Now let's change things up and pretend that you are one of the human tourists that are traveling in Africa on the safari. Different from giraffes, humans live in a `Delayed Return Environment. You try to reason with it, noting how slim of a chance there is for that to happen, giving a minuscule percentage. Then the thought becomes you are that percentage. All of the symptoms line up. Don't you remember that time you went outside in the rain? As you can see, you cannot make an argument that is solid enough. No matter how much evidence you try to present, the fear will find a way around it. In the study of narcissistic personality disorder, there has been a term coined known as word salad. Broken down its basics, it is when you are having an argument with a narcissist, and the discussion goes around in a circle for hours. No matter how long it goes on, nothing is accomplished with it. They throw a mishmash of accusations, and none of them have anything to do with one another. I was nothing like Noah. Only when I asked him about his dad's death, which happened when Mel was five, did he begin to recall a deep, pervasive experience of shame. I was the only kid in the school who had lost a father, Mel began. He told me about an incident in the first grade when the teacher asked the kids to draw a picture of everyone in the family. The teacher, ignorant of Mel's situation and apparently of life in general, asked Mel in front of the class why he had left his father out of the picture. You don't have a father, you don't have a father! As the others chimed in, Mel fervently wished that everyone in his class had dead dads. Once Mel connected with the word shame and his experience of it, he described shame as his constant childhood companion.

He had felt deeply different from other kids whose families were normal. During his youth in the 1960s, divorce was slowly losing its stigma, but the untimely death of a parent was still unspeakable. Bring your attention to the picture below: on the left is a picture of a house on a bed of quicksand. The house depicts your self-esteem and the sand reflects the often changing landscape of other people's approval. Your house (self-esteem) tries to lay down some solid foundations but because of the unpredictability and uncertainty of the land below, it struggles to do so. Your self-esteem is vulnerable and could come crashing down at any moment. On the right-hand side is another house, this time with solid foundations. This represents what happens when you have a clear understanding of self, your needs and your abilities. You rely less on needing to seek approval from other people. Because of this, your foundation is solid and your self-esteem less fragile. There could be a number of reasons why someone does not like what you are doing. If what you are doing does not cause you or anyone else any direct harm, then what's the problem? No alcohol. Let's start with moderation. Moderation, if you can handle it, is a strategy to have your cake and eat it too. Eating dessert in moderation is a way to enjoy sweets without going overboard. You wouldn't want to eat multiple desserts every single day, as there may be health, weight, and blood sugar consequences. But a dessert every now and then is acceptable. This is moderation in action. You've heard the maxim everything in moderation, which generally supports the freedom to indulge without overindulging.

So what is the application of moderation in the self-discipline realm? If you are trying to accomplish a task, you can take breaks along the way. Most of her attention was on her beautiful home and raising the children. After twenty years of marriage, she was shocked when Matt filed for divorce and married his twenty-eight-year-old office assistant. Marcie was at a loss at age forty-six to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. She had focused entirely on Matt's goals and choices, and now she was horrified to have that lifestyle taken away from her. She didn't even know what food she preferred, who her real friends were, or how to spend her evenings without Matt. The Magnetic Attraction Narcissists are easily attracted to people with caretaking qualities. As with any relationship, there needs to be a blend of similarities and differences. Ross Rosenberg, in his article The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us, says that the differences between narcissists and caretakers act as magnetic polar opposites that attract. Narcissists and caretakers have many differences that pull them together. Many thoughts race through my mind As I step up to the starting line. Butterflies thru my stomach fly And as I free that last deep sigh, I feel that death is drawing near, But the end of the race I do not fear. For when the string comes across my breast, I know it's time for eternal rest.

The gun goes off, the race is run, And only God knows if I've won. This is exciting news! It means that empathy can grow when a dedicated time for embodied mindfulness practice becomes a customary part of the school day. Dr Sara Lazar is a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and she was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her--that meditating can literally change the neuroanatomy of the brain. She explains that embodied mindfulness meditation is associated with increased cortical thickness. Can video games help students to become more empathic? Time will tell. This appears to be a creative direction with the development of media to increase well-being. Video games are a significant component of children's lives in the United States. According to a 2009 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation,49 a child in the United States (aged eight to eighteen) spends an average of seventy-three minutes per day playing games. For example, if you save your money now, you'll have enough for retirement in forty years or if you work hard at your job today, you will get paid in two weeks. Rewards are designed to be delayed until some point in the future in many aspects of modern day society. While the giraffe is worried about problems that are immediate, such as avoiding predators, seeking shelters, and finding food, humans worry the most about the problems of the future. For instance, while the humans are on the safari, they may be thinking, This trip and safari has been tremendous fun! It would be so awesome if I could work as a safari tour guide and be able to see the giraffes every day. Speaking of work, is it time for me to change my career? Am I really working the kind of job that I enjoy? Should I start looking for new jobs?

Unfortunately for us, humans that are living in a Delayed Return Environment tend to lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. This is because the human brain wasn't designed to solve problems of a Delayed Return Environment. When it is finally over, you have no idea what you just witnessed. You're both frustrated and exhausted. You don't know where this argument came from or why you spent so long talking about the way you are supposed to fold a towel and why your method of doing it is proof that you do not respect them. The conversation will never reach a conclusion because their goal was never to resolve an issue. It was to get your attention directly on them and to drain your energy. When anxiety and intrusive thoughts take over, you are being served a word salad by your own mind. Just like it would be with an actual person, nothing productive will come of this back-and-forth between you and the thoughts. They also share another similarity with a narcissist, and that is the constant need for attention. Think about how the thoughts seem to get louder when you first try to focus on something else. This is how you are tricked into thinking the only way the anxiety will stop is if you give in to it and let it decide what you are going to do. I never knew when someone might ask me about my dad, or a teacher would have us make Father's Day cards, or our school or church would sponsor some father-son activity. I lived in fear of being found out. Of course, Mel was far from alone in feeling shame about having a family that failed to replicate the mythical, picture-perfect family prescribed by the culture. I'm sure many of his classmates felt that their families were flawed for different reasons--some of them far more shameful than death. But back then, no one spoke about what went on in anybody else's house. Mel felt that he and his family were passing, while other families were regular. Newsweek Saves One bright day in June, Mel nearly bounced into my office, a article from Newsweek in hand.