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

 

 

 

 

A sensible approach to campaigning between rival politicians, we should welcome. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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, and a politician’s sentiments concerning his preference for acts of  betrayal against it and the people

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 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

Old sayings and truth, if there’re connected, should be seen as having such a connection when closely examined. 

Old sayings and truth are understood to be reflected in the sayings “The love of money is the root of all evil”, and “Self praise is no praise”. Is this view of these and other such sayings correct?. The first saying has always been inaccurately interpreted. The second saying, similarly, has always been, not only misunderstood but used in attempts to destroy the self image of others.

The source of the first saying is the Holy Bible. The origin of the second saying may be lost in time even though we know when it first appeared in writing.

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The book of 1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (King James Bible)

The saying, “Self praise is no recommendation” first appeared in writing in the early 19th century. It however, may have been in use verbally, in one variant or another, long before this time.

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Concerning the Biblical quote above, 1 Timothy 6:10, it can be read thus, “For the love of money is the root of all evil [of the type]: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (Textual content in square brackets is added by this writer.)

The love of money can lead to one or more of “all” of the “evil” practices which can be related to the love of money. In the case of this quoted passage, the evil practices pursued are the coveting of money “which while some coveted after,” and the rejection of God’s intended way of life for us “they have erred from the faith,”.

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They (who covet money and reject God’s intended way of life for us) experience the consequence of their sinful action even in the temporal life “and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”.

Those who covet money as mentioned above, ignore the tenth commandment in the Holy Bible, Exodus 20: 17; Deuteronomy 5: 21. The passage quoted above clearly expects us to practice this commandment even in relation to matters involving money.

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‘The love of money is the root of all money-based evil.’, is a more accurate usage of this saying. The traditional usage of this saying, ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’, seems to suggest that the love of money is the motive behind all evil.

Evil existed long before the advent of man, and longer still before the creation and use of money. The love of money, therefore, could not be the root of all evil. There also is evil practiced by man that has no connection to money or its use.

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“Self praise is no recommendation”, is the earliest written variant of this saying. Like most of these types of sayings, this saying was created by simple rural folk in response to certain situations involving people and property. The type of person and situation for whom this saying was created, were perhaps aptly addressed by the saying.

This saying, however, was not created for use against persons whose performance in their field spoke well of them.  A person’s work can and should recommend them, according to the quality of that work.

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Old sayings and truth can and many times do have a connection, but this is not always the case. Using our old familiar sayings is convenient, conservational, nostalgic and can save us a bit of time, so let us continue to use them; but let us use them with a little more understanding for increased accuracy and effect.

By Edward Fagan

 

Diary keeping, the practice, its types and their advantages.

Diary keeping as a practice allows us to be able to say a few things about it. Diary keeping is a good practice for any person and, additionally for some of us, it is a necessity. Those of us who record or intend to start recording entries in a diary, irrespective of the frequency of those entries, might need to ensure that our present or intended method of diary keeping is optimal for our needs.

We then can consider changing our method or intended method of diary keeping if we find that it does not meet our requirements.

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Many people who do not keep a diary now, may have been interested in keeping and attempted to keep a manual diary in the past. Many such persons might have given up the practice out of concern that the diary might fall into the wrong hands and to their detriment.

The lives of some of those persons, over time, may have changed, giving them more reason to want to keep a diary now. There may be a greater need now, more than was the case in the past, to record their thoughts, speech and actions.

About diary keeping here’s a reminder, that we can keep several diaries simultaneously, with each diary being used to record activity of a different type. For example, we can keep a different diary each for: personal activity; work activity; individual hobbyist activities (with each hobby having its own diary) etc. This helps to simplify information retrieval and quicken up the process.

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The manual form of diary keeping appeals to the person who prefers to write and edit their entries by hand. The risk of ones diary falling into the wrong hands is therefore one that such persons might have to endure. Much of what has been said so far has been about manual diary keeping.

What about diary keeping using digital technology? The digital diary offers a much smaller degree of risk of falling into the wrong hands than the manual or hand written diary. It also is not accessible by hackers if it is kept offline.

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 The digital diary is totally accessible (for adding entries, reading, editing etc.) using any computer, server, gadget, external drive and location that are connected to the internet. It can be shared across multiple: computers, servers, gadgets and external drives using an Ethernet connection. It can be located on any computer, server, gadget, external drive or the cloud, in any location, and can be online or offline.

It thus is a relatively safe and very convenient form of diary; and it should appeal to those who are interested in the digital world and information technology.

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There are, then, three options for diary keeping based on the media used and the corresponding method of adding entries to the diary. They are, the manual diary, the digital diary and the double diary (using both manual and digital diaries). Diary keepers and prospective diary keepers can decide on their diary keeping preferences, and then choose the type of diary that meets their requirements.

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

They need help sometimes following release from penal institutions and except in certain cases, we should accommodate them.

They need help sometimes following their release from penal institutions. When our relatives and friends seek our help and support after their period of incarceration ends and they return to society, except in certain cases, this help should be given to them; and when it s given, it should be given selflessly.

The nature of the offence committed and the known disposition of the offender are important points to consider when deciding whether or not to offer help. These and other points will determine whether or not help is offered, the type of help that may be offered and the duration of any help that is offered. These and other points will also determine the terms of any help that may be offered.

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Those who are offered help are going to be first time offenders only. They are going to be persons whose offence did not involve any kind of violence except in a case of self defense within the law.

They are also going to be persons who display an ability to control their temper and navigate situations involving minor tension and conflict between others and themselves. They are going to be persons with a known disposition toward normal behaviour. For example, the type just mentioned is going to be capable of performing in a job at the checkout point of a relative’s or friend’s retail business. (One’s self control is sometimes tested in this kind of situation.)

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 Those who are known to be honest and whose offence did not involve stealing money. Those whose offence did not involve sexual misconduct and whose past behaviour did not indicate a disposition toward that kind of misconduct.

The type of help offered can include food, clothing, shelter, employment, personal transportation, a spending allowance and money for start up business.

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The period of time during which this help is given will be determined by the needs of the recipient, the nature of the help offered and the terms under which the help is offered.

The help mentioned here is supposed to be of a temporary nature only and may be offered on a short or long term basis. It is intended to help recipients achieve a level of stability and basic self reliance and allow them to live normally without a permanent need for this help.

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