Is it Possible to be Jealous, Resentful and Happy Simultaneously?

Can a person be resentful, jealous, and happy simultaneously? Jealousy results from feeling vulnerable. It is the result of a person believing they are worthless and inadequate. The perception is that everyone else lives a better life, has more possessions, and has more success.

In the tragic play Othello, Shakespeare coined “The green-eyed monster.” He used the word to personify jealousy. The green-eyed monster bit Othello because of his jealousy if his wife looked at another man.

Jealousy and resentment, although distinct emotions, share a complex relationship.

Jealousy often stems from insecurity, fear, or anxiety over an anticipated loss of something of great personal value, particularly about a human connection. For example, a person might feel jealous if they perceive a threat to their relationship due to their partner’s interest in someone else.

What is problematic about jealousy is the risk of sabotaging an intimate relationship by constantly complaining about what the partner is doing, regardless of how much reassurance is given. In addition, you regularly think about ending this relationship. Whether you do or not, you will continue to experience the same types of feelings in the next relationship. Also, this will continue from one relationship to the next.

Resentment involves anger or bitterness from perceived unfair treatment, harm, or wrongdoing. Individuals might resent if they sense they are harmed or feel others are inferring a status or advantage they do not possess. There is a beautiful quote from Buddha about anger. “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal intending to throw it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Unfortunately, there are people known as injustice collectors. Not only do they continue to hold on to the negative past, but they view every incident in the present as another example of how unfair life is to them.

The connection between these two emotions arises because both involve a sense of perceived inequality or unfairness. If jealousy is left unresolved and continues to fester, it can mature into resentment. For instance, if a person is consistently jealous because they feel they aren’t getting the attention they deserve in a relationship, this may turn into resentment towards the other party in the connection who is not providing the attention.

These emotions perpetuate a negative cycle, leading to emotional distress and further straining relationships. 

In Othello, Shakespeare explores a range of human emotions, including jealousy and resentment, which drive significant plot developments and tragic endings. Iago warns Othello, “O, beware, my lord of jealousy. It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock.” Iago is warning Othello to beware of jealousy. 

It takes shape after Othello’s trusted ensign, Iago, manipulates him into believing his beloved wife, Desdemona, is unfaithful to his lieutenant, Cassio. Othello, once seen as dignified and rational, descends into a blind, destructive jealousy that results in him killing Desdemona and, ultimately, himself. 

This irrational jealousy indicates how intense and consuming emotions can have disastrous consequences if left unchecked.

Resentment is another crucial theme that drives most of Iago’s actions. Throughout the play, Iago harbors Resentment against Othello for promoting Michael Cassio, who he considers less experienced, over him. This perceived injustice, combined with rumors that Othello may have slept with his wife Emilia, fuels his hatred and resentment. He avenges himself by exploiting the very trust that Othello has placed in him, thereby sowing the seeds of jealousy in Othello’s mind.

In a broader sense, these themes expose the play’s critical exploration of how external influence can manipulate personal insecurities, leading to destructive actions and tragic consequences.

Shakespeare’s powerful portrayal of jealousy and resentment in “Othello” serves a cautionary purpose by highlighting how these emotions can lead to irrational behaviors, self-destruction, and the ruin of others.

One definition of happiness is that a person has a sense of well-being. That includes a belief that life is meaningful and has a purpose. In addition, an individual experiences such emotions as joy, pride, and contentment. Nobody feels these emotions all the time. Overall, the happy person experiences emotional stability. 

Therefore, the answer to the initial question is no; a person cannot be filled with envy, jealousy, and resentment and simultaneously be happy.


The Impostor Syndrome, Feeling Like a Fraud

Impostor Syndrome: Understanding the Hidden Challenge

At the end of October, I have a presentation for a psychology site on YouTube. It will not be the first time first presentation. I have been on radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and television. Each time I do one of these things, I face the same dilemma. The dilemma is my fear that I do not know what I’m talking about and will make a fool of myself. Underlying this fear is the belief that I am a fraud, an impostor. At eighty years of age, I continue to confront the same insecurities. I accomplished a lot, but I continue to be plagued by self-doubt.

Impostor Syndrome is when people doubt their accomplishments and fear exposure as a fraud. People with Impostor Syndrome feel like frauds and believe they don’t deserve their success, even if there is evidence that they are competent.

The syndrome elicits complex emotions, such as guilt, fear, shame, and anxiety. It leads to chronic stress, burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and reduced self-confidence. Many high achievers end up in a ceaseless cycle of overwork as they try to keep up with a false image. Social media has made it easy for people to compare their achievements to others, amplifying Impostor Syndrome. People must face their self-doubt and differentiate between thoughts and reality television to manage it. Here are a few strategies to address making mistakes. It is essential for learning and can help to disprove negative beliefs and improve achievements.

  1. Connecting with others who feel the same way and seeking mentorship or professional help with coping mechanisms.
  2. Set realistic expectations and goals can help to overcome the fear of exposure as a ‘fraud gradually.’

The False Self

Those who struggle with believing they are frauds realize they are not being authentic with others. Instead of being their “authentic self,” they attempt to look good, please others, and avoid the pain of embarrassment if discovered. It is a distorted way of thinking. The distortion is believing they are presenting a false self. False self is a defense mechanism to protect oneself from emotional pain and rejection. It involves giving a version of oneself that is not authentic or genuine to gain acceptance or approval from others. 

There are various ways that people can create a false self. Examples include conforming to societal norms or adopting a more socially acceptable persona. However, relying too heavily on this false self often leads to feelings of emptiness and disconnection from one’s true self. The authentic self is the real version of you with no outside influences. It is about accepting yourself for who you are and being comfortable in your skin.

The Authentic Self

The authentic self is the most genuine version of oneself. It is the person who exists beyond societal expectations, peer pressure, and external influences. The authentic self is the individual in tune with their thoughts, feelings, and desires. The authentic self lives in ways that align with their values and beliefs. Being true to oneself and embracing the authentic self leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Being true to oneself helps form deeper connections with others.

And I have those deeper connections. However, doubt haunts me when things like this presentation are available. It does not stop me from moving ahead. But I cannot get rid of the doubt. It’s like an itch that won’t go away.


Why Do People Blame The Survivor


When I was a boy, my grandmother was famous for blaming the survivor. How did she accomplish this? If anyone in the family caught a virus, she would immediately declare, “Well, you didn’t wear your hat!” Other variations on the theme were such comments as, “You didn’t button your coat, you didn’t wear your scarf, you didn’t wear your raincoat when it was raining.” I will say in her defense that she meant no harm and was sincerely worried about the entire family.

For example, I have worked with many people over the years who were blamed for the unfortunate things they experienced. One terrible example was of rape. On several occasions, young clients told me their mothers refused to believe any rape occurred. On other occasions, female clients told me that family and friends blamed them for the rape. These clients were blamed for wearing sexually provocative clothes. Of course, what does someone consider provocative clothes or behavior?

It is always a heartache when a woman has a miscarriage. I know several cases where the pregnancy during the first trimester was going quite well. Both the father and mother were excited about having a baby. Suddenly, the worst happens, and the pregnant woman suffers a miscarriage as if this isn’t enough of a misfortune to be told by mothers or mothers-in-law or extended family members and friends that the miscarriage was her fault. The blame usually comes from being told that she exercised, got too much rest, or ate too much or too little. The list goes on.

Why do some people blame the survivor of a trauma?

Several factors can contribute to blaming.

  • People who have not experienced a similar situation may struggle to empathize with victims. With firsthand knowledge and understanding of the emotions and challenges involved, it’s easy to relate to the experiences of others.
  • People with cognitive biases are defined as systematic errors in thinking. It occurs when people process and interpret information in the world around them. It causes people to believe the world is fair and just. This bias makes it challenging to empathize with people because it conflicts with their belief that bad things only happen to those who deserve it. As a result of a cognitive bias, when someone is traumatized, they must have caused it to happen. Therefore, the trauma is their fault.
  • Survivors feel dehumanized by those who lack empathy. It can occur because of stereotypes, prejudices, or a lack of understanding about the victim’s experiences and emotions. Dehumanization makes it easier for individuals to distance themselves emotionally and dismiss the suffering of others.
  • Some individuals may feel threatened by the victim’s experiences or circumstances. After all, if that’s what happened to him, it can happen to me. No, it must have been his fault. This fear can lead to a lack of empathy as people prioritize their safety and well-being over understanding and supporting the victim.
  • Societal attitudes and norms influence empathy levels. In some cultures or communities, victim-blaming or stigmatization of certain groups may be prevalent, leading to a lack of empathy for victims within those communities.

Empathy can be cultivated and developed through education, exposure to diverse perspectives, and fostering a culture of compassion and understanding. Empathy is crucial in supporting victims, promoting social justice, and creating a more compassionate society.

It is crucial to approach these situations with empathy, understanding, and support. Encouraging open communication, providing education about sexual assault, and connecting parents with resources such as support groups or counseling can help them better understand and respond to their child’s report.

Tragically, I lost my wife to pancreatic cancer almost eight years ago. I will never forget the day we received the diagnosis. I was in the doctor’s office with my wife when he gently told her about the cancer. Then, he looked at her intensely and said, “There is nothing you did to cause this.” He expressed this with great empathy and compassion. Those words were a great relief for both of us. It enabled us to plan how we would handle this fatal illness. 

This world needs a lot more empathy and love.

And a lot less blame and judgment.

When Grief Never Ends: Complicated Grief

Complicated Grief, Also Known as Prolonged Grief Disorder.

“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.”


Aeschylus was an ancient Greek author known for his tragic plays and poems.

I lost my wife to pancreatic cancer eight years ago after 50 years of marriage. Many well-meaning people told me I have wonderful memories of our marriage. However, Aeschylus said it best in his quote above. Yes, I have sweet memories of my wife and our marriage. But those memories bring pain because they remind me of what I lost. That is one symptom of Complicated Grief.

Grief and mourning are terms often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings and processes.

Grief refers to the emotional response and reaction to a loss. The internal experience of sadness, pain, and other emotions occurs when someone or something significant is lost. Grief can be triggered by various types of losses, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, losing a job, or the diagnosis of a serious illness. It is a natural and normal response to loss. It can manifest in different ways, including sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, and even physical symptoms like fatigue or changes in appetite.

Mourning is the outward expression of grief. It is adapting to the loss and coping with it. Mourning involves rituals, customs, and culturally influenced behaviors that vary from person to person. These may include funeral ceremonies, memorial services, wearing black clothing, creating memorials, or engaging in religious or spiritual practices. Mourning provides a structured and socially acceptable way to express grief and seek support from others.

In summary, grief is the internal emotional response to loss. Mourning is the external expression of adapting to that loss. Grief is a personal and individual experience, while cultural and social norms influence mourning. Both grief and mourning are important aspects of the healing process after a loss.

Part of this blog article is taken from the Mayo Clinic.

Losing a loved one is one of the most distressing and, unfortunately, common experiences people face. Most people experiencing normal grief and bereavement have a period of sorrow, numbness, guilt, and anger. Gradually, these feelings ease, and it’s possible to accept loss and move forward. However, when the grief is prolonged, it interferes with daily life.

For some people, feelings of loss are debilitating and don’t improve even after time passes. It is known as complicated grief, sometimes called Prolonged Grief Disorder. In complicated grief, painful emotions are so long-lasting and severe that you have trouble recovering from the loss and resuming your own life.

These differences are normal. But if you cannot move through these stages more than a year after the death of a loved one, you may have complicated grief. If so, seek treatment. It can help you accept your loss and reclaim a sense of acceptance and peace.

During the first few months after a loss, many signs and symptoms of normal grief are the same as those of complicated grief. However, while normal grief symptoms gradually fade, those of complicated grief linger or worsen. Complicated grief is like an ongoing, heightened state of mourning that keeps you from healing.

Signs and symptoms of complicated grief may include:

  • Intense sorrow, pain, and rumination over the loss of your loved one
  • Focus on little else but your loved one’s death
  • Extreme focus on reminders of the loved one or excessive avoidance of reminders
  • Intense and persistent longing or pining for the deceased
  • Bitterness about your loss
  • Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose
  • Inability to enjoy life or think back on positive experiences with your loved one

 It is also be indicated if you continue to:

  • Have trouble carrying out normal routines
  • Isolate from others and withdraw from social activities
  • Experience depression, deep sadness, guilt, or self-blame
  • Believe that you did something wrong or could have prevented the death
  • Feel life isn’t worth living without your loved one
  • Wish you had died along with your loved one

Complicated grief can affect you physically, mentally, and socially. Without treatment, complications may include:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Anxiety, including PTSD
  • Significant sleep disturbances
  • Increased risk of physical illness, such as heart disease, cancer, or high blood pressure
  • Long-term difficulty with daily living, relationships, or work activities
  • Alcohol, nicotine use, or substance misuse

Potentially, there are also physical consequences from this type of prolonged grief. The stress and emotional turmoil associated with the loss can manifest in physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and changes in appetite. These physical symptoms further contribute to the individual’s overall distress. They can make it even more challenging for them to cope with their grief.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and her Five Stages of Grief:

The five stages of grief, also known as the Kübler-Ross model, were first introduced by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book “On Death and Dying” in 1969. These stages are not experienced linearly or sequentially; individuals may move back and forth between or experience them in different orders. The stages are:

1. Denial: The first stage of grief is often characterized by disbelief and denial. It is a defense mechanism that helps individuals cope with the overwhelming emotions and shock of the loss. During this stage, individuals may find it difficult to accept the reality of the situation. They may cling to the hope that the loss is not permanent. Denial can provide a temporary respite from the pain, but it is not a sustainable coping mechanism.

2. Anger: As the reality of the loss sinks in, individuals may experience intense anger and resentment. This anger can be directed towards various targets, including the deceased, oneself, or others who may seem unaffected by the loss. It is important to note that anger is a normal and natural response to grief, and it is essential to find healthy outlets for expressing and processing these emotions.

3. Bargaining: In this stage, individuals may attempt to negotiate or bargain with a higher power or the universe to reverse or postpone the loss. They may make promises or seek ways to regain control over the situation. This stage is often characterized by “what if” or “if only” statements as individuals desperately search for ways to change the outcome. Bargaining can provide a temporary sense of hope and control. Still, ultimately, it is a futile attempt to avoid the pain of grief.

4. Depression: As the reality of the loss becomes more accepted, individuals may enter a stage of deep sadness and depression. This stage is marked by emptiness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It is important to distinguish between normal grief-related sadness and clinical depression, as the latter may require professional intervention. Depression is a natural response to loss, and it is important to allow oneself to grieve and seek support during this stage.

5. Acceptance: The final stage of grief is acceptance, where individuals come to terms with the reality of the loss and move forward. Acceptance does not mean forgetting or getting over the loss but integrating it into one’s life and adjusting to a new normal. It is important to note that acceptance does not mean that all the pain and sadness disappear but that individuals have reached a point where they can live with the loss and find meaning and purpose in their lives again.

The Free Choice of Forgiveness and Healing

“The Choice” by Edith Eger: A Journey of Healing, Resilience, and Forgiveness

In a recent essay, we explored whether our lives are fated to be as they are or if we have free choice. The answer is Free Choice.

In her powerful memoir, “The Choice,” Edith Eger takes readers on a profound journey of healing, resilience, and forgiveness. Through her experiences as a Holocaust survivor and her subsequent work as a psychologist, Eger explores the transformative power of choice. She also explores the capacity of the human spirit to overcome unimaginable adversity.

“The Choice” demonstrates the power of resilience and the human spirit. Eger recounts her harrowing experiences as a young girl in Auschwitz. There, she endured unimaginable suffering and loss. Despite the horrors, Eger’s story is one of hope and resilience. She shows that even in the darkest times, we can choose how we respond to our circumstances.

Eger’s journey towards healing and forgiveness is a central theme in the book. She shares her struggles with survivor’s guilt. She has post-traumatic stress disorder and the emotional scars left by her traumatic experiences. Through her work as a psychologist, Eger helps readers understand the importance of acknowledging and processing their pain to heal and move forward.

One of the most powerful aspects of “The Choice” is Eger’s exploration of forgiveness. She emphasizes that forgiveness is not about condoning or forgetting the past. Rather, it’s freeing ourselves from anger and resentment. Eger’s own journey toward forgiveness is deeply personal. It serves as an inspiration for readers to confront their pain and find the strength to forgive.

Edith Eger believes that self-forgiveness is essential to moving forward and healing from trauma. Dr. Eger understands the importance of self-forgiveness. An example is something that happened during the horror of the Holocaust. The description in the next paragraph emphasizes why self-forgiveness is so important.

Doctor Eger felt guilty about her mother’s death during the selection for the gas chambers in Auschwitz. As the Jews were marched past Joseph Mengele, known as the “angle of death, Mengele asked Edith, a 16-year-old girl, who the woman was with her. Edith said it was her mother and was horrified she didn’t say it was her sister. Her mother looked very young, and as Mengele pointed her mother to the line for the gas chambers, Edith couldn’t stop beating because she might have saved her mother’s life. Edith carried guilt for decades, even after the Holocaust.

Eger’s story also highlights the transformative power of choice. She emphasizes that even in dire circumstances, we can choose our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Eger’s message reminds us we are not defined by our past but by our choices in the present moment.

Hope and forgiveness are powerful forces that can heal and transform individuals, relationships, and societies. They are intertwined, as hope often leads to forgiveness, and forgiveness can bring about hope. Both concepts are essential for personal growth, reconciliation, and the restoration of peace.

Long after World War 11, Edith Eger decided to return to school and become a clinical psychologist. That is an excellent example for us never to surrender regardless of the adversities we may suffer.

Hope is believing in a better future. The driving force keeps us going in times of despair and adversity. Hope allows us to see beyond our current circumstances and envision a better tomorrow. It gives us the strength to persevere, to overcome obstacles, and to find meaning and purpose in life.

Conversely, forgiveness is letting go of resentment, anger, and the desire for revenge. Resentment is often defined as anger and indignation experienced because of unfair, cruel, and bad treatment, and it’s a relatively common emotion. Resentful behavior leads to feeling hurt and victimized again, disempowered. To let go of resentment would be to experience increased freedom and mental health.

It is a conscious decision to release ourselves from the emotional burden of past hurts and free ourselves from bitterness. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or condoning the wrongs committed against us; rather, it is a choice to move forward without carrying the weight of grudges and resentments.

It breaks the cycle of violence and retaliation, replacing it with compassion and understanding. Forgiveness can mend broken hearts, repair broken relationships, and ultimately, build a more peaceful and harmonious world.

In conclusion, hope and forgiveness are two essential elements for personal growth: reconciliation and restoring peace. They can heal wounds, mend broken relationships, and transform individuals and societies. By embracing hope and practicing forgiveness, we can create a world filled with compassion, understanding, and the possibility of a brighter future.

Another Song With Meaning and Symbols

Creedance Clearwater Revival “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

For me and others, songs are meaningful because they can transport us to different times and places, evoke emotions we might not have otherwise felt, and connect us to others through shared experiences. Music is a universal language that can be understood and appreciated by people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. Whether listening to a happy pop song or a sad ballad, music can touch our hearts and souls in a way that few other things can. It’s no wonder many of us turn to music as a source of comfort, inspiration, and joy.

One of my favorite bands from the past is Creedence Clearwater Revival. Among the many songs I love from this band is “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” It resonates with me and explains some of my experiences and emotions from the past and the present. Yes, I have seen rain and on a sunny day. Here are the lyrics, an interpretation from a podcast, “Explained in English,” and other resources below.

Have you ever seen the rain?


“Have You Ever Seen The Rain”

“Someone told me long ago

There’s a calm before the storm

I know, it’s been coming for some time

When it’s over, so they say

It’ll rain a sunny day

I know, shining down like water

I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?

I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?

Coming down on a sunny day

Yesterday, and days before

Sun is cold and rain is hard

I know, been that way for all my time

‘Til forever, on it goes

Through the circle, fast and slow

I know, it can’t stop, I wonder

I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?

I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?

Coming down on a sunny day


I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?

I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?

Coming down on a sunny day”

One interpretation by Ki, from the website and podcast “Explain in English.

“So, the writer of this song, John Fogerty, was wondering. It’s a sad situation. He even sounds a little bit depressed to me. There’s this dread of knowing that the good things in life can’t last forever. The good things are like the calm before the storm. Eventually, though, everything goes bad. Everything gets intense. He knows the storm is coming, and when it arrives, he knows it will affect his life.

Later on, the storm does end. It’s over, and the sun is shining, but for him, he’s kind of trapped, he’s stuck. It still feels like it’s raining. The sun should be giving him warmth and comfort, but he experiences it as cold instead. And this state seems to last for a long time. He seems to have concluded or accepted that this is just the way life is and that he can’t escape it. It can’t stop. I think it’s out of this state that he asks the question: Is anyone else like me? Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day? It’s a very searching question, looking for someone who understands him, so maybe he doesn’t feel so alone.”

I welcome and encourage everyone’s opinions and comments, and my Email address can be used.


Fate vs. Decision Making

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”― John Lennon

“It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.”― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”― Gautama Buddha, Sayings of Buddha

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”—William Shakespeare

Someone I know recently told me that her suffering in life, among which are multiple health problems and surgeries, resulted from God’s plan to help her learn, including her belief in God. What this individual told me brings us to whether you believe in fate or choice. 

The Oxford Dictionary defines fate as “something that happens outside of a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.” This conceptualization of fate, referred to as fatalism, assumes that fate has the ultimate authority over individuals’ lives and renders personal actions irrelevant. The belief in fate is exemplified by quotations such as “everything happens for a reason” and “it was meant to be.” These quotations mean that our destiny is predetermined. 

The early Calvinists believed in Predestination. It is the belief that, before the beginning of time, God has chosen those souls who would be saved. Those selected to be saved were referred to as The Elect. The outward sign of being among the very few “elect” was great wealth and success. The rest of humanity would not be saved. In addition, there was nothing that an individual could do to change their fate.

Isaac Bashevis Singer once said, “We must believe in free will, we have no choice.” That is a good example of a paradox. Paradox refers to a situation or a statement that seems to contradict itself or appear absurd, but upon further examination, it may reveal a hidden truth. It can also refer to a situation where two opposing ideas or concepts simultaneously appear true. Literature, philosophy, and science often use paradoxes to challenge conventional thinking and offer new perspectives.

Other people believe we can shape our lives through our choices. 

It is our decision-making that leads us to certain outcomes. When deciding, we form opinions and choose actions via mental processes influenced by biases, reason, emotions, and memories. The simple act of deciding supports the notion that we have free will.

Free will refers to the ability of an individual to make choices and decisions freely without being influenced by external factors, such as fate or determinism. It is the belief that humans can control their actions and are not controlled by any predetermined destiny. Free will gives individuals the power to shape their lives according to their desires and goals. It is a fundamental aspect of human nature and is often associated with autonomy, agency, and responsibility.

The theme of fate versus decision-making is prevalent throughout the play in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. From the outset, the audience is told that the two lovers are “star-crossed,” suggesting that their paths are predetermined by fate. However, the choices made by Romeo and Juliet ultimately lead to their tragic end. Romeo’s decision to attend the Capulet’s ball despite being a Montague sets a chain of events that leads to his banishment and eventual death. Likewise, Juliet’s decision to fake her death to avoid marrying Paris leads to her and Romeo’s demise. While fate may have played a role in bringing the two together, it was the decisions they made that sealed their fate. The play is a cautionary tale about the importance of mindfulness and intentionality in decision-making.


Predestination is a theological doctrine that suggests that a higher power has predetermined or preordained all events, including the fate of individuals. It often arises in discussions surrounding God’s sovereignty and the extent of human free will. Some religious traditions, such as certain branches of Christianity, believe in Predestination as a core tenet of their faith.

Predetermination refers to the notion that events, including human actions, are determined by a combination of factors, such as genetics, environment, and causality. It does not invoke a higher power or divine intervention, focusing more on cause-and-effect processes.

It’s important to note that while science primarily focuses on explaining natural phenomena and can provide insights into human behavior and decision-making, it doesn’t directly address concepts such as Predestination or predetermination. These ideas fall within theology, philosophy, and sometimes metaphysics.

In summary, Predestination and predetermination are complex ideas often associated with theological and philosophical perspectives. While science can inform our understanding of various aspects of human behavior, it doesn’t offer specific explanations or conclusions regarding these abstract concepts.


Memories of Childhood, Circa 1950s

Some of my fondest memories go back to playing sports in the Bronx, where I grew up.

The Bronx in the 1950s was a melting pot of cultures, a place where children from diverse backgrounds could come together through shared experiences. One of the most cherished aspects of their childhoods was the abundance of street sports. These activities brought joy, camaraderie, and a sense of adventure to all of us boys and girls growing up during that era.

During the school year us kids would go upstairs to our parents’ apartment. We changed from school clothes and shoes into jeans, they called dungarees, and put on sneakers. We then ran outside and enthusiastically met our friends to play.

Stickball was a street sport with a special place in our hearts. It was a variation of baseball. Using long broom handles made of wood as bats, kids would gather to create makeshift fields on the blocks of their neighborhoods. I can almost hear the reader ask, “Well, where did the broomsticks come from? We would sneak into the cellar of one of the apartment buildings and steal a stick, unscrewing from the broom. Usually, we would sneak back into the cellar and return the handle.

One of the interesting aspects of playing competitive street games involved how to form teams for the afternoon. I remember standing in a circle and announcing whether we wanted an odd or even number. Then, on the count of three, we immediately placed one hand in the circle and flipped with one finger, an odd number, or two fingers, an even number. It was repeated three times, and the kids who flipped the majority number finger formed the first team, and the other kids formed the second team.

Jump Rope While not a street sport, jump rope was a common activity during the 1950s, allowing girls to take part alongside boys. Stoops, sidewalks, and schoolyards became the stage for elaborate jump rope games. Competitions between teams formed the backdrop of countless summer afternoons. One of the most astonishing aspects of jumping Rope was these girls using two ropes and jumping between them. It was common to see three girls playing jump rope, with two holding the opposite ends of a rope, swinging it, as in the picture, and the third girl would jump until she tripped.

One of my favorite games to play was Johnny on the Pony. It was a game that required a lot of physical activity and was perfect for a group of energetic kids like us. The game involved two teams, one forming a line and the other riding on their teammates’ backs like a pony. The game’s goal was for the riders to try to knock off the other team’s riders while riding on their teammates’ backs. It was a lot of fun and always got our hearts racing. Looking back on it now, I can see why it was such a popular game for kids in the 1950s. It was a great way to burn off energy and have fun with our friends.

We loved to play hide and seek. It was a game that required a lot of creativity and strategy, and it was perfect for a group of kids who loved to have fun. The game involved one person, “it,” counting to a certain number while the other players ran off to hide. The goal was for the “ it “ person to find and tag all the other players before they could return to the starting point. The “it” person stood at a particular starting place in the street and kept his eyes closed while the others found hiding places. The “it” person had to leave the starting point and search for the hiding kids. If one kid came out of hiding, which was required, he had to race to the starting place before the “it” person. If the hiding kid was late getting to the starting place, he became the “it” person.

Punchball was another popular game us kids loved to play. It was a game that required a lot of hand-eye coordination and timing. The game involved one person throwing a rubber ball against a wall while the other players tried to catch it. If a player caught the ball cleanly, they would take their turn throwing it against the wall. The goal was to keep the ball in play for as long as possible without dropping it. Punchball was a great way to improve reflexes and hand-eye coordination, and playing with friends was a lot of fun. Kids often spent hours playing punch ball, trying to beat their high scores and impress their friends with their skills. It was a simple game, but it provided hours of entertainment and helped kids stay active and healthy.

Slapball was another popular game kids loved to play during that era. Slapball was another variation of baseball. The game involved one person throwing a rubber ball to a batter who tried to slap the ball and score a run. In the street were the pitcher, batter, and fielders. As in stickball, each corner of the four-cornered street was a base. The idea was to slap the ball thrown to the batter, who then slapped it, and if caught, they were out and onward, just like baseball.

We had fun roller skating in the streets. We used ball-bearing skates. These were metal skates braced under our shoes with leather straps for our ankles. We chased and raced each other in the streets of the Bronx. Sometimes, we used white chalk to draw a roller-type derby in the black tarred streets and had a lot of fun playing various games. The best fun was to skate uphill to the top of the street, kneel, and coast down the hill as fast as possible.

We were inventive. To make a scooter, there were empty milk crates made of wood. It was easy to unscrew our roller skates, and we nailed the front two wheels and the back two wheels to a wooden slab that we nailed to the cart. Then, wood was available to make handlebars nailed to the crate’s front. We now had a scooter that we joyfully used to ride around the neighborhood.

These were fun games, but there was arguing over what may or may not have occurred during the game. Then, too, there were arguments over the rules of the game. Most of the time, everyone ended the argument to continue playing. During hot summer days, the arguments ended over everyone deciding to go to the candy store down the block and buy ice cream pops.

There were few cars to worry about, and crime was not an issue. Our parents did not worry about us. When our moms wanted us home for supper (called dinner today), they stuck their heads out of the apartment windows and called us to come home.

Also, there were no guns, no shootings, and no murders.

If it sounds like an ideal time to grow up, it was. It could have been better, and there were lots of problems. But those were for the adults to figure out. We kids just had fun.

















Imagine a utopian world.

Imagine. Imagine world peace. Imagine no more poverty. Imagine no more racism. The list of things many of us imagine is very long. Of course, John Lennon reminds us of everything we can imagine.

Utopianism refers to a state or society that is romantic, perfect, and free from flaws or problems. It is often used to describe a vision of an ideal world or society that is difficult or impossible. The term is derived from the book “Utopia” by Sir Thomas More, which describes an imaginary island with a perfect social, political, and legal system.

“Looking Backward” is a novel written by Edward Bellamy in 1888. The book describes a utopian society in 2000, where everyone has equal access to resources, education, and a basic income.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to imagine because the world is more chaotic than ever. We see the effects of climate change. We are experiencing wildfires happening more than ever before. The pandemic is a rude reminder of how everyone’s health is vulnerable.

John Lennon’s song “Imagine” is iconic and resonates with worldwide audiences. Lennon’s composition quickly symbolized peace, unity, and a shared vision for a better world.

“Imagine” is a simple yet powerful song in its melody and lyrics. The opening piano chords immediately draw listeners in, setting a reflective and contemplative mood. Lennon’s haunting vocals carry the song’s message, delivering a profound call for humanity to imagine a world without barriers, conflict, and divisions.

The lyrics of “Imagine” encourage listeners to envision a world without religious, political, or national boundaries that separate people. Lennon poetically asks us to consider a world where no possession or material possession divides us. Instead, he advocates for a collective global consciousness that embraces peace, love, and understanding.

Lennon’s vision in “Imagine” is radical yet simple. It challenges societal norms and conventional thinking, advocating for a world governed by compassion rather than power. He encourages us to cast aside our differences and embrace a shared humanity, where the pursuit of peace takes precedence over all else.

The impact of “Imagine” extends far beyond its initial release. The song has become an anthem for peace movements, social activists, and individuals striving to change the world positively. Its timeless message inspires generations, reminding us of the importance of empathy and working towards a harmonious coexistence.

Despite its widespread popularity, “Imagine” did face criticism from some who claimed Lennon’s utopian vision was unrealistic. That criticism would be amusing if it weren’t sinister. The song’s title is “Imagine,” as in using your imagination. The underlying reason for the disapproval was that it exemplified communism.

However, the song’s strength lies in its ability to stir emotions, spark conversations, and ignite a collective yearning for a better world. It serves as a reminder that change begins with envisioning and acting upon a different reality.

Today, more than ever, we need those conversations. Please join the conversation using the form below.

Nonverbal Communication

The Role of Nonverbal Communication and Body Language


The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

Peter Drucker

When the eyes say one thing and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


You are on a first date with a very attractive woman you met at work. While you are speaking to her, she yawns. You think to yourself, “she is bored with me.” You say nothing because you do not wish to embarrass her or yourself. Was she bored and tired after work or distracted by something else? By not asking, you will never know.

Communication is a two-way process conveying intentions, thoughts, information, and emotions. We equate human communication with the use of words. However, we transmit non-verbal signals through body language. It is equally important as words. Body language is an intricate system of conveying messages and emotions through facial expressions, body movements, posture, gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, and more.

Nonverbal communication can either corroborate what is said verbally, undermine the perceived meaning, or convey a different meaning from what is said. Most of us have experienced an upsetting situation in which a person denies feeling angry at us while smiling. The message in that smile is unmistakable. The real message is, “No, I’m not angry at you; I’m furious with you.”

Therefore, a clear dialogue comprises an amalgamation of spoken words, tone of voice, and body language. 

Everyone knows the significance of the sneer. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a sneer is a smile or laugh with facial contortions that express scorn or contempt. For the target of the sneer, it is extremely unpleasant. Many parents of rebellious teenagers have complained about their child’s sneering attitude. It is interesting to note that the sneer expresses an attitude of sarcasm along with contempt.

The leer carries with it an entirely different meaning from the leer. The leer communicates an overt and offensive sexual desire. However, there is nothing flirtatious about the leer. It sends a promiscuous communication and degenerate in nature. Nothing is flattering or complimentary about the leer.

However, not every eye message is a leer. Eyes communicate attraction, warmth, and love. Depending on the context, the eyes may send a specific love. A parent smiling at their child sends one type of message; the same smile may be romantic in connection with their spouse.

A listener may verbally agree with what you are saying but have their arms crossed while avoiding eye contact. How can the speaker interpret the listener’s crossed arms and lack of eye contact? For most people, that body language is confusing. Does the listener truly agree? It is just as easy to misinterpret nonverbal communications as misunderstand verbal ones.

Body language holds immense sway in the effectiveness of our communication. When the body language aligns with the verbal message, it reinforces the information conveyed, increasing clarity and understanding. For instance, a strong handshake or confident posture at a job interview may reinforce the candidate’s capability and self-assurance.

Conversely, incongruent body language can contradict spoken words, leading to confusion about the speaker’s actual intent. While being interviewed for a job, posture may communicate confidence or fear. Suppose the applicant sits up, shoulder back, while making direct eye contact. A message of self-confidence is transmitted, increasing the chances of getting hired.

Body language shapes relationships, fosters trust, and promotes understanding as much as verbal language. Effective use of body language can establish rapport, boundaries of personal space, and conveyance of intimacy or power.

%d bloggers like this: