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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Professor Duo-Liang Lin's Poem / Washington's Post

ECGMA says: Thanks Albert for sharing this 'Poem' by professor Duo-Liang Lin. If not from his viewpoint, what would the other poem be, I wonder?

Albertk said: Quite True if you look at it from his point of view....not a bad analogy!! cheers!

The perspective from a Chinese professor in the US .....

A poem by
Prof Duo-Liang Lin, Ph. D.
Professor Emeritus of Physics
University at Buffalo
State University of New York

A Poem

Published by the Washington Post

When we were the Sick Man of Asia, We were called The Yellow Peril.

When we are billed to be the next Superpower, we are called The Threat.

When we closed our doors, you smuggled drugs to open markets.

When we embrace Free Trade, You blame us for taking away your jobs.

When we were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.

When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet you screamed, It Was an Invasion!

When tried Communism, you hated us for being Communist.

When we embrace Capitalism, you hate us for being Capitalist.

When we have a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.

When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.

When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.

When we loan you cash, you blame us for your national debts.

When we build our industries, you call us Polluters.

When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.

When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.

When you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.

When we were lost in chaos and rampage, you demanded rules of law.

When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it violating human rights.

When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.

When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed-xenophobics.

Why do you hate us so much, we asked.

No, you answered, we don't hate you.

We don't hate you either,

But, do you understand us?

Of course we do, you said,

We have AFP, CNN and BBC's...

What do you really want from us?

Think hard first, then answer...

Because you only get so many chances.

Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for This One World.

We want One World, One Dream, and Peace on Earth.

This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.

Duo-Liang Lin, Ph. D.
Professor Emeritus of Physics
University at Buffalo
State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14260-1500

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Meet Your Meat

ECGMA says: My thoughts?!?! I am damn bloody angry! Humans are just cruel! Like you, Tommy, I am numbed to the animal cruelty by humans! What is wrong with the human race? Isn't there a better and more humane way of breeding animals for human consumption, at least? F-ing bastards! On such matters, I apologise to no one for my language meant for them F-ing bastards.

Humans are cruel!

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Tommy Chia <>
To: Eugene Chung <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:47:05 PM
Subject: Fw: Something to think about

This is forwarded to me.... any thots???

Subject: Something to think about

A friend recommended me to see this website:

After watching the entire movie on the site, I gone speechless. I cannot
help it but feeling very very bad.....

I dunno what can be done, but I believe anyone who has seen the movie will
give it a thought.

Have a nice weekend ahead.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Kelsey Briggs Story

ECGMA says: Child abusers are low-life scums of the earth. Lock these bastards with me in a room and you don't really want to know what I can and will do to them, for when I finish with them, they will wish for the Chinese torture instead. Little Kelsey Briggs is just one of the many tragedies that exist in the evil side of humans.

Kelsey Briggs lost her life before the age of three due to Child Abuse.
It is a Tragic story but one that must be shared.Hopefully Kelsey's story will touch your heart and you will be willing to step up to the plate and help children who can't help themselves.

Please Read her story below...

Kelsey Briggs was born in Oklahoma on December 28,2002 after her parents Lance Briggs and Raye Dawn Smith were divorced.
At the end of 2004 Raye Dawn Smith started dating a man named Michael Lee Porter.
The first reported incident of suspected child abuse regarding Kelsey was made on Jan.17,2005.
Kelsey Briggs grandmother Kathie Briggs was granted custody Jan.24,2005.
Raye Dawn Smith married Michael Lee Porter on April 18,2005.
On May 3,2005 Kelsey was taken out of her grandmothers care by OKDHS.
Kelsey was put in protective custody because of her leg injuries.
At that time Raye Dawn was having unsupervised visitation with Kelsey,sometimes in the presence of Mike Porter which went against the court order.
During this time Raye and Mike had Kelsey alot more than Kathie did.
May 4,2005 Kelsey was moved to her maternal Grandmother Gayla Smith.
Kelsey suffered months of documented abuse,which included two CONFIRMED cases of abuse.The two instances that were Confirmed abuse were the abrasions and bruises on her bottom in January 2005,and the two spiral breaks to her legs in April 2005.June 15,2005 Judge Craig Key sent Kelsey back to her mom and stepfather.The judge stated,"Kelsey's abuser was unknown."
Kelsey was visited by a social worker every week.
Her biological father Lance Briggs was a soldier in Iraq he was undergoing care at a treatment facility and was in the process of checking out from his duty in
Fort Benning,Georgia.Lance was schedueled to be home within days.
On October 11,2005 Kelsey was murdered by her Stepfather Micheal Lee Porter.Raye Dawn and Michael Porter were the only ones around Kelsey in the hour leading up to her death.
Raye went to pick Whitney up from school.Whitney is Mike Porter's Bio daughter from a previous relationship.
The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the abdomen,it was ruled a Homicide.
Kelsey Briggs died just days before her father was to return.
Two weeks later Porter was arrested on first degee murder.
Her mother was later charged with two felonies of Child Neglect and Enabling Child Abuse.
In April of 2006 Kelsey's body was exhumed for a second autopsy where sexual abuse was documented.
The Stepfather's charges were amended to add the sexual abuse.
Porter and Smith divorced after Kelsey's death.
On February 2,2007 a plea negotiation was entered and approved by the paternal family.
The stepfather plead guilty to a reduced charge of Enabling Child Abuse and received 30 years in prison.
He has no possibility of parole for 25.5 years.
Kelsey's mother Raye Dawn Smith went on trial July 9,2007.She has since been found guilty of enabling child abuse,she will serve 27 years in prison.Without the possibility of parole for 23 years.
The District Attorney Richard Smothermon says she knew,or should have known about Kelsey's abuse.

Alot of people failed Kelsey.Remember her story the next time you think a child is being abused.Please report it,if you don't, that child may suffer the same fate as Kelsey.Please don't let that happen.

A new law has been named for Kelsey in Oklahoma to prevent this type of failure in the Oklahoma State System.

Song:"Somewhere over the Rainbow"
- Eva Cassidy

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tibet the truth

ECGMA says: Thanks for this, Jackie but I had problems opening the link, the site was not responding at the time I was trying to access it but I include th clip version here, see below. As I couldn't connect to CenturyChina site, I am not able to confirm if the clip and the link are one and the same.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Jackie Yip
Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2008 5:37:04 PM
Subject: [ec-gen] Fw: Tibet - MUST WATCH TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH

Must see!

Subject: Tibet, the Truth. Great video made by an American

http://www.centuryc plaboard/ posts/3797825. shtml

The West is trying to demonize China. Why? To ensure an upper-handed position economically, politically, and socially.


Too many harbor strong opinions about Tibet, yet know nothing more than the few slogans offered by the mass-media outlets.

The media screams:
"They killed innocent monks!" - but those "innocent" monks and other young hooligans killed innocent Chinese before a single shot was fired on them.
"The Chinese are oppressive" - do you consider freeing over 95% of Tibetans from slavery, building a state of the art infrastructure, and a new economy oppressive?
"The Chinese suppress Tibetan Buddhism" - then why have the Chinese spent a fortune restoring ancient monasteries and places of religious significance?

China doesn't SPIN NEWS like we do. Their silence is too often mistaken as admission of guilt. Don't be another uninformed drone. Do everyone a favor and learn truths before forming opinions.

Here's to Peace & Harmony! The 2008 Beijing Olympics deserve support!

Chris D. Nebe
JJ Osbun
Mark Grabianowski

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alia Sabur - Teen Genius

ECGMA says: Thanks Judy for this! Nb.The link and the clip are 2 different reports on this girl genius.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Huey-Lan Song
Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2008 12:21:06 AM
Subject: Fw: Teen Genius

Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide?

Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process, journeying through her childhood and family history and into the worlds of physics and chance, looking for hints of where her own creativity comes from. It's a wild ride with a surprise ending.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Failure to vote excuses

ECGMA says: Thanks to Doug for sharing these 'excuses'.

Dog with/without 2 legs

ECGMA says: Thanks to Judy for sharing this. A dog with or without 2 legs (depending on how you see it). Click on the images to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

China's killer roads - 21 April 2008

More than 80,000 people were killed in traffic accidents in China last year, making the country's roads the deadliest in the world.

Dubai - the sudden city

Sudden City - a feverish dream of the future springs from the sands in Dubai

By Afshin Molavi
Photographs by Maggie Steber

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum has led the transformation of his realm from a drowsy fishing village to a tax-free business haven and world capital of glittering excess.
Get a taste of what awaits you in print from this compelling excerpt.There once was a sheikh who dreamed big. His realm, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, was a sleepy, sun-scorched village occupied by pearl divers, fishermen, and traders who docked their ramshackle dhows and fishing boats along a narrow creek that snaked through town. But where others saw only a brackish creek, this sheikh, Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum, saw a highway to the world. One day in 1959, he borrowed many millions of dollars from his oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait, to dredge the creek until it was wide and deep enough for ships. He built wharves and warehouses and planned for roads and schools and homes. Some thought he was mad, others just mistaken, but Sheikh Rashid believed in the power of new beginnings. Sometimes at dawn, with his young son, Mohammed, by his side, he'd walk the empty waterfront and paint his dream in the air with words and gestures. And it was, in the end, as he said. He built it, and they came. His son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, now rules Dubai, and around that creek has built towering dreams of his own, transforming the sunrise vision of his father into a floodlit, air-conditioned, skyscrapered fantasy world of a million people. With its Manhattan-style skyline, world-class port, and colossal, duty-free shopping malls, little Dubai now attracts more tourists than the whole of India, more shipping vessels than Singapore, and more foreign capital than many European countries. The people of 150 nations have moved here to live and work. Dubai has even built man-made islands—some in the shape of palm trees—to accommodate the wealthiest of them. Its economic growth rate, 16 percent, is nearly double that of China. Construction cranes punctuate the skyline like exclamation points. Dubai is also a rare success story in the Middle East, a region with a history of failure and stagnation. Whether Dubai represents a glitzy anomaly or a model to be copied by other Arab nations is a question worth asking these days, as the Islamic world struggles to cope with modernization. Abdulrahman al Rashid, a Saudi journalist and director of the Al Arabiya news channel, put it this way: "Dubai is putting pressure on the rest of the Arab and Muslim world. People are beginning to ask their governments: If Dubai can do it, why can't we?" Dubai, it must be said, is like no other place on Earth. This is the world capital of living large; the air practically crackles with a volatile mix of excess and opportunity. It's the kind of place where tennis stars Andre Agassi and Roger Federer play an exhibition match on the rooftop helipad of the opulent Burj al Arab megahotel; where diamond-encrusted cell phones do a brisk business at $10,000 apiece; where millions of people a year fly in just to go shopping.Get the whole story in the pages of
National Geographic magazine.

Amazon Rain Forest - Interactive Map

Amazon Rain Forest - Interactive Map

National Geographic - Kids - Video Gallery

National Geographic - Kids - Video Gallery

Lunch Tide - National Geographic

Crabs scavenging for food on the beach

Email Mistakes That Make You Look Bad

E-mail mistakes that make you look bad by Kim Komando for

For more help on running a small business, check out the Small Business Center
I get an awful lot of e-mail. Sometimes, people are looking for help with their computers. Some of it is fan mail.
Other folks are mad about something I said or wrote. Add to this the barrage of press releases and an occasional blast from the past when a former classmate or ex-boss drops me a note.
After facing this tidal wave of electronic words for several years, as well as owning my own business, I've developed some strong opinions about e-mail and correspondents.
Here are eight easily avoidable mistakes you should know about to keep your image and inbox in tip-top shape.

1. Failing to follow e-mail etiquette

I believe in the old adage, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." There's no point in belaboring the etiquette issue. We all know we should be polite. But here are a few points to consider:

  • Don't write when you're angry. Wait 24 hours. Calm down. Be reasonable. Have someone else edit your e-mail.
  • Don't use sarcasm. You may think you're clever, but the recipient will be put off.
  • DON'T USE ALL UPPERCASE! That's the e-mail equivalent of yelling. Your recipient won't be appreciative. Go easy on the exclamation marks, too. Overuse dulls their effectiveness.
  • Use clear subject lines. That will help people decide whether to read the e-mail now or later. We're all busy. Your correspondent will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  • Keep it short. If your e-mail is more than two paragraphs, maybe you should use the telephone.
  • Change the subject line if you change the topic of a thread.
  • Unless the recipient has previously agreed, don't forward poems, jokes, virus warnings and other things. You're just wasting valuable time and bandwidth.

2. Thinking you are anonymous

If you are sending nasty missives, you might think no one will be able to figure out that the e-mail came from you. After all, you set up a phony Web address. Think again. E-mail contains invisible information about the sender.
That information is in the header. All major e-mail programs can display header information. Here's how:
  • In Microsoft Outlook, double click the e-mail. Then click View > Options.
  • In Microsoft Outlook Express, click the e-mail. Then click File > Properties and select the Details tab.
  • In Eudora, double click the message. Then click the Blah Blah button.
  • In Netscape, click the message to open it. Then click View > Message Source to display the header.

The sender's revealing information is in the sections that begin with "Received:." There may be several of these, depending on the number of computers the e-mail traversed. The originating computer is in the bottom "Received:."

That section will have an Internet Protocol (IP) number, such as It can be traced on a number of Web sites. I use InterNIC ( The number is probably assigned to the sender's Internet service provider, rather than the sender. But the ISP will be able to identify the sender using that number. Remember the header if you're tempted to send an anonymous e-mail. You may be less anonymous than you think.

3. Sending e-mail to the wrong person

Today's e-mail programs want to make it easy to send e-mail. This means that when you start typing the address of a recipient to whom you have previously sent mail, the "To:" field may already be populated. Be careful. Always double-check the recipient is the intended one.

In addition, if you're writing something ugly about Joe Smith, you'll have Joe's name on your mind. Don't send it to him. I once knew an intern at a newspaper who did just that. He didn't like his supervisor and said so in graphic terms in an e-mail. Then he accidentally sent the e-mail to his supervisor. (The intern kept his position, but the atmosphere was cold, to say the least. And there was no job offer at summer's end.)

4. Using one e-mail address for everything

I have four different e-mail addresses: private, public, one I use for online mailing lists, and another for when I go shopping online. These addresses attract mail for those specific areas.

I can have as many as I want, because I host my own e-mail server. But if you are using an Internet service provider, you still can do this. Most providers will give you a half-dozen e-mail accounts. You can also use addresses on the Web for personal accounts. Both Hotmail and Yahoo! are good. You can reach those accounts from anywhere, assuming you have Web access.

5. Forgetting to check all of your e-mail accounts

Checking all these accounts can be a chore, especially from home. So I use ePrompter (, which can check 16 different password-protected accounts. Best of all, ePrompter is free. There are other programs that will do this for a fee, including Active Email Monitor (

6. Clicking "Send" too fast

Reread every e-mail before you send it! I actually get e-mails from job applicants with misspellings and missing words. They all go to the same place: the garbage. This is a pet peeve. I'm not going to hire someone who is careless.

Even if you're not looking for a job, you want to be careful. People will judge you subconsciously on mistakes. No one is perfect. But you can catch 99% of these problems by rereading the text.
And don't depend on the spell-checker. It will catch misspellings. But if you use "four" instead of "for," or "your" for "you're," it won't tell you. It also is not likely to catch any missing words in a sentence that you inadvertently failed to include. So take a minute and reread your text. Don't look like an ignoramus.

7. Forgetting the attachment

This seems obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I've received an e-mail with a missing attachment. Since we all do it occasionally, it shouldn't be a huge deal.

However, if you consistently make this mistake, people (perhaps important people) may think you're losing your marbles. They might even hesitate to do business with you in the future. When you get ready to send your e-mail, think: "What am I forgetting?"

8. Using your ISP's domain and not your own

Make your company look big. If you use a Web account or an ISP's name for your business, you're not going to look professional. You can buy a domain name separately for $20-$30 per year from a company such as VeriSign (, or as part of a package from a Web hosting and e-mail service such as that offered by Microsoft Small Business. Assuming someone else hasn't already grabbed it, you can have your company in the domain name.

Let's say you run The BoolaBoola Co. If you use an ISP's address, you would have something like But if you buy your own domain name, it could be That's much more likely to impress your customers.

E-mail is almost like talking. We use it so much that we don't really think about it. But there are rules and courtesies, just as there are with talking. And there are other considerations involved in communicating by written word only.

Giving them some additional thought could make your e-mail experience more satisfying and your recipients much happier.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Panoramic view of Niagara Falls

ECGMA says: Wow! Thanks Jackie for sharing this majestic view!
Click on the image to enlarge

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tony Robbins motivates you in 20 minutes: TEDTalks Tony Robbins talks about how to unlock your true potential -- and high-fives Al Gore in the front row! A fast-paced, mind-expanding, motivating TEDTalk for high achievers and those who wish to be. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA.)

How It Feels To Have A Stroke Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Friday, April 18, 2008 - Jackie Chans Road to Martial Arts Mastery : NPR

Eugene thought you would be interested in this story: Jackie Chans Road to Martial Arts Mastery : NPR

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Eight Stages of Life & Life Calling

Our eight stages help you manage your job, career or business by describing the major focus of each stage.
Knowing what to expect can help you identify opportunities and avoid pitfalls.

Stage One: Exploring
In this first stage, you are busy exploring many ideas about life and work. You usually start this stage in childhood and it accelerates during adolescence. Often this stage is marked by experimenting with life styles, values and methods of self expression. You are trying to define who you are and who you are not. Key activities include discovering what you are naturally great at, finding (and discarding) role models and learning what you love and hate.
All these help you identify interesting work (or ideally the ingredients of the work you love).

Stage Two: Focusing
The second stage is entered when you are ready to start seriously focusing on the best ideas you discovered while Exploring. This happens naturally as teenagers start to show preferences for school subjects, after school activities and hobbies. Focusing continues throughout high school and into college as students pick majors or choose a vocational program.
The major career activity is gaining the knowledge and skills to be offered an entry level job in your dream profession or trade, or to become and entrepreneur and start your own dream business.

Stage Three: Working
The Working Stage begins when you complete your full time studies and start working. With your first adult or full time job, you take on the adult responsibilities of supporting yourself and your family. Your basic job skills come from what you learned during the Focusing stage and what you learn on the job. To gain additional skills, knowledge and experience, you may move around within a company or industry.
In the beginning, your major focus is on learning the ropes and earning a paycheck. Over time, however, the emphasis shifts to increasing the size of your paycheck, benefits and responsibility. Many people decide (consciously or unconsciously) to remain in this stage for the rest of their life.

Stage Four: Excelling
If you choose to move to this fourth stage, your attention shifts from earning paychecks and promotions to excelling at what you do. Achieving great results takes center stage, driven by an emphasis on developing and using your skills and knowledge.
The benefits of excelling at your work brings great performance reviews, larger paychecks, and more career opportunities. It also opens up the possibility of moving into the next stage.

Stage Five: Mastering
Few people move into the fifth stage of Mastering. Here your focus shifts from achieving excellent results to understanding and mastering the work process itself. In this stage, the work and worker blend together and extraordinary results flow with a minimum of effort. At this level, personal skills, materials, tools, methods and the environment are all mastered.

Stage Six: Transcending
In this rare sixth stage, your focus shifts to harmonizing with the underlying creative process and principles. Using the extraordinary knowledge and experience you have acquired, you can bend, break and transcend the accepted rules. Often you produce original and unique results that defy popular beliefs of what is possible.

Stage Seven: Life Calling
A life calling often defines or redefines your life's work. Your calling can can range from having a vague sense there is something you must do to envisioning clearly what you want to accomplish.
A life calling can come at any time, causing your perspective to undergo a mild to radical shift. It can be heralded by a loss, a life crisis or a series of noteworthy events. Often this stages prepares you to enter the Re-genesis stage.

Stage Zero: Re-genesis
On rare occasions, a person will reach the end of a life or work cycle before they run out of life force. The zero stage of Re-genesis is the process of undergoing a fundamental life transformation. Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, you emerge transfigured. A new and different life awaits to be discovered. To understanding it, you must start again by entering a new Exploring stage.
Life Calling

Ingredient Eight of Your Dream Job

Do you feel a deep, quiet invocation to become or do something extraordinary? Life callings can be a bit overwhelming. But, at the heart of every one is a simple idea about what you want to accomplish or how you want to change the world. What makes them so complex is figuring out how to translate your ideas into making a living at it in the real world.
The first place to start is by developing a very clear idea of your life calling, specifically the impact you want to have. Identifying your touchstones -- the ideas behind the movies, books and songs that resonate deeply with you – is a good first step. So is connecting with your inner guidance or voice. Together, they can help you define your life calling.
So, what do you feel called to do? Do you feel called to …
  • protect an endangered species
  • help people heal themselves
  • be an advocate for children
  • rescue abandoned animals
  • become a business tycoon
  • help people regain their vision
  • teach children how to play the piano
  • create innovative gourmet recipes
  • understand the mysteries of the universe
  • explore the frontier of gene therapy

Life callings are wake up calls to put our gifts and talents to good use and become actively engaged in realizing our life purpose. Most people think either too small or too grand. Your life calling is really just a simple idea applied to a few select people or the entire world. And because the number of ideas and causes that need someone to champion them in this world is almost infinite - one of them is calling to you. Now, are you ready to answer it?
- ----------------

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How good is your reaction time?

My rating was SLUGGISH!....darn....must stop doing tai chi (slowing me down!!!), older farter!
Thanks Doug!

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "Irwin, Doug"
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 1:33:40 PM
Subject: FW: How good is your reaction time?

Not too bad for an old fart...

Getting old, are we? Reflexes slowing down?

As I remember, the automobile driving manual
says the average driver's reaction time is:

.75 seconds -or- 1 car length for every 10 mph...

Test your reaction time with this special test.

Click here:

This will drive you crazy for a while.
- ----------------

Monday, April 14, 2008

98.7FM Prank Call enquirng about food catering

ECGMA says: Malaysians/Singaporeans will appreciate this more.

Ken Lee Wee Dao Jew (Can't Live Without You)

This is the Bulgarian Idol version of the song 'Without You'

Valentina Hasan returned to Bulgaria to sing her international hit single "Ken Lee". Her English has definitely improved.

Without you (Ken Lee) - OFFICIAL VIDEO REMIX

Original "Without You" by (Harry) Nilsson

Harry Nilsson Without You RARE Piano Demo

Mariah Carey's version of 'Without You'

Mariah Carey- Without you @ Tokyo Dome 1996

Health Fact - Anal Optic Nerve

ECGMA says: Thanks Doug! Now I know better!

Interesting Health Fact

Did you know that in the human body there is a nerve that connects the eyeball to the anus?
It's called the Anal Optic Nerve, and it is responsible for giving people a shitty outlook on life.
If you don't believe it, try to pull a hair from your arse and see if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes.

The Problem with Islam in Europe

ECGMA says: Thanks Judy for this clip. Ship all these radical Muslims back to radical Islamic countries then see how many will voluntarily go. I betcha not one will. We have heard this before, the problem lies not with the religion but the fanatical followers of Islam. There are many many good Muslims around the world whose good names are being tarnished by these 'bad apples'.

To all MCP's - Laundry Washing Instructions

ECGMA says: This is dedicated to all MCP's you know, Male Chauvinistic Pigs, that is.
Click on the image to enlarge.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Old age is no laughing matter

Thursday April 10, 2008

GETTING up on the wrong side of the bed often spells trouble for most people. Call it superstitious if you wish but one tends to get that grouchy feeling that something will go awfully wrong for the rest of the day.

But if you think waking up to that dreaded moment is bad enough, imagine having 12 years sliced off your life if you happen to live on the wrong side of a road.

That’s the predicament faced by residents of Ivybridge, Devon, who were told they could expect to die 12 years earlier than their neighbours across the street.

Age, as any grumpy old man will tell you, is no laughing matter. So it is no surprise that residents staying on the wrong side of Cleeve Drive in the market town did not find the Devon County Council’s report amusing.

Using birth and death registers, the report revealed that middle class residents with buoyant incomes could live up to 88.8 years while those on the other side of the road might not live past 76.5.

Many people seem incredibly obsessed with wanting to live a long life and to look and feel younger.

In Taiwan, for instance, there is even a Remembrance Day where the government honours the elderly and celebrates their longevity.

Some might question whether old age is really a cause for celebration, given the loneliness and ill health that come with the passage of time.

Imagine a person living to 100 years or beyond. Should he witness his spouse, children or grandchildren passing away, he will not be able to enjoy the happiness of spending time with his loved ones.

And as he lives through the deaths of his closest family members, he will eventually be all alone. In life, there’s nothing harder to bear than the death of our dearest ones, as illustrated by a Chinese proverb that touched on the sorrows of “white-haired parents or grandparents grieving the loss of their black-haired children or grandchildren.”

Thus, longevity does not necessarily equate with happiness. Often, it comes with a price, one that might be too high to pay. Then again, living a healthy lifestyle – watching your diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking or drinking – could help pave the way for a more fruitful and independent life.

Senior citizens in Britain, for example, enjoy an active and mobile lifestyle; many shop for their weekly groceries or travel on buses and Underground Tube trains, all on their own.

While some might be using walking sticks or riding mobile scooters, they’re still very much independent, doing the things which could be the envy of many of their younger counterparts.

Yes, many see old age as a dreadful time when diseases take their toll and we feel the stiffness creeping in.

The thought of being unable to enjoy all the pleasures of life we used to take for granted can be frightening. While the ills of old age are inevitable, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle during our younger days can certainly help us to live a longer and healthier life.

The 1-2 Punch of Success... Energy and Passion

By John Rowley

"The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm (Passion) to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come."
-James Whitcomb Riley

When you have the energy to fuel your passion, success is sure to follow. The 1-2 punch of energy and passion is the key to success in life. In order to be successful in any endeavor you will need to overcome much discouragement, frustration and failure, and the key to rising above these things is energy and passion. That is why I always say that "energy is the fuel to ignite passion and passion is the engine of success!"

In the movie Cinderella Man, Russell Crowe plays a down and out boxer that makes a dramatic comeback. The backdrop to this movie is the great depression and previous to the great depression Crowe's character, Jimmy Braddock, was a champion boxer that lost his way. After his comeback a reporter asks him, "You have lost before, what's the difference this time?" Jimmy Braddock then answers "I know what I'm fighting for." The reporter follows up with "And what's that?" and Jimmy comes back with what I feel is the most memorable and inspiring line in the whole movie, he simply says, "Milk." That says it all; now he knew why he was fighting. He was fighting to feed his kids. He was able to look defeat straight in the face and say "Okay, one more round." He was able to overcome failure because he had the energy and passion to achieve his goal of putting milk on the table. I feel this is the story of America. A spirited passion for a worthy goal that will let nothing stand in her way. "Okay, let's go one more round" was the unspoken mantra for generations of Americans and what has made America the greatest country in the world.

The 1 - 2 punch of energy and passion is the key to success in your career as well as your life. People can feel your energy and passion. Our job is to "sell" people on what we know will help them and you can't do that by being lethargic.

Many years ago when I got started in sales, I didn't know how to sell but I was passionate and energetic. One of my first clients told me that as my skill increases it is natural for my passion to wane. He told me the key to my success will lie in my passion and if I can combine an infectious passion with proven sales skills, I will always be a top producing sales person. Was he right! Isn't that what Mr. Ziglar has been teaching us for years? If we present our message with an infectious passion and conviction, combined with a high level of energy, it will speak volumes to our prospects and "sell" them on taking action by using the best person in town - YOU!

Put the 1-2 punch of energy and passion to work in your life so you can live the life of your dreams!

Seven Qualities of Master Achievers

by Brian Tracy

If you think the way successful people think and adopt their success habits, you too can be successful. Here are seven qualities of the top 1% of successful people.

1) They are Ambitious.
They see themselves capable of being the best. They see themselves with the capacity of being really good at what they do. This was a really big thought for me. It held me back for many years. When I saw people who were doing better than I was, I naturally assumed they were better than I was. And if they were better than I was, then I must be worse than them, so that would mean they were superior and I was inferior. That is a big problem in our society. We have feelings of inferiority, and these feelings of inferiority are often translated into feelings of undeservedness. We don't feel we deserve to be a big success. The word "deserve" comes from two Latin words meaning "from service." You deserve 100% of everything you make and enjoy as long as you get it from serving other people. Your rewards are in direct proportion to your service. If you serve better and serve more and serve at a higher level and serve more enthusiastically and serve a higher quality, then you'll have a wonderful income you'll deserve every penny of it. You must see yourself capable of being the best.

2) They are Courageous.
They work to confront the fears that holds most people back. The two biggest enemies to yours and my success is fear and doubt. Eliminating fear and doubt is the key. The key to eliminating fear: If you want to develop courage, then simply act courageously when it's called for. When you do something repeatedly, you develop a habit. Make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear. If you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain. To overcome fear of rejection in prospecting, you must realize that rejection in selling is not personal. Top salespeople do not fear prospecting. Face your fear. Do the things you fear. The ability to confront your fear is the mark of the superior person. If you have high ambition and you decide to be in the top 10%, and you can confront your fears and do the things that are holding you back, those two things alone will make you a great success.

3) They are Committed.
The top people in every field, especially the top salespeople, are completely committed. They believe in themselves; they believe in their companies; they believe in their products and services; they believe in their customers; they have an intense belief. We know that there is a one-to-one relationship between the depth of your belief and what happens in your reality. And if you absolutely believe in the rightness and the goodness of what you're doing, you become like a catalyst. You create what is called a transfer, like an electrical transfer of enthusiasm. People like to buy from people who truly believe in what they are doing. People who are not committed to what they do lead very empty lives. The second part is that caring is the critical element in modern selling. Caring is a critical element in life, as well. All men and women who enjoy great lives care about what they do! They have passion about what they do. They love what they do.

4) They are Professional.
Top salespeople see themselves as consultants rather than as salespeople. When you think of the word "consultant," what words come to mind? When do you call a consultant? A consultant is a problem-solver. What word does not appear when you think of a consultant--the word "salesperson". We don't think of consultants as salespeople. The most successful consultants in America are the very best salespeople of their services. When a person is positioned as a consultant in the mind and heart of the customer, he is not seen as a salesperson. Do people like to be sold? Do people like to be helped to improve their lives and work? So they look upon a salesperson as someone who sells them. Selling is something you do "to" someone, and people don't like to be done "to". So when you think of being a consultant, here is the key. How do you position yourself as a consultant with your customers? Of course, you act like a consultant, but even before you get the chance to act like a consultant, you build a rapport. And the most simple answer of all, and this is the most profound principle: People accept you at your own evaluation of yourself. Consultants come in and have a cup of coffee. Salespeople wait in the waiting room and have a glass of water. If you say you're a consultant, your customer will accept you as a consultant. >From now on, position yourself as a consultant. Think of yourself as a consultant. Remember, 80% of what you accomplish on the outside is determined by who you are on the inside. How you see yourself determines how the customer responds to you. The customer's perception of you determines how much they buy and how much they recommend you to other customers.

5) They are Prepared.
They review every detail in advance. To be in the top 10% requires additional efforts. It requires doing things that the average person is not willing to do. It requires making sacrifices the average person is not willing to make. It requires reviewing every detail of every call or situation before every business meeting. But the difference it makes is extraordinary. Before you go into a meeting, do your homework. Successful people are more concerned about pleasing results than they are about pleasing methods. When you sit down with a client, there is nothing more complimentary to a client than the feeling that you have prepared for the meeting.

6) They are Continuous Learners.
They recognize that if they're not continually getting better, they're getting worse. They read, they listen to CDs and they take additional training. The professional never stops learning. So read, listen to CDs, take continuous training.

7) They are Responsible.
They see themselves as President of their own personal services corporation. The top people in our society have an attitude of self-employed. 100% of us are self-employed. We are presidents of our own personal services corporation. You work for yourself. The biggest mistake we can ever make is to think we work for anyone else. We work for ourselves. The person who signs our paycheck may change; our jobs may change, but we are always the same. We are the one constant--we are always self-employed. The fact of the matter is -- this is not optional, it is mandatory -- you are the president of your own company, you're the president of your own career, your own life, your own finances, your own body, your own family, your own health. You are totally responsible. We are responsible. No one will ever do it for us. It's the most liberating and exhilarating thought of all, to think that you're the president of your own life.

Ten Tips to Master Time Management

ECGMA says:
I have a young family, I hold 2 training sessions every fortnight (on the same day, morning and evening), maintain 4 blogs, 4 yahoogroups (but 1 wife only), Windows Media movie making, MA research, drop the kids to and pick up from schools, sometimes cook dinner when run of what to take-away, etc etc etc. The missus does other chores as well. We don't have the luxury of nannies, maids, servants, relatives and grandparents, to mind the boys when they are not well or on holidays. Yes, both husband and wife work. We are no different from many other families in similar positions and circumstances.
So, how many times have we heard "I don't have the time", "can't find the time", "no time, man!"?
I have been verbally confronted with cynicism that I don't have 'work' to do to be able to 'find the time' to do what I do best. Another thing I am 'good at' is put smart asses in their place when they say before thinking first. One method to 'find the time' is to manage one's time effectively.
By Kirsty Dunphey

"Until you value yourself... you will not value your time; until you value your time... you will not do anything with it." - M. Scott Peck, Author

Time management, as anyone who works with me would know, is one of my big complaints, issues, concerns. It's also one of the most frequent things that people rate themselves lowest on in things like performance reviews.

Today I want to provide you with some simple tips to improve your time management, efficiency and productivity that work for me. Fingers crossed and there may be a few here that work for you too!

1. Eliminate these words from your vocabulary: "I don't have time." This one's a tough one, and although this is one of my aims I'll admit that sometimes they do slip out, but my aim is consistent - to eliminate them. The next time you go to say those dreaded words, just remember - you have exactly the same amount of time as everyone else, you have exactly the same amount of time in your day as the Olympic swimmer who gets up at 4am, you have the same amount of time in your day as presidents and world leaders who run entire countries. Eliminate the words because what you're really trying to say is: "I don't want to make time to do that," and that's quite alright too! The next time you go to say "I don't have time," imagine if that task you're saying you don't have time for was a family member at a hospital - you'd have time to get there, so what you really need to decide is, "Does this deserve my time?"

2. It's an oldie but a goody - start each day by getting rid of your most despised task. Nothing ruins a day like dreading a task you have to do later in the day.

3. Set rewards for yourself if you can achieve all your tasks, find out what motivates you. For me - it might be that if I can get through these three hard tasks I can eat some of the doughnuts that one of my team brought into work today. Another great thing about that reward is that if I procrastinate - the doughnuts will be gone! Another great thing to do is to buddy up with someone and become accountability partners for getting your tasks done.

4. Unless you have the world's best memory (I don't), make lists. When someone gives you a responsibility, write it down, whether you record it in your phone, your organizer, email yourself, write it on the back of a napkin - it doesn't matter how, write it down! Nothing's worse than the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night thinking - oh no, I forgot to do that.

5. I've never been a huge believer in labeling tasks A, B, C, in order of their importance. I've tried this system and it doesn't work for me - of course that doesn't mean it won't work for you. What I try to do instead is what I call Little Things First. What this means is that when I get an email, if it's small or has a small task, I'll get rid of it quickly rather than continually come back to it over and over again. I have many recurring tasks in my diary and the small things on my list are gone by about 10:30am usually, leaving me the bulk of my day to work on larger projects.

6. Set or get deadlines for your tasks. When setting yourself a task or getting one from someone else - always find out when it needs to be done. Then diarize an appropriate amount of reminders before the due date.

7. Work/life balance seem to be the buzz words all over the world at present - but you really do need to put time and energy into this area. Schedule in time to relax, time with family, time reading, time with your partner - if it's in your diary and you are committed to it, you're less likely to neglect it.

8. My desk at work is my haven. My trays work for me. Now I can't tell you what the best desk system is for you, all I know is that if yours doesn't make your day easier - change it, constantly change it until you get something that works. For me, I don't allow anyone to put anything on my desk. My assistant is allowed to put things in one tray and one tray only, everything else is put in my communal pigeon hole. I have a single out tray - this simple tray stops me from getting up 20 or 30 times a day as much of what comes in to me needs to go elsewhere in the office. I have a tray full of non urgent things to read, when I get time, I start going through it. I have a tray full of things I'm waiting on others for and I have an email folder full of these sorts of emails - my diary prompts me with a recurring reminder to check through these two areas. Whatever works for you, works for you, just take some time to find it!

9. Don't be afraid to ask for help. What's worse - asking for help once or doing the task incorrectly or incompletely 5 times, or even worse, hiding the work! It happens, don't be a victim of the "scared to ask" disease.

10. Your mind isn't a computer, use your computer to help your mind become like one. Each week on a Friday a little reminder comes up in Outlook telling me to send out my weekly email. Each week on a Wednesday I'm told I have two meetings first up. You're not a machine; use your technology to its best advantage.

"Nothing is a waste of time...if you use the experience wisely." - Rodin

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dumb Blonde - Budapest

ECGMA says: May not have uploaded clip properly. can only check if clip works is to post this to the blog and then run the clip. If it's not working, let me know.

I make a difference...Do you?!?!

ECGMA says: Thanks Jackie! We ALL can make a difference, if we wish to make it but many of us make excuses instead. Readers, read and then watch the clip. Me, I do my best in my own way to make a little difference a bit at a time.
The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, 'What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?'

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: 'Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.'

To stress his point he said to another guest; 'You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?'

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, 'You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began...)

'Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?' (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

''I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.'

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

'Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE . What do you make Mr. CEO?'

His jaw dropped, he went silent.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

ECGMA says: Standing there at the edge all wet, I would still wet my pants!!!!! Click on the images to enlarge.

In Zimbabwe, Africa, you will find the magnificent Victoria Falls - height 128m.
During the months of September and December, people can swim as close as possible to the edge of the falls without falling over. The location is known as the "Devil's Swimming Pool".
These falls are becoming well known amongst the "radical tourist" industry, when more and more people search for the ultimate experience.

Would you dare?
NO WAY!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BEYOND SYMPATHY: Learning to Serve with Compassion

By Cynthia Wall

Choosing the company of those who are hurting requires courage. Even professionals trained to assist those in pain or grief instinctively want to pull away. In volunteers or friends, our self doubt brings up feelings of inadequacy, to the point of being afraid we’ll say or do things that make people feel worse. Currently healthy and with our loved ones safe, what do we have to offer those who are ill or must face life without their parent, child, or partner?

There is nothing anyone can say to take away pain and fear. There is no magic incantation that reduces suffering. What you can do is to listen without judging, and offer your time with no expectation it will make a difference. Your willingness to be genuine and kind is all you have to offer. This is the starting point for acting from compassion.


Although sympathy is a form of caring, it implies pity. We express concern and ask what we can do, yet are grateful their problems are not ours. This perpetuates the fear that we couldn’t bear the same situation, and keeps us wanting to avoid the truth of their experience. While it is natural to feel sympathy when someone is hurting, there is little sense of what to offer as meaningful support.

Compassion is a hard-won state of being. Much more than a feeling, compassion is a choice to view suffering is a universal experience. This means viewing illness, loss, and even death as human experiences that are bearable with support. This helps us remain calm and keep our hearts open, and we become able to sit with someone in great physical or emotional pain. Compassion bridges the distance between people often created by suffering. This is not comfortable to do, as we must acknowledge their problems might reflect our own future.


Separating from someone’s pain protects against feeling overwhelmed and helpless. We are born tenderhearted. The presence of pain or problems engenders the impulse to make things better. This is a child’s view of how to be helpful. Our job is to make suffering into an enemy and rail against it. The adult perspective embraces the truth that the best gift we have is a willingness to share in their experience without the defense of sympathy.

I learned this early in my career as a social worker volunteering with hospice. Protected by a great deal of study in maintaining professional distance, I offered practical guidance about end of life issues and choices. During my first year I was sent into many homes and hospital rooms, fortified with pamphlets and sympathetic intentions.

A hospice referral gave me only that the patient was “Caroline,” barely thirty and with only days left due to widespread cancer. Her family requested support from hospice and I was assigned to assess their needs. When I walked into the room, Caroline was in intense pain because her morphine line had become kinked. Her sister and husband were stunned into helplessness. I failed to find helpful words. I leaned against the doorway, feeling panicked and inadequate. My clinical detachment faded and I couldn’t stop the tears. Minutes stretched while the nurse re-opened the IV line and we watched Caroline’s slow release from pain.

Once I was able to reclaim my breath, I touched the hand of the sleeping woman. No words could give comfort and no advice was warranted. The only gift I could offer was the willingness to stay and be open to whatever the family wanted to say. Looking at the two who were losing her in this difficult way, I said, “This is so sad. Tell me about Caroline and what you have been going through.”

The sharing of that single moment created a bond of trust between the family and me. This allowed them to openly discuss conflicts and decisions the family struggling with. They were grateful to have an advocate who listened to their feelings without judgment. I was honored by their honesty. It’s been twenty years and whenever I see Caroline’s sister in town, I remember the compassion from our shared vulnerability.

Read an item on the left list and breathe. Read the companion statement on the right and breathe again. Notice the differences between how you feel after reading each phrase.

Sympathy ...
Compassion ...

exhausts both giver and receiver.
nourishes and soothes.

defines suffering as helplessness.
recognizes suffering as a passage.

wears a fixed mask, tries to mind-read.
is authentic and open-minded.

counts the minutes, wants to escape.
is timeless, refuses to be hurried.

asks yes/no and rhetorical questions.
asks open-ended, genuine questions.

holds breath, afraid of being inadequate.
breathes and ignores critical self-talk.

fills the quiet spaces with the “right” words.
knows silence is valid communication.

compels others to hug, and stops crying by touch.
touches with permission, only to connect.

creates a boundary to separate from their pain.
develops heart connection to share the pain.

Sympathy brings the weight of sorrow into the room. Suffering is viewed as a tragedy beyond bearing. Sometimes it is denied or minimized. “My uncle had this problem and he’s just fine now.” Or, “God never gives people more than they can handle.” Advice about how to think about their situation is given freely. These efforts prevent the giver from entering into a shared state.

There is a terrible cost to the relationship in keeping separate. We cannot distance our self from others’ pain and still maintain a heart connection. Receivers feel compelled to dilute what they say to avoid adding to the burden their suffering causes others. They are often angry and exhausted after such a visit.

Compassion on the part of the giver keeps both heart and mind open in the presence of another’s suffering. Compassion accepts every element of the human story and never implies what is happening is unbearable. We also consciously avoid judgment of how emotions are expressed or the choices they are making. This opens us to the perspective of seeing someone going through a very human experience and not faced with an unendurable situation.


Whether friend, volunteer, or health professional, you can shift from sympathy to compassion by employing simple actions. Compassion springs from the profound sense of being human and acknowledging the truth of another’s experience without pity or fear. Compassion frees us to be courageous and loving, even while sitting with someone who is suffering. When we accept we are not immune from the same fate, we become more skillful and available. Compassion offers a bridge of trust and potential for honesty. use the following tools to help you be grounded in compassion and acceptance.

- Use breath to increase your compassion and reduce stress. Breathing to release your own tension also brings calm to those around you. Practice conscious breathing by internally counting each exhale as you breathe up to five deliberate breaths, then count your breaths back down to one again. This process quiets internal chatter and increases your ability to be patient and tolerate silence. You enhance the ability to listen beyond intellect and with your whole being.

- Be empty of expectation. It’s natural to question your usefulness when meeting with people in pain. Prepare for each meeting or telephone call by pausing before you engage with them. As you prepare to dial their number or while standing in front of their door, fill yourself with breath and calm. Empty your thoughts about what you think they need or how they are doing. Detach from the idea to feel important or useful and be open to receiving whatever they have to give.

- Avoid thinking of clients as helpless. Most of us prefer to do things at our own pace rather than being treated as needy. Imagine you are in a similar circumstance; ask yourself how you would want to be perceived. To increase rapport and trust, ask the patient and family what they would like more of and need less during your visits. It is often easier to give than receive. To accept the time and energy of others, especially volunteers, takes humility and self-esteem. When the giver brings pity, the exchange depletes precious energy.

- Move and talk calmly, never be in a hurry. Each meeting is an opportunity for a heart connection, even while doing a simple task. Increase your patience by slowing your normal energetic pace. Whatever else in your day has come before or will come after this moment with them has no place in this visit. Adapt to the patients’ voice tone and volume. Pace their rhythm for at least three breaths. This is especially important if you want to touch them, offer a massage, or assist them in moving. Begin by gently touching a non-injured area before starting any process. Ask if there any way you can make this easier or gentler for them. Let them know you want to hear suggestions or requests at any time.

- Listen without offering solutions: People in need of medical and volunteer assistance are inundated with suggestions from professionals and well-meaning friends. They may feel incapable of discussion or making decisions about what they will do after the death. Just listening lets them feel the freedom to speak from the heart. Practice the counted breathing to help you be patient during long silences or when there are interruptions in your visit. If they ask your opinion, offer one idea at a time, gently and without ego. Don’t try to predict or influence the outcome. If you are asked to assist in making decisions, ask open-ended questions to guide rather than require instant answers. Allow plenty of silence for them to think over their options. Avoid judgment about what they should be doing.

Don’t take chaos personally or try to fix it: Even when you are in pure compassion, it’s natural to ask if you’re needed or in the way when:

* Patient or family forget you are coming, even if written on the calendar.
* Staff or volunteers arrive at the same time as your visit.
* Close friends and family supplant your role for that day, and expect you to understand.
* Family or friends act inappropriately and you feel powerless to intervene.

Never question your usefulness or compare what you have to offer. Simply be ready to serve and meet everyone with compassion. Stay as flexible as you can. Leave gracefully, taking the initiative to reconnect later. Be honest if you can’t “come back a little later.” If the situation feels constantly chaotic, ask for guidance or support from a hospice nurse or the coordinator.

w Allow others to cry or be silent without interruption: Patting someone who is crying is universally perceived as a signal to stop, and the sadness and hurt are making you uncomfortable. Consciously relax. If you say anything, try, “Don’t bite back the tears. It’s good to let them out.” If you feel your eyes well up, let the tears roll. You are showing your compassion and shared experience. This is true for professionals and volunteers as well as friends. Few are comfortable crying in front of others, or expressing strong feelings in front of them. Practice counted breathing, and relax your body. Everyone deserves to have at least one person who allows free expression of fear, tears, and anger without being reminded he or she is supposed to be strong enough to handle what is happening.

w Expect to feel upset at times. It’s normal to occasionally feel numb or confused. You are connecting with people facing the hardest time of their lives. They might be dying or terrified of losing someone. It’s natural to feel guilty at your fortune, or wonder if you could handle their situation with grace. Compassion means accepting the reality of what is happening in the moment. We all need times of peace and joy. Plan for significant breaks and give yourself places to be self-nurturing. Reflect with kindness on your feelings to sense if you to need to step aside for a time.

w Compassion with yourself and other caregivers helps avoid burnout: Spending time with people in acute pain and grief asks you to be at your best and highest self. The good days, when you feel you’ve been helpful, make the effort worthwhile. If you make repeated mistakes, or are unable to relieve your mental or physical stress, you are moving into burnout. Burnout can be defined as using up one aspect of your personality. Seek guidance and training whenever you doubt your abilities. Acknowledge others when you observe their good work, kindness, and compassion. Offer to give, and ask for, neck rubs and walking breaks. This makes it safer for others to be vulnerable and admit their needs. We give more when we learn to share in the loving kindness this effort deserves.


Professionals are often cautioned they will diminish their technical skills and clinical usefulness by caring too much. Objectivity can bring mental clarity needed for moments in emergency and when making critical decisions There are times when we need to step back, and briefly see a “case” rather than a person. Without tapping into our own self-trust and loving-kindness, spending significant time with those in deep grief or pain can leave us feeling hollow.

Ultimately, the bond of trust we build with patients and other caregivers strengthens self-confidence and encourages us to improve our skills. We do our best work when we consciously think of and speak to patients as fellow human beings with rich life experiences, and not as tragic victims of circumstance. You’ll build trust by appreciating the ways each patient and family tolerates their unique experiences.

Reaching out is your gift, reminding others they are loved and important to you even when they need more time and attention than they can give. You offer hope that they can make it through this dark time simply by asking to be with them. Sit with your fears, acknowledge how helpless you feel, then let your compassionate heart show you how to give love.