Saturday, December 31, 2005

Accepting privileges with taking responsibility is dangerous

The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.
- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876

It's funny, isn't it, how absurd some predictions of the past seem to use today?

Preece reasoned that America is a huge country that needed telephones so that its people could reach each other in times of need, whereas the UK was much smaller and could get by with boys who would run messages by hand from place to place.

What Preece could not have imagined was that we would have so many messages that we want to convey to each other, no matter where in the world we live.

The technology of computers and the internet opened more possibilities for us to convey messages among ourselves. We responded by making everyone in the world our neighbour, someone with whom we might exchange messages at any time.

The telephone and now computers have turned our little planet into one global village. Now we must take responsibility not only for the environs of our village, but also for our fellow villagers. If we do not help our fellow villagers, they have the technology to make life difficult or even dangerous for us.

Privileges come with responsibilities.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help us understand not just what our privileges are, but how to deal with responsibilities that go with them.
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Legally right versus morally right

"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."
- G. K. Chesterton

To have a right to do something means that the action is not prohobited by law.
However, all laws are created as a result of people violating what are considered to be the inherent rights of individuals. Lawmakers react to violations of society's will toward inherent rights by creating laws that are enforcable by police and courts.

There are also many actions that may be legally acceptable but are not ethically or morally right.

What Chesterton is saying, in effect, is that we should consider what we do not just in and of itself, but also how it affects others. Any legally acceptable action that harms another person is an action waiting to become the object of a new law.

Just because something is legally acceptable does not mean that it is morally right.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make distinctions to help us make the right decisions.
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Thursday, December 29, 2005

How humans develop sheep brains

"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
- Rene Descartes

You know many geniuses. They don't come across to you as geniuses because they have not exploited the intellectual advantages that nature gave them.

Almost everyone is born with the potential to be a genius. Most of us have that potential squashed during the first ten years of our lives as teachers and parents try to make us conform to the realities of living within the confines of modern urban life.

By the time we reach full adulthood, we are followers who live by the rules and guidelines set for us by the will of the minority who want to be followed. They promise us fulfillment, never deliver, but surround us with others of our own (following) kind so that we believe we have lots of good company.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to avoid having too many people follow those who do not deserve this privilege. (Religious leaders who brainwash terrorists.)
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Gods with hooves--it could happen!

If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses.
- Xenophanes of Colophon, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher

We can only describe things by what we know. We can't describe something we can't even imagine.

So we describe our god(s) as being like us. It gives us comfort to believe that God created us in his own image, even though we have no other way to determine what his image might be.

Trouble arises when we step beyond what comforts us personally to persuade others that what we believe should be what they believe. That is a way of dominating others, not helping them.

Another way is to criticize others based on our own self-created beliefs. That is nothing less than bigotry.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people see differences.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Giving advice is easy--taking it is hard

"Never take the advice of someone who has not had your kind of trouble."
- Sidney J. Harris

There's a big difference between sympathy and empathy. The person who is empathic toward you has been where you are, has felt what you feel, has ground teeth and burned emotion as you do.

All problems are relatively small to someone who has not had your kind of problem.
Your problems are the worst anyone has had. We all think that way. However, you would be neglectful toward your own interests to ignore someone who has had your problem before and overcome it.

In most cases, what will survive when the present problems have all past is your future. Keep your eye on it when visibility through the present is poor.

That's where you're going and you won't get there unless you keep going in the right direction.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone stay on the path toward the future they want for themselves.
Learn more at

Monday, December 26, 2005

Act the way you want people to treat you

"You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you."
- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

It's hard for most of us to understand, but people treat us the way we teach them to treat us.

Most of us think that people treat us as they want to, as if they treat everyone alike. Maybe they treat some different from others because...well...who knows? This is not true.

What is more true is that we act towards others as a reaction to the way they have treated us in the past. That is, if we think that someone treats us as a servant, then we will act accordingly.

Interpersonal relationships are complex. As a result we think that they are unmanageable. They aren't. They can be quite simple.

Think about how you want someone else to treat you, then act in the way that would be appropriate for such a person. Within a short period of time, that person will begin to treat you the way you want. But you must continue to act in a way appropriate for the way you want to be treated.

You are in control, if that is what you want. If that is not what you want, then you will be subject to what you believe is the will and whim of others. It's not, but that is the way you will act.

You are only in control if you take control of yourself. Act the way you want to be treated.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person take control of their own life.
Learn more at

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Peace on Earth - now it's possible with a new plan

"Peace on Earth, good will toward men."
- The Bible

We all know what peace is. It's what we all wish for but can't achieve because of the "others." What most of us don't realize is that the others wish for peace too.

We each wish for peace, but mostly for ourselves. Peace for the others takes a distant second place.

But what about "good will," what does that mean?

Will is more than wishes or even intentions. Will is what we need to get things done. Will gives us the power to accomplish. Will gives us what we need to put the rest of our plans into action.

If our plan is peace for all humankind? Will can make it happen.

'Turning It Around' has a non-political, non-religious plan that will bring peace to every person in every community in the world. It will do that by teaching each person what they need to survive and thrive in their community, to succeed in life not just in a job, and how to get rid of their fears of others. It will teach each how to achieve personal peace.
"Good will toward men" should make that happen.

It's no longer just a wish. It's a plan with potential to change the world. We can make it happen. This potential for change has come to us in our time, a potential that did not exist before our time.

Direct your friends to our web site and encourage them to buy and read 'Turning It Around.' It comes in paper book, ebook and ebook on CD forms.

For thousands of years we have seen people with the will toward bad change wage wars, kill people and take power. Good people have power too.

The power is now. It's within our grasp.

Seize the power and tell the world.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to empower the people of the world toward peace and good, healthy lives.
Learn more at

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happiness is not where you go but how you get there

"Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities."
- Aldous Huxley

Happiness is not a goal in itself, but a path along which you may choose to travel or choose to avoid.

It's a state of mind that is achieved by choice, not by chance.

Choose wisely.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone make the right life choices.
Learn more at

Friday, December 23, 2005

Knowing your faults is the first step toward improving yourself

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
- Thomas Carlyle, writer (1795-1881)

"I don't have any vices."
"I'm sure to go to heaven because I never do anything wrong."

These kinds of statements, while they may not be vices in themselves, are not virtues either. Ignorance is not a virtue.

To not be able to see faults in ourselves is a kind of blindness. Not seeing faults in our friends may be a welcome kind of blindness, but becomes a fault itself when a friend commits socially unacceptable behaviour.

The best way is to be able to see both faults and strengths, in ourselves and in others. Work to correct or improve your own faults and to help those who want to correct their own. Praise others for their strengths.

Recognize your own strengths as ways in which you have an edge over others.

We all need to know what we are good at. We also need to know what our weaknesses are so that we can work toward having fewer of them.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people find their weaknesses and to strengthen them.
Learn more at

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Politicians hide behind principles

"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Bierce had a way of cutting through crap to find truth, then to say it in a witty manner. In this case, he clarifies that the first interest of politicians is always self interest.

Politicians, like advertising agencies, have developed ways of couching the most negative of news in positive ways. These ways always make the politicians look good.

Is a contest of political principles good for us? It is if the contestants are equals and their respective abilities to get their message out are balanced. If not, we get skewed messages that are opinions disguised as facts.

We deserve to know where our political representatives stand on important matters, if those political representatives plan to vote according to their own conscience rather than according to the wishes of their constituents.

When they hide behind principles as an excuse for hiding their intentions from us, they do us a disservice.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to force politicians to make their intentions as to how they will represent us clear.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Why people have so many problems

If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.
- Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist (1918- )

"Dear Abby" gave good advice. The term "quality time" was invented by busy North American parents to ease their minds about the fact that they spent too little time with their children and too much at work.

Real quality time where children and their parents are together is not when both play, but when the parents impart lessons about how adults behave, what adults do and should not do, how to act with others and how to do certain activities. It's about lessons, not play itself.

There is no substitute for time spent together with parents and children. The first job of children is to learn about what the world of adults is like, so they need to spend lots of time with those who are their primary role models. If they spend more time with television, they model themselves after characters they see on television.

The primary responsibility of parents, the most important job they will ever have, is to teach their children. When a job comes first all the time, children learn in an unbalanced manner and may be expected to have problems as a consequence later in their lives.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put parents and children together in a responsibile and loving relationship for life.
Learn more at

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Create a dull person, create a killer

"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without."
- Cecil B. DeMille

An icon of film epics, DeMille lacked experiences that most people have within the first ten years of their lives, those that would bring about the destruction of his natural creativity.

Children are born creative. They create worlds for themselves within their own bedrooms or their play areas. They role play to bring to reality the characters they want portrayed in their imaginary worlds.

Somewhere through those first years of elementary school, sometimes before, we beat the creativity out of kids by telling them in various ways that what they have created is not in line with the realities of adult life. We convince them that adult life is dull, routine and hard work, with little in the way of excitement except tiny escapes they can get through hobbies, crafts, mind-altering substances or socially dubious or illegal pursuits.

Adult life is dull because adults have made it dull. We made it dull because that's the way that social leaders want us to be. Dull followers are easier to manipulate than those who think and act for themselves.

Creative people break out of the mold made for them, for each of us, and take lifestyle paths that violate the norms of adult boredom and followership. Creative people, while admired at some times, are social outcasts for much of their lives because they are different.

Only when we begin to acknowledge and appreciate the value of being different, without prejudice, will we make worthwile advances toward world peace and social justice for all. Dull people fight, creative people actively avoid such primitive tendencies.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to steer us away from boring lives that lead us to violence and toward interesting lives that lead us to creativity.
Learn more at

Monday, December 19, 2005

Control your brain and you control your life

"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug."
- Patricia Neal, Canadian actor who overcame cancer to continue her career and act as an inspirational voice for those who face health problems

The brain is the master control centre for the rest of the body. Among its many functions, the brain controls the body's immune defences.

If you really believe that you can fight a disease and conquer it, your brain will activate immune system defences that are designed to overcome any unwanted invader, such as a disease bacterium or virus.

But you can't trick your own brain. Either you firmly believe you can fight the disease or you just pretend. Nothing happens when you pretend.

That is but one of the miracles available to those who can control the power of their own brain. There are many more.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach people how to access the power of their body's master control centre.
Learn more at

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hidden prejudice within words you use

Dictionary: Opinion presented as truth in alphabetical order.
- John Ralston Saul, Canadian writer (1947- )

Every written work in the English language is complied within an English dictionary. It's just out of order, so each word is a puzzle.

These two thoughts are commonly passed among people without much thought. Is a dictionary really opinion?

The purpose of a dictionary is not to provide spellings or to be the ultimate authority on how a word should be used. It's to tell how people use each word within the context of the "public" the dictionary compilers use as their sources.
Dictionaries don't express any values of right or wrong in terms of word usage. Their main criterion is that a word must be used and understood commonly among a given number of people within their public.

But does it express opinion?

The way people use words depends partly on the denotative meanings of the words, how they are used in most contexts. However, words also have connotative meanings, meanings that are hidden beneath the more obvious denotative meanings usually given in dictionaries.

For example, "nigger" is used commonly and without prejudice among African Americans such that no African American gives the word a second thought if it is used by another African American. If the word is used in a similar way by a white person, it's considered to be a hate word and may even result in legal punishment or social retribution.

Dictionaries adopt the prejudices of their respective source publics when they complie words used by that public. How a word is defined may convey editorial comment in one form but not in another.

It pays each of us to understand not just one meaning of the words we use, but all posible meanings, including the inferences taken by listeners and readers that may be hidden within their obvious meaings.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to reveal hidden meanings within tragic social issues.
Learn more at

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Can the average person become a master of anything?

"It is just the little touches after the average man would quit that make the master's fame."
- Orison Swett Marden

Not many aspire to become masters of anything. We envy the fame they create around themselves, which is the part of their work many masters enjoy least.

For someone who is a master of his art (or whatever activity he may pursue), "good enough" isn't good enough.

A master doesn't strive to meet the standards set by society or even standards he sets for himself. He feels compelled to meet standards that the final product itself demands of him.

He knows what he wants at completion and nothing less is satisfactory.
Do you know what you want at completion? You won't reach it unless you work towards it constantly.

Your life is a work of art. What you make of it will determine if anyone else cares.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to give everyone the skills they need to create a masterwork of life.
Learn more at

Friday, December 16, 2005

Truth and lies look alike but lead in different directions

"Adversity is the first path to truth."
- Lord Byron, English romantic poet (1788-1824)

There is nothing easy or simple about finding truth. That's why so many people settle for less than the truth.

Finding truth involves a struggle. Without the struggle we would not have differing and even opposing arguments that allow us to sort what is true from what simply looks like truth but is in disguise.

Many people want to hide truth from us in order to persuade us to support their causes or their beliefs. Until we have heard and considered many sides of an issue, we are not in position to decide what is truth and what is fiction because we do not have enough information to compare the two.

Searching for the truth may be hard work, but settling for less than the truth could destroy our lives and those of others we love and who love us. Starting a war is an example of this, as many modern wars are started on lies and misinformation.

Truth is about hard work, but so is life. Without the struggle, we don't appreciate or understand what we have.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to bring truth to light by showing all sides of the struggle.
Learn more at http;//

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Paradise is about the gift of time

"Paradise is exactly like where you are right now... only much, much better."
- Laurie Anderson

Paradise is not about what we could see if we were somewhere else. It's about what we don't see where we are now.

Life can be so fast that we miss the wonder of what is around us every day. We assume, because we miss it where we are, that paradise must be somewhere else.

Yet if we go somewhere else, such as by travelling on a vacation or business trip, we find that the face of life elsewhere looks much the same as the face of life where we live. What's different is the cosmetics on the faces.

Nature, the people, even the objects around us can be wonders if we explore them beyond the surface architecture.

Don't just look "at" things and people, look into them to see who and what they are beneath the surface. It takes time to learn this skill. Time is a factor we deprive ourselves of with our busy lives. Time is what paradise offers us.

If we go to paradise, we give ourselves the time we deprive ourselves of at home.

Do the arithmetic. We deprive ourselves of paradise because we are too busy to see it around us. Instead, all we take time to see is the tarnish and corrosion on the surface of the face of our lives.

Give yourself the gift of time to see what is around you. Understand it and the wonder will envelop you.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Wpidemic Social Problems,' striving to bring the wonders of life into the world around us.
Learn more at

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What purpose have your chosen for your life?

"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be."
- Oprah Winfrey

Your life can be about whatever you want it to be about. The choice is largely up to you.

The question about how you choose should revolve around two primary considerations. First is how you will feel about how you lived your life when you look back over it as an old person and have to live the rest of your life with the consequences of what you chose so many years earlier.

Second is what will happen to the essence of you that inhabits the body that will die some day. That is, will your eternal essence be enhanced by your experience of living this life? Or will it be degraded, possibly even to the point of being unable to recover to your intended potential?

You were left here on your own. Your integrity is at stake. You make your own choices and live with them and the consequences of them later.

Choose as if eternity depended on your choices.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put life in perspective.
Learn more at

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Copying others harms us more than those we copy

Substitute “damn” every time you're inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
- Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

The advice is to writers, but it applies elsewhere in our lives.

We use too many words called emphasizers. Words such as power, super and blowout no longer have meaning because they have been used too often in too many inappropriate contexts. Even the word sex is so ambiguous that you must consider every part of the context of its use before you can know for certain what the user meant.

English has more words than any other existing language. Any idea can usually be expressed in several different ways while still maintaining its intended meaning.

When we use expressions that others have used too often, we debase not the language but the credibility that others have of us.

Don't copy the trite words and phrases used or overused by others. Find your own way to express yourself.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach everyone how to be an individual within an interdependent social context.
Learn more at

Monday, December 12, 2005

Confidence makes winners and leaders

"The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others."
- Hasidic Saying

Nothing else generates confidence in someone more than that person having confidence in himself or herself. Even expertise or experience does not match up.

This is natural and may be seen in many animals that are social (that carry on activities together).

What's more, confidence can be learned--a person is not born with it. We can learn how to be confident and to express confidence in ways that impress others.

Most leaders are no smarter or more knowledgeable than their followers, they just act as if they are.

On the other side, someone who lacks self confidence may be shunned or ignored by others. While this may not make sense because a shy or unconfident person may be very knowledgeable or skilled in some important ways, it is human nature.

Human nature, though strange and sometimes illogical, is the code by which we live.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to give everyone the confidence they need to be recognized by their peers.
Learn more at

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Persistence pays when you want change

"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then a third time - a tremendous whack."
- Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during World War II; received Nobel Prize for literature in 1953 (1874-1965)

Churchill referred to tactics that would be necessary to achieve change in parliament. But the same tactics may be used in our personal lives when we want change.

People such as our employer, our spouse or the leadership of our religious community are naturally reluctant to embrace change. But if we make our point positively and effectively and repeatedly, those who need to change their thinking will budge. They may even think that they originated the plan for change if we make our point subtly enough--not using the pile driver that Churchill suggested.

Change takes time when the minds of others must be turned in a new direction. It takes a plan, patience and determination.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving for change to make the world and individual lives better.
Learn more at

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Your leaders might not be leading you straight

"Life may have no meaning. Or even worse, it may have a meaning of which I disapprove."
- Ashleigh Brilliant

The novelist has an interesting way of demonstrating the arrogance of people who want to control not just their own lives but the lives of others.

Nature imbued us with the need to be either leaders or followers. Leaders, as defined by nature, must work for the benefit of the whole group, which includes all of the followers.

Think of the political and religious leaders you know. Does each work for the greater benefit of the whole group or your individual benefit, or both? If not, the leaders who fail that criterion should not be followed. Furthermore, those leaders should not be believed because they will preach doctrine which benefits themselves more than their followers.

No matter how good an argument is about why a leader should have more power, if that additional power does not directly benefit the whole group or you, or both, that argument is unnatural and should be discounted. The leader who advanced the argument should not be supported.

Moreover, a leader who proposes an argument for additional power by creating more damage from fear than benefit from the results of the additional power should also be avoided.

If your group does not provide benefits for you as well as for others, you should find a different group. The devil you know is not necessarily inherently better than someone you don't know.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put life into perspective in a complex world.
Learn more at

Friday, December 09, 2005

Evil grows when good people believe they are powerless

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."
- Joseph Goebbels

Goebbels is arguably the most effective propagandist in history because he persuaded millions of Germans and others in Europe during Hitler's time in power that Jews and people with disabilities should be killed to purify the "white race."
Separate the strategy of Goebbels from his purpose. He knew how to use propaganda and he proved its power.

Those who want only good for the world seldom know either of these. However, they may be used for the benefit of humankind as well as for its destruction and perversion.

'Turning It Around' has the solutions that people around the world seek for troubling and worsening social problems, problems that affect people in every country in the world.

Let's use the power of teaching effectively (which is all propaganda is) to make the world a better place.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to bring people together to use their combined strength to rid the world of its harmful problems.
Learn more at http;//

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Teach children or risk losing them

"There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in...."
- Graham Greene

There are many such moments throughout our lives, though they become fewer as we get older.

When we are children, they are like what adults now call Aha! moments, occasions when disparate facts collected randomly come together to reveal some truth or reality about the world around us.

Children want desperately to learn about the world of adults, the world into which they will grow and expect to play a significant role. Yet parents too often want to deny their children this knowledge so that they may maintain the "innocence of childhood."

Parents who want to keep their children innocent of the realities of life act as if their children are pets. It's the responsibility of parents to teach their children what the world around them is all about, not to keep this knowedge from them.

Parents don't have to disclose all the worst aspects of life in their community as news and tabloid media do to get more attention. However, they do need to teach the generalities to children in order that the kids have some concept of what people are like and why they should trust some strangers and avoid others. Without the background of knowledge, telling a child never to speak to strangers, for example, could lead to tragedy in some situations (such as when a child gets lost).

The job of parents is to prepare their children for adulthood. That involves teaching all along the way, not waiting until it is too late to teach some truths because parents think they are too harsh to teach earlier.

Children need to be cuddled as we might cuddle our pets. But they also need to be taught as if there is a life course they must pass in order to become adults.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach the critical realities of parenthood to those who hold that sacred responsibility.
Learn more at http;//

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tragedy marks the beginning of change, not the end of life

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning."
- Ivy Baker Priest, in Parade, 1958

We are tempted to think of tragedy as the end of something, especially the end of times that were better in our life story.

In fact, tragedy often marks the beginning of a new chapter in our life story. Tragedy forces us to evaluate who we are, where we are and what we will do next with our lives. This often results in new beginnings.

We need not fear new beginnings. They may be approached with some trepidation, but they may also be started with excitement that new adventures, new friends, new experiences are about to begin. They are times for personal growth.

Tragedy is always a marker in our lives. Let's view it as a marker for change, the beginning of a new phase of our lives. That's the only way to survive tragedy and to make the coming years better than past ones.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone to new beginnings toward better lives.
Learn more at

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rooms without windows - lives without enlightenment

"A house without books is like a room without windows."
- Horace Mann

Too many people have become used to living in rooms without windows.

The "problem with books" is not the books themselves but the way in which reading is taught in schools. Too many teachers find themselves without resources or with books that are dreadfully out of date or with subjects that hold little interest to kids.

The percentage of people in any society in history that read books regularly has always been small. So long as kids get turned off from reading during their school years, this situation will remain. (Teachers and education systems would never admit this, of course.)

Children want to learn about life. In many school systems, life is among the last things the curriculum intends to teach.

We will continue to have people live in rooms without windows until we teach people that it's better to see the light outside.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people see the light.
Learn more at

Monday, December 05, 2005

Change should add vigor, not fear, to your life

There are books in which the footnotes or comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin are more interesting that the text. The world is one of these books.
- George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

Everywhere in the world people carry on with their daily activities in a routine way. Most of these activities are very similar to what others in other parts of the world are doing on the same day.

However, sometimes things happen that are different. What is different may be treasured not because of its novelty but because it shows us that the world is not about routine.

Routine is what drives us into a rut, which is effectively a regression of life. Life cannot stand still in an active world. It must move forward or slide backward. The status quo is a backward slide.

While we may doubt that "progress" is indeed a move forward, history suggests that all forms of change ultimately involve a move forward. All major events affect the future in some positive way, even if they seem negative at the time they happen.

Embrace what is different in your day and in your life. It may mean the difference between an exciting time of life in your old age instead of a time of fear and regression.

Life is about change, so don't try to make everything the way it used to be. The way things used to be were never as good as we remember tham to be anyway.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone find change to be exciting, not something to fear.
Learn more at http;//

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Your life is in your own hands--don't drop it

"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
- William Jennings Bryan

What you have today matters little. Where you are going matters. By tomorrow, what you had today will mean nothing because it will be gone and you will be left with what you prepared for the previous day.

No major change in your life can happen quickly. That is likely good because we can't prepare ourselves quickly enough to accommodate rapid change anyway. Witness how many lives are destroyed when people win a lottery.

Set the direction you want to go in your life and work toward it. As you see your ability to change, to make an advancement, do it. Then adjust your life around the new conditions.

Don't listen to those who say it can't be done. If you listen to them, you can't improve your life.

You can only make your life better by listening to your own inner drive and ignoring the naysayers.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone make their life more fulfilling.
Learn more at http;//

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The hidden power of words (not what you might think)

I knew I'd hate COBOL the moment I saw they'd used "perform" instead of "do".
- Larry Wall, programmer, creator of Perl programming language (1954- )

There is a place for fancy language. Some people with the ability to manipulate such language don't have a clear idea of when its use is inappropriate.

For example, in western English countries, no one "goes" anywhere any more. They "head" somewhere. Or they head back.
Is "head" a fancy word? It is for some who sense a certain power being able to use a word that is not controversial (not subject to the whims of the political correctness movement) yet still has a fresh patina.

Words have power and people feel that power when they have the ability to use them in ways that might upset others in some way. Someone who uses the word "articulate" in common conversation, for example, wants to stand about the rest. Everyone knows what the word means, but few would use it in common conversation. Unless they want to feel some degree of power over others.

Words have power not just in their meanings, but in the context in which they are used.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone understand the hidden meanings of the way people use words.
Learn more at

Friday, December 02, 2005

We are what we fear

"Fear is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them."
- Marilyn French

There is no doubt, an introspective examinationn of our fears tells us a great deal about ourselves.

We hear echoes of our early childhood, our experiences with peers, parents and those we loved.

Our fears dominate the structure of who we are as individuals.

Examine your own fears, unless you are afraid.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person understanding themselves without fear.
Learn more at

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Life's big questions have easy answers if you look in the right place

"Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know....Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted."
- George Kneller

Did it require creative thinking to produce the book 'Turning It Around'?

Here we have a social problem, let's say drug addiction. The problem (or effect) has a cause. That cause is an inability of people to cope with the conditions of their lives, so they seek a substitute that gives them at least temporary relief and pleasure.

If we want to change the problem (the result or effect), that is, we want to prevent people from falling into drug addiction out of desperation because they want some relief from the rigours of their lives, then we must change something about the cause.

Let's give them something more important to live for than earning money to buy products that they are brainwashed by corporations to believe they need. Let's give them the knowledge and skills to have healthy relationships with their spouses. Let's give them something to make their lives more meaningful than just working as part of the wheel of commerce. Let's help them to feel important, to feel recognized, to feel a part of their community not separate from it.

When people feel good about themselves, feel independent of a commercial process that dominates their lives and helps to destroy most important relationships they have or prevents them from developing in the first place, they will not need to turn to drugs.

Stopping the sale of drugs will not prevent people from feeling the need for relief from the stress of their lives. Governments are trying to stop the sale of drugs.

Governments are not changing the provision of education so that students receive what they need to conduct good and safe lives. They are providing students with skills they need to get jobs, the same jobs they need to earn money to buy products produced by the corporations that control their lives.

We elect our governments. We must do what is necessary to change the attitude of our governments toward the provision of education.

The changes are not hard to understand or complicated to implement. They aren't even expensive. We're just not doing it now because no one is speaking up about it.

People need to know how to live, not just how to work.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach us how to lead fulfilling lives, not lives as servants to coporations who live to serve their stockholders.
Learn more at

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Accepting one opinion makes you a sheep

My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast.
- Miguel de Unamuno, writer and philosopher (1864-1936)

Should we be comfortable with information sources that provide us with facts we assume to be truth? This is the means by which propaganda is successful.

Every news and information source is biased in some way. Sometimes the bias is unintentional, but most of the time the producers have a point of view they wish to convey to listeners or readers. If we accept this point of view as fact, as gospel if you will, then we have given up our right to think and to be considered as thinking beings. We have given up our right to be considered individuals and have adopted a flock mentality.

The wisest among us will listen to or read some "information," then say to ourselves "Assuming this point of view is false, what would an opposing opinion be?" Only when we have at least two opposing points of view can we realistically and fairly compare and make a considered decision as to which we will believe.

Even then we might choose a position between two others. There is nothing wrong with that. We don't have to stand on a soapbox and shout our opinions in order to have them. Just having our own opinions rather than adopting those of someone else is enough to qualify us as individuals who deserve respect.

What would an opinion opposing this one say? In this case, I have given you two opposing opinions and encouraged you to accept one of them. You know the choice.

Consider the two possibile choices and decide for yourself.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to encourage each person to think for themselves rather than follow the flock.
Learn mroe at

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hate and grudges are self imposed torture

"The hatred you're carrying is a live coal in your heart - far more damaging to yourself than to them."
- Lawana Blackwell, The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, 1999

Generally speaking people who are hated by others don't lose any sleep or waste any energy thinking about hose who hate them. They just don't care.

The only people who suffer from hate, from holding a grudge or from worrying about someone who is disliked are those who hate, worry or hold the grudge. The others move on quickly and forget any unpleasant situation.

Hate and grudge-holding are forms of self-torture. They are ways of punishing ourselves for carrying about the opinions of others who are not worth their trouble.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put life into perspective.
Learn more at

Monday, November 28, 2005

What you receive may not be what you were given

I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.
- Antonio Porchia, writer (1886-1968)

A writer knows exactly what he wants to say, the message he wants to convey. What he has no way of knowing is what his reader will understand from his words, what message the reader will carry away from the experience.

A reader understands what he wants to understand from what he reads. He wants to read material that agrees with his concept of his world. He may disregard written material that does not conform to what he believes, despite how well proven it may be.

When he reads something that may be close to what he believes, he may seize on it as support for what he believes, or even as evidence that "others" support an opposing cause that is destructive, even if the writer had neither intention.

Whether what the writer intended is important to the reader or not is a matter of personal opinion.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make sense of a world complicated by misunderstood messages.
Learn more at

Sunday, November 27, 2005

No one knows us but ourselves

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.
- Virginia Woolf, writer (1882-1941)

No one knows us like we know ourselves.

Our lives are so complex that even we may not understand the whole, for we focus mostly on individual parts of our lives.

That's why we can often seem like a different person, to some extent, from one day to the next.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help us know ourselves better so that we can help others to understand us.
Learn more at

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Knowing solutions is one thing, doing is another altogether

PLEASE NOTE: Our new web site is up and running at

"Wisdom is know what to do next; virtue is doing it."
- David Starr Jordan

The most severe criticism I could give of the government of my own country, Canada, is that it knows the right things to do about many problems but it will not move to do those things.

Individuals have the same problems. Over the years, inventor have created products that would change our lives dramatically and make the energy shortage insignificant, but these people have not brought their ideas forward. They lacked the virtue of doing.

Knowing the right thing to do about a problem has the problem three-quarters solved. Doing nothing about that solution means the problem continues to get worse.
Don't just think it, do it!

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to encourage people to do what they know they should to solve our problems.
Learn more at

Friday, November 25, 2005

Order: teach it or it won't be learned

"It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy."
- Hesiod

Disorder causes us to use more of our most precious commodity in life, our time. It requires more time to sort through a mess to find something than it does to find the same thing that is always returned to the same place after it has been used or moved.

This makes sense.

Like everything else that we consider to be "common sense," the concept of order as a time-saving device must be taught to children. It must be taught to young children before they get into the habit of being careless about where they leave their belongings.

Many teens have bedrooms that resemble trash dumps. Some of them can find whatever they need as soon as they need it. Their system of order is different from that of most adults. Different, not necessarily wrong.

Others can't find anything in the chaos.

Most teens reorganize their concept of order so that it is in line with that of most adults as they get older. This is simply because their system of order can't be managed by other adults. It's easier to follow the normal pattern of order of the adult world than to be rejected by the rest of society. This is part of the process of socialization.

Everything we want our children to know and be able to do as adults must be taught to them when they are still children. And it should be taught much earlier than most parents realize, before kids get into bad habits.

There is no such thing as a child being "too young" to be taught something. Nor is there any such thing as a child being "too young to understand." The only problem would be in the minds of parents who can't or don't teach important things properly.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put relevant content into the order that parents teach their children.
Learn mroe at

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Only one success in life

"There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way."
- Christopher Morley

This means to feel that you have the ability to make your own choices, rather than having options cast upon you.

It does not mean to have unfettered liberty to do whatever you please without regard for others or their welfare.

It also does not mean that you could live your life recklessly, as that raises an ethical issue. If you must not do anything that risks the life of another person, under penalty of law, then you do not have the right to risk your own life.

A moral issue also arises when you risk your own life because you put at risk the future of those who love you.

Live your life in a way that when you look back over it in your last days you will do so with pride of accomplishment and happiness of achievement.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show the path to a life that is healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.
Learn more at

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The mind can only grow when it's well fed and exercised

The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon exhausted, and will produce no crop, or only one, unless it be continually fertilized and enriched with foreign matter.
- Joshua Reynolds, painter (1723-1792)

The point here is not that the mind must be fed, but that it must go beyond that with new and unexamined material so that it stretches beyond its previous boundaries.

The human mind is limited only by bounds it puts on itself. It has potential beyond what most of us can imagine.

That potential can only be explored and exploited when the person who controls the mind wants to go where the mind has not been before. This also means allowing for input of opinions that are different from what the mind believes and for evidence that does not support what the mind has accepted as truth.

Those who believe that they have reached their intellectual goal in life have effectively ended their intellectual life.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people reach beyond what they believed was their mental limits.
Learn more at http;//

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nationalism may mean corruption

I love my country too much to be a nationalist.
- Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1913-1960)

The main definition of a nationalist is "one who loves and defends his or her country." However, the word has adopted a connotative meaning with a different slant to it: "my country, right or wrong."

The latter meaning derives from the word patriot, which has a similar main meaning to nationalist, but puts the winning of various kinds of contests, competitions and conflicts above doing what is right.

There is no euphamism or escape from "wrong." Wrong is wrong, no matter in what glossy terms it may be couched. Two wrongs never make a right, ever.

We cannot raise our children to do what is right, then tell them it's all right to do wrong under certain circumstances. That, in itself, is wrong. It is hypocrisy and it forms the basis on which teen rebellion in western society grows.

If we teach kids what is right, then later they find us doing wrong, the foundation of who they are is ripped apart. Their parents, the people who taught them how to be who they are, lied.

People who lie to achieve certain goals are corrupt. Governments who lie to achieve their goals are also corrupt. Corruption is a slippery slope. Down.

Teach your children what is right. Practise what is right yourself. Insist that others do what is right with your children.

We don't need a more corrupt world.

We can each begin to make it better by doing what is right, teaching our children and grandchildren what is right and not tearing apart what our children thought of us when they were young.

Your children know what is wrong. You taught them. Now back it up in your own life so they see you as a good role model not as a failed and corrupt teacher.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to encourage everyone to teach right, teach good, teach peace--the basic TIA philosophy of T3.
Learn more at

Monday, November 21, 2005

The link between egotism and stupidity

Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.
- Frank William Leahy, football coach (1908-1973)

Think about the egotists you have met.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone understand that people who are hard to get along with have problems they can't cope with.
Learn more at

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The fly on the carabao--life lesson for everyone

A fly that lands on a carabao feels itself to be higher than the carabao.
- Filipino proverb

Every member of the animal kingdom has a natural desire to succeed, to thrive no matter what the circumstances. Often that desire demonstrates itself as a display of extraordinary confidence where one shows himself as being better than others.

No one is better than anyone else and most of us know it. Yet we have that desire to appear to be better in the eyes of others.

Is this simply a desire for attention? It would be more accurate to call it a desire for acknowledgement. We don't need to be praised to feel acknowledged, to feel ourselves as part of whatever group we are in. But sometimes we feel it necessary to act superior to others just to get their attention.

This may seem a misplaced desire, an inappropriate way to be recognized by others. But someone who feels unrecognized, unacknowledged, unappreciated as an equal by others might resort to even irrational kinds of behaviour as a desperate measure.
When we see others acting out, we are best advised to give them the attention they desire without accepting the anti-social behaviour as the means of getting it.

We all need to be recognized, to be accepted, to feel part of the group. Even the most unpleasant among us needs that.

The more unpleasant among us need it more than others because they are desperate enough to act out or to criticize others or to act miserably to get our attention.
The most peaceful community (or family or workplace) is the community where each member feels recognized and acknowledged by the others.

It's also a way to make friends, if recognition is not a normal part of the social activity of a workplace, for example.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show people how to make friends and to receive the acknowledgement they need.
Learn more at

Saturday, November 19, 2005

You can lose your power to think for yourself

"A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor."
- Victor Hugo, 1862, French poet, novelist and dramatist (1802-1885)

Thinking uses 31 percent as much energy as heavy labour. It's an invisible labour equivalent to lighter physical work.

It's also a necessary endeavour. Those who are too busy to take time to think about things get into the habit of not thinking. Eventually, they lose the power to think and simply go with whatever flow life throws at them.

People who have lost their power to think never realize it. They simply believe that others are too fast, too impatient or too intolerant of their "different" ways. They blame others for being "different."

They look like real people but they are, in effect, automatons who are at the mercy of whoever has the power to control their minds, their votes and their money.
Politicians and industries have learned how to do that effectively.

No matter what you decided to do about an issue, think about arguments on both sides of it. Ask others and get information before you choose.

Don't lose your power to think.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to give people the tools they need to think independently of those who want to control their minds and their money.
Learn more at

Friday, November 18, 2005

You can make two people happy

"When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy."
- Samuel Goldwyn

It's remarkable how often I get the reply "Thanks! No one ever says that" when I compliment someone on a job well done.

We get used to giving tips to servers, bellhops and cabbies, but we don't think how much more gratified people are when they receive praise rather than money. Money does not satisfy our need for recognition from others the way a compliment does.

What we do is important to us. It's a critical investment of our most precious commodity, our time. Whether we're at work or on our own time, what we do means a great deal to us. To get a compliment for it makes it seem more worthwhile.

When we applaud someone for something well done, we do make two people happy. Seeing the joy we bring to others make us happy too.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show what happiness is and how little money means in the search for it.
Learn more at

Thursday, November 17, 2005

When you lose trust, you lose life

"The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust."
- Henry L. Stimson

Everyone finds it discouraging when someone they trusted betrays that trust. Many stop trusting anyone in response.

Distrust is infectious. A person who commits a grievous error in betraying the trust of a friend may lose that trust and the friend. In turn, he may not trust others in his life. The cycle spirals until no one trusts anyone.

When we don't trust anyone, we can't express sympathy for others and we lose interest in helping others in need. Humans, a social species by nature, survived for so long by helping each other in times of need.

When we lose that characteristic, we lose the common thread that helped us become the dominant species on Earth we are today. In short, by not trusting others, we may bring about the eventual extinction of the human race.

Trusting another person is a gamble, one that does not pay off every time. Yet even if one such gamble in four pays off, it helps us to make friends. Friends are what sustain us through hard times.

Some time soon you will be given the chance to trust someone or to refuse to trust them. Forget about what you have to lose if your trust is misplaced, think about what you have to lose if you don't trust anyone.

Those who can't trust anyone lose the foundation that grounds them to place and to family, to who they are.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach everyone the importance of trust, to themselves and to the world.
Learn more at

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Proof is not enough

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.
- Stuart Chase

This observation applies to every important question in life. Those who do not believe in something will deny the validity of any proof presented, believing that there must be something wrong with it.

Do you see the paradox? The same people who will not believe in something that may be proven instead believe in something for which there is no evidence.

Such is human nature. People believe in "nothing," they just differ in which "nothing" they believe in. Meantime few search for evidence and those who find it may not find a welcome audience.

Is that true of 'Turning It Around'? Are people more comfortable believing that social problems such as drug addictions and drug-related crimes, homelessness, illiteracy, violence, bullying, rage and so on are insolvable?

You believe that these problems can be solved. Your friends will believe you if you tell them. And other friends will believe your friends. They may not believe me because they have no reason to believe me.

Spread the word. There is no need for us to suffer when the problems can be prevented and people can be much less emotionally stressed in the process.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures For Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach prevention so that cures are not needed.
Learn more at

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It's your turn: do a little, make a big difference

"The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'"
- John F. Kennedy

There it is, the grist mill of Turning It Around.

While we wonder what will happen with this new program and wait to see what others will do, the tree is not growing. So little effort is required of each person to make such a huge difference. But nothing can happen until people make that little effort.

Buy the book, tell your friends about it. Give it as gifts for Christmas--no present will ever do so much or last so long.

At least as important as that is to get them to join the TIA group:

And to read the web site:

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' a gift without equal.
Learn more at

Monday, November 14, 2005

You can only do what you believe you can do, nothing more

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
- John Wooden

Western societies, many cultures around the world, are inclined to put more emphasis on our weaknesses rather than on strengths. Our weaknesses, our faults and our mistakes are pointed out at every possible instance.

Our strengths, our successes, our hard-won moves forward rarely receive any recognition from others. Thus we tend to spend too much time and emotion focussing on our weaknesses rather than on our strengths.

The problem is that the effort of concentrating on weaknesses often becomes a weakness in itself because we don't work to make those weak parts of our lives stronger.

Eventually, we generalize to believe that we can't do much about anything. We accept our powerlesssness and others unconsciously allow us to slide into that belief.

There are geniuses among us, people with answers to the most perplexing problems, people with solutions to medical mysteries, people with proposals that could have us populating planets in distant galaxies, people that know how to make people better than they are today, who languish with the mistaken belief that they can't make a difference.

Alone we may not be able to make much of a difference. Together we can.
Support those who have ideas and proposals by letting them air these before the world.

We can't make the world a better place if we believe we can't or if we don't support those who believe they can.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to build confidence in those who can and arouse self-belief in those hwo believe they can't.
Learn more at

Sunday, November 13, 2005

If you don't help yourself, no one else has an obligation to help you

"As long as you stand in your own way, what does it matter what other obstacles you face?"
- Anonymous

He who steps on his own foot will surely stumble and fail to move forward.
There is no point in blaming your life situation, your disabilities or others close to you for your problems if you won't do something about them youself.

You can be your own worst enemy by doing nothing.

Improving yourself is hard and it brings failures and heartache, but it's better than sliding backward.

Life is not fair or equitable and some people will hurt you for fun and profit. Get over it. Get past it or become your own Titanic.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people improve themselves instead of looking for excuses.
Learn more at

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Why are you here? Will you be remembered?

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
- William James

Today people travel around the world, as tourists, to see work that was done lovingly and with great skill by people who are long dead, but not forgotten. Then they return home to build nothing for the future, instead accumulating as much wealth as they can as quickly as they can.

So they can die rich and shortly thereafter be forgotten.

Some children today know little about the lives of their own grandparents, and have little interest in learning more.

The grandparents wonder why. Then they blame it on television.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person give meaning to the lives they live.
Learn more at

Friday, November 11, 2005

Life is accomplished a little bit at a time

All good work is done the way ants do things, little by little.
- Lafcadio Hearn

Life is complex, with a huge number of things to accomplish if one is to reach a modest level of competence in the many events and activities in which we must take part. And just to keep up with what must be done.

We can't just choose by priority and avoid the less important things because then they would never get done and the ground would eventually slip out from under us.
Like the best jugglers, we must keep many balls in the air at once. One day we will spend more time on one thing, with other things taking higher priority on other days.

Each day we must do a little of the less important things so that we do not slide into a state where being physically undone results in our becoming mentally undone because we have more to do than we are able to accomplish.

"Don't sweat the small stuff" works on any given day, but eventually the small stuff must be dealt with or we lose control of our lives.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person put their life in perspective.
Learn more at

Thursday, November 10, 2005

When goals are the same, the route doesn't matter

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.
- H. Jackson Brown

When we find someone doing something or believing something differently from us, we have a natural desire to explain to them the error of their ways and why ours is much superior. This is a form of elitism, a belief that what we do and think is better than what others do and think, especially if their way is different from ours.

What we tend to see is the window dressing, the ritual, the outward fluff, not the core of the matter that concerns us. At heart, most of us seek the same goals for our lives.

If someone is seeking the same goals for their life as us, but is doing it differently, maybe it would be best to leave them to continue on their path. If the goals are the same, the results would be the same if there is no interference.

Pointing out that our ways are different from theirs is acceptable so long as we also note that our destinations are the same. That way we come to know and understand each other better, instead of creating enemies out of those who are different.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to bring the world together as one people with a common set of beliefs, instead of radically different cultural groups.
Learn more at htto;//

Monday, November 07, 2005

The solutions to successful marriages and parenting

Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
- H. Jackson Brown

How well might we expect a gardener to do with his first crop if he knew nothing more than that seeds go into dirt somehwere, get watered and that weeds must be pulled once in a while?

We have no right to expect greater success in a marriage or in parenting if new spouses and parents know as little about the project ahead of them as many do today.

True, some spouses are successful and some parents are knowledgeable. But not all, and therein lies the essential problem.

We must teach what is important in our culture to every child in that culture, regularly, consistently and clearly. Failures within our cultures reflect our lack of care to the needs of the whole while we focus on our own needs.

'Turning It Around' wants to change that. Read the book then you will understand how you can help, so simply and so inexpensively.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to prevent cultural cancers from striking rather than trying to patch them up too late.
Learn more at

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Don't say you don't have enough time

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa,
Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
- H. Jackson Brown

They made choices. They set objectives and steered their life course toward them.

They believed in what they wanted to accomplish and were determined to reach their goals.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person find their own personal life objectives.
Learn more at

Saturday, November 05, 2005

It's not the good but the lazy who die too young

You have to wonder how many wonderful life-altering opportunities were
overlooked by people who were not looking for a change in their lives.
Life cannot and will not stagnate or hold the status quo. It will change for the
better by intent or for the worse if left untended.
Life does not go well for those who will not work to take advantage of what is
offered to them and for those who will not seek help and ask questions when they
need it.
The world owes no one a living. In nature, those who will not work to survive
die, either of disease or as lunch for some predator.
Though circumstances are different for humans than for most animals and plants,
the results are similar. Humans don't get eaten, but they atrophy both
physically and mentally when they refuse to change or to work hard to survive
and thrive. It's a slow and fearful death.
Lazy people and luddites are often among the first to die off when they reach
the beginning of old age.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,'
striving to help people live to a healthy old age through mentally and
physically healthy living.
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Those outstanding people you know? Just like you.

Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.
- H. Jackson Brown

But they do disguise it well, don't they? It is so very easy for us to think that others we know have no problems, no crises, no mind-numbing heart-stopping moments when the future seems as if it may never come.

Even those who are extremely successful with something (such as athletics or art) have focused so much of their time and effort into reaching that level of expertise that hey have had to omit many important parts of their lives that we might consider critical--they have not had time to be complete people because they had to spend their time being best at one thing.

We are all flawed and troubled in some ways. There is no advantage in thinking otherwise.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone see others for what they really are, just like us.
Learn more at

Does God really look like you?

“Everybody needs a God who looks like them.”
- Sue Monk Kidd, 'The Secret Life of Bees' (Penguin, 2002)

You don't need a dissertation on the anthromorphism of deities in modern religions. (You don't even need such a high falutin sentence to tell you that.)

The purpose of today's quote is to show that we all need to know that our God respects and appreciates us. Our God may not always give what we want or do what we want or understand, but at least we want God to recognize us and embrace us as part of his universe.

Michaelangelo Buonaroti depicted God as a powerful looking old man on the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel, in St. Peter's, Rome, because he knew we needed something that we could understand, a grandfather type who would give life to Adam and comfort to us.

God could not possibly look like us humans, as that would not make sense. But it helps for us to think of God as having human qualities because that explains a great deal about how and why we are the way we are.

If you want to see God, look into your mirror. You won't see the face of God, but you will see the results of more miracles than you could imagine.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person make sense of why we are on this Earth.
Learn more at

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Troubles begin when we don't do what we know is important

“The whole problem with people is…they know what matters, but they don’t choose it.”
- Sue Monk Kidd, 'The Secret Life of Bees' (Penguin, 2002)

As much as I dislike absolutes ("the *whole* problem with people"), Kidd raises an interesting observation. Many people do not do what is important, even though they may know how important it is.

But why? On the surface, this doesn't make sense. However, delve into the subject of human behaviour and you find it shaped largely not by the individuals who demonstrate the behviour but by the media, religions, social pressure (peer influence), social groups, even by employers and unions.

These groups each have their particular agendas. Each wants people to do what the group wants to accomplish. Lacking any strong conviction to do differently, even though it may be important, people will follow what they are told to do, to believe, to think and they will act as they are told to act.

In general, people don't choose to avoid acting on what is important. Instead, they follow a different agenda that does not emphasize those things that are really important. They do what others tell them is important. They believe that what others tell them is important must be important because otherwise the others would not tell them something is important. The reasoning, obviously, is faulty, but they don't think about it.

We do not teach children to recognize what is important to observe in terms of behaviour and what is important to avoid. So we have young people trying drugs and becoming addicted before they realize what they have done. We have teens breaking the law and finding themselves in jail before they realize that they may have destroyed their prospects for the future.

If young people realize that what they are told to do or think is in conflict with what they believe is important (what they know intuitively is important), this may result in psychological problems they can't resolve themselves. This often results in retreat into forms of escape such as drugs or anti-social behaviour.

If parents and schools do not teach clearly and frequently what is important to the people of their community and support the actions of young people toward those objectives, they leave open the possibility that severe social problems will result.

Troubled communities demonstrate that we have not learned our lessons about socializing children well enough. "Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems" provides the path, the method of implementation and the course material for this kind of teaching.

There is no good reason why everyone should be affected by social problems in their home communities. The causes of these problems result from our not doing what we know is important.

We must act now before life becomes worse and neighbourhoods degenerate into chaos. Some have already reached that point, as if we needed examples.
Making the necessary changes requires very little work by a great number of people. The biggest part of the work required is for people to read the book so they know what to do.

Tell everyone you know. The solution are available to us, to everyone.

Act now.

Bill Allin
'Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems," striving to encourage people to learn what is important and to act on it.
Learn more at

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Considering consequences is a necessary part of a plan of action

Patience is also a form of action.
- Auguste Rodin, sculptor (1840-1917)

Patience is a component of a plan of action, a strategy. This distinguishes it from procrastination, denial and avoidance, which are symptoms of disorganization or lack of a plan.

We may be patient when we know that the result we want to happen will come about because all necessary components are in place and factors taken into consideration.

Patience indicates that something is underway and time must be given for certain things to happen, such as a strategy in a game of chess. It also indicates that a situation is being monitored as it develops. Lack of monitoring means a plan will collapse and likely go against what we want to happen.

Patience also gives us time to think, to consider the possibilities and the consequences of choices we make before we commit to them.

Patience is a learned quality. Its advantages may be taught as part of the teaching of problem solving techniques. When teaching problem solving, considering consequences is a necessary factor. Patience is the time factor that gives consideration of consequences room to take place.

When consequences of an action are not carefully considered we have people who lock themselves into addictions, prisons, continuing drug regimes or psyuchological impairment.

Prevention is easy, cheap and effective. Cures are virtually impossible when problems reach the community level.

Bill Allin
'Turning It ARound: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to encourage all education systems to teach problem solving techniques to every child, not just to present them with problems.
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Nothing gets better by staring at it in fear

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."
- Henri Bergson

The minds of everyone in populated areas of our planet are accutely aware of social problems that affect every person. These problems seem massive, beyond the ability of most people to cope with solutions that may be proposed.

Politicians do their part by building more prisons and hospitals to manage damaged people. Yet all they accomplish is to get some off the streets while others take their places.

The old joke that you can't destroy cancer by applying a bandage is well worn, but too many people still live their lives in ways that promote and encourage cancer. Even this is a social problem because it affects so many people other than those who have cancer.

The best way to avoid cancer, like the best way to avoid any social problem, is to prevent it from happening in the first place. These things should not be given comfortable places in which to breed. It's not hard, but we haven't begun yet.

We can teach children what they need to know to live cancer-free lives just as we can teach them to live peaceful lives, drug-free lives and lives that are free of constant fear. We can only accomplish that if enough people read 'Turning It Around' and join others to make the necessary changes to our education systems.

Spread the word. It won't happen by itself.

The more minds we can convince, the more eyes will see what you and I see.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to bring peace and disease-free lifestyles to every person.
learn more at

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lock up your daughters!

"Since becoming the father of a daughter, I have figured out that sex is evil."
- Tim Bedore

This line was delivered as a joke, of course. However, it makes a strong point about the unusual stress that parents of daughters adopt regarding their welfare before marriage or before the age when they are believed to be capable of looking after themselves in a male dominated world.

Where do fathers (or mothers) learn how to deal with these responsibilities, how to implement a plan to educate their daughters while keeping them safe from preying males? Almost entirely by accident, heresay, rumour and horror stories that they read or hear from others. Or from ultra conservative loudmouths who believe that girls should be locked away and kept ignorant "for their own protection."

The roles and responsibilities of parenthood must be taught in a thorough,coordinated and formal way. The accidental school of management works poorly in business and the accidental school of parenthood fails badly as well.

We need not wonder why we have so many troubled teens and young adults in our communities. We need rather to concern ourselves with how to teach parents how to fulfill the most important functions they will ever have in their lives, that of growing a new generation.

We must teach parenting skills or suffer the consequences by filling our prisons and the offices of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make courses in parenting available in every board of education.
Learn more at

Friday, October 28, 2005

Today is tomorrow's ancient history

That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.
- John Stuart Mill

At one point in human history, riding a horse to get from one place to another was an absurd dream. Today we study conditions on the surface of Mars and within our spacecraft to see that the environment of Mars will not be polluted when astronauts land there in a few years.

At one time, people were imprisoned or executed for saying that Earth is not the centre of the galazy, indeed the centre of the universe. Today we know that Earth is not the centre of anything except human-devised problems.
When I was a child, the farthest I could send a message to anyone was a letter to my parents from camp. Today I routinely exchange email and even voice messages with people from six continents. (No video yet because I don't want to stress their emotional limits.)

What you may think today is a foolish dream by an impractical good-for-nothing may be tomorrow's reality.

By discounting the dreams of others you discount your own credibility. Don't put down others because they have foresight you may lack.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone turn their dreams into reality.
Learn more at

Thursday, October 27, 2005

You can build a new life

No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back.
- Turkish proverb

Most of us face situations where we realize that the course we have chosen for ourselves or our family was wrong, a lost cause. Yet we stick to our original course, believing that if we try harder it might just work out, if we are more forgiving our spouse might become more compatible, if we make more sacrifices others might be happier.

It doesn't, they don't, they aren't. No matter how long we stick at the wrong course for our lives, it remains the wrong course and we will never reach a satisfiable goal by continuing on that course.

It's extremely hard to quit one course of life, pretend it didn't happen, then launch into a new one. Yet eventually, that is what must happen. No amount of postponement makes the change any better or less tragic. No matter how long we delay making the final change, feelings will get hurt just as bad, maybe worse. Continuing makes everyone suffer.

Sometimes the only way to fix a house that was built badly is to tear it down and begin again. So it is with our lives. Sometimes we have to begin again with a fresh start.

But, like the house builder who built a bad one and learned from his mistakes, we have our experience to carry with us into our new lives. We know what we had and we know we should avoid getting into the same traps.

Building a new life is the biggest challenge most of us ever face. But the results are worth the price.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people cut the cord and launch into a new life when it's the only viable way to continue.
Learn more at

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Exposing mind-slavers of today

So long as patriotic cant can keep the common man jealous of international controls over his belligerent possibilities, so long will he be the helpless slave of the foreign threat, and 'Peace' remain a mere name for the resting phase between wars."
- H.G. Wells; In The Fourth Year: Anticipations of a World Peace; 1918

"Cant" is stock phrases that have become nonsensical through endless repetition. Many patriotic phrases and mottoes become cant because their creators are unable to think of better catch phrases and mottoes to get the attention of their followers. Cant may be found in any political environment.

The quote, now nearly a century old, seems to explain why so many people around the world fear and hate the USA so much though they know little or nothing about the country or its citizens.

Ignorance thrives in states where patriotism is practised aggressively. Where ignorance lives the minds of people may easily be molded to believe whatever the leaders want them to believe. This usually means that people live in a state of fear because that is the easiest way to keep people under control.

Think about the countries you know of where fear is the dominant emotion experienced by their people. Then look at the political rhetoric spewed by their political leaders and you will find patriotism receiving much more attention than facts or common sense.

Slavery of the body has been illegal for a long time now. Slavery of the mind is with us today because it is more effective than slavery of the body and because it is not illegal. Laws will not eliminate slavery of the mind. Only education will do that.

People do not need to have university degrees to be educated against the evils of patriotism. They simply need to be taught how to recognize patriotic slogans and how to react to them.

While teaching people how to recognize patriotic slogans that enslave the mind, we should continue and teach them how to recognize advertising methods that impoverish them by shackling their pocketbooks.

Peace cannot exist in a state where minds are enslaved any more than it can exist in a state where bodies are enslaved.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to free minds by teaching them how to avoid the mind-slavers.
Learn more at

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

We can change history--our own future

What you do is of little significance; but it is very important that you do it.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

Some of us will remember episodes of the original Star Trek series where Kirk and company went back in time. The standard caution was always to avoid doing anything that might change history because that would change the "future" in which the team normally lived.

Everything you do changes history. No matter how small, every action you take makes history go one way rather than one of many other possible scenarios.
Doing something fills in history, puts us in charge of it, if only of our small part of it. Doing nothing leaves the future to unfold in ways that may not be pleasant.

Look at how social problems plague every culture in the world, at least every major culture today. The reason is that we have not done anything to prevent them from developing. We allowed our own future to unfold in ways that turned out to be unpleasant for us.

We can change our future. We can make it better. We know how. Those who read 'Turning It Around' know how. It's up to us to spread the word and make the future happen in ways that will allow us to look back later to say how proud we are of how life on Earth improved under our watch.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to give each person the tools to make our future a better place than our past has been.
Learn more at

Monday, October 24, 2005

We can change the world - we have the technology

Can the Serenity Prayer change the world? No, but you can.
Peter is a friend who belongs to my LASTfriends group.

Peter quoted the exact wording of the Serenity Prayer:
> God grant me the Serenity
> To Accept the Thing I cannot Change,
> Courage to Change the Things I can,
> And the Wisdom to Know the Difference!
> You should print and save this prayer so that you can remind
> yourself of it whenever things Don't Go Your Way!!!

Thanks for the exact wording, Peter.

There is a gaping flaw in this prayer. It's in the second line. Human nature says that it's tempting to use this line to emotionally dispose of problems we feel we would rather not tackle so that we can avoid the need for expressing courage as in the third line.

Peter, you know that the world could be made into a much better, safer and happier place because you have read 'Turning It Around.' Most people would prefer to turn their backs on something of this magnitude, thinking that it's too much work or it would be too emotionally draining. It wouldn't, but that is how they feel.

There is no problem that cannot be changed. Many can't be changed by one person alone, which is what I have maintained for years. We have to work together.
Any problem created by humankind can be fixed by humankind. Fixing takes a long time, but it can be done. Preventing them from happening in the first place indicates a massive step in the social evolution of our species. But it can be done.

I want to take that step.

I want your help.

I want you to help me to spread the word about 'Turning It Around.' That's not hard to do, nor is it emotionally draining. But it won't happen by itself and it won't happen by my work alone.

The Serenity Prayer was adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous to help those with addictions to accept that some things can't be changed.

The most critical benefit to Alcoholics Anonymous is the social aspect of the program, the support offered by one alcoholic to others.

Alcoholics who belong to AA have friends. Those who don't belong to AA may not have any real friends, at least not the kind that stay with you when you are not drinking.

AA offers these people something they have lacked for their whole lives, friends in a support network.

Other addictions need such support systems for their addicts.

What support systems do we have (does any country have) for socially underdeveloped people who turn to crime instead of to addictions? Most have none. Criminals are treated as pariahs, not as people in need. They need friends and support systems, but we isolate them behind bars.

I am working now on a theory that might show that adults who cannot read or that read poorly (functionally illiterate) were socially underdeveloped during their growing up years. If that is true, schools could change that. This is a huge development for education!

It could mean that,w ith a few minor changes to our school systems, everyone will learn to read and few will ever have psychological problems, reading problems or turn to crime.

Who will tackle a problem of that magnitude?

Who could tackle a problem of that magnitude alone?

Without you, the solutions to major social problems that I develop will die with me.

Should you, as the second line of the Serenity Prayer says, accept these problems as things you cannot change? Or should you accept that they can be changed and have the courage to help me change them throughout the world?

Do you want to leave a lasting and positive legacy so that people will remember you long after your life here has passed? Here is the way.

Together we can do what no other humans before us have managed to do. We can be the first ever. Imagine!

We have the technology (computers and the internet) to help us. We need to will to bring others into the fold with us.

Invite others to join the TIA group:

Recommend 'Turning It Around' to everyone you know. Refer them to the web site to learn more and to a book store to buy the book.

Send this message to as many people as you think might learn from it, might benefit from it and might help us to spread the word.

I develop the solutions that others can't find. I can't be the salesman too. Each one of you knows as many people as I do, or more.

We need your friends, neighbours and work colleagues to join us and to help us. Please give them a chance to do good, the same chance that you have.

Don't leave it to someone else. If you don't do it, the message and the solutions will stop with you. The world might be as if you and I had never lived.

Let's make it happen together.

Bill Allin
Author, creator of global solutions and one man trying to do a big job

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Something magnificent is happening

"I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men and women trample themselves and die. Something magnificent is taking place here amidst the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in our curious heritage prevail."
- C.A. Beard

It's hard to see improvement when destruction is in your face every day.

Each day we work toward improvement in our lives. When something bad happens, it focusses our attention on the bad, distracting us from the good that we have achieved or that may have been achieved around us.

We see these are problems that must be solved. When we can't solve them ourselves, we assume that other can't solve them either, especially if our governments don't act toward solution.

This thinking is wrong on all counts, despite how natural it may be. What we cannot solve ourselves, we can solve by working with others. If we refuse to working with others, preferring to what we know we can manage, some problems will be impossible to solve.

If we want to see marked improvement in our lifetimes, we will have to drop on inhibitions about working in coopearte with others and put the greater good of our future ahead of our own immediate benefit.

We also need to look for others who will work with us. They are out there, but they are quiet because they think that no one wants to work with them.

The good guys are always so quiet. Magnificent things happen when they come together and speak up.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to bring people together for the greater good of all humankind.
Learn more at