Are we focusing on what is wrong or what is right? Are we asking for what we want or focusing on what we don’t want?

Are we asking for what we want or focusing on what we don't want? Focusing on what is wrong or what is right?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our focus is our future and what we focus on will multiply in our life. David Denotaris

This week a funny thing happened. The Eforce (old exercise machine) I started using when the gym closed started making a noise that was more than creaks, squeaks, and squawks it had been making. It sounded like it was coming from the bottom where it glides along a track. One side did not feel right and when my husband looked at it he brought out a part of the bearing. It’s an old machine that is not sold anymore and we couldn’t figure out how to install new bearings.

Kijiji to the rescue. My husband found another Eforce on sale for fifteen dollars within driving distance. We picked it up and I am able to do my morning workout. A little can of lubricant (not WD40) seems to be helping with the squeaks and squawks and the bearings seem to be in good shape.

When we focus on what we want do we often get it? Is this part of our problem in life, we don’t know what we want. Do we focus on what we don’t want instead of deciding what we do want and going after it? When we focus on what we don’t want do we often get more of it? It is easy to think we don’t have enough, things aren’t working out, and we aren’t being treated right. What if what we need is an attitude adjustment? What if we need to focus on the good, the beautiful, the positive, and be grateful for what we have in our life.

It is easy to pick ourselves and other people apart because of imperfections, but what about what is good about other people and ourselves? Things happen every day that can make us unhappy if we focus on them, but things also happen every day that can bring us joy. We can be upset with our partners because of something insensitive they said, a look that spoke volumes or what we thought was inconsiderate. Can we instead think about all the things they do to make our lives better?

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right. Marianne Williamson

My husband found my new Eforce machine on Kijiji. He messaged the owner and set up the appointment to pick it up. Yesterday we drove to a few stores to find a spray lubricant that is supposed to help with the creaks, squeaks, and squawks.

It may seem like we are not trying to make things better when we say we focus on the positive like we are ignoring problems that need to be fixed and dealt with. I am not saying we don’t have to fix situations in our lives, organizations, or the world. What I am saying is if we focus only on what is wrong, we may miss what is right and may get so caught up in trying to fix what is wrong that we dismantle what is good in our lives.

This happens in marriages when people get disillusioned and give up on relationships that were actually working and go looking for more perfect relationships that might not exist.

What if the only thing that really bothers us about our partner is they have ideas about life and what would fix things we don’t agree with. Some people think the state can fix things, and other people think we as individuals need to take more responsibility for our lives. Who is right? These differences of opinion can ruin relationships but do we need to agree to disagree? In a democracy, the majority will decide which direction is taken.

We are living in a time when we are focusing on what people do that is wrong and people will do things that are wrong sometimes even with the best of intentions. There are also many things they do that are right. People are flawed individuals and someone may do the most heroic thing and save lives but also hurt someone because of misjudging them and making wrong assumptions.

My mother always said there is so much bad in the best of us, and so much good in the worst of us, that who are we to judge? Can we look for the best in ourselves and others but also deal with the worst when it shows up?

What we see depends mainly on what we look for. John Lubbock

Make the decision to talk about your blessings more than your problems. Whatever you focus on expands! Unknown

Remember you never have to apologize for feeling however you feel, but words and actions have consequences. Choose them carefully. Lisa Prosen

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Kerry Patterson (Author), Joseph Grenny (Narrator), McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)4.6 out of 5 stars 2,183 ratings


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We think we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know.

We think we know, but we don't know what we don't know.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think. Unknown

Last night I watched a TV program, W5. A trial thirty years ago where a woman was accused of leaving her baby in the snow and was charged with murder was being revisited. She went to the bank with her older son and left the sleeping baby in the car. When she got back he was gone. She called the police.

That night she had a dream her baby was in the snow in the woods. Her sister in law encouraged her to call the police and tell them her dream. It seems the police officer concluded at that moment she would now show them where she put the baby. The police officer drove around and she told him to drive down a street where they got out of the car and after walking a short way she thought she saw something blue through the trees. Her son’s snowsuit was blue. There he was about four meters into the woods.

The baby was assumed dead. The police officer said he knows what a dead body looks like. A renowned pathologist said the baby had been dead about 27 hours which put him in the snow an hour before he was reported missing. This pathologist’s testimony was discredited because he had two stories that didn’t match. (This pathologist was later discredited in many other cases and parents who went to prison because of his testimony have been exonerated.) Another renowned pathologist is brought in, she says the baby was not likely dead at the time he was found, he did not have the tissue damage that would have occurred if he was in the snow for 27 hours. In cases of hypothermia, it is not evident when someone is dead until the body is warm.

The defense lawyers came up with a likely scenario of what happened and the jury found the mother not guilty and stayed and hugged her after the trial and some have kept in contact with her. There was no follow up on the defense lawyer’s theory of what happened. The case is being looked into again now after thirty years.

The moral of this horrible story is we think we know more than we know. The police officer thought for sure the baby was dead but had he been taken to the hospital immediately may have survived.

People will question all good things they hear about you but believe all the bad without a second thought. Unknown

We assume we know things we don’t know. We assume motive and once we have made our assumptions we don’t seem to look for other answers. We have many situations that happen where we need to ask questions. Why are certain things happening when some people encounter police? What are the behaviors that make each side afraid of the other leading to bad outcomes? Sometimes the simple answer that we jump to is not the right answer even though in our own mind it ticks off all the boxes.

For the police officer, the mother’s dream made her guilty. It seemed he questioned nothing further than that and because he knew when the child was reported missing the child had to be in the snow about 27 hours and after that amount of time would for sure be dead. Had he not thought he knew how long the baby was in the snow, the baby may still be alive.

What do we know for sure that we need to question further? What questions do we need to ask? Why do seemingly insignificant situations end so badly for some? Why do worse situations not end badly for others? Are we asking questions or are we jumping to conclusions because we assume bad intentions because of bad outcomes?

Mind is a machine for jumping to conclusions. Daniel Kahneman

You jump to conclusion, what an illusion to assume you know without the facts, even a coin has two sides to the equation. Wam Zed

In the absence of information, we jump to the worst conclusions. Myra Kassin

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Thinking, Fast and Slow Paperback – April 2 2013

by Daniel Kahneman (Author)4.5 out of 5 stars 6,835 ratings



Facing our unmet expectations. Are we expecting perfection in an imperfect world?

Are we expecting perfection in an imperfect world? Facing our unmet expectations.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more. Richard J. Needham

How do we focus on what we want in life when what we don’t want in life is where we put our energy? How do we not put our energy on what we don’t want when that consumes us?

Counting our blessings is what we are told to do. Our blessings outnumber our problems and yet our problems fill our minds and grow and morph as we continually think about them.

People tell us about bad things happening as if that is all that is happening. It is easy to judge someone by their worst decision, their worst action, and their worst outcome. The sum of someone’s life is neither the best nor the worst of what they have done but the sum total of their life.

Police departments are under scrutiny right now. Minimizing the problems with policing is not what most people are trying to do. We need police and the areas where problems with police occur the most often are also where police are needed the most. It is these areas where police are the first line of help when people don’t know who to turn to except the police.

Is it the case that the more contact we have with law enforcement the more likely we are to have a bad outcome? Part of the problem may be marginalized areas are under scrutiny the rest of us aren’t under. No one is perfect but do people in poor areas live under a level of scrutiny the rest of us don’t live under. Do they live under this with child protective services, policing, and drug enforcement?

The anger and the brutality against everything can readily from one hour to the next be transformed into its opposite. Thomas Bernhard

Is part of the problem over policing? Is another part of the problem that calling the police is used as a weapon against people who are scared of having the police called on them? Is, “I’ll call the police on you,” a threat used often and to the detriment of communities? Is it something people use against others to make themselves feel more powerful?

It seems to me many of the situations we see with bad outcomes are people calling the police on someone often over small things. Once things are set in motion and people authorized to use force against us confront us situations can get out of hand.

People do not always do the right thing. Police officers are people. We expect collateral damage in wars, we don’t like it but we accept it. Is part of what we have to accept with policing is things will get out of control, situations will escalate, and decisions resulting in death will result?  Even though everyone will agree when looking at the videos different decisions should have been made the outcome of that bad decision is irreversible.

We can use labels that may or may not apply; we can call it many things but what if it’s really a bad decision that ended badly for all concerned?

If those who make bad decisions are held accountable and prosecuted is that the most we can ask for and expect?

We may have expectations that truth, justice, and good decisions should always prevail. Is dealing with unmet expectations a hard truth we have to deal with in life?

No one’s pro-police brutality. Kenya Barris

I encountered among my comrades the most varied human traits, from frankness to reserve, from goodness to uprightness and kindness, to brutality and baseness. Georg Brandes

I see myself capable of arrogance and brutality… That’s a fierce thing, to discover within yourself that which you despised the most in others. George Stevens

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Chris Voss (Author), Michael Kramer (Narrator), HarperAudio (Publisher)4.7 out of 5 stars 4,331 ratingsAmazon Charts #9 this week

Being a job-giver is better than being a job-seeker. Why has profit become a dirty word?

Why has profit become a dirty word? Being a job-giver is better than being a job-seeker.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Young people should think in a different way – they should be job-givers, not job-seekers. Muhammad Yunus

Yesterday I saw a YouTube video by Alina McCloud in it she profiled a small town in Saskatchewan with her dad a Saskatchewan farmer. In a later video she talked with her dad about the reality of farming in Saskatchewan.

Being a Saskatchewan farm girl myself it brought tears to my eyes. We all need to remember we may need a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or police officer in our lives occasionally but we need farmers every day. If we ate today we need to thank a farmer.

When we go to the grocery store with its array of beautiful fruits, vegetables, meats, cereals, and breads it all started on a farm. All that food from all over the world came from farmers working every day to feed us. Small independent farms are disappearing as larger operations take over. Machinery is expensive, the land is expensive, it makes sense farms need to become larger operations to make money. Farmers can’t feed us if they don’t make money. No business can operate at a loss. We may want bargains but we need to beware of the price of some of our bargains.

The other week a cattle rancher in America was saying he was selling his beef for $900.00 that cost $1200.00 to get ready for sale. “We can’t keep doing this, if we are going to continue to feed people we have to do it at a profit.”

Profit is a by-product of work; happiness is its chief product. Henry Ford

Profit is both the reward for successes and the incentive for further action. Without profit none of us have a job, and worse yet we eventually will not have food. When did making a profit get to be a bad thing? Research tells us that workers who work for non-profits often make more money than people who work for organizations making a profit. How is this even possible? Is it because many of the costs of non-profits are paid for by subsidies from taxpayers who are working in the companies that make a profit?

Where did we get the crazy notion that making a profit so we can have a well-organized company is wrong? For-profit child care centers are becoming a thing of the past. Why, and what do they mean by not for profit? No one is doing work for free. The expenses still have to be paid, workers have to be paid, and rent has to be paid. Why, is getting an exorbitant salary as the head of a non-profit, often higher than what an owner of a for-profit company of the same kind would get, better?

Do we need to think about encouraging more people to start their own businesses and to quit thinking about profit as a dirty word? Is it better to be a job-giver than a job-seeker and is this what we should be encouraging our children to try and do?

I believe in capitalism. I need to make a profit, but I would like to do it with ethics, dignity, morals. It’s my dream. Brunello Cucinelli

To get profit without risk, experience without danger, and reward without work is as impossible as it is to live without being born. A.P. Gouthey

The substance of the eminent Socialist gentleman’s speech is that making a profit is a sin, but it is my belief that the real sin is taking a loss. Winston Churchill

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The Price of a Bargain: The Quest for Cheap and the Death of Globalization Paperback – Oct. 19 2010

by Gordon Laird (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

Courage and strength are needed to live a good life. Are we courageous and strong?

Are we courageous and strong? Courage and strength are needed to live a good life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it you cannot consistently perform the others. Aristotle

If we are to live good lives we have to have a degree of courage. We have to stand by our convictions, be impeccable with our word. Do our best, act on our well-chosen values. We will demonstrate a commitment to good causes by active participation. We will refuse the temptation to comply with, assist with, or ignore dishonest, coercive, cruel, bigoted, wasteful, or deceptive words or practices encountered during our everyday activities. We will be willing to speak truth to power to right a wrong. Doing the right thing may be a defining moment in our lives. We may courageously overcome or at least control bad habits and addictions.

That is a tall order and none of us will probably be consistently courageous in everything we do. We will make mistakes of judgment.  We will believe things that are not true and may even feel others have no right to their opinion who do not believe what we believe. Even though we won’t be perfect we will lead better lives if we are more courageous than if we are not.

We may truly believe we are doing the right thing and be wrong. We may find as life goes forward that going with accepted beliefs is not correct. One of the problems we have is who do we listen to when deciding what is the right course of action.

There is so much information out there on so many topics we may not know what to believe or who to listen to. Epistemology: How do you know that what you know is true? How do we know what someone tells us is true, or what we read or listen to is true? What about conflicting stories, new reports, biased arguments that may be based on a kernel of truth?

It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it is what we know that ain’t so. Will Rogers

The sincerity of one’s belief, the volume or frequency with which it is stated, or assurances to “believe me” should not be rationally persuasive by themselves. It is hard to sift through everything we know, hear, and read. Is it possible to get comfortable with uncertainty and knowing we don’t know, instead of thinking we know things, we can’t know?

Even when we don’t know for sure what the truth is, can we be courageous in our questions and our actions?

By what criteria do we evaluate reasons? How are those criteria themselves evaluated? What is it for a belief to be justified? What is the relationship between justification and truth? Harvey Siegel

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Mark Twain

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. Socrates

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How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation by [Harry Binswanger]

How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation Kindle Edition

by Harry Binswanger (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by [David Dark]

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The Sacredness of Questioning Everything Kindle Edition

by David Dark (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars    13 ratings


Does true health begin with our thoughts? Are we grateful for all the health and happiness we have in our lives?

Are we grateful for all the health and happiness we have in our lives? Does true health begin with our thoughts?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. Arabian proverb

Love is in the air this lovely May morning. The birds were chirping early this morning and going for an early walk was a wonderful way to start the day. The trees and flowers are in bloom, the air is crisp and clean, and bunnies are laying in the grass.

Yesterday my package of essential oils arrived to make Thieves Oil. Legend has it that four thieves were caught robbing the dead during a plague. The judge wanted to know how they were able to rob the dead without getting sick. The punishment was being burned to death and he promised them they would not have to pay that price if they told him their secret. They were unemployed spice merchants and used spice oils to protect themselves. The judge kept his word having them hanged instead of burned alive.

Of course, when something is handed down there are variations to it. Some say there were four thieves and four ingredients but I was told five ingredients by my sister who swears by this and has been using it for ten years. The essential oils she uses are clove oil, lemon oil, cinnamon bark oil (she uses cinnamon leaf because cinnamon bark oil is really expensive), rosemary oil, and eucalyptus oil.

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear. Buddha

There are also varying measurements but I like the idea of the Marseilles Thieves Oil recipe which is equal parts of each oil. This is then diluted 1-10 in a carrier oil. I used olive oil but there are lots of other choices.

What am I expecting it to do? It is a question I am asking myself. I bought it mostly because right now the oils were in stock and later they might not be. I also bought dry mustard powder so I can make mustard plasters if we need them. It is somewhat like stocking the pantry it makes us feel prepared and in some degree of control.

Listening to Wayne Dyer yesterday he said, “Some people say what if it’s only a placebo effect?” What if it is? He says, “Give me some of that placebo.”If he has hemorrhoids and someone says a crystal will heal his hemorrhoids he wants a crystal chair. I’m looking at it much the same way.

Is there a downside to having a few essential oils in my pantry? Putting a drop or three in my diffuser can’t hurt and maybe it will help. Making a cleaner with Thieves oil to clean door handles and surfaces and maybe putting a drop or two in a mask to wear to the store or use it as a hand sanitizer when none is available to purchase.

We have to go about our business and we have to do it as safely as we can. Some people swear by cutting an onion and putting it by their bedside when they are sick. What can it hurt? People may laugh at what people do to protect themselves but if it helps who laughs last?

Oil of oregano helps with colds and flu, or is that just the placebo effect? I don’t know but if I get a tickle in my throat out comes the oil of oregano. Our mind is very powerful and can convince our body to heal. Is our mind our most important healing tool? Does true health begin with our thoughts and does being grateful for health and happiness make a difference?

When we change the way we think, we change our lives. What most people do not understand is how powerful our thinking is and how involved it is in our health. Bob Proctor

When we change our daily lives – the way we think, speak, and act – we change the world. Nhat Hanh

True health begins with your thoughts. Thinking about comfort, strength, flexibility, and youthfulness attracts those qualities into your life and body. Dwelling on illness, fear, disease, and pain does just the opposite. Your work is to notice and change your thoughts and move them in the direction of health and happiness. Christiane Northrup

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Look inside this book.
A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils: Recipes and Practices for a Natural Lifestyle and Holistic Health (Essential Oils Reference Guide, Aromatherapy Book, Homeopathy) by [Hayley Hobson]

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A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils: Recipes and Practices for a Natural Lifestyle and Holistic Health (Essential Oils Reference Guide, Aromatherapy Book, Homeopathy) Kindle Edition

by Hayley Hobson (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

Asking questions. Are we asking the questions how, what, who, where, when, and why?

Are we asking the questions how, who, what, where, when, and why?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Asking, “Why?” is the key to everything. Question always. Answer the why. Vicki Gould

I’m reading How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb. In it, he tells us to think about our problems or question what we are concerned about in our personal or professional lives and ask. What? When? Why? How? Where? And why?

What is the problem? What are the underlying issues? What are the preconceptions, prejudices, or paradigms that may be influencing our perception? What will happen if we ignore it? What possibilities may exist that we haven’t yet considered? What problems may be caused by solving this problem? What metaphors from nature can we use to illuminate i?

When did it start? When does it happen? When doesn’t it happen? When will the consequences of it be felt? When must it be resolved?

Who cares about it? Who is affected by it? Who created it? Who perpetuates it? Who can help solve it?

How does it happen? How can we get more objective information? How can we look at it from an unfamiliar perspective? How can it be changed? How will we know that it has been solved?

Where does it happen? Where did it begin? Where haven’t I looked? Where else has this happened?

Why is it important? Why did it start? Why does it continue? Ask why, why, why, why … to get to the bottom of an issue.

Isaac Newton, a true visionary of his time (the late 1600’s), was a man looking in many directions for answers to questions most people didn’t know to ask. Will Craig

Michael J. Gelb says Leonardo da Vinci’s questions were often striking in their simplicity. Why does the hammer blow cause the nail to jump out? Why is the sky blue? We need to ask awkward questions like why is the Emperor naked. Why is this a problem? Is this the real issue? Why have we always done it this way? We should aim to ask questions that have never been asked before.

Finding illustrative metaphors in nature was one of Leonardo’s favorite techniques. When he designed the magnificent spiral staircase for the French King’s chateau at Blois, he was inspired by the twisting shells of the conchs. His design for musical pipes similar to the recorder, was drawn from his study of the human larynx. Andrew Graham Bell was inspired to invent the telephone by modeling the ear. Velcro was inspired by the burs that were stuck in my dog’s beard yesterday.

Most human innovations are inspired by the question “What if…?” Some of the happiest people in the world have asked “How can I get paid for doing something I love?” What if we can’t get paid for doing something we love, shouldn’t we still do it, because we love it?

According to Michael J. Gelb, Leonardo da Vinci was not satisfied with his work. Obviously the reason for not doing things because we will not do it well enough is not a good excuse if someone who is considered a master was not satisfied with their work. Perhaps we are not supposed to be satisfied with our work, because if we get satisfied, why would we continue doing it? If we knew we’ve already done our best work, painting, writing, or invention, what is there to strive for?

Are we asking the right questions to get an empowering answer?

Questions are the root of everything great I have done in life. The most creative ideas every experienced are often conceptualized by asking simple questions. Jeff Shinabarger

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he posed the right questions. Claude Levi-Straus

The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius

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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Michael J. Gelb (Author), Doug Ordunio (Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)4.5 out of 5 stars 269 ratings


Will the truth set us free? But, what is the truth? Is there the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Is there the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? But. what is the truth? Will the truth set us free?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

No human being is constituted to know the truth, the whole truth; and even the best of men must be content with fragments, with partial glimpses, never the full fruition. William Osler

Last night we had our book club meeting by Zoom. It was great most of us read the book but we spent most of our time discussing the changes in our lives. One of our members shared a painting she created from a painting tutorial on YouTube. When we don’t know what to paint YouTube is a great place to go for inspiration and techniques.

Everyone is keeping busy, connecting with people, finding ways to pass the time, learn new things, and enjoying more family time. For some people, this is a harder time because there is still bad news being shared but they are unable to get together for a hug or a cry.

All the things that go on in our lives are still going on. Birthdays still happen but without the big birthday party. Anniversaries still happen but no big fancy dinner in a restaurant. When we get out of our stay-in we will have to be careful we don’t go too crazy.

If we aren’t careful what we watch we can get caught up in the conspiracy theories of the day of which there are many. Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and other behavioral economists have shown how the mere provision of more and better facts often lead already polarized groups to become even more polarized in their beliefs.

We need to look at how other people think but research shows that individuals who change groups and opinions constantly may also be less trusted, even among their new peers. Being open-minded may lead people to become outcasts which is uncomfortable at best and can be dangerous to our health if we rely on groups for survival as we did when we lived in hunter-gatherer societies.

In one large experiment, it turned out that both liberals and conservatives actively avoided having conversations with people on the other side of issues such as drug policy, the death penalty, and gun ownership. This was the case even when they were offered a chance of winning money if they discussed it with the other group. Avoiding insights from opposing groups helped people dodge having to criticize their own community.

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so. Mark Twain

It is believed millions of people the world over and by one estimate half of the U.S. population believes in conspiracy theories. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook allow conspiracy theories to go viral. It is hard to not get pulled into some of them.

The problem with condemning conspiracy theories is it plays into the conspiracy theorist’s mind. So, how are we supposed to handle the misinformation, and mistrust that is out there? Much of the conspiracy theories seem to be we are afraid we are not being told the truth for nefarious reasons. People are afraid they will lose their freedoms. They fear they are being told something to make them happy while things are going on without their knowledge.

In January, YouTube announced it would gradually start “reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways. Conspiracy theories were part of the targeted content. Some content providers are now complaining about the conspiracy to de-monetize them.

There is probably no good way to deal with conspiracy theories because some like the flat-earthers seem to be a growing movement. They say it’s hard to find a flat-earther who doesn’t also believe most other conspiracies and flat-earth conferences are also a gathering of anti-vaxers, 9/11 truthers and, Illuminati subscribers, to name a few.

They say the truth will set us free, but we seem to be having a hard time knowing what the truth is. It’s hard to believe that the flat-earth society is growing in numbers but they say it is, maybe that’s a conspiracy too?

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. Winston Churchill

There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange. Daniel Webster

The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. Little men are dissolved in it. If there is any gold. Truth makes it shine more brightly… Truth, even in the mouth of the informer, a spy, a briber, can become bigger than anybody who tries to destroy it. Truth survives. Adel Rogers St. Johns

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Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories by [Rob Brotherton]

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Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories Kindle Edition

by Rob Brotherton (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

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Do we want fairness or equality? Do we know the difference, and do we know it when we see it?

Do we want equality or fairness? Do we know it when we see it, and do we know the difference?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Fairness is not about statistical equality. John Bercow

Yesterday while listening to a podcast with Jordan Peterson and Russell Brand the subject of inequality came up. Some people believe income inequality is a result of capitalism but Jordan Peterson assures us it exists in every society and every economic system. It is a much bigger problem because it happens in every society.

One of the things Jordan Peterson said is when we start to succeed our opportunities multiply, and when we start to fail our failures multiply. If we are just poor (meaning we don’t have money that is one thing) but if we keep our families strong, we can look for opportunities to better ourselves and our family. If we don’t keep our families strong, become dependent on drugs or alcohol, and make poor choices regarding our health the problem becomes exponentially worse.

The weaker are always anxious for justice and equality. The strong pay no heed to either. Aristotle

As inequality increases, self-reported happiness diminishes, especially among people in the bottom 40% of income earners. But, those on the higher end of the scale do not report any greater satisfaction. Workers who know they are on the low side of distribution decrease their effort, but the workers who know they are on the higher side of distribution do not increase their efforts.

It is thought that one of the merits of an unequal society that allows for upward mobility is the harder we work the more success we are able to attain. Do we want absolute equality where no one can have any more than anyone else or do we want fairness?

I might be going out on a limb here but I’m pretty sure we do not want absolute equality because that means we have to move down to the lowest common denominator where no one has anything. Fairness is another thing entirely. Can we have a fair and just society? Is it doable and how far away from a fair and just society are we?

Fairness is we all have the opportunity to write the best-selling book, the hot new song, try out for the sports team, and start a business or whatever it is we want to do. Equality would mean we can’t do it if someone else can’t do it.

What does fairness look like to us?

The mind always looks for what’s unjust and unfair, but the greatest injustice is what we do to ourselves because we don’t appreciate what we have right now. Tony Robbins

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about fairness and social justice, what is your fair share of what someone else has worked for? Thomas Sowell

Though force can protect in an emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. Dwight B. Eisenhower

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How Much Inequality Is Fair?: Mathematical Principles of a Moral, Optimal, and Stable Capitalist Society by [Venkat Venkatasubramanian]

How Much Inequality Is Fair?: Mathematical Principles of a Moral, Optimal, and Stable Capitalist Society Kindle Edition

by Venkat Venkatasubramanian (Author)

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Covidiots. Don’t be one. Can we find the funny and share the funny in a phone call, virtual meeting, or social media?

Can we find the funny and share the funny in a phone call, virtual meeting, or social media? Covidiots. Don't be one.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Today is a good day to find something to laugh about. Last night at our virtual Toastmaster meeting we had some laughs. One of our speakers spoke about covidiots those who don’t do what needs to be done, who horde toilet paper, and buy up all the meat when others need those supplies.

Covidiots are people who have come in from another country and don’t self isolate themselves or they are driving through in Winnebagos and may need supplies but they shouldn’t be the ones going into the stores to buy them. The stores are offering to get them their supplies and bring them to their vehicle.

I wish I had thought of the word but I’ll pass it on to those who haven’t heard it. Now we can say, “don’t be a covidiot” to people who don’t consider their own or someone else’s safety.

We may have to say to ourselves “that was a covidiot thing to do.” Hopefully when we realize we’ve done a covidiot thing we won’t do it again. We will not be perfect and nor will other people but we don’t need to be too covidiotic.

Another speaker adopted a rescue dog and she’s a foster-failure. This is when the plan is to foster a pet but you fall in love with and end up keeping it. She is thankful for her dog at this time as are any of us fortunate to have a pet to cuddle and talk to. We can say things to our pets we don’t say to other people and they don’t look at us like we’re crazy.

Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day. Samuel Goldwyn

They look at us as if an irrational fear is the most sensible thing we’ve ever voiced.  They love us unconditionally. There are even speculations that dogs trained to detect cancer may be able to detect coronavirus.

My dog has a funny habit of sniffing our breath as if she is doing a health check. I’ve noticed this for a long time. I’ve thought she would make a good dog for someone that has health problems. We don’t know how to train her to develop this. We can’t even manage to train her to not bark when someone comes into the house.  She has seizures and when she had the last one she was in a place she never lays. She loves to lie on the stair, but she was lying in the little protected area where the stair curves.

It was as if she knew a seizure was coming and put herself in as safe of a place as she could. We don’t know what animals know or understand. It is probably more than we think.

If we have an animal in our life at this time it is another thing to be grateful for. Sometimes we have to face our fears and remain strong but we have to accept that we aren’t strong every moment of every day.

Mom told me a story about a lady she knew whose husband wanted to ride through the mountains on motorcycles. She was terrified but a good sport. At every rest stop, she had a good cry and then got on her motorcycle and carried on. She lived through it, faced her fears, and was probably stronger because of it.

We may have to put on a more brave face than we feel. We’ll get through this and if we can find the funny in situations, share laughter with others over the phone, through virtual meetings, and social media it’ll be easier.

Do we have something funny we can share with someone? Have we had a good laugh lately? Do we know someone who’s a covidiot?

If I decide to be an idiot, then I’ll be an idiot of my own accord. Johann Sebastian Bach

It’s daunting doing something you haven’t done before – you feel silly; you feel like a bit of an idiot. Stacey Dooley

Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac. Ronnie Corbett

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Laughter Still Is the Best Medicine: Our Most Hilarious Jokes, Gags, and Cartoons Paperback – Jan 2 2014

by Editors of Reader’s Digest (Author) 4.3 out of 5 stars 66 ratings