Monday, January 8, 2018

My (almost) Famous Quotes

“We can not value our accomplishments, or believe in our potential, until we value and believe in ourselves”

“It’s not knowledge by itself, but the application of ones knowledge to affect beneficial outcomes, regardless from where it is gained.”

“If everyone focused on the strengths within themselves and others,
there would be no weakness.”

“The views of this company are not necessarily mine, but for now they pay the bills”

“When the storm is pounding, open the door and face it. You will find that the fiercest of storms subside to a drizzle once you face them”

“Our good people must be celebrated, not driven into the ground!” -

“I’m OK, You’re Not”

Friday, January 5, 2018

Someone To Talk With

Is simple conversation, or the lack of it, at the root of our mental health? We all need someone to talk with, but the quality of the conversation and the dynamics that occur during the interaction can yield a variety of outcomes. Simple, unstructured conversation, even with strangers in the checkout line or at sporting events can send a warm feeling of connectedness through our bones. Conversations with those closer to us may tend to be more probing, manipulative or judgmental, and can create many of the chilling impacts at the root of some of our most common social dysfunctions. The intent of this article is to explore the impact that simply talking with our children can have on mental health, both theirs and yours.

Psychotherapy techniques explored by Carl Rogers in his book "On Becoming a Person", show a distinct connection between the quality of the conversation and the success in moving the patient closer to what he terms as actualization. In actualization a person moves toward what they would like to be, or more toward the person they truly or naturally are. His work, in part, emphasizes the quality of the relationship, built off the nature of simple conversation, as a key factor in the effectiveness of his approach. Further work by Edward L. Deci in his book "Why We Do What We Do", explores in part, how the nature of a conversation effects motivation.

We have all read, or at least heard of books on negotiation, selling techniques and parenting that instruct us to look for and respond to reactions and in general how to have a conversation. Unfortunately, the very structure of this coaching may degrade the overall outcome as it is often viewed by the receiving party for what it typically is, manipulation and control. However well masked, when we were on the receiving end, we perceive the conversation as manipulative or coercive, or that we are some how being told what to do. It makes us feel foolish when our thoughts and concerns are simply cast off by the other with a simple statement to make our problems seem so trivial. "Well, be happy you don't live in Biafra" or "You don't appreciate how good you have it!" or "When I was growing up we had to eat worms!" We may not be able to define what we are feeling, but we know it is there, and we shut down, rebel, or worse look for a potentially undesirable resource to explore our issue with.

As parents we think we need to control the situation, be the strong one or be the one with all the answers, but this causes us to be shielded and less authentic. Once we admit that we may not be, the conversation becomes more real. Many times an issue will be beyond our ability to cope, we do not have to have all the answers, but we do need to listen and work to become a part of the situation, and hopefully the solution, at its root. Realize that we can all learn, and we can all grow. This learning and growth occurs when each is open, and non judgmental. This is a scary place for many, the world is a scary place but we can not hide from it. It is OK to speak of our feelings, and listen to others feelings, we are not all the same, we are all individuals, no matter the age.

I have two sons, raised in the same house, I have a sister, raised in the same house as I, my wife has two brothers, raised in the same house, and each is wonderfully different and unique. Even in the same house our experiences, our feelings and our views are different, and that is OK.

As parents, my wife and I have found few right answers but we have found many best answers, and the best answers are born from both sides opening up, listening, absorbing and exploring. We have worked to become less judgmental, less reactionary and more focused on just talking. We are coming to realize that the issues one may be facing are indeed issues facing us all. Our child's exploration of their particular issues may in fact provide a mirror reflecting our issues, the discussion of which makes us all stronger.

We have also become better at listening for a conversation. Conversations do not start at a set time nor do they always start when they are convenient. If you have to make a schedule to talk, you may have lost the moment, the intimacy, and now made it a more bureaucratic schedule. You have now diverted the need for your children to talk with someone, to someone else. The ones they turn to for these conversations may in fact be manipulative or incomplete in the conclusions that are reached void of our knowledge and experience. While some may scorn the texting craze and the so called web 2.0, it has given our children someone to talk with, almost immediately. Some of us do not have big families or many friends, often that makes the idea of finding someone to talk with a little more difficult, but no less important to our well being. This technology may indeed prove beneficial at some level, but we should be cautious not to let these sources replace us. If you are beginning to feel as though they have, you need to examine your current style of communication.

If your past discussions have been strained you need to find an ice breaker. Start by striking up a conversation related to an issue you may be having and ask for their advice. If you don't have one already, schedule a family night to play a game or watch a movie. I strongly recommend Good Will Hunting but I am sure there are many other mutually engaging ones. Conversations should be a sharing event, both learning and reaching for who we are, no one is in control, both are open, neither is judgmental or controlling. I am talking about the need for a simple exploration of what is going through our minds. Be in the moment, there does not have to be a topic, no direction, no starting or ending, but the end result will be a deeper communication. Someone to talk with is a process, not just one chat. We do not always solve things in a single conversation, sometimes a sounding board may be all that is needed. How fantastic it would be to have some one to just talk to about things, openly, without judgment, without expectations, without argument, without repercussions, without fear. How big a bonus would it be if it were our parents?

If all else fails, don't be stymied by getting outside help, or one day you may awake to a scene you do not want to imagine. For parents the question is not "where did I go wrong?" It is "where do we go from here?"

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Light Switches, Windows and Doors

Light Switches Windows and Doors
By Jim Tippett

  This is not a workshop on home remodeling, just one on remodeling how you pursue opportunities and perhaps your life. As I reflect upon the coming of the New Year and my obligatory resolutions, I keep coming back to these simple concepts, more so realizations, on how, with the use of a little metaphoric liberty, they hold the key to our success and quality of life.

   Light switches are used to control the flow of energy; windows are used to allow light and fresh air to come into our lives and to allow us to gaze out into our world or into others. Doors are used to provide a walkway into or out of different areas of our lives. Doors can be locked to keep us safe or they can be barred from the other side. As with light switches and windows, we select to fling the door open to new opportunity or simply keep it shut. The important thing to understand is that the opening and closing is controlled, or at least strongly influenced, entirely by you.

   First, light switches. We have all attended an inspiring seminar or class, and we have all come up with that really great idea or resolved to manifest a New Year’s intention. The moment truly inspires you, your mind is alive with possibilities, and you feel in touch with the way things are supposed to be. The light switch is on and the juice is flowing, every neuron is firing with potential, you cannot wait to get to “IT”. You leave the moment through a different door and as you pass through you notice a different world than the one you left just a while ago. The air is fresher, the colors are brighter and you are walking with a new confidence. You can view a new day, a new you. You can see each step of the path and the way around every obstacle is clear. What happens from that point forward is the basis of this workshop.

   The light switch, when turned on, allows energy to flow through your chosen channel. The full energy flow is constant and focused, until the switch is turned off, or until another switch is turned on. If we only have one switch turned on, our energy is projected through a single window and the door to our    vision easily opens. I will call this the nirvana switch.

   Unfortunately, as is more common than not, the more time that elapses from the moment you had your vision of brilliance, the greater is the tendency that you will be called to turn on more light switches, or at least divert some of the energy back to your already established energy needs. The family light switch, the work light switch, the relationship light switch, or the survival light switch, all diverting your finite human energy.

   With each throw of a new switch, the focus of energy going through the nirvana switch diminishes, the window clouds and the door begins to creek shut. Decisions made as to which light switches to turn on, and which ones to turn off, are based on any number of factors dependent on your current situation. Your moment may have provided insights or techniques on how to be or do better, but a few days after, you may find yourself mired in the same old, same old. The energy flow is diverted by you to other daily demands, and away from your rapidly dimming Nirvana switch.

       Is it perhaps that as you exited the doorway from your nirvana moment you found no windows or doors that allowed a clear view of your path, or perhaps that you did not chose to do what was needed to open them? Perhaps you did not see connected light switches or the sequence of door openings that would have focused multiple resources in support of your Nirvana switch. The reason for this lack of focus and commitment is simple; you were not focused or committed. Not to insult your intelligence but it is as simple as that. You chose to turn on other switches, close the shades, and walk through more familiar doors, or you defaulted to those that were opened for you by others. Or perhaps you are awash with Nirvana visions and have selected to open multiple switches, windows and doors to compound your chances of success. Unfortunately like a dog that runs faster to catch his tail, the results disappoint regardless of effort. This may not always be a negative thing and there is no need to wallow in self-pity, but it does lead us to a new way of thinking about opportunity. So, before you spend another dollar on a seminar, class or brilliant Nirvana vision, you need to consider a few things first.

   First and foremost you need to listen to what your gut is telling you, but do not confuse your gut with your ego. Your gut will allow you to focus an inner passion, whereas ego must be fed by the praise and accolades of others. Once you are confident in the gut vs. ego distinction, you now need to write your vision of Nirvana down. Our minds are easily distracted, like a monkey in a room full of bananas, so we must be sure to leave ourselves reminders of the messages and brilliant revelations that we receive.

  Paint as clear a picture as you can to visualize all the elements, the more detailed the better, perhaps more importantly, the more realistic the better. Not to be a killjoy, but speaking from personal practice, a lot of time and energy, both of which are limited, can be wasted if you do not give these elements consideration. If you think this exercise, which may take a couple hours, is a waste of time, how do you expect to provide the needed energy to travel the path to your vision of Nirvana? In the simplest of terms, how badly do you want it?

   Keep your journal close to you at all times, even next to your bed since some of the most brilliant ideas will come to you in your sleep. Easily said, easily understood, yet if you cannot grab your journal within 30 seconds of reading this, you need to do better. No Nirvana in mind? Try answering this question.

What would you attempt to do if you knew that you could not fail?

   It is also a good idea to start a file for each of your nirvana switches. Be aware of underlying similarities and synergies that each of these light switches, windows and doors may share. You should also look to discuss your Nirvana journey with those who may help sharpen your clarity or gain needed knowledge. But as I reflect on my own experience perhaps I missed a step here, not unlike many others. Why are you at the seminar or why did you have the moment in the first place? There is obviously some motivation to be or do more as you gazed through some window. If everything is going well in your current situation, you most likely are on this journey to enhance the results you achieve in your current situation. The other possibility is that you are unhappy or restless in your current situation, and are looking for a new doorway to tomorrow. Either way, when we consider things from an energy management view point, if you are going to take a good portion of your day to plan, attend or invest in anything, shouldn’t you have weighed the benefits ahead of time?
   You should be starting to see the tip of the iceberg as to why our light switches dim. Most of the initial thrill of our big idea is based in emotion and ego. That’s not all bad, emotion is a huge factor in any pursuit, but we all know where ego got General Custer. While most give him all due credit for his resolve and his ability to motivate people at Little Big Horn, he is none the less a prime example of someone who chose to pass through the wrong door. It is OK to make mistakes and have setbacks, for if your vision is clear they will serve as opportunities for learning that will strengthen both your resolve and results. But unlike General Custer, you need to pause and re-evaluate when things just don’t seem to be working out as planned. 

   I do not profess to know your situation or have your answers, the only one who does is you, and this is a reality you need to become comfortable with. Once you have hashed things out, mind body and spirit, you will be able establish clear focus and undying commitment. So get out there and energize your Nirvana switch, clean your windows and fling open your doors…..,

The future is, and always has been, yours!

Mini Workshop
 Try answering a few of the following questions to start your exploration. As you continue this process, more questions and more answers will emerge; write them down! Do not be constrained by the table below it is for illustrative purposes. You can also use a large blank sheet so your mind can wonder. 

Others in your life
What will the financial, personal and / or spiritual Gain be?

What will the financial, personal and spiritual Investment be?

Will it be worth It?

Who will need to be involved / leveraged?

What will need to be given up?

What will need to be invested in? Skills, Talents, Equipment and materials.

Are personality and talent switches wired to release the energy needed for the pursuit?

What switches will need to be turned off to divert additional energy if needed?

What will the extent / impact of the transition be? (see Change Quotient WS)

How will you gauge your progress, what milestones will you use?

How will you know if you opened a wrong door or turned off the wrong switch?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


The layers of our body, mind and spirit build up continually throughout our lives, weaved of our daily experience. Every time we laugh, every time we feel joy, do well, help another or nurture our relationships a layer is placed, the greater the joy, the thicker the layer. Our layers have been placed to protect us, defend us, help us gain acceptance or move us toward some perceived goal. Layers are also placed every time we are hurt, every time we are manipulated or intimidated, lied to, abandoned or deceived, and every time we discredit ourselves through self-defacing acts. This normally occurs when we are the ones doing any of the later mentioned above.

The buildup of these layers is largely unavoidable as much of the deposit occurs at the cellular, some may say spiritual, level. The thickest layers are laid during our formative childhood, yet experience and genetics can add much to the wonderfully ornate matrix. It is most important to understand that we have the ultimate control over the placement, removal and management of these layers, especially if you come to find that some are leading you to uncomfortably dark tunnels, hurting those closest to you or holding your true potential at bay.

Eventually layers manifest themselves in physical or mental characteristics. The more you exercise the stronger you become, the more you read or meditate the more enlightened you become, the more you interact, the stronger your social skills become. The more you are deceived, the more shielded you become, the more you try to gain acceptance, the more you accept the layers of others, the more ….(you enter your own special circumstance here), the thicker the layers become. Like a gently falling snow, inches turn into feet.

Layers, as with anything, can be good, bad, or any shade in between depending on your particular life experience and perspective. Yours are a mixture of conscious experience and barely perceptible sensitivities, they are uniquely you. With each stimulation of our hippocampus, each release of dopamine, or energy spike, a microscopic layer of memory is laid to memorialize the event and the results of our reaction to it.

These layers become who we are, influencing our actions, reactions and urges, and ultimately how we impact others, in mind, in body and in spirit. Our individual perceptions of our true being are dependent on our awareness of our layers. Sounds easy but the problem is that few of us are actually even aware of these deposits. Can you see all the trees in your forest?

This understanding will allow you to examine your layers so you can build on the positive ones, better manage the ones that give you that special edge, and remove the ones you have come to detest. Do not think that I am sending you on a demon hunt or advocating some manner self-sacrifice, this is not about guilt, this is about freedom, understanding, strength and a tomorrow that is a little better than yesterday.

This leads us to our insight on the deeper process of deposit and more importantly the journey that must be followed to peel off the unwanted layers, once you consciously agree that something is clouding your true being. Let’s start with a simple examination of one of the most common cause of built up layers in our lives, food. You will hopefully note that the same process discussed here is at the root of most of our layers.

Eating food stimulates many things in our life. At the most basic level, it provides assurance that we will live another day, drawing on just the right nutrients to satisfy the needs of our body. Miraculously the cells in our body go to work on each bite of food we take, looking for all the needed pieces, just as if they were building a fortress. These cellular workers add the acid to breakdown that piece of food just right or a few white blood cells to take care of that unwanted bacteria. A little vitamin D from that bite will be taken to the bones, and the salt is just right for our fluid balance and nerve conduction needs. Just enough carbohydrates to throw into the furnace, the rest they will store for colder days. Our bodies and minds unite to operate as a perfect machine, making split second, imperceptible decisions for our well-being.

Our minds, consciously or subconsciously, influence our actions to select the next meal built off the experience of the last. This is no doubt how cooking our food came to be as the roasted meat and gristle has a more pleasing, stimulating taste, and this is also why we eat fried chicken instead of fried skunk.

We now find that we have advanced to the point where food is no longer viewed simply as our next life giving meal; it has transcended its basic function and taken on a whole new social and entertainment value, which in its self produces reactions within the body and mind that are pleasurable, oh so satisfying and potentially addicting, in some cases having nothing to do with the food itself. Much of our social world is built around food. Bagels at meetings, our next romantic date at the most impressive restaurant, new colorful, benefit promising packaging, or the urge for the latest advertised food like product, all move food into a new social playground. The layer is added to our being, and our waistline.

I am not trying to delve into an examination of addiction here as I believe it is a well-known concept that unfortunately is not well understood. When, as a society, our primary treatments for anything are endless diagnostic tests and pills, it is a clear sign that we do not understand something and perhaps this is another layer of its own. More so an explanation of the difficulty we may run into when we try to confront troublesome layers. If we do not embrace how they were laid the paint we use to cover them will eventually fade.

The miracles of modern science have indeed produced some very effective means of fixing the particular thing that ails you physically or mentally. Yet as the lengthy disclaimers attest to, the unanticipated effects are not well understood. What is understood, and very well by the way, is our own ability to cast off even our deepest, darkest, unwanted layers. It is the most effective solution to discard the unwanted baggage of your life and allow your positive, untarnished layers to rise to the surface.

The first step is obviously to identify the layers and what people or events helped form them, hopefully before the negative ones totally consume you. Do not be discouraged if you feel they already have, for they too can be cast off. It does take a little more work on your part, no magic pills or miracles here, but they can be shed. Now it is time to do some deep soul searching and for this you may need an outside tour guide to help you through your personal journey. You can start this expedition simply enough, working through questionnaires or checklists and making entries in journals, perhaps a relaxing massage and some meditation to help your mind find the answers it seeks.

As you continue to do these activities on a regular basis you will be preparing yourself for the deeper questions, and the more important answers. Answers that at first you may not understand nor even hear, until you are sufficiently along in your journey and ready to hear them. Each answer will unfold at the correct time allowing yet another layer to fall off, to be replaced with a new shiny enlightened one. Eventually these answers will resonate beyond your mind, moving throughout the cellular structure of your body to align with the energy of your spirit. In closing, regardless of where you are in your current journey, always remember you are in control, you’re OK.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Society of Hate and Fear

A Society of Hate and Fear

James Douglas Tippett

  Have we become a society of hate and fear? Is that our place in the universe, the role of the human race? We fear terrorism as a threat to our country, our freedom, which is its very goal, to the point where we are giving up those very freedoms as granted by our founding fathers. We fear criticism so we suppress free speech and those of us with nothing to say are OK with that. We grow to fear speaking out against government because somehow they have gained total control, not as intended by our Constitution.  They now can terrorize you with the IRS, the justice department and homeland security.  Even local police departments have become more aggressive, intrusive and tyrannical in their tactics. And let’s not forget the general media, propagating hate and fear sells, or at least it seems to be what we are drawn to watch.

  Hate is driven by fear because we usually end up hating what we fear. Again, we give up our freedoms because we hate terrorists because they are the ones who, as argued by the ones taking our freedoms away, are the ones responsible. We then of course hate anyone who shares a similar heritage as a terrorist. As if we can tell the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’ite Muslim, just as we can’t tell the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant.  All of us have an opinion as to what we hate driven to some extent by fear.

  But we don’t need the government or terrorists to fear, it seems to be the very thing we thrive on throughout the course of a typical day. The fear of not getting the best price, fear of not having enough food for the next storm, fear of reprimands at our job, and yes, even the fear of being eaten by zombies.  

 We hate those in front of us in line as they have no right to check out before us, and those questions they are asking the clerk can’t be nearly as important as the questions we have. If we examine this, perhaps all too common scenario, does the “who” of those in front of you enter into the mix? Is your reaction different, if the person is old or young, attractive or ugly, white or black, arrogant or humble?

  We hate not getting the best price, feeling we have somehow been scammed, sometimes to the point of never visiting the hated store again because of the one dollar saving we found on the internet. We fear that we have been taken advantage of or that we will appear stupid when we boast of our new possession. 

 We fear being sued and therefore we hate lawyers, just as lawyers hate people who make statements like that. Why? I have no reason.  Other than to refer back to my earlier comments on freedom of speech which now is viewed by many to be defamation of character.

  We fear strangers, foreigners and others “not like us”. Those who are different than our world view of what acceptable is, without even having to meet them. It is so much easier to hate the whole lot of them then it is to identify the few true stigma drivers. Herein lays the same mindsets that result in the most heinous acts ever perpetrated by mankind throughout history. 

  The other interesting thing about hate and fear is that they are fully transferable; to, or from, our parents, our children, our friends, and strangely enough to those we hate and fear. Sooner or later we end up doing something to those whom we think we hate and fear for some reason, and in turn they end up getting reinforcement of their hate of us, and on down the line. When asked what started all the hatred, many have no clue. No events or recollections directly related to their experience, more so based on tribal knowledge handed down by parents, friends and dare I say the media or our very own government.

  Yet no one wants to pierce the veil as to why we keep living this way. Why we would rather reach out in hate born of our fears, as opposed to reaching out in a desire for peace. An individual, group, community, state or country of hate breeds more fear and hate. It is almost as if it is a comfort zone for many. To lay down the proverbial sword takes much trust, on both sides, and that seems to be in short supply by our very nature, our ingrained survival instincts. 

  Think of the top five individuals, groups, countries, religions or ethnicity that you hate. Write down the qualities that you hate. Now look at the list and see if any of these items, if looked at in reverse, may describe you. 

  As an example, if you list religion as one of the traits you hate in your foe, ask “What are my religious beliefs and how strongly do I hold them?” Could they be viewed just as negatively by the other party? Why? Ask what is at the root of my fear, what is at the root of my hate? Perhaps the most important question for us all is where has it gotten us? How many have died, how many sit in a jail cell and how many lives have been trashed out of some mindless fear or hatred?

  So now we come to the part about where we ask, “What now?”  First and foremost we need to understand that it doesn’t start with “Them”. It doesn’t start with the government or those not like us or the media, your friends or parents. It starts with you! Yes you own it. It is all about how you choose to view and interact with your environment. The challenge I have for you lasts only one month. Each day of the month select one of the perform one of the action below. 

ü         0 When shopping, make eye contact with someone and say “Hi, How’s it going?

ü          0 If there is a disturbing story on the news, change the channel. 

ü          0 If there is a disturbing story in the paper, flip to the comics or the crosswords.

ü          0  Talk a walk around your neighborhood, simply wave or say “Hi!” to anyone you see.

ü           0 When driving, do not tailgate and if someone has their blinker on let them in. When someone does the same for you, give them a friendly thank you wave.

ü          0 If you see someone who may need; help with lifting something, opening a door or getting directions, offer to help.

ü          0  If someone in a store or restaurant does something nice or gives you good service get their name and call their manager or their corporate office at let them know about it.  

ü        0  Pick one person you encounter during the day and be thankful they are there.

ü        0 Sit quietly for 20 minutes with no TV, no radio and reflect on what ever enters your mind.

        By all means do not let this list constrain you, feel free to come up with your own.  

  At the end of the month it will be up to you to decide on the result, but I can guarantee that if you have done these things for (at least a month) you will experience less hate and fear in your life. You will have also  most likely reduced the magnitude of another persons hate and fear. For you see it does not take an act of the government to make hate or fear less; the root of it all lies with each of us, every day with every interaction. 

Please feel free to share your results.  

Are you Stymied by Stigmas?

Stigmas; many definitions, most relate to something bad, or socially unacceptable, like a stigma against people with mental health issues. At this I must laugh. For if we examine our lives deep enough we all may exhibit some stigma evoking trait. It is not too far of a stretch to expand the definition of a stigma to include “a prejudicial thought, response or act that is evoked in response to another person associated with a physical, observable trait”. What ever your impression of my definition is, it is at least as good as the ones out there now and perhaps closer to how it is used in society.

Need some validity, lets go to the source, you!
After you read the following words, what is the first thought, image, or visualization that comes into your mind? No thinking or reasoning allowed, just gut reactions please: Try jotting down a few related thoughts, no more than a sentence. You really don’t even need to jot them down; you know what you are thinking.

Long hair
Garbage Man
Bi-Polar Disorder

OK that’s enough, you can stop jotting.

Every thought you had, no matter what it was could be considered a stigma, your stigma or your groups stigma. While normally associated with the negative aspects, note that even your positive thoughts may indeed be negative in someone else’s mind, but for now we don’t care about “Them”.

Where do stigmas come from? Are they passed down from generation to generation, those closest to us, or do we develop them on our own from our past experience with a specific individual or some representative group? Is this not at the root of prejudice? Are we queued to act in a certain way due to engrained stigmas? Are stigmas different in different communities, Cities, States or Countries? Of course they are.

Can we be stymied, shut out, ridiculed, laughed at, taken advantage of, passed over, or ignored by others because of who, what, where, or how we are? Of course we can.

Can we ourselves act in a certain way because of our perception of a societal stigma if we have that particular trait? Deeper question, but same answer; Of course we can. In turn does this build on the validity of the stigma? Of course it does.

A quick example; sitting next to each other is a blonde and a brunette. Each is asked a question, each give a stupid answer. The stigma of dumb blonde is enhanced while the brunette can claim to be having a bad day, or that they did not understand the question.

But who is to say what stigma is to be applied? Which ones are never to be spoken of, but still pervade everything we do in our views toward others and in others views toward ourselves? Do stigmas portray our primordial upbringing when we discount reason and pull out our clubs to start the beating? Stigmas prevent us from getting by that all powerful, and often damaging, first impression when outwardly applied and that “I can’t do it!” when inwardly applied.

As a people, race or species, we may never be able to change this, though many will try. But why? Our differences are what make us unique the problem is we haven’t learned how to embrace these differences and leverage the diversity. We instead feel threatened, territorial, we feel the need to flex superiority, or on the other hand feel predestined to a certain way of life, or grapple with what’s “Wrong” with us. Those that live to apply stigmas and perpetrate the negative connotations so often associated with them, are simply trying to advance their own cause. Perhaps even to keep the focus off of their traits that may be the target of some other societal stigma.

Much of our mental health issues, phobias doubts and fear can be related to some sort of stigma, either implanted by others or the ones we let loose on our own. We lose our job, there is a stigma, we get a divorce, there is a stigma, we move to a new town coming from Buffalo, NY, there is a stigma, we are a lawyer, there is a stigma, or we seek help for a mental health issue, and there is yet another stigma. When the damage occurs is when we fail to get over it, fail to say “what in the heck?” or fail to realize, "Hey, I’m OK"!