Gossip

gossip

As with kids we thought, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t talk at all”. I think some adults need to be reminded about this fact occasionally.

I recognize  that we are all overworkedover exposed and over stimulated today but if you liked this article, consider liking it and sharing it with a friendfamily member, colleague, hater or frenemy!

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Empathy versus Sympathy

sympathy

Although these words are often used interchangeably but I would like to explain the differences between these two words. Sympathy is defined as “feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune”. This is a noble feeling to express to let someone know that you feel bad for the things that they have experienced or are currently experiencing. Being sympathetic to people who are less fortunate than you are, or even from a different socioeconomic background can enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine.

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Empathy on the other hand is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”.

I like to define empathy as “sympathy plus an act which attempts to alleviate the cause of pain”. Empathy moves you to action it is an emotion which will haunt. It will intrude your thoughts at the most inopportune moments. It forces you to match your compassion with and action. It is indeed a more noble feeling compared to sympathy. Here is a list of my favorite quotes about empathy.

The challenge of course with empathy is the fact empathy comes with a cost. It will demand something of you and it may force you to reexamine your view on certain topics. I believe that one of the most valuable things I could ever do as a mother is to raise compassionate children. This is one of my goals in life and part of my strategy to achieve this goal is to spend more time with my children. Secondly, I have made a resolve to teach my children how to care about people from different cultures and different backgrounds and part of that strategy is to learn more about different cultures together as a family.

At the center of any discussion about empathy, sympathy or compassion is the old biblical adage which is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

I recognize  that we are all overworkedover exposed and over stimulated today but if you liked this article, consider liking it and sharing it with a friend, family member, colleague, hater or frenemy!

Share your thoughts below, I can’t wait to hear from YOU!

Dying well

dying-is-hard

Very few people spend time thinking about how they want to die much less where they want to die. I would argue that thinking about these two questions will inform your decisions on how you live your life. I recently had a birthday, and I pondered these questions at length. Based on my answers I realized that I had to make a drastic changes in the way I live my life.

dying-well

For me, dying well means living well. It means living to a good old age and being surrounded by family and friends if possible as I take my last breath. Dying well means not burdening my children and surviving family with a mountain of medical bills when I die. Dying well means optimizing and reorganizing my life to be in the best state of health possible. Dying well means raising my children to be the best they can be. It means raising my children not only be productive  members of society but more importantly to be caring members of society.

I leave you with a quote from Morrie Schwartz: “Dying is only one thing to be sad over… Living unhappily is something else”

As you set the rhythm for your day/week, I recognize  that we are all overworkedover exposed and over stimulated today but if you liked this article, consider liking it and sharing it with a friend, family member, colleague, hater or frenemy!

Share your thoughts below, I can’t wait to hear from YOU!

dying-unhappy

Planning

Let’s just be honest, planning is boring, tedious, time consuming and just not sexy. It takes insight and foresight to plan. You must take into account strength and weaknesses, timing, age, background, education etc, etc. As you get more and more adept at writing plans, you will quickly become acquainted with the economic term “opportunity cost”. Opportunity cost has been described by economists as “the basic relationship between scarcity and choice”. This principle hones on the concept that the true cost of a good is not what you pay for it but rather it is what you had to forego in order to get that particular good. Here is an illustration from http://www.theeconomist.com; going for a walk may appear to cost nothing, until you consider the opportunity forgone to use that time earning money. The fundamental problem that economics addresses is how to meet unlimited wants with limited resources. Opportunity cost therefore is an important tenet in answering that question because it probes us to ensure that resources are indeed being used efficiently.

Lets apply this principle to out personal lives, we all have unlimited wants (aka dreams) but we have limited resources such as time, money, intelligence, patience, support etc. Planning allows you to more accurately evaluate the cost of a decision. I remember one of my mentees and she was definitely a procrastinator. She had been taking nursing prerequisite courses for over 3 years and as I listened to her talk on and on about the challenges of taking more than 2 classes a semester and being fixated on getting into a prestigious program which had rejected her multiple times before. I finally got fed up and told her, “I appreciate your perseverance, but just remember that for every year you decide to delay, you are losing on average about $100,000 a year from future earnings”. The true cost of the decision to delay is not just another year, it is the loss of a potential $100,000 in income. It is the time you will lose by having to delay retirement in the future. It is the time you will lose with your family in the future. It is also a loss of the compound interest you will have gotten from savings. Within a year, my mentee got into a nursing program. Not necessarily the program of her choice but definitely got good training and now she works a nurse in her field of choice.

In conclusion, I urge you therefore to view planning as a GPS system. It calculates the time (true cost) of reaching your particular destination (your dream) by taking into account multiple variables such as distance, time of day, traffic, roadblocks, setbacks, accidents, other drivers on the road with you, the topography, the seasons of the year etc. Let’s not be arrogant enough to think that we can free style or way through life. If God himself makes plans, how can we be exempt? I leave you with a quote by William Gibson from The Economist.

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