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The General's men came around the villages to conscript all the able-bodied men. This results in the dreaded sense that wrongs need to be righted, often at great personal and interpersonal expense. Resentment over having to do this heavy lifting is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only do we feel burdened by the resentment itself, it clouds our vision so we see more people as enemies trying to pull a fast one on us. A Clot is a resentment machine: induced toward bitter feelings and grudges that lead to pettiness and revenge. And what is resentment without obsession? Bitterness, jealousy, and the like all become emotional toxins when unaddressed. I mean, is there a resentful fantasy that doesn't lead to ruin if followed through on? Go ahead. Traverse that path and see what happens. Eventually, as Clots, we use obsessively driven actions to avoid feelings of any kind and get caught up in patterns that help us avoid conscious awareness of emotional discomfort. Thus, courage is required for advocacy, because criticism is guaranteed. A couple of months ago, I got a call from the middle school counselor. She put my daughter on the phone, and it took me three minutes to understand what she was saying through her sobs and wails. Between gasps, she told me that another student said she would be deported because she was an illegal born in Ethiopia, and America is getting rid of them now. Only thirteen and not in possession of international adoption policy, this made perfect sense to my daughter, as several of her Mexican classmates or members of their families had been deported. I sped to school in half the normal time and took her straight home. It took two hours to convince her that she was a legal, permanent citizen. I had to lay out all our social security cards and legal documents and put our adoption lawyer on the phone. Once she fell into a sweaty, exhausted sleep, I was back at school with my hair on fire.

We are our children's first and best advocates; Some bacteria are producing antibiotics, and then, to prevent suicide from these deadly molecules, they develop resistance. Some bacteria, in order to survive and prevent attacks from other bacteria, also develop this defense. So how long does this arms race go on? If defense gets to be too strong, what is the advantage of having any offense whatsoever? Something did not make sense to Wright. If every bacteria was eventually able to resist antibiotics, why were some bacteria still producing them? As more and more studies showed the increase in resistance among bacteria, Wright, a student of nature and captivated by the natural order of things, wondered if there was another angle--a means for some bacteria to weaken the defense of other bacteria, making them vulnerable once again to antibiotics. 1 To test his theory, Wright went back to the most potent of his resources--soil. He asked his students and colleagues to collect any samples they thought were promising. defensiveness more than the others as indicated by relying on self- handicapping strategies when faced with a risk and by blaming others when possible. Once such a pattern is identified, it also becomes easier to encourage someone to try using some of the positive strategies more often. Just as low, fragile, or unstable self- esteem can have negative personal and interpersonal consequences, positive and healthy or authentic self- esteem plays a significant role in mental health and happiness or well- being. In general, researchers who study these desirable conditions focus their efforts on two forms of well-being, both of which are related to the phenomenon of flourishing interpersonally and personally. The first type is called subjective well- being and usually involves some form of pleasure or enjoyment, which is why it is also known as a hedonic form of happiness. This dimension of well- being includes focusing on things that feel pleasant, such as having a good time, enjoying the company of others, and many forms of activity that are experienced as being fun. Subjective well- being, as one might guess, is a reflection of overall happiness. Most important for our purposes is that people who have authentic self- esteem seem to experience greater levels of subjective well- being and do so more often than others interpersonally as well as personally (Diener & Diener, 1995. )

The other type of well- being is more difficult to describe because it involves deeper forms of satisfaction with life that may or may not involve pleasant The farmer's son was still recovering from his accident and was unable to walk. So, the General's men decided that the farmer's son was unfit to fight. The farmer's neighbours came to visit and exclaimed to him, How lucky is this, that your son hasn't been enlisted. You must be so glad! All our sons have been marched off to fight. The farmer, once more, calmly replied, Well, let's just see how things turn out. The farmer worked steadily on the farm by himself while his son's leg healed. Once he had recovered and could return to work, he was left with a slight limp as he walked. The neighbours came around and said, It's such a shame that your son can't walk properly. You must feel so bad about this. This is a very limiting way to exist. Life without awareness of emotion can feel colorless, gray, and depressing. Actions fueled by the dissociated emotion still resemble that underlying emotion--we just lose access to information that might help us knock it off. Like: Ugh, that was ugly, I shouldn't have been such a Clot. You're entitled to take credit for what works in your relationship as well as responsibility for what's wrong. Generally speaking, though, proving that you're right is an isolating state. The other person is identified as wrong, and anyone consistently made to feel wrong will respond to their accuser as a Clot eventually. If not being a Clot is truly your goal then the need to be right is your worst enemy. There is much to the question, Would you rather be right or be happy?

(My wife's response to that question is, Both. I learned this from my dad who never met one of my enemies who wasn't his enemy and a clear enemy of the Lord Almighty. Regret from the school administration over this insidious form of targeted bullying wasn't enough. I needed to hear next steps, assurance of meaningful discipline, a discussion on prevention in a school where minority students compose 60 percent of the population. I have the longest imaginable fuse for my own critics, but you mess with one of my kids, you unleash racism on their young souls, and I turn into the Incredible Hulkess. This advocacy was met with great compassion, because this type of traumatic terror is unthinkable for one of ours (until adulthood, she gets the built-in protective covering of my whiteness. ) But although there is not a single meaningful difference between a thirteen-year-old child forced apart from her mother at a port of entry and my thirteen-year-old child who thought she might be, when I raised money to reunite immigrating families forcibly separated at the border, my feed was jammed with outrage: Let them all live with you, and then we'll see how much you care! They should have stayed in their own country! Finally, some tough measures at the border! Be prepared: a ton of advocacy work will draw criticism. He was looking for a missing piece of the puzzle that showed that there was still a reason for bacteria to produce antibiotics. The answer came soon. One sample came from a national park in Nova Scotia where one of his students had been hiking during a vacation. The soil sample was analyzed like hundreds of others, but this one ended up being special. In it, Wright and his team found molecules produced by Aspergillus fungus, a form of fungus that typically grows on decaying leaves. 2 What Wright's lab discovered was that Aspergillus produced molecules that can disarm bacteria's resistance mechanisms. This was a new twist in the arms race. Some bacteria would produce antibiotics; other bacteria, to save themselves, would develop resistance.

But then there were molecules, like those produced by Aspergillus, that could disarm the resistance, poking holes in the bacterial defenses, making the original antibiotics potent again. experiences. Philosophers and psychologists sometimes refer to this type of well-being as the good life, one that involves meaning, virtue, and growth. This type of well- being is often based on basic human values that provide a deeper sense of purpose and usually requires hard work, if not genuine sacrifice, to achieve. Positive psychologists often call this type of happiness eudaimonic. Authentic self- esteem plays a major role in both dimensions of well- being, but particularly the latter, because the self- expansion function of self- esteem fosters the ability to be open to new possibilities. In contrast, unhealthy self- esteem-- that is, low or defensive self- esteem-- narrows one's focus in a way that closes off many possibilities. For example, earlier in her life as a young adult, M was offered the opportunity to receive a full scholarship at a major university. Such a possibility could have been a real boon because she and her parents were of modest means. However, M turned down the scholarship because she did not feel she could deal with the challenge of maintaining the required grade point due to a lack of faith in her ability, even though the award only required having a 2. The farmer simply replied, Well, let's just see how things turn out. After months of battle, many young men of the villages were killed whilst fighting. The old farmer and his son were the most able-bodied farmers left once the war was over. They worked hard and became rich. They generously helped all their neighbours, and even other villages in the area. The neighbours said, You're so kind and generous, and we're very fortunate. You must be so very happy! To this the farmer softly replied, Well, let's just see how things turn out. It is difficult to sustain a sense of balance and calm in the face of changing and sometimes challenging events.