The Scary Truth About What’s Hurting Our Kids by Becky Mansfield

I am reposting this article because I believe that it is a very important read.

The Scary Truth About What’s Hurting Our Kids by Becky Mansfield

According to Victoria Prooday, Occupational Therapist & writer at YourOT.com, “There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children… Researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Scary Truth About What is Hurting Our Kids

Scary Truth About What is Hurting Our Kids

•  1 in 5 children has mental health problems
•  43% increase in ADHD
• 37% increase in teen depression
• 200% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14 years old“

She goes on to say that “Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood:

• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits and guidance
• Responsibilities
• Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
• Movement and outdoors
• Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom

Instead, children are being served with:

• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”
• Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• Sedentary indoor lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments”
• How true… and how sad.

Kids Using Phone Apps to Be Mean to One Another

Kids Using Phone Apps to Be Mean to One Another

What You Can Do About It 1

What You Can Do About It 1


What You Can Do About It 2

What You Can Do About It 2


What You Can Do About It 3

What You Can Do About It 3

One reader, Susanne Lorentzen, commented at the end of the article: “The brain reacts when we get physical with our children and dopamine and other neurotransmitters do the same. This can counteract depression in a natural way.

And – we need more hugs, kisses and in general more contact between people of all ages.”

tags: technology overload, limit technology, depression, mental health, teen depression, ADHD, kid suicide rates, nutrition, sleep, outdoor play, movement, entitlement, sedentary lifestyle, technological babysitterss, instant gratification, sadness, emotionally healthy, emotionally available parents, hugs, kisses, contact, dopamine

All Life Has Consciousness | Carl Safina | Are Humans Capable of Letting Other Life Continue?

There is Love on Earth Besides Humans

There is Love on Earth Besides Humans

Carl Safina, PhD in ecology, conservationist, writer

Carl Safina, PhD in ecology, conservationist and writer

I am very grateful to have discovered Carl Safina’s work and this TED talk just a day previous to posting this. Tears ran down my cheeks as I watched and listened to this scientist’s portrayal of animals, and of humans. Tears continued to stream from my eyes after I listened to his last words. I am so disappointed and basically frustrated with what humans deem as important.

I was about to write a blog about Borders? Why are Human Beings ‘Not Allowed’ to Walk Around on the Earth? However, to me, putting this concept out there of recognizing the importance of all other life forms besides humans, is far more important than the absurd political scenarios that humans impose on one another. What we are doing to the natural world and to other life forms, with our over-population, degradation of the environment, human-induced global warming and inciting a mass extinction, to me, far outweighs any of the absurd things that humans are doing to each other. Carl Safina does not by any means bypass this subject in his talk. He says, what humans do to other empathetic creatures is also what they do to one another.

Animals, Carl Safina, Empathy, Sympathy, Compassion

Animals Carl Safina Empathy Sympathy Compassion

I felt an urgent need to immediately post this to both blogs. I feel very sorry for those humans who do not feel compassion and awe with nature and all of life. I thank my parents that nature and an appreciation for all life forms was revered. I grew up with National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines in the home, and was curated to think way beyond my immediate vicinity.

I recently lauded friends who regularly inform and urge people to think about the protection of animals and wilderness. I mention this in association with a concept that is part of a new mode of thinking, systems thinking, seeing all life forms as interrelated. Human beings should prioritize protecting all other life forms, rather than destroying them and wiping out their habitats without any consideration whatsoever. The various bloody traditions of various cultures that consider it ‘sport’ to kill wolves, whales, bulls is disgraceful. The massive consumption of cows, pigs, chickens and use of land to feed these animals needs to be stopped. Wiping out wild horses and donkeys and other creatures because some believe that by eating particular speciality foods that they somehow will maintain their health or erections, also are dramatically mis-informed. Creatures penned in horrible conditions, blood baths and slaughters because of tradition, must all be reconsidered. People need to be educated. It begins with all of us communicating to one another.

The concept of actually recognizing that we share the same genetics and similar brains and spinal cords with other creatures perhaps will bring about a different sense of empathy.

It is the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh who introduces the concept of inter-being; all life is intricately related.

With a PhD in ecology, conservationist and writer Carl Safina has written several books and papers and has studied various species in their habitat. He was invited by Greenpeace to witness the changing climate in the Arctic and the impacts of industrial fishing on the marine environment.

Human brain is merely a larger size of the Chimpanzee Brain

Human brain exact replica of Chimpanzee brain, merely larger

Dolphin brain larger than human brain, with more convolutions

Dolphin brain larger than human brain, with more convolutions

In his TED talk Safina asks:

“What’s going on inside the brains of animals? Can we know what, or if, they’re thinking and feeling? Carl Safina thinks we can. Using discoveries and anecdotes that span ecology, biology and behavioral science, he weaves together stories of whales, wolves, elephants and albatrosses to argue that just as we think, feel, use tools and express emotions, so too do the other creatures – and minds – that share the Earth with us.”

Animals, Carl Safina, Albatros, Plastic

Animals Carl Safina Albatross nest on most remote islands Full of Plastic

6 month fledgling, Albatross, packed with cigarette lighters

6 month fledgling Albatross Death packed with cigarette lighters

Of the 22 species of albatross recognized by the IUCN, all are listed as at some level of concern; 3 species are Critically Endangered, 5 species are Endangered, 7 species are Near Threatened, and 7 species are Vulnerable.

Welcome Human Life with pics of Animals - Shared Lifes in the World

Welcome Human Life with pics of Animals – Shared Lifes in the World

Since humans tend to adorn the rooms of their new born babies with images of the other creatures with which we share our planet, in which every animal of Noah’s Ark is now in mortal danger, instead of asking the question Do animals love us?, We need to ask, Are human beings capable of letting other life continue?

Carl Safina states, “From all I’ve seen, my main conclusion is that at this point in history, nature and human dignity require each other. Where wild places are destroyed, wild animals lost, and the world degraded and polluted, not only is that itself a great loss for the world, but for people in degraded places it becomes almost impossible to maintain a dignified existence.”

This article in the USA Today describes that global warming continues, with each year breaking record temperatures of the previous.”NOAA’s analysis does not include data from the Arctic, while NASA’s does, NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt said. The Arctic has been warming faster than any part of the world.”

“This announcement should shock no one,” said Lou Leonard of the World Wildlife Fund. “The key question is what we do about it. With the costs of inaction piling up, Washington, D.C., is largely looking the other way. So it is up to a new class of leaders from American businesses, universities, cities and states to pick up the slack.”

Elephants as in every other species, become who they are

Elephants as in every other species, become who they are

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Power of Addiction & Addiction to Power TEDx Gabor Maté | We Can’t Wait for Those in Power to Make Changes

I’ve taken notes and paraphrased Gabor Maté’s speech. The Power of Addiction and The Addiction to Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20

Gabor Maté, an erudite doctor, describes in his TEDx talk in Rio the reasons for addiction.

Gabor Maté, speaks, Power of Addiction and Addiction fo Power, TEDx, Rio de Janeiro

Gabor Maté speaks about the Power of Addiction and Addiction fo Power at a TEDx in Rio de Janeiro

What are the addicts getting from their addictions? Calmness, soothing, a sense of control.

Many of these addictive substances are pain killers, taking away pain.

Why the pain?

He states that Keith Richard’s in his autobiography – a long time heroin addict – mentions the contortions that we go through just to avoid being ourselves for a few hours.

Gabor mentions that the psychiatrist R.D. Laing states:

There are three main things people are afraid of: death, other people and their own minds.

Both brilliant and unconventional, RD Laing pioneered the humane treatment of the mentally ill. But as a father, clinically depressed and alcoholic, Laing bequeathed his 10 children and his two wives a more chequered legacy.

Maté mentions his own previous addiction to shopping. Like any addict, he would lie about it.

His definition of addiction is any behavior that gives you temporary relief and temporary pleasure, yet in the long term causes negative consequences which one can’t give up.

There are many different types of addictions: the addictions to drugs, the addiction to consumerism, sex, the internet, shopping, food.

The Buddhists have the idea of the ‘hungry ghosts’; creatures with large empty bellies and small scrawny necks and tiny little mouths, so they can never get enough. They can never fill this emptiness inside of themselves.

We are all hungry ghosts. And so many of us are trying to fill that emptiness, from the outside.

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician

When you are looking at the emptiness of people, you can’t look at the genetics but you have to look at it from the outside.

It is very clear why many addicts are in pain. They’ve been abused all their lives. Hundreds of his patients had been physically or sexually abused, abandoned, emotionally hurt over and over again.

Don’t look for the people in power to change things, in terms of environmental degradation, global warming, the pollution of the oceans, rivers and skies. Don’t look to the people in power to change the immigration and social injustices. The people in power are very often the emptiest people in the world, suffering from their addiction to power. We have to do this ourselves. We have to find that light within ourselves. We have to find that light within communities. We have to begin being an active democracy of the commons; with our own wisdom and creativity. We can’t wait for the people in power to make things better for us because they are never going to. Not unless we make them. They say that human nature is competitive, aggressive and selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. Human nature is cooperative, generous and community minded. TED talks are examples of human nature, people committed to learning and contributing to a better world. If we find that light within, we will be kinder to ourselves, kinder to other people and kinder to nature.

The human brain develops an interaction with the environment. The kind of interaction a child has with the environment can shape the development of the brain. Dopamine is the incentive, motivation chemical. Dopamine flows whenever we are motivated, excited, curious, vital, vibrant. Without the dopamine, we have no motivation.

The addict gets a hit of dopamine in the brain. Drugs are not by themselves addictive? Drugs are not by themselves addictive. Some people become addictive to drugs, but many do not. Food is not addictive, but to some people it is. Shopping is not in itself addictive, but to some people it is. Television is not addictive, but to some people it is.

Why the susceptibility? Genetically the receptors, chemical binding sites in the brain for endorphins, morphine like substances, that make possible the feeling of love and attachment to the parent.

Heroine and morphine act on the endorphin system. For abused children, those circuits don’t develop. When you don’t have love and connection in your life when you are very young, you don’t develop those receptors.

As a baby of Jewish parents in an Eastern European country as Hitler was gaining power – the speaker Gabor Maté was picking up on the stresses and terrors of his mother, which were shaping the child’s brain. Children get the message that ‘my mother must not want me’ if she is not happy around the child.

So he becomes a workaholic because if his mother doesn’t want me, then he wants to be needed. Yet because he’s responding in this way by working so much and not being available for his own children, his children receive the same message, that the parent must not want him.

In this way humans pass on the trauma and unconscious patterns from one generation to the next.

Each person feels the emptiness in a different way, stemming back to when they are very small.

We may all point the finger to the ‘addicts’, yet look at what we’re doing to the earth? We are injecting all of these terrible things into the earth, the environment, the air, water.

A man was killed in Brazil for protecting the rain forest. As in Brazil, many of the indigenous people in Canada are the ones who are heavily addicted after suffering the trauma of losing their land, being side-lined and disregarded.

The people on the opposite side of this, who are crushing the Native American territories and destroying pristine nature, are those addicted to wealth and power.

Many of the historical figures who were extremely addicted to power, Stalin, Napoleon, were people of physically small stature. They were outsiders, coming from a population outside of the mainstream. Their sense of insecurity and inferiority came from emptiness they were trying to fill from the outside.

In each of the stories of Buddha and Jesus, both were tempted by the devil for power. Each said no, because they had the power within themselves. They wanted to teach people through soft words, wisdom and their actions.

Jesus: “The power is within. The kingdom of god is within.”

Buddha: “Don’t mourn me and don’t worship me. Find the lamp inside yourself. Find the light within.”

I’m bringing up his point twice, because it is so vital. “Don’t look for the people in power to change things, in terms of environmental degradation, global warming, the pollution of the oceans, rivers and skies. Don’t look to the people in power to change the immigration and social injustices. The people in power are very often the emptiest people in the world, suffering from their addiction to power. We have to do this ourselves. We have to find that light within ourselves. We have to find that light within communities. We have to begin being an active democracy of the commons; with our own wisdom and creativity. We can’t wait for the people in power to make things better for us because they are never going to. Not unless we make them. They say that human nature is competitive, aggressive and selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. Human nature is cooperative, generous and community minded. TED talks are examples of human nature, people committed to learning and contributing to a better world. If we find that light within, we will be kinder to ourselves, kinder to other people and kinder to nature.”

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Carol Keiter, nomadbeatz, donations, writing, photography, illustrations, eBook, music composition

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer