can prevent service access.

The relationship between severe mental illness and homelessness is complex. Mental illness can lead to homelessness, and homelessness can cause mental illness.

Comprehensive mental health care, affordable housing, employment opportunities, and social services are urgently needed.

  • Housing Costs

In recent years, rising rents and mortgage rates have contributed to the homelessness crisis in our society. The cost of living has skyrocketed, making it difficult to afford necessities such as housing. Many individuals struggle to keep up with the increasing rental prices, while others face high mortgage rates.

The situation is dire for low and middle-income families struggling to make ends meet. As rental prices rise, many families are forced to choose between paying for housing or other essential needs like food and healthcare. Unfortunately, many end up homeless because they cannot afford rent.

Similarly, rising mortgage rates have made it difficult for homeowners to keep up with their payments. As a result, many people are being foreclosed on and losing their homes. For those struggling financially, this can be the tipping point leading to homelessness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. As eviction moratoriums have ended, many people are in danger of losing their homes and being forced onto the streets.

An approach is needed to increase affordable housing options. It is necessary to address rising rents and mortgage rates to prevent homelessness. We must supply rental help and set up protocols to safeguard the vulnerable. We must also address the root causes of homelessness, such as poverty and inequality, to create a more just and fair society for everyone.

  • Rising Food Costs

Food costs in America have increased over the years, with several factors contributing to this trend. One major reason is the rising cost of production, which includes everything from labor to transportation. Climate change has significantly impacted agriculture, leading to crop failures and lower yields, ultimately increasing prices. 

Finally, the pandemic has also affected food costs, as supply chain disruptions have caused shortages and price increases. The demand for organic and locally grown foods is more expensive than conventionally produced products. These factors have made it more difficult for many Americans to afford healthy, nutritious food.

  • Addiction

Addiction can be a major contributor to homelessness. Substance abuse can lead to financial instability, strained relationships, and job loss. These problems include eviction, foreclosure, or the inability to afford a house. It is important to address addiction and homelessness simultaneously to help those in need recover and regain stability.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Child abuse is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy that has long-term consequences throughout adulthood.

(In the illustration, the alcoholic adult was abused as a child, and his son suffers the trauma of watching his parent pass out from alcohol).

We believe we are living in modern times. One implication is that our lives have vastly improved compared to the past. When I was a youngster, I loved reading Charles Dickens’ books. Those novels centered on poverty and the desperate lives of poor people, especially children. It is abundantly clear that things have improved little for some people. Many financially secure families suffer through the horror of abuse. Children are among those who suffer the most from that abuse. It is the horror of Charles Dickens’s novels again.

We now know that abuse at any age leads to mental and physical health problems.

The Potential Consequences of Childhood Abuse: Physical Illness in Adulthood

Several horrifying circumstances and behaviors cause child abuse and trauma. Some of these are: 

  • physical abuse, 
  • neglect, 
  • sexual abuse, and 
  • emotional abuse
  • abandonment 
  • parental substance use 
  • human trafficking  
  • neglect 

The sad fact is that some children do not survive into adulthood. 

Religious Rationalizations for Abuse:

I have seen cases where parents, especially the father, abuse the child. Still, the father or both parents deny it was abuse. They used the whole time saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Verbal Abuse:

Child abuse occurs when one or both parents curse at the children and blame them for everything. Then there are sometimes welts and scars that can be seen. These are the cases where the scars are invisible. Why mirrors physical abuse? 

In cases of verbal and emotional abuse, the scars are not visible. Rather, the abused child was chronically sick with many viruses. In addition, many of these children become socially avoidant. Some children show their emotional scars by bullying other children in school.

Parental Abuse Against Each Other:

There are cases of child abuse when children witness the parents attacking each other physically and verbally. It is extremely traumatic for the children and just as traumatic as they were abused.

More Cases of Abuse:

  1. There was a case of a young female college student who came to therapy because she felt depressed. He took a year of therapy before she felt safe enough to talk about her being raped in college. She was at a party where everyone was drinking, and she had some drinks too. She met a guy who she liked, and they were both drinking. He took her back to her room, and she couldn’t remember much afterward. The next morning she realized she had been raped, and before she was raped, or drinks were drugged. When she told her mother about it, how mother did not believe her.
  2. There was the case of the junior high school student who was homeless and slept in the back of a truck so we had a place to stay. He ate in the school cafeteria but rarely went to classes.
  3. Where was the case of the 11-year-old boy diagnosed as having mental retardation. He grew up in an abusive home. Child therapy with the mother for one year resulted in test results. IQ test results where his IQ turned out to be in the normal range.
  4. There was a family therapy case. They came to the office without their children. There were two sisters. One was the mother of two children, one of whom was a female child. Her husband, the child’s father, would disappear from their bed at night, and she soon realized that she was raping their daughter. But she was too afraid to do anything about it.

These are anonymous cases from many years ago. Names and locations are mirrored, so there was no way of identifying who they were. And these cases were from long ago.

Childhood is a phase of development during which exposure to traumatic experiences like abuse can have long-term effects. Those effects extend into adulthood. Most people understand the psychological effects of child abuse. But a growing body of evidence shows that these experiences can influence physical health. This blog post will explore the connection between childhood abuse and physical illness in adulthood. 

Three things must be emphasized.

  • Adult survivors of child abuse are unaware they will have any physical problems.
  • Not everyone who suffered child abuse will develop physical illnesses resulting from the abuse.
  • That someone becomes ill during adulthood does not mean they were abused.

Many children who survive child abuse can develop health problems. According to medical research, prolonged exposure to stress hormones causes wear and tear on the body. Over time, this can lead to serious and deadly health problems.

Here are some of the physical health problems that research has associated with a history of childhood abuse:

  1. Chronic Pain Conditions include migraines, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  2. Childhood abuse linked to heart disease.
  3. Childhood trauma can lead to IBS, functional dyspepsia, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
  4. Childhood abuse increases the risk of asthma and other respiratory disorders.
  5. Childhood abuse has been linked to obesity in adulthood.
  6. Adults abused as children may be at risk for autoimmune diseases.
  7. Sleep Disorders: Sleep problems, including insomnia and sleep apnea, can be more common among adults who were abused as children.

Several factors can prevent health problems from happening. These factors include supportive relationships, especially from family members. Those who suffered child abuse but did not become ill during adulthood described how a loving grandparent gained custody of the child. That grandparent raised the children, legally adopting them. 

 People who were abused in childhood also developed mental health problems. A long list of mental health problems results from surviving abuse at any age. Among these are PTSD, depression, acute symptoms of anxiety and panic, addiction, and suicide. Harmful coping mechanisms like substance abuse can compound the risk of physical health problems.

Again, it’s crucial to note that correlation does not imply causation. Many factors contribute to developing health issues, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. These associations suggest that childhood abuse might increase the risk of these health problems. Still, they don’t prove that abuse directly causes these conditions.

If you know of child abuse, call child protective services where you live.

Moral and Ethical Behavior

Are we teaching our children moral and ethical behavior and thinking? Is it all about me or us?

As a boy, I believed morality had to do with sin. In the Novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne gives birth to a baby whose father is unknown. The story takes place in a town in Massachusetts during the Puritans’ time. The townspeople believed that Hester was guilty of the crime of adultery. She was forced to have the letter A embroidered in the color scarlet and sewn into her clothes so that wherever she went, people would know she was an adulteress. But Hester was a proud woman and proudly wore her scarlet letter. She was the hero of the story. 

But morality has to do with many more things than sin. It is caring about other people.

There was a recent and fascinating news item about a wealthy man pretending to be a beggar sitting on the sidewalk outside of an office building. He had a cardboard sign asking people to drop donations into his hat. He pretended to be asleep and filled his hat with hundreds of dollars of cash. Repeatedly, those who walked by looked up and down the street and stole the cash from the man’s hat. It was all an experiment in moral and ethical behavior. After the theft, he once again filled the hat with cash. In the end, one man awakened the man, showed him what had happened, and added his own money to the hat.

Principles and values that shape human behavior are known as morality. Morality is distinguishing right from wrong and consistently deciding with one’s ethical beliefs. Morality is the capacity to care for others. It is a journey beyond the self. It is a multifaceted concept debated by scholars, philosophers, and religious leaders throughout history.

One of the key aspects of morality is the idea of moral responsibility. Responsibility refers to the idea that individuals handle their actions and must take responsibility for them. People are held accountable for their behavior and are expected to follow certain moral principles. Hester Prynne violated one of the moral principles of her time. That moral principle was having sexual relations with someone other than her husband and then becoming pregnant and having a baby.

Another important aspect of morality is the idea of moral values. These values are the principles that guide our behavior and help us distinguish right from wrong. Some common moral values include honesty, kindness, respect, and fairness. Our upbringing, cultural background, and personal experiences often shape these values. They can vary widely from person to person and from one era to the next. Today, extramarital affairs occur with no one being imprisoned and found guilty of a crime, even if some people disapprove. 

Ethical Behavior

Ethical behavior refers to conduct that aligns with accepted moral codes or standards. It’s about doing what’s right, honest, and fair, not just according to laws. Ethical behavior is also based on ethical principles and values. Ethical behavior is expected in many aspects of life. That includes personal interactions, workplace conduct, and research practices.

Ethical behavior often involves the following principles:

  • Honesty and Integrity require truthfulness and trustworthiness in all actions.
  • Fairness refers to deciding free from bias, prejudice, and favoritism. Ethical individuals are fair and just in all their dealings.
  • Respect for Others: Ethical behavior involves treating all individuals with respect. It means acknowledging their dignity, rights, and freedoms. Ethical behavior includes respecting the diversity of others and treating them as equals.
  • Accountability and Responsibility: Ethical individuals take responsibility for their actions and decisions. Responsibility means admitting mistakes and not blaming others for failures. And it means being willing to take corrective actions.
  • Ethical behavior must follow laws.
  • Consideration for Others’ Interests: Ethical behavior requires considering all people in a decision. It means finding a balance that respects everyone’s rights and interests.

I am writing this article because I’m concerned about where we are as a society today. Gun violence in local neighborhoods has become common. Television news reports show some people walking out of stores with stolen items. 

In Washington, D.C., Democratic and Republican senators and representatives resist a compromise bill to resolve the national debt ceiling crisis. The nation faces default this June if the issue is not resolved. Default could mean financial disaster for millions of Americans. However, in news reports, right and left-wing representatives and senators refuse to cooperate. They state that cooperation would violate their political principles. In none of this does anyone hear the necessity of doing what is best for the nation?

Are these politicians distinguishing what is right from what is wrong?

If we take this discussion to the local level, do I care about my neighbor? Will I bring food to my neighbor if they are ill? Does it matter to me? Is the focus on me or us?

Where is the social and moral responsibility for our nation?

Are we teaching our children moral and ethical behavior and thinking?

I look forward to comments and opinions from readers.


Family Life

The Importance of Family,

The Good News

“Father Knows Best.”

I am old enough to remember that 1950s Television program about what was considered an ideal American family. It was a wonderful fantasy about a suburban family with a father filled with wisdom, a sweet and adoring wife and mother, and a respected family in the community.

The family has often been regarded as the basic foundation of society. It plays a crucial role in human life, shaping individuals, their perspectives, behaviors, and worldview. These micro-communities, which we term families, shape us into who we are and significantly influence our life choices and paths.

First, families provide a crucial emotional framework, a cornerstone of individual stability and well-being. Families are typically our first experiences of love, companionship, and emotional support. Sharing, empathy, and respect are important lessons from emotional experiences.

Families offer a secure environment. That security allows for the growth and development of their members, particularly children. The domestic setting is the first ‘school’ where children learn basic life skills, manners, and social etiquette. These tools help children interact with the outside world.

The importance of families is equally significant in molding our moral compass. Honesty, integrity, kindness, respect, and responsibility are often taught and instilled within the family. These values are guiding principles that influence our life decisions and behaviors.

Besides emotional, moral, and social support, families provide economic support. Younger and older members might need help to provide for themselves. Families often pool resources to ensure every member’s needs are met, promoting security and belonging.

Families act as a source of identity and heritage. Our family’s culture, traditions, and history offer us a sense of belonging and help shape our identity. We carry our family legacy forward, and in this process, we better understand ourselves and our position in the grand scheme of things.

Notably, the concept of family extends beyond biological or marital ties. The family also encompasses those with whom we have built deep emotional connections. Friends, mentors, and companions who support and guide us through life’s journey can also be considered family. The essence of family lies in love, mutual respect, and shared experiences, which are not limited to blood relations.

In the rapidly changing dynamics of modern life, the importance of family has not diminished but has become more critical. Families provide stability and consistency amid the turbulence of an increasingly complex world. The family provides emotional security and support, enabling individuals to take risks and grow.

The Importance of Family,

The Bad News

Shadow on the Hearth: Examining the Negative Aspects of Family Life

Family, universally acclaimed as the bedrock of society, plays a paramount role in the development and growth of individuals. However, like every social construct, it carries its share of contradictions and complexities. Alongside its benefits, it holds potential pitfalls that may profoundly affect individuals.

One of the significant negative aspects of family life lies in familial stress. Often idealized as a sanctuary of love and care, family life can be a breeding ground for various stressors. Financial worries and health concerns can lead to psychological disorders like anxiety and depression.

Unhealthy relationships within the family can lead to a host of negative outcomes. Dysfunctional family dynamics harm a family member’s psychological health. Emotional neglect can lead to loneliness, lack of self-esteem, and difficulty forming relationships.

Family conflicts are another notable downside to family life. Conflicts can come from differing opinions or interests.. These conflicts create a tense and hostile environment at home. A hostile environment is detrimental to the mental health of family members, particularly children. Chronic stress, anxiety, and even PTSD can result from prolonged exposure to a volatile atmosphere.

The negative aspects of family life can also have broader societal implications. Families are fundamental units of society. The issues prevalent within them can ripple effects on communities and societies. Domestic violence, substance abuse, and child neglect within families contribute to social problems. Those problems are crime, homelessness, and societal violence.

Dealing with toxic families can be incredibly challenging and emotionally exhausting. It’s important to remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. If your family cannot provide that, it may be necessary to distance yourself for your well-being. Remember, putting your own mental health and happiness first is okay.

However, acknowledging the negative aspects of family life should not lead to devaluing its positive aspects. Rather, there is a need to emphasize healthy family dynamics. Family therapy can create healthy family functioning..

Triangulation in a family refers to a conflict between two members, and a third member is brought in to ease the tension. This third member can be another family member, a friend, or a therapist. Triangulation can be a helpful tool for resolving conflicts, but it can also be harmful if not managed properly. Families should communicate openly to avoid triangulation.

Sibling rivalry is a natural occurrence in many families. It is the competition and jealousy that siblings may feel toward each other. Personality clashes, favoritism, or a need for attention cause sibling rivalry. Siblings may argue, fight, or even try to one-up each other to gain recognition or respect. Parents should help their children learn how to communicate and resolve conflicts.

Anticipated Grief, When a Loved One Receives a Fatal Diagnosis

Pancreatic Cancer and Other Fatal Malignancies

I was no stranger to cancer. Many years ago, my grandfather died of prostate cancer. My mother died of a cancer that had metastasized all her bones and organs.

I was with my wife when the oncologist told her the fatal diagnosis, pancreatic cancer. She was a biologist and was well aware of the implications of the diagnosis. She knew she would die, and so did I. I was stunned. It felt like living in a nightmare from which there was no way to awaken.

I remember the Doctor looking straight into Pat’s eyes and firmly telling her she had done nothing wrong to cause this disease. Also, he let her know she would begin powerful chemotherapy. He provided a sliver of hope that a specialized surgery might prolong her life for five years if they could achieve partial remission.

The woman I shared a life with of 50 years would pass away.

We have two adult daughters, twins that we raised together. My wife, Pat, immediately called them. It began a long period of stress, worry, and grief. We were always a close-knit family and supported each other throughout the tragic episode. They were more than supportive throughout the treatment process, including her death.

Among the many things I’ve learned about cancer is that early detection is vital. The problem is that many people ignore symptoms such as weight loss and others. Ignoring symptoms is a way of engaging in denial. For most of us, there is a fear of learning the truth. However, to be fair to everyone, sometimes symptoms are absent until it’s too late. I can honestly report that my wife and I were unaware of any symptoms until she became ill.

Pancreatic cancer and other fatal malignancies present significant health challenges. These cancers collectively contribute to millions of deaths annually because of limited treatment options.

Pancreatic cancer ranks among the most lethal types of cancer because of its subtle and often ignored early symptoms. The 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer remains dismally low, at approximately 10%.

Lung cancer, another fatal malignancy, is most often caused by smoking. However, secondhand smoke exposure, radon gas, and other environmental factors also contribute. Treatment is like pancreatic cancer, employing surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

Liver cancer, with its 5-year survival rate of around 18%, remains a significant cause of cancer-related deaths. Liver cancer is often linked to chronic viral hepatitis, excessive alcohol consumption, and fatty liver disease.

Colorectal cancer is associated with a diet low in fiber and high in fat. Lack of regular physical activity, obesity, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and family history. Diagnosis employs colonoscopy and biopsy.

Anticipatory grief is a term used to describe the feelings of grief and loss that arise before a person experiences an actual loss. It is a natural and normal process that occurs when we expect the death of a loved one or a significant change in our lives. This type of grief can be difficult to navigate because feelings of guilt, anxiety, and sadness often accompany it. In this essay, I will explore anticipatory grief, its causes, and ways to cope with it.

Anticipatory grief is a response to the awareness that a loss is imminent. It can occur when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness or a chronic condition, eventually leading to death. It can also occur when a significant life change is expected, such as retirement or a move to a new city. Fear of being alone, uncertainty about the future, and a changed life can all trigger anticipatory grief.

One of the most challenging aspects of anticipatory grief is the feeling of helplessness and the lack of control. When faced with an imminent loss, it is natural to want to prevent it or to ease the suffering of our loved ones. However, most times, we can do little to change the outcome. This feeling of powerlessness can lead to frustration, anger, and depression.

Coping with anticipatory grief requires a combination of strategies. These include self-care, seeking support from others, and staying connected with the person we are grieving. Self-care can include exercise, meditation, or leisure time in nature. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet and get enough sleep.

Seeking support from others can be a significant source of comfort during this difficult time. Support can include talking to family members, friends, or a therapist who can provide emotional support and guidance.

For those people who are spiritual or religious, attending services and seeking emotional help from clergy is a source of support.

Ultimately, there is no easy way to cope when a loved one becomes ill with a fatal illness. The same can be said about the volcanic emotions experienced after the loved one dies.




The Importance Religious Beliefs has for Many People

The Importance of Religious Beliefs for Many People

It is important to state that the comments about religion apply to people who have faith. Historically and up to the present, hatred of followers of various faiths has been involved in bloodshed and warfare. It is sometimes said that Too much of a beneficial thing or activity can be harmful or excessive.

The founding fathers wrote the United States Constitution to permit religious freedom. There is a reference to the Greek statue for justice, wearing a blindfold., It means not treating friends differently from strangers or rich people better than poor ones. The expression “Justice is Blind” means that justice is impartial and aim.

However, we now come to an uncomfortable part of this discussion. Does the American controversy over abortion rights contradict the principle of religious freedom? Does the enforcement of anti-abortion laws contradict the idea of justice being blind? Was the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe vs. Wade motivated by the principles of one religion?

These are questions to ponder. Each reader must come to their conclusions.

At its essence, religion is a system of beliefs and practices deeply woven into the fabric of human societies worldwide. It provides an enduring framework for comprehending and interpreting the world and the human condition. It touches on various aspects of human life, including culture, ethics, psychology, and society. Therefore, the importance of religious belief transcends merely being a means of spiritual exploration.

Religious beliefs often form the bedrock of cultural identities. Religion transcends individual belief systems and provides a collective cultural narrative. That cultural narrative is seen in various festivals and ceremonies from religious traditions. For example, Christianity shapes the way Christmas is celebrated worldwide. Religious beliefs become integral to self-identity, community affiliation, and cultural understanding.

Religion contributes to moral and ethical frameworks. Many moral values and ethical codes societies uphold can be traced back to religious teachings.

From the Ten Commandments to the Five Precepts in Buddhism, religious teachings guide acceptable behavior. They offer a moral compass to individuals. Religious teachings shape laws, norms, and societal expectations, contributing to social harmony and order.

The various faiths provide psychological comfort and resilience. Religion offers solace in times of crisis, provides a sense of purpose, and helps people cope with life’s uncertainties. Many religions promise divine justice or life after death, which can provide comfort and hope. Religion can improve mental health, including lower levels of depression and anxiety.

Religion plays a significant role in social cohesion and community building. Shared religious beliefs often create a sense of belonging, leading to the formation of tight-knit communities. For many, religious communities offer a support system, contributing to their overall well-being. Places of worship organize social, charitable, and community activities.

Faith often inspires social justice movements and philanthropy. Religion can foster a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. and motivate efforts to address social inequities. Social reformers and humanitarian workers cite religion as their motivation.

Recognizing religious belief and promoting religious pluralism and mutual respect is important. However, it’s important to state that faith can lead to conflict and division when not tempered with tolerance and understanding. Misinterpretations of religious texts and doctrines have often led to violence and discrimination.

Religious belief is not merely a personal affair. It shapes identities, moral values, mental well-being, social cohesion, and humanitarian efforts. Still, it has profound implications for various cultural, ethical, psychological, and societal levels.

Many people wonder if religion is the same as superstition. The two have important differences. Religion involves belief in G-D and organized practices and teachings that provide meaning and purpose to believers. Superstition involves irrational beliefs and rituals based on fear and anxiety.

Of course, atheists probably equate religion and superstition. For me, there is a vast difference between the two. Every morning we wake and arise, it is a miracle. Every newborn baby is a miracle. However, this is a matter of belief, and each reader has a right to their opinions and beliefs.

Understanding Dementia

Understanding Dementia: 

Some Insight into a Complex Condition

As a psychotherapist with forty years of experience, I worked with many older individuals whose thinking was clear when we started therapy. The leading complaint that brought them into therapy was depression. Soon after starting, perhaps six months to a year, they gradually descended into dementia. Families were invited to my office and referred to psychiatrists and medical doctors. They were then helped to choose between a nursing home or in-home healthcare for their loved ones.

Dementia is a term that describes symptoms that affect cognitive functions. Among these functions are memory, language, problem-solving, and the ability to perform everyday activities. It is a complex, progressive condition that primarily affects older adults but can also affect younger people. Approximately 50 million people worldwide have dementia.

Dementia can be a heartbreaking experience for families. Watching a loved one struggle with memory loss and confusion is emotionally draining for everyone involved. Family members must come together and support their loved ones with dementia and one another. While it’s not an easy journey, with love, patience, and understanding, families can navigate the challenges of dementia and make the most of every moment together.

Understanding Dementia

The concept of dementia encompasses several distinct conditions. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for up to 80% of cases. Other types include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia. These involve a decline in cognitive functioning, making it difficult to live independently.

Dementia is often associated with memory loss but encompasses far more than forgetfulness. Agitation, depression, apathy, and psychosis are common behavioral changes. Attention, language, executive functions (planning and organizing), and visuospatial skills are also affected.

Risk Factors and Prevention

Evidence suggests excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect cognitive function and brain health. Studies have shown that heavy drinking can lead to a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. However, it’s important to note that not all cases of dementia are caused by alcoholism, and other factors such as genetics and age can also play a role. It’s always wise to practice moderation with alcohol consumption and to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.

Additional risk factors for dementia are age, genetics, and lifestyle factors. Such factors are smoking, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet. Cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity in midlife may also increase the risk. 

Importance of Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis of dementia is crucial, as it can allow for better planning and care. Early diagnosis can also enable some individuals to participate in making plans. Of course, that depends on their cognitive abilities.

Living with dementia presents substantial challenges both for individuals and their caregivers. Medical treatments can ease some symptoms. But comprehensive care addresses the individual’s physical, psychological, social, and environmental needs. Over time, people with dementia will require increasing help with daily tasks. Eventually, they may need round-the-clock care.

Some Examples of dementia complications:

Restlessness in dementia can present as agitation, nervousness, or a continuous need for movement. It is a common symptom that can occur in all stages of the disease but often worsens as it progresses. Here are a few things that can contribute to restlessness in people with dementia:

  1. Physical Discomfort: This could be due to hunger, thirst, constipation, a full bladder, fatigue, infections, or even pain. However, people with dementia might not be capable of explaining their discomfort.
  2. Factors in the Environment: A new environment, too much noise or activity, or poor lighting can cause restlessness. A comfortable, quiet, and familiar environment is usually beneficial.
  3. Psychological Factors: Depression, anxiety, and boredom can cause restlessness. Changes in routine can also lead to increased agitation.
  4. Medications: Certain medications can cause restlessness as a side effect. Managing restlessness in dementia requires a holistic approach. Some general strategies include:
  5. Physical Activity: Regular physical activity like walking can help reduce restlessness.
  6. Engagement: Keeping the person engaged with enjoyable activities can help reduce restlessness and agitation.
  7. Comfort: Make sure the person is comfortable – this includes checking if they need to use the bathroom, are hungry or thirsty, or if their clothing is comfortable.
  8. Environment: Maintain a calm and quiet environment as much as possible. Familiar objects and photos may also help soothe the person.
  9. Routine: A daily routine can provide structure and predictability, reducing restlessness.

Each person with dementia is unique; what works for one may not work for another. It’s crucial to have a healthcare provider manage these symptoms, as they can provide personalized advice and guidance.

Living with dementia can be a challenging experience, not just for the patient but also for their family members and caregivers. It’s important to remember that people with dementia have feelings, emotions, and personalities. And they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Patience, understanding, and empathy are key when interacting with someone with dementia. Their ability to communicate and process information may be impaired.

Criticism and Gossip

Matthew 7:1-5 NKJV

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First, remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

The biblical quotation reminds us to treat others with compassion and humility. It emphasizes the need for self-reflection and personal growth. It is also important to be self-aware. We must recognize our imperfections before condemning others for theirs.

Newspapers, magazines, TV, and social media all have gossip about politicians, celebrities, and people we know.

Criticism and Gossip, Exploring the Social, Psychological, and Moral Dimensions

Morality: a system of beliefs or values relating to right conduct, against which behavior is acceptable or unacceptable. (APA)

Human interaction is complicated. Criticism and gossip cause interactions to be more complicated. The fact is that criticism and gossip have lasted for centuries in most cultures. These interactions influence our lives, from casual conversations to the highest corridors of power. Understanding our behavior to have healthier relationships and a kinder society is important.

Criticism, Constructive or Destructive?

Essentially, criticism refers to the act of expressing disapproval or pinpointing the faults of someone or something. It can show in two ways. 1. There is constructive criticism aimed at encouraging growth. 

2. There is destructive criticism aimed at tearing down and belittling.

Constructive criticism can be a valuable tool for personal and professional growth. It can enhance learning, improve performance, and motivate change by identifying areas of improvement. Trust and understanding can prevent it from being seen as an attack.

Destructive criticism can take the form of making harsh judgments that can demoralize and cause damage. Instead of facilitating growth, it impairs self-esteem, fosters negativity, and can strain relationships. It frequently stems from the critic’s insecurities or needs for superiority rather than a genuine desire to help.

Gossip, A Social Glue, or Social Weapon?

Gossip, casually discussing others’ matters, often in their absence, is an integral part of human social behavior. It is thought that gossip developed as a way of bonding, establishing norms, and gaining information about others in a community. However, just like criticism, gossip also has a dual nature, with the potential to both unify and divide.

Positive gossip and sharing praiseworthy information about others can enhance social connections and cohesion. It can help individuals understand social norms, build alliances, and navigate complex social hierarchies. Conversely, negative gossip can lead to harm and division. It can marginalize individuals, break trust, and generate conflict within groups.

The Moral Boundaries

Analyzing the effect of our words on others and their relationships. While criticism and gossip can serve positive functions, they are fraught with moral implications. One critical ethical concern is the potential infringement on others’ rights to privacy and dignity. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain respect and fairness when engaging in these behaviors.

Criticism and gossip carry significant social, psychological, and moral dimensions. Their duality shows the complexities of human communication. We must navigate them with empathy, respect, and a commitment to fairness to ensure they serve as tools for growth and unity rather than harm and division. Moral consciousness fosters healthier interpersonal relationships and creates a more understanding and compassionate society.


Life is Short, But…

“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” ~ Seneca the Younger

By Dr. Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Carpe diem: seize the day. The Roman poet Horace said it first and said it best, as with so many things. Yet many English poets have put their distinctive stamp on the carpe diem motif, exhorting us to seize the day, to make the most of life, to ‘gather ye rosebuds while ye may’, in Robert Herrick’s well-known phrase, or to ‘Stop and consider! Life is but a day’, as Keats has it in ‘Sleep and Poetry.”


Our time here is brief. It begins with birth and ends with death.

The other morning, a friend showed me his two-month-old granddaughter. She saw me and smiled beautifully. Grandpa was so proud, as he should have been. That afternoon, I learned of the recent death of a 93-year-old neighbor. He was a nice man with a great sense of humor and was intellectually very sharp. Sadly, his wife of over sixty years was transferred to an assisted living facility. The stark juxtaposition of the two events on the same day might have been ironic if not for my keen awareness of how brief our lives are.

The human experience is one heavily influenced by the linear perception of time. The invisible and relentless sands of time run their course from the second we’re born. That creates a profound yet tacit awareness of life’s finitude. The notion that life is short is universally shared, spanning all cultures, civilizations, and epochs. However, the shortness of life is not so much a universal truth as it reflects human attitudes, priorities, and perceptions.

How we perceive the passage of time varies greatly depending on our age, experiences, and mental state. In childhood, days seem to last forever, and the concept of years is almost unfathomable. As we age, the perception of time speeds up. Days, weeks, and months blend, and years pass rapidly. Each unit of time feels faster as we accumulate more experiences.

However, the perception of life’s brevity is not merely a product of psychological time perception. It’s also deeply entwined with how we choose to spend our time. People feel that life is short because they are burdened with unfulfilling tasks. And overworked in jobs that leave little room for personal growth or enjoyment. The feeling of life’s shortness then becomes a mirror reflecting a life that is out of alignment with personal values and aspirations.

The Shortness of Life and Value

The shortness of life, paradoxically, underscores the immense value of our time. Each moment becomes precious when our time is limited. This understanding encourages us to engage fully with each moment and spend our time in meaningful and fulfilling ways.

However, understanding and appreciating the value of time is easier said than done. Modern society often pushes us into a state where we are constantly behind and unable to slow down. Productivity takes away our ability to savor life’s moments.

To challenge the feeling of life’s brevity, it becomes crucial to cultivate a balanced relationship with time. While productivity is important, so is time to relax, have relationships, and self-reflect. These equally important activities add depth, meaning, and joy to our lives. By investing time in these areas, we expand the quality of our life, even if we can’t physically extend the quantity of our years.

It’s also important to cultivate mindfulness, the ability to be fully present in each moment. Mindfulness helps us slow down our perception of time and truly savor our experiences rather than rushing through them. It can be cultivated through meditation, deep listening, or simply paying more attention to our daily activities.

In conclusion, the feeling of life’s shortness is a complex phenomenon, shaped by our perception of time, how we spend it, and the societal pressures we face. Life is not too short, but we’ve been too distracted to live it fully. We must cultivate mindfulness. We must create a rich and fulfilling life, regardless of its length.

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