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The Dead Do Tell Tales

The words of Dr. William Maples, in describing typical suicide victims, are poignant

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It’s shame that the late Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly hung himself, couldn’t have been examined by Dr. William R. Maples. Epstein’s body would have had a lot to say.

Poignant Words

Apart from the FBI subterfuge surrounding Epstein’s death, I found the words of Dr. Maples, in describing typical suicide victims to be poignant. Maples is a forensic researcher, diagnosing how and when people died. In his book, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples, he writes, “Many of the skeletons that come into my laboratory belong to suicide victims who behaved like shy hermits in their final hours.”

“Usually they are found in remote places. People often go to some hidden place to kill themselves, whether from a desire to act alone and unhindered, or because they wish simply to disappear in solitude, spending their last moments in reflective silence.”

Would these people have killed themselves if they could’ve regularly attained reflective silence? Was their quest to die alone simply an ill-advised solution to the stresses they faced? How would their lives have been if they knew appropriate, reliable ways to find solace in the here and now, at home, at work, and everywhere in between?

Be True to Yourself

The masses take pills by the boatload. The masses race though their days. The masses, by and large, live lives of tension and turmoil. Stress has become the malady of the generation, and it’s better to not to follow the crowd.

Being true to yourself means doing what you need to do to stay healthy, balanced, and relaxed. It means having inner directedness. It requires drawing upon your knowledge, experience, and instinct to carve your own path; and to have less stress because you are less swayed by popular or prevailing norms. It is thinking and acting based on an ever-developing internal guidance system.

Being true to yourself means is learning what doesn’t work. You determine what is and is not relevant to you, and ultimately, what is and is not appropriate for you to stay in control of your day, every day, and of your life which could well extend for many decades.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

Count Your Days, Count Your Blessings

A day is such a long time when you ponder the possibilities

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How many days have you been on this earth? How many total days do you get to live? 24,000? Perhaps 32,000? Whatever the total, for many people, it’s more than our counterparts of a generation ago. Indeed, in 1900 the median life span in the U.S. was 49 years old. By 2000 the median life span had reached 77. Today, it’s common for people to reach their late 70s, 80s, or even 90s.

A Precious Gift

Ever since the oceans first formed, the tides have been rising and falling. Think of it, there have been eons of sunrises and sunsets since the earth first formed out of congealed gases. Your time on earth is a minute fraction of that. What’s more, the earth is home to tens of thousands of species, many of which have still not been identified and classified.

No matter how many days you have on this earth, it’s vital to appreciate each of them.When you awake each morning, opportunities await. A day is such a long time when you ponder the possibilities:

In one single minute or less you can throw water on your face, dry off, stretch intently, engage in a mini meditation, have a big drink of water, close your eyes, take a quick walk, visualize a pleasant scene, check for messages, look at photos, sit up or stand up straight, write a thank-you note, yawn, straighten up your desk, review notes, change your seat, have a pleasant thought, or phone someone.

So Much More

In five to 45 minutes you can check for voicemail, texts, and email messages; catch the news on TV, radio, or the Internet; lay your head down for some quick rest, take a rigorous walk, balance your checkbook, water the plants, vacuum, straighten up the interior of your car, review what’s in the trunk of your car, have a brief meeting with staff members, jog, clean your bathroom, take a shower, and get dressed.

Also, deal with today’s mail, organize half of a filing cabinet drawer, take a nap, run a PC diagnostic program, download many large files, mentally rehearse a major presentation you’ll be giving, proofread a report, comfortably eat lunch, listen to several of your favorite songs.

In two to 24 hours you can watch a movie in the theater or at home, attend a local sporting event, spend quality time with someone else, read several chapters of a book, completely redo your file drawer, reorganize your closet with time to spare, clean your whole house, visit a good friend, attend religious worship, write a report from start to finish, or visit a park or other area of nature.

Your could take a considerable car trip, catch up on your sleep, enroll in a rigorous course, renew yourself at the spa, attend several movies, read one book or more, take a plane flight, renew your relationships with a friend from across town, clean most or all of your home, or fly to China.

To Optimize not Maximize

Your quest is to optimize, not maximize your day. You’re not trying to jam pack your time with activity. What would be the point? Having optimal days, means there is a balance. Some work perhaps, some leisure — enjoyment of your meals, time for a friend, time to reflect, and time to stretch or exercise, maybe vigorously.

A sense of the power of nature, the appreciation of higher forces, a sense of being reverent, respectful, all of these can go into the optimal day.

No matter how trying or exhausting, some days might be, invariably some good can be extracted from such days. If you are the type who is motivated by quotes and slogans – if they help to lift you when you’re down or rise you up further than you are –  the Internet provides infinite number of such resources. Songs, as well, can spur you on. If Don’t Worry be Happy works for you, play it. If What a Difference a Day Makes nourishes your soul, listen to it.

Movies can be uplifting as well. On any given day, you can watch inspiring movies. If Chariots of Fire or Silver Linings Playbook work for you, watch them. Poetry, light verse, stirring novels, and inspiring biographies can make a difference in your day. Access to written works has never been more available than it is today.

Take This Day and Love It

At some point in your day, will be time to drop back and punt. In other words, give yourself permission to relax – to simply be. Reverse the old axiom, “don’t just sit there do something,” to “don’t just do something, sit there.”

For however many hours there are left in this day, and however many days you have left on this earth, recognize that they are all gifts: Precious gifts, to be experienced, and enjoyed.

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Guns

The Age of Rage

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Many Republicans are seething in response to Biden’s destructive agenda that has contributed to high inflation, ad exploding deficit, urban lawlessness, and an out-of-control Southern border. More and more Americans are eager to turn their anger into a November landslide against Democrats. They’re tired of the rampant lawlessness, the irresponsible DAs unwilling to prosecute criminals, and the deficit spending that has unleashed inflation impacting the lives of every American.

The recent leak about the reversal of Roe v. Wade has given woke extremists all they need to justify angry, even violent, demonstrations. The decision is not even final, but liberals are marching on the homes of conservative Supreme Court Justices. Some justices have moved from their homes to ensure the safety of their families.

The lockdowns and restrictions tied to the COVID pandemic have certainly added to the anger of many citizens. People watch shows that reinforce their own views. Such one-sided journalism helps justify violent actions. But let’s be clear. Viewers respond with high ratings from the steady stream of extremists. Rage is the “eye candy” that now attracts viewers. Yes, there are extreme views expressed on either side of our political divide, but the vast majority of rage and violence is coming from the left.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki has complained about threats and personal attacks, but Republicans point out that the party has not publicly shared the addresses of any Biden administration official’s home address.

After the leak of a potential Supreme Court reversal on Roe v. Wade, a pro-abortion protest in downtown Los Angeles turned into a violent clash with law enforcement after officers were called to disperse the increasingly disruptive crowds, resulting in the injury of at least one officer. What started as a small protest outside the city’s federal courthouse building, grew increasingly rowdy and disruptive. The protest grew despite promises from state officials and liberal lawmakers to codify the ability to access abortion in California.

A group called “Jane’s Revenge” claimed to be behind the attack on the offices of Wisconsin Family Action. The “warning” demanded that pro-life organizations disband in 30 days. They claimed, “We have run thin on patience for those who seek to strip us of what little autonomy we have left.” The group claimed that it had groups “all over the U.S.”

Columnist and pundit Victor Davis Hanson wrote, “Politics are resembling the violent last days of the Roman Republic. An illegal leak of a possible impending Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade that would allow state voters to set their own abortion laws has created a national hysteria. Never has a White House tacitly approved mobs of protesters showing up at Supreme Court justices’ homes to rant and bully them into altering their votes.”

Commenting on the angry demonstrations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel said it well, “It is an attempt to replace the rule of law with the rule of mobs.” It’s the mobs that get the coverage, and that coverage encourages more attacks.

The rage hasn’t been limited to the abortion issue. In January, the leftist ShutDownDC group picketed outside Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) home in Virginia. Hawley said at the time, “Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family, and I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence.”

Since that threat, there have been seemingly a stream of violent attacks and murders. From the mowing down of innocent black citizens in Buffalo New York, to the ongoing carnage in inner-city Chicago, and to the attack on worshipers at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, the violence is just expanding.

We may have ushered in the age of rage, but the vast majority of Americans do not want it to continue. It’s time we all demand an end to violence and stop legitimizing destructive demonstrations. The answer to hate speech is not violence or forced silence. The answer is more speech, more respectful, thoughtful, even passionate dialogue across our divide. Freedom and rights are only real when you extend and ensure those rights to those who openly disagree with you. Let freedom ring. Let’s return to disagreeing without being quite so disagreeable. Rage may get you on the news, but it doesn’t ensure the future of our republic. Demand more. Start being part of the answer by being responsible for your own actions.

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