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8 Tips that can promote peace between neighbors


To pursue peace with others, you first need to be at peace with yourself.

To love your neighbor you must love yourself.

Not because you’re perfect.

You know you aren’t.

You have flaws, make mistakes, feel guilty.

You know all of this.

But you also know that you are sorry about your shortcomings, seek forgiveness for them, determine to do better, and in this way rid yourself of burdensome guilt feelings.

Out of the abundance of our heart we speak and act.

If our heart is filled with guilt's and recriminations, such negative feelings will be unlovingly projected onto others.

To love others you must have some feeling of self-worth, self-respect, be able to accept yourself.

Even be able to laugh at yourself.

Loving yourself in this way, you have no inner turmoil to sour your relations with others.

With this inner security, you do not feel threatened by others and can show kindly concern.

To reach out peacefully to others, you must have peace within yourself.

In the stressful hustle and bustle of this modern world, however, internal peace is threatened, and the gentle art of being neighborly is disappearing.

People face one another like turtles with heads withdrawn, peering out from the safety of their shells, afraid to stick their necks out.

Relaxed friendliness has lost out to fear and loneliness.

It is regrettable, but understandable, considering the perilous times in which we live.

Nevertheless, if a person takes the initiative to be friendly, his effort is usually met with a pleasant response.

To speak to a neighbor you pass on the sidewalk, to pause for a few words with someone working in his front yard, to chat briefly with someone as you sit on a park bench—such moments can be enjoyable interludes.

There are guidelines we can follow to make such occasions pleasurable and bring added peace to our human relationships.

Consider a few of them:

1.  Be a good listener

Show respect.

Look at the one talking to you.

If your eyes wander elsewhere, the message that you’re sending to him is, ‘I’m not interested in you or in what you’re saying.’

You probably do not mean that.

So listen to what he is saying and respond specifically to it.

Do not interrupt, unless it is to ask for details or to raise appropriate questions.

Listen so as to understand him, his thinking, his position, his feelings.

Listen not only with your ears but also with your heart.

2.  Communicate, converse

To communicate means “to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood.”

Be clear and concise, not wordy or rambling.

Be sure the other person understands your point.

To converse means “to exchange thoughts and opinions in speech.”

Conversing is not a lecturing; it’s an exchange.

When you’ve made a point, listen to the other’s reply.

You are a listener when someone is relating an experience or giving a report.

In a conversation you are a participant.

Contribute to it, and allow others to do likewise.

And be flexible, open to new ideas.

A preconceived viewpoint, dogmatically held, blinds your eyes, deafens your ears, and hardens your heart.

3.  Be friendly, honest, caring

Don’t be timid.

Reach out to others.

Your friendliness will usually draw a similar response from them.

Feelings are contagious.

Feel what you want others to feel.

Act as you want others to act.

Treat others as you want to be treated.

Sow what you want to reap.

Be yourself.

Be honest.

Be genuinely interested in others, caring about others, being of service to others.

4.  Give others attention

In one of Booth Tarkington’s novels, he told of a group of children romping on the front lawn.

One of the characters, Little Orvie, feeling he was not getting his share of the attention, started running and jumping and crying out, “Now watch me! Now watch me!”

Adults are not so obvious about it, but they too want attention.

Small babies and the elderly may even die without it.

So look at people, listen to them, notice them!

Get acquainted with your neighbors, be friendly, admire their dog, their rosebush, their new dress—but always in sincerity, never just for a calculated effect.

5.  Avoid criticism

It’s invariably futile.

It wounds pride and rouses resentment.

It comes as an attack and puts people on the defensive.

They seek to justify themselves and retaliate against you.

Criticize, and you walk on eggs.

Remember, people are more often emotional than logical, especially when they are under attack—and that is how they view criticism.

Instead of condemning, seek to understand.

Words of encouragement work wonders.

See their good points rather than focusing on their flaws.

6.  Wisely give advice

Be warm, friendly, loving.

Let him talk first and at length.

Learn why he thinks or acts as he does.

Be sympathetic to his desires.

See his point of view.

Discern the emotional reasons behind his conduct.

Let it be known that you too make mistakes, that you share imperfection with him.

Confine your advice to the point at issue.

Tailor it to this individual, kindly helping him to see the point, and speak tactfully.

Give positive reinforcement, praise improvement.

7.  Have empathy, show it

This means you must be able to put yourself in the other person’s place.

Sense his needs.

Feel as he feels.

How would you want to be treated if you were in his place?

This is not easy.

In some cases it is impossible to put your feelings of empathy into words—it can only be done with tears.

8.  No evil for evil

Do not ‘do unto others as they do unto you,’ as some pervert the golden rule to say.

Rather, do not return evil for evil, but conquer evil with good.

This is not impractical theorizing; it is human nature.

A soft answer turns away wrath.

Turning the other cheek may halt the onslaught.

As the coals banked around ancient furnaces melted the metal from the ore, so your returning good for evil may soften your adversary’s anger and cause it to melt away, thereby conquering it.

On the other hand, you may continue to suffer from his evildoing, but you did what you could to promote peace.

You were true to yourself, to your principles.

You did not allow the evildoer to turn you into a doer of evil.

How to make a teen become a responsible driver?

Teen driver.

Parents need to recognize this fact, and seriously consider:

Is my teeneger really ready for a driver’s license?

Otherwise, are they not at least partially responsible when their youngsters become involved in traffic accidents that cause deaths and injuries?

‘But what am I to do?’ you may ask. ‘Should I refuse my child a driver’s license?’

That is a decision you will have to make, but you can also make them become more responsible drivers.

Parental responsibility

Many think it is the best answer, and recommend that laws be passed forbidding young people from driving.

But others believe there are better answers, much fairer to youths.

They argue that raising the driving age will not lessen the number of beginners on the road who lack driving experience.

And it is this lack of experience that is considered a major cause of auto accidents, regardless of the age at which one starts learning to drive.

So perhaps it is your decision to allow your child to learn to drive while he is quite young.

Do not conclude, however, that you have fulfilled your responsibility by simply having him take the driver’s education course at driving school.

These are generally inadequate.

In fact, studies show a higher accident rate even among driving school-trained teenagers.

Why do driving school programs fail?

Basically, it is felt, because they do not give the young driver practical experience.

Only a little time is spent actually driving, and this at slow speeds on lightly traveled streets.

Few, if any, emergency situations are faced. “Because of this,” a spokesman for a large auto insurer explained, “young drivers are not ready to face many emergency situations such as blowouts and skids.

Too often the youthful driver’s first experience with an emergency situation is the real thing, and too often he will never get a second chance.”

For this reason Dr. Amos E. Neyhart,  who has set up a driving course says :

 At least 12 hours should be spent by each student behind the wheel. The student driver must be given simulation experience in skidding, brake failure, tire blowouts, running off the road, and so on. We’ve been teaching manipulative skills but not enough accident-prevention skills.”

So, as a parent, you should see that your teenager receives adequate driving experience.

Let him practice while you are with him.

Give him practical experience at turnpike speeds.

Also, it is wise to teach him to handle skids, estimated to be a major contributing factor in one of every four fatal auto accidents.

Perhaps you can find a large, unoccupied, iced-over parking lot and obtain permission to use it to practice skidding and counter-steering.

Reading about skid control will never educate as well as will experiencing the real thing.

Nor does your responsibility end with simply seeing that your youngster can expertly handle a car, even in emergency situations.

Inculcating a proper mental attitude is equally important, if not even more so.

Instilling a sober, mature attitude

Your youngster may be a teenager, but when he is behind the wheel of a car it is essential that he be a stable person who values life and property.

It is your responsibility to see that he is.

Endeavor to develop in him courtesy, respect for law, carefulness and consideration for the rights of others.

A vital way of doing so is by providing a good example in the way you drive.

Emphasizing the importance of this, Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, a noted psychoanalyst, said:

Even if a parent breaks a traffic law only occasionally, it may be enough to destroy a child’s belief that he should obey all rules at all times. An occasional speeding violation by a parent, or impatient cheating at the stoplight, makes a youngster imagine that to be ‘grown up’ means one can break the law and get away with it.”

It is vital, too, to teach your youngster to think while he drives, always to be analyzing the traffic situation.

One parent makes a kind of game out of this, explaining:

My son . . . sits beside me in the front seat of the car, looks ahead, and picks out possible dangers. For example, there is a line of parked cars ahead with a driver seated at the wheel of one car. What should the driver of our car do if the other driver pulls out suddenly or opens his car door on the wrong side? There’s a hidden driveway where a car may come out unexpectedly. How do we prepare to meet this emergency? Up ahead is a blind curve. How do we proceed?”

Some may think that young people have such quick reflexes that they can, at the last moment, take accident-preventing action.

But the fact is, being able to get one’s foot to the brake a fraction of a second faster than the next person is much less important in avoiding accidents than driving carefully enough so that such activity is unnecessary.

Yet another way to impress upon your youngster the importance of safe driving is to allow him to see and hear firsthand what happens to traffic violators.

If you get in touch with the local court, the judge may be glad to have you come down to listen.

He may even arrange to hear a series of cases that will be especially instructive and impressive for teenagers.

Also effective is to have youths visit the emergency ward of a hospital and watch traffic-accident cases as they are brought in.

This can certainly make a lasting impression that emphasizes the importance of safe driving!

By inquiring and explaining the reason for it, you may receive permission to visit such an emergency ward.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the future of your youngster is dependent, to a surprising degree, upon your proper supervision of his use of the car.

You simply cannot close your eyes to the danger when he is behind the wheel.

It is real!

So do all you can to make your youngster a safe driver.

His life, and that of others, may depend on it.

Why it is important to laugh everyday?

A woman laughing.

Animals cannot laugh.

The enjoyment of laughter is reserved exclusively for humans.

For centuries research has gone on to find out why people laugh, but it is still largely a mystery.

Do you enjoy a good laugh?

Is it beneficial to laugh?

There are different views about humor.

Some stress the negative side, viewing humor as “aggressive,” tending to belittle other people.

On the other hand, laughter has been called “a prerequisite to a well-rounded personality,” “wonder drug for depression.”

But why can it be regarded as one of the most important natural medicine?

Aid to a healthy mind and body

An article entitled “The Sense in Humor” points out that some psychologists and psychiatrists have begun to explore the possibilities of using humor therapeutically.

They are attempting to encourage their patients’ sense of the ridiculous as an antidote to emotional distress.

On the other hand, persons with no sense of humor often show symptoms of emotional disorders.

Dr. Margaret Prouty,
a retired pediatrician, made an interesting observation concerning children who developed ulcers due to stress:

Years of observation have convinced me that one of their chief personality defects is an almost total lack of a sense of humor. Life is indeed real and earnest, and they have no ability to laugh at themselves or at others.”

You probably know some persons who take themselves very seriously, walking about with a ‘chip on their shoulder,’ so to speak.

Are such people happy?

Do they contribute to the happiness of others?

The solution may be no more involved than learning to laugh at themselves.

Psychiatrist Smiley Blanton stated:

I’ve seldom been called on to help a person who had a sense of the ridiculous, and I’ve never had to treat anyone who could really laugh at himself.”

Can you see the humorous side of your life?

Yes, “a sound mind” goes hand in hand with a modest view of oneself.

You will more easily develop that view if you learn to laugh at yourself.

What about the effect of humor on physical health?

Dr. James J. Walsh, in his book Laughter and Health, explained that the up-and-down movement of the diaphragm in laughter affects internal organs in a manner similar to exercise.

Laughter gives a gentle massage to the heart, improving circulation. A like effect upon the liver and intestines aids digestion and elimination of wastes.

Dr. Walsh points out that persons with blood-pressure problems would do well to “keep laughing.”

Results of experiments revealed that people with blood pressure of 180 or above experienced—through laughter—a drop of 10 or more points; those with low blood pressure (below 120) showed a rise of 10 points or more. But there are times when laughter is out of place.

The magazine Science Digest observes:

Like a coin, humor appears to have two sides. . . . Sometimes wit is used either consciously or unconsciously as a weapon. There is a saying, ‘Laughter kills.’”

This is particularly true with regard to young children.

Never should a child be the victim of derisive “humor.”

Nor should children be allowed to use such a “weapon” on other youngsters.

This is a sign of insecurity and parents should be quick to correct whatever is wrong.

To avoid hurting another be sure you laugh with him, not at him.

Indeed, there is a time to laugh.

Hearty, relaxed laughter can benefit you mentally, physically and emotionally.

But be careful not to engage in laughter at the wrong time, or to use your sense of humor to hurt others.

Other humor’s benefits

Humor is helpful in coping with difficult situations

Laughter can play an important part in promoting peaceful family life.

Illustrating this is the experience of a father who became provoked at his young son for leaving a new bicycle out in the rain overnight.

“Put it out in the driveway and let me run over it,” the father said bitterly.

“We might as well finish it off.”

As his anger flared, the father grabbed the bicycle and wheeled it onto the driveway. 

Then the boy’s younger sister and mother made some remarks to provoke laughter in the angered father.

What happened?

The man explains:

After a moment I smiled. Then I laughed. The moment I laughed, I could sense the tension ebbing away. A feeling of relief took over. Sanity had returned. Everyone joined in the laughter.”

Reflecting on the benefits of humor in trying situations, this man stated:

More and more I am convinced that humor is a sixth sense, as important to our enjoyment of life—even to our survival—as any of the five physical senses. And if there is any place it comes in handy it is in the home. Ours, anyhow.”

Humor can brighten up even an apparently hopeless situation.

Does your occupation require you to persuade others of the value of some product, of the need to take a particular course of action, or of the reasonableness of certain arguments?

How can you convince your hearers to act upon what you say?

William J. McGuire, of Yale University’s Department of Psychology, writes concerning persuasion:

The use of humor in the message can enhance yielding; apparently it puts the recipient in a more pleasant, agreeable state.”

Concerning children a psychologist noted:

A sensitive parent can learn a great deal from observing when and why his child laughs just as we learn from observing in our clinical work. . . . Relaxed laughter is healthy, but distorted, artificial laughter can be a cover-up for troubled feelings.”

How to prevent protein deficiency?

A child with piece of bread.

Lack of protein is basically responsible for the early deaths of untold millions of young children in  some areas of the world.

How to prevent such deaths by getting more protein foods into the diet of children in these areas has become a problem the solution of which requires the cooperation of parents and local authorities.

Malnutrition is a product of ignorance and poverty, and custom, superstition and taboos, which often limit the foods grown and used, are additional factors.

Many mothers who are illiterate do not know that generous supplies of high quality protein foods are needed by their young children.

Eggs that would give the children needed protein are often sold or traded instead of being fed to them.

Also, other foods that are high in protein are often not used for one reason or another.

The growth of a child generally slows down after it is weaned because its mother, usually through ignorance, fails to feed it protein rich foods.

It becomes a puny person with hair that is brown instead of black, skin that is paler than normal, skinny arms and legs and possibly an extensive degree of dwarfing.

At eighteen months it may not weigh any more than it did at nine months.

In some poor countries 70 percent of the children are affected by protein malnutrition.

This condition can produce mental and physical retardation that is irreversible.

Mild or moderate protein deficiency renders infants and young children particularly susceptible to respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

Disease accentuates the need for protein-rich foods, failure to supply which can cause death or the severe protein deficiency known as kwashiorkor, meaning “the disease the deposed baby gets when the next one is born."

Why protein is important? 

The very word “protein” means “first,” and that is the place it holds in our body’s need for nourishment.

It provides essential nitrogen and is constantly required for the growth and replacement of body tissues.

The body breaks down protein into constituents called amino acids and then reconstructs them into other proteins.

Our body can synthesize or make up all but eight of the more than twenty amino acids.

The eight that it cannot synthesize are called “essential” amino acids.

These must be supplied in the foods we eat.

If an essential amino acid is in short supply, it limits how effectively the body uses the rest of the protein in the food.

A good quality protein supplies all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and in proper ratio.

Egg protein is regarded by some persons as the best quality natural protein, with milk, meat and fish also rated high.

Among plants. those with the best-quality proteins are found in legumes such as beans, peas, ground peas (peanuts) and nuts.

While most plant products lack one or more of the essential amino acids, the deficiency can often be corrected by combining them with other vegetables that supply the lack.

For example, adding just a small amount of high-quality protein food to a diet of cassava or plantain will create an amino-acid balance enabling all the protein in the food to be used effectively.

To obtain this advantage, however, protein foods must be eaten together.

The balance is lost by eating maize one day and beans the next.

Eating a variety of foods together allows for the interaction of all essential nutrients.

Protein may actually be in a person’s diet, but the body will not be able to make proper use of it unless energy giving calories or essential vitamins and minerals are adequate.

On the other hand, adding much of one nutrient will only exaggerate the deficiency of the others.

Thus some malnourished Indonesians that were given high-protein skim milk but not an extra supply of vitamin A were adversely affected in their eyes.

A fully grown adult uses protein only for tissue maintenance and repair.

A child, however, needs it for growth.

This fact makes it possible for an adult to live on a supply of protein food that is totally inadequate for a child.

A child that is four years of age requires the same minimum amount of protein as an adult.

Because a child usually eats about half as much as an adult, he needs foods that have twice the concentration of protein as those eaten by an adult.

Too many mothers are unaware of this fact.

The normal flow of breast milk can fully meet the protein and calorie needs of an ’ infant until between the sixth and twelfth months of life.

After that, diet supplements are required.

This presents a problem in underdeveloped countries.

Cow’s milk is either not available or too expensive.

The same can be said of other protein rich foods.

Usually the child is fed on “pappy” cereals or starchy roots and fruits until he begins eating the normal family foods.

An expectant mother needs additional protein to meet the demands of pregnancy, otherwise she may handicap her offspring from birth.

Amazing as it may seem, good quality breast milk is often provided for prolonged periods by undernourished women, but at considerable cost to their own health.

Sources of cheap protein

Abundant quantities of cheap protein can be found in foods of vegetable origin, particularly oil-seed meals.

The food expert Nevin S. Scrimshaw observed:

“Most technically under developed areas could easily provide sufficient protein from either cotton seed or soya to correct their protein deficits.”

Meal can be obtained from ground peas, copra, sesame and sunflower seeds.

In Liberia investigations are under way on the advisability of building a plant to crush palm kernels and make palm-oil cakes.

The product would contain 80 percent protein.

Common varieties of beans and peas can partially correct protein deficiencies, particularly where cassava, yam, taro, sweet potatoes and plantain have replaced cereals as staple foods.

Grown on the same amount of ground, such legumes provide even more protein than do cereals.

An enormous potential supply of protein is in fish.

They can be processed into stable flour with or without a fish taste or odor.

For such to be produced cheaply, however, the whole fish, including viscera, scales and eyes, must be used.

For this reason the United States Food and Drug Administration pronounces fish meal or flour unfit for human consumption in that country.

But processors insist that they can convert whole fish into a clean and safe product.

At the present time the sanitary measures and precautions necessary in processing fish into meal for human consumption make it more costly than powdered skim milk and oil-seed meals.

While research continues to find ways of lowering the cost and increasing its acceptability, a village can obtain fish protein by maintaining a village fish pond.

Twenty-six fish ponds have been built in Liberia during the past few years.

Acceptance problem

There has been a problem in getting people in some areas to accept a food they needed but were unfamiliar with.

A formulated cereal that was successfully sold in Guatemala was not accepted at all by the people in a nearby country.

In some places where free dried skim milk was distributed, people did not know what to do with it.

Instead of introducing new and unfamiliar foods, it appears that the people in some under developed lands can be aided best by helping them to use local foods that are available to them and with which they are familiar.

In Liberia the growing of ground peas or pigeon peas in gardens is encouraged as well as the raising of chickens, rabbits or pigeons.

They are admonished to use these protein-rich foods to feed their family instead of selling them.

There are people who are certain to object that it is not their custom to use certain foods that have a high protein content.

Fish and various animals, for example, are taboo to some people.

Even eggs are rejected in certain places because of a superstition that they cause a pregnant woman to give birth to a girl and turn growing boys into “Sissies.”

School instruction can help overcome these unwise views in the younger generation, but it is difficult to change them in adults.

Discontinuance of the old custom of prolonged breast feeding is having a bad effect upon young children where satisfactory substitutes for it are lacking.

Influenced by western ideas, some mothers mistakenly think that bottle feeding is socially superior to breast feeding.

Others think that store milk is more nutritious, but seldom can they purchase enough of it to supply their babies with the nutrition needed.

More often than not they feed their baby a highly diluted mixture of condensed milk and rice water or a corn flour gruel colored with milk that has been sweetened.

Such a diet causes malnutrition to set in.

If a mother were to continue breast feeding her child and also give it a food such as soft rice, it would be in less danger of protein and calorie malnutrition.

Improving local foods

The protein value of a maize gruel, such as "koko," which is used in Ghana, can be improved by adding some pea flour.

This is valuable when breast milk fails and there is no money for buying milk.

Homemade fish flour can also be added.

If at all possible some dried skim milk should be used, because it is rich in riboflavin, which helps the body to make full use of protein.

Perhaps it can be obtained free from a public health center.

Continued use of milk,eggs or fish flour is advisable because a child of two or three cannot easily eat sufficient corn and peas or beans to satisfy his protein requirements.

Where ettu (steamed mashed plantain) is the favorite weaning food, its nutritional value am be increased by adding some powdered milk or sweet potatoes and red beans.

Ground peas or dried fish flour can also be used.

This supplement should also be added where manioc or cassava is used as a weaning food.

Cereal protein, how. ever, is much superior to that of plantain or cassava and is always preferred in child feeding.

A nourishing baby food can be made of rice, ground peas (peanuts) and sesame seed.

First, soak the rice for two hours, drain it and then spread it on a farmer in the sun until partially dried.

Pound it in a mortar and then sift.

Parch ground peas and remove the skin.

Pound them in a mortar while still warm and then sift.

Clean sesame (benniseed) and parch.

Pound them and sift.

Mix five parts of both rice and sesame meal to three parts of ground-pea meal. One part of fish flour may be added.

Fish flour can be obtained by pounding dried fish thoroughly in a mortar.

To one cup of this mixture add four cups of cold water slowly until it is free from lumps.

Add one teaspoon of salt.

Cook slowly for thirty minutes.

If the baby is over eight months, add palm oil or pounded tender greens for vitamin A.

The protein content of this mixture, even without the fish, exceeds that of milk.

When there is a lack of time to prepare special baby food, what is in the family pot can be used.

A portion of cooked rice can be cooked for about fifteen minutes more with more water so as to make it softer.

Add two tablespoons of boned fish and some tender greens.

Cook for still another fifteen minutes, and then put it through a sieve.

This pap requires only thirty additional minutes to prepare after cooking for the family, and it can be done with only three pots.

You might think that young children cannot digest eggs, ground-pea flour, beans and peas, but, when these foods are properly prepared. they can.

Experiments have shown that egg protein can be easily fed to persons of all ages.

In Dakar, West Africa, ground-pea flour was easily digested by healthy infants from five to twelve months old when it was given to them in amounts that did not exceed 50 to 80 grams daily, but they had difficulty with larger amounts.

In Nigeria good results were observed when children of nine months to one year were given 30 grams daily of groundnut flour that contained 15 percent casein plus vitamins and mineral salts.

Bean puree can be made by first soaking the beans overnight.

Change the water and boil them with salt until they are soft.

Mash the beans and strain out the skins.

Continue boiling until the surplus water is gone and a firm puree remains.

Puree, palm oil, salt and fish can be wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to provide .a protein-rich baby food.

The problem of protein malnutrition is growing with the steady population increase in underdeveloped areas of the world.

The nutritional knowledge of what is needed for these peoples is available, and it can be supplied through government, national and international agencies.

Parents and village leaders would be wise to give heed to it.

By their applying this knowledge the deaths of millions of children from malnutrition can be avoided

What you should know about working at sea?

A navy officer.

Why would anyone want to be working at sea ?

On the other hand, seafarers often ask, why would any person want to work in a factory or an office entombed away from the refreshing beauties of the great outdoors?

Why would anyone want to be a subway train conductor or work in a mine where he must forego the fresh air and sunlight of the great outdoors?

Questions such as these serve to highlight the difference of ideas that people have on the subject of employment.

On the surface of things the seafarer's lot may appear infinitely better than that of the person who is forced to sweat life out in a foundry or mine or who is obliged from day to day to face an insatiable public in a store or shop.

But every experienced seafarer knows that appearances are extremely deceiving, that life itself, whether on land or at sea, is not to be judged by appearances.

The reasoning person search should be for truth.

Behind the thinking of the young person who is contemplating a life at sea there may very well be visions of exotic lands, a life of ease with good pay, free of weighty responsibilities and loaded with adventure.

Any seafarer worth his salt will tell you that those are dreams, and dreams, while they may contain some truth, usually differ drastically from the stark realities.

This is not to say that life at sea does not have its good points, for it does.

Sea life can have its adventurous interludes.

The sea itself fills men with awe and wonder, and some of the port cities are among the most fascinating in the world.

Nevertheless, what we want to do is equate sea life with the facts.

The person behind a desk in some office in a large city may be prone to envision sea life in glowing romantic terms, perhaps as an escape from tight schedules, traffic jams, carbon monoxide gases or a nagging wife.

The young person in the factory may regard life at sea as a haven from the dreaded monotony.

Of the production line, and the farmer boy may see this life as a flight from boring chores.

While all of those outlooks might lead people to the sea, none of them reflect an honest appraisal of sea life.

For at sea there are schedules to be met and boring chores just as there are on land.

Rewards and fears

But life at sea does have its rewards.

For example, the hashes of the sun at it's rising and setting make the ocean astonishingly beautiful.

The sounds of the waves are most awesome and varied.

There are the hollow boomings and heavy roarings, great watery tumblings, hissings and seethings, sharp, rifle-shot reports, splashes and whispers.

Every mood of the wind, every change in the weather, every phase of the tide has its own peculiar attraction.

Yet with the various tinges of the sea, the polar lights in the north and in the south, the myriads of stars and meteors, still these natural wonders are no more influential toward making a seafarer a good person than the sight of a rising sun or beaming stars is to a factory worker on vacation.

On land as well as at sea, it is our own attitude that really counts.

There are tranquil and spellbinding moments at sea.

But this is only one side of the story.

What about the other side?

There are also frightening and terrifying realities that are not so widely publicized, and these are as much a part of sea life as a boatswain’s whistle.

There is no denying that sunsets and sunrises are beautiful to behold, but what about the endless days that are buried in bleak wintry gloom, when the raging sea resembles stampeding mountains and the ship struggles to keep from being torn to pieces or from being buried beneath the waves?

Icebergs do reflect a breathtaking brightness against a black sea.

But have you ever been near them in a North Atlantic gale when your ship was tossed and pitched like a feather in a hurricane and your very life and the life of everyone on the ship depended on evading those treacherous masses of ice?

Have you been aboard when the ship’s deck was caked with tons of ice, when waves like angry mountains made each groan sound like the ship’s very last as it plunged in and out of the sea?

During moments like these there is very little that is romantic about sea life.

The office worker would welcome the sight of an office, and the boy, his father’s farm.

The demands and dangers 

Have you ever considered how demanding and dangerous sea life can be?

At times the seafarer must face unbearable humidity, violent winds, solar radiation, frequent changes of climate, insufficient sleep, poisoning effects of the cargoes by development of gases and the so-called “metalplate disease” (a harmful effect on man caused by fields of terrestrial magnetism acting on iron pieces of the ship).

Add to this the fact that by long tradition the captain has the final say on matters.

Woe betide the seafarer who runs afoul of the ship’s master.

Every year some ship vessels disappear at sea.

These mysterious losses involve some crew members also.

Of course, there are disasters on land, too, mine disasters, explosions and other industrial accidents. 

But at least land disasters can be analyzed and steps taken to avoid repetition.

What can be done about ships that are mysteriously swallowed up by the sea?

Why, then, the sea?

A seafarer’s life, perhaps, can best be described as an isolating experience.

It is a life confined in a vessel of cold steel, which rocks and rolls, pitches and tosses, sways and vibrates.

It is often a life of deep loneliness, agonizing solitude and frequent hours of absolute boredom.

Wrote one ship commander after years at sea:

“I remember only one man who walked his deck with a springy step, and gave the first course of the passage in an elated voice. But he, as I learned afterwards, was leaving nothing behind him, except a welter of debts and threats of legal proceedings.”

This is not to say that there are no exceptions to the rule, for there are, but not many.

There are seafarer who say that the water is their element.

These men boast that for them really to feel at home is for them to live on the ocean waves.

Some old-timers were born at sea, and at sea is where they would prefer to end their days.

Veteran sailors tell us that there are moments at sea when life can be unforgettably beautiful.

It can be a great doctor, say they, for sore hearts and sore heads.

Cares, they feel, seem to be left astern as easily as the light air bubbles in the swirls of the ship’s wake.

Nothing, it appears, but a gale can disturb the orderly serenity of life when all is well at sea.

But these moments must be weighed in the light of all the other factors when considering a life at sea. 

Sober reflections 

There are serious considerations to bear in mind.

For example, ask yourself, is a seafarer’s life a life for a family ?

The person might reason that he or she provides well for the family.

But are material considerations the only ones to be met by him?

How much affection can a person shower on his or her while at sea?

How much instruction and direction can one offer them?

The person operating a subway train or working in a mine may be away from his family all day, but he does have an opportunity to come home at night, and his weekends can be spent with the family.

Studies from Norway, Britain and the West Indies, all tend to show that children growing up in split-up families are seriously handicapped in their chances of growing up normally.

When one parent is away, the other parent has to do the work of two; consequently, children suffer.

Consider, too, the moral aspect of such a life and the strain that it places on both the husband and the wife.

Many foreign ports swarm with prostitutes who are only too willing to sell themselves.

And seafarer are singled out as prime targets.

The lack of moral integrity aboard ships, too, is not a hidden secret; also group influence and loneliness-all these factors tend to weaken, corrode and destroy the virtues of even one of high principle.

Marital fidelity and moral integrity do suffer; without question.

The wife may be tempted while the husband is away, and the husband certainly is exposed to temptation.

An upright person would indeed be placing himself and, his high ideals in frightful jeopardy by ignoring these facts of sea life.

Do you want to take such chances with your life?

Throughout the world merchant fleets are expanding, and enticing offers are made to lure young people into that way of life.

Some vessels today are breathlessly beautiful to behold.

Many of them have comfortable quarters.

A number are controlled by automatic instruments, remote control, radar and other complicated electronic devices.

It also may be true that seafarers have much leisure time to study.

According to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, “persons at sea service read a lot more books than the average adult.”

But what is the quality of their reading?

It would be naive to think that people aboard ships are all industriously engaged in constructive pursuits in their spare time.

Such is simply not the case.

A seafarer’s life is a hard life, particularly difficult for a person with a family.

So, think carefully before obligating yourself to a life at sea.

How to be a fun dad?

Dad and daughters having fun.

Fathers are often completely surprised at the pleasure and enjoyment they receive from playing with their children.

But why should they be?

Is this not natural?

The value of such warm, close companionship and fun sharing during a child’s formative years should never be underestimated, for its contributions for good are great.

Fatherhood not only calls for love, integrity, courage and knowledge, but also requires a sharing of these qualities daily with those who depend on the father for their future.

Obviously, dad cannot be a real father, unless, of course, he is at home in body and mind.

When he is, it is then that he is happiest.

Father fun time with kids

But what can fathers do to enjoy their children?

And where will a hardworking father 'find the time for such activity'?

There are 168 hours in a week for each of us.

The average man spends about 40 of them at his secular work.

Allow another 20 hours for traveling time and lunch.

Then set l aside 56 hours, eight each ; night, for sleep. 

That adds up 4 to 116 hours, which leaves father 52 hours for eating, relaxing, or whatever else he wants to do.

Surely in those 52 hours should be able to set aside some time to be with his children.

But how many do it?

Not many.

Some father retort, "What can l do ?" l'm too old to play with children."

But playing with children is the very thing that keeps a man’s spirit from growing old.

And as for things to do, there are aplenty.

For example, there are games fathers can play with their children.

These can be played during mealtime, at bedtime or on weekends.

Some can be played while riding in a car, others while taking a walk.

The game “Chain Geography,” for instance, can be played using names of places.

A player begins by naming a country, territory, city, sea, river or something similar.

The other player then has to come up with another name that starts with the last letter of the preceding word.

Children and adults find this game great fun.

Another game is one in which a letter is called out and others add to the letter until a word is spelled or they add to it without spelling a word.

For instance, father may say H, Junior O, mother L. 

Now if sister were to say Y or E or D that would spell a word and she would either win or lose depending on how the game was played.

Quiz games are also enjoyable.

Father starts off saying, “I’m thinking of someone,” or, “I’m thinking of something.”

The children will try to find out what he is thinking, in twenty questions or less.

Or son will say, “Dad, you’re ‘it.’ ”

Now father must try to find out what “it” is.

So he will ask, “Where do I live? Do I build nests? Can I swim?”

The game continues until the other player guesses who he is or gives up.

There seems to be a game for every mood and moment.

Children enjoy playing checkers and become very adept too.

To turn checkers into a quick-moving romp try playing “give-away.”

The player tries to get rid of all his checkers as quickly as possible.

The first to do so is the winner.

Scrabble and anagrams test spelling and vocabulary.

Dominoes emphasize number adding and matching.

Chinese checkers is a game of jumping but not taking.

There are games to play with pencil and paper and games to play with other equipment.

Father may not think so, but when junior is sick in bed, a few moments of dad’s attention is some of the best medicine in the world.

When visiting with son bring along an old camera or clock and spend a few minutes tinkering with it together.

It is always good to spring some new riddle or story or some mental teaser.

Children never seem to get enough of these.

And if sister is in bed, try putting a jigsaw puzzle together with her or work a simple crossword puzzle

These things mean a lot to children and parents.

Having fun outdoors

Most children like to play outdoor games with father.

Playing catch with a ball, hiking or climbing a hill are always great fun.

If you live near the seashore, go shell hunting with your children.

Teach them to listen to the surf roll in.

Sit in the pitch darkness of the night and thrill at the sight of the moon rise.

Observe its silvery reflections and dark shadows.

Watch sunrises and sunsets with them.

The memory of such scenes, photographed on the child’s mind, will mean more to him in manhood than many hour lectures on nature and good behavior.

A child’s world is fresh, new and exciting.

Here is a father’s chance to relive and recapture through the eyes of a growing child some of that excitement he once knew.

For a child to appreciate and wonder nature it needs the companionship of an adult who is willing to share his knowledge and experience.

If a father allows himself this experience he will rediscover a joy often lost to men of age.

Exploring nature with your child is deeply rewarding.

This is not a huge project; rather, it is a matter of becoming receptive to and aware of what lies around you.

For no matter where you live there are clouds and stars, the beauties of the dawn and the twilight.

If you train your child to appreciate things through all his senses, you will be keeping your own appreciation alive.

The sand grains of the seashore mean more to him if he sees them run through his fingers or looks at them under a magnifying glass.

He will not forget moss if he feels its velvety surface.

Have him distinguish the different fragrances as he walks with you through the forest.

Have him sniff seaweeds, fish and salt water.

Train him so he can tell their separate odors.

Has he come to appreciate the smell of new mown hay or grass after a warm summer rain?

Has he tasted clover blossoms, wild grapes and blackberries?

To watch him thrill as you lead him through every new experience of life will bring joy to your heart.

Hearing too requires conscious cultivation.

Some children pass through life with out hearing the dawn chorus of the birds in the spring.

Never let this happen to your children.

Wake them up some morning and have them watch with you the daybreak.

The experiences of predawn are unforgettable.

The soft sounds of the wind, the happy ripple of a brook and the songs of birds are some of the never-to be forgotten sounds.

Someday hold your boy’s hand as together you watch a thunderstorm.

He will sense your fearlessness and learn courage thereby.

When he is around, look at things and speak of them with appreciation and keen interest, and he will learn to wonder and appreciate the world he lives in.

In such companionship your child will find joy and you will find inner contentment and a renewed excitement in living.

Having fun indoors

Fathers can enjoy their children indoors as well as outdoors.

One way is by teaching them to become collectors of things.

Persons who collect things are unusually happy, because they live in so many places; that is, their imagination sweeps the wide world wherever things are found.

Some collect stamps and coins, others gather unusual shells, stones, leaves and flowers.

Collectors always have something in common to talk about.

Can’t you just see Junior’s excitement when he sees father?

“Dad! Guess what I have found!”

And away they go happily engrossed in conversation, discussing junior’s recent find.

Collections mean display cases and labeling.

The cases become filled with a variety of lovely flowers, shells and rocks.

Theirs is a miniature family museum.

These things will make them think of the places they have visited, things they have seen and the people they have met.

The coins and stamps they collect will remind them of faraway people and strange customs.

Fathers find delight in teaching children how to grow plants and flowers inside the home.

Children thrill in watching things grow.

Home aquariums and terrariums never cease to amuse both father and son.

Fish and underwater plant life are fascinating to watch.

In terrariums pet rabbits and turtles are kept.

Vegetable gardens are fine if there is a backyard.

Children will take a keen interest in gardening if parents will.

Home grown radishes, carrots, peas, beans and tomatoes always add new excitement to the dinner table. 

Display cases, flower boxes, terrariums and aquariums may also make you want to have a workshop.

Designing and creating things for home use are things children never forget.

While the workshop is a place of serious business, it is a marvelous place to teach children the value of tools, the need to keep them clean and in their proper places.

Junior can help in making snack trays or a bulletin board for the home.

Let him observe and help you make a wastepaper basket for the kitchen, or shelves for your cases.

Train him so he can make his own pencil holder and magazine rack.

Have him assist you whenever possible. 

His joy will be your great reward.

According to your own abilities, you can teach him to work with wood, leather, plastics, cork, aluminum, ceramic clay, cloth or copper.

Train him to use a saw, how to hammer, carve and whittle, grind and polish, bake clay, draw and paint.

While instructing him your own skills will be kept alive.

Yours will be the greater joy for having trained someone you love.

Having fun on when learning 

“Hey, Dad,. how about going somewhere?”

“Okay,” says father, “where shall we go?”


But anyplace will never do.

Take the children to some specific place that they will remember.

While children never seem to tire of zoos and museums, of merry go-rounds and picnics, there is no need to go repeatedly to these places.

Why not take them to a paper mill or a newspaper publishing plant on occasion?

Let them see firsthand how paper is made and how newspapers are printed.

Children like ice cream and chocolate, so why not take them to ice-cream and chocolate factories?

A trip to the airport, a tour of an automobile factory, a visit to the city library, will enlarge their appreciation and better equip them for later life.

Spend a weekend on a poultry or dairy farm or visit a soda bottling plant.

A trip to the courthouse, a few hours at a trial and a tour of the city jail may teach children greater appreciation for law and order.

A few hours at a children’s hospital may make them aware of caring for their health and the need to be more careful and sympathetic toward others.

Is there a flower festival in town, an auto show, maybe a county or state fair nearby?

Any of these would be a joy to children.

There is no end of things that can be done without making repeated trips to the zoo or museum or simply watching television.

Talking, reading and singing together

Children love to know what father did when he was their age.

How did he have fun?

Where did he go?

What books did he read?

How did he meet mother?

So talk to them.

They enjoy dad’s getting them ready for bed and his few words with them until they fall asleep. 

The bedtime custom in many homes is for the father to read a chapter or two of the book aloud to his children before going to bed.

Some families sit in a circle.

Father will read a page, then mother, then each of the children will take turns in reading.

Every now and then the family will have a little songfest of their own.

They sing folk songs and some of the old time favorites.

Karaoke music, with everybody making gestures to suit the words, is always lots of fun.

Sometimes father can watch movies at home with his family.

Films are stocked with comedy, nature and instructive shorts on just about any subject you can name.

A father’s life does not have to be boring.

There are plenty of things for him to do that would add spice to his life, if he would but reach out and do them.

They are essential foods for a happy family life.

For some of the most profound satisfactions in a father’s life arise, not so much from his success in the business world as from his being truly a father to his children.

What to do with things you cannot change?

A disabled man drawing a lady.

There was an ancient Greek philosopher who is reputed to have counseled:

Young man, get married, get married. If you get a good wife, you will be happy and that is a good thing. And if you do not get a good wife, you will become a philosopher and that also is a good thing.’ 

The idea of the latter part of the saying is that it is good to adjust to that which cannot be changed, taking a philosophical view of life, as it were.

But how can this be done?

Dealing with the unchangeable

A man in a wheelchair.

This matter of learning to live with the unchangeable applies to ever so many facets of life.

The very matter of one’s height might cause one grief.

A girl more than six feet tall may fret because she is so tall.

Then, again, a man less than five feet may chafe because he is so short.

What can any of these persons do?

 “What can’t be cured must be endured,” is the way one physician put it.

One who learned to live with his extreme shortness is Carlos Romulo, a Philippine statesman.

He says that he did not let his being so short a bash him and, in time, found that it really was an asset, as people often have an inclination to favor the person who is very small.

One thing that all such disadvantaged persons can do is to learn to appreciate the blessings that they do have. Is it not true that life and even a measure of health are great blessings?

There are the beauties of “nature,” the pleasure of listening to beautiful music, the love of family and friends and the satisfaction that comes from being useful both to one’s life and to others.

The same applies to one’s attitude toward world problems, some of which have no immediate solutions.

Political leaders have a great deal to say about today’s crisis.

So do religious leaders, newspaper writers, atomic scientists and others.

However, this article is not about the world’s crisis.

Rather, it is about your crisis, the one that you as an individual face today, how to cope with these problems as an individual.

The poor living conditions that exist in most parts of the world, unemployment and poverty, crime and fear can cause you great discouragement.

At times you can become depressed because of fighting many serious problems the world throws at you at once.

Life becomes dismal because these seem to add up to one great plight.

But, instead of viewing them as such, why not deal with them individually, as far as possible?

Making suitable efforts to resolve one at a time is surely better than linking these problems together in one’s mind and experiencing frustration.

So avoid being unduly anxious on problems you can’t presently solve, deal with only those within your reach and ability.

Passage of time will equip you with the know how to deal with them later.

Yes, it will help us to learn to live with the unchangeable if we try to be philosophical about our particular situation and make the best of it.

Accept the fact that all happiness is relative and that under present imperfect conditions there will always be some bitter with the sweet.

So, in whatever state or condition you might find yourself; look for its compensations or mercies.

To resist feelings of self-pity, a person must have the right view of his problems and trials.

We should look on unpleasant experiences as opportunities to improve in the display of fine qualities under test.

For instance, if things always went smoothly for us, how could we tell whether we actually had patience, endurance or self-control?

On the other hand, challenging circumstances soon make it clear to us wherein we are lacking.

This puts us in a better position to make improvement.

The same applies to our relations with others.

Many married couples upon finding that they are not very compatible separate or divorce, but the better way would be to learn to adjust to each other.

For example, there was a romantic Italian, fond of athletics, who married a rather conservative British girl.

For years they had difficulty in living together, but for the sake of the children they did not break up.

However, in time they learned to adjust, bringing more contentment and happiness into their marriage.

If you could relive the last ten years, would you live them differently? Have you ever thought about what might have been if you had not made certain decisions or had done certain things?

No matter how much you would like to turn back time and relive it in a different manner, the past cannot be changed.

It is like a word that goes out of a man’s mouth.

Once it leaves his lips he cannot grasp it and pull it back.

Your life’s course is marked by what you have done, just as footprints in moist concrete indelibly mark the path you have taken.

You can look back on your life markers, but all you can do is look; you cannot erase them or change them.

If you have lived foolishly and selfishly your life’s course may be strewn with the wreckage of broken friendships and shattered marriages.

It may be scarred from acts of dishonesty, deceitfulness, and perhaps even violence.

But the future does not have to be like the past.

You do not have to repeat those mistakes or continue walking in the same course.

You now know what the right decision before you make it, and the right thing to do before you do it.

Truly, many are the situations under which you will have to endure, because of being unable to change them, or to get out of them honorably.

But whatever the situations may be, the wise course is to learn to live with them, by learning to adjust and making improvements.

7 Tips to help you express yourself clearly

Giving a speech.

“I wish I could express myself the way he does!”

Have you ever said that?

If so, you are not alone, for many people today find it difficult to express themselves clearly.

But now, as never before, there is a need for clear expression.

Businessmen and their employees must convince customers of the advantages of certain commodities or services.

Public lecturers must hold the attention of their listeners with material that is both informative and interesting.

Parents and children need to communicate their feelings to one another.

Here are a few tips to help express yourself clearly:

1. Clear obstacles to expression

At times emotions constitute an obstacle to clear expression.

For example, a child who bursts into the house screaming after receiving a nasty gash at play will be unable to make clear what happened until he has calmed down.

A person excited about some newly acquired information may try to “tell it all in one breath,” with resultant obscurity.

Individuals who speak to live audiences may find that their mind “goes blank” at times due to nervousness.

Clear expression involves having one’s emotions under control.

But that is not all.

Our thoughts can be another hindrance to clear expression, for what a person says is merely an expression of what he thinks.

If an idea is unclear in a person’s mind that is how it will come out when he speaks.

Clear expression, on the other hand, springs from clear, orderly thinking.

That can be a challenge.

Why so?

Because when we think of a subject for discussion a host of details come flooding into our consciousness all at once.

The persons involved the things that happened, the time, the place—everything can become fused together.

If we are not careful we may just “think out loud,” resulting in conversation that rambles through disjointed phrases, side excursions and regressions.

Disorderly thinking also causes “word whiskers” such as “uh,” “and-uh,” “so-uh.”

Many individuals, upon hearing a recording of their own conversations, have been saddened to learn that the overriding impression of their speech was a series of prolonged “uuuhhhs.”

Has that ever happened to you?

2. Getting your thoughts in order

How can you develop the orderly thought patterns that produce clear expression?

Keep in mind that it will not help your hearers if you just uncork tidbits of information as they come up into your mind.

Clear expression requires careful thinking in advance.

With regard to public speaking, Professor William G. Hoffman writes in the book How to Make Better Speeches:

The better speakers do their real thinking off their feet—in the home, in the office, on the sidewalks—anywhere but on the platform. They know that good talks grow out of contemplation, reflection and plan.”

This advance thinking should not spread out in all directions at once, but should follow a definite pattern.

Professor Hoffman continues:

Good talks don’t spread out. They dig down. They try to answer the question, ‘For instance?’ They don’t take up a point only to drop it at once and go to something else.”

How can you gather such specific information?

By using the following Questions-What? Why? When? How? Where? Who?

These six questions lead to facts.

If you develop these aspects separately in advance (as far as this is possible), your presentation will display orderliness and clarity.

Of course, most people are not accustomed to thinking through a matter one aspect at a time.

But you can develop this skill. In time clear thinking and expression will become almost automatic to you.

3. Inform your audience

Clear expression also involves knowing the type of audience that you will address.

Different people may be interested in different aspects of a subject and this will influence how you develop it.

If you are relating an event, some may be satisfied simply with “what” happened.

But when trying to persuade someone to take a certain course of action, you will probably have to emphasize “why.”

Others may want to know the place, the time and other circumstances.

Related to this is the need to find out how much your audience already knows about your subject.

To illustrate: If a person inquired of you how to get to a certain location, you might begin by asking: “Do you know where Main Street is?”

If he did, you would start directing him from there.

But if not, it would be necessary to lay some prior groundwork.

Similarly, in striving to make yourself clear it is good to ask:

How much do my listeners already know about this matter?

What foundation must I lay before these points can be made clear?

4. Driving the point home

Has anyone ever interrupted you, pleading: “Would you please get to the point”?

This touches upon another important aspect of clear expression, namely, knowing exactly what point you want to put across when you speak.

Some have found it helpful in preparing a speech or other type of public presentation to write out the main point in one sentence.

Then they divide the material into sections and place a one-sentence summary of each section at its beginning.

This reminds the speaker of what he especially wants to put across.

Sequence is another important factor if your hearers are to get the point.

Which aspect should come first?

Which one last?

In what order should you place your main points?

This, too, depends upon your audience and the effect you wish to achieve.

When describing an automobile accident to a policeman, you might tell the details in the order of their occurrence (a chronological sequence).

But you would most likely relate these same details in an entirely different order (a logical sequence) when advising your child to steer clear of dangerous intersections.

5. Use repetition

It is important to realize, too, that people think much faster than you are able to speak.

Minds tend to wander, and if this goes unchecked, they may miss the point of your presentation.

What can you do?

Employ repetition.

As you progress through your material, repeat the main points that have been discussed, relating them to the central theme.

Some have found it effective to incorporate a concise summary of all the main points in the conclusion of a talk.

Repetition serves both to emphasize the key thoughts and to keep people listening right to the end.

6. Use illustrations

Illustrations are a further aid in driving the point home.

When you use illustrations, you impress meaningful pictures on the minds of your listeners.

Well-chosen illustrations couple intellectual appeal with emotional impact.

They stir the thinking processes and make it easier to grasp new thoughts.

But illustrations can do as much harm as good if they are not carefully selected.

Make sure the ones you choose are simple and that the audience appreciates why you are using them.

Choose illustrations that support your main points and make them easier to understand.

And do not use too many illustrations.

7. Effective conclusion

Now for the conclusion.

This is of the utmost importance in driving the point home.

What people hear last is often what they remember first.

Though your conclusion can include a summary of what you have said, it may be unwise to limit it to this.

Here is where you must show your audience what to do.

The book entitled “Public Speaking—As Listeners Like It!” says:

The end of your speech, like the end of your pencil, should have a point. . . . It must answer the audience’s question: ‘SO WHAT?’ . . . In the conclusion of your speech, ask your audience for some specific action.”

Some people will find that clear expression comes relatively easy.

With others it may seem like an elusive goal.

But if a person really wants to express himself clearly and is willing to work hard at it, he is sure to progress.

Are you willing to put forth the required effort?

Here is a simple method for practice:

Think of a worthwhile subject.

Then draw six columns on a sheet of paper, heading them with the aforementioned fact-finding words (who, what, why, when, where and how).

Take one aspect and jot down what you can find out about it.

Fill in details in as many columns as you find to be practical.

Do the same with another aspect, and so forth.

The result will be an orderly arrangement of facts.

The next thing is to determine how to use this information.

It will help to take another sheet of paper and write out (in one sentence, if possible) the main idea that you want to impress on your listeners.

Then briefly note the type of audience you will address and what action you want them to take. Another space can be set aside for examples or illustrations.

Having these things down on paper will help you to develop an outline of what you want to say.

After practicing in this way for a while, you will find that you are able to carry out much of this process in your mind alone.

Clear thinking and clear expression will then become a part of you.

9 Simple ways to increase your happiness

A happy woman.

How many of your of hours are filled with real happiness?

For most people, the answers to such questions would indicate an unsatisfactory level of happiness.

So then is happiness a realistic possibility now?

Strange as it may seem in this troubled world, the answer to these questions is, yes.

A measure of genuine happiness is possible even now, but it is hedged on how we choose to live and what we make of our life.

Here are some ideas that can help you:

1. Learn Contentment

If your happiness is always based on owning things, you will never be happy.

There will always be something new that you want.

You need to learn to be happy with what you have.

Of course, from time to time, it might still bother you that you do not have what you want.

But think about this, do you have to be a billionaire to have what you want and find happiness?

One billionaire had a series of unhappy marriages in his life.

When asked what gave him the most happiness, in view of his great wealth, he thought a while and answered:

A walk along a good beach, listen to the ocean waves and then a swim.”

That is something even the poorest man on earth can do very often, free of charge!

So do not pity yourself for having too little.

It could be a blessing in disguise.

You may be having more time to do things that will really contribute to your general happiness.

2. Live in peace with others

Psychologist Richard Gardner says:

It is important to remember that money—and the things that money can buy—are not the most important things in life. It’s things like the kind of person you are and how you treat other people that will determine how happy you are going to be in life." 

The key to developing and keeping good relationships with others is to have a wholesome, positive outlook towards them.

What can hurt relationships is a person not being willing to work at being compatible with others.

This does not mean that you always have to agree with others regardless of what they say.

But there are so many things that are not life or death’ matters; different views can be allowed.

Do not become unreasonably or unyielding when it does not really matter.

This will only deprive you of your happiness and tranquility.

3. Find a hobby

Canadian doctor Sir William Osler claimed: “No man is really happy or safe without a hobby,” 

Taking time to take up one or more hobbies can add zest to living.

It could be photography or learning to play some musical instrument or learning some foreign language.

Or you might find interest in growing plants or music and dancing. Other hobbies could be projects in sewing, knitting, cooking, and leather work involving braiding and embossing, and many others.

Window shopping is an activity that makes strong men tremble, but many women and girls relish it anyway.

Whatever the case, do what love, but do it in the right moderation to avoid exhaustion or antagonizing others.

If it is possible consider turning it into a career.

Most successful and satisfying careers have been built around hobbies.

4. Have a Healthy lifestyle

Why wait until you are sick before you give thought to your health?

We all know how unhappy we are when we are sick, our faces all gloomy, anxious for a quick relief.

An ancient Chinese sage observes:

To administer medicines to diseases which have developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they are thirsty.” 

True, no one is immuned from disease, but research shows that most diseases are a product of our lifestyle.

Take an example, Lung cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes account for up to 70 to 80 percent of all deaths in industrialized nations.

These ailments are often linked to the unhealthy habits of smoking, unwise diet, and lack of exercise.

Without a doubt, the choices you make about the way you live will have a major impact on your health and happiness.

5. Enjoy your work

When we feel that our work is useful, then it can be easy to feel happy and contented.

Work can then become a more of a blessing than a curse.

However, the work you do may seem uninteresting or unimportant.

But ask yourself, does it not make a contribution to your existence—helping to pay your bills?

Then it is important to you.

And it is also important to society in general, for if all the seemingly routine or dull jobs were eliminated, how long would society continue to function?

Hence, dwelling on the positive aspects of your job and it will help you enhance your job experience and satisfaction.

Work will then cease to be burden you have to do, just to get by, but an essential part of your life.

6. Find your purpose in life

George Bernard Shaw the famous Irish playwright had this to say about finding happiness in one’s purpose in life:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

How disappointing and frustrating it would be to find that you had wasted precious years in the pursuit of goals that proved fruitless.

So find your purpose in life before it is too late.

There are, after all, definitely limits as to just how many fields a person can explore in the years of his adult life.

7. Remain optimistic about life

Learn to be positive despite setbacks that happen in your life.

Take an example of Helen Keller despite being rendered deaf and blind at 19 months by scarlet fever, she able to overcome these obstacles to be able to learn to read and write (in several languages), eventually speaking and graduated with honors from Radcliffe College.

In her autobiography The Story of My Life she tells us of the many struggles she had to endure.

What made her to remain optimistic about life? She offers this advice:

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

So when we are more optimistic about life, then we are able to see new opportunities even in the face of daring challenges.

 Later, you will reflect back with gladness on your fits of achievements and be amazed.

8. Simplify your life

A person who constantly pushes himself to the limit physically and emotionally is a prime candidate for burnout and unhappiness.

Take responsibility for your schedule and find ways of simplifying your life to make more time for things that can enrich your life, like spending more time with loved ones.

In fact, on this matter the revered Mother Teresa makes this interesting comparison:

In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East -- especially in India -- I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving -- it is not in the result of loving.”

9. Unselfish interest in others.

Striving to cultivate an unselfish and continuing interest in the welfare of others can result in indeed a richer and happier life.

For one thing, using one’s abilities, assets and time to help others has a good effect upon the individual’s own outlook.

You record of generosity will put you in good stead in time of your need.

People will be more inclined to repay your kindness in full measure.

But more important as you see individuals made happy by your unselfish giving, your own happiness will increase dramatically.

However, when the right motivation is lacking giving in itself does not bring happiness.

It will be eventually become apparent to others leading to more displeasure in your giving than not giving.