Are children safe with your dog?

A child together with the family dog on the couch.

Because more people use dogs for protection, there are increasing reports of dog attacks on children.

Some dogs that have been known to bite children are Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, bullmastiffs, Alsatians (German shepherds), and bullterriers.

A survey conducted in South Africa revealed that of the cases examined, the majority of children bitten were attacked by dogs they knew.

Nearly half of those were victims of neighbors’ dogs, and one quarter were bitten by their own dogs. Stray dogs accounted for only 10 percent of the attacks.

Often the victim, perhaps without realizing it, had provoked the dog in some way.

Evidently, many dog attacks can be avoided if dog owners and parents take some basic precautions.

Training your children to avoid dog bites


Many dog trainers stress that small children and dogs should not be left alone without adult supervision.

Small children do not know how to treat animals. They must be taught.

Thus, many people apply the rule that if a responsible adult cannot be present, dogs and small children are kept in separate areas.

Trainer Brian Kilcommons observes in the book Childproofing Your Dog

From the stories we hear, the majority of problems occur when adult eyes are elsewhere.”

Sometimes even animals need protection from children!

Kilcommons was called for help when one family’s dog snapped at a child.

The distraught father explained that his two-and-a-half-year-old son ran up to the sleeping dog and gave it a sound kick.

The dog, obviously in pain, responded by snapping at the child.

In this situation the dog showed commendable restraint in not biting the child. This trainer advises parents:

Do not allow your child to do to a dog what you would not allow done to another child.”

Teach your child how to treat animals kindly. Teach him never to tease a dog.

Parents need to be alert to spot any possible dangers when children and dogs are together.

If you notice the dog trying to get away or hide from a child, stop the child from pursuing it.

If the child follows and corners the dog, its only defense is to bark, growl, or even bite.

Parents should discipline consistently, so that both dog and child know that the parent means what he says.

Do not treat the dog as an outcast. When a married couple with a dog have their first baby, the tendency may be to ignore the dog and banish it to the backyard.

While it is sensible to take precautions, trainer Richard Stubbs advises:

The dog should not be treated as an outcast. Rather, maintain the dog’s routine as far as possible, and give it a reasonable amount of attention.”

Consider how your child will respond to strange dogs. If he sees a stranger walking a dog in the street, what will he do? Run up compulsively to pet the dog? Teach him not to do this.

He must first ask the owner’s permission. Then, if the owner agrees, he can move toward the dog slowly, so as not to frighten it.

He should introduce himself by standing a little distance away and speaking calmly to the dog. 

The friendly dog will approach your child. Dogs walking the streets unattended are best left alone

Train the dog to be friendly to kids


Always praise your dog and be positive. Punishment or harsh words do not speed up learning but rather have the opposite effect.

It is good for a dog to learn to come when it is called and also to obey basic commands like “sit!”

The dog learns submission to its master, and this gives the owner better control in tricky situations.

Simple words and phrases work best. Stick to the same ones. When your dog performs the desired action, give a reward immediately in the form of praise, a pat, or a tidbit.

To have the desired reinforcing effect, the reward must be given immediately after the act. The next important element is repetition until the behavior is firmly fixed.

If you acquire a dog, either a puppy or an older dog, it may need assistance to get used to children. Children react differently from adults.

They are noisier and more impulsive and are likely to rush at a dog, which may give it a fright. It is good to get your pet used to such erratic behavior.

When the children are not around, get the dog accustomed to sudden noise. Make the training into a game. Shout a command at the dog, and rush toward it.

Then, immediately reward your dog. Make your shouts progressively louder. Make a fuss over your pet. Soon it will enjoy this game.

Small children like to hug dogs, but they should be taught not to do this, since some dogs feel threatened by such close contact.

In case children do hug your dog, you can train it to accept this. Give your dog a hug for a brief period, then a tidbit and praise.

Gradually make your hugs longer. If your dog growls or snarls, get help from a qualified trainer.

Dealing with an aggressive dog


Some dogs seem to be aggressive by nature and may be a danger to members of the household. Male dogs are more likely to manifest these aggressive characteristics.

The dominant dog does not like to be handled, especially around sensitive areas like the face and neck.

At other times, though, the dog may approach you, nudge you, or even put its paws on your lap, “asking” for attention.

It may guard strategic areas of the home, not even allowing family members access to them.

It is often possessive of objects like toys and may growl or stop chewing when approached while it is busy with them.

To reinforce their leadership, such dogs will ignore known commands deliberately.

They may bump into children or expect to go through a doorway first. They may also be inclined to mount people.

This, states Brian Kilcommons, is “an act of dominance” and is “not about sex.”

He warns:

This is always a sign that the dog thinks he is in chargeTrouble is most definitely on its way.” 

The dog may also develop the habit of taking its owner’s hand in its mouth to demand attention.

These signs of aggression should not be ignored. The aggression will not simply go away; it is more likely to increase, and children in the home may be in danger.

Many trainers recommend having such a dog neutered, irrespective of its sex, as this generally helps reduce aggression.

It is not advisable to challenge an aggressive dog to show it who is boss.

Aggressive confrontation and harsh discipline could, in fact, be dangerous. In more subtle ways, the dog can be shown who is in charge.

Every time an aggressive dog approaches you for attention and you give it, you reinforce the dog’s belief that it is in charge.

So when such a dog demands attention, ignore it. The whole family must cooperate in this treatment.

The dog will be bewildered at first and may even bark and look at you winsomely, but resist the temptation to give in.

When it has backed off and perhaps goes to lie down in its corner, then is the time to give it a little attention.

In this way your dog learns that you are the leader and you decide when attention is given.

Aggressive games like tug-of-war and wrestling can foster the dog’s domineering tendencies and should be avoided. Rather, substitute nonaggressive games.

It is better for the dog not to sleep in the bedroom. The bedroom is a privileged area, and sleeping there may elevate the dog’s perceived status above the children in the house.

Rather, put the dog’s bed in the kitchen or in an outside kennel. It is often in their bedrooms that owners are first bitten by an aggressive dog.

If your dog does not respond to your efforts, or if while training it, or at any time, you feel threatened, get the help of a competent dog trainer.

Your veterinarian may be able to recommend one. Talk to him first about his training methods, and ensure that you are happy about his abilities before you hire him.

Trainer Richard Stubbs cautions: 

While an aggressive dog may respond to a professional trainer, this is no guarantee that he will be the same with his owner.”

The dog owner must be sure that he can maintain control of his dog in critical situations.

A few dogs will remain aggressive even after the best training, and keeping them puts the family at risk.

After you have tried your best, you may feel it is better to get rid of the dog rather than risk injury. It is good to consult a vet or a trainer for advice.

You may be able to find another home for your dog, but you are naturally obliged to tell the new owner of the problems you have had with the dog.

Trainer Peter Neville advises: 

Dominant dogs must only be treated under very careful guidelines and with careful assessment of who will continue to be at risk and by how much. If safety cannot be guaranteed for the person in the family who is most at risk, then the dog is better off rehomed to a carefully selected new owner, or put to sleep.”

Children can learn and benefit emotionally from having dogs as pets.

By providing responsible supervision, parents help to ensure that all their children’s memories of their pets are pleasant ones.

Read more…

What your voice says about you?

A woman with red lipstick projecting her voice.

By your appearance you give people a certain impression as to the sort of person you are. That impression, of course, is based only on what they see.

People also base their judgment on what they hear. In fact, far more revealing, far more indicative of your personality is your voice.

It can proclaim ever so many things, which may or may not be true.

Yes, the very sound of your voice can do good or harm to yourself and to others.

Have you not found it so, that how a person says a thing, the tone of voice in which one says it, inclines you either for or against them and what they say?

If ones voice is warm, friendly, kind, pleasant, is it not likely to win you far more than if one sounds cold, harsh or strident?

Yes, because we all are influenced by emotion, and the tone of voice in which something is said conveys either a favorable or an unfavorable emotion.

Not that how something is said is more important than what is said. Not at all!

Better to hear the truth told in a cold or unpleasant voice than to have falsehood spoken with a smooth voice.

But the truth said in a kind, friendly, winsome way without a doubt will be more effective than if spoken in a harsh or unpleasant tone of voice.

A marvelous gift


Well has it been observed that no musical instrument can compare with the human voice in the variations of tone it can produce. And man alone has the ability to use his voice to produce speech.

True, parrots can repeat the sounds they hear, but their bird brains do not know what they are saying. Speech expresses ideas. No ideas, no intelligent speech.

Not only do humans have the power of speech but practically all persons can improve the quality of their voices. The possibilities are there.

So, regardless of how your voice may sound, you can improve its quality, and it is to your advantage to have your voice sound as pleasing and effective as possible.

Just what does your voice sound like? It is difficult for you to determine this. Why?

Because it is natural for persons to be partial, and so inclined to think their voice is quite all right.

Then, too, you hear only sound waves coming through the air when others speak.

But when you speak you receive not only these sound waves but also the vibrations your voice makes through the bones of your skull.

This causes you to hear your voice with more resonance than it actually has. That is why most persons are disappointed when they hear their voice for the first time as recorded by a good tape recorder.

And even then it is necessary for you to hear your voice repeatedly before you will be able to hear it as it actually sounds to others, that is, be able to evaluate it objectively!

How physical factors affect your voice?


There are several basic factors that determine what your voice expresses. One is the way you use your vocal organs.

Take the matter of posture. A good, upright posture is essential to producing a good voice. Why?

Because your voice depends upon your breathing, and good posture is necessary for good breathing.

Proper breathing is diaphragmatic breathing. The tendency of many is to use merely the upper part of the lungs, but for a good strong voice, and one that does not tire easily, you need to get into the habit of diaphragmatic breathing, involving the lower, larger areas of the lungs.

Most persons do not speak loud enough, and faulty breathing may well be the reason.

Proper use of your voice also requires that you keep relaxed—your vocal mechanism, the throat, the jaws, and the entire body. Why so?

Because tenseness of one part of the body tends to make the rest of the body tense. When you are tense your voice is likely to be harsh or strident—not at all pleasing qualities.

Or it may merely be too high in pitch, thereby losing some of its power or effectiveness. Make an effort to be relaxed and most likely you will sound relaxed.

Ever so many persons speak with poor articulation or enunciation. This may be due to a structural defect in the mouth.

But, on the other hand, these weaknesses may be due to a careless or slovenly manner of speaking. By giving thought to the consonants these persons can improve their articulation.

Others may have poor articulation because of speaking too rapidly, such often going with a nervous temperament.

These can improve by deliberately slowing down and, in particular, dwelling more on the vowel sounds.

This at the same time will result in a more sonorous, pleasing and musical quality of voice.

How psychological factors affect you voice?


Of course, the physical factors governing voice quality which we have just considered represent but one side of the coin.

The other side, which might be equally if not more important, is the psychological and personality factors. These involve the mental, emotional and religious aspects of speaking.

In fact, so much is this the case that a textbook on voice training states that the training of the voice must go hand in hand with the training or improvement of the personality.

Granted, the improving of the personality is more difficult than the training of one’s voice, yet the fact cannot be overlooked that the improvement of the voice in some respects depends upon the improvement of the personality.

It therefore follows that if you are an outgoing, confident, cheerful, friendly person, your voice will reflect these favorable qualities.

On the other hand, should you be timid, morose, indifferent, or should you be arrogant, intolerant, critical, harsh or emotionally distraught, your voice will display it, even as it betrays your physical condition if you are weak or sick.

So if you do not want your voice to give others these impressions, then you must eradicate such qualities from your personality and replace them with optimistic, sympathetic, alert and confident characteristics.

You will find that, to the extent that you painstakingly make efforts to express such qualities, others will respond in kind, helping you in your efforts.

Match your voice to your message


Giving thought to what your voice expresses will help to make for better relations with all with whom you have to do.

In all our communications with others, we should want our voice to express accurately what is in our mind and heart.

When you speak to those in positions of authority, does your voice reflect a feeling of honor and respect for their position?

What does your voice reflect when you speak to your employer? That depends upon what is in your mind and heart.

Perhaps more than others, those who speak from the public platform should be concerned as to what their voices express.

If a public speaker is soft-spoken by nature he will need to give thought to strengthening the tone of his voice if the subject he is dealing with calls for a powerful delivery or the expressing of strong righteous indignation.

Another, whose natural delivery is loud and bold, will need to give thought to using a softer tone of voice when dealing with such subjects that need expressions of sympathy and sorrow.

No question about it, our voices are capable of great variety. Whenever we speak we have a message to give.

Make certain that your voice matches your message.

In this way you can best communicate with others, and will also derive the most satisfaction from using this marvelous gift.

Read more…

Learning to speak and write the chinese language


Instead of simply learning twenty-six letters as in the English alphabet, how would you like to memorize thousands of picture like characters? 

How would you like to write a letter, not by typing at speeds of fifty to eighty words per minute, but by laboriously drawing each character by hand? 

This is part of learning Chinese, both written and spoken.

Chinese is reputedly one of the oldest languages in the world, and perhaps the most difficult. 

The difficulty lies mainly in the fact that the Chinese language does not have an alphabet. Instead, it has thousands of different characters. 

While a standard dictionary for high school students may contain only about 10,000 characters, a comprehensive dictionary contains over 40,000. 

However, it is generally estimated that if a person knows from 3,000 to 4,000 characters, he should do reasonably well in reading publications of general interest.

Characters are the basic units or symbols of the written language and are all monosyllabic. 

While each has its own meaning, two or more characters may be combined to form new words. 

For example, the character “ren”  by itself means “a human”; when combined with the character “min” , the resulting word “ren min” means people of a country.

 “Ren” can also be combined with two other characters “jiann”  and “jeng” to form the word “jiann jeng ren” , meaning a witness. 

In the language spoken today, usually two or three separate characters are required to denote a single concept or term.

Most Chinese characters are made up of (1) the radical, which often provides a hint to the meaning, and (2) the phonetic, which gives a key to pronunciation. 

For example, the “heart” radical  or  is found in characters that express thoughts, emotions, personal characteristics and the like. 

There are 214 radicals listed in most dictionaries, while the number of phonetics varies according to the preference of the individual scholar. 

Though such phonetics originally were used to indicate the pronunciation of the word, owing to changes in pronunciation over the years, these are no longer reliable. 

Thus you may find that two characters with the same phonetic part have no similarity at all in their pronunciation nowadays.

Writing Chinese


You may very well have seen Chinese writings somewhere, perhaps on signs outside a Chinese shop or Chinese product.

A Chinese food restaurant sign.


To you, they may look like some weird drawings. As a matter of fact, a number of characters were originally drawings or pictographs of things they represent, although today the resemblance cannot be seen. 

For example, the word for sun  is a rectangle with a stroke across the middle [ ]. The majority of the characters are formed by combining a radical with a phonetic.

When you examine the Chinese characters, you may notice that they are made up of different strokes. 

According to W. Simon in his book How to Study and Write Chinese Characters, there are at least fifteen different strokes. 

The number of strokes in a character can be as few as one to as many as thirty-five or more.

Speaking Chinese


Foreigners learning to speak Chinese often have trouble with the so-called tones, which are inflections of the voice, serving the purpose of distinguishing one word from another.

In the national language of China, called Mandarin, there are four tones, namely, the upper even, lower even, rising, departing, though some authorities add a fifth, the entering. 

But in Cantonese, a dialect spoken in Canton and Hong Kong, there are nine tones. 

The difference between one tone and another is usually very small and difficult for foreign students to distinguish. 

However, the slight difference in pronunciation sometimes can mean a world of difference in meaning. 

For example, in Mandarin the word for “lord” is “chu3,” while the word for “pig” is “chu1.” 

So when a foreigner wants to say “tien chu3” (heavenly lord, the term Chinese Catholics use to refer to God), if he is not sure of the right tone, he can easily say “tien chu1” and refer to a heavenly pig instead, much to the puzzlement or amusement of the Chinese listener. 

Understandably, a foreigner learning the language must keep his sense of humor to avoid discouragement.

This peculiarity of the Chinese language—a great number of words having very similar or identical pronunciation—makes it very difficult for foreigners to master. 

For example, in Mandarin there are 69 words pronounced as i (short), 7 of which are in tone 1 (upper even), 17 in tone 2 (lower even), 7 in tone 3 (rising) and 38 in tone 4 (departing). 

While in English two different words with identical pronunciation, such as dear and deer, are exceptions, in Chinese they are extremely common. 

So when listening to Chinese being spoken, one has to rely heavily on the context to decide the meaning of the words used.

As expected in a big country like China, there are scores of dialects spoken by the people in different parts of the country. 

In some parts of the country, especially in the south, a traveler may come across different dialects in villages only a few miles apart. 

Sometimes even people of neighboring villages may have difficulty in understanding one another. 

Some dialects are similar to one another, such as the ones spoken in northern China, while others do not even sound remotely similar, such as the Cantonese dialect and the Shanghai dialect. 

These two dialects are completely different not only in their vocabulary, but also in the pronunciation of various characters used in the written language. 

Also, some dialect words are only spoken but have no written form. Indeed, but for the written language, people from different parts of China would have serious difficulty in understanding one another. 

Fortunately and amazingly, although the Chinese speak many widely different dialects, they all read one common language, the written Mandarin. 

With the exception of the Mandarin-speaking persons, all Chinese speak one way and write another way. 

But if two Chinese cannot speak with each other understandably, they can at least communicate in writing.

Learning Chinese


It would be easy to learn Chinese if it were merely a matter of acquiring a new set of words that could be used in the same manner as your mother tongue. 

But this is not the case. Often a person must learn a grammar and a way of thinking that are completely foreign to your native speech.

So to be conversant in the Chinese language requires even more than knowing sentence structure and being able to think in that language. 

Pronunciation, rhythm and intonation vary from language to language.

The person who wants to learn the Chinese language should, therefore, be willing to work hard at it.

If this is your desire, what can you do?

(1.) Find a good Chinese teacher in reputable intuition or through Chinese online lesson services.



(2.) Study the grammar. Read the language as often as you reasonably can.

(3.) Try to determine the meaning of what you read from its context. Check your conclusions against a Chinese dictionary.

(4.) Try as much as possible associate with people who know the Chinese language well, and use at every opportunity what you have learned.

(5.)
Let those who really know the language correct you so that serious mispronunciations and grammatical errors do not become an ingrained part of your speech.

Although a difficult task, learning the Chinese language can be a rich and rewarding experience. It broadens one’s understanding of the Chinese people and their way of thinking.

Read more…

How to have good manners?

A daughter hugging her elderly mother.

Every person should have the best of manners. Their genuine love for others should prompts us to be gentle, courteous and kind behavior

Good manners cost nothing and are worth everything. Manners, strangely enough, are oftentimes timely words fitly spoken.

To say the right thing at the proper moment is an art. It must be natural, from the heart, to be beautiful. It must be spontaneous and sincere if it is to be accepted.

Otherwise, it will sound flat, insincere, and it will most likely be considered flattery, which is an insult and not a compliment.

Rules of etiquette may change like fashions and are different in almost every nation; yet good manners are the same throughout the world.

Why people have bad manners


Vanity, a sour disposition, a longing for sympathy, and a want of good common sense are the chief sources from which bad manners spring.

Vain people want others to think highly of them, yet they seldom think of others. Their thoughts are always on themselves. Vanity leads to self-consciousness.

To be thoughtful of others, to give attention to their feelings, is the essence of politeness. But an ill-mannered person is often loud, boastful and proud in the praises of himself and his family.

Also, ill-mannered is he who boasts of his achievements in business, looks down upon people who are less fortunate than he, and, as a rule, cannot refrain from having his joke at the expense of another’s reputation.

It is difficult to judge the quality of an egg by its outward appearance. So too, it is not wise to judge people too much by their external manner.

Some people have little to wear; others have ill health, or are oppressed and depressed. Nevertheless, we cannot expect people in general to take time to see whether we are what we seem to be.

Everyone can be clean. We can speak right things from the heart. We can be friendly, hospitable, kind and courteous. We can be ourselves. We can be honest and polite.

These things do not cost anything. They are free. They are for everyone to have—the rich and the poor alike.

Good manners towards all


A well-mannered person is courteous to all kinds of people and under all conditions.

He is respectful to his “inferiors” (children, mentally ill, less fortunate, etc.), as well as to his equals (his brothers) and those he regards as his “superiors” (servants in special capacity, rulers, kings and governors).

His good manners are not reserved for the few who can pay for them, or who make themselves feared. Like the warm summer sun his kindness and courtesy are for all alike

While it is common practice to treat strangers with more courtesy than friends or family, surely they do not deserve any more in the way of good treatment than those whom we love, do they?

Our family and our associates should be even more entitled to considerate treatment than outsiders.

Some think good manners are a coat that you put on when you go out to visit with people. But a truly well-mannered person is one who behaves properly all the time.

The place to teach and to learn the best of manners is in the home.

A family is a delicate machine whose parts are in intimate contact with one another. Only expert lubrication can keep it in smooth running order.

Knowing how to be helpful and courteous, pleasant and polite will go a long way to make a happy home.

Learning how to say the accepted, everyday expressions of courtesy and consideration will do much to eliminate destructive friction in our associations. These are little words with big meanings.

Everyone can say them properly. They cost us nothing, but with them we buy friends.

If we practice good manners daily they will not leave us when we need them most, that is, when we are away from home in public.

Table manners


A sure test of one’s good manners is when he eats. Does he know when to begin? How to begin? What to say and how to say it?

How to eat in accord with the custom of his country, in the way that is accepted there as polite? When to stop?

Mealtime is a time of joy, a time of association; it is a happy occasion. It is not bound by a long list of ridiculous rules, nor is it disorderly. It is a cheerful time when all are helpful and considerate of one another.

After the food is prepared, indeed the food is to be eaten. But no one should grab for the food. They should politely help themselves when their turn comes.

The amount of food to be taken does not depend on the size of one’s appetite, but the size of the family and the amount of food on hand.

A very ill-mannered and greedy person will take more than he can eat or take a large portion and leave others with little or nothing to eat.

Eating in a way offensive to others, disregarding rules of proper eating customs of the country you live in—all these violations done in the privacy of one’s own home, but can cause one to commit errors when in company of others.

This may evoke remarks such as, “Oh! What poor table manners.” One should indeed stand above such reproach.

Manners in appearance and speech


It is courteous to try always to look neat. If you are well groomed and always tidy, you speak well of yourself and of your associates. You are showing love and consideration for others.

A person observing you may have no opportunity to speak to you, but he will never forget that you were (if you were) pleasing to the eye.

A friendly greeting, whether it be a handshake or an embrace or some other customary greeting, and a smile go well with any style of dress that we might wear.

Profanity does not add to one’s good reputation, nor do slang expressions.

Vulgar expressions are becoming common. Words once used only by degenerates are now used by some persons in all grades of society. But a well-mannered person must guard against such speech.

Words are dangerous tools. A person who is well mannered will not call his fellow human being a fool, or stupid, or other uncomplimentary names.

Some think themselves so well-born, so clever, or so rich, as to be above caring what others say and think of them. They take their position as a license for rudeness.

It is foolish for one to “freeze up” or to roll oneself into a prickly ball on the approach of strangers. A courteous person must be a conversationalist, a talker and a person who loves people.

Manners during meetings and gatherings


When attending a formal or social meeting, it is ill-mannered to come late. By being courteous we shall be considerate of the speaker and the audience.

Mothers with children will find it more convenient to sit toward the rear of the hall and near the aisle; so that when the children may find it necessary to leave it will not be so distracting to the speaker or those in attendance.

Whispering or giggling during a lecture is distracting to others. Meetings are where people come to learn, to worship and to serve. Here of all places manners should be at their very best.

Conclusion


In this world starved for kindness, for a little courtesy and politeness, let us be found generously casting our deeds of hospitality and good manners upon others, because so much of it does return.

And the casting in itself is so pleasant and easy and inexpensive. It is so easy to smile and to be agreeable, and even to do the small, kindly things, that there is no excuse for not doing them.

And, besides, it is these little kindly things we do each day for one another that promote the beauty of living for everyone.

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Why avoid being critical of others?

A girl laughing at her boyfriend.

“Have you ever heard such expressions as:

Who does she think she is?” or, “That’s not so wonderful. I could have done better myself”?

No doubt all of us have, and yet how much better it would be if such things went unsaid! Or, better than that, if one did not even have such critical thoughts!

What causes some to have critical thoughts about others?

Well, another person may be getting undue attention, or may be receiving high praise.

Or it could be that another may betray an eagerness for attention and praise. So it may be that in one’s reaction to the situation a tinge of envy is involved.

Even if not expressed in words, critical thoughts, nevertheless, can do harm. They tend to deteriorate relations with others.

They may also do harm to the one that thinks them. This is because that which affects the mind also affects the body.

Among the unkind thoughts that we ought to guard against are those that show undue suspicion. Why?

In dealing with friends, relatives, close associates and, in particular, with family members, it is better to trust others.

Even if problems arise, give them the benefit of the doubt. It is better to be disappointed occasionally than to be unduly suspicious, as though everyone were ready to take advantage of you.

Many husbands and wives make their lives unhappy because of being unduly suspicious of each other.

How much happier their marriage would be if they made it a point to think of each other in a kindly way!

Especially as regards our view of the motives of other people should we be on guard against having critical thoughts and always questioning the motives of others. What is the danger in this?

Well there is always the danger of trying to prove one’s suspicions true, and thus making oneself the adversary of others unnecessarily.

Critical thoughts also result from expecting too much of others.

It is good to realize that what may seem small and insignificant to us may represent a great victory or achievement on the part of another.

In homes where there is a “generation gap,” is it not largely due to parents being too critical of their children, and children being too critical of their parents?

They could well learn from the Turkish proverb: “He who seeks a friend without a fault will be without one.”

Especially is there need for travelers to be on guard against unduly critical thoughts when they visit foreign lands.

Strange sights and customs may well cause one to compare unfavorably what one sees with conditions in one’s own land.

Instead, would it not be better to exercise empathy, putting oneself in the shoes of others, as it were?

Doing so, one will be able to make allowances, recognizing to what extent the people are the victims of circumstances.

Rightly viewed, one can sincerely admire them for what they are able to accomplish under existing conditions.

Learn to enjoy what others do by noting their good points instead of being overly conscious of their shortcomings.

Do not be like the foolish person who, noting a speaker’s repetition of a certain expression, kept counting how many times the speaker used it.

How much more he would have benefited from the talk if he had concentrated on the arguments presented and appreciated the speaker’s sincerity!

So, for your own sake and in the interest of good relations with other people guard against critical thoughts.

Read more…

How to make any type of work a blessing?

A janitor a toilet mirror.
Can any type of work be a blessing to you? "

Yes, rightly viewed and unless conditions are too burdensome, work is a blessing. And that is true for more than one reason, even as facts show.

For one thing, work is a blessing because by means of it we can honestly supply our needs. More than that, there is more satisfaction in having earned something than in having received it as a gift.

There is no question but what the unemployed man who is sincerely looking for work appreciates that work is a blessing.

The blessing of work is not limited to its supplying us with what we need in a material way—food, clothing, shelter, recreation, and so forth. We need work for our own well-being, both of body and mind.

We are endowed with the capacity for work, both physical and mental, and for true satisfaction and contentment we must make use of the gifts with which we have been endowed.

That is why a person who earns his bread primarily by his thinking ability rather than by the use of his muscles finds that for sound health he needs to have some physical exertion.

Well has it been observed: “Working is as much a necessity to a man as eating and sleeping.”

It is, in fact, the best justification for eating and sleeping. As much as we enjoy a weekend or Sabbath of rest or a much-needed vacation, we could not enjoy resting indefinitely.

Oh, you might think, If only I did not need to go to work Monday morning! Or, If only I had as many weeks of vacation as I could wish!

All well and good for a few days or weeks, but before long you would simply long to do something useful.

We cannot escape it. We need the joy and satisfaction that come from doing good and useful work.

True, not everyone can have the work he would most like to do.

It may be that such work is not in demand, or does not pay sufficiently; or one may not have the necessary qualifications, such as the second violinist who would like to be conducting the orchestra.

But each one can take an interest, and should, in the work he finds it necessary to do to earn a livelihood for himself and those dependent upon him.

Most important is that your work be honest and need doing.

View it as presenting a challenge to you to keep doing ever better work or to do it ever more efficiently, and that whether you are a professional man or a laborer, an office worker or a housekeeper.

Experience the joy and satisfaction that come from doing a good job, be it typing a business letter or repairing a piece of machinery, cooking a meal or cleaning rooms.

Because so many fail to appreciate the blessing that work can bring when viewed in this manner, today more and more the emphasis is solely on the wages or salary received, the fringe benefits and the limited hours.

This does not make for happiness but, rather, is self-defeating. How so?

Because the more they get the more they want, as can be seen from the ever higher demands of many unions; and the fewer hours spent the fewer they want to work.

The truth of the foregoing is borne out by many persons engaged in creative work, such as artists and writers.

It is also proved true by many professional persons, such as educators and general practitioners, who could turn to some other activity for more pay but who remain in their profession because of the rewards that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

According to a former staff writer, it is against their policy to discharge a writer once they have hired him.

Instead, if his work is not good enough, they put him to work on some mammoth project that they never intend to use, and eventually the writer quits out of sheer frustration and feeling of uselessness.

Just receiving the pay check was not enough; the writer also needed the inner sense of satisfaction of producing something worthwhile.

So, since work needs to be done and you need to work to supply your needs as well as for your own well-being, take an interest in your work, get joy and satisfaction out of doing good work.

Then you will agree that work is a blessing!

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