The leaders of nineteen of the world’s most powerful nations are meeting this week in North Korea at the G-20 summit. They’re negotiating about international financial stability, trade, currency, and shared responsibilities.
With the worst economic situation in decades tensions are high and risks are enormous, and the United States comes to the table after making new regulatory moves that have many nations concerned.
In the midst of international and domestic upheaval, great changes are undeniably warranted. The scary part is: summits like this are notorious for not accomplishing much. This morning, Time, released a report entitled “Pessimism pervades at the G-20 summit.” Scary, right? At a time like this, as a nation and a world we cannot afford “cat fights” between our most powerful leaders.
We should be able to do better, and there are ways we can – if we can admit that the old approaches to international cooperation are often ineffective and commit to a new approach.
Whether we talk about them or not, however, there are still many men and women who are overseas, entrenched in one of the most life altering events that we humans can put ourselves through – war. Life altering may be a slightly pacifying way to say traumatizing, and the experience in being in a war forever shapes an individual, their families and their futures.
While we’ve mostly put the troops in the field out of our minds, there have been more stories recently about returning troops: stories that reflect the potential struggles that loved ones, children, schools, businesses and entire communities must deal with when a soldier comes home. Today we as a nation seem far more conscious oandr aware of the psychological and social aftermath of combat. Their trauma is set to echo for generations as it did for the families and children of the previous U.S. wars.
Stories about soldiers who have committed suicide have been getting far more attention than they ever did in previous wars.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis and the University of California San Francisco have found a link between meditation practice and the long-term health – and the results are positive. The study “Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators” was published in the November 2010 issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and an individuals’ ability to cope with stress. In the practice of meditation, we can gain greater insight into ourselves. We can see our anger, stress and pain alongside our joy and happiness. Thich Nhat Hanh (Thây) speaks about the practice of meditation as being a pathway to becoming more aware of who we are and who we are in relation to others and the world around us.Knowing who we are can lead us to understanding the presence of stress, anger and pain in our lives…and we can begin to move through it all with greater ease as the meditation practice continues. This leads back to the research.
How badly does the U.S. need to revamp its health care system? This badly: according to a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund, the United States was second to last in providing health care for its communities.
The rising numbers in obesity, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes also make the case.
The report titled Mirror, Mirror On the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally compared the health care systems of the United States and six other countries – Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the U.K.
The rating system looked at five key areas of care, Quality, Access, Efficiency, Equity, Healthy lives. The U.S. health system ranked last in all but one area of the report; that was in the area of Quality. We were only slightly above Canada in this area.
The U.S. certainly spends money on health care: but spending may not be the answer.
A research study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that spending on prescription drugs does not always lead to better health.
But now that a green revolution has started, what does it take for it to come to fruition?
Some excellent suggestions have been made for ways to help businesses adjust to environmental programs; to use local action as a springboard for global change; to green our supply chains; and how to talk about sustainability to non-environmentalists. New models of leadership have been proposed. These are practical and helpful: but so far, we’re all still “raising awareness,” not changing society’s paradigm. How do we take the green revolution from making people aware of their carbon footprint to getting them to take it as seriously as they do their gas mileage?
To see the full interview with early Saybrook/Humanistic Psychology Institute OS Pioneer, Jeff Stamps and his wife Jessica Lipnack, including the Forward, Introduction, and Interview, go to: http://www.saybrook.edu/sites/default/files/alumni/news/interview_stamps_lipnack.pdf
Statistically the odds are staggering: In the United States today, one in every five Americans is affected by mental illness. It is estimated that nearly half of the American population will be diagnosed with some psychiatric disorder in the course of their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization, mental illness is the second leading disease that affects people in working market economies around the world.
We are, without a doubt, the craziest culture in world history. At least if you go by the psychiatrists. With the increasing stress and pressures of the twenty-first century, the demands on our fragile human nature continue to increase. And so, the question becomes, as a society are we “mentally ill” or are we simply buckling under the pressures of everyday living?
The answer, according to psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical companies, is that half of us are suffering from chemical imbalances in the brain (that’s according to the classifications in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM-IV). Thus, psychiatric medications – with their debilitating effects – attempt to “fix” the chemical imbalances that result in psychiatric conditions.
Interesting, right? Plausible, not so much.
This is something that qualitative study has taught many people. Here’s a wonderful quote from a Facebook post by Psychologist Irving D. Yalom, (Yes, he has a Facebook page, you’re never too old to have one)
“On being seventy-nine. We dread the limitations and losses of old age. But an encouraging word about the positive aspects of aging: this may sound odd but the last decade has been the best one of my life. Gone are many of the anxieties of my earlier days and I’ve been able to bask in the sheer pleasure of being alive in the company of those I love.”
This lovely sentiment is now backed up by recent research.
Peanut allergies and ego boundaries - what research says parents can give their kids without even knowing it11/03/2010
Peanut allergies in children have tripled over the last three years – some three million Americans are now said to have this allergy, which was unheard of 50 years ago. Millions more children and adults are said to have egg and milk allergies. If these trends continue, such allergies will be a widespread epidemic.
Right now the best explanations, emerging from research at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, suggest a potential link involving a mother’s eating habits and the development of food sensitivities beginning in pre-natal development. The research is proving how a pregnant woman’s eating habits can affect an unborn child’s antibodies and immune system response. It’s possible that a mother can transmit an allergy she doesn’t have to her children.
Yes, it's another election day.
Are you planning on voting? Maybe, maybe not? Feeling like it won't matter?
Well, you're probably not alone. The polls and pundits believe that voter turnout is going to be low today. The diagnosis will be apathy.
130 million people turned out to vote in 2008, estimated to be 64% of the electorate. That's pretty good. This year these numbers are expected to drop.
Do potential voters really just not care or is there more to this?
Apathy is a lack of interest or concern, so voter apathy is a lack of interest or concern for voting…but is it that simple?