Of course, the most frequent victims are the poor and disaffected, the underserved, the voiceless and powerless--those who depend on the character of leaders to bring comfort from their afflictions and give them a voice. Perhaps the ways in which we choose our leaders today are too complicated and ponderous, or too elitist, to allow the average person to gauge the true worth and qualifications of anyone who seeks our vote. Because that process heavily favors politics and the politician, there will likely not be any changes in the foreseeable future. So perhaps one way to sift through the hype is for voters to look first and longest at what any candidate has done and pay no heed to mere words about what they say they have done or who they say they are. Look for SLS and SLES. Propylene Glycol A thickening and softening agent used in conjunction with known carcinogens 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide. Look for PEG. Nanoparticles Extremely small particles that make otherwise insoluble additives water-soluble. What does this mean? Oftentimes carcinogenic additives can be better absorbed into the skin. Nanomaterials may also be present in some foods, although this is yet to be conclusively confirmed by the FDA. Look for (nano) following another ingredient. You must give up your obsessive need for approval from people other than yourself. These include your mate, your children, your friends, your parents, the people you work with, your neighbors--everyone. Both of these steps are absolutely essential. The consuming fear, of course, is that, if you give up the need for approval, you won't get any. But that denies the central truth that through God you are the source. Therefore, loving yourself is the only approval that works.

I repeat that each of us can make a turnaround. This is possible because we are designed so that we can correct our mistakes and raise our consciousness, our self-awareness. Remember, the universe functions in an orderly manner. We can send a rocket to the moon and know exactly when it will get there and where it will land. Some goals are going to seem trivial, but if they are important enough for your child to verbalize, they are important enough for your respect and support. Deci calls this strategy autonomy-supportive, but I call it smart parenting. COMPETENCE: CONFIDENCE BORN OUT OF EXPERIENCE You can prop your child's confidence up with lavish praise, but you cannot create competence through praise alone. Competence requires both ability and experience, and confidence alone can lead to disaster. Recent studies have shown that while kids need to engage in free play that includes risk-taking, risky play is much more dangerous for kids who have never been allowed to engage in it than for kids who grow up knowing how to manage risk. Knowing how to manage risk through experience is real, hard-earned competence, and it makes them feel great about themselves. When my neighbor's son was five, he was absolutely positive he could operate his father's power tools. As his father had not yet taught him to use any of those tools, this belief was built on confidence rather than competence. On one visit to his house, he led me over to his father's new wood splitter, an insanely dangerous and decidedly not kid-approved piece of machinery. But we have been developing our habits for a very, very, very long time. However many years old you are, that's how old those habits are. And if you have a belief in reincarnation, you are looking at many more years with these habits! This is your chance. This little, short human life that you have is your opportunity. Don't blow it.

Think about how you want to use this time. Meditation is a patient process of knowing that gradually over time, these habits are dissolving. We don't actually get rid of anything. We are just steadfast with ourselves, developing clearer awareness and becoming honest about who we are and what we do. You use your highest strengths and talents to belong to and serve something you believe is larger than the self. Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910) - Russian Author of Works Such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity. Mark Zuckerberg (1984 -) Innovator, CEO of Facearticle I believe that over time, people get remembered for what they build. Anyone can make a quote but the above are from those whose life reflects what they say in words. Comparing the quotes, we see words like help and serve others pop up, with a focus on doing something larger than yourself. By building and creating a victory for humanity, we make the world better for ourselves and for others. BROAD: How many people will the meaning seek to affect? Think back to our example of the car on the road to meaning. A similar exercise was carried out in the 1930's in an American orphanage. John Nicholson describes this* experiment in Habits. In this case a number of children were allowed to choose freely from a wide variety of foods for a period of six years. The children varied in age from newly weaned babies upward. Again an effort was made not to influence their decisions in any way. These children too chose a completely adequate diet for themselves and were exceptionally healthy.

A few entered the orphanage with rickets, but they soon found cod liver oil amongst the foods offered, and drank it till they were cured. The staff always knew a child was becoming ill because she would stop eating. Similarly, she would resume eating the day before she recovered. I can feed myself It may seem counterintuitive, but the ones who benefit the most are those who draw fewer sanguine inferences from each other's bad behavior, who express fewer positive expectations, and who keep track of times that they have hurt each other. THE DANCE OF (SYNCHRONOUS) CONVERSATION Two of my favorite recent studies measured the extent to which speed-daters and college-age dating couples showed linguistic synchrony (otherwise known as language style matching) in their conversations. For example, you both might use cliches a lot (those were the good old days), or you both might speak in flowery language or relatively formal language, or you both might like to invoke emotion words (sad, eager, dreading), or use a lot of pauses and hmms, or you both might engage in Valley-speak (Like, I got some totally grody milk today). People who show similar styles of speaking and gesturing (gaze, posture, etc) have previously been found to be more likely to be attracted to each other. This might seem fairly esoteric, but it turns out that the coordinated use of function words can reflect the extent to which two conversation partners are trying to engage each other, as well as the extent to which they succeed at communicating and understanding each other. The intriguing findings were that pairs of first-time daters who matched each other's language styles were more likely to want to date again, and college-age couples who matched each other's language styles were more likely to still be together three months later (considered a long time for a college fling). Those who didn't match were less likely to express romantic interest in each other (in the dating study) and more likely to break up (in the couples study). Researchers have also analyzed the linguistic synchrony in the letters and poetry of famous romantic and platonic couples--for example, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning, and Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. When tracked across the ups and downs of their relationships, analyses showed that their happiest times (eg, the first four years of Plath's and Hughes's marriage) were marked by the highest linguistic synchrony and their least happy times (the two years before Plath's suicide at age thirty) were marked by the lowest synchrony. When we eat with others and participate in conversation, we eat much more slowly and healthily. When we eat too fast, more is eaten. This is because it takes time for the stomach to send a feeling-of-fullness message to the brain. This is especially an issue when your habit of wolfing food quickly is presented with an opportunity to have appetizers or finger foods. You likely eat faster (and more) when the food eaten requires no utensils. Sandwiches, finger foods, and snacks take less time to finish than food that requires fork and knife.

Next time you are on a long drive, add 30 minutes to the drive by getting out and enjoying the pit stop. Next lunch time, choose to dine with friends instead of quickly fueling up; Both choices make you more conscious of how fast you finish compared to the people around you. The foods we choose. Mind reading A woman who had gone out to breakfast with a friend later said, He looked up from across the table and said, `That's interesting. Polarized thinking Mind reading Personalization A man was trying to get his girlfriend to be warmer and more supportive. He got irritated every night when she didn't ask him how his day was or failed to give him the attention he expected. Personalization Overgeneralization Catastrophizing They create internal as well as external barriers that keep us from embracing the totality of our being. They keep us pointing our fingers at others. The key is to understand that there is nothing we can see or perceive that we are not. If we did not possess a certain quality we could not recognize it in another. If you are inspired by someone's courage, it is a reflection of the courage within you. If you think someone's selfish, you can be sure that you're capable of demonstrating the same amount of selfishness.