Category Archives: Opinions

Why Don’t We Complain

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Have we become more stressed or more Zen-like?

Sure, we all tend to complain about ourselves–our day, our health, our work. That’s a real catharsis when we’re able to destress and release our frustrations. Life’s not fair, and that often is expressed with a justified complaint.

When it comes to inconveniences or less than ideal service, however, mostIMG_3285 people are preferring to go with the flow and let it go. Why don’t we complain? Have we become more compassionate towards those workers in front of us, seeing them as co-habitants of stressful living? Cutting them slack is like an invisible nod of I feel the strain of your job. 

An aversion to confrontation can also be a reason why we don’t complain. People would rather adjust to a defect or go without their request rather than object and risk an altercation. Why don’t we complain? It may be related to how stressed we are and a matter of picking our battles.

In 1961, William F. Buckley, Jr. wrote an essay that describes his amusing struggle to assert himself, called “Why Don’t We Complain?” It originally appeared in Esquire in 1960. He wrote:

Every New Year’s Eve I resolve to do something about the Milquetoast in me and vow to speak up, calmly, for my rights and for the betterment of our society, on every appropriate occasion… When our voices are finally mute, when we have finally suppressed the natural instinct to complain, whether vexation is trivial or grave, we shall have become automatons, incapable of feeling. (Read his entire essay here.)

One of Buckley’s reasons, 55 years ago, for why Americans didn’t complain was due to a reluctance to assert ourselves because of an increased sense of helplessness in an age of technology and centralized political power.

10d69f3e-9b69-4700-9155-2f934eb05151-mediumI can see how that conclusion may no longer be why we don’t complain. There may be people who don’t verbalize what they really think because they don’t want to make a fuss and be thought as difficult. The problem with that plan is that the people who really need to be heard, won’t be. If they don’t share what they think, how will they be heard?

As American’s, we must assert ourselves for the cause of equality and the demonstration of human kindness. Any abatement from this basic human right deserves complaint. Otherwise, we fail as a society.

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

 

It’s a Small World

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Turns out, not so much.

Playing outside every day for me as a kid was great fun. My best friend, Susie, and I would lay on our backs in the grass and stare at the billowed puffs of clouds in the sky. An elephant or a turtle or the head of Quick Draw McGraw were not uncommon IMG_2244creations formed by the moving white plumes.

I had a ten-year-old belief about the world. There was the ground and there was the sky. I played in the sun, and I slept at night. There was home and there were friends. It’s a small world when you’re a child.

Although I’ve aged, I admit my ten-year-old belief about the world hasn’t. That is why I’m completely overwhelmed with this universe thing. There seem to be so many new or additional discoveries about space. I confess I’ve remained naive about complex astrophysical concepts. (You can read about that ( here.)

In a video, I watched Neil deGrasse Tyson explain the universe in eight minutes (watch it here).

I see no other possible reaction to this video than awe and a trance-like state as seen in The Walking Dead.

I don’t think I have an education high enough to understand how every thing in the universe, including humans, for reasons not completely understood came into existence out of randomness, chaos, accident, and good timing.

IMG_0695This revelation left my face in a blank stare, mostly like my Physical Science class did. The analytics in my brain was in a scramble to find at least one brain cell up to the challenge of understanding this. No go. I got nothing. It’s beyond me.

All I can think of is that “randomness, chaos, accident, and good timing,” describes most of my life. Maybe, that’s the point. That’s how we came to be and that’s how our lives are lived. Who knows?

As large as the world is, though, it’s a small world wherever we are. A tiny pinpoint on the globe not visible from space, yet it’s all any of us need. Our homes. It’s where love dwells. It’s here we raise our children, grow our gardens, and have family barbeques on the deck.

At night, we gather around the fire, look up and stare at the stars like it’s a drive-in movie. The vast blackness speckled with flickering lights filled with complex astrophysical concepts. Honey, did I ever tell you that all of us are stardust?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

Choose Yourself First

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Sounds selfish, doesn’t it?

Choose yourself first. Reminds me of a kid in school when growing up, he would always run to be the first in line, or to grab the best seat or the favorite swing. Encompassed by his own amusement at beating everyone else, he was oblivious to our chagrin.IMG_3289

Choose yourself first.

That instruction makes sense in other areas of life.

Brian Tracy says If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.

Self-development. Don’t people gravitate away from such topics, or dare I say, nonsense?

But consider this. I don’t know any happy and successful people with a self-contempt attitude toward themselves. I don’t know any happy and successful people with bruises from beating themselves up over mistakes and setbacks. The happy and successful people I know hold a humble confidence in themselves. A determination. That’s self-development.

belief28They’ve spent time in their own backyard and faced any personal obstacles in their thought process that could block their goals. They’ve examined any feelings of inadequacy and shortcomings that would prevent their confidence. They learned their weaknesses and manage them rather than excuse them or blame someone else for their existence. That’s self-velopment. Taking care of business with yourself ahead of any pursuits.

Choose yourself first.

Could you prosper from self-development? Would you benefit from looking for any flaws in your attitude? Can you see areas where being stubborn is holding you back? Do you notice any control tendencies in yourself? Or are you experiencing negative self-talk–those conversations in your head where you degrade yourself? Are there areas in your thought process that could be changed so happiness and success can arrive?

It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that 218e76ad-5533-45f5-9a64-b28209648cef-mediumdetermines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.Anthony Robbins

Choose yourself first.

Where are you today in your self-development? Don’t allow regrets of yesterday to undermine the success you can obtain and the happiness you can have today. You deserve every joy in life. If you struggle to believe that, then the regrets and failures of yesterday are imprisoning you today in a confinement of self-contempt.

Choose today to banish from your mind any self-degrading thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. Then your energy and attention are free to focus on a happy and successful destiny. Choose yourself first.

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

The Problem With Religion

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It was shocking. And for most Americans, I think it was unexpected. And then the problem with religion was on stage.

On June 26, 2015, the SCOTUS, in a landmark decision ruled that same-sex marriages were IMG_1904legal. The hashtag “Love Wins,” flooded the internet, as did “Equality For All.” People were shown hugging with tears of joy. Now, for the first time ever, same-sex couples are protected under the Constitution from any bans that would deny them the same rights as heterosexual couples. That’s how love won.

A paragraph, of the majority opinion, authored by Justice Kennedy prompted comments from people on what they believed to be a beautiful, compassionate and romantic definition of marriage. An hour later, the quote had gone viral:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. —Justice Anthony Kennedy

Then the love won hit the wall.

The problem with religion was ablaze. Conservative Christians, some GOP leaders and Presidential candidates disagreed, intensely, with the ruling. Probably the most wigged-out reaction came from Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio. In just one paragraph, Fischer compared the ruling to slavery, 9/11, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Sodom and Gomorrah. A frenzied Fischer announced:

From a moral standpoint, 6/26 is the new 9/11, because it was on this day that five justices of the United States Supreme Court became moral jihadists, They became rainbow jihadists and they blasted the twin pillars of truth and righteousness into rubble. And they did this by imposing sodomy-based marriage on the United States through an act of judicial tyranny. Today, June 26, 2015, is a date which will live in infamy. On this day, the United States became Sodom and Gomorrah.

Yikes! God, that’s a horrible thing to say. That’s the problem with religion.

But Fisher was not the only conservative Christian who reacted with agony and sorrow at the prospect of gay marriage across the land. Indeed, there was a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth. All of the nay-sayers seem to believe the institution of marriage is at stake. Their priority is to uphold this sacred union. This is God’s will. The Bible states marriage is between a man and a woman.

Now here is where this battle loses credibility.

Divorce is against God’s will and against the teachings in Scripture. Having sex outside of marriage is also a big no-no according to Bible teachings. And living together in sin? A huge taboo.

What’s the difference between these sins and the implied sin of same-sex marriage?

Can someone explain that to me?

I asked that question in a Facebook group that was declaring that America was on the verge of collapse and going to hell because the ruling is against the inerrant word of the Bible. The group could not answer my question, but they did send me a short video of why Obama is bad for America.

I moved on and had a three hour back and forth conversation on a Facebook group belonging to Fr. James Martin. Even with over 11,000 comments, no one could answer the question. That’s the problem with religion.

My point is there is no difference.

Divorce is against God’s will, and Christians get divorced all the time. There’s no hoopla. Christians have premarital sex and cohabitate outside of marriage. Where’s the protest about that to the Supreme Court? Why is that seemingly okay, but same-sex marriage qualifies for continued flogging and imprisonment? That’s such hypocrisy and that’s the problem with religion!

God is love. We are to love one another. Why is that so difficult?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

My Counselor by Dr. Sandy Nelson

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The Lord is my Counselor

I shall not wig out.

He makes me aware of my gloom and tainted motives.

He leads me to reality.

He restores my heart and mind.

He guides me on the path of
self-respect,
purpose,
and concern for humanity.

He teaches me to
think clearly,
be helpful,
and take responsibility for my choices.

He makes me calm and passionate.

He enables me to remember the people I am not to control,
and to control myself.

Even though I walk through the valley of
frustration,
pessimism,
and indifference,

I am not influenced,

For thou art with me.

Thy devotion and goodness encourage me.

He prepares a table before me in the presence of daily enemies:
pride,
dishonesty,
self-pity,
fear,
and helplessness.

He anoints me with
gratitude,
self-confidence,
and acceptance.

No longer am I defeated; neither am I unsupported.

My cup runneth over with
enthusiasm and determination.

Surely, peace and blessings shall follow me all the days of my life.

And I will dwell on making a difference in this world forever and ever.

Amen!!

 

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

People Have A Right To Be Wrong

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PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE WRONG – Dr. Sandy Nelson

We are not satisfied to be right, unless we can prove others to be quite wrong. —William Hazlitt

Some years ago I discovered an important and liberating truth: people have the belief15right to be wrong. Including me. People didn’t need me pointing out where I thought they were misinformed or misguided about global warming or why their opinion about renaissance art was misconstrued or why GMO‘s should be banned from the planet or why Jon Snow should never be killed off.

Instead of trying to force unto others the beliefs I was passionate about, I found it incredibly freeing to grant others the right to their opinion! Imagine that! I no longer became frustrated with people who held views that opposed mine. The urge weakened to butt in and debate their opinion.

niceJudging the choices of others is not the best use of our time. Judging other people isn’t the best use of our character either. When we look down on people who have different opinions and beliefs, it appears we’re superior and we can get snotty and snobbish. UGH!

We all have preferences and opinions that we want respected and accepted but we can be brutal towards others whose preferences and opinions differ from ours. Acceptance of someone’s differing opinion doesn’t mean submission. It means you accept and respect the right of the person to hold his or her own views.

Today, join me in respecting the choices of other people—even if you think their preferences and views are inaccurate. And, better yet, ask why they hold the opinion they do and listen, not debate, listen. You might learn something unexpected.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

How To Listen Up! – Dr Sandy Nelson

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HOW TO LISTEN UP!

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey tells of a father who came to him saying, “I can’t understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me.” Covey patiently tried to get the dad to see the inconsistency of his statement. You don’t understand people by getting them to listen to you. You understand them when you listen to them.charlie brown listen

Is anyone listening?

It’s true that our high-tech, fast paced society today allots less time to listen to one another. Everyone is in a hurry, no one has time, but the need for communication and connection is more important than ever. Relationships at work and at home cannot thrive or survive without listening to one another. It’s imperative that we need to listen up!

Ever jump to understand a person’s disagreeing view? That’s not the first move of most people in conversation. People usually jump to judge, to argue, or to reject, to debate, but to understand? That’s in a minority of people.

listen1But we can change that. When we listen to another person, we can refuse to be distracted by our own opinions and biases. We can accept that listening to a differing view is not going to cause the veins in our foreheads to explode. It’s only fair that If we want our point to be understood, we need to practice understanding the point of others. We need to listen up!

listen

Listen to what people say, not to what we want to hear. Listen to their choice of words, not what we want them to say. Listen to their values, their complaints, their priorities, their outlook, and how they speak about other people, because that will reveal who that person is. So pay attention, put down any distractions, look at the person speaking, and listen up.

To avoid the impulse to finish the sentences of a person who speaks slower than we do is often a tussle. This is a test of our patience. And another impulse to avoid is planning what to say next when we should be listening. Also don’t interrupt the person talking, or take calls, or look at our phone (or TV), or wave to someone we know, or stare at the floor or out the window, all of which convey that the person talking is a bother to us, and not important.

Look at the person talking, without distraction. Practice listening with the intent to understand. This earns the respect of others.

Think about it.FullSizeRender (8)

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Got complaints? – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Malcolm S. Forbes says: The best vision is insight. However, a lot of people have placed their vision on sights outside of themselves—on other people and mostly on what other people are doing wrong.IMG_3247

We will not improve the world by lecturing other people how they should be better while ignoring the responsibility to better ourselves. Obtaining insight requires us to look within ourselves for those traits that hamper relationships, fuel resentments, and assist in our misery.

We will have better self-respect when we have a better self to respect. We will have better relationships when we have altered the parts of ourselves that pump doom into them. We will have a better planet when we take responsibility to correct the mind-set in our private world.

IMG_3277The transformation of your life begins with an examination of your thoughts. In Everyday Grace, Marianne Williamson writes: Our thoughts, not just our actions, create our experience. If you’re not happy and successful, investigate your thought content. Look for hidden complaints, resentments and grudges. When you stop railing against other people and stop blaming other people for your lack of prosperity, your mind and heart are then in a position to receive the happiness and success you desire. Instead of asking what’s in your wallet today, ask yourself what’s in your head.

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

5 Ways To Be Rejected – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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5 Ways To Be Rejected – Dr. Sandy Nelson

1. Think only of yourself

If you’re looking to be rejected among pals, co-workers, and even as a romanticme1 partner, make everything all about you. Be sure to make it obvious you have no interest in conversating about stuff that doesn’t involve yourself. Do that, and the goal to be excluded will be only moments away.

Healthy relationships require a mutual genuine caring for and interest in another person. As the saying goes There’s no “I” in Team.

 

2. Don’t compromise

Compromise? Don’t be silly. You want things your way. There’s no meeting half-way for you. All plans voiced by others are iffy until approved by what works best for you. Refuse to have any consideration for the needs or preferences of those around you and soon enough you’ll be left in the cold.

Making concessions with others is only necessary when you value a relationship and want to be a decent human being.

 

3. Act like a Know-It-All

You think you know everything. In fact, it’s a dumb idea for others to question knowyour authority on everything. The words: I don’t know never come out of your mouth. You’re a chatter box on thee way to do all things on earth and you’re happy to be the interrupty of conversations to point that out. So it should come as a no-brainer when you’re kicked to the curb because no one likes a Know-It-All.

I repeat, no one likes a Know-It-All.

 

4. Be dishonest

Here’s a good idea: make yourself look good using lies. Tell tall stories that inflate who you are, what you do, and who you know. In conversations expand on your fake talents and gifts to the world. Makes promises you have no intention of keeping. Forget having any relationships because that would require the real you, who even you don’t know anymore. When you dodge the truth, c’mon people know you’re lying, and those people will dodge you.

Real relationships require real people.

 

5. Practice prejudice

Acceptance is a word thrown around, but rarely considered by you in chats prejudice1about other people. No way. Suspicion is what you preach when talking about cultures and races different than your own. You denounce any way of living that doesn’t meet your authoritative standards. Judging and condemning people by the color of their skin is the least you can do. Your ignorance leads you to perceive that you possess supreme superiority. Rejection will be a cakewalk.

Here are two human enlightenment’s: 1. There is a God.  2. We are not him.

 

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

 

 

 

 

The Most Respected Quality – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Looking for love before developing a strong sense of self is like trying to find the mate of a shoe you’ve never seen. —Martha Beck

IMG_2973I sometimes long for childhood scenes where taking a stand for ice cream over cupcakes seemed easier than taking a stand for myself with other people as a grown-up. Let’s face it, when you express to someone your true thoughts and opinions, it’s a risk. What if you offend someone? What if they change their opinion of you? What if they get mad? What if you blow it? That’s a gamble. But to speak or act in contradiction to who you are is worse than the experience of disapproval from someone, isn’t it?

For some people, what determines their sense of self is having the approval of images (21)someone else. What determines their self-worth and happiness is how other people feel about them. Many individuals change their personality and opinions, at any given moment, to be accepted. It’s not a surprise that relationships are often rocky and shallow when people hide their true identity. So, make it a priority to know yourself so that you have a self others can honestly know.

In The Plateauing Trap, Judith M. Bardwick writes: Real confidence comes from knowing and accepting yourself—your strengths and your limitations—in contrast to depending on affirmation from others. 

Remember, every single person has strengths and weakness, attributes and handicaps, not just you and me, everyone. The more you embrace yourself—the good parts and the not so good parts—the more you radiate confidence because you know who you are and who you are not, and that is the most attractive trait anyone can possess. When you are genuine in who you are and not acting like a fraud of someone else, that’s appealing to others. People respect that quality, a lot.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com