Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Belated Merry Christmas!

A Belated Merry Christmas!

"The best Christmas light display". Sent to me by my life-long buddy Vic Palenske— it is really neat!

Nat King Cole and his daughter Natalie! What a great idea, made possible through modern technology.

Dr. Tom

Let's Stop Making Our Own Misery

Let's Stop Making Our Own Misery

Albert Ellis has written about how we make ourselves anxious and depressed by embracing certain irrational ideas or beliefs. He is correct! You and I both know from experience that it is not so much what happened to a person that makes them is how they choose to think about what happened to them.

I once sat with a friend who was dying of cancer. I dreaded visiting him simply because I feel more skilled at talking about coping with life and less so about coping with death. My dear wife who is a nurse is so much better at that than I am. It was comforting that she was with me that day.

To our surprise, our bed-side visit with our friend was another valuable lesson in life. Our friend welcomed us with a great smile and, after our initial greetings, said: "Let me put this in perspective"!

He then cheerfully summarized the many wonderful things that he had the good fortune to enjoy in his life: His marriage, his children (now grown), his grandchildren, his good friends, pleasant hobbies, his pleasures and good fortunes in work, and his faith in God.

All of this from a man who we knew had suffered some significant defeats, hardships, losses and embarrassments in his life. In short, he had many of the problems in his life that a lot of people would describe as failures and great disappointments.

But not my friend. He chose to focus on the good things. The good things were as real and they were much more enduring than the bad things. By focusing upon the good things he became an inspiration to everyone who knew him. He beamed a glorious comfort for all of us to aspire to imitate.

He was thinking rationally about his own death. It was not a horrible or terrible thing! He could choose to be miserable in his last days or he could strive to find some happiness and do some good for others. His thinking was positive in nature and he focused upon his own intended goals. It was as follows:

Everyone dies. I am going earlier than I wished, but 68 years is a long time. There is much that I have accomplished. I will celebrate the good things. I will not dwell upon the bad things that I cannot change. My last gift to everyone I love (including myself) will be my love of them and my cheerful encouragement of them to carry on, make good contributions, be happy and enjoy their lives!

If my dying friend could do this through the power of rational thinking, it is certain that we can do better with our common problems in life that we must manage and overcome.

God Bless,

Dr. Tom

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Last Vestiges of Self-Restraint: Sunday Carry-Out Alcohol Restrictions.

Last Vestiges of Self-Restraint: Sunday Carry-Out Alcohol Restrictions.

It is interesting to watch government control over more and more of our behavior progress in leaps and bounds. Yet, our sexual and drug consumption activities are increasingly deregulated under the guise of personal freedom.

In my view the explanation for this seemingly incongruous set of events is significantly comprised of a complex mix of our government animal’s “food deprivation” (cash) and its primal motivation to propagate (physical growth, and increasing control of its populace).

With regard to our government’s weakening the moral values and traditions of America and providing greater access to addicting substances and activities, all of this validates the need for greater governmental growth and control of the resulting troubled population behavior. In a diabolical circle of destructive forces, the legalized and expanded access to alcohol (soon other drugs), pornography, prostitution (perhaps sooner than you think), gambling, and violence in media, etc., when taxed, becomes food for the further growth and maintenance of a voracious government-animal.

Furthermore, with the decline of religiously based restraints upon immoral or unethical behavior (“concepts of Sin”, Vice” and “Blue-Laws”), free market pressures in our capitalistic economy naturally join in confluence with the government-animal as they prey upon us all for cash.

When laws against carry-out alcohol sales in Indiana are repealed, it will probably not lead to very many more alcohol problems within our population. Alcoholics can easily plan ahead to feed their addictions and adolescents have always been able to raid liquor cabinets, even on Sundays.

The problem is much larger than the loss of one of the few little examples of morally based self-control practices left in America. The loss of carry-out alcohol restrictions on Sunday will represent a mere spit-in-an-ocean of trouble caused by a historical torrent of such losses.

Dr. Tom,  12/2/2010