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.
Learn more at

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.
Learn more at

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.)
Learn more at

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.
Learn more at

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.
Learn more at

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