This is an original essay written by Edward Fagan.

Shakespeare, a humble genius

Shakespeare, William, is England’s national poet. They also designate him the Bard of Avon, and the greatest writer in the English Language. The world, in addition, recognizes him as it’s greatest playwright. He, however, never attended a university; he only attended secondary school.

This man who attended secondary school only, seems to embarrass some people of a tertiary education background. They seem embarrassed that he writes better than they write. They think, perhaps, that a tertiary educated person alone should bear the awesome titles mentioned above; and they take offence at his reputation as a writer because of this.

At first, some members of the tertiary educated fraternity set out to deny that he ever did exist. The records, however, showed that he lived and died, and so this attempt to erase his existence failed.

Shakespeare, and trying to deny him credit

Next, they tried to claim his greatness for one of their own. They tried to credit his writing to tertiary educated writers such as Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon. This also did not work.

(Christopher Marlowe was educated at the prestigious University of Oxford. He held a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from that university. He distinguished himself as a writer, and many knew him in this regard. Why would he hide behind Shakespeare’s name?)

(Francis Bacon attended another prestigious English institution, the University of Cambridge. Bacon held a Bachelor’s degree from this institution, and studied law at Gray’s Inn. He also fulfilled the role of statesman, and served as a parliamentarian for nearly four decades. He had no reason to hide behind Shakespeare’s name.)

They also credited other well known accomplished writers, by name, with writing Shakespeare’s works. Some of these writers, additionally, also achieved excellence in other areas. The government and society of their day held these men in high regard. They had no reason to hide behind Shakespeare’s name.

Shakespeare transcends place of  birth and upbringing

God blessed William Shakespeare with rear literary genius. He, consequently, applied his genius to write the master pieces with which we credit him. He transcends his place of birth and upbringing, and therefore belong to the whole world. This is due to his genius, and the universal nature of the masterpieces it has created.

By Edward Fagan

This is an original essay written by Edward  Fagan.

Expressing love personally  

We can express love in a variety of ways whenever there is a need to express love. We thus can express love whenever we practise it, and practise it whenever it is welcome. When we express love, we will always do so using one or more ways of expressing such love.

We can express love in any of the various and creative ways that suit the particular relationship we are in. We should also remember that expressing love is as important as love itself, and that both are universal and perennial.

Love is a wonderful and necessary quality and practice. Humans, therefore, should possess and practise love toward each other and toward our beautiful world.

Love deserves to be expressed in the most beautiful, artistic and moral way. The esthetic quality, then, of our expression of love in any given situation can never be too high.

Some benefits of  expressing love

Practising love in a manner that reflects emotional and other forms of affection, warmth and sensitivity is important. Such practicing and displaying of love can determine the nature and extent of our response to that expression of love. Displaying love in such an appropriate tone and manner can convey a sense of peace, fraternity, joy and happiness.

Displaying love as mentioned above can bring several advantages to the recipient. It can bring delight to the hearts of recipients who might be suffering through depression, sadness and despair. When we express love, we can sometimes inspire others to cultivate a more positive view of themselves.

We can also inspire them to have a more optimistic view of their circumstances. They thus might realize the need to change for the better, their behaviour toward themselves and their circumstances.

When we express love in the manner mentioned above, and appropriately respond to it, we can experience a beneficial effect. This beneficial effect can be of a mental, emotional or other nature. Both the person who receives the expression of love, and the person who expresses love, can benefit from that expression.

Expressing love culturally and artistically

The cultures of the world reflect the importance of expressing love, in their oral, physical and other customs and traditions. These customs and traditions evolved from the love for and the importance of, expressing love. These customs and traditions and our own inclinations allow us more scope to express love in various ways. We thus enhance our capacity to express love with all of the joy, beauty and art that expressing love deserves.

The arts offer ample opportunities relevant to expressing love. They identify or create, store, retrieve and teach values and practices relevant to love and its expression. Practitioners of the literary, performing and visual arts continue to teach or remind us how we may express love beautifully.

All humans commonly share in this cultural and artistic contribution to our understanding, practice and expression of love. It thus provides an easily accessible resource which we can exploit in our effort at expressing love.

We, obviously, also have our best natural and acquired abilities relevant to expressing love. These include our verbal, physical and other abilities. How much, and the way we use this commonly-shared cultural and artistic legacy, can aid our expression of love. Our natural and acquired abilities relevant to expressing love can also help us greatly in our effort at expressing love. We, therefore, do not have any excuse for not expressing love as effectively and beautifully as we can express it.

Love, Looking At Love More Deeply

By Edward Fagan

This is an original essay written by Edward Fagan.

Training and adults  

Children: their training for life is important for several reasons. These reasons include, developing in them good and regular habits of behaviour that contribute to their personal wellness and circumstances.  These habits of behaviour are morally just toward others and themselves; and also help them to become socially graceful.

Others must assist and train them in developing such habits of behaviour. They are unable to develop these habits of behaviour on their own, given their level of immaturity.

The average level of immaturity and underdevelopment in children does not cause them to suffer any serious disadvantage. It gives them, on the contrary, freshness of mind and an eager willingness to learn and let others guide them.

(In this essay the parent, guardian and child care-giver are seen as knowing what they intend to pass on. They will pass on what they intend to, by way of instruction and example, to those children under their care . Their calling expects that they understand the relationship between indifference to training children and its consequences. That calling also expects that they understand training children in the right way and its advantages.)

Training children

Children develop good, as well as bad, regular habits of behaviour best during early childhood. They also, generally, form bad habits of behaviour where they do not develop good habits. We know what happens when children develop such bad habits of behaviour during the early years.

Younger children develop correct habits more easily than they understand concepts and principles. They doing so is also more immediately important at this stage of their development.

Understanding underlying concepts and principles behind the correct habits becomes easier as children grow older. Younger and other adolescents should understand these underlying concepts and principles, and their relationship to good and bad habits.

They should understand the connection between their actions, right and wrong, and the consequences of these to themselves and others.

Training our little ones draws on several areas of knowledge and practice. It is concerned with correctly influencing and shaping the thinking and action of young innocent persons.

Discipline and other factors

Occasionally, adults must act to prevent undesirable thought and action from becoming rooted in the minds and behaviour of children.

We can use discipline, simple and appropriate, to help us implant correct thought and behaviour, as may be necessary occasionally.

Early childhood training and development of good regular habits of behaviour contribute to the building of character. Such character affects how we relate to ourselves, and to others as individuals and members of social groups. It also affects how we relate to institutions of the sovereign state in which we live, and to God.

Parents, guardians and others who are responsible for nurturing children will determine whether they participate in the training of them. They will determine also, what methods of instruction and action they use in their attempt to successfully train them. Parents who refuse to train their offspring, choose to train them in the wrong way and toward the wrong outcome.

By Edward Fagan

 

An original essay written by Edward Fagan 

Drinkers guilt and the pressure to drink  

Drinkers guilt need not be a problem for non-drinkers. Often times, however, drinkers guilt does create a problem for non-drinkers. Some drinkers experience a sense of guilt when they drink in the presence of non-drinkers. Some drinkers use this sense of guilt as a weapon against non-drinkers.

Teetotalers who politely refuse alcohol from persons who drink sometimes experience this problem. Some drinkers never give up attempting to pressure non drinkers to drink. These drinkers even think that they should force persons who naturally hate alcohol, to drink. They also think that they should force persons who can not handle alcohol to drink.

Drinkers often tell non-drinkers that they could as well drink because they are still going to die. These drinkers never tell themselves that they could as well stop drinking because they are still going to die.

Drinkers guilt, pessimism and problems

The Accident, Is It A Wakeup Call?

According to these drinkers, you could as well take unnecessary and avoidable risks of premature death because death is inevitable.

They think you could as well take unnecessary and avoidable risk of damaging your internal organs. For them, you could as well expose yourself to unnecessary and avoidable impairment of your immune system.

They also see nothing wrong with one’s spending valuable money, time and other resources on costly medical treatment. This medical treatment is only necessary and unavoidable because of health problems caused by drinking.

It seems fitting that some drinkers would always make a reference to death in discussions involving drinking and non-drinking.

It also seems fitting that some non-drinkers would always make a reference to the optimistic and positive aspects of living. They emphasize a sensible and practical life, and the resulting advantages of health and wellness.

These drinking enthusiasts, additionally, assume the right of choice between drinking and non-drinking; but they are usually unwilling to grant that same right of choice to non-drinking, health and wellness enthusiasts.

By Edward Fagan      

 

Looking at love may allow greater understanding of its nature and practice.

This is an original essay written by Edward fagan.

Looking at love in greater detail can help us gain a clearer and better understanding of the importance of love. It can also help us understand the wonderful quality and practice that constitute love.

A clearer understanding of the wonderful quality and practice that make up love can help us in several ways. Such understanding can help us develop love’s quality more completely, and master its practice more perfectly.

We’ll start with the correct, though different, definition of the word love. Love is outgoing care and concern for the next person. It is necessary to know that love exists through action. We give and receive love through the actions we perform toward each other.

The practice of outgoing care and concern for the other person, active practical love is important. This active practical love always indicates the presence in us, of love the inner quality.

Love, the personal quality and practice

In terms of language, love is both a verb and an abstract noun. Both love in action, expressed and practical, and love, the inner quality, are spiritually good. Love, the good spiritual quality, can be a permanent trait of our character during every moment of our existence.

When love, the inner quality, is present in us we practise love, the expressed action toward others. Our outgoing care and concern toward others will aim at helping their person, or their circumstances, or both.

Practised love builds or repairs all types of relationships. Love helps, gives to, cherishes, protects, maintains and preserves the other person and their circumstances.

Love never leads to harm or destruction of the other person. It is therefore impossible for someone to truthfully claim that they killed or harmed someone because they loved them.

We experience the presence of love, the good spiritual quality, when we practise it toward others. We also experience this quality when others practise it toward us.

Our response to our experience of the presence of love as givers or recipients matters.  That response may involve our experiencing a certain emotional state. This may result in the expression of one or another type of emotional behaviour. This happens, for example, in romance and marital situations.

Love’s permanence 

Love is always permanent. Emotional experience and expression do not perform the role of love, they come and go, they are not love.

They are, in a way, similar to sexual foreplay and sexual intercourse. These are not love, but are activities through which a husband and wife can express their love for each other.

There is a course of behaviour that can get in the way and prevent us from practising love. This course of behaviour can be avoided if we uphold certain practices in our daily living.

The practices we can uphold in our daily living to prevent behaviour that obstructs the practice of love include:

Honouring our parents, as well as others in authority over us, and our elderly

Avoiding to commit murder, and avoiding to harm the other person physically or otherwise

Practising faithfulness to the other person with whom we have a romantic or marital relationship

Refusing to steal from the other person

Speaking the truth or remaining silent about the other person, instead of telling lies against him or her

Refusing to covet that which belongs to the other person; refusing to practise envy or jealousy toward him or her.

Love, or outgoing care and concern for the other person, whenever it is practised, always faithfully serves its intended purpose. The practice of love can be the backbone of all human relationships if we would allow this to happen. It can be of great spiritual and other benefit to individuals and groups alike, wherever and whenever it is practised.

Expressing Love And The Ways of Doing So

By Edward Fagan

Mental Health Of Some Leaders Needs To Be Checked 

The state of mental health of our politicians, statesmen and other public figures is very important. The need for an optimal standard of mental health among our national leaders can not be over emphasized. This is so given the nature of the decisions they are required to make, and given the nature and extent of the tasks they are required to perform.

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This relatively small group of people who run our countries have much of our fate in their hands. In a certain country, the president, about 435 congressmen and about 100 senators together decide the fate of the populace.

The populace of this country exceeds three hundred and twenty million people; and the land area of this country is more than three million square miles. This shows the power and responsibility of our political leaders, and the importance of their being of sound mind.

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It used to be the case, since the end of the second World War, that mentally unstable politicians, statesmen and other public figures holding office were mainly to be found in the third world.

Even in the third world, mentally unstable politicians were only expected to hold the reins of power following a military or other coup d’état, or a popular uprising.

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Second world countries, perhaps, might be expected to produce the occasional unstable political leader (the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, is a good example of this point). Such a despotic leader could never be expected to come from a first world country in the post World War 2 era.

The world thought that it had seen the last of the first world’s mentally unstable politicians, following the demise of Hitler, Mussolini, General Francisco Franco, Stalin and General Hideki Tojo. Leaders of a similar mental state to these were not supposed to hold political office ever again in the first world.

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First world countries have been vigilant since 1945 in keeping persons of unstable mind out of high political office. The good reputation earned by the first world countries for civilized behaviour in high political office and other areas of public life, since the end of the second World War, has so far been cherished and well protected.

This situation, however, might be changing soon. There is now a person who seems to be of a very unstable mind seeking election to the highest political office in a prominent first world country. This person is their party’s nominee for the country’s highest political office in the upcoming general election.

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This person’s speech and behaviour remind us of the speech and behaviour of the Axis powers leaders during the nineteen thirties and nineteen forties. This person speaks and behaves like a despot, and ignores rules and conventions in their quest for power. This person shows no regard for others, relative to the consequences of this person’s speech and actions.

This person is considered by some medical experts to be mentally unbalanced. Dr. Drew Pinsky, Physician and radio talk show host, told CNN’s Don Lemon that this person seemed to be suffering from multiple mental illnesses.

Maria Konnikova, New Yorker science and psychology writer, writing on the website Big Think, suggested that this person might be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD.

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One expert, Dr. Robert Geffner, President of San Diego’s Institution on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, says there are three aberrant disorders psychologists look for: Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD; impulse control disorder; and anti-social personality disorders. Dr. Geffner says that the presence of these disorders along with bullying, existing in the same person, is a “dangerous and frightening combination”.

What happens if this person is elected to their country’s highest political office? What domestic and foreign policy principles and practices will this person pursue after the general election if they are successful at the poll?

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Mentally unstable persons and persons who are, otherwise not mentally well, should not be allowed to contest elections for any level of political office. All applicants to such elections should be required to undergo medical tests to verify their mental health status. Periodic mandatory checks to determine the state of mental health of prospective and actual political leaders should be a necessary requirement during their stay in office. Such checks and testing should be easy to implement. Strict psychological examination of suitable applicants to the Secret Service is standard procedure. This psychological examination can be used as an initial example module for the psychological examinations of our political leaders. The list of persons to be routinely checked should include, the president, the vice president, congressmen, senators, governors and mayors.

by Edward Fagan

Prose writing experiences are immeasurably Joyful to many of us who love writing prose.

Prose writing experiences of deep and lasting joy are had by those of us who write and love writing prose. Since I write a little but have a lot of love for writing, and since my love for writing far exceeds my ability to write, I’m forever grateful for the immensely joyful prose writing experiences which I get. (Prose is the form of writing referred to in this passage.)

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I’m grateful to writing for its peculiar and joyful experiences, which it only grants to those of us who write. One factor in writing which aids such joyful and wonderful experience is that of writing to a standard.

It brings immense joy when one successfully writes a passage that meets, in several areas, an idealistic standard toward which one aimed, from the beginning. This standard will include values relating to: writing technique, as well as esthetics and morality as they relate to writing.

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There also is great joy to be had in the experience of writing a fictional passage. The author here is lord of this fictional world. He has and exercises the powers of creation, sustenance and destruction of this world. He exercises such powers over its: details, contents and events; its characters, their thoughts, speech, actions and the conditions of their existence.

Another source of joyful experiences is nonfictional writing. A world of joyful experiences is available to the writer of nonfiction who upholds certain principles in his writing. These principles include, truthfulness, objectivity, empathy, sensitivity to others feelings and the practice of writing in good taste.

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Other experiences that can result from the practice of writing include: improved spelling and vocabulary and improved orderliness and clarity of thought. The following experiences also, can result from one’s writing activity: improved comprehension of both written and spoken language and improved general reading and speaking ability.

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We experience joy, satisfaction and fulfilment whenever we successfully write fiction or nonfiction. This results from our timeless love for fictional or nonfictional writing, and the application to actual writing tasks, of our natural writing ability, knowledge, and any other relevant skills we might possess.

When we write fiction, we naturally apply our creative writing ability to this task; when we write nonfiction we also do a similar thing. In both instances of writing, we also draw on knowledge, other skills and abilities to improve the outcome of our effort. In the case of creative writing, we ensure that the supportive information we give is accurate because this is important to a good end result of our effort. In the case of nonfictional writing, we ensure that the following qualities, as mentioned above, prevail through out our written work: truthfulness, objectivity, empathy, sensitivity to others feelings and the practice of writing in good taste.

By Edward Fagan

 

 

 

 

Nation and state are two terms whose differences we ought to understand.

Nation and state are important terms that should be clearly understood, especially by those of us who have an interest in politics. There is a distinct difference between the two terms nation and state; but to some of us, that difference seems unclear. A nation can be defined as, “a large aggregate of people united by common decent, history, culture and language”. A state can be defined as, “a territory considered as an organized political community under one government”.

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“Nation” refers to People, those of the same ethnicity whose size is large enough to allow them to be deemed a nation as defined above. “State” refers to Territory, Government and its Institutions, the territory and Government of a nation or nations. Government institutions are those arms of government which implement government policy, directly or indirectly, in part or whole, for the benefit of the people and the state.

The state may or may not be a partial or full provider of welfare assistance to people. It must, however, be the provider of  services in such areas as: the judiciary, law and order, national security, piped drinking water, ports of entry, education and the political economy. These and several other areas are vital to the perpetuity of a nation and state.

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It is through the state that the most noble ideals and aspirations of a nation are realized. It is through the state too, that the practical and common good is realized. It is also through the state that a nation sometimes realizes the lowest depths of failure, degradation and disgrace. We remember Hitler’s Third Rich.

A nation can exist without a state. A nation does not have to be settled and have a physical homeland to be a nation. A nomadic people who meet the criteria of a nation above is a nation.

The Biblical nation of Israel, before its exodus from Egypt, was not settled in a homeland of its own but it still was a nation.  They were slaves in the land of their masters but still saw themselves, and were treated by others, as another nation.

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They did not have statehood. They demanded of Pharaoh to let them go, and he did. They then journeyed to their homeland and created a homogeneous state. A state needs at least one nation for its existence.

A colonized people who meet the criteria of a nation and live in their own settled homeland is a nation without statehood. Colonization does not destroy the nationhood of a people; and independence does not confer nationhood upon a people. Colonization and independence are related to statehood, they are not related to nationhood.

A state can be comprised of one nation or it can be comprised of more than one nation. A nation-state or homogeneous state is a state comprising of only one nation. A multinational-state is a state comprising of two or more nations.

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Poland is a good example of a single-nation or homogeneous state (about 98% of its population are ethnic Polish). Belgium is an example of a multinational-state. Its northern region is home to ethnic Dutch people (54%); and its southern region is home to ethnic French people (36%). The US also is an example of a multinational state.

A nation is a mass of people who share the same ethnic connections and gene pool. A state is a land area and its functioning government and political machinery, and the body of laws by which it governs.

by Edward Fagan

Honesty is a subject about which I hold strong views, even though it’s an unpopular subject these days.

Honesty is a very important quality to have; it is also a very important practice to keep on a daily basis through out one’s life. My thoughts are strong on this subject whose practice, it seems, has never been more necessary than it is now.

Why should our public servants, responsible persons in business, commerce and industry, and everyone else have and practise this quality? Can every normal person effectively have and practise this quality irrespective of their social and economic standing? What are the benefits of having and practising this quality?

Honesty should be practised because it is necessary for the enjoyment of fairness by all parties equally, who are committed in any transaction involving the exchange of property or the offer or use of services.

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Yes, every normal person can effectively practise honesty irrespective of their social and economic standing. Normal persons who do not practise honesty choose not to practise it.

The benefits of practising honesty fall within a wide range. Some of these benefits have national social and economic implications; and some are more private and personal in nature. Some of these benefits are mentioned below in more detail.

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Those who are in public life, or hold responsible positions in business, commerce and industry should be very careful to practise honesty in their respective fields.

The practice of honesty as private citizens is important for the reasons mentioned above, and because this is the pool from which public servants and those in responsible positions in the private sector are drawn. At the private level, we have all, at some time, experienced a sense of deprivation of justice and property at the hands of dishonest persons. Petty thieves, muggers and burglars also remind us of the need for honesty in private life.

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 The benefits of practicing honesty include: Fairness: The practice of honesty ensures fairness of behaviour in situations which involve: the collection, storage, or distribution of goods, and the provision of or the benefitting from services.

Example: An international lending institution once said that a certain kleptocratic country could repay its national debt in full, if its leaders returned the country’s money that they stole and deposited overseas.

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Under colonial rule, the country was well run and had a very promising economy. Following independence, the country became a notorious kleptocracy. This resulted in its having to incur a huge national debt which unfairly fell on the backs of the mass of the people.

During this period, the cost of living increased greatly and the standard of living decreased to an even greater extent correspondingly, among the mass of the people. The small ruling elite and their senior civil service supporters enjoyed a degree of unfair opulence at the cost of the unfair suffering of the rest of the population.

After conviction and sentencing to prison, following a court trial, such dishonest politicians and other public figures should be required to write a piece titled, “Honesty: My Thoughts.

 

Economic prosperity: The practice of honesty in situations involving economic activity contributes to the economic prosperity of those involved by allowing them full access to their fair share of goods and services. The relationship between honesty and economic prosperity is well known but often overlooked for the sake of expediency. The story that is mentioned after the word “Example” above, indicates some of the economic deprivation that can result from the absence of honesty in public life.

The connection between financial dishonesty and failure at the micro economic level is also well known. Most of us know of a case where a business failed due to the absence of the practice of honesty in some aspect of its financial activity. Such failure to practice honesty has resulted in instances of investors loosing large sums of money and experiencing financial ruin.

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 Political stability: The practice of honesty in the political economy helps to prevent persons from being unfairly deprived of their fair share of opportunity for socio-economic advancement. It also helps to allow them full access to their fair share of goods and services, according to the capacity of the economy to produce them. These conditions foster a sense of understanding of and sympathy with the efforts of those in power. This in turn helps prevent the growth of dissent, social unrest and political disruptiveness.

Spiritual growth: Constant practice of honesty, which is the eighth commandment in the Bible, as well as the practice of the other nine commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), will contribute greatly to our spiritual growth and development.

 

Honesty always serves the fair advantage of all concerned. Dishonesty always serves the unfair advantage of the few and the unfair disadvantage of the many. The choice is clear whenever there is a requirement to choose between honesty and dishonesty by persons in the public sector, those in responsible positions in the private sector, and private citizens.

By Edward Fagan

Taking personal responsibility in stride is a great step in the right direction.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can be a good and useful approach. It is an approach that can determine and shape how and what we and the circumstances of our life become now and in the future.

This approach can involve setting deliberate (and idealistic or practical) but achievable goals. It can involve deciding on and putting in place, carefully thought out and workable plans to achieve such goals. It can also involve actively working according to those carefully thought out plans until those set goals are achieved.

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This approach is one of the most effective ways in which we can demonstrate our sureness of the value and worth of the individual person.

This approach is also a very effective way for us to develop, utilize and benefit from, our own natural gifts and abilities.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can have a lasting and beneficial effect on all of the important areas of our life.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can favorably affect us in relation to such important areas as: our relationship to God and religion; education, career, retirement, income and finance; diet, exercise, recreation and health; marriage, family, home, property and personal transportation.

The rights and freedoms of the individual in relation to our being able to take personal responsibility in our own life are important. In order for us to be able to take personal responsibility in our own life we must have the right and sufficient freedom to do so.

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The current circumstances of our life in relation to taking personal responsibility in our own life are also important. The circumstances of our life determine the base from which we will start in our attempt to take personal control of our own life.

The circumstances of our life can help indicate what we need and do not need to change. These circumstances of life can be used to determine general and detailed areas of emphasis, specific actions to be undertaken, the order in which actions should be undertaken, desirable outcomes etc.

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It is necessary that we clearly identify to ourselves, our needs and preferences, our natural abilities, our physical resources and other relevant aspects of our circumstances of life. It is necessary also that there exist the necessary individual rights and freedoms mentioned above. When these conditions are met and we get the call to start taking personal responsibility in our own life, we should heed this call.                 .

By Edward Fagan