Your body Will Heal Itself If You Give It A Chance

Your body Will Heal Itself If You Give It A Chance

Your body has natural healing capacities that nobody in the field of medicine can pretend ultimately to understand. If you break a bone it will heal itself. All the doctor does is make sure the pieces of the bone are properly set back together.
– Wayne Dyer, American counseling psychotherapist and motivational speaker (born 1940)

The human species has not lasted as long as it has by pumping itself full of chemicals and vaccines. Yet that is exactly what we are doing at present. Another human species, Neanderthals, lived many times longer than homo sapiens has been around and never had vaccines or even much in the way of diseases (other than what they may have caught from eating diseased animals or spoiled food).
When I was a child every kid in every family had what was called childhood diseases. In fact, often mothers would closet all the children in her family together in a room with a sick sibling so that all the kids would get the same disease at once, getting the inconvenience of one childhood disease over in one big session.
It was called building an immune system. Today we have doctors pumping kids with vaccines, sometimes over 60 of them before the child goes to school, all in the name of helping the child’s immune system. In some jurisdictions, laws force this before children are allowed to enter school. What nature used to do free, now parents and their insurance plans pay for. Yet the kids have more problems than ever before in history.
Asthma and allergies at rates unheard of in the past. Autism many times greater than even 20 years ago. When I was a child I never experienced one other child who was autistic. The odd one had allergies, primarily in spring or fall. Nothing that held back his or her education.
Today we have schools that demand all kids’ lunches must be made at home with allergen-free products. Other schools demand that all lunches must be prepackaged with allergen-free products–nothing may be made at home. Some children, it is feared, could breathe the aroma of peanuts and die. These kids have immune systems that actually attack themselves.
Medical science now helps almost all children survive childhood. But the food they eat has poisons and unneeded antibiotics added before it leaves the farm. The apple, one of the naturally healthiest foods we can eat, is sprayed with poisons at the blossom stage, before the fruit even forms around the seed. Then it is sprayed with more poisons every two weeks until it is picked. Potatoes, the most common vegetable in the western diet, endures almost as much spraying with poisons before it is dug from the ground.
For those who care enough to buy foods that are clean of chemicals and poisons (herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers–all poisons, as anything that ends in “ide” is) there are vegetables and fruits that are grown organically (without poisons or chemicals). Yet these cost more than the produce sprayed with poisons because the farmer must pay to prove that poisons have not been added to his or her product–certification is necessary before the producer can call the product organic. The farmer has to prove he has not added poisons to the food he sells, and pay to certify that proof.
Meat, poultry and their associated food products have been proven through many studies to cause weakness and failure of certain body organs, cancer and many other diseases that left untreated would cause death.
Not everyone is prepared to eat healthy. Eventually, over a few decades of ingesting poisons and unnatural chemicals, the body succumbs to one or more of a variety of syndromes (diseases doctors know nothing about), diseases and general weaknesses of health. We have more incidents of dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other afflictions common among older people than ever before in history.
Big pharmaceutical companies pay or bribe many doctors to prescribe antibiotics and other medicines that destroy the immune system, thus keeping people weak and depending on more chemicals for the last few decades of their lives. What their vaccines did not destroy in children, their prescription drugs will finish off in the middle ages and the elderly.
One of the “forever” drugs most commonly prescribed for people is statins to lower cholesterol. Older people need more cholesterol to carry poisons from their body cells. Statins, themselves proven to be health hazards (though approved by governments and doctors associations who are well paid for their endorsements) limit the ability of the body to remove poisons from cells by lowering cholesterol. Your doctor won’t tell you that if he or she is paid to prescribe statins.
Governments refuse to pass laws to prevent agriculture giants, pharmaceutical internationals and chemical corporates from harming our health so that they can extract greater profits from us. People who are sick, weak and have no significant immune systems left by the age of retirement are a vibrant and dependable source of profits for these companies. Sick old people are the proverbial cash cow.
Does the situation seem hopeless? It’s not. We need to use our bodies to get exercise so they do not atrophy from lack of use. And we need to find clean sources of food from organic farmers. With those two, we have little need for doctors because our bodies will heal themselves so long as we have an immune system left. Self healing is how nature works. This is not to say that doctors have no place, only that they must not be allowed to dominate the health of the elderly.
The future is not bleak. Things are changing as more and more people learn the truth about health and the lies they have been told for many years. Every region has a core of people who are actively working toward good health and clean sources of food. Find them. A variety of clean and nutritious food is the best preventative medicine you can buy.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of simple and cheap solutions for expensive problems. Bad health is a social problem because it affects so many people and adds huge costs to tax dollars.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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Monogamy May Contribute to the Extinction of Humanity

Monogamy May Contribute to the Extinction of Humanity

“I’ve calculated that if we keep fixing the problem, in 10,000 years no men will be producing sperm.”
Sherman Silber , urological surgeon, researcher who heads the Infertility Center of St. Louis, at St. Luke’s Hospital

It’s not as if the (distinctly male) Y chromosome is under attack by monogamous men. The claim is that due to monogamy, more correctly one man, one woman, no cheating, may be causing the sperm of some men to get lazy. It’s “use it or lose it,” make it work or it will suffer from atrophy.

Isn’t sperm a natural component of maleness, something that gets passed down from generation to generation like a treasured gold pocket watch? Not quite. Like anything related to DNA, deficient sperm, if allowed to procreate through a non-natural process such as in vitro fertilization, will pass from father to son to grandson, and so on. Once the genes responsible for producing sperm become deficient, their progeny (if any) will also be deficient for every succeeding generation.

A strictly monogamous relationship, especially if overwork, lack of sufficient sleep, fatigue from childcare, prescriptive drugs or many other causes come into the picture, results on long periods of sex drought. In effect, what happens with newly made sperm is similar to what happens to muscles that are not used for long periods of time. They don’t work so well. While atrophied muscle can be revived, defective sperm producers remain defective until death.

When it comes to sperm, working well is critically important. The World Health Organization (WHO, an agency of the United Nations) says that fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen will likely result in a healthy egg that will not be fertilized after coitus. Out of that number, only one (in most cases) will ever be successful. If the sperm don’t fight hard, if they have developed with a funny shape or if they swim poorly, they will die alone, along with the egg.

The original purpose of monogamy was to ensure that a baby grew with both a mother and a father–the old concept of “a family.” Monogamy originally meant devotion of one man to one woman for the purpose of raising a child. Religions, given legal charge of marrying men and women, dictated the “no cheating” rule. Even the term for “cheating” in a marriage is “unfaithful,” a word commonly associated with religion.

Today we have astronomical rates of divorce, often because the man has been “unfaithful” to the marriage vow. A shocking majority of single mothers live on social assistance (welfare), barely able to fulfill their role model as mother let alone act as a father as well.

One large study a couple of years ago, in the USA, found that 85 percent of husbands admitted (confidential survey) to being unfaithful to their wives (sex with at least one other partner). However, another study found that 65 percent of wives were unfaithful to their marriage vows as well. Both of these were “at least once.” That’s a clear majority on both sides.

Our insistence on sexual monogamy in marriage (or equivalent) is, therefore, in conflict with the realities. In other words, the partner who gets caught is the guilty one.

But who suffers from breakups resulting from sexual wandering of one or more spouses? More than anyone else, the children. We say that “Kids can adapt easily to changes in family makeup.” That kind of thinking may be seen in people who know nothing about children. They suffer, in ways that parents seldom understand, often for the rest of their lives.

“Bad food, bad genes and monogamy are sucking the life our of human sperm,” according to David H. Freedman, freelance journalist and author, in a column about the degradation of human sperm, in Discover, November 2011.

Several studies have confirmed that the viability of male sperm has slid downhill over the past century, going by standards of the World Health Organization. “We’re producing pretty poor sperm compared with those of [other] primates and other animals,” claims Gary Cherr, reproductive toxicologist at University of California, Davis. “Even in the most fertile men, there are quality issues.”

The facts stated above may seem to confuse the issue of the future of humanity. But they don’t really. Over time, Darwin’s concept of natural selection will prevail.

The total population of humans on our planet may decrease in the meantime. Who would dispute the value of that?

This article is not intended to support the concept of sex with partners outside of marriage. That part is up to you. What we need to keep in mind is the best interests of children, who are inevitably harmed by the breakup of their parents. Inevitably, in their minds, if not visibly by their behaviour at the time.

Let’s remember that the primary purpose of the marriage bond is to ensure a child has caring parents to raise him or her. Sexual monogamy of both parents, or lack thereof, matters little to a child.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to raise kids with a comfortable balance of skills and knowledge as adults.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

To Fear Change Is To Fear Life

To Fear Change Is To Fear Life

 

If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.
Hazel Henderson, English television producer, futurist, author (b. 1933)

Every living thing finds life dangerous. Every living thing becomes food for other living things. Those that do not become food for other as prey or fodder become food for microbes and other life forms after they die.

Those at or near the top of the food chain tend to be in the latter group. We humans, with few natural enemies, tend to die for reasons that have nothing to do with predators.

Yet so many of us act as if we have something to fear at every moment of our lives.

Caution and the fight or flight response and its attendant physical stressors are built into us from birth. Fear is not. Fear is learned. In nature, an animal in fear tends to soon become lunch for a predator. We humans experience fear and its consequences differently.

Some kinds of fear result from unfortunate events in our lives. In my case, I fear heights (acrophobia) and closed-in spaces (claustrophobia) as consequences of seeing many movies, as a young child, that intentionally made viewers afraid as a form of thrill. The producers of the films set out to create shock in viewers. Indeed, it’s what most kids my age wanted when we watched a film. The producers did not intend to develop phobias in their viewers. But they did in some.

Some kinds of fear are taught. They might be taught through role modeling by a parent (“my mother hates spiders and I do too”), by a teacher (“you don’t want me to send you to the principal, do you?”), or by another person known to the one developing the fear (“Wait till your parents get home”).

The colour-coded risk alert levels broadcast in the USA after 9/11 accomplished absolutely nothing in terms of preparing citizens for a possible attack by terrorists, but “amber alert” notices from the White House built fear into the hearts of people, of others who were “different” in appearance or in the way they speak or dress (“You don’t see anyone from Sweden becoming suicide bombers”). This in a country that for a very long time claimed to be a melting pot of cultures, where everyone could mix freely and join into one nation in the process. Fear taught by the nation’s leaders brought that claim to an end.

Those who fear seek stability. They want the same weather at the same time each year, which can’t happen any more, if it ever could. They want stability in their family life, which is awkward with over half of marriages ending in divorce and grown children moving to all parts of the world for work in their specific fields. In fact, a fearful parent is more likely to cause other family members to want to get away from them.

They want stability in their jobs, which is nearly impossible in today’s economic climate. More than anything else, they want to avoid change. To a person with fears, change means instability and instability ramps up their fear level.

Yet change is not just a major factor in today’s world, it’s critically important and inevitable. It’s even part of nature.

It’s possible to overcome fear, as many can attest as they have had to do so to survive. An overcome fear hides in the background, the way alcohol does to a recovering alcoholic or casinos and lotteries do for a recovering gambling addict. In the background it doesn’t impact daily life. It’s tolerable.

Fear of change is much more difficult to conquer. In many societies, such as the USA, fear has become a cultural norm. How do you overcome a cultural norm? The same way the US tackled the problem of tobacco smoking, reducing adult smoking from around 75 percent of adults to just over 20 percent (including the major smoking group teens).

As Hazel Henderson said in the quote that began this article, people must be taught that change and uncertainty are normal. That means, as is the case with most teaching, these lessons should be taught to children (whose lives change frequently anyway). They must also be taught how to cope with change. That means they must know what to do when something major happens in their lives over which they have no control. That means planning ahead and having coping skills.

Children need stability as much as adults. They must have stability in some parts of their lives. But they should be taught how to cope, what to do, where to turn, who to ask for help, if unanticipated change strikes them suddenly.

As grown adults, we can learn to cope by planning as well. If your parents are alive today, it’s highly likely that they will die before you do. What plan should you have, at least emotionally, for that? Your spouse or a child could die in an accident any day, or from terminal illness in the near future. What would you do then? These are problems most people would rather leave until the last minute, until they happen. Then their impact can be tragic, such as a fear of commitment to someone who might die.

We know that birth and death are part of life, even though either can come unexpectedly. But “unexpectedly” means major change. If you lost your job, what plan would you put in place so that you could get back on your feet as soon as possible? If your home burned so badly it was no longer habitable, what would you do?

Being prepared for life’s possible emergencies means you can cope. Coping means less chance of emotion turmoil, including fear or turning to unhealthy alternatives such as addictions, bullying, depression, thrill-seeking and cutting of social connections that brought love into your life. When your life is upside down and inside out, that’s when you need love more than ever. Do you know how to handle the love relationships in your life so that they do not get destroyed when another part of your life implodes?

Change and uncertainty are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for them. When these events trouble you most, you need those who love you to depend on. Having no one to fill that role can be devastating.

If you do not have anyone who loves you unreservedly, this would be a good time to learn how to develop that kind of relationship. Social skills are learnable. You can learn them by reading or taking courses.

No one’s life is easy. The ones who survive best are those who prepared for downturns ahead of time. They do not become emotionally destroyed. They put their plan in place. They know how to cope.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents, grandparents and teachers who want to help children grow and develop so they know how to cope with the most important things that happen in their lives.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

Robert Heinlein: un-American Rebel With A Cause

Robert Heinlein: un-American Rebel With A Cause

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Robert A. Heinlein, American science-fiction author (1907-1988)

That’s outrageous! Why, look at what our experts have done for us.

Our expert chemists have created chemical fertilizers and pesticides to put on our agricultural crops so megafarming agribusinesses can produce lots more food than our ancestors ever dreamed of. And diseases and weaknesses such as diabetes, allergies and heart disease at rates never previously imagined because our bodies can’t cope with the chemical attacks over long periods of time. (Tests are usually over three years, seldom longer, as if nothing could affect our health over a long period of time.)

Other expert chemists, medical specialists, have developed drugs to rescue us from the ravages of those chemicals, which have also made their way into our air (over half a million kinds) and our drinking water (over 300,000 kinds).

Our expert medical doctors happily prescribe those drugs for the rest of our lives so we can stay on our feet and work harder than our ancestors ever dreamed. And, so they won’t forget what to prescribe, many of them accept reminder gifts from the pharmaceutical companies. A comfortable arrangement for the experts.

Our business specialists, MBAs tucked neatly in safe locations, figure out how to manufacture things to make our lives easier. Our communications specialists devise ways to sell those products to us through advertising, making us believe we need stuff we seldom use. The facts that our lives are not easier, that we have more stress than any previous generation, take more drugs than any previous generation and buy so much we don’t need that we have to have yard sales and to give other stuff to “needy” people in neighbouring countries is never mentioned, so we forget. (Donations by Americans are often sold in Canada, and vice versa, a fact seldom noted publicly.)

Our expert architects design skyscrapers so well that most people who have to work in them have their health compromised. Sick building syndrome–no one knows how it will affect our length of life–stands as a hallmark of modern architectural progress.

Our legal specialists are so good at defending bad guys with cash to spread around that few go to prison and the ones who do have short stays. Our lawyers have reputations worse than used car salesmen of the old days. Their accounting specialists advise them how to Hoover every available dollar from ordinary folks who know so little of the skills of relationships they don’t know how to stay married, so little about money management that more cash goes out than comes in for too many people and so little about getting along with neighbours that whole television courtroom series have cropped up to document the conflicts and allow the rest of us to be voyeurs.

Our specialists have made us the great Western World are persuaded those who are not part of it envy to such extremes that some of them want to murder us because of it.

We are, in short, the epitome of progress. We have our specialists to thank.

Let’s take a moment to consider the parts of their lives that our experts and specialists don’t want us to think about. Would you expect to see one of them changing a flat tire? No, because they have roadside assistance insurance. Or is it because they have no idea how to change a tire? Or because they fear getting their hands dirty. Ask one.

Most pay little attention to their diet until they are diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, have a stroke or are told point blank by their doctors that they are obese or dangerously overweight such that their lives are at risk. They know little about nutrition, what their bodies need to stay healthy.

Most have no idea how to fix their own computers, even how to keep dust out of them, and many don’t even keep their security programs up to date. They don’t change the oil in their own cars because they don’t know how. They can’t change a washer in a leaky tap/faucet. They have to call a plumber when their toilet plugs up because they have no idea how to use a plunger (or how to avoid plugging the toilet in the first place).

They don’t plant their own gardens where they can grow pesticide-free and chemical-free veggies and fruit because they “don’t have time.” In fact, most don’t have any idea how to tend a garden.

On the other hand, a high school dropout may know how to do all of these things and hundreds more. Does this make the dropout more fit for life in the 21st century than the highly educated person? Not necessarily. But maybe.

Consider this possibility. Something happens that causes the power to go out in your part of the world and you learn that it will be out for a whole year or more. Would you rather have the high school dropout who has had to survive by the seat of his pants for many years as an ally or one of the experts or specialists mentioned earlier in this article?

Of course you assume that such a thing will never happen, even though a terrorist bomb could accomplish it. The 30 million people of the US state of California believe their state will never sink into the Pacific either, even though scientists have been warning it would happen for years from a split of earth’s tectonic plates along the San Andreas fault. Many Americans are unaware that what is known as a super volcano is brewing under Yellowstone Park, even though a blow that would darken the skies of the world possibly for years is overdue. These things can happen. Eventually one will. Some call it Armageddon, but it’s really just nature in action.

Am I suggesting that high school and post secondary education is worthless or counter productive? Not at all. What is needed is a change of focus in our elementary and high schools. We need to teach children life skills, not stuff they know they will never need or use. How much do you remember or use of what you learned in high school? Would you have willing traded much of it for some of the life skills you have learned by experience since then?

Adolescents and young adults have trouble in high school often because they see how useless what they are forced to learn is and will be to them in the future. They know they need to learn life lessons–that desire to learn is instinctive–but they don’t know what those lessons are or how to get them. They rebel. They drop out. They take drugs or alcohol, get tattoos, listen to music that could destroy their hearing, and so on. Eventually, most of them learn the lessons they need, get back on track and become upstanding citizens. But not quickly enough. Those lessons often come the hard way, by making mistake after mistake and learning from them. A few don’t make it.

As radical as Robert Heinlein’s suggestion in our opening quote seemed when you first read it, it makes more sense now. We have time to teach these life lessons and more. We simply need to eliminate what was better suited for 18th century schools than it is for today’s world. In the 18th century kids learned life lessons at home. Today’s kids can’t learn them at home because many of their parents don’t know the life lessons themselves to teach. With both parents working to earn enough to buy the fun things of life as well as what we believe are necessities, we need someone to teach the life lessons that used to be taught at home.

They aren’t being taught at school today because the curriculum is too crowded with other (often unnecessary) stuff. They aren’t being taught at home. And our young people experience more problems at school and outside of it than any previous generation.

This is a simple connect-the-dots problem and solution. By the way, I still don’t know how to set a bone, but I can do most of the rest of what Heinlein suggested. It took me six decades of life to learn these lessons. I should have been able to learn them in school, before I needed them. You too.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, an easy to understand guidebook (with a threatening sounding title) for parents and teachers who want to grow children who know how to manage their lives. It includes specific lessons.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

Blind In My Mind’s Eye

Blind In My Mind’s Eye

“All the exams the scientists gave [study subject] MX confirmed his claim that he was missing his mind’s eye.”
“Perhaps the most remarkable thing about MX is that he did not need years to develop this new skill [of routing visual information through other brain parts than the mind’s eye in order to develop an intellectual concept to replace the mind’s eye images he lacked]…Perhaps his blind imagination was always available to him, ready to be used.”
– Carl Zimmer, Discover, March 2010

“In your mind’s eye…” has been spoken to me only a few times in my life, but I have read it on several occasions.

Unlike MX, who lost his familiar and much appreciated mind’s eye suddenly at the age of 65, I never had one. Rather, it might be more accurate to say that my mind’s eye is nearly blind.

Do a little experiment with me. Picture in your mind, one at a time, each of the following:
(1) the face of your mother;
(2) the face of your spouse (if this is not appropriate, the face of your father or one particular friend);
(3) your favourite pet in your life (if this is not appropriate, the face of your doctor).

Were you able to bring those faces up as you read them? I can’t. When I try it’s as if I have a blind spot where the face should be, yet I can get a general idea (not clear) of what I would see with my periphery vision if I were looking at these people with my real eyes.

As I write this my wife is on a different floor of the same house as I am sitting in, yet I cannot picture her face in my head, in my mind’s eye. I could pick her out of a crowd of thousands of real people, yet I have no image of her face in my head.

Though my dreams have people in them, I can’t recognize any of them. They have no faces to me. I dream in thoughts, not in images. I may have the odd image flash through my dream, but it’s nothing like a movie.

Moreover, when I have wakened I can’t remember my dreams. Even when I wake up knowing that I have just been dreaming, I have only experienced remembering what I dreamed about a dozen times in my life.

If you can do these things as part of our experiment, you have an active mind’s eye.

Who cares? Science now knows that when you sleep you consolidate and fix in your brain your experiences of the previous day. Which experiences you choose to review while asleep determine which you can draw upon easily the following day or days.

When you studied, as a student, during the days before an exam, you created an easily accessible place you could get to if that information were requested on the exam. You created those quick-access locations in your sleep on the days following when you studied.

But…study? What’s that? What does it mean? I honestly don’t know. It did me no good to study before exams because by the time I had the exam booklet in front of me I had forgotten what I studied. Even when I sat with my notes in front of me, studying meant little because I couldn’t remember what I had read a few minutes after reading it.

That bit of consolidating and fixating of recently read material for later retrieval may well be one of the functions of the mind’s eye. It’s not used just when you are asleep, as our little experiment showed.

The great sculptor Michelangelo, when asked why he pounded so hard on a large rock, allegedly responded “Young boy, there is an angel inside of this rock and I am setting him free.” Michelangelo could see David inside the rock. I would only ever see rock.

As a child I dreaded those rare occasions when we had art class. Art class always meant painting, where a large blank piece of paper was placed in front of me. While my classmates happily created their masterpieces, I continued to see only blank paper. No image ever came to mind that I could transfer onto the paper.

An image would have had to be in my mind’s eye. It wasn’t there. Ever.

Study subject MX lost his mind’s eye at age 65. Before that he used to lie down in bed before going to sleep and review the events of his day, like watching a filmstrip or movie clips. When he lost that ability, he quickly adapted by using other parts of his brain to accomplish formerly mind’s eye tasks.

I never had a mind’s eye. Yet I always felt the need to create in my mind, something, so I could make sense of my world. MX had a mind’s eye, lost it, then used other means to compensate.

People who have all the physical connections for sight, yet are blind, often have what is called blindsight or blindimagination. Though blind, many can navigate their way through a room crowded with furniture, for example. Do we all have blindsight or blindimagination ability but not use it? Or do we use it in ways we have not yet discovered?

The researchers who studied MX, Adam Zeman, a neurologist at Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, and cognitive scientist Sergio Della Sala, of the University of Edinburgh, continue to study how the brain manages visual information. In this field of study, it’s still early days.

My experiences, those of MX and the studies of Zeman and Della Sala clearly demonstrate that children need to be offered a variety of learning styles because of the differences in their ways of learning. In education, a one-size-fits-all style of teaching means some children will miss out. Innocent and unknowing children will be blamed for being at fault for not learning as they should. Some schools address the need for different learning styles, most do not.

I couldn’t even count on all my fingers the number of times “not working to his potential” appeared on my report cards, nor the number of times my mother was told in parent-teacher interviews that I was lazy. The schools I attended as a child had ways to assess my intellectual potential, but lacked the means to put it to use.

To my teachers I was lazy. Except in physical education where I was also weak and uncoordinated, which somehow also got to be my fault. The role me lack of a working mind’s eye played in any of this will not be known for some time.

Suffice to say, I managed to work around the detours to reaching my intellectual potential, though many years after completing my formal education. I still can’t throw a baseball straight or walk a balance beam without falling, even when cold sober and in the best of health. Maybe the brain can only adapt around one detour and has to choose which will take top priority.

At age 67 I am no longer called lazy. However, some people still don’t appreciate why I sometimes can’t follow simple spoken instructions or written directions. I have solved some of the most profound mysteries of life, yet I still can’t find Waldo.

No one today wants to teach a man who is smart enough to have found evidence of what God really is and what the afterlife means. He’s scary. Yet no one wants to teach a man who is so dumb he can’t put together a child’s puzzle. They are the same man, same brain, different abilities.

My education continues to be based on my own initiative. As a student, I am still a dunce, an oaf who is “too lazy to learn.” Other adults, many of them, may not have the motivation I had to learn. So they don’t. You meet these people in stores, or driving the streets with you, or at voting stations.

When people have trouble learning because what they need to know is presented in ways they can’t understand, many just give up. Teachers need to recognize learning differences before that happens to their students. More importantly, teachers need to be trained on how to recognize the needs their students have for different learning styles. They have to understand and have the skills before they can put them to use on their students.

Before the kids drop out of school, and sometimes out of socially accepted behaviour.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a fancy sounding title for a book of ideas and solutions everyone can understand and teachers and parents can use.
Learn more about the book and the TIA project at http://billallin.com

The Journey: Yours, Mine, Ours

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
William James, American psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)

The Journey: Yours, Mine, Ours

Join me on a journey. An unusual journey in that it will be one of the mind, prompted by my words and filled by your imagination.

Yet not unusual in that every experience we have is of the mind. The rest of the body has no means of recording or evaluating experiences. The brain records but has no inherent ability to critique, nor reason to do so, unless it is prompted by other experiences of the mind.

Our lives are of the mind, not of the body. Come along to learn more as we travel.

Our journey will take place over water. We will travel together, more or less, but each in separate boats. We may link together our watercraft, some of us. From time to time we will separate from each other, then link with others. Some of us will grieve the separation, others welcome it. We will all welcome the company of others, though some may not know how to show their pleasure in social interaction because they simply don’t know how. They may remain alone more often than not.

So many of us will be on this journey that we will never meet everyone. Some will say that the ones we don’t know are bad, stupid, simple, or evil, will plot against us given the chance. We don’t know. The more we realize how little we know about the others we don’t know and have never seen, the more likely we are to believe unfounded rumours about them. In all likelihood, they are just like us, but why take the chance?

We will meet relatively few others on our journey, compared with the total of us. We’ll base our opinions and thoughts about them and what they are like on our own experiences with the few people we know. Many will not realize that if we think they are like us based on our experiences with those we know, it doesn’t make sense to believe the people we don’t know are any different from the ones we know.

Some won’t like us. They will judge us based on their opinions about our boats, the looks, the component materials, the shape, the paint job, our own attire for the trip, our apparent ability to pilot where we want to go. There will always be people to tell us we should go another way, their way, even though they don’t know where they are going either.

We’re not sure of our destination. Some will say the destination doesn’t matter, that we should make the best of what we have on the trip. Others will say that we should deprive ourselves on the voyage so that we will have an abundance once we reach our destination. Oddly, many who recommend depriving ourselves here believe that we will have abundance when we get to our destination. It may not make sense, but it’s human nature. Still, nobody knows for sure what our destination is.

Some say that if we don’t conduct ourselves on our voyage the way they say, our destination will surely be dire and tragic, eternal tragedy. They claim that if we follow their path the destination will be glorious. Strange how people who don’t know a thing have the insight for forecasting what anyone’s destination will be like. “It’s in the book,” they will say.

Some say they know the way and the destination because they heard of a man who had done it before and reported back. Others will say that man never existed. Many will admire the life that man led, according to reports they have read and heard, and will pay homage to the advice he gave. But few will actually follow that advice because it doesn’t make them happy.

Many we meet along the way aspire to be happy. They haven’t a clue about how to actually be happy, but they have read about their right to pursue happiness and it sounds really good. They will keep trying to buy and trade with others what they have for happiness. They will get thrills. The thrills pass, a bad period follows, then they will try again to buy or trade for a new kind of happiness. Like a good drug trip followed by a bad recovery. But they keep trying as if the routine will change by itself.

No one is sure what happiness is. So many hold happiness up as the greatest goal of life. They keep chasing happiness, but they can’t ever achieve it because they can’t buy it or trade for it. Yet they have been told that hard work and wealth buys happiness, and they believe it to a large extent.

What they know how to do best is to buy and trade their efforts for bargaining power. Acquiring, they have learned, is the way to happiness. That lesson, reinforced by every medium they know, has been taught to them since childhood. What you get and what you do will make you happy. That’s the lesson.

Yet each joy or thrill passes. Happiness, it seems, never wants to stay.

A few people seem to enjoy some sort of joy that stays with them. They don’t seem to necessarily be happy, just content all the time. Some say these people are delusional. Others that they are emotionally unbalanced, socially not “with it.”

They are suckers by the standards of most. They spend far more time helping others along the voyage than they do acquiring for themselves. They don’t seem to understand that they can’t give and get at the same time. If the objective is getting–and almost every social norm suggests that’s what is desirable–then they will never be happy because they keep giving so much they can never build up a sufficient treasure to be happy. Still, they seem to mysteriously enjoy life far more than most people. They don’t experience as many thrills though.

Only the delusional, unbalanced, socially “different” people who give to others, who help others, who work with others along the way, seem to have some kind of inner joy that lasts, that stays with them no matter what trouble they endure along the way. The “suckers” can’t be happy because that’s not how most of us define happiness.

Some will look around and see multitudes of others in nearby boats, yet still feel lonely. They think that the others want to ostracize them or they feel isolated from the others because of something social abhorrent about themselves, while the others simply ignore them because they act invisible. They may just lack the social skills needed to make friends. Or they may be looking too much for what others can and (they believe) should give them while not concerning themselves about what they can give to others.

Some will be sick, weak, lack body parts that allow them to move through the water like others. Somehow they manage to move along the same route as the rest of us. We don’t know how. They must have some scary secret remedy or formula that allows them to manage when they aren’t “whole” like most of us. Most of them can’t afford the same thrills as the wealthy ones. But they don’t experience the same depressions either. Weird.

Some won’t seem mentally “right” at times. They get angry, act out, get into battles with others. Some have periods of depression. Others periods when…they act strange. We try to ignore them. We may have something they need. We may even be able to help them. But we don’t know what it is they need or how to help them. It’s easier to ignore them, to pretend they don’t exist for a while. Best keep them at a distance.

Some beg from others. They gain such skills at begging–they may call it by some other word–that we wonder why they don’t apply the same devotion and effort at learning skills that will better benefit them so they can be more self sufficient. They won’t learn. They admire their own skills at begging.

Some believe they are totally alone, with no one to help them. They move through the water by paddling with their hands while leaving the oars within reach sitting unused. They can’t see what is obvious to us. We don’t point this out to them because they are likely stupid and we don’t want to seem socially intolerant. One must be correct, mustn’t one?

Many will wonder what the purpose is of the voyage. “Why are we even doing this. All we ever see is the same old water.” When told by the old ones that they once left solid land to make this voyage, they will be suspicious. When told the purpose is to learn something that will help them once they reach the new land, they will be suspicious. All they can remember seeing is water.

Maybe water is all there is. Maybe there was no land we once left and there will be no land to establish a new life after we reach a new shore. Maybe it’s just water, water, water. What can you do with water? Better get as much as we can from others to make this endless voyage bearable.

Some will believe there never was land. Some that there never again will be land ahead. Some will say that land is a myth, that the only true way to define anything is according to the conditions of the present. If they can’t see it, feel it, touch, smell or hear it today, it doesn’t exist. They will say that having faith that something existed in the past and will exist again in the future is self delusion. They ignore the argument that water must be supported by land underneath it, instead claiming that only what they can sense and “prove” today actually counts, actually matters.

Here’s the Catch-22 of this story. Now that you are on the voyage, you must stay on it. Sorry, I kind of forgot to mention that earlier, before we launched.

Oh, and I have to leave you here because I promised to join with others away from here. I hope you don’t mind. You will have to figure out the rest of the voyage for yourself.

You can do it. Think it through. Remember the kind of future you want so that you don’t get stuck dwelling on the endless water around you. The better you plan the rest of your voyage, the likelier it is that you will reach the destination you hope for.

It’s a voyage. Voyages end eventually. That’s how they work. What may differ is the destination you reach. There are many to choose from.

But plan where you want to get eventually. If you don’t, you may spend eternity paddling around in this same old water.

Good luck! See you around.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for people who want to know how to make their lives and their communities better. It all begins with teaching children what they need to know, when they need to know it.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

Weight Loss And Fitness From A Pill

 

One Episode of the original Star Trek series had the Enterprise crew finding rather dull slave-like humanoids on the surface of a planet while a very different creature ensconced in caves below gave them orders. The subterranean species had evolved, though lack of use of their limbs–then most of their bodies–to the point where they were little more than brains on pedestals.

They had developed the skills of telepathy so they could communicate with each other and give orders to the surface species who grew food for them and provided for their minimal other needs. The brain-only creatures were, in effect, the ultimate evolution of the perfect brain.

I was reminded of that episode today when I read of the scientists in California who had produced a chemical that allowed sedentary mice to live as if they were fit and active. In more active mice the experimental drug GW1516 from GlaxoSmithKline increased their endurance by 75 percent.No doubt this research will be welcomed by people who require treatment for obesity or muscle wasting diseases and well as by athletes who want to improve their performance. Of course the anti-doping agency that acts on behalf of the International Olympic Committee is working furiously to develop a method for detecting the drug in athletes participating in the Beijing Olympics. Ronald Evans, a researcher at Salk Institute, which hosted the study, has developed just such a test.

But what of athletes who participate in sports or other athletic endeavours who never make it to the international level of competition or the national level where testing is done? What about fathers who want to look good in the eyes of their sons, who at middle age want to keep up with their boys just reaching their natural athletic peak?

While as a society we would welcome a prescription that would enable obese people who have no easy way to account for their great weight (genetic factors are still very much in the running) to return to a more normal or natural size, thus reducing their risks of health problems that put a burden on the health care system and our own pocketbooks, this may be a significant step toward humans evolving very different bodies from what we know now.

If we don’t need to exercise in order to remain fit, eventually some of our appendages may not be needed.

Enter medical ethics committees and national lawmakers. Despite the fears that science fiction writers have encouraged us to have about new scientific developments involving the human body, we have the ability to control the sale and use of such products.

Science fiction writers (some of whom worked for heads of state of powerful countries) made us believe that nuclear energy and bombs could easily get into the hands of rogue Goldfinger-like rascals who could hold the world at ransom with their threats. Or, indeed, could destroy the planet with the push of a button. The truth was much different. Terrorists don’t have such highly developed scientific skills. Bomb shelters are used for cold storage. Threat of “the bomb” is for old movies. Except in the USA where keeping such threats active has seen President Bush through two elections.

Should we fear that one day people will be able to have healthy hearts, lungs and other organs so that they don’t have to exercise, just take a pill once a day? My answer is an unqualified No.

With well over six billion of us on the planet now, the cost of supplying evolution-altering drugs for a sufficient number of people that it would change the future of our species is highly unlikely. If it were possible, we would have AIDS drugs in the hands of everyone who is HIV positive and prevention information and devices in the hands of everyone who could contract the disease. Bill Gates, once the world’s richest man (he’s third now), has a foundation to supply information and drugs for AIDS victims, but even he can’t afford to help more than a tiny minority.

Of course we must have legislation in place for those who would find nefarious uses for any drug or chemical. But fear? No.

Instead we should be applauding new scientific developments, encouraging our governments to become more involved with sponsoring promising studies, and learning ourselves how to keep our bodies in healthy and fit shape for the hundred or so years that our children are expected to live.

Depending on science to solve our health problems in the future bears no more wisdom than taking Prozac or cocaine to relieve our anxieties today. The strength of the future will lie–as it does now–with those who can look after themselves without depending on medical science to solve problems our descendants shouldn’t develop in the first place.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to grow children who know how to look after themselves, their minds and their bodies, without having to depend on medical science to help them get by.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com