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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.)
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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 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.
By Edward Fagan
Standing up together for a common cause is something that both government and opposition politicians should do more regularly. One occasion when all politicians should have taken this bipartisan approach was following a particular action which occurred in 2013. On this occasion, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down Section 3 of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA). This section relates to such topics as (for federal purposes) government employees insurance benefits, social security survivors’ benefits and bankruptcy. These laws apply to heterosexual couples only.
The section also relates to immigration, filing of joint tax returns and a scope of other laws. This scope of laws includes protection of (heterosexual only) families of federal officers. It also includes financial aid eligibility laws, and federal ethics laws applying to heterosexual spouses only.
Those seeking to redefine marriage and the family, obviously, would want to have SCOTUS struck down this section of DOMA.
This bipartisanship was very evident in May 1996 when both government and opposition politicians voted for the same cause. The Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed Congress and the Senate by large majorities. This bipartisanship thus contributed to the DOMA being signed into law in September, 1996 by President Bill Clinton.
DOMA defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It also defines “spouse” as a partner in a legally recognized heterosexual marriage.
Four out of the nine SCOTUS judges voted in favour of upholding Section 3 of the DOMA. Their position is the correct one, and very noteworthy. The other five judges, clearly, misinterpreted part or all of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
All elected office holders who favoured upholding the DOMA should have highlighted the voting position of those four judges. They should have upheld the voting position of those four judges locally and nationally. They then should have considered using that voting position as the rallying cry for their upholding it in practice. This would be a very good case of the ultimate bipartisanship. It would also be a valid case of the end justifying the means.
By Edward Fagan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
A sensible approach to campaigning is leading to unexpected but welcome action in the areas of financial backing and other support that are taking place in the presidential campaign of a certain political party, let’s call it Party X. Some of the traditional billionaire and multi millionaire donors of this party are refusing, in this election, to back the party’s presidential nominee.
They have vowed instead, to back the other party’s presidential nominee. Let’s call this other party, Party Y. Some Congressmen and Senators of Party X, also have vowed to support the presidential nominee of Party Y.
Unexpectedly, the number of rich donors, congressmen and senators of Party X who are committed to backing and supporting the presidential nominee of Party Y continues to grow.
Why are some of the wealthy donors and prominent members of Party X refusing to back and support their own presidential nominee? Why are they choosing a sensible approach by refusing to back their party’s nominee? This candidate seems to be saying what they consider to be the wrong things, and saying them in the wrong manner.
In their view also, this candidate is committed to the wrong domestic and foreign policy goals, or none at all. This candidate too, displays an unwillingness to become involved in bipartisanship for the good of the country.
On the other hand, the super rich donors, congressmen and senators of Party X who’re backing and supporting the presidential nominee of Party Y, expect that this candidate will practice bipartisanship.
They know that goodwill and cooperation between both parties are necessary, and that only through such bipartisan effort can solutions be found and applied to solve the many problems facing the country.
A prominent member of Party X who is supporting Party Y’s presidential nominee wrote the following in the Washington Post: “When it comes to the presidency, I will not vote for [my party’s nominee], I will not cast a write-in vote. I’ll be voting for [the other party’s nominee], with the hope that [this person] can bring our people together to do things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world. To my party friends: I know I’m not alone.”
The future looks bright for cooperation on capital hill, if the position expressed in the above quote is shared by the majority of members of both parties. This changing of the prevailing approach of the last eight years should be welcome. It should be good for the people and the country because important domestic and foreign policy problems can now be dealt with in a bipartisan way. Such bipartisanship has been successfully practiced in the past; and there’s no reason why it can’t be practiced now and in the future with equal or greater success.
By Edward Fagan
Country of birth and upbringing of a politician should never be compromised by that politician. Politician ‘X’ recently wished that the e-mails of his rival, Politician ‘Y’, became hacked by the intelligence agency of a foreign nation. That foreign nation is a long time enemy of his country. His rival, Politician ‘Y’, is a former first lady and secretary of state of his nation.
Politician ‘X’ also hoped that the intelligence agency would make the hacked e-mails of Politician ‘Y’ public in his country.
Politician ‘X’ is a long standing supporter of this enemy nation. He seems committed to this nation rather than to his own nation.
This long time enemy of his nation has nuclear tipped ICBM’s aimed at every city in Politician ‘X’s’ country. Politician ‘X’ expressed his sentiments about Politician ‘Y’s’ e-mails in a recent news conference. Foreign news agencies covered that news conference.
He does not seem to understand the enormity of his expressed wish and hope. His expressed wish and hope bring into question his long standing claim that he is for love of nation etc., including fellow politicians. It also brings into question his claim that he’s going to serve his nation’s best interests if he’s elected president.
By Edward Fagan
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”.
“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.
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.
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.
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