… the fallacy of warnings …

Course of Mirrors

time ago, my son climbing a tree time ago, my son climbing a tree

I shudder when I hear a parent shout, ‘Don’t run into the road – you’ll be will be hit by a car,’ or, ‘Don’t climb that tree – you’ll fall.’ Understandably, parents fear for their children, and want to prevent or change reckless behaviour. Sadly, we’re lumbered with the inherited language of generations.

Even our self-talk innocently emphasises what we don’t want to happen, which is absurdly counterproductive. Notice how last words reverberate, like bad spells, a habit the media perpetuates with: Tiredness kills – Smoking kills – Alcohol kills – Fat kills – Sugar kills …

Instilling fear conjures up the feared. Fear is the real killer.

Why not say instead, ‘Keep safe by staying on the sidewalk,’ or, when climbing, ‘Have a good grip on the branches,’ or, when driving, ‘Stay awake’ …  Specific guidelines might be helpful too, like –…

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Little Free Libraries: Don’t Let The Word Little Fool You

Eva Lesko Natiello

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When I first saw a magazine story a few years ago about Little Free Libraries, before I read it, I jumped ahead to look at the photos. Yes, it was true. For the most part, they were no bigger than an apple crate. (With a roof!) The cutest things you’d ever seen. Maybe I’m just partial to tiny things. Like I would take a hobbit house over a palace any day of the week. But that’s me. What would be so appealing about a little library? Isn’t bigger better?

No. Of course not. Not when it comes to books. Because even a library with just one book is a magic carpet ride into a whole new world. A WHOLE NEW WORLD! That, my friend, is gigantic. One book can change your mood, your perspective, your life. That ain’t small.

So when I found out that my very own town had…

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SECOND SIGHT a fairy tale

From the Keyboard

secondsightcoveraertvanderneer “Landscape with a Mill in the Moonlight” by Aert van der Neer (1613-1677)

There’s a legend about justice and equality, balance and retribution. It’s an ancient tale whispered in front of hearths on icy nights, or handed down from old to young. The elements have changed from era to era, storyteller to storyteller—for you must remember, it is a legend, but its lesson has remained the same: for each new life, one must be forfeit, and for each gift gained, another must be lost….

Read the rest here

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Saying Goodbye

Autumn Leaves

We’re at T- minus five days until the move.

I’ve collected seventeen garden bags of stuff given to charity,

given away a dining suite, sofa, chairs desk, table and more assorted furniture.

Taken one load to the storage unit and there’s at least one more trip before everything is tucked neatly away.

The walls are denuded, some rooms are bare.

Curtains are packed away, the garbage and recycling cans are overflowing.

My back is aching and I’m bone weary. There is no rest on my days off, there’s too much to do.

But I need to keep moving, keep wrapping, and sealing boxes.

If I stop I will have time to think,

to feel the wrenching pain of putting a dream long-lost away for good.

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These rooms are filled with memories- of birthday parties, and Christmas trees, Easter egg hunts, and a Halloween haunted garage.

Loud basketball games on the…

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A Different Way of Seeing

nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings

I wrote this several years ago, and it was published in the anthology entitled On Being a Pharmacist: True Stories by Pharmacists, compiled and edited by Joanna Maudlin Pangilinan and J. Aubrey Waddell. It was published by the American Pharmacists Association in 2010.

I share it now.

     Ancaro imparo means “I am still learning” and is attributed to the 87-year-old Michelangelo. Like him, I am still learning and have found that nearly every pharmacist has been able to teach me something. That’s one of the great advantages to working with so many people over the years. The mentoring process is ongoing and perhaps even subtle at times. Often, we learn to do something a better, easier way. Sometimes it’s a new technique, or it’s a more effective way to communicate with the patients we serve. At times, we even learn how best not to do something.

Once, the lesson…

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House of Alternative Worship

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Second Sight (Part II)

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Move it…

Thank you.

From the Keyboard

flat800x800070f-u3 “Move it” by Jackson Pollock

Since the inauguration, I’ve read and heard a lot of analysis about every appointee, statement, move, and edict. All of it is well-reasoned and well-intended, and designed to bolster up and feed into a growing sense of alarm and outrage. Unfortunately, while it has rallied believers, it is being ignored or discounted by non-believers, many of whom will be harmed by the people and policies being rammed through.

Why? Because they have been, and are being fed a constant stream of distorted or false messages targeted at their guts rather than their heads.

And this is a major problem.

The power bases on the Left, both in the media and government, have gotten so good at over-explaining, over-analyzing, muddling, and appealing to reason, that they’ve forgotten that most people do not respond to these sorts of appeals. No, most people respond to messages and images…

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Immigrant…

nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings

A couple of years ago my husband and I had our genome mapped through 23andme.com. I have to say I was surprised to find out what my genes said about me (and my ethnic makeup). While I knew that I had mostly Scots-Irish ancestors based on my grandmother’s genealogy quest in the late sixties, I didn’t know much more than that.

What I found out is that I am a mutt, a Heinz 57, if you will. My genetic makeup includes sub-Saharan African ancestry, Native American ancestry, Asian ancestry, and European ancestry including 2.6% Neanderthal. In other words, I am a human being with parts from across the globe. I don’t know how all these parts came to be. I don’t know all the pieces to my genetic puzzle; I just know that based on my genetic results, I am black, brown, red, yellow, and white.

I am a United…

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Judging a Book By Its Protagonist: Do you Judge?

Eva Lesko Natiello

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Every story needs a bad guy, right? The badder the bad guy the more compelling the read. But what about the protagonist? What if she’s unlikeable? There are many readers who will say, heck no to that book. There are readers who will stop mid-book, or earlier, if they deem the protagonist unrelatable. I have seen well-written books receive 1 star accompanied by a review which simply says: “Hated the main character.”

Are books the only art form where character likability is so intrinsic to its overall likability? I’ve never heard someone say they hated a song because its protagonist was a jerk. Art isn’t valued less because the subject is unattractive. Even movies, which are often based on books, seem to judge their unlikeable leads with less disdain. So why the hostility and outrage (and threats of burning books) when the main character in literature is not warm and…

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