Covid Backlash, For the Good or Bad?

Like many of you at first I feared Covid-19 might be something that could swoop down on me and my loved ones …. take our lives, our income. But nothing is ever solely about ourselves. This catastrophic event, while it can devastate us as individuals, it’s really an attack on our nation.

Was this a virus that would wipe out huge swaths of our population? Would we be able to handle perhaps an overwhelming demand for tests/PPE, hospital beds? What would be the cost for small business owners? The stock market? The family structure?

I don’t believe many in this nation think God just helped us start up 200+ years ago but now has given up on us. We’ve gone thru so much, even the near splitting of our nation in half, and somehow we rose up to go on! Godly people have always found the hope and strength to construct a new life where there once was desolation. I think there’s a positive backlash from this virus that will define us, strengthen us and help the world.

  • I think some people will evaluate their consumer habits, and become more creative on less. People will learn to cook, stop smoking, walk more and correct bad eating habits. Some will learn to repair things or become more independent. Many will tighten up their selfish cravings, lack of caring about the world outside and reject the lazy Western attitude.
  • I believe this Covid 19 threat is showing us just how important our national identities are.  Countries are now thinking of their ‘borders’ in a different way, even borders between friendly nations. This is true on almost every continent, and I believe will continue to have impact for months, likely years and shut down some of the ‘global’ objectives.
  • I believe this shutdown will backfire for those who lean Left and embrace socialism. Some will come to understand how the policies of China’s communist system caused this pandemic, and subverts all it comes into contact with. Many have said this virus shuts down much of Bernie Sanders argument for socialism.  We need people to vote this Fall who think for themselves and have some raw experience to back their views up. All of the House is up for grabs, and we need discernment in voters.
  • This pandemic will help the U.S. in our international relations.  Nations are aligning themselves on one side of the issue, or another in some interesting ways. Some choose to be vigilant, some careless or weak. You can see the ‘blamers’ raging against the honest nations, diverting their responsibility. Even in the U.S. we are seeing tyrant governors abusing the rights of the people.
  • This pandemic has come in a good season as it will prove that race is not the argument it once was. Nor is sexism, ageism.
  • Some folks will wake up and begin to ask questions, like how did this virus ended up over here? They will learn to appreciate the U.S. more, and listen to the voices in government from a new perspective. Some will mend ways with family members, or seek God for the first time.
  • This virus will reveal to some which political ideology wants them free, out working, shopping, going to games, worshiping …. and, which ideology wants to tax them, coup them up.

This pandemic will do it’s thing among the people in higher, elite echelons too. Celebs, atheist profs, & whiners won’t escape the virus, fear, lack of freedom or threat on income.

  • American’s have never let a crises go to waste. Entrepreneurs will bloom from this virus.

*Note – Research references are found in various articles. Please refer these online sources :

                    Real Clear Politics  

                   The Federalist

 

 

Italy …. A Virus & A Sell Out Combined?

People have referred to Italy as a kind of ‘marker’ in the battle against Covid 19. They’ll say, ‘oh, look at how high the numbers are?’ Leaders have told us, “We may become like Northern Italy!”

I was married to a dentist, and have physician friends. One of my favorite courses in school was physiology, the study of the human body. When you naturally love a subject, and have people around you with whom you can get feedback, you learn keys. So, I’ve always been interested in health and wanting to know how to avoid getting sick!

There’s a tremendous amount of reporting on the Covid 19 virus, much of it fearful, repetitive facts. And much of it by those with no medical knowledge who pretend to know more than they do. It’s frustrating getting the facts straight, but to be fair, we are living thru a rapidly evolving situation that we haven’t faced before as a nation. Anyway, looking at what happened in Italy prior to the outbreak helps us understand the huge toll the Italian people have suffered. Hopefully the U.S. and others can learn from this.

There are several key reasons why Italy got caught in the clutches of the Covid 19 pandemic. Many think of the viral outbreak as a medical or scientific catastrophe, but it’s actually a multi-layered issue when you read articles from people who live there. Following are stats on the tragedy –

  1. Italy suffered a higher death rate from the Covid 19 virus in part because it has the 2nd oldest population in the world. 23% of the population is over 65, compared to the U.S. where only 16% are over age 65. While Italy has had the 6th longest life expectancy in the world, fewer children are being born to Italians. Japan, for example, has 28% of their population over the age of 65, but their case #’s were far below those in Italy. Lock downs, and testing were the two ways Japan immediately controlled the spread.
  2. Italians have taken a big hit as they have a different sense of ‘personal space’ from some other cultures. The elderly mingle with youth ‘often’. They often live together, but work apart. “They simply are not used to distance in personal relationships”, said one journalist.
  3. The section of Italy hit most severely is the North, the part of the country that has a ‘dense population’. Italy has 533 people per sq. mile, whereas the U.S. has only 94 pr. sq. mi. Two thirds of the population of Italy live in urban areas. The city of Milan, in the North, is a hub of the financial district, and has a density of 19,000 citizens per sq. mi. That’s twice the density of Berlin, Wash. D.C. Those quaint towns in Italy/Europe where people live so close and mingle easily in city squares, cafes only help a virus move fast in a population..
  4. Milan is the financial center of Italy, with close trade, educational ties to China. No Italy/Milan is home to a multitude of multi-national corps, where people travel to and from all over the world.
  5. It was reported by several sources that when the first coronavirus patients entered Italian hospitals they weren’t segregated from the main population in the hospital, thus allowing the virus to spread to other patients in the hospitals. Also, Dr’s and medical staff were not properly protected from the covid patients, and became some of the first patients to come down with the virus, creating another medical crises.
  6. The sheer mass numbers of cases has been a devastating side to the tragedy in Italy. Italy has a population of 60+ ml compared to America’s 337 ml, which makes the Italian epidemic more devastating.
  7. To me and others, perhaps the most telling aspect re: the travesty in Italy has been the way recent Italian leaders have allowed Chinese businesses unprecedented power to buy out Italian banks, telecom, industrial & fashion companies against existing Italian & EU laws. The leaders diverted funds for the hospital/health system in Italy, raised taxes four times. They allowed tens of thousands of Chinese from Wuhan entry to their country before the virus started in Dec. ’19. Their health system failed to track & share info on the virus until it had spread too far too fast. Italian leaders were looking at the wealth it was bringing in from China, and not prepared for the danger lurking below.

An Italian American lady waiting to get out of the house –

On the other hand nations like  Taiwan, Australia, S. Korea, etc have not had the extreme infection rate, or economic lock down as the U.S. has. Taiwan Health Dept. sensed immediately that the illness in travelers returning from China was not normal, and asked China for permission to visit. While in China they saw the secrecy, terror in China as the virus began to take center stage in Chinese affairs, and they rushed home. Taiwan officials quickly put into place a quarantine for those who were sick, a contact check protocol, and citizens were advised on other protocols like taking temps of their children before they went off to school.

On the Sunday News talk shows yesterday I heard several governors share their hope in the contact lists, testing protocols in order to get our economy back up. We need to ramp up those efforts in the U.S., I believe, and emulate the success of other nations.

Ref:   Antonio Masiello – WIRED  (3/17/20)

         The CONVERSATION  –  “5 Reasons Why the Coronavirus Hit Italy So Hard”

Giacomino Nicolazzo, American-Italian author

An ER Nurse During the Covid 19 Lockdown

Here’s a sobering story my writer friend Crista shared with me yesterday. Read the real life experience of an ER nurse and the protocols she must  follow to stay safe and sane during this pandemic. Her particular trauma will give you a glimpse into what healthcare workers face if they work in a respiratory practice or are assigned to respiratory units during this Covid 19 virus.

By – One Vaxxed Nurse

Tonight is the last night that I’ll hug my kids goodnight or kiss my husband until god knows when.

Community spread is now confirmed in my area and being an ER nurse means that the odds of being exposed over and over again are now a 100% guarantee. So I just wanted to talk to everyone stuck at home with your family, bored out of your mind and itching to get out. A little perspective is sometimes all you need to feel grateful for the things you have that others don’t.

Starting with my shift tomorrow, I’ll come home from work through my laundry room door that leads to the outside. I’ll strip naked including shoes and put everything straight into the washing machine on sanitize mode. Ill use a Clorox wipe to clean anything I touched in the process. I’ll then take the towel that my husband has left for me and use it to walk to my master bedroom covered up. In there, a room that nobody else is allowed to enter after today, I’ll shower on hot. After my shower I’ll sanitize everything I touched again, then hand sanitize and get dressed.

When I’m done with this process I’ll be able to sit in the family room 6 feet away from everyone I love, but not touch anyone- I’ll know I’ve been exposed. I’ll have been using the same single disposable face mask for minimum of an entire shift and I can’t be sure that the moisture from my breath didn’t render the mask ineffective. So I must treat myself as though I have it and am contagious.

I’ll get to talk to my husband and kids from a safe distance, but I won’t get to touch anyone I love. I’m not a hugger, but I anticipate that the next few weeks are likely to bring days where I could really use a hug. I won’t be able to have one. It’s the only way I can protect them.

If I’m hungry I’ll have someone fix me something on disposable dinnerware so that the worry of improperly sterilizing my utensils isn’t an issue. I’ll probably-scratch that, definitely- have wine out of a red solo cup as I answer a barrage of questions from my kids and try to ignore the look on my husbands face. I’ll probably have to assure my youngest for the millionth time, that mommy will stay safe. When that’s done, I’ll give the kids air hugs and wish them goodnight. When the kids go to bed I’ll be able to unload a little less censured to my husband- but the truth is, depending how bad it gets, I’ll probably lie a little. When exhaustion hits I’ll go to bed…..alone. In a room that nobody else can enter.

This will be my life, every day. Even my days off (until those are no more) because I could be contagious before showing symptoms. So until this thing is gone, my reality will look a lot different. I’ll probably hug my co-workers because they are just as dirty as me, but at a time of heaviness, I won’t be able to receive the human touch of love from the people who love me most. For weeks, for months, who knows- that part is in the hands of the American public.

So my ask of you is this, as you sit at home with your children on your laps snuggled up watching a movie- please end this thing quickly by not going out unless absolutely necessary. My arms stay empty every day that you don’t. I go to bed alone every day that community spread is still a thing. Stay home. Hug your children, sleep with your spouse, eat on porcelain plates, sip wine from a long stemmed glass and give thanks for the things that you can still do that some of us can’t. I’m doing my part. Please do yours.

Pandemic Saga

This is an unusual topic to write in a blog post! But, this virus doesn’t care what race or political identity we are. In this day and age we’re all subject to the same germ, the same confusion and alarm because we have a potential death threat over our loved ones and our livelihood that needs to be met with clear thinking!

Some of us know how life works, we are vigilant, planners. We know from history or from relatives about plagues, wars in the past decimating cultures for a time. But some are new with this, this is their first experience with real mass danger. And, we all hope to God this threat passes over fast.

Our ‘bubble’ worlds are going to be shaken. We’ll be forced to see there are other people in this world outside our comfort zones. We’ll reflect on the fragility of life, what’s important to us. There’s a shaking going on.

Who knows how bad this epidemic will get? Our government has taken strong measures to flatten the curve in the U.S., trying to avoid the mistakes made in Iran, Italy. We’re teaching people how to self care. Lot of us are thinking of life down the road, when this pandemic is over. There’s our jobs, families, and an election coming up …. a country to rescue.

They say this virus outbreak will get worse before it gets better, and that’s hard to comprehend, as I’m pretty okay now. But, I don’t want my loved ones getting Covid 19. I personally don’t want to come down with it, but I’m not running around scared! I use health precautions wherever I am, and take along wipes or sanitizer. I’m trying to keep my immune system strong. I’m only as physically strong as my immune system is healthy.

It’s so crazy how some are treating a serious disease as a time to obsess about food and silly things! The fear of starving is an instinctive fear in humans, but it’s not like there’s a famine. But we might not be thinking clearly at this time, and want to anesthetize our stress with food. What may likely be a problem is that people will need something, or get ill and they will be too afraid to tell anyone. They may feel desperate re: work, the future and they will hesitate to reach out. People on the fringes (elderly, drug dependent, homeless), will be in a very precarious situation at this time.

Don’t listen to negative people at this time, the complainers …. no matter what! They blame Trump, the government for this virus gaining whatever stronghold it has. Don’t listen to doom prognosticators who say half of us will come down with the virus.

Don’t be like that NBA center who touched every interviewing surface after a game, scoffing how he wasn’t afraid of getting the virus but came down with it anyway. Listen to the right sources yourself, and check inside what is the right approach in this pandemic!

I’ve often thought of how politics, life …. seem to explode during the holy days of Lent/Passover/Easter! You may laugh, but it’s too coincidental not to ignore. God gave people a way to avoid death at Passover, He’ll do it again.

        Psalm 91

Psychiatrist Ablow on Trump

Anyone remember Psychiatrists?

It astounds me that people nowadays don’t honor the field of psychiatry like they used to. We used to have robust discussions in magazines, PBS talk shows re: different medical fields as they related to our culture and personalities in the news. Now politics has seemingly swallowed up the fun of our national intellectual curiosity, our true understanding of human nature!

Anyway, here’s an informative, objective commentary on our President –

A Psychiatrist’s Analysis of Donald Trump...  Dr. Keith Ablow –  (2017)

“Let me issue the standard disclaimer of psychiatrists who discuss the mental health of public figures: I have not personally examined President Trump. Now, let me put to rest the concerns of those who publicly or privately have questioned the President’s sanity: Donald Trump is stone cold sane.

-When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.

-When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarily unlikely that he is mentally unstable.

-When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democrat’s ‘heir-apparent’ to a two-term President’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin.

-And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility.

-Those who assert otherwise are political opportunists, or fools, or both (and I am thinking here, in particular, of Sen. Franken).

-President Trump is the first human being to win this nation’s highest office without having held any other political office or serving as a general. Most political pundits thought his quest was pure folly.

-Most journalists assessed his chances as zero. So who was laboring under quasi-delusional thinking ? Answer: Not Donald J. Trump.

-Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think?

-If you’re still worried about the mental stability of the President, note this: The stock market doesn’t like instability. Investors, en masse, can take the measure of a man pretty darn well. The stock market has hit record high after record high since Trump’s election, and if you think that’s an accident, or that investors have all been fooled, it’s time to start wondering about your own capacity for rational thought.

-I should note that nothing I am saying should besmirch the reputations of men like President Abraham Lincoln or Sir Winston Churchill, both of whom are said to have fought the ravages of major depression or bipolar disorder. One was instrumental in ridding America of slavery. The other was instrumental in saving the world from tyranny.

-Mahatma Gandhi, by the way, also reportedly suffered from depression. Psychiatric illness does not, a priori, disqualify a person from rendering extraordinary service to mankind.

-Mind you, neither Lincoln nor Churchill nor Gandhi led a nation after becoming a business sensation and television star. That trifecta defines one man : President Donald J. Trump.

-Now, think about those who are rabble-rousing about the President’s mental status. Take Sen. Al Franken. He’s all worried about the President allegedly overestimating the crowd size at his inauguration. But Franken is allied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who asserted she is Native American, when there is no evidence of that whatsoever. And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question ? Really, you can’t make up this stuff.

Dr. Keith Ablow, Psychiatrist/Author

 

Changes in CA Voting, Be Aware!

I’m sure you’ve noticed the new voting pamphlets in your mailbox! I took a few minutes to read them, then researched online for more support – (NOTE: Not all counties in CA will be using the new system, but Los Angeles, Orange are among the few counties that will be initiating the changes.)

It’s very strange to have all these changes at once! I was not aware these changes had passed the Assembly. They’ve tried to educate residents by putting up billboards, etc but I don’t read them! A simple mailing would have been more effective, I believe!

The most critical issue right off the bat is that our Presidential Primary has been moved up to a Super Tuesday date, March 3, 2020!  There won’t be a Presidential Primary vote in June!

The pamphlets are self explanatory, the only thing I think is an improvement is the font/layout of the sample ballot itself. Then, you’ll likely notice that local precincts have been done away with! We now have voting centers, instead of local precincts. In Los Angeles county there were 5,000 local precincts, but they are gone and replaced with 1,000 ‘voting centers’. There’s an extra booklet in your mail that gives locations for those centers.

Other entirely new voting features will be the interactive voting machines used to cast votes. Also noteworthy,  the candidates who used to be at the end of your ballot are now first, so we vote for President at the end of the list of candidates! Some people have complained that the interactive machines are set up so not all names are bunched together. So in some cases you have to go to another page to see the entire list of candidates for any particular position. NOTE: From an article I circulated on Twitter, I discovered that paper ballots will be available if a voter requests one. We will continue to get a paper receipt after voting.

Roughly 50% of L.A. voters use mail-in ballots. “Mail in” ballots will still be in use. You can find a mail-in request at the back of your Official Sample Ballot, or call the voters hot line no later than Tues, February 25th. After you vote, mail the ballot back in or drop them off at a voting center near your home/work.  If mailed, they need to be postmarked no later than March 3rd.

Another change to note is that in many cases the voting centers will be open for ’10’ days before Election Day. Also, one may ‘register to vote‘ at any voter center, up to and on, Election Day. They will have to verify you at Voting Headqtrs. before they give you a ballot on Voting Day, so be prepared to wait.

Los Angeles has 10,000 million residents, 5 million of those are registered to vote, so this is a huge change for such a large population! They say they hope the changes bring more people to the polls, but I think the new machines will be a challenge for many older, diehards.

                   Vote: Tuesday, March, 3rd

With all the changes and the word about voter fraud, some people will want to ‘track their vote’! Both mail in and voting place ballots can be tracked at :

                                             voterstatus.sos.ca.gov   or    vote.ca.gov

The State has 60 days in which to respond to you re: your ballot status.

For questions like finding a polling place, checking status:     Voter Hotline   800) 345-8683

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

U.S. Census – Reminder!

The official U.S. Census takes place April 1, 2020. We will get a reminder in the mail mid-March and follow ups after the April 1, official census taking. Census can be done online.

                                   Official U.S. Census :  April 1, 2020.

 

CWT Magazine Article – by D De Han

I love blogging. Below is an article I wrote on blogging for CWT Online Magazine two years ago –

Blogging for Social Justice

Like many writers, I tried my hand at different writing genres, including song lyrics and a screenplay. Plus, I’ve journaled for years. My writing focus changed abruptly when my son was murdered three years ago.
I automatically began blogging as a way to deal with grief, and also share my quest for justice in my son’s case. My blog was my companion as I sought clarity after I befriended the defendants when the case ended. Blogging has not only been a way to see justice for my son, but also to make a connection with my “real” self and with others.
God gives us a personal identity at birth that no one can imitate, so I didn’t need to imitate or fear anyone else. If you’re being your real self, others will see it. A real godly person writes to share a common perspective on life that reverberates with others. Relating your topic to your real life is more interesting than manufacturing sentiment, making up fantasy, or using a rant to make your point.
When my son was murdered, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. I wanted to seek justice for him, but I had to be real to myself and to God in my writing. These are some of the things that helped me keep my focus.

Journal for Release

If you haven’t found your voice, sometimes journaling can release a side of you that you didn’t know was there. All of us have hang-ups or doubts of some sort. The great thing about a journal is that you can say anything and no one will read it. Whatever awkward, upsetting or trite thing you could write about in your journal will never be seen by a soul and no one will judge you. You can share the deep things that move you that you might not share with others. Or the things that anger or scare you that you are afraid to admit to yourself out loud.
Journaling helps release hang-ups, even bad writing habits. It’s a tool for evaluating yourself so you feel more confident in developing your writing.

Write Your Deepest Beliefs

Never be afraid to write your real heart on a matter. That’s how I usually start a blog post. I write down my inner voice, then I go back and add a quote or example or I see I need to delete something. It’s exhilarating for me to write my heart out. At least I am good to my conscience and can sleep at night.
Use discretion when you write like this, but don’t fear the risk you are taking. I’ve written about things I felt might be misconstrued, but in the long run I’m glad I risked writing it. Many times people would write me saying they have a similar reaction, so my fears were unfounded.
If you don’t share it may mean you don’t care. You’d be surprised at the breadth of knowledge and concern many godly people have, and how welcome they’d be by you revealing their thoughts. You don’t need to play it safe all the time. God likes it when his kids take risks at times.

Pursue Hot Topics

Our media is full of chatter on various issues. I believe people are hungering for understanding about hot topics. They want clarity. But they want writing that is informed and insightful. You may have genuinely constructive things to say about a vital subject in life. You may have a suggestion on how to deal with an economic or environmental issue that never occurred to anyone. You may have a good answer for human relations in some area. But if you fear you don’t know enough or people won’t listen, your desire to see others live a more vital life will be lost.
I don’t let bad reporting on a hot topic I care about get past me. It’s one of my pet peeves, I guess. If I read or watch a story that ministers to me or aggravates me in some way, I know others notice it as well. I jot down my “take” on the issue, until I can assess if it will make a good blog post. This method keeps me feeling involved with life. There’s nothing worse than feeling riled over the political or other realms and feeling you’re helpless to bring change.
God speaks in our spirit all the time, showing us his ideas on family or world issues. An old writer’s axiom says, “A good writer doesn’t remember, he writes it down.” So,  write your hot topic thoughts. You may be surprised at how much it helps you think about the issue and seek prayerful solutions, and this could lead to a great article or book.

Seek Wisdom from Other Writers

I compare and contrast my writing on any topic with what others are saying about it. I don’t want to be repetitious or bore my readers. I especially don’t want to be too self involved, that I’m no good to others. I want the instincts of other good writers to rub off on me. I value their experiences and views.
When I wrote on the topic of grief, I shared my heart. But I listened to and read about the experiences of others.
When it came to murder, it was the same. I asked questions and did research.  I dug deep to share at times, and it encouraged me to see how others handled such a hard subject with grace and grit.

Write for the Future

How does your topic relate to the lives of people in the future? As godly writers, we need to think about that. Say why your topic is important in the long run. Explain why it’s a common issue that others deal with. Centering your piece on a person, your personal passions or difficulties can be a good way to start an article, but you always want to consider the larger scheme of things. Writing with God’s purpose in mind we need to understand that even commonplace topics have eternal significance.
Write without fear or condemnation, in your first draft. Always be alert for those who write and confirm something inside you, or convict you to change or look at writing in a fresh way.
The murder of my son changed my perspective on my life and my writing. I started sharing my authentic self about all the important issues we face. His murder may have ignited my writing, but now I seek love and justice on a greater scale.
* Note – Diane De Han is a blogger at MarcsJustice.com. She’s currently writing a book based on her blog entries which share how God carried her through the murder of her son, and how she befriended the defendants. Diane is a CNN Documentary candidate.

Raising an Adult: By Stanford Freshman Dean

On Twitter it’s fairly obvious some youth are good academically but have little understanding of life. People joke about them cause they get hurt for things they shouldn’t, obsess over certain causes, or expect things that just aren’t going to happen unless you work for it. In all my years as a Director/Teacher, and reflecting on what worked with my 2 sons, I’ve been glad for articles/books like this below..

In “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, a former Freshman Dean at Stanford shares how to raise successful adults. Success occurs as a culmination of emotional, problem-solving, and intellectual skills that are largely learned during childhood.

*   *   *   *   *   *.

With my students little while back –

A writer/parent wrote  …. “This week, I sat in an auditorium with a couple hundred other parents at my daughter’s high school to hear what author and former freshman dean of Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims, had to say about an epidemic of “over parenting” and the ways that this trend is influencing an entire generation of kids.  Lythcott-Haims has experienced the problem first hand as a college administrator and has written the book, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, to document her experience and help parents reprioritize and refocus.

I found this presentation to be incredibly insightful and I’m excited to share what I learned (it can really be boiled down to two main things which are mentioned at the end).   But before I dive into the recap, a little background…

As Julie served as the Dean of Freshman at Stanford, she and her colleagues were astounded as the academic caliber seemed to increase dramatically from one freshman class to the next.  “Every batch of freshman is more accomplished than the last” She explained. ” Somehow their median GPA is a little higher, their SAT score is a little higher,  they’ve done more AP’s than ever… they’ve got stories and novels and… Who are these people?” But she also found that their academic success is not the only thing that distinguishes them from previous generations.

She explained that, overall, this generation seems to lack the executive function necessary to make it on their own.  Many students don’t make eye contact, don’t interact with teachers, and when they’re lost or needed help, they text their mom before advocating for themselves. Julie believes that this is directly correlated with another new development: The behavior of parents. Never in Stanford’s history have so many freshman parents called in to discuss things like:  their student’s roommate situations, teacher complications, opportunities for their student to perform research at the college, and even to discuss their child’s grades.  Now remember, this isn’t 3rd grade, or 8th grade, or even senior year of high school that she’s talking about.  This is COLLEGE and it’s STANFORD UNIVERSITY for crying out loud.  Could there possibly be a correlation between these over-parenters and their kids who seem to be floundering in the basic skills of life? Julie is certain of it.

THE PROBLEM:

The problem, Lythcott-Haims asserts, is  “helicopter parenting.”  It’s defined by a parent’s will to “engineer” a particular outcome in their child.  Julie likens it to the process of sculpting a bonsai tree. If you manicure it the right way (make it take certain classes, ace the right tests, and master the most-impressive pastimes), it will become exactly what colleges want to see. I think that most well-intending parents are guilty of a little helicopter parenting from time to time.  As I listened to her various examples and quite hysterical true stories that represent this parenting style, I found myself running through my own habits, trying to determine whether I fall into this category.

She mentioned some of her peers that won’t let their 12-year-old attend an age-appropriate movie with a group of friends (without an adult).  She talked about the parent that finishes their kid’s school assignment because it might not be worthy of an A on its own.  Or the parent who insists that their child FIND THEIR PASSION and then… “Take it off the shelf and show it to the college people.”  She talked about the concierge parents who insist on making little Trevor’s life as comfortable as possible so that he can excel in those areas that really matter… the stuff that shows up on the transcript.  But something is continually overlooked by these helicopter moms and dads.  It’s not just the grades that matter.  It’s not just the extra-curriculars.  What studies indicate time and time again is that executive function comes from something more.  We’ve got to take a step back from this “checklist” approach to parenting and start looking at the “raising” of our kids with the big picture in mind.

THE CONSEQUENCES: 

This push toward a sort of superhuman teen is imposing big consequences.  Lythcott-Haims presented recent studies which indicate that college students are more depressed, anxious, and hopeless than ever before.  She explained that self awareness and confidence are developed through a mastery of basic problem-solving skills. Skills that are found in the everyday tasks of life: keeping your room clean, making yourself breakfast, remembering your own deadlines, and learning to self-advocate when things go wrong. When we take away our child’s opportunity to solve problems, we also eliminate that process of growth.  When we allow our kids to act for themselves (drawing up boundaries and giving guidance and love along the way) they will develop the confidence and compassion that they need to be successful adults.  This won’t necessarily translate to straight A’s for every child, but, HERE’S THE CLINCHER,  straight A’s aren’t the recipe for success.

THE GOOD NEWS

Countless studies indicate that SUCCESS is not contrived by the caliber of your school, your grades, or even your IQ.  Success occurs as a culmination of emotional, problem-solving, and intellectual skills that are largely learned during childhood.  The other good news…

In the United States, it is not necessary to attend a”ranked” school to be successful or obtain a great job.  Studies suggest that being in a smaller school can actually be more beneficial because there’s a higher likelihood of mentorship between student and teacher.  Being the “big fish” in a little pond is a better scenario than being overwhelmed in a “top school.”  As Julie put it, “We must believe that they can get a great education at any number of universities.”

WHAT WE CAN DO

To conclude the lecture, Julie gave the audience the ultimate take away.  These are the two best things that each of us can do for our kids to help them become successful adults:

1 – Give them chores.

2 – Teach them to love.

Really. It’s that simple.  And if you’re like me, your intuition has known it all along.  But here’s a little more research to back it up:

The longitudinal “Harvard Grant Study”  (one of the longest studies of humans ever conducted) found that success in life comes from having done chores as a kid.  The earlier the kid started, the better.  When our kids are too busy to do chores, we eliminate the biggest factor for success.  The Harvard Grant study also found that happiness in life equals LOVE.  Not passion, LOVE.  Love of people and love of human experience.  If there’s anything that we can do for our kids, it’s to teach them compassion, work ethic, and the love that can be found at home.

Jan. ’20 Book, Blog Update (7/20)

Here are some tidbits on what’s going on behind the scenes with my book and blog:

The first major part of “Dying for Attention” is a memoir sharing the daily/weekly events of my son’s homicide investigation and my personal quest for answers leading up to & including the defendants’ sentencing. The second half of the book is the afterword, where I share about befriending the defendants, and give my takeaway from the case. The book is basically done, and in the finishing stages.

Going thru a murder investigation isn’t like going to the dentist for a root canal, where you know it will be over soon. If I hadn’t have had the most fabulous D.A., & two perfect detectives, my life would not be what it is today. Being that I was ‘dumped’ into a horrific situation in a strange city, the people assigned Marc’s case were exactly what I needed! I feared shoddy police work or a poor D.A., but that didn’t ever pan out. Portland is a progressive city in many ways, but I really needed just old fashioned quality and assurance in their ‘base’, not fancy showmanship, or false illusions on the case.

D.A. for Marc’s case, Nicole Jergovic

My blog Marcsjustice.com will still be a viable account but I’m considering adding another blog site, one that deals with the various cultural & political issues we’re currently facing. MJ blog shares the story of the case and my personal journey for those seeking insight on violent crime & victory over tragedy. But I’m branching out more on every media I belong to and talking about some of the troubling issues in the headlines, and am considering separating the two themes into two different blog sites. Besides my stateside mailing list there’s readers from Canada, Europe and almost every continent.

I was offered a contract by a known publisher but declined for various reasons. An author should always be looking to ‘control’ their material, also, get the best royalties. Am also looking to increase distribution, income thru creating an audio book. Many people commute daily or just prefer audio books, so that’s another angle I’ve explored. I think my story lends well to an audio edition, my speaking voice would fit right in.

People are desperately seeking a way to navigate the challenges in this culture, and our historical Christian/Judeo traditions have so many rich solutions that would solve our cultural troubles. Blogs, books, social media, and videos are being utilized more often these days, and they are bringing people together in a strong way.

Thanks again for all your love and support! I know it’s a stretch to think that reading a blog/book on a son’s murder would lift up anybody. I had to really work past that fear when I started writing. I never thought I’d go thru something so traumatic and come out so positive. Just ridiculous!

All things are possible!

 

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Apparently there’s biblical proof that He was, said this young troll on Twitter recently.

Few months back I was reading the tweet of a progressive politician when this young female on the thread told me Jesus was a socialist! She even gave me several verses from the Bible to supposedly prove it!

I think the topic of the tweet was capitalism/socialism and she just appeared on my thread seeming very nice and eager to know more about politics and Christians. I hesitantly shared a couple things not knowing if she was serious, and like that ….  her manner became very accusatory,  condescending! She even told me, a long time believer, I was ignorant, uncaring!

At one point I had shared my general belief on how our government works in conjunction with our capitalist system and she whipped out this line that Jesus was a socialist’! I was new with trolls when I encountered her, and extremely alarmed about the recent talk from new House Dem’s spouting socialist jargon. I asked her to ‘show me in scripture’ where it says Jesus was a socialist, and she immediately sent me about ‘5’ verses!

I mean, people don’t accidentally have verses at their fingertips to give out to folks on social media. I was trying to grasp what kind of person would send me info and if I didn’t like the views, attack my credibility as a person? I’d never encountered these types of relentless people before. I understood no normal youth would spend their personal time researching socialism, the Bible and intimidate adults. From a few other encounters I’d had I assumed she was a troll from some political ‘front’ group trying to shame and terrorize the average Christian, conservative, whomever. I’ve suffered from groups of trolls swearing at me, saying I’m crazy, or piling on top of my thread in the dozens, once in the hundreds. Just to hound me!

Her Bible references were ridiculous! A short sentence from a Psalm, one from when Jesus fed the 5,000, and few others having to do with ‘scattering abroad’. The message of the Bible is about God sharing with individuals how to walk with Him in all our realms of life. The Bible isn’t a text on politics and economics but a personal love story. I remember Senator Obama making a speech once and taking scripture out of context and attacking it’s meaning, integrity. I was sickened by his utterly false comprehension of the passage. I didn’t know at the time how he’d been attending a church in Chicago for 20 years, where the minister preached, among other things, hate towards America and white people.

A couple other people came on our thread to defend that gal. They didn’t seek to ask my opinion but reiterated her warped views and slammed me when I differed. It was like a ‘robotic’ chain of people pouncing on me, it was quite obvious they were trained to do this. This was a far cry from youth being passionate about a cause, this was engaging in a whole line of propaganda, repeatedly, to wear me down.

I didn’t block her at first as I was curious how far she was going to go with her propagenda, but I now avoid her type like the flu. Most of my blog readers aren’t on Twitter but I need to alert you again to what’s going on out there if you decide to join it …. watch whose tweets you respond to! Also know, Twitter is roughly 22% of the adult population and about 10% are tweeting 80% of the tweets …. so, it’s really a small percent of the people who’re involved in ‘mind control’. Yet, it’s those people we hear most about, not all the good grassroots news, & chatter going on.

I can’t emphasize enough, we can’t be blind to the machinations of some political propaganda engines out there who want to derail or defeat conservatives, Christians, Jews! The Left has always been around, it’s not new. What’s new is how they are infiltrating not just the realm of higher education, but using social media. We need to also be aware there are social media trolls or robots from China/Russia, the Left, the Soros family groups, progressive/socialist Congressional members teams or God forbid, the secret side of an American intelligence source. People are trying to confuse us with lots of data, and give us info that weakens our values.

I’m not going to defend Jesus or capitalism now but Justin T. Haskins‘ book  Socialism is Evil is an excellent primer on the history of Marxism and how it essentially takes away our freedoms! It’s very straight forward and not a long, difficult read.

Thanks for sharing this and sending me your comments! I always appreciate it!

Continue to Enjoy your Holiday!