Looking At Love To Understand Its Nature

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 And Our Leaders

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

Taking Personal Responsibility

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

Friendship, The Fundamental Quality In All Relationships

Friendship is the most fundamental element in all successful human relationships.

Friendship is perhaps the most common of all human relationships. Friendship is also the binding quality that is found in every relationship that is working and whose members get along.

Friendship includes such qualities as understanding, patience, forgiveness, sensitivity, tolerance, kindness, sympathy, empathy and so on. Friends will choose peaceful, harmonious interaction over interaction that is troublesome, conflicting and confusing.

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Practical friendship involves friends performing acts of helpfulness and kindness toward each other and forgiving each other when mistakes are made or wrongful acts are done.

The members of any type of relationship which does not have the binding quality of friendship will experience conflict within that relationship. Those members will tend to drift apart from each other and eventually the relationship will end. A marriage, for example, can break up because its partners failed to be friends for an indefinite period.

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All types of relationship can benefit by having the binding quality of friendship including: romantic, family, workplace, professional/client, business, seller/buyer, social/sports club and religious groups.

This binding quality can repair relationships whose damage results from the absence of friendship. Such relationships include marriages in which partners are not friends. Members of such relationships need to become friends and develop the qualities of friendship and perform the acts of friendship as mentioned above.

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Friendship’s binding quality can also repair relationships whose damage results from causes other than the absence of friendship. Here’s an example: Mark and David are very good friends; each owns a small building contractor company; an important tender for a contract is advertised; it is the kind of contract of which both men dream; they both bid; both men are interviewed several times and asked to offer an alternative quote; finally, after both men wait with bated breath, David’s bid is accepted, he is offered the contract; Mark is saddened; he gradually ends his friendship with David; David is unhappy about losing Mark’s friendship; he forgives mark and offers him some of his newer contracts; Mark accepts David’s offer of these contracts and is happy once again; and finally, Mark resumes his friendship with David.

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The importance of friendship as a relationship or as a part of all relationships should never be overlooked. True friendship embodies all of the best qualities we can have and all of the best acts we can perform toward each other. The qualities we develop and our mastery of the acts we perform when we practice true friendship are transferable to all other types of relationship. We should therefore use every opportunity we get to practise true friendship.

By Edward Fagan

Forgiveness, A Quality And Practice We Need

 

Forgiveness is a quality we need to have, and a practice we need to apply.

Forgiveness of others involves our showing them unconditional mercy and refusing to hold against them, the wrong they have done to us. Such wrongdoing against us can be accidental or deliberate. We refuse to seek revenge against them but may ask them to correct a course of action to restore a state of just behaviour toward us.

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We may, for example, (especially if the wrongdoing was deliberate) ask them to return property they have taken from us or ask them to compensate us for that property. We may also ask them to promise that they will not commit such wrongdoing against us in the future.

Forgiveness is not a reserve of religion. Its principle can be embraced and it can be practised by everyone including theists, atheists, skeptics and agnostics. It also is not peculiar to a particular people or culture.

The underlying principle of forgiveness is good and worthwhile in itself; and it is universal and timeless. When we practise forgiveness we further develop it as a quality thereby contributing to the development of true character.

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The practice of forgiveness is related to and may involve the practice of such other qualities as sympathy, empathy, forbearance and so on. The practice of these qualities also contribute to the development of our character.

The practice of forgiving and the attendant development of our character can be of benefit to both the forgiver and the forgiven. Such ability to forgive and the corresponding enhancement of character can also benefit all of our relationships. The practice of forgiveness can also benefit the social units to which we belong and the wider community in which we live. At the community level, physical violence, crime and incarceration and the economic cost of these areas of activity are but a few of the areas that can benefit from the practice of forgiveness as it is viewed above.

By Edward Fagan

Farmers And Others Preventing Praedial Larceny

Capital-punishment, A Supporter's View

Farmers and the authorities can take these simple steps to greatly reduce the present level of praedial larceny.

Farmers and the authorities working together and significantly reducing the current level of praedial larceny across our communities is testing but not impossible. There are some simple steps that we can take through legislation and its enforcement that can significantly reduce the level of this type of theft.

Our vegetable farmers play a very important role in our community and the wider society. They produce food for our consumption thus helping us to become more self sufficient in the area of food production.

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They are hardworking and dedicated people. They make many sacrifices and often undergo much hardship and difficulty. Some of this hardship and difficulty is caused by vegetable thieves who often reap and make off with whole crops. The thieves sell these crops to unsuspecting buyers for easy profit. The farmer suffers an even greater loss.

We can not afford to lose our farmers through their giving up on agriculture because of this problem; we need to act now.

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We need to legislate for and enforce the following approach to deal with this problem:

Registration of each of the following categories of individuals and businesses who are involved in vegetable retail and or wholesale and who:

  • Produce to retail (Register of Producers who Retail)
  • Produce to wholesale (Register of Producers who Wholesale)
  • Buy to retail (Register of Buyers who Retail)
  • Buy to wholesale (Register of Buyers who Wholesale)

Individuals and businesses can be registered under more than one category and at more than one address and location if necessary.

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Registration of individuals and businesses must include registration of their address and location. The address and location of individuals and businesses must be inspected and verified before registration can be completed.

Registered individuals and businesses will be issued with documents of registration and identification cards. These documents and identification cards must be shown on demand to businesses, government officials and law enforcement officers.

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It will be a criminal offence for anyone to even attempt to retail or wholesale vegetable produce without being registered and in possession of the relevant documents and identification card. It will also be a criminal offence for anyone to purchase vegetable produce from a retailer or a wholesaler who is not registered and in possession of the relevant documents and identification card.

The type and extent of punishment of offenders under this new legislation is left to the legislators and law courts.

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This type of legislation and its enforcement are similar to the type of legislation and enforcement that serve to register and regulate drivers and motor vehicles.

It is necessary to create and share a database of registered individuals and businesses who are involved in producing, selling and buying vegetables. Prospective and unknown sellers can be checked against the database information. Information on known offenders can also be stored and accessed on this database.

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Drones should be used to increase security of cultivated areas during both day and night. Drones can be fitted with lights and very powerful cameras for easy and accurate detection and video recording of people and other objects. This recorded information can then be passed on to the police.

Enacting into law and enforcing the suggestions offered above will assist our farmers in their attempt to be free of the menace of praedial larceny. Our farmers, our communities and our economy stand to benefit when this happens; let us therefore look forward to the day when the suggestions offered above are written into law and enforced to the benefit of all.

By Edward Fagan

Support Given To The Elderly And Disabled Volentarily

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Support given to the elderly and disabled freely by persons in the community is commendable.

Support giving is discussed by Rita, Musa and Monica while they wait in a long queue of vehicles at a service station under a heavily over cast sky. They would rather not be in this queue at all but are patient and understand the importance of people getting their hurricane supplies.

A hurricane is expected to reach land within the next two days. The prospect of a hurricane reaching land within such a short period always results in a rush to get extra hurricane supplies, including petrol and diesel for generators.

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“I am concerned for the welfare of the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, the mentally ill, the incurably ill, those who are confined to bed because of illness, babies and very small children.”, Monica says.

She continues, “These groups are the most vulnerable among us during disasters such as hurricanes so they need our support more so than others during such disasters.””Our support can also be helpful to them when life returns to normal in the community following a natural disaster.”, Rita adds.

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“The kind of help that we can give as individuals in our community especially to the elderly and disabled can be very useful now.”, Rita says. “This is so because some of these people are being neglected or have been abandoned altogether by relatives.”, she continues.

“The healthcare and social services collectively provide modern professional health care and related assistance.”, Monica says.

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“The collective support of these services should be complemented at home by the support of individual family members.”, Rita adds. “Where such individual support is not available in the homes of our elderly and disabled, it can be provided by volunteers within the community.”, she continues.

“Our giving personal support to the elderly and disabled under normal conditions in our community is quite simple.”, Musa says.

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He gives a few simple guidelines to follow,”Care about the people we are supporting; be honest with them at all times; become friendly with them and get to know them well if they are not so well known to us; support the number of persons that we can practicably support; keep a list of the persons we are supporting in our community; and carefully record the necessary information about the persons we support such as the illnesses from which they suffer, the clinics they attend, the foods they must avoid and so on.

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Personal support we can give to the elderly and disabled within our community includes: ensuring their safety and wellness by daily visiting them in their homes; returning their phone calls; talking and listening to them; ensuring that they take meals, take their medication, keep appointments, meet basic commitments like bill payments, and access available and needed services; minimizing their transportation difficulties; and performing chores and errands for them.”

“Other points of assistance can be added to the ones identified here but these few are sufficient for us to start giving personal support to those who need it.”, Musa concludes.

By Edward Fagan