Tag Archives: respect

Kindness Always

One Million Acts Of Kindness is a goal. A goal for each person to individually perform One Million Acts Of Kindness in their life. Can you imagine a greater goal for one’s life? It is a constant mind-set of kindness every day of your life for the next fifty-five years. Doing for others and kindness in your heart for everyone. It is my wish that you will dedicate your life to a charity… finding the passion in your heart for something or someone in need.


As a father of three college age kids I am concerned for the world in which all kids will live. A great way to create a safer, more caring world is for everyone to start their lifetime goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness. So I bought a bus, had about sixty family members, friends and neighbors help paint it and began a ten year journey with my Boston Terrier, Bogart, to college campuses across the country hoping to convince as many of you as possible about this much needed movement for this world. I love you guys too much to sit back and not do anything about this. Let’s start a kindness movement in this country today to change the direction this world is headed!! You are the change that this world needs.
—  Bob Votruba, http://www.onemillionactsofkindness.com/

Learn more about this amazing man and his journey at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


What am I doing?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Be the change you want to see in the world — Gandhi

We are only a few days into the new year and I’m feeling weary. The temporary respite of the political bickering, name calling and finger pointing is at an end. What happened to the declaration and feelings of



I know spending time on social media is not helping. One person declares that his position is right and honorable, while another declares the same about her opposite position. How surprised I am to be so actively involved in arguments and bickering between so many people even though I live alone. It’s not like the good old days when I could simply go into another room when my children were “going at it” with each other.

Amazingly, I continue to choose to read these posts. I open my Facebook page to connect with the wider world and discover what’s going on! Whew. What I discover leaves me feeling upset and disheartened.

I deicide that I’m just not going to engage.

That doesn’t help though because now I’m missing all the moments of laughter and joy while seeing pictures, stories and announcements that delight. These treasures are buried among the terrible grumblings and demands that this person disagrees with a certain politician, don’t I agree?


My new resolve is to respond differently, whether this is simply a private thought or an actually written comment I publicly share. I’m going to ask myself these questions:

  •           What am I doing to contribute to the problem?
  •           What am I doing to contribute to the solution?
  •           Can I do anything to tolerate, honor and respect other people’s  alternative belief and position?
  •           Can I do anything to help people tolerate, honor and respect other people’s alternative belief and position? 

Ah, this feels better. 

And I can always choose to disconnect or hide a post I simply do not want to read.

Such simple actions to improve my Mental Health & Happiness today.

A Quiet Place

By Mike Rice

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because I’m in the September of my years, but I can’t help but notice all of the anger and hatred that is going on in the world and even in our own country.   I cannot recall a time when there was so many people, especially online, who criticize, blame, complain and spread so much vitriol and misinformation to arouse others.  It’s as if they cannot feel good about themselves unless they put down other people.  Even when referring to people who are making a difference in the world, the hate mongers try to undermine all their good deeds.   They don’t need bad things to criticize.  They care more about criticizing the good.  How sad and pathetic their world must be to feel they must blow out the candles of others to give the impression that theirs will burn brighter.  One can’t love others if one can’t love one’s self.


After watching the tribute to Stevie Wonder last evening, there was a tremendous feeling of love and respect.  The majority of all of Stevie’s music deals with love and he emphasized it when he spoke to the audience.   What the world needs now, is Love not hatred.

I can’t change or control another person, or the world, but I can change and control myself.  I submit the following lyrics by one of my favorite vocal groups along with the URL to their performance of the same.


Mutual Respect and Care

Dr. Ken Larsen

In this goofy world of ours there are many conflicting ideologies, belief systems and opinions that get in the way of our mental health and happiness.

I find it helpful to remember from time to time that opinions are like belly buttons.  We all have one.

I also find it helpful to realize that I have inherited many of the belief systems that form my opinions.  I’m finding that I want to look at these inherited beliefs to see how they fit with life in today’s world before I blindly plant the flag.

The older I get the more I appreciate the wisdom of Socrates and his often quoted pronouncement that “the unexamined life in not worth living.”

In a world where conflict seems to be the order of the day, what can we do?  One thing I’m learning to do is to step back, follow Socrates’ wisdom, get some time and distance on the situation and then respond based on a choice rather than a conflict enhancing reaction. 

Throughout the ages human conflict has often brought us to a form of logjam where we get stuck.   Our reaction has usually been to plant some dynamite and blow it apart.  Going to war would be one example of dynamite in the logjam.

Is there another way?  Rather than dynamite, how about raising the level of the river so that the logs in the logjam can float free? 

We can do this by educating ourselves on the issues behind our conflicts.  As I’ve done this I have concluded that “education is our progress from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty.”

In our educated uncertainty we can look to something we have in common with one another that will help us avoid the logjam.  That something is our humanity.


JFK said it as well as anyone I know:  “So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”

Finally, I believe that we can respect and care for one another even if we don’t agree.  What do you think?

Emotional Self-Defense

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN


As a thirteen year-old girl, I was threatened, mocked and bullied by an older girl (age fourteen) while her posse watched. As far as I knew I had done nothing to provoke this attack, yet on my walk to school or during play time with my neighborhood friends this tormentor would come from nowhere and start. Finally, one day I had had enough. I stood my ground and silently stood up to her. She brazenly walked up to me, slapped me across the face, and turned to walk away. I grabbed her hair in an attempt to bring her back. Much to my horror I pulled great clumps of her over-dyed and over-teased hair out of her head. Without skipping a beat, she walked to her friends and they all walked away. We never exchanged another glance, blow or word.

I wondered if I had triumphed? I was relieved that the teasing, intimidation and bullying stopped. At the same time I was not proud of having made an enemy and in such a violent manner.

During the years since my youth, I have had similar kinds of experiences. Luckily none have ended with a physical battle. I’m too often clueless about what I have done or do to provoke such anger and hatred. However I am old enough now to know that I am not just an innocent victim. What may be my well intended words could be perceived by the other as a threat or attack. With my added experiences and greater (?) wisdom, at least I know enough to offer an apology for what I may have done that has offended the other. Luckily, most times this helps to sooth hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Perhaps a friendship may not develop, but at least we end with better feelings toward one another.

Sometimes however,  there are a few who continue to attack, no matter what. The wonderful world of online encounters through Twitter, Facebook and other social media create many of these possible interactions.

Thanks to Dr. Peter Breggin I now know what to do. Did you hear him interviewed on our Mental Health & Happiness Summit? He offered a great deal of helpful advice and ideas to contribute to Mental Health & Happiness for us all. (Watch Dr. Peter Breggin’s inverview here:  http://www.mentalhealthandhappiness.com/2014/peter+breggin.html) And he also provided me with an incredibly helpful concept and skill.

We are each entitled to the right for unconditional emotional self defense. We can and should expect, demand and ask to be treated with respect and kindness.

The first time I interact and am attached by a person with whom I have had no prior history I will take a step back, literally if I can, or in my imagination if that is the only possibility. Closing my eyes I visualize surrounding myself with a clean and protective space. Some parents teach their children do this calling it the bubble of safety. Some people imagine stepping into a white light space of safety. It’s helpful to experiment and practice this skill before you get into a situation where you need to use your protective space.

Finally, I say, I have the unconditional right to emotional self-defense. I am entitled to be spoken to with respect. I offer you this same respect. 

For me the results have been amazing. Occasionally I am bullied on Facebook. This practice has helped me to stand up for myself without attempting to externally control the other person or bully back. On Facebook I make this statement slightly differently: If you can speak to me respectfully I welcome your thoughts and comments. Otherwise, please leave me alone. 

I’m actually looking forward to the next time I need to practice this skill face-to-face with a someone. Learning this strategy has greatly improve my Mental Health & Happiness.

I feel so good today!

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Many years ago when I was employed first at a psychiatric hospital and then at two different comprehensive community mental health centers, I would occasionally call in sick. Some days I just didn’t have the emotional and physical energy to face all of my work responsibilities and obligations. I was also careful not to abuse or over-use this strategy.

selfmassageOf course this idea originated when I was in high school. There were just some days I didn’t want to face what was before me. Sometimes that included a quiz or test I had not sufficiently studied for. Other times I just needed a break from one more day of the student school grind.

Too often I would ultimately end up actually getting sick. Apparently my guilt feelings would help me stay on an honest path. I also started to notice a pattern related to when I became ill. There were days or weeks preceding the onset of my health problem where I needed a physical, emotional and spiritual break from work. But my sense of responsibility and duty kept me going. Ultimately I learned to listen to those signals telling me I needed a break.

I longed to take a mental health day. But these organizations and agencies did not recognize such terminology. I remember thinking there was something off about working in the mental health field that did not acknowledge and allow for paid leave to support their employees need for mental health.

Eventually my maturation and transformation evolved to the point where I could take my mental health days. This is not what I told my boss or the HR department, but it was what I told myself. I knew I needed to be as mentally healthy and strong as I could in order to effectively and competently deal with my clients who were struggling with their own mental health issues.

I began to fantasize about working for an agency where I could occasionally call in and say, “I feel so good, happy and healthy today that I want to take this day for myself. I’m calling in well.


Can you imagine such freedom and respect?

Eventually I worked for an agency that actually had such a policy for leave taking. Of course they didn’t call it self-proclaimed well days. But I was given three extra  leave days a year in addition to my paid holiday time to use as I saw fit. I used them as my well days.

I feel so good today I dont want to waste this day at work. Needless to say, my Mental Health & Happiness improved greatly.



By Dr. Nancy Buck

Perhaps you already know this, but most people are born knowing other people should live their  lives. Opinions are like belly buttons; everyone has one. It’s just that some people have more attractive ones than others. The same is also true about opinions.

And yet, too often other people presume to be an authority about another person’s life, their choices, their life direction and life decisions. And many people feel compelled to tell the world how badly their fellow man is doing.

Often when people gather, time is spent catching other people up. Not only does one person tell of their own life and life changes, but stories may be told about the lives and changes of mutual acquaintances. Sometimes this chat fest turns into a gossip session.

Can you believe . . . or I just heard that they . . . or Next thing you know he will . . . The ending of each of these phrases is the “authority” explaining the poor choices and failings of the person being discussed.

Before you go making a faulty assumption, let me assure you that this activity is not done just by women. Although many men (and women too) accuse women of being the biggest gossips, this just isn’t true.

Telling a negative, or belittling story or disapproving gossip about another person, is too often done to help the speaker feel a greater sense of superiority and power. Putting another person down so you can feel taller or stronger ultimately back fires. A story teller or gossip often looses the respect and esteem of others.

Although gossiping may not be in the official list of disconnecting habits that destroy relationships, it fits. Gossiping contributes to creating distance in relationships between people. And ultimately gossiping can also diminish a person’s relationship with him or herself.

EXCEPT when people gossip positively! If you admire the achievement of a mutual friend, share this news. Admire and praise people loudly directly to the person and to others. Say nice things about other people, about their fine qualities and attributes.

One of my proudest moments as a parent was overhearing two women in Walmart. I entered the store a few feet behind my then teenage son David. He knew one of the women in the pair and said a friendly hello to her. He then walked on aiming for his purchase. These women did not know David and I were together or connected. The one who knew David said to her friend, “That is one wonderful kid. He is really kind and considerate. We worked together for a time and he was always willing to help me out.” What joy that gossip gave me!

If you want to improve your own mental health and happiness, stop gossiping and stop listening to other people’s gossip.

But go ahead, share positive gossip and spread good will wherever you go.


by Kim Olver

When it comes to respect I believe we are operating under a false pretense. When we were very young, many of us were taught the Golden Rule. It went like this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The problem with this guideline is that everyone wants to be respected. And each of us has a different idea about what they expect when they’re being respected.

For example, when I am in the south or with military people, I am often addressed as ma’am. The person calling me that is respecting me by the “Golden Rule” but I don’t feel respected . . . I feel old! This is not too important because it’s unlikely we have a close relationship so calling me ma’am in passing is not that big of a deal but when you want to respect someone important to you, you might commit to taking the time to find out what it takes for them to feel respected.

couple talking

There are often differences between men and women. When a woman is upset, she tends to need to vent and once is never enough. She needs to process externally, continuing to talk until she feels better. When a man is upset, on the other hand, he tends to need time alone to process. He doesn’t want to talk about it. But what do we do to each other? We engage the Golden Rule, treating the other as we would want to be treated in a similar situation.  A man dealing with an upset woman tends to give her unsolicited advice or leave her alone; and a woman dealing with an upset man tends to follow him around asking what is wrong and would he please just talk to her about it.

In these instances engaging the Golden Rule is disrespecting the other person. In the area of respect, we need to engage the new Platinum Rule by Tony Alessandra that says: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. This will require that you find out what the other person wants in order to feel respected and then you give that to them, not what you would want in the same situation.

What does respect look like to you?

Can we all get along? (Rodney King)

By Dr. Ken Larsen

Dr. Glasser has pointed out the disparity between our technological progress as a society and our ability to establish and maintain healthy relationships with one another.  Our technological prowess has soared over the past couple of centuries, yet, Rodney King’s simple plea, “Can we all get along?”  stands with Dr. Glasser’s comment from his book “Choice Theory” that “…we are no more able to get along well with each other than we ever were.” 

There is more than one reason for this inability to get along with one another.  I’m going to talk about just one that came to me in a fresh flood of insight recently.

It started with discovering a video clip on YouTube.  The clip was of a Swiss family who play and sing Swiss folk music.  Dad plays accordion, Mom does vocal, the two brothers play bass and guitar and daughter Yodels!  I was completely charmed by their performance and puzzled over why I found them so appealing.  I mean how many folks do you know that just DIG yodeling???  [Oesch die Dritten is the name of the group.  Check em out.]


After a couple of days enjoying their music and driving everyone else nuts with my new found enthusiasm for yodeling, I suddenly sat up in surprise.  I asked myself, “What is the most obvious characteristic of this group?  They are European!  Specifically Northern European, that part of the world where my ancestors lived.  I was connecting in a funny way with some of the traditions of my distant ancestry!  Then I sat back and reflected on this insight.  I found that I really valued what I see and know about my European heritage, especially, in this case, with the music.  My appreciation for my own racial history has nothing to do with thinking less of other traditions.  As a matter of fact, I find that learning about other cultures and ethnic groups is fascinating.  We are all interconnected and have a contribution to make to this organism we call humanity.

Then, in my eagerness to share this with my friends, I found that I wanted to simply share my enthusiasm but I also wanted to be sensitive to the fact that a lot of people I know, including my friends, are less than enthusiastic about yodeling.  So with some hesitation I simply told of the joy I felt with this music, leaving them free to listen or not to listen.

Have you ever had what some call an epiphany?  Where fresh insights just seem to pour out in your thoughts?  That was what I was experiencing.  The next clear idea that emerged was that while I wanted to respect the interests and tastes of others, I also wanted and even expected a certain respect from my friends for what I had experienced through this music.  They didn’t have to jump in and become fans of Swiss Folk Music, but I didn’t expect them to look at my interest disdainfully.

I think this experience gave me a fresh desire to be more reflective in my efforts to touch and appreciate our diverse differences in our American culture.  We have rich treasures from other continents and other peoples.  Most of us have ancestors that came here from someplace else.  As I appreciate my own roots, I want to support and respect all my fellow Americans as we embrace our heritage and as we find ways to continue to build our common culture in this land of opportunity.

We live in an age where diversity is a reality.  I would like to see us all approach one another, as diverse as we are, with respect, interest and healthy curiosity.  Hopefully, through this we will grow in understanding and perhaps even bond in friendship across our differences.

worldhands “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

John F. Kennedy