My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Reflections From Past During Exam

During the next couple of weeks I will be away concentrating and working on my Comprehensive Exams for my PhD in psychology. So I encourage you to randomly look back at my past blog posts for inspiring reflections about life. Simply click on past years and months or try your luck with the search engine with terms like critical thinking, creativity, happenstance, chaos theory, reading, Switchfoot, Matthew West, Toby Mac, God, savoring, and see what past writings may encourage your day.
I will be back in a couple weeks from today after I have my first draft of my exam writing finished. Keep growing in your life journey as you seek to Live More Than OK!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Media’s Lack of Critical Thinking About Dr. Ben Carson

Since I may be not writing my blog for a couple of weeks as I concentrate on my Comprehensive Exams for my Capella University Ph.D. in Psychology, I was wondering what to write about. I could have chosen to write about anxiety in facing tests. Yet, a nagging thought kept bothering me about how Dr. Ben Carson has been treated in the media, which shows a lack of critical thinking and the level at which they are emotionally agenda driven. I don’t like talking politics in my blog on Living More Than OK so I will not focus on pushing a candidate. I just want to suggest that we each need to think for ourselves about the various candidates. Be careful in just accepting media talking points.

Thankfully there are knowledgeable thinkers on the internet that have written a counter to the liberal media, pointing out the media's double standard in castigating Dr. Carson while worshiping Obama. David Limbaugh in his WND column, Media's latest phony attack on Ben Carson, is the best writing I have seen on the topic (Read more at For example Mr. Limbaugh states, “The same media that castigated Carson for offering constructive ideas on this problem gave President Obama a total pass for lurching to his lectern to rail against guns and gun-control opponents.”

The media was attacking and lying about Dr. Carson, implying he was saying the students killed and injured at the Oregon Community College did not do enough to save themselves. Sad to say the mindless masses who blindly listen to the mainstream media outlets accept what is spoon fed to them. Critical thinkers search for the truth which is easily accessible. What Dr. Carson was speaking to was a question asking what he would do in such a situation. He simply answered a question from a problem solver mindset. He said if he was face in such a situation, “I would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one of us at a time. That way, we don’t all wind up dead.” What is so disrespectful about that? I teach part-time at a college and I had several students after the attack tell me they would have tried to fight back.

What Dr. Carson is trying to drive home to people is in the world we live in today the problem is not guns. The facts behind most of the school shootings show mentally troubled people. As a counselor, I have noticed that in each of the stories. In response I have contacted my elected representatives that they need to focus more on mental health rather than going after guns. Dr. Carson is a sane critical thinking voice speaking to that issue as well. The mindless agenda blinded media do not have the thinking skills to understand that.

I must say I am leaning towards supporting Dr. Carson as I have over many years been impressed with his writings and his sound thinking. I have used his story from his biography, Gifted Hands, to encourage college students and clients to make choices that will enrich their lives to live more than ok. So one could say I am biased against those attacking him. Although I would not mind the attacks if they were based on substance instead of inaccurate lies.

This recent news item is one of many that shows how the media goes after conservative blacks who are pointing a way to self-responsibility instead of victimhood which the leftist media preaches to prop up the liberal Democrat agenda.
I received an email from Glenn Beck’s website showcasing Dr. Carson being questioned by Wolf Blitzer on CNN on the same issue. Glenn included a thought, “Wolf, You are not this stupid”. As I watched the interview I thought, No Glenn -- he is that stupid!”.

Another aspect of Dr. Carson doing well in the polls as well as Mr. Trump and Ms. Fiorina doing so well that bothers me, is when I hear the talking heads and many comments from the masses in response to articles about their status in the polls. The common thread is that the three of them cannot be president because they have not been politicians. So??? Where is the thinking behind that? If you spoke with these same people about the country’s problems they would most likely agree that the problems have been caused by the politicians. So why keep putting more politicians in the broken system. Why not try something different? Why not try proven leaders? Mr. Trump and Ms. Fiorina have been proven leaders in the business world. Don’t you think they could be of help in our economic problems? I hear people mention how sick our country is. Why not turn to a doctor like Dr. Ben Carson who has a problem solving mindset? He has leadership skills as well, leading the pediatric Neurosurgery unit at John Hopkins hospital.

I do hope some of the populace begin to see through the lack of thinking in the mainstream media. As one of Dr. Carson’s latest books is titled, “You Have A Brain”. It is time for the citizens to use their own brains to think through whom to vote for and not listen blindly what the news media is telling them.

Reflection: Do you go behind the news articles and find out what candidates really believe instead of letting some news talking head think for you? Think through your own values and choose a candidate that follows your values.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Taking A Second Look At Favorite Books

When I wrote about the Tuck & Patti concert we enjoyed several weeks ago, I mentioned how Patti reminded the audience to listen to old favorite songs over again. This was so that we could look at the songs in a fresh light. Being a Bookhead who enjoys reading I thought that can apply to reading favorite books as well. It was rather fortuitous that at that same time of the concert I came cross a book at the library about rereading books. The book is: Nothing Remains The Same: Rereading and Remembering by Wendy Lesser.

Wendy Lesser begins the book discussing how at one point she was rereading a Henry James novel, The Portrait of a Lady, and that experience had a startling effect on her reading experience. She shared how she had first read the book as an undergrad student and then in her graduate classes. Then the time she spoke of in her first chapter she was rereading it when she was in her forties. She found that she was looking and listening to the book from a totally different perspective from when she read it as a young student.

She found herself understanding the characters of the book in a different manner from the eyes of her own life experiences. In her words, “…I used to be tempted to skip ahead, I now wanted to saunter through the commas, linger at the semicolons, and take small contemplative breaks at the periods. The book was a much better that I had remembered it. More to the point, I was a much better reader of it. Both pleasure and understanding came more easily to me.” (page 2). This reminded me of mandatory readings in my college experience. There was always the temptation to skip ahead to have the reading over and done with. On the otherhand leisure reading that was enjoyable was always a more slow pace taking in fully what the author was saying.
She also makes the point that when rereading a book it is a new experience. “The idea that a simple rereading could also be a new reading struck me with a force of a revelation. It meant that something old wasn’t necessarily outdated, used up or overly familiar.” (page 2) The book then goes through a series of books that she reread and she shares what she learned from each of the rereading experiences. It is interesting how in many cases she remembered when she read the books for the first time and what was going on in her life at that time. Memories are powerful. She then would share how her rereading showed the books from a different perspective as she was at a different point in her life journey.

I have reread a few books over my reading life and I do agree with Ms. Lesser that the different life perspective does add value to the reading experience. I remember reading Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis as a young teen and the impact of his logic and thinking had on my thoughts on the competing worldviews that I was thinking about at the time. Then as an adult I reread Mere Christianity and I was able to understand more of it on a second reading and had a deeper appreciation for his thoughtful writing.

Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is another book I remember reading when I was searching ideas in high school and then I reread it as I began teaching college students later in life. Again the rereading is affected by being at a differing point on the life journey. I was able to understand the need for purpose more as I had traveled more life experiences than when I was in high school. So Frankl’s book holds so much more meaning to me in my later years.
Of course as a Christian I have reread the Bible and numerous portions of it over and over again. With each time I read a certain passage I can gain new life lessons based on what life experience I am going through at that moment in time. I am sure those of other religious faiths experience the same with their religious writings.

This book piqued my interest in other books I will want to reread in the future. Of course I emphasize the future as I have mentioned my next year of reading will be tied to my soon to start dissertation work on my PhD in Psychology. As I contemplate rereading some of my favorite books I realize I have quite a long list of first time read books that I have facing me as well. Of course that is the life of a Bookhead. At least I have interesting mind growing opportunities as I look at my ever-growing list of books to read. But with this book on rereading I will definitely begin adding to the list favorite books I want to reread.

Reflection: Is there a book you have reread? Think about the experience. Did you view the book differently in the various times you reread it? Are there other books you want to reread? Think over two books you want to reread. Why do you want to reread them?