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This is an opportunity to challenge beliefs that you carry which may be your parents or those of some group. It's a chance to challenge your own free thought process. Those beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, shape our relationships. We often pick up these beliefs from our parents, some group, or the general culture, and never examine them. And often these beliefs warp our relationships and prevent us from owning our truth. This piece points out beliefs that hold us back from healthy relationships and fulfilling lives.

For Starters
Abstinence Only Education is Sexual Abuse
Alcohol Awareness Month
Another 'Smiling Man' Bites the Dust
Are You Man Enough to Ask for Help?
As in Sports So in Life
Burning Man
Chore War
Columbus Day
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
A Different Perspective on the Movie Sideways
Fathers & Teen-Age Daughters Rite-of-Passage
Fox TV Continues to Promote Domestic Violence
"Friends" Supports Adult Female Teachers Seducing Their High School Students
Grandparents Day
The Great American Smokeout
Happy Chinese New Year
Happy Holidaze
Homophobia
How do you know when "Yes" means "Yes"?
International Impotency Month
In-Dependence
Inhalant Awareness
International Men's Month
It's Not Time for Relationship Work
I Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then
Magazines Stink
Make the Political Personal
The Mask of Masculinity
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, but we have to live on Earth
"Men have five fewer years to enjoy life versus women. That's good news."
Men Make the Best Fathers
Men’s Endangered Health
A New Year's Resolution?
No Name-Calling Week
Predictions for this Fall's Football Season
Prostate Cancer Awareness
Red Ribbon Month
Ritual Abuse of Boys
"Roseann" Supports Women's Violence against Men and Children
The Sexualization of Girls
Special Rights for Women
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Testicular Cancer Awareness
There Are No Criminals - Just A Lot of Lost Souls
The Thoughtless Rituals of Thanksgiving
A Twisted View of Hatred
Viagra news coverage concerning discrimination in insurance payments.
Violence is a Social Disease
We Are Different
What does Father's Day mean to you?
What's Happening to Men's Work?
When Daughters Come Second
A World Without Passion Will Die
Yellow Ribbon Month

For Starters


For starters, I believe that women and men are each other's natural allies. We are inherently eager to be in close, warm, loving contact with each other, regardless of sexual orientation. Men and women are not natural enemies. We need to listen to each others' stories of victory and struggle to eliminate the rigid rolls into which we have been locked, taking responsibility for our own lives and moving forward.

International Impotency Month


November 1st is the first day of International Impotency Month. Impotence or Erectile Dysfunction known as ED,. ED is characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory performance.

There are various and often multiple underlying causes, some of which are treatable medical conditions. The most important are cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems, trauma from surgery, hormonal insufficiencies and drug side effects as well as circumcision and aging.

Erectile dysfunction, tied closely as it is to cultural notions of potency, success and masculinity, can have severe psychological consequences. There is a strong culture of silence and inability to discuss the matter.

This could include a primary psychological or relational problem where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings rather than physical impossibility. Clinical depression, substance abuse, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, personality disorders or traits, psychological problems, and negative feelings are some.

Lifestyle choices can be involved. Alcohol and drugs, obesity, and cigarette smoking are some examples.

In reality, it has been estimated that around 1 in 10 men will experience recurring impotence problems at some point in their lives. If you have ED, there are many options to check into. And, even if all of the options fail, or you choose not to exercise any of the options, know that having an erection is a small part of the equation of a successful sex life. It's time to expand your knowledge base.

The Great American Smokeout


The Great American Smokeout is an annual event in the United States to encourage Americans, of whom over 45 million smoke, to quit for 24 hours, hoping their decision to quit will last forever. It happens the Thursday before Thanksgiving Day.

According to the Oregon Healthy Teen Survey, over 10% of 8th grades, and 20% of 11th graders used tobacco in the last 30 days. And 18% of 8th graders and 30% of 11th graders have tried flavored cigarettes. Furthermore, over 10% of 8th and 11th graders have seen a teacher, staff or other adults smoke on school property.

Eighty-nine percent of people who ever try a cigarette try by age 18. And, every day, several thousand adolescents in the United States light up their first cigarette. That means that more than a million kids will start smoking this year! A third of those new smokers will eventually die of tobacco-related diseases.

Tobacco use can cause lung cancer, as well as other cancers, heart disease, and lung disease. Tobacco is responsible for nearly one in every five deaths in the United States, representing over 400,000 deaths per year. Another 8.6 million people are living with serious illnesses caused by smoking.

The Great American Smoke-Out raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit for good. Telephone quitlines are a convenient new resource. In Oregon, call 800.784.8669. That's 800.784.8669. If you smoke, please call that number today, if not for you, for the sake of the kids and people around you.

The Thoughtless Rituals of Thanksgiving


Every year Americans go through the thoughtless rituals on this Thanksgiving Day without actually knowing anything about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower Compact, or the society the Puritans established in Massachusetts. In an ironic twist of fate, millions of Americans sit down to a turkey feast in order to celebrate the religious freedom of early settlers. It is a serious mistake to practice holidays based on false history while deceiving ourselves into justifying what those horrible people did.

Forinstance, the good Christian folk of Massachusetts showed what they meant by Christian love, when they adopted laws against the Baptists, who were treated with genuine cruelty. The Quakers were also persecuted mercilessly, being murdered, whipped, imprisoned, branded or banished.

It should surprise no one that a society that worships the Pilgrims -- who ruthlessly scalped the Indians (teaching them how to do it), who indiscriminately torched Indian villages, and murdered their women, children and elders -- should produce children who grow up to sanction water boarding, imprisonment without charges or a jury trial and unjustified war and attacks on other soverign nations. Or creating many local, state and federal religious laws to control all people under misguided morals.

Instead, Americans can salvage this Day of Thanksgiving, as a day of personal atonement. A day when the individual looks within, and takes stock of his or her actions. We must summon courage, and be bold, and celebrate the ancient customs that guarantee us freedom, despite eras of institutional domination. So with that, have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Red Ribbon Month


Red Ribbon Month (October) serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to make a commitment to drug prevention and education and a personal commitment to live drug free lives.

Curry County has been plagued with declining industries, the highest median age in the state, high child abuse rates, high unemployment and a per capita income 22% lower than the State median. Over 32% of our adult population has not attained a high school diploma or its equivalent and half of the people in Curry County are at or below the poverty line. Furthermore, per capita rates of alcohol related arrests of youth are typically twice as high in Curry County as in the rest of the state and parental involvement in crime and drugs in Curry County is above the state average by 25%.

In Curry County, child abuse and neglect cases show that 44% have suspected drug and/or alcohol abuse and 21% have parental involvement with a law enforcement agency while 18% of our eighth graders are at high-risk for depression and 13% have seriously considered suicide. The overall suicide death rate for the state is 15%, in Curry County it is 25%

Our youth are working to change this. They present drug awareness puppet shows in elementary schools and on October 28, they are holding a Youth Summit in Gold Beach. Also, Brookings-Harbor High School seniors have told their stories for several years as part of the Through My Eyes essay contests. Pick up a copy from Words and Pictures and help support this program and let's stop the stream of drugs and alcohol to our youth in Curry County.

Columbus Day


To graduate from Brookings/Harbor High School, a student must take four years of a foreign language. But back to that subject in a moment.

October 13th is Columbus Day. However, there are many communities that don't celebrate Columbus. Instead, they celebrate Indigenous People.

You see, some communities realize that celebrating Columbus is an affront to thousands of people in the US. The truth is that Christopher Columbus was an instigator of the mass killing and enslavement of indigenous people. He committed genocide.

In addition, he never set foot on US soil. However, if anyone should be celebrated for reaching the New World, it should be Leif Erickson who set foot in the America's five hundred of years before Columbus reached any part of the New World.

The idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day was born in 1977, at a U.N. sponsored conference on discrimination against indigenous populations in the Americas. Fourteen years later, activists in Berkeley, CA, convinced the Berkeley City Council to declare October 12 a "Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People." Henceforth, there has been a growing movement to appropriate "Columbus Day" as "Indigenous People's Day," changing a celebration of colonialism into an opportunity to reveal historical truths about the genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americas.

At least one religious organization has taken action. In 2001, the Unitarian Universalist Staff and Headquarters began recognizing Indigenous People's Day as an official holiday in place of Columbus Day.

Oh, and by the way, the foreign language that students are required to take is English, the invaders language. Think about that.

Prostate Cancer Awareness


This week is Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. Did you know that a man is 33% more likely to get prostate cancer than a woman is to get breast cancer? It's true.

Someone you know may be affected. Your husband, father, son, brother, grandfather, or friend.

A man dies every 17 minutes of every day from Prostate Cancer.

One in every six men will get prostate cancer. 35% will be under the age of 65.

There will be over 2.8 million cases of prostate disease reported in 2008. For over 219,000 men, it will be prostate cancer.

Over 27,000 will die because they didn't get an examination or didn't act soon enough.

Are you a male 40-75 or over 35 and African American or your father or brother had Prostate Cancer? Get tested! PSA and a DRE.

Four Important Things to Remember before Getting Tested

1. Be sure that you're rested.
2. No sexual activity for 72 hours before the test.
3. Got a cold? Put it on hold.
4. Either have your PSA test before the DRE or delay taking a PSA test for 48 hours AFTER you have had your DRE test.

If you get a reading between zero and 1, get tested again in five years. If it's between 1 and 2, get tested again in two years. If the reading is between 2-4, get tested every year.

Don't let it be said at your eulogy, "He was too afraid or embarrassed to get tested."

Check out www.pcaw.org for more information or call the PCA Coalition hotline with questions about prostate cancer: 888-245-9455. That's 888-245-9455.

Grandparents Day


Today's topic is directed to Grandparents and all other adults over 50.

Based on estimates released by the National Institute on Health, persons 50 and older account for about 11% of all known AIDS cases. While the number of AIDS cases reported annually among young persons is declining, we are now seeing an increase among older adults. In a 12 month period, newly reported cases among 50 and older adults increased by 12.6% to almost 63M cases.

Heterosexual transmission of HIV is steadily increasing in older persons as well, and a study of hospitalized HIV infected patients, 60 and older, found that 38% acquired their infection through sexual intercourse.

A number of elderly have progressed to full blown AIDS due to the lack of early interventions and proper diagnosis, making medical treatment much more difficult, both because of the late diagnosis and other factors related to age.

It is believed that cases among older people may be under-reported, as HIV symptoms and infections may coincide with other diseases associated with aging, and thus be overlooked. AIDS related dementia is often mis-diagnosed as Alzheimers and early HIV symptoms such as fatigue and weight loss may be dismissed as a normal part of Aging.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said HIV testing should become about as common as a cholesterol check. However, anonoymous testing is no longer available in Curry County regardless of your age. It's time to change that.

For more information check Kaiser Permanente's web site, kff.org/hivaids

Burning Man


This was my10th annual pilgrimage to Burning Man on the Black Rock Dessert about 100 miles north of Reno.

I consider Burning Man my annual pilgrimage into creativity, mixed with a huge dose of self-reliance, in an intense weather environment, without the need for money or barter. You need something, someone can usually help and there isn't a price tag on it. It becomes their gift.

There are only two things allowed to be sold at Burning Man - ice and non-alcoholic beverages like lemonade and coffee.

For those who have heard about Burning Man yet not attended, it may conjure up visions of a wild party with lots of sex, drugs and nudity. That's how the press often portrays it.

Well, this is my tenth year and while I'm sure there are people doing drugs and having sex, I doubt that it is more than any town of 50,000 people.

Nudity is a different thing. There is nudity. Not much, though, and most of it is connected with performance art. There's probably less than 1% of the people who are partially nude at any one time

Some cities, in what I call the default world, actually have a law that prevents a woman from breast feeding in public. Not at Burning Man. In fact, many people who aren't afraid that their children are going to be negatively impacted by seeing the human body, bring their kids. There's even a Kidsville where they can live and share parenting responsibilites with other parents, so everyone gets some free time to explore the playa on their own.

If you are against personal freedom, stay home. If you would like to experience an extreme of personal freedom, come next year as a participant. No spectators allowed. Want more information go to burningman.com See you next year.

The Sexualization of Girls


Sex sells, we are told, and everyone is interested in selling something. So sex is everywhere. Everything from television shows to movies to ads for the most mundane products. We barely notice anymore how pervasive sex is in our culture.

Sexualization occurs:

  • When person's value comes only from his or her sexual appeal
  • When physical attractiveness is defined as being sexy
  • When a person is seen as an object for another person's sexual use, instead of an independent person
  • Or when sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person

But the scary part is that it's not just women who are being sexualized. Girls are being sexualized, too. They're swamped with sexual images and the message that they should look and act "hot." Here are just a few examples:

  • Bratz™ dolls dressed in short skirts and fishnet stockings (blind date) and a belt buckel that reads "Enter".
  • Clothes designed for girls in elementary school that show lots of skin (even thong panties!)
  • Beauty pageants where even preschool girls wear makeup and vamp for the audience and high school girls are required to wear high heels.
  • Barbie® dolls and Disney heroines with large breasts, tiny waists and sexy clothes
  • Magazines for preteens with articles on how to lose weight and look sexy in order to get a boyfriend (Most women's newstand magazines feature cleavage including Cosmo Girl!, Prom and Teen Prom.)

The American Psychological Association reports on the harmful effects of sexualization on our young girls. We know it occurs yet we shake our heads and go on with our daily lives. It negatively affects girls by:

  • Making it difficult for them to concentrate on schoolwork and other tasks because they're distracted by how they look
  • Causing emotional problems, such as shame, anxiety and self-disgust. Sexualization is linked with the three most common mental health problems in girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression.
  • Creating unrealistic and/or negative expectations about sexuality and interfering with normal, healthy sexual development as girls grow into women.
  • Encouraging girls think of themselves purely as sexual objects.

The sexualization of girls can have an impact on society in general. It encourages sexism, discourages girls from pursuing careers in science, math, and technology, and it increases sexual harassment, sexual violence and the demand for child pornography.

So what can parents do?

  • We need to work with the media to encourage them to show more positive, healthy images of women and girls. If they won't do it voluntarily, then we need our government to step in.
  • We need to create alternative images of girls that they can look up to and that speak to who they are rather than how they look. Images of girls participating in sports or school clubs, or doing community service, help them understand that they're more than sexual objects.
  • Schools need to teach "media literacy" skills to families and students so girls can learn to look more critically at what they see — and realize that they don't have to believe or buy into the images they see.

Here are some additional suggestions for parents from the American Psychological Association report:

  • Tune in and talk. Watch television with your daughter, look at her magazines, surf the Web with her and then talk about what you see. Talk about the images, how they make her feel, and how she might think differently about them.
  • Question choices. If your daughter is choosing outfits that seem sexy to you, say so. Talk about your concern about her clothes (and how much skin she's showing) can distract her at school. Help her make different choices.
  • Speak up. Tell your daughter why you don't like certain music lyrics, dolls, videos, television shows or other things she's exposed to. The sexualized images are so prevalent that she may not realize there is anything wrong with them.
  • Put yourself in her place. You were a tween/teenager once, too, and wanted very badly to fit in. Saying no to anything sexualized may not be realistic, but you can help your daughter make the best choices possible.
  • Encourage. Help your daughter get involved in activities that emphasize talents, interests, and physical activity rather than appearance.
  • Educate. Teach your daughter about sex; give her information about healthy, safe sexual relationships.
  • Be real. Whenever you can, talk with your daughter about not judging others by their appearance. Do everything you can to support her as a unique individual.
  • Be a role model. Think about what you watch, what you say, and what you wear. Make sure you are sending the right messages.

We all can make a difference. Hopefully, the APA's report will be the call-to-action we all need. Our daughters' futures and the future of tomorrow's women depend on it.

In-Dependence Day


July 4th is commonly known as Independence Day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. That happened over 230 years ago.

You may choose to go see a fireworks display, have a barbeque or picnic or take a three-day holiday and travel.

On this day, however, maybe it's time to look at your own lives. At our own independence. Are you independent or in-dependence?

After a few weeks or months, most baby animals are ready for independence. Humans spend nearly a quarter of their lives just getting ready. If we're lucky, our families help us to grow straight, so we can stand on our own.

Growing up means learning to make decisions that are right for us, in tune with the larger design we have for our lives. Growing up also means taking responsibilitiy for the decisions we make when they happen to turn out to be the wrong decisions.

Even when our families aren't able to give us the best start in life, we have the power to remake choices, rechoose activities and companions that will grow along with us. Our human parents may be precious loved ones or they may be strangers; the aim of our search for self-knowledge is the power to parent ourselves, independently of our parents or others.

We'll always want other people for compansionship, love and cooperative work, but the opperative word there is "want" versus "need" someone else. We "need" steady nurturing all our lives, and no other person can supply it.

Ira Eisenstien said "Freedom means the right to be different, the right to be oneself." So, how's your independence going?

What does Father's Day mean to you?


What does Father's Day mean to you? Getting presents? The chance to sit back and relax as your kids volunteer to do all the chores they normally dread?

Most fathers would never intentionally fail to provide their family with food, shelter and clothing. But they may be unintentionally shortchanging their children when it comes to their own time.

I've got an idea. Rather than getting presents from your children, why not give them your presence.

Get off the sofa on Father's Day and spend the day with your children. Use Father's Day to be there for them.

Here are some ways you can go about establishing meaningful Father's Day family rituals and creating memories for your children.

On Father's Day teach your children something you know how to do, whether it is how to fish, how to cook a favorite dish, how to bowl or how to use a tool.

Make a ritual of planting something together: vegetables, flowers or maybe even a tree. Take a Father's Day bike ride or hike and record where you went and what you did. Remember to take photos of each other and your activities.

On Father's Day, have a news conference and let your children be newspaper reporters who are interviewing you. Let them ask you about your favorite sport, your favorite color, food or TV show. Talk about what it was like when you were growing up, your chores at home and what it was like in school. Then turn the tables and interview them.

A father's presence in his children's lives is the greatest present any father can ever give or receive.

Remember, it doesn't take much to become a father. It takes a lot more to become a dad.

Happy Father's Day.

International Men's Month


June is International Men's Month. A bill was introduced in Congress several years ago to create an Office of Men's Health within the Department of Health and Human Services. The office would collect data and disseminate information on a variety of diseases that affect men - diseases that may kill a lot of us. It would essentially do what the existing Office on Women's Health does: work to spread the information that helps people manage their health. It still hasn't gotten out of committee and it is estimated that 700,000 men will die unnecessarily each year waiting for Congress to act. Did you know:

That 7 out of 11 adults visiting doctors are women - despite the fact that men die five years earlier than women.

That heart disease is the leading cause of death among men.

That men are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke than women.

That 33% of cancer deaths might have been prevented through dietary changes.

That breast cancer will kill over 400 men this year.

That men and teen boys represent 75-80% of successful suicides.

That the most sexually active men had a 50% lower mortality rate than the least sexually active men.

That men who watch television for three or more hours per day are twice as likely to be obese as men who watch for less than an hour.

. That men who consume between two and six drinks per week have nearly half the risk of death as men who consume two or more drinks per day.

And there's much more, so do yourself a favor and check out the web at menstuff.org/main/imm.html.

Yellow Ribbon Month


May Day is a day half-way between the solstice and equinox. It has also been dubbed the International Workers' Day and is a commemoration of the execution of the men who were arrested after the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago. And finally May Day is the start of Yellow Ribbon Month designed to bring awareness to the problem of suicide.

In the City of Brookings, we have had 13 suicide attempts and 2 suicides since the first of the year. And, while I don't have the statistics for age or sex, national statistics shows that girls attempt suicide more than boys 3:1.

Boys succeed in suicide more than girls. In the age group 10-14 it's 3:1. the age group 15-19 is 5:1 and the age group 20-24 is 7:1.

Furthermore, a Department of Health study indicates that gay youth are up to six times more likely to attempt suicide than straight teens, and gay teenagers account for up to 30 percent of all teenage suicides in the nation.

While only 3,000 children and young adults take their lives each year, more that 600,000 young people require medical attention for a suicide attempt.

Studies show that 4 out of 5 teen suicide attempts have been preceded by clear warning signs. Check out our web site at TheCitizensWhoCare.org to make sure you know what to watch for. And if you're feeling suicidal, needing help is not a failing...it is simply being human. It is OK to ask for Help!! So, call The Crisis line at 1-800-SUICIDE That's 1-800-784-2433)

Teen Pregnancy Prevention


May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month to promote and support effective teen pregnancy prevention initiatives.

About 1 million teenagers will become pregnant this year; 95% of those pregnancies are unintended, and almost one third will end in abortion.

The United States has twice the teen pregnancy rate of any developed country despite the fact that our teens are not more sexually active than Swedish teens, or Canadian teens, or British teens.

Why? Because we don't educate about birth control in sex education classes, we don't discuss it at home, we don't give teens good access to it, and we don't advertise it in our media. Other countries do, and they are rewarded with low rates of teen pregnancy and teen abortions. But, you say, making condoms available in school-based clinics would ‘give kids the wrong idea’. In fact, 5 recent research studies indicate that it doesn't.

Educating teenagers about contraception makes them more likely to use contraception when they begin having sex, but it doesn't lower the age at first intercourse.

Why? Probably because the decision where and with whom to become sexually active is a very complicated one, rooted in family, peers, religion, the media, and individual personality factors. But the decision whether to contracept or not is a very simple one: is it available? If so, I'll use it. If not, I’m still going to have sex, but I’m not going to go out of my way to get birth control.

Until Americans get over their hysteria about giving young people access to birth control, we will continue to have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world. It's really that simple.

May is also Masturbation Awareness Month? Is it a coinsidence?

Alcohol Awareness Month


The abuse of alcohol is not only a problem with adults. 36% of Curry County 8th graders and 45% of 11th graders used alcohol in the past month.

Research shows that 45 percent of the people who began drinking before age 14 developed later alcohol dependence, compared with only 10% of those who waited until they were 21. More than one of every 20 youth ages 12 to 17 suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence requiring treatment.

One of every four 11th graders and one of every seven 8th graders binge drink on one or more days each month. 8th grade girls have higher rates of alcohol use and binge drinking than boys and nearly a quarter of them report attempting suicide in the past year. Furthermore, one of every twelve 11th grade youth report driving after drinking.

This year 65 Brooking seniors wrote an essay about the impact alcohol has had on their lives or the people around them. 25 of these essays were selected to be printed in a booklet with each author receiving a gift certificate from Fred Meyer. The nine best essays will be published in an issue of The Pilot this month as well as receiving a gift certificatre from Wild River Pizza. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 check from TheCitizensWhoCare.org which has all 25 essays on its web site. Booklets of the past two contests are available at Words & Pictures with this group of essays due in early May. Get one and read about the issue of alcohol through the eyes of our students.

And to parents, it's up to you. Start talking before they start drinking.

Testicular Cancer Awareness


Are you a son, brother, father, mother, spouse, or friend of a man between 12 and 35? If so, I want to let you know that this week, April 1-7, is Testicular Cancer Awareness Week.

During this year, there will be over 10,000 new cases of young men in this age group diagnosed with a genital cancer. The sad thing is that testicular cancer is one of the easiest cancer's to cure IF, and this is a big IF, it is caught early. Unfortunately, because of the alarming number of young men presenting advanced, incurable cases, two young men will die every day.

"Get a grip!" is a campaign designed to promote education, awareness, and the importance of early detection and correct diagnosis. It happens the first week of the month-long Youth Sports Safety month during April so that everyone working with youth, especially sports educators and health care professionals, will communicate the importance of early detection.

This campaign was designed to eliminate the stigma and embarrassment connected with boys and young men becoming more aware of their bodies, especially their testicles, and explains the importance and value of doing a self-exam at least once a month. However, because many young men haven't been informed or taught the importance of a self-exam, death for testicular cancer in the 15-34 age group out paces the number of deaths from breast cancer by young women in the same age group.

Check out www.tcaw.org for lots of information about testicular cancer, how to do a self-exam, and an easy, free way to get reminder to do a self-exam. That's www.tcaw.org

Remember, a real man knows himself. So, "Get a Grip!"

Abstinence Only Education is Sexual Abuse


A few communities across the country have designated March 17-23 as Abstinence Awareness Week. And this administation spends millions of dollars to teach abstinence-only in our schools even though a long-awaited study mandated by Congress showed that students who participated in these programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not. There is no published study of an abstinence-only program that demonstrates that these programs help young people change their behavior.

While I totally support abstinence before marriage, let's get real. Research shows that over 88% of those signing an abstinence pledge do not make it to marriage before having sex, that 80% of all people have intercourse at least once by the age of 20, that roughly 60% of teens in the US are sexually active, that teens who break their pledge are one-third less likely than non-pledgers to use contraceptives leading to a higher rate of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and that the US leads all developed countries in teen birth rates.

Having information does no harm to people who aren't having sex and research shows that discussions about birth control does not cause teens to have sex but has proven to actually postpone intercourse.

Abstinence-only programs that fail to educate those who are sexually active as well as those who wait about how to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, place our county’s youth in jeopardy. All young people, both gay and straight, have a need for, and a right to, accurate, frank and positive information about sex. To do otherwise is simply morally wrong.

Inhalant Awareness


Most teens could probably tell you what the top three abused substances are among teenagers. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. However, one that is considered equally, if not more addictive and deadly, would not be considered dangerous by most teenagers, unless they lost a friend to it.

Inhaling is becoming one of the most widespread problems in the country. Among Oregon 8th graders reported in the 2007 Healthy Teen Survey, over 6 percent used an inhalant in the last 30 days, 7.3 percent of the girls. In another survey, 9 percent had used these poisons versus only 4 percent having used alcohol.

When chemical vapors or fumes are "sniffed", "huffed", "bagged" or "ballooned" they actually dissolve brain tissue and users can permanently lose the ability to walk, talk, see or hear. Other long-term side effects can include problems with your reproductive system; weaken your bones; and cause serious lung, liver and kidney damage.

Unlike alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, one huff can hurt.  The fact is, one out of three inhalant deaths were first-time users.

There are over 1000 products, including household clears, air fresheners and paints and they're all over your house. Find out about inhalants before your children do. Then educate them. This is one talk you don't want to wait on. You might be a day too late.

Inhalant Awareness Week is March 16-23. For intervention, prevention and treatment information call 800-269-4237  That's 800-269-4237.

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America


I just returned from Washington, DC and the 18th national leadership conference sponsored by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America which is designed to make communities safe, healthy and drug-free. The subject of this year's conference was Sustaining Success in a Time of Change and included a day on the hill to meet with our senator's and representative, and three-days of key note speakers and workshops with a special thread for youth. There was also time to network with other programs to see what works for them and to share with them what we are doing..

Eleven of us attended from Curry County including two students each from Gold Beach and Brookings-Harbor high schools.

Our youth representatives talked about a program they came up with called Life 101 - which is a great life-skills game they play with kids in middle school. In my opinion, Life 101 deserves national attention and someone to fund the production of the game for national distribution with proceeds going back into additional youth-oriented drug and alcohol reduction programs.

One of the things I learned is that no matter how good a local program is, many communities like ours here in Brookings-Harbor have difficulty in getting volunteers. With the continued reduction of federal and state funding for health and human services, and especially treatment dollars, we must look to local individuals and businesses if we are going to keep on top of the growing influence of drugs and alcohol on our youth.

If you are interested in helping with this cause, contact the staff at the Curry County Drug Free Communities Coalition in Gold Beach and put your name and skills on the list. Call toll-free at 800.242.9478. That's 800.242.9478 and thanks for listening.

Happy Chinese New Year


Wishing you a Happy New Year for today is the celebartion of the Chinese New Year and the year of the Rat. People born in the Year of the Rat (bascially every 12 years starting in 1900 to 2008) are noted for their charm and attraction for the other sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, are likely to be perfectionists, easily angered and love to gossip.

Next Thursday is Valentines-Day, the day that you are "expected" to do something romantic on that one day of the year, like that will make-up for doing nothing on most of the other 364 days. Why not do what isn't expected?

One of the things a great little book called Romantic Mischief talks about is "Instead of actually being romantic on Valentine's Day, why don't you use the day as a chance to rededicate yourself to the ideals of love? Resolve to be more considerate, to listen better, to stop making excuses and to give more of your time.

If you must do the expect and be "romantic" on Valentine's day, here are some other suggestions:

"Send a dozen roses. Make sure there are eleven red roses and one white rose. And write a note: "'In every bunch there's one who stands out. And you're that one."

"Buy piles of those little candy conversation hearts and fill your lover's purse or briefcase. Or, fill their favorite cereal box with them."

Or, if you know your lover's heritage, learn how to say "I love you" in their ancestral language.

So, here's to doing the unexpected. Imagine how your life might be different if, everyday, romance was part of it.

No Name-Calling Week


This is No Name-Calling Week which aims to end gossip and name-calling of all kinds.

School yard bullying is far more serious than just name-calling and teasing. It can escalate into harassment, beatings and even death threats.

In a two-thousand five survey of more than 3,400 teenagers and more than 1,000 teachers, 65% of middle school and junior high students said they had been assaulted or harassed in the previous year.

Bullying shouldn't be dismissed as a harmless school yard rite of passage, according to a report that found bullies and their victims often develop behavioral and emotional problems later in life.

So, what's a bully? Someone who, either alone or with the help of others, uses actions or words to hurt another person.

Simply put, bullies and gossips are obnoxious, even if they are: cool, humorous, well-dressed, attractive, or athletic.

Bullying prevention can work and have lasting results by addressing the cause of bullying, insure that new bullies are not created out of a need for self-defense. Can you say Columbine? And before that happens, help bullies become good citizens.

So, what can I do, you ask, to stop the bullying?

Don't laugh at jokes that make fun of other people.

Go out of your way to be nice to the person being ostracized

Let someone in authority know what happened and to whom.

And, declare every bully a persona non grata. If people knew that teasing or ostracizing someone will cause their own popularity to plunge, who'll be willing to pay that price?

It all starts with you.

And, don't forget a week from Saturday, February 2nd, at the Chetco Library in Brookings, it's the 2nd Annual Men's Mini Health Fair from 1:30-4:30pm. Stop by and let's get acquainted.

A New Year's Resolution?


Did you make any New Year's resolution this year? If so, how's it goin'? I've talked to several people who have already broken at least one resolution and another who has given up on theirs completly.

In the past I would get on my case about not completing a resolution that I made to my self months earlier. But, keeping them just didn't work with where my life was shifting. Still, I'd often get to the end of the year and find myself making the same resolutions for the next year. And breaking them yet another time.

I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore. I've come to realize over the years that if I'm open to changing conditions when better information becomes available, and I change course, flip-flop if you will, then my life works better.

What I have found more valuable is to sit back at the first of each year and look back on what I have done and instead of getting on my case and feeling inadequate because of the things that I didn't complete, remember the positive moments that stand out, and appreciate myself for what I have accomplished.

I find myself reflecting on how many things I did in the previous year that weren't even on my plate at the year's onset. If I had stuck to my original plan for the year, those new opportunities probably wouldn't have even had a chance to blossom - because I had all of these other things on my plate. Well, I let go now of any disappointment and hold on to the feeling of gratitude for what I did do, regardless of whether it was on my list or not. And I go into the New Year feeling full and ready to see what will happen this year that will surprise me when I sit down on January 1, 2009 and reflect once again.

By the way. Search YouTube for The Gratitude Dance and let's all boogie into 2009.:05

We Are Different


As women and men, even as men and men, we are different. No two bodies, minds, thoughts, or people are the same. Too many similarities usually represents someone without a mind of their own.

Men’s Endangered Health


National Men's Health Week is June 12-18. Many people think men don't have any issues beyond work and family. However, it is estimated that over a million men will die this year. It is also felt that the majority of those deaths are preventable.

In the 1920s, males and females lived to be roughly the same age. Today, females in the U.S. live 5.2 years longer than men, on average (HCHS, 4/06 for 2004). Male mortality is higher than female mortality in every age group. The average longevity for women is 80.4 for females and 75.2 for males. The disparity is even worse for men of color. Longevity is 66.1 years for Native American men, 67.6 years for African-American men, and 69.6 for Latino men.

Men have higher death rates than women for each of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. Men are 100% more likely to die of heart disease; 40% more likely to die of cancer (by age 75, 100% more likely to die of cancer). Men lead women in every category of cancer (e.g., lung, throat, mouth, urinary) except breast. Men are 450% more likely than women to die of HIV-related illnesses. Men are more likely than women to die of stroke, pulmonary disease, accidents, pneumonia, diabetes, and cirrhosis of the liver.

An estimated 6 million men experience depression annually in the U.S. About 9% of men report depression at some point in their lives.

Although men are half as likely as women to be diagnosed with depression, men’s rate of completed suicide is 400% higher than for women (although women are twice as likely to attempt a suicide). Men ages 20-24 are six times more likely than women that age to take their own lives. Suicide is 10 times higher among elderly males than females.

Men are three times more likely to be the victim of a homicide. Homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American males ages 15-24. Black men have a 1 in 30 chance of dying of homicide, compared to 1 in 179 for white men, 1 in 132 for black women, and 1 in 495 for white women.

Ninety-four times out of 100, a person killed on the job will be a man. Ninety-eight percent of all employees in the 10 most dangerous professions are men.

Men die in auto accidents twice as often as women. They are three times more likely to die in an accident in which they are intoxicated. They drown four times as often as women – eight times as often in ages 14-34. Males account for 82% of spinal cord injuries. They are less likely than women to use safety belts, helmets, or sunscreen, and more likely to carry weapons, drive dangerously, and participate in dangerous activities and sports.

About 80% of substance abuse addicts are men, and 9 out of 10 who are arrested for alcohol or substance abuse are men.

An estimated two-thirds of all alcoholics are men and more than 8 in 10 of those who die from alcohol-related liver disease are men.

Use of tobacco is strongly related to mortality rate, with the most common results of extended use being bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and cancers of the respiratory system, mouth, and throat. Although the sex difference in smoking is shrinking (about 26% of men and 22% of women in the U.S.), men’s smoking habits continue to be more dangerous than women’s, including number of cigarettes smoked daily, inhaling deeply, and using high tar or nicotine products and non-filtered cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, in addition, is used almost exclusively by males, with the average age of first use being age nine.

Men are half as likely as women to see a doctor – they are less knowledgeable in general about health and symptoms of specific diseases, less responsive to health care information, and less likely to utilize the health care system. In one study, in a 15 minute conversation with a medical doctor, the average number of questions a woman asked her doctor was six, whereas men averaged near to zero questions.

Men are more likely than women to have no medical insurance coverage.

Many men take better care of their car. And, there are things they can start doing now to help them live a healthier life for their family, children, grand children and community. Don't be the one to wait 'til it's broke to start doing some preventative maintenance on your life.

In-Dependence


How's your Independence Day going? Are you independent or in-dependence? After a few weeks or months, most baby animals are ready for independence. Humans spend nearly a quarter of their lives just getting ready. If we're lucky, our families help us to grow straight, so we can stand alone. Growing up means learning to make decisions that are right for us, in tune with the larger design of our life as it is woven into the larger pattern. We'll always want other people for companionship, love and cooperative work, but by the time we're ready to choose how we want to live we should be able to stand by ourselves. Even when our families aren't able to give us the best start in life, we have the power to remake choices, rechoose activities and companions that will grow along with us.

Our human parents may be precious loved ones or they may be strangers; the aim of our search for self-knowledge is the power to parent ourselves. We need steady nurturing all our lives, and no other person can supply it. I've enjoyed walking on this journey with you thus far. Here's to even greater independence for us all. Yours in continued growth and independence.

Predictions for this Fall's Football Season


The following is an update on the predictions of the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII and the power houses in each conference. Each division is ranked as to how they are expected to finish the 2008 season. The Washington Redskins have an outside shot while the Kansas City Chiefs have a good possibility. Each division is expected to be won by one of these two top teams.

AFC East - New England Micks over Buffalo - Bohunks
AFC South - Indianapolis Klan over Jacksonville Peckerwoods
AFC North - Cleveland Coons over the Pittsburgh Pussies
AFC West - San Diego Beaners over Denver Sissies

NFC East - New York Spicks over the Dallas Sand Niggers
NFC South - New Orleans Gippos over the Tampa Bay Yids
NFC North - Green Bay Herring-chockers over the Minnesota Squareheads
NFC West - Seattle Chinks over the Arizona Pale Faces

Did you find any of these team names offensive? If so, were you immediately offended by the very first paragraph of this story? Particularly the thrid sentence where I mentioned the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs? Well, hundreds of thousands of people are offended by those names. If your high school or college uses such racist names, speak out against it?  If you do, maybe the pro-football owners and particularly those in Kansas City and Washington, DC will start to honor, respect and really understand that Native Americans aren't mascots, they're people. Think about it! (Get a Free Bumper Sticker.) (For a prediction of the out-come for each division this year, click here.)

A Twisted View of Hatred


Some say a man rapes in the name of all men. Is this true when a woman premeditatively kills her husband. Even when the women cheer her on a talk show? Interesting concept. Reminds me of the Feminist Dictionary definition of "misogyny: the hatred of men as a refusal to suppress the evidence of one's experience with women; a man's defense against fear and pain; an affirmation of the cathartic effects of justifiable anger." While their definition for "Misandry, the hatred of men includes the beliefs that men are stupid, petty, dishonest, silly, irrational, incompetent, undependable, narcissistic, dirty, unemotional, oversewed, undersexed. Such beliefs culminate in attitudes that demean our bodies, our abilities, our characters and our efforts and imply that we must be controlled, subdued, abused and used, not only for female benefit but for our own." Are either of these acceptable concepts? Would either of them be acceptable if the meanings were switched, which is the way they actually were in the dictionary. (I switched the definitions in the above to see how it would feel to be viewed as the other. The actual definitions in their dictionary make the hatred of men is justifiable but hatred of women is a sexist attitude that should be fought against at all costs.

Chore Wars


We understand that some states are developing laws that require one spouse to pay the other for chores. If you know of any such laws, we'd like as much information as possible

Our initial thinking is that it sounds like a good law - if it is applied (1) only to chores that one spouse wants done by the other, and (2) that that spouse pays the other spouse out of their personal income. The spouse contracted to do the chores should be required to provide all the equipment and supplies needed to perform the chores since that is what professional services offer.

Other considerations: charge for room and board, clothing allowance, vehicle rental and maintenance, shared vacation expenses, etc. We could even consider sex, depending on who wants it. (Gigolo's get paid, too.) And, either spouse should also have the right to contract outside the household for any such chores if there are more economical or professional ways to perform them. We can make marriage an economical contract yet (as if other state laws haven't already. See laws (and consequences) you should know before you get married in Divorce & Custody.) In the meantime, check out what Hagar has to say about chores.

Violence is a Social Disease


Violence is a social illness that is only getting worse. While it's mandatory that we work with the after effects of violence or potential violence, it is becoming clearer each day that preventative measures must be implemented soon if we ever want things to change. And, the education of our youth towards conflict resolution and appropriate emotional release (not hitting and not thinking it away) seems to be the primary preventative opportunity. Changing the fundamental attitudes and behaviors of our youth, is key. As long as we teach our children to stuff feelings, we'll get nice girls and boys growing up and nice men and women who, when things get to be too much, blow their problems away. (See violence.)

Magazines Stink


This concerns men's magazines like GQ, Esquire and Maxim. I 'm not talking about what these magazines publish. While there are some articles and stories that are better than others, that particular content is not the issue. Let me share with you my recent experience.

I opened my post office box and was almost overcome by the smell coming from it. You see, it's the holidays and, between the magazine's advertising departments and the chemical, I'm sorry, the cologne manufacturers, they worked hard all year to bring you their December and sometimes their November issues filled with vial smelling scents. And, the combination is especially repulsive.

Now I know there are some women out there who really like the smell of a chemical man. And, I know there are a lot of guys out there who shower less than they should. What I'm worried about is the rest of us possibly suffering from Second Hand Stench. It makes we want to drop my subscriptions and go back to the newsstand editions that I can sniff check before putting my money down.

I wonder if OSHA has issued any warnings to post office employees? If not, they should.

Special Rights for Women


It's long been understood that there are different rules and laws for women and men. Men get longer sentences, often times women get off for crimes at least as severe that bring men automatic sentencing. Men can't work out in a men's only health club, but women are allowed to have women only health clubs. The state will send men to prison for not paying full child support yet a great many women deny the fathers right to visitation, and nothing is done. Women rail against the Promise Keepers having men only space, yet the Minnesota Women's Music Festival, the Lilith Faire, and many other events usually have a cutoff of eight years or less for any male wanting to attend, if they are allowed at all. Mills College refused to allow men. Mary Daly, a professor at Boston College (a college that was forced to include women) has excluded men from taking her classes for years and the most she got was a slap on the wrist until a male student had had enough and sued. Now Gloria Steinam and others want her to keep her special rights. After all, according to Mary, as reported in the 6/14/99 issue of People, "....she adopted her woman-only policy when she noticed female students spoke more freely when no men were around."  Of course, if she noticed that men have much the same difficult with women in a class, she failed to mention that when these same woman were fighting to have women attend (invade) all classes at Boston College. "There's a great need for women's space," said Daly. Apparently, she believes that men don't have similar needs. Once again, the 1972 Title IX is set up only to bar gender discrimination against women, not men.

Viagra news coverage concerning discrimination in insurance payments.


In the investigation of insurance payments for Viagra versus birth control, are the media in your area also looking at the gender discrimination of HMO’s and insurance companies in two additional areas:

1. Covering tests for women for breast cancer and not covering tests for men for prostate cancer. FACT: Almost twice as many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year versus women diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition, virtually as many men die of prostate cancer as women who die of breast cancer, and there is no treatment for prostate cancer to date that improves a man’s life.

2. Covering tests for girls for breast cancer and not covering tests for boys for testicular cancer. FACT: 7,200 boys 15-34 will be diagnosed and 350 will die this year from the disease, much greater than girls/women in that age group dying of breast cancer.

Also, a review of the disparage between the amount spent for research and awareness campaigns on the above should be of great interest. The National Cancer Institute estimates that they will spend $332.9 million on breast cancer research this year while spending $74.0 million on the study of prostate cancer and $0 on testicular cancer. Prostate cancer receives the least amount of funding per patient of all major cancers. Source: American Foundation for Urologic Disease.

The National Cancer Institute also reported that during the period 1950-1991, women's rate of death from breast cancer increased 2% while men's rate of death from prostate cancer increased 25%. Until the last few years, you never heard anything about prostate cancer. Even today, it's not a high priority on health programs or the news. There's no postage stamp or brochures at the post office. (The second Breast Cancer postage stamp will soon be issued to raise awareness of breast cancer and to fund additional research.) There’s no special research or funding organizations for prostate cancer, no national prevention month, week or even day.

This is not to say that everything that is being done to find a cure for breast cancer should not be done. However, where do men’s health issues fit in in your local news analysis and reporting? What about the fact that of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead in every single category.

If you’re interested, I’ve included some additional information on the subject which can be verified with a simple call to The National Cancer Institute regarding the facts on new diagnosis, death and research spending. Calls to HMOs, health insurance carries, etc. will verify the differences in coverage.

A Different Perspective on the Movie Sideways


I was shocked to read all the press around the movie Sideways. Particularly in defense of Stephanie (Sandra Oh), the single mother who smokes dope in front of her adolescent daughter.

I can't believe that people actually think that, of the hundreds of guys Stephanie serves wine to every day, Jack is the first guy she has flirted with and taken to bed. Seemed like she had her game on pretty good from the start. And, to believe someone was going to marry her after a few nights in the sack - come on.

Stephanie is a violent woman and if she had testicles, she'd be in prison right now. But, because a man did something emotional to her, the women in the audience gave their approval - as did many reviewers without making any reference to her totally out-of-control behavior. Fifteen years ago men said that it's something the woman said or did that made them violent. Today, the tables have turned so that it's totally acceptable to crush a man's scull, or perform premeditated murder as the Dixie Chicks sing in "Goodbye Earl" (to the roars of approval from the women in their live concerts) a song they got a Grammy for. The fact that the Domestic Violence movement hasn't spoken out against either act speaks volumns. If you are part of the solution...

A second aspect I haven't seen mentioned in any review regards the wife of the trucker, a scam that is not unheard of and one where the date rape drug is now being used to incapacitate the man so it makes him easier to rob and then dump along the way. A pretty clean crime since few men, caught in an uncompromising situation, dare tell the police.

Sideways has it's weaknesses. Both sexes acted dispicably. And, that's pretty real. While we might wish we were more honest and sincere with each other, as many of the relationship books teach us, it's a game and most people still play it. A visit to any watering hole on a Friday or Saturday night will confirm that. Unfortunately for many couples, reality never kicks in after marriage and the games continue. I'll stop playing the game. Will you?

"Roseann" Supports Women's Violence against Men and Children


Here's the story line. I think it's Roseann's sister who is in an abusive relationship. Roseann uses no humor to confront the husband and get the reluctant wife out of the house. She succeeds. The scene moves to the sons bedroom where Roseann's husband is talking to his teenage son. He is making it clear that it isn't okay to hit. It's serious. He goes on to say, it's not okay for men to hit women. The son asks, what if it's someone very close to you. It's really not okay. Then, the son asks, what if it's a woman who is doing the hitting. The father doesn't answer the question and instead brings in humor to ignore the question "Don't you want to talk about how babies are born?" And, the scene is over. The show had a very strong opinion about men's violence and had a perfect opportunity to say that women's violence against men or children is not okay either - and didn't, and, to me, gave that boy and the audience a position that it's okay for women to be violent, even with their children.

I Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then


Men are inherently gentle, intimate, responsible, enthusiastic, sensual, tolerant, courageous, honest, vulnerable, affectionate, proud, spiritual, committed, wild, nurturing, peaceful, helpful, intense, compassionate, happy and fully capable to express all emotions safely. When will we stop training them to be otherwise? (See Feelings.)

t hasn't always been so hard for us to express our true feelings. When we recover what we once knew, we open ourselves up to a whole new vista of relationship possibilities.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, men knew how to express their true feelings. And, women did too. That was in an era when parents took time to be with us, as children, to hold us and carry us around, on their bodies. When we were upset, we expressed it and our parents understood. When we were hungry, they could tell, and responded. When we were rambunctious, our feelings were put up front over our parents' need for quiet, or for adult conversation. Along time ago, we knew how to express these true feelings. And others knew what those feelings meant. We were understood.

As the centuries passed, the needs of the adults took priority. Adult activities, with other adults, got more attention. They invented things like cribs and strollers, and we children lost that human contact with our parents when we were very, very young.

To get attention, we had to change our "true" feelings to ones that got us noticed. Expressing how we really felt, we quickly learned, was unacceptable. So we would try different tacks. If one didn't work, we tried another, until we found the one that brought attention. Not always positive attention, but at least it was some attention.

If we were around adults who didn't respond in a healthy way to our true expressions, we had to learn different ones to feel safe, get attention, get what we need. And, if we were in a family with generations of violence in its past, we might have even learned that attention by getting hit was okay, too.

"Friends" Supports Adult Female Teachers Seducing Their High School Students


The scene. One of the Friends brothers is in high school. You can tell that he has a hard time with being loved. His 44 year old female home ec teachers gets romantically involved with him. They make a point to insure that you know he is 18 (no longer a minor), and we have to assume that the romantic attachment started after he turned 18. The Friends talk to both of them about the age difference. They both agree that it should end. When this decision is made individually, they end up coming over to the Friends apartment to break it off. They agree to break it off and almost immediately fall into this intense embrace, start kissing passionately, fall on the couch and continue to make out. The cast of Friends basically shrug it off and that's it. No comment of the teachers authority and power over the boy. No discussion on the sexual trauma. No comment that the relationship is totally inappropriate. Is it? My challenge to the writers of the show is do the same scenario but make the teacher a male shop teacher and the 18 year old student a female. My sense is that, if that story was played out their would be public outrage, there would be talk shows about sexual harassment. There would be an investigation. And, it wouldn't be funny. If it's a male teacher, it can't be love. If it's a female teacher, it's okay. It brings to mind the case on Mary Laturno, the 35 year old teacher and mother of 4 in Washington State, who has been charged with 2 counts of rape for developing a sexual relationship with a 13 year old friend of one of her sons. The American Journal spent most of the story time talking with people in community that couldn't believe she would do something like that, some questioning if it's really true. There was noone talking about the young boy, what it took to come forward in a culture that supports this kind of behavior, that says, he probably enjoyed it so it should be okay and they don't say that about a 17 year old girl in the same situation. No discussion with psychologists on the trauma this can create in his life. Rather, if a 17 year old girl is involved, let's keep her as a girl, telling her she isn't a woman yet and creating another victim. If it's a 13 year old boy, it'll help him become a man. It's all so ironic. Many cultures, especially in Catholic countries like Peru and Equador, find it quite normal for 13 year old women to marry 22 year old men - it's the custom. There's nothing unusual about it. That's the way its been for centuries. Yet, in our culture, we still want to keep our girls as little girls, even at 17. Don't grow up. Don't become a woman when your body and mind have developed to that level. You're still just my little girl. I'm not saying we should lower the age of consent, what we do need to do is see the boys and girls are impacted by information and messages that say that we have to protect our girl children, the boys can take care of themselves. Think about it!

A World Without Passion Will Die


"Young men will burn down the culture rather than live meaningless lives," quotes Michael Meade. A culture that denies passion and intensity, mistaking it for potential violence, creates a situation that offers no healthy alternative. Most women and men have been required to "stuff it". "It" is one's feelings and intensity for life, leaving us without the opportunity to face our multitude of tasks with mystery, fascination and passion. The importance of understanding that anger is an emotion, not a behavior, and violence is only one of many behaviors that can be drawn on, is our true lesson. When that is learned, by women and men, we will see men's intensity return, including safe expressions of anger, leading to a passion for positive changes in the world, the likes of which have never been seen.

Another 'Smiling Man' Bites the Dust


I'll never forget it. Robert Subby was on stage talking to several hundred people in recovery. He asked the crowd, "You know when you can tell a man's in trouble?" He crosses his arms, puts a stern smile on his face, and scans the crowd. Well, on March 22, 1999 we lost another Smiling Man. He seemed to have it together. A rising star on a popular TV sitcom, a hit movie about to be released. A seemingly strong relationship. A popular and personal 29 year-old who appeared on the outside to have it together.

A friend who helped me through a bout with suicide during my divorce committed suicide 8 years later without my knowing that anything was wrong. Another 'Smiling Man' who had done a lot of personal work, threatened to kill his former girlfriend and after a six-hour standoff with police, killed himself. Another 'Smiling Man' was in a personal growth workshop with his adolescent son. He had done a lot of work and was in a men's group. Several weeks after the workshop, he killed himself. All of these men were white-collar professionals. All saying "I'm fine." As some think, that could be interpreted as Furious, Isolated, Numb and Empty.

It's not really important to know what went wrong. What is important is to learn how we men can learn to open-up and ask for help well before these kinds of times come, instead of taking our own lives. Do you have at least one man in your life you will go to with the tough stuff?  Or are you a 'Smiling Man'? Do you know any men who are going through some real tough times? Or are all your male friends 'Smiling Men'? Look hard. Listen hard. Be sure your friends know you are willing to listen. Make sure you've got atleast one man to spill it all to. And spill it all. There's nothing wrong with a smile - unless it's hiding something you're too embarrassed to talk about. Real men ask for help. So, don't be one of those "Smiling Men" who will die of embarrassment! Don't let a friend be one either. (See Suicide for more information on the issue and books on suicide.)

How do you know when "Yes" means "Yes"?


This story took place at Brown University. On that campus, women students drink but refuse to take any responsibility for their actions. In this case, she's the one that came to his room. She didn't appear to be drunk. And, she was the one who started the kissing. She's the one who starting petting. She's the one who asked him to get a condom. She talked with him for hours after they had sex and left her name and number and asked him to call before she left. But, five weeks later she claims to have no memory of the event and accused him of rape.

According to the group, Coalition Against Sexual Assault, if we think you're guilty, you're guilty. This small group of the self appointed "politically correct" activist students and teachers from CASSIA (which stands for "home" in Spanish - not a very safe one if you disagree with them) obviously aren't interested in the truth. Because they believe that they hold the moral position and they shout down anyone who disagrees with them. And, in this segment, when that didn't work, they pulled the cord on 20/20s recording equipment. Their music teachers agrees. He claims the background to state that this student is a leper to this college campus.

Does this seem familiar? Some in this group say that anyone accused doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt Brings back images of Salem, doesn't it?. It's obvious that the Brown University campus has a dictatorship of the politically correct. The "victim" who would speak at rallies, didn't want her name used and it wasn't used in public, on television or in the campus newspaper. The same rights weren't afford the male involved. But, this isn't unusual nor the first time the Brown University campus has been a hot bed of political tourney. In the future, they'll probably blame it on the water.

How can we ever expect to bring up our girls to take responsibility for their lives when we make sure that they know that they don't have to be. Nothing is their fault. What they do when they're drunk, or depressed, or on PMI or break up with their boyfriend, whatever they do they cannot be held responsible for. What a far cry from the many cultures who bring up their daughters as responsible adults by 13, who start and maintain healthy families at 13. Who, at 13, raise their children to become responsible adults. But, at Brown University, 21 year olds aren't responsible and so blame others for their actions. And, get away with it.

The result is that men must really be aware if you're in any kind of a relationship with a woman - whether lover or spouse - No means No and only yes means yes and then only if she hasn't had anything to drink. And, even when sober, be sure she's on top. It's much more difficult to be falsely accused of rape, that way.

Has political correctness gone too far? Six year old boys are being trained not to try to kiss a girl. Nine year old brothers are taught not to poke their older sister in the butt or they'll be classified a sexual deviate. Connect this with a recent survey that showed that 35% of men 18-35 never plan to marry. With this trend growing, it's going to be interesting if the next generation of boys will have anything to do with women, romantically. But, I guess that's what sperm banks are for.

Fox TV Continues to Promote Domestic Violence


An hour and 28 minutes into the Super Bowl game on Sunday, Fox TV ran a commercial to promote domestic violence on Melrose Place. If you read our section on tv violence, it demonstrates how much violence from women hitting men is being promoted to viewers and children. This time, Heather Locklier hauls off and slaps a male to promote the next show. Kids and teenagers are confused. Is it any wonder domestic and relational violence continues to rise. And, if you think it's okay for a woman to hit a man, there's the problem. Domestic and relational violence is still violence regardless of who does it but why is it okay, accepted and being promoted, without any comments from the Alternatives to Violence community, the women's movement, newscasters, etc. It starts and stops with you.

"If breast cancer targeted men rather than women, emphasis on research leading to a potential cure would have taken on an added sense of urgency."


The true story amidst all the National Breast Cancer promotional energy.

This statement, often used in comments and articles, just doesn’t reflect the truth, according to the National Cancer Institute's information as of the close of their fiscal year, 8/31/97. Yes, 1997.

Fact: 1996/7 new cases: breast cancer - 180,200, prostate cancer - 334,500.

Fact: 1996/7 deaths - breast cancer - 43,900 women and 290 men; prostate cancer - 41,800. (Percentage wise, as many men die of prostate cancer as women who die of breast cancer.)

Fact: Both are the # 1 cancer killers of nonsmokers

Fact: From 1950-1991, women’s rate of death from breast cancer - +2%; men’s from prostate cancer - +25%.

Fact: 1996/7 research spending: breast cancer - $332.9 million, prostate cancer - $74.0 million. (American Cancer Society estimates they will spend $12,547,500 on breast cancer research, $5,576,000 on prostate cancer and $875,000 on testicular cancer in 1997.)

Fact: Of the 15 major causes of death, men lead in every category, but no one talks much about it.
Until the last few years, you never heard anything about prostate cancer. Even today, it's not a high priority. There's no postage stamp or brochures at the post office. No special research or funding organizations. No national prevention month, week or even day. Newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle report un-researched stories with headlines like the above, yet are silent when presented with facts.

Health plans often include free breast screening and testing for girls and women. If a man wants to be tested, he has to push the issue and pay full price. Schools have programs to teach girls how to examine themselves. A woman 15-35 dying of breast cancer is extremely rare. In this same age group, 7,200 men will be diagnosed and 350 will die this year of testicular cancer but nothing is being done to teach them how to check themselves to protect against this disease. The American Cancer Society is the only organization that I could find doing testicular cancer research. They estimate that they will spend $875,000 this year on the subject. Would you want to lose your son just because schools, health services and the media don't think it's that important?

This is not to say that everything that is being done to find a cure for breast cancer should not be done. However, until men think it's important to live a healthy life, it is doubtful that much more will be done about it. And, it's our responsibility to do something about it, not someone else's. For those interested in more info on prostate cancer see: www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/healthprostate.html

Homophobia


Homophobia is the fear of being or being perceived as a homosexual. It locks all people into rigid sex-based roles that inhibit creativity and self-expression. It inhibits appreciation of other types of diversity, making it unsafe for everyone because each person has unique traits not considered mainstream or dominant. We must remove all oppressions so we and our children can lead full, creative, happy lives. (See Homophobia.)

"Men have five fewer years to enjoy life versus women. That's good news."


According the 11/98 issue of Life magazine, "Life expectancy is now age 78 for women, 73 for men." This is down from an 8 year difference in the early 90's to only a five year difference today. And, according to 48 Hours, by the year 2040 there will be 24 million centurions (people 100 years or older) and that it will be common to see people in their 130's. Life had some other interesting things to say. More people are exercising - or atlas joining gyms. 75 percent of those 65 and older say their lives are better than they were 20 years ago - or atlas the same. For 15 months in a row, joblessness has stayed below 5 percent for the first time in 28 years - reducing stress. The divorce rate is 4.3 per thousand people, the lowest in two decades. In the past decade, the number of drugs approved to treat AIDS has increased 50 times. Smoking by men is down 48 percent since 1965; by women, 33 percent. School is cool: The high school dropout rate is falling as more students either graduate or return to earn their Geodes. Thanks to more police and shifting demographics, crime rates are the lowest they've been in over a decade. The murder rate is the lowest it has been since 1969. Infant mortality from birth defects has declined 34 percent since 1980. Sexual activity among adolescents is down for the first time in 20 years...which helps explain why teen pregnancy has fallen 12 percent from 1991."

"How long do you want to live?  How much are you prepared to invest in your health and mental well-being?  This negotiation calls upon our inner resources and usually prompts a new willingness to devise stratagems for eluding death and illness."  New Passages. What are you going to do in the next year to insure that your mind, body and spirit will be healthy so that you can join us and celebrate the year 2040? That's not that far away.

Sideways


I was shocked to read all the press around the movie Sideways. Particularly in defense of Stephanie (Sandra Oh), the single mother who smokes dope in front of her adolescent daughter.

I can't believe that people actually think that, of the hundreds of guys Stephanie serves wine to every day, Jack is the first guy she has flirted with and taken to bed. Seemed like she had her game on pretty good from the start. And, to believe someone was going to marry her after a few nights in the sack - come on.

Stephanie is a violent woman and if she had testicles, she'd be in prison right now. But, because a man did something emotional to her, the women in the audience gave their approval - as did many reviewers without making any reference to her totally out-of-control behavior. Fifteen years ago men said that it's something the woman said or did that made them violent. Today, the tables have turned so that it's totally acceptable to crush a man's scull, or perform premeditated murder as the Dixie Chicks sing in "Goodbye Earl" (to the roars of approval from the women in their live concerts) a song they got a Grammy for. The fact that the Domestic Violence movement hasn't spoken out against either act speaks volumns. If you are part of the solution...

A second aspect I haven't seen mentioned in any review regards the wife of the trucker, a scam that is not unheard of and one where the date rape drug is now being used to incapacitate the man so it makes him easier to rob and then dump along the way. A pretty clean crime since few men, caught in an uncompromising situation, dare tell the police.

Sideways has it's weaknesses. Both sexes acted dispicably. And, that's pretty real. While we might wish we were more honest and sincere with each other, as many of the relationship books teach us, it's a game and most people still play it. A visit to any watering hole on a Friday or Saturday night will confirm that. Unfortunately for many couples, reality never kicks in after marriage and the games continue. I'll stop playing the game. Will you?

What's Happening to Men's Work?


More "Women Respond to the Men's Movement" than men. Our continued portrayal that any man in a men's group or doing personal work, runs around nude in the woods beating drums keeps men from risking. Let's find ways to get men out of their caves rather than pushing them further into it. Only people can give warmth to a cold, lost, angry heart. And, a challenge to those who criticise men's work: don't stand on the outside reading inaccurate information written primarily by men who are not willing to experience the work. Find out from the inside. Feel it first. Won't you take my hand? We can help each other stand.


Make the Political Personal


Most men's work in the recovery and mythopoetic areas is personal. Most work within the Pro-Feminist and Men's Rights areas is political and is a place where workaholism is ignored. It's time to look at our own dysfunctional behavior and how, by cleaning it up, our political work will become healthier and probably more effective. As Andrew Harvey said, "Political activity not founded in the heart is doomed." The only thing more painful than going through recovery is not going through recovery. Are you man enough? ("What have you done for you lately?")


Are You Man Enough to Ask for Help?


While many men might think we don't have many if any issues beyond work and family, we have been able to identify over 60 major categories and several hundred issues within these categories. Don't wait 'til it's broke to start doing some preventative maintenance on your life.

The Mask of Masculinity


Subhead for the Newsweek 7/99 "Last Word" by George Will was "Is manliness natural or a 'social construct' that causes wars and sport utility vehicles?" It goes on to say that "both men and women can be brave, rank, aggressive, competitive, loyal, stoical. Perhaps manliness is a "social construct.' Here is the heart of 'gender studies':  If all human attributes are consequences of social arrangements, then clever rearrangement of society can provide whatever results the rearrangers want. If so, neither biology nor history not nature is destiny. All is nurture and ephemeral, nothing is instinctive, innate, permanent. Nothing is destined. Everything is a matter of choice. Free at last, free at leas..." It goes on to say "Maybe the gallantry of opening a door for a woman expresses disdain by asserting that the man is stronger. Then again, physical strength is a merely animal attribute. And opening a door may express sincere rather than guileful deferences. Then again, male sensitivity was not born yesterday. Some of the stuffed animals that children cuddle are called Teddy Bears because on one famous occasion the man who was the rough-riding personification of self-conscious manliness was too sensitive to shoot a wee bear. Yes, Teddy Roosevelt. That (18) '90's Man thought war was splendidly bracing for a nation, and that if a war was not handy, war's moral equivalent, football, would have to suffice. Mansfield says that feminists fault masculinity primarily for its antidemocratic exclusivity. They want society reconstructed so they can act as masculine as men have to, and they want men reconstructed so they will act a little less masculine, more sensitive. Feminists' real complaint, says Mansfield, is with femininity, the 'mystique' (Betty Friedan) of mildness that men supposedly have foisted on women to keep them in their place, which is down, as the 'second sex' (Simone de Beauvoir). 'Why can't a woman be more like a man?' asks some feminists. It is a fair, and complex, question famously asked in 'My Fair Lady' by Professor Henry Higgins, no feminist."

It's Not Time for Relationship Work


There's a trend for women and men away from personal work and towards relationship work. Some may be truly ready. But, even more may be using this as an easy escape from really getting to the bottom of their own dysfunction, hoping that it will be cleaned up by working together. Think again.


Men Make the Best Fathers


The more distant the father is kept from his children, the more dysfunctional this society becomes. The brainwashing of the children against their father's is at least psychological abuse of their children. Now that girls are picking up Uzis and running previously all-male gangs, maybe we need to start looking at the impact of making the father a visitor rather than a full, participating parent in his children's lives. (See Videos.)

When Daughters Come Second


A lot of men's work has revolved around fathers and sons. The father's responsibilities encompass many important lessons for his daughters as well. He is the primary shaper of the way the daughter relates to the masculine side of herself. The way he relates to her feminine side will affect the way she accepts that part of her. And, since he is different from her and her mother, he is the only one who can really confirm for her that she is unique and separate from her mother.

We, as fathers, inherently posses the ability to nurture as well as teach the value of setting and enforcing appropriate boundaries and limits. We need to model how to give and receive affection and tenderness as well as the proper use of strength and power. We must openly show our inherent vulnerability and sensitivity. When we accept the role of primary disciplinarian and boundary setter, we must also take the responsibility to lovingly prepare our daughters to venture out from the protected realm of the home - to deal with the outside world and its conflicts. We must seize the opportunity to teach decision making, balanced with objectivity and responsibly along with the ability to work with authority.

If we are not there for her in a committed and responsible way, encouraging the development of her mental, physical and spiritual sides in all of its uniqueness, it will, most likely, have a drastic affect on the way she sees men and sees herself as a woman in the world. (See Fathers & Daughters.)


Fathers & Teen-Age Daughters Rite-of-Passage


When fathers don't take an active role in the raising of their children, their children will go elsewhere to be initiated into adulthood. Many will initiate themselves before the age of fourteen into the world of drugs, alcohol and sex. Others through initiations like the first auto accident, joining a gang, a criminal act, even the first pregnancy. These just aren't adequate replacements for healthy rites-of-passage.

For the first time in history, women are taking on "nontraditional" roles previously the exclusive territory and responsibility of men. Because of this, there is a need to start developing a unique rite-of-passage only a father can give his daughter. One that acknowledges and supports these major social shifts. In doing this, we can actually start developing completely new models for positive ways fathers can be with their daughters, as much as their sons, especially during the difficult teen years. See also Daughter's Rites.


Ritual Abuse of Boys


In the United States, 7 in 10 boys are ritually or sexually abused before the age of 15 (less than 1 in 2 in California.) This common custom of sexual mutilation called "circumcision" is a rite that was picked up from primitive cultures and continues in only two civilized countries in the world - Israel and the U.S. We know how tied it is to sexual dysfunction, we're just learning how it may be tied to misogyny. Whatever the connection, it disallows the child's religious freedom by forcing them to have this primitive blood ritual done to them, leaving them scarred for life. We wouldn't allow clitorectomies of our girls (even if it is a religious practice in other parts of the world). Why do we accept such a violent act to be forced into our boys lives without the same concerns? See more at circumcision and abuse.


There Are No Criminals - Just A Lot of Lost Souls


People wouldn't abuse others if they hadn't been abused. We tend to forgive women easier, often using the abuse that happened to them as an excuse, and give them probation more often or shorter sentences for the same crimes. There seems to be more tolerance for women abusing men (slapping, hitting, ridiculing, shaming) and it plays out in our movies and on our school playgrounds. (See TV Violence). We also tend to label people rather than their behaviors. You're an abuser, molester, alcoholic, bad person. Some women (and men) writers believe that all men are rapists. (For the men that say this, thank goodness they are admitting that they are rapists so that we know to protect the women that come around them.) The mere statement says that no matter what I do, how much work I do as a man, I'm still seen as a rapist in their eyes. It doesn't give me permission to become a better man. Versus acknowledging the behavior as unacceptable and noting that it is separate from their soul. Shame doesn't bring about healthy change. Acknowledging that the person is good and that a behavior is not acceptable, changes the way people think about themselves and the possibility for change becomes easier. This process of shaming starts at a very early age when we tell children they are bad. While many of us received this in childhood, and it takes a lot of awareness to not pass it on, we must stop our shaming process of our children, and teach our children not to shame and make fun of other children that appear different than them. In actuality, adults and children who shame others are really telling us all how inadequate they are and the lengths they will go to to deflect these weaknesses off on others.

As in Sports So in Life


The Washington Redskins are often a favorite to go to the Super Bowl. Other Division teams seem to consistently end up on top. The NFC South has the Atlanta Niggers, the Philadelphia Guineas are a good pick for the NFC East, in the NFC West, it's the Seattle Chinks and the Minnesota Squareheads in the NFC North For the AFC, it's the San Diego Prune Pickers in the AFC West, the Indianapolis Klan in the AFC South, the Baltimore Wops in the AFC North and New York Kikes in the AFC East. Did I offend you? If so, were you offended when I mentioned the Washington Redskins? When will we start to honor, respect and really understand that Native Americans aren't mascots, they are people. Think about it! (Click here to see predictions for each division this year.)

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, but we have to live on Earth


A recent Barbara Walter’s infomercial for John Gray's work, was two-hours long and was paid for by ABC. They even had an 800 number at the end selling the video tape of the show. Luckily, we were spared the usual hype for books, tapes and video tapes of the course itself. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't really get the sense that most of the couples were much happier. The men seemed to be, but most of the women seemed to have "that look" of not really going along with the changes in the men while appearing to agree. And there was virtually no focus on women needing to change.

The thing that really got me was this whole "chores" mindset. From households with children kept super neat and clean, down to how important it was for one woman to have the inside of the trash cans washed out. Seems like it should have concentrated more on the obsessive-compulsive behavior of cleanliness as much as getting men to help around the house.

Where does this obsession come from? Our mothers and grandmothers? Gotta keep busy? Our fathers and grandfathers - want my castle spic-and-span when I get home? Something's wrong here. I think it has more to do with "appearance - what will the neighbors think" than anything else. But, maybe my experience is unusual. I know many couples with children where the home looks actually lived in, not like a gallery. It's not dirty. It's just not tidy. And, many women I have dated would have a very neat place when they knew I was coming over. Yet, if I dropped by unannounced, the place was in chaos. Clothes on the floor, things scattered everywhere. This is usually the stereotype for men, but I wonder if it's not just the way "people" are and that the obsession with "every thing has its place, and it must stay in that place" hasn't gotten a bit out-of-hand?

Another big reaction from most of the women was men watching sports. We really get a bad rap on this one. My sense is, most of us don't realize how much television women watch, because so much of their viewing is while we are at work. Furthermore, they won't admit how many hours of television they actually do watch every day. The viewing is soap operas (fantasy land), talk-shows (whine time), and game shows (atleast there may be a little socially redeeming value in learning something here). While I haven't looked at the Nielsen ratings for a while, if compared, I doubt that women watch any less television than men, and the content can't be much different. It's escapism on both sides.

And finally, family violence. Of the six women, one admits blowing up, throwing plates, etc. at her husband. Another, we observe, screaming and shaming her husband when he's late coming home from work for his birthday party. He's with the children trying to eat his cake and she's pacing like a tigress waiting to pounce. When their daughter accidentally knocks something over because she's excitedly carrying around a present for her father, her mother screams at her. The daughter cowers and we hear her say "Why is mommy always screaming?" The excuse for women's violence is often, if you had to be with children all day, you would too." There is no excuse for that kind of verbal violence. Whether it comes from a mother or a father. She needs help and it's not up to her husband to change his behavior. It's up to her.

I know women and men are different. I think our differences and our similarities must be explored. However, starting with the image that men are from the planet of war and women are from the planet of love (but don't have any arms) just reinforces the belief that only women are inherent nurturers and men are inherently violent- neither of which are true. Both sexes are inherently nurturers. Both sexes are inherently loving, caring human beings. I would love to see us be able to work together without playing games or manipulating each other because we know what makes each other tick. Cut the game playing. Cut the phony acknowledgment and recognition. Let's get real with each other, for a change. As one advertisement put it, "Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. End of story."

Happy Holidaze


Whether you're celebrating Id-al-Fitr (10/13), Bodhi Day 12/8), Hanukkah (12/5), Las Posadas (12/16), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (12/26), the New Year (1/1) or, it might not be all celebration.

What comes up for you around the holidays: Shopping, crowds, financial outlet, forthcoming bills, being single, parents/kids/loved ones not around, loneliness, no one to love, or concerned with hurt & tension at family reunions..

What makes you mad: lack of others concern for others, traffic and crowds? Point your finger. How do you judge others? What gets to you, not necessarily about them but about those around you?

Now, turn that finger on yourself - what's at the end of it?) It's not what others are doing - it's how you process it. You get treated the way you teach people to treat you - victim-I'm going to do it all instead of let it pass, others expectations of you........The little kid inside of you is counting down the days with excitement, what did you do to change your attitude? The following is a list of holiday tips:

  • Awareness - keep in mind that the holiday season may cause you to feel symptoms of stress (highways/lines/rush) - having some awareness will help reduce it.
  • Remember that the holiday season will soon be over and the passage of time itself will help you get back to your usual self.
  • Do not overlook your own needs during the holiday season even though you are sensitive to the needs of others. Take care of yourself!
  • Consider the types of gifts you purchase and remember the old adage, it is the thought that counts, not only the gift. Maybe make something by hand.
  • Look at the holidays in a new light. Spend less time on preparation and more on love and unity with friends and family. Create new traditions.
  • Avoid the lines at stores by shopping now.
  • Do not put expectations on those around you to please you as you want to be pleased. Peace of mind will come when you enjoy others as they are and do not place your expectations on them.
  • Observe your own thoughts and feelings and remember that any shift from your normal self may be caused by the holiday season.
  • Manage your time by making lists with priorities.
  • Exercise at least three times a week. Keep physically active.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Cut back on other meals when you are going to a big holiday dinner.
  • Alcohol is a depressant and contributes to stress. It is also part of our societal conditioning. Use it in moderation, if at all. Do not drive if you drink. Plan ahead for a ride home or take a cab.
  • Contact family and friends and include them in your plans, if you can. Use the phone to contact far away people. Check on the best times to call for the lowest rates and not get them out of bed, either.
  • To avoid loneliness, plan to be with friends or other people that may become friends.
  • Volunteer in your community to help those less fortunate than you during the holiday season. Get a group together to sing at a local children's hospital or some other group activity. This will allow you to be involved with people and avoid feeling lonely.
  • Use your usual stress management techniques. Deep relaxation exercises several times during the day.
  • Expose yourself to humor and laugh.

Do all this and you can remove the question mark from the headline and replace it with an explanation mark. - Gordon Clay

See Holiday Survival Guide and Holiday Meal Full Of Cancer Agents See also Stress and Suicide.

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Differences challenge assumptions. - Anne Wilson Schaef




©2012, A Different Perspective™