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Where Do You Draw the Line on Medically Enhanced Competitors?

What are the limits to someone incurring surgeries to perform better or gain favor from contest judges

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In Denmark this month, a transsexual woman was awarded the top prize, “Miss Universe Denmark.” Despite this otherwise attractive individual’s talent, a whole set of questions ought to be considered.

What is the mission and value statement of the agencies and the respective countries that hold such competitions? In the case of a female beauty contest, is it not to reward those of the feminine gender who have shown not merely beauty, but brilliance, public service, poise, and appropriate demeanor?

Procedures for All Occasions

If somebody undergoes one or more specific medical procedures that enable them to enter the contest, does that change the overall mission? If not, what are the limits to someone incurring surgeries to gain greater favor from contest judges and the viewing public?

What about breast enhancement? What about dental implants to create a perfect smile? What about rhinoplasty to make a rather plain nose more attractive? What about any of the other procedures widely available today that a contestant could undertake to increase the chances of victory?

If someone is undergoing a sex change operation, and we have to assume that other enhancements were involved in the total transformation, why not open up the ranks of such contests to anybody anywhere who has any kind of procedure?

Spring Forward, Fall Back

When Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter who runs on springs, was competing in national and international competitions, many people felt it not fair to allow this individual to compete. He lost his feet at 11 months due to a congenital defect, and we all sympathize. However, shouldn’t he be competing against others who have similar mechanical enhancements?

What if a manufacturer is able to create springs in place of feet, enabling average sprinters to proceed noticeably faster than the best sprinters in the world? Where does that leave-footed sprinters? Should they remove their feet? Absurd, you say? Well, then, should they just give up?

Many years ago, Tiger Woods underwent an operation to improve his vision. He did not have poor vision at the time. He had 20/20 vision. He had it altered to make his vision even stronger than 20/20. Was that acceptable? The Professional Golfers Association didn’t seem perturbed. Have other golfers undergone the same procedure? Have other athletes undergone other procedures to enhance their ability to compete?

The Fine Line

When and where do you draw the line? Performance-enhancing drugs have been outlawed in professional weightlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and other such contests. This is also true in all other major sporting events. On occasion, however, the tests are not conclusive. Some cheaters sneak by. And some win contests as a result of performance-enhancing substances that went undetectable.

Suppose people can alter their bodies via surgery, substances consumed, or any other means that will enhance their ability to compete. How are others who have not had such advantages and do not finish in the winner’s circle supposed to feel? Have they not been denied a fair and equal opportunity to compete?

In virtually every instance, competitors in such national and international events have devoted long hours and many years of their lives to hone and refine their capabilities, techniques, and approaches to their respective endeavors.

Speak Up Before the Mass Absurdity

Riley Gaines is a female swimmer who has been outspoken about the dangers of having biological females competing against who was originally a biological male such as NCAA champion Lia Thomas. And then there are a host of locker room issues with which to grapple. Gaines is as articulate a spokesperson for this topic as you’ll ever encounter. Few others have the guts to speak up as she has. My guess is that a large “silent majority” feels the same way as she does.

What’s needed now, more than ever, is for legions of female athletes to make themselves heard. It is not enough to simply say, “I did my best, it was an unfair advantage for the winner, but I guess I’ll just move on.” A generation of young female athletes is waiting in the wings.

Even when females do speak up, as Martina Navratilova has done, you have others on the Left, such as the perpetually annoying Megan Rapinoe, who voice opinions against their own gender. Unfortunately, one cranky Megan Rapinoe, supported thoroughly by the Leftist media, drowns out the voices of many opposers. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

Stand Up and Walk Out

Pundits have suggested that female athletes can regain control of their respective sports via mass walkouts. In other words, do not compete when a competitor who has gone through puberty as a male is wreaking havoc at female events.

Suppose female swimmers take their places on the blocks and as the horn sounds to start the race, they turn and simply leave the pool area. Let Lia Thomas win by default and finish alone in the pool. That would make a great news story that would be impossible to ignore.

Really, a couple of mass walkouts should do it.

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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

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 1)

Take time for rest and reflection throughout the day, and accomplish more as a result

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The typical person thinks that work-life balance is needed only when things get hectic. Not so! Here are the first seven observations and accompanying recommendations for achieving Work-life Balance.

1) The typical person thinks that work-life balance is needed only when things get hectic. Those who have work-life balance realize that it is an everyday practice. So, what can you do?
* practice work-life balance techniques everyday, much like taking a daily shower
* recognize the small opportunities around you all day long
* plan from Sunday night to next Sunday
* maintain a mindset of not loading up on activities and not overdoing it

2) The typical person becomes stressed throughout the workday from mounting demands. Those with work-life balance anticipate unexpected demands and dispense their energy accordingly. So,
* leave sufficient slack in your schedule
* have one weekday evening per week with nothing scheduled
* pace yourself throughout the day
* establish a resource network of key contacts, phone numbers, email, etc.

3) The typical person suspects that only a privileged few can attain work-life balance. Those with work-life balance understand that it is within everyone’s grasp.
* read about work-life balance
* talk about work-life balance
* trade work-life balance ideas
* be on the lookout

4) The typical person assumes that “money buys happiness.” Those who have work-life balance know that money won’t help if you’re on the wrong path.
* consider that simple solutions often work best
* adopt a less is more approach
* pare down
* systemize or eliminate

5) The typical person regards taking time for themselves as a luxury they can’t afford. Those who have work-life balance recognize that taking time for themselves is vital.
* pause for ten one-minute breaks
* go on true lunch breaks
* take strategic pauses
* allow for whole weekends off

6) The typical person thinks that achieving work-life balance will be fleeting; it won’t last long. Those who have work-life balance take a rational, methodical approach to maintaining it.
* recognize that upsets and overwhelm will occur
* ask: what do I want to finish by the end of work today to feel good about the evening?
* ask: what do I want to finish before Friday to feel good about the weekend?
* keep creating a clearing (like Zen masters)

7) The typical person sacrifices rest and reflection in the hope of getting more done. Those with work-life balance take time for rest and reflection throughout the day, and accomplish more as a result.
* sleep eight hours a night
* linger after lunch
* center yourself on the way to the restroom, water cooler, even between tasks
* draw upon self-calming rituals all day long

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Business

Work-Life Balance in Your Life

It the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life

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Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. WLB, also referred to by some as work-life harmony, work-life shift, work-life blend, work-life effectiveness, or work-life integration, requires focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for our time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having what I call “breathing space” for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. WLB is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within the course of a day and a week, and however many years you have left in your life.

Supporting Disciplines

Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:

1) Self Management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2) Time Management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3) Stress Management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one’s individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5) Technology Management

Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges 1) the importance of rest and relaxation, 2) that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience, and 3) that one can’t indefinitely short-change leisure without repercussions. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Entirely Achievable

Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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