Job satisfaction (everyone’s responsible) | D. Darden
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“Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This phrase from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu has been around for hundreds of years, and embodies a universal truth and teachable principles that is held today.
I was brought up on the second part of this phrase – that by teaching a man how to fish, he’ll be able to feed himself for a lifetime. That’s just my paraphrasing of it, the meaning is powerful. The essence of this phrase sums it up like this – be self-sustaining, be self-disciplined, and be self-managed – these three maxims revolutionized my life. Instead of always depending on others, you should learn and employ the skills you need to meet all of your needs.
One should know the skills one needs to become independent and self-sufficient.
First, a self-sustaining person, you need little help or assistance to reach your personal targets. You can meet your own needs and decide the pathway you need to take to reach the next level. When learning a new skill for example or a new language, decide on a target you want to hit. Decide on the next level, this is self-directing your future. You are in charge.
Today, many rely on our government to survive and meet their needs for food, water and shelter. Most obtain their daily fish themselves; however, others take advantage of public programs for their own selfish gain. Becoming dependent on others for aid or support for long periods steals away your independence and self-worth.
My mother raised a large family without my father, not because she didn’t want him to be around, but because my father was an alcoholic and abuser. His dependency was so evident to her that she refused to let him break up a peaceful home, nor allow him to influence his children’s by perpetuating his bad behavior. I once read an old saying: “Don’t depend too much on anyone in this world, because even your shadow leaves you when you’re in darkness.”
My mother would not accept any handouts, because she hated
the ideal of dependency. Now all her kids have grown up to be professionals in
their perspective fields, and their hard-working ethic can be attributed to our
mother. My mother taught us the art of fishing, so we could all be
self-sustaining and self-sufficient throughout our lives. Sometimes all you
need is to trust your own ability and strengths.
Secondly, self-discipline means your mind and body motivate your spirit to move towards the results you want to realize, free from the constraints of conformity and tradition. This can bring about a shift in your long-term circumstances. A self-disciplined life moves you towards your destiny. You make choices that line up with your goals – even down to what you wear, who you hang out with, and what foods you eat.
Third, a self-managed life boils down to this: you are taking full control over your talents and abilities and moving towards your true purpose in this life. You have a special destiny and purpose that requires self-sustaining abilities and self-discipline to reach. Self-management involves becoming reliable in all aspects of your life and moving towards success, your own set of personal goals. Every step, every decision, every action moves you towards your ideal self. Earl Nightingale said it best: “Success is the realization of a worthy ideal.” For example, if you desire to become a teacher, learn everything you need to know about that profession. Get up every morning to study for certifications, read books on the subject, get a mentor. Discipline your life daily, manage your life consistently, and soon you’ll realize that you’ve arrived.
Thomas Edison, the great inventor and innovator of the 20th century, embodied these principles when he invented the incandescent lamp. It took him over 10,000 tries with different materials to come up with a filament that could last for many hours. Thank God that Edison had the self-discipline to continue his pursuit of a long-lasting light bulb – if he hadn’t, we all might still be sitting in the dark, and reading by candlelight.
So learn the art of fishing. Become self-sustaining, forge your own path, and move towards your destiny.
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Last week, people across the nation learned of the mass shootings in El Paso TX and Dayton Ohio. I saw the news in a hotel lobby with a hotel clerk who made a thought-provoking comment: “What do you expect when parents give their kids drugs?” She was alluding to our drug-cultured society, in which our children are using usage antidepressants prescribed in schools. She was suggesting that the end-result will always be violence. However, the question lingered in my mind: is there a relationship between violence such as mass shootings and mental illness, or is there a connection between drugs and violence? The buzzword “mental illness” is now front and center in the Democratic platform for the presidency. However, is it too late to look upon this illness as an epidemic?
According to the National Institutes of Health report on mental health in America in 2017, 46.6 million adults suffer from mild to serious mental illness. Women represent the highest percentage (22.3%). Men are at 15.1%. In this survey, young adults (18-25) reported the highest incidence of mild to serious mental illness. Mental illness among whites was highest, followed by blacks and Asians.
The point is that we have a serious mental health problem in America, and our government has seriously ignored it.
According to the National Institute of Health, from 2013 to 2019, funding increased significantly between 2017 in 2018; however, in 2019, funding was reduced from $2.9 billion to $2.7 billion.
But throwing more money at the problem will not resolve it. Over the years, American society has become more resigned about not only this problem, but also other problems that plague us such as racism and unequal civil rights.
Americans have an epidemic on their hands. No more sugar-coating this problem.
So, what is the cause of the mass shootings? Does mental illness have a connection with all the gun violence that is going on? Very little, I say: research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that only 3% of individuals with serious mental illnesses commit crimes with guns. And only 1% of the individuals who commit mass shootings have a mental illness. However, people that commit suicide with firearms often have a mental illness.
So, by the numbers, there’s no real connection between mass shootings and mental illness.
Now let’s look at the issue of drug usage, particularly relating to our children and mass shootings that the hotel clerk alluded to.
I have found a strong connection between crimes committed (in our case mass shootings) and the perpetrator’s usage of some type of anti-depressant or psychiatric drug (prescribed or not). Please review the following cases:
There are many other school shootings that are too awful to describe, along with the mass off school campuses in Las Vegas, California, Texas and Ohio. But the majority of school shootings are committed by young people (such as Andrew Golden, age 11, taking Ritalin; and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, who also took Ritalin and killed four students and injured 10 others).
So what about kids that are on the stimulants prescribed for their hyperactivity (ADHD)?
The two common drugs approved by the FDA are Adderall and Ritalin. Both have the same psychiatric side effects. The FDA warns that children need to be closely monitored when they take these drugs. The child can experience psychiatric issues such as bipolar disorder, aggressive behavior, and, worst of all, withdrawal and hearing of voices. The New York Times reported that over 3 million children in the United States over a 30-year period have taken these drugs.
How do we regain control? The only way, parents, is to start in your household. Become an observant parent who is involved in your child’s life. Take control of your children. Psychiatrist Dr. Sydney Walker’s book, The Hyperactivity Hoax, records a variety of reasons for hyperactive behavior: “Children with early-stage brain tumors can develop symptoms of hyperactivity or poor attention.” Dr. Walker also talked about the lead-paint epidemic, in which children living in dilapidated housing built in the early 60’s to the late 70s were exposed to lead paint peeling from the walls and wood fixtures. They would show signs of irritability, problems with learning, and developmental delays. Today, these children would have been diagnosed with ADHD. It’s scary to think about the epidemic that is about to be unleashed. I think this is the tip of the iceberg.
Just as our government has been ignoring the problem of global warming, so too will this problem will show its irreversible destructive head.
However, parents, involve yourself in your child’s life. Involve yourself in your child’s school. Our children are being psychologically diagnosed by amateurs who are subjugating our children to psychiatric drugs that will harm them for life – and maybe make them a threat to our community and society. So be your child’s voice. Get involved with the political and legislative process that focuses on protecting our children from being experimented on in our school systems. Get involved with your community and your local law enforcement when you see abusive behavior in our neighborhoods.
Last but not least, we need to get back to strong family values, because the lack of them has been eroding our American way of life.
The Bible verse I think is appropriate in this moment is 2nd Chronicles 7:14 (NIV): “If my People who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive them their sins and will heal their land.”
Derrick C. Darden, PhD
this is innovative teaching!