Friday, June 30, 2006

How did we get this way?

The purpose of action is to enable philosophy to continue, for if men are reduced to the material alone they become no more than beasts.
- Saint Sophia

Though Saint Sophia lived in the dying days of the Roman Empire, she was able to see how materialism corrupted Rome from within. The entire western part of the empire fell to the barbarians who, on close inspection, were likely more humane than the Christian Romans.

It was not the Romans or the barbarians, but the Christian church that plunged Europe into the Dark Ages. At least we don't have any powerful groups destroying books and the people who read them and closing schools of higher learning today.

We do, however, have more than our share of men who are concerned almost solely with the material world. Whether in business or in war, we see their beastly sides. Diplomacy and dialogue are lost arts when each side of a summit declares "You must do it our way, or else!"

But, philosophy? It simply means discussion of the troubles of life, and how to solve them. A few television programs have such discussions, but they constitute no more than five percent of airtime dedicated to nonfiction. Other programs tell, they don't engage the viewer. No viewer engagement means no viewer thinking. No thinking means no solutions to life's problems on a large scale.

Sophia said that action should enable more discussion about how to solve the perplexing problems of life. Since we don't tend to go in that direction, we have more troubles than we can manage. Our ways of dealing with them are to hire more police, more judges, more soldiers and to build more prisons, more psychiatric hospitals and more sophisticated weapons.

No one tells our leaders to talk. We just vote for them and leave them to figure out what to do. So, how do you think that has worked out?

We need the situation to change. The squeeky wheels at present are those with personal agendas (something to gain), not those who want what is best for the country.

When the good people are quiet, only the bad ones are heard.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to ge the good people together to speak with one strong voice.
Learn more at

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Which direction ar eyou going?

Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your
hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.
- Carl Schurz, general and politician (1829-1906)

The ideal situation for a young person growing up is to have a mentor who will guide him or her through the rigors of learning both what a craft or skilled job is about and what life itself is about. Few have that lunxury and few ever have.

Europe has apprenticeship courses (North America barely gives lipservice to them) to guide young adults through a professional course under the supervision and instruction of a master. Not many of those who go through apprenticeship programs also receive guidance in life skills.

Lacking that kind of leadership to follow, North American young people follow the money, usually taking courses at colleges or universities in order to succeed at future jobs. Without the life skills guidance offered by a mentor, many have troubles in their adult lives. They have problems with their jobs, their marriages and other aspects of their personal lives, often becoming addicts to current fashion or slaves to their work.

Having ideals to aim for is one way to get life's compass pointing in the right direction. However, ideals alone are difficult to follow unless a person knows someone who has lived those ideals successfully, has reached a special place to which they aspire. A hero.

Following an ideal that no one else seems to be following can produce a world leader. It is more likely to produce a loner who eventually has psychological problems because he doesn't march to the beat of anyone's drummer. And the boys in the band don't like it.

Following an ideal means have steely self discipline to avoid the tempting pits into which most people fall. Olympic athletes, business leaders, university professors and great painters had to follow their guiding star alone, for the most part, to get where they are. They learn the social parts of growing up as adults because they missed much of it in their adolescence.

Fitting in with the gang socially has a way of generating masses of people with modest life objectives who lack the persistence and determination to reach even them. Worse, "the gang" has ways of developing the attitude that nothing else outside of it is important.

Hence we have citizens who have no idea who to vote for on election day because they don't know who is running to represent them and they don't know the issues. They wonder why the world is in so much trouble because they have not taken the time to learn about the people of other countries, their cultures, their religions, their ways.

They believe that the world is getting worse, at least their own community is, because life is not quite as good as it was when they were young. It may not be getting worse, because their community is simply getting bigger and the anti-social elements more obvious, but they don't know that.

They are uncomfortable about their fears, but comfortable with their own ignorance.

Someone else will look after it. I don't know much about it. I don't even vote. All I care about is protecting my own.

Sadly, they don't know how to do that well either.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to wake up a sleeping population before they die in their own puddle of fear.
Learn more at

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

You can do it

"If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake."
- Mohandas K. (The Mahatma – "Great Soul") Gandhi

The image of a constrictor that wraps itself around our lives suits the concept of politics. Even those who want to have nothing to do with politics can't avoid it because it affects almost everything we do with our lives.

Gandhi wanted to wrestle with the snake. This is a man who, in 1947, when Britain thought it could not cope with the uprisings in Calcutta but might be able to manage the much smaller one in the Punjab, sent The Mahatma to deal with the 55,000 angry Bengalis single-handedly. No riot ensued in Calcutta, but the Punjab was aflame when the Brits arrived.

Mohandas Gandhi knew people, knew how to inspire people. Despite his decidedly eccentric ways (after his wife died, he forced his niece to sleep in the same bed as him as a challenge of self discipline for himself) he knew how to reach people, knew how to give them real hope, knew how to get them to do what they needed to do to achieve national independence peacefully.

Gandhi was only one man, but he influenced millions. He persuaded Britain to give up its greatest treasure, the Jewel of the Crown, his beloved India.

I won't give up in my quest to let the world know how it can better itself either. And I won't let you give up.

The snake can be tamed. It can be made to work for its owners (citizens) if the owners know what to do with it.

Almost every social (community) problem that exists today can be reduced to an insignificant level and many personal problems will never come about if we take the time to learn how to do it.

The ways of the past all failed. This way will succeed. If the bad guys are using it to convince individuals to become suicide bombers, to join religious cults and to vote for presidents whose main agenda is to take their countries into war, then the good guys can use the same methods effectively too.

There are more good guys, so their ways should supercede over those of the bad guys.

Don't know what I am talking about? Then hie thee hence to to learn.

Bill Allin
'Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to persuade the few to tell the many the good news that there is real reason for hope for the future.
Learn more at
Do it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How can I have self respect when nobody respects me?

"Self-respect is the cornerstone of all virtue."
- John Herschel, English mathematician and astronomer (1792-1871)

This is one of those brief but powerful maxims that people read, give their easy approval, then promptly forget about.

The reason? Self respect is so difficult to achieve and virtue an all-but-forgotten personal character objective.

But why? Here is an answer you likely have not encountered before.

One of the benefits of being fully experienced with the skills associated with sociology is that a person learns how to use propaganda. Call it manipluation of the mind or gentle persuasion, if you like.

Joseph Goebbels, was a master of propaganda. As Propaganda Minister for Adolf Hitler, he persuaded the powers of Germany that Jews, people of coloured skin, cripples and other "defective" non-arayans should be exterminated in a massive genocide. Perpetrators of genocide since his time have followed his methods.

Who else uses propaganda? Advertising agencies who persuade people to buy products they don't need--the cosmetic industry, for example. Leaders of fundamentalist religions who offer those desperately seeking hope salvation and a warm place by the feet of God in heaven. Master strategists of large political parties persuade people to vote for candidates and potential leaders who will do more harm than good for their electorate.

Leaders of terrorist organizations and cells persuade people to kill themselves or to kill large numbers of innocent civilians--the "enemy"--with the promise that it's not really against the moral guidelines they grew up with because God told them it was right. And, of course, there will be those 72 virgins waiting in heaven when they arrive.

Get it? The people we most want to disappear from the face of the Earth are succeeding because they have skills that most people don't even care about.

These bad guys don't want the mass of population to have self respect. It's working. They don't want them to adhere to traditional virtues, but instead follow new ones they invent for their own nefarious purposes.

Is that working? If I write "9/11" you know exactly what I mean. It's working.

The good people of the world are being led by the bad guys who have studied human behaviour and know how to manipulate it. The good people aren't being heard.

Do you suppose that we should get in on these methods too?

It's not only anti-social causes that are basing their effectiveness on ignorance of most people. Our education systems operate on paradigms that were established during the Industrial Revolution and set in widespread practice in the mid 19th century. We aren't teaching children what the children need, but what industrialists of the past (and present, to a certain extent) needed.

We don't cater to the social or emotional developmental needs of children because very few people have any idea what they are. Other than what they learned from their own parents. Which, it seems, was very little.

I want you to know. I wrote a book to explain it to you. I have a web site I want you to read. I have a worldwide support group (encompassing people from six continents) that I would like you to join--no cost, and you get stuff free just for joining. I want you to be ready when there are enough of us that we can together form a voice that can be heard around the world.

You know what you know. You may not be aware of how much you don't know. I want you to fill those gaps, starting today. I promise, you will never look at life the same way again.

There is reason for hope. Don't expect the bad guys to present it to you.

A few good people in many countries are working very hard to spread the word. It's not hard and it's not expensive. It requires some knowledge. And now that is available to you.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to shine the light of real hope in a darkening world.
Learn more at

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Can you lie your way to happiness?

"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place."
- H. L. Mencken, American observer and critic of human behaviour (1880–1956)

Pretty neat observation, right? But there's a problem.

What did Mencken (through me) just tell you? Did he make an observation about human nature that may be a bit different than what you had thought before?

Did he provide you with a tool by which you can assess the truth of what others say in dicey situations?

Not to me. Mencken told me that he is a liar and that he has been known to lie on many occasions when the situation warranted it in his judgement.

Mencken was a keen observer of the human condition and, like Mark Twain before him, threw in wit to make the negative seem more palatable.

Enjoy the wit, but understand that neither Twain nor Mencken did a single thing to improve the somewhat twisted conditions about which they commented. That's a bit like conquering your enemy, then eating him, leaving the bones for other "lesser" animals.

I enjoy the wit of Twain and Mencken. But I wouldn't nominate either for a Nobel or a Pulitzer.

Laughing at the misfortunes or inappropriate behaviours of others may have its place. But its place is not among those who want to do things to improve those conditions.

Mencken all but endorsed lying as an acceptable behaviour. In your own experience, do you know even one situation where someone lied to another in which the person who was lied to did not feel worse once he or she found out about the lie?

We can avoid that unnecessary hurt by teaching children how to word the truth in ways that will not hurt so much as the awkward ways do. Lies hurt, eventually if not immediately.

Or we can applaud those who make fun of people and their behaviours and just let the "lying is natural" attitude continue.

No one completely trusts a person who lies, even if they tell the "harmless little white lie" type. No lie is harmless. It's deception. No one should trust anyone who deceives them.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make truth the standard for all human relationships.
Learn more at

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Protective parents destroy society from within

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.
- Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor and political activist (1928- )

That's a tough one to swallow, isn't it? If we truly believe in freedom of expression, then we must allow, unimpeded, expression of ideas that are revolutionary, anti-social, potentially treasonous, prejudiced or obscene.

Isn't that like inviting your own society to be destroyed by itself, like cannibalism? Bear with me to see how this would not be the case.

There has been a movement in western countries for many decades that says, essentially, keep the children innocent for as long as possible. Aren't they cute at two years? Why can't they just stay that way?

Look around you. Has this deep-seeded practice worked?

We have pets for people who want what they own to remain the same. Children are for growing. They are not pets and they must not be kept in the dark.

The job of parents is to grow their children into confident and competent adults. That can't be done by keeping them ignorant. Nothing gets better with ignorance or denial.

Parents desperately need teaching moments in the white bread world that most families live in today. Actions and ideas that clearly violate what most of us believe in provide just those moments.

Those who want to keep their children innocent for as long as possible invariably wait too long. The negative influences are out there persuading the kids to go their way, to do their own thing, stuff their parents wouldn't want them to do. It's exciting for them to taste bread that's not white.

Keeping kids on a leash, whether the leash be real or emotional, is wrong when it means that the parents don't fulfill their essential responsibilities to teach their children when they are young.

Every parent must be a teacher. Every teacher must be a substitute parent. The evidence to support this abounds in sociological literature.

When parents refuse to be teachers and parents do not allow teachers to fulfill the role of parent when their children are in their charge, there will be trouble.

Look around you. The trouble is everywhere.

And so easily solved if we would only let go of this stupid notion of treating children like pets.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach parents how to be teachers and teachers how to be in loco parentae. The book contains manuals for parents and teachers, something not available anywhere else (in this form).
Learn more at

Friday, June 23, 2006

Who should you trust?

"When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends."
- Japanese Proverb

Why should we care about the character of a man or woman? Isn't that their own business?

The character of a person is what tells you whether or not you can trust them. It tells you whether they have integrity--whether they will still do right even if they are not being watched.

Of course everyone has a right to be untrustworthy and dishonest. We have the right to distrust them and put them in prison for their antisocial ways. But you won't want one of these people as a friend.

How can we know whether or not we can trust a person? The proverb quoted says that we should look at his friends. That's all very well provided that the person has friends.

Some people don't have any friends you could look at. They may even be good people. They have simply run into so many untrustworthy people in the past that they don't trust anyone any more.

You have to trust a friend, if that person is a real friend.

Some of the most trustworthy people you could ever befriend have no friends. They may need you to break that trust-no-one attitude for them.

Life is pretty shallow if you don't trust anyone. True, you will get hurt if you trust people. But at least you will know the depth of hurt as well as the height of happiness if you do trust people.

You can't appreciate happiness unless you have already experienced the depth of hurt. Emotion is like a pendulum, it swings as far one way as the other. And no farther.

People who have experienced great hurt have the capacity to also experience great happiness. People to whom you show trust will respond accordingly, if they are worthy of your friendship.

You don't have to have a lot of friends in your life. You only need enough.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to take the cloud of distrust away from honest and trustworthy people.
Learn more at

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Your language bias may be plain prejudice

I have studied it often, but I never could discover the plot.
- Mark Twain, author and humorist, on the dictionary (1835-1910)

A dictionary can tell a lot about a people, its culture and especially its history.

For example, an English dictionary shows how the language is really a compendium of many other languages, with words from almost every other language known to the English of recent centuries.

English, thanks to the many new words of science that are added every single day, now owes more to Latin than to Anglo-Saxon if you go by languages of word origins.

Some of our odd grammar rules derive from the days that Norman French held the English monarchy and the "English" nobility all spoke French. Putting "an" instead of "a" before a word beginning with an "h" (example: an historic occasion) follows the rule of using "an" before a word that begins with a vowel.

But "historic" begins with a consonant! Ah, but the French do not pronounce h's, so to a French speaker the word would be pronounced "istoric." So the grammar rule about using "an" became the convention even though "historic" is always pronounced with the "h" sounding.

By the way, that rule is now obsolete, so you may write and say "a historic occasion." And it's perfectly acceptable to pronounce the "h" in "herb" for the same reason. About half of all English speakers say "herb" each way, with and without the "h" sounded. French is no longer the language of the English court (though it was until a century ago).

Anglo-Saxon was the language of the common people in the Renaissance period. Since the aristocracy spoke French, they viewed Anglo-Saxon words as coarse and vulgar. Almost every profane word in English derives from Anglo-Saxon. The French or Latin words for exactly the same body parts or activities are deemed to be perfectly acceptable.

It's language prejudice, much the way political correctness is today.

Though Mark Twain could not find a plot in the dictionary, it was there at one time. Only words that were acceptable to the English nobility and the English church were included in English dictionaries. That has changed and today dictionaries reflect words that are in use by people, not just words that meet some artificially created criteria. No matter what the word or its origin, if enough people use the word or expression, it will be in the Oxford English Dictionary.

What are correct and which are improper English words today? It depends largely on who you ask. Or on whom you ask. (See?) Language is a tool of communication. Just as there are many kinds of hammers and no building contractor insists that a carpenter must use a particular kind of hammer, there is no valid reason why some words and grammar structure should be used while others should not. (Forget nail guns, don't mess up my example.)

Unless you support language bigotry.

Bill Allin
'Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to take the prejudice out of communication.
Learn more at

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Can you make yourself understood?

A language is never in a state of fixation, but is always changing; we are
not looking at a lantern-slide but at a moving picture.
- Andrew Lloyd James, linguist

Most of us think of language, at least our mother language, as something as easy as eating a favourite dessert. It's actually more like trying to wrestle a giant amorphous blob into a teacup.

The reason? A language is so huge and changes so much that each person has only one view of it. And that view differs from the view that many others have of the same language.

Language changes so fast (and English is expanding so rapidly) that anyone who believes he or she has mastered the language is a fool because they have only mastered what the language was like in the past.

The French tried to coral their language into a set of rules with the Academie Francaise. They failed, even in France. Citizens of France speak with several different dialects (each with its own vernacular), and none of them is like that of the Parisians.

The reason we have so many problems with language is that too many of us think of language in terms of rules, notably rules of grammar and spelling. The first English, known as Old English or Anglo-Saxon, appeared a millennium ago, with Middle English arriving during the Renaissance. Yet English had no codified rules for grammar or spelling until the middle of the 19th century, when all children were made to attend school. Lacking teaching resources, some authoritarian education leaders decided to formulate rules that gave teachers something to teach.

It's hard to find a rule of grammar that hasn't been broken liberally in modern English by the greatest writers. Or a rule of spelling that has not been broken by US retailers.

Focussing on rules of language misses the whole point of language, which is communication. Those with the best command of grammar rules and spelling tend to be so boring as writers that few want to enjoy what they have written.

We have some style guides, such as the Chicago Style Manual or the AP Manual, but they change yearly with how readers speak and write. Style guides serve publishers better than anyone else because they allow one style to be used for a newspaper or book published by one publisher for a particular period of time.

I would not like to make the point that following style guides is wrong. Rather I would stress that the message you want to communicate may be lost if you can't convey it in the language that readers want to read. Readers don't care much about rules. They care about the message.

Have style guides, with their restrictions and conventions, caused readership of books to have dropped drastically over the past two decades? I doubt it. People read what they want to read. If what they want to read is not in books, then they read something else.

The "secret" of writing is for the writer to speak to the mind of his or her intended reader. The writer should have one intended reader in mind and write for that person.

The reader must have the impression that the writer wrote especially for her or him. It's a one-to-one, mind-to-mind form of communication.

The greatest writers of English broke many rules. They got away with it because they had their reputations to fall back on. Or did they build their reputations on the quality of their work?

The first rule of writing is to speak directly to the mind of the intended reader. Once that has been achieved, it's up to the editors to decide how much violation of the rules to allow.

The message must always come first. Only editors and poor writers care about rules.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put the message before the rules.
Learn more at

Friday, June 16, 2006

Let's bring the world together

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a
green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and
deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man
of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
- William Blake, poet, engraver, and painter (1757-1827)

Despite the fact that Blake strutted his stuff two centuries ago, he could have been speaking of today. Around the world, we are not just abusing nature, but using up the non-renewable portions of it and tearing apart the renewable components.

In North America, about 85 percent of the population lives in urban areas, primarily cities. City people, not having any regular association with activities and life that is found in the countryside and in the wilderness, have little or no connection with nature. To them, it is "all ridicule and deformity."

In practice, it is more likely that most city dwellers don't give a thought to any life that attempts to survive in the countryside or the wilderness.

Ironically, humans are the most successful species at spreading itself around every part of the planet that is above water. This speaks to how unsuccessful people who do not live in cities have been at making a case for their own welfare and survival, let alone that of animal and plant life.

Unlike many areas of study that are expected to be taught in schools, nature and farm/ranch life have an abundance of teaching materials available, notably through television programs but also many other forms of media. But, for the most part, nature, country life and wilderness are not on school curriculums as whole concepts. Rather, they may be found in dissociated parts in biology, history or other classes.

This most severe problem is easy to fix. It needs to be put on the curriculums of several school grades and the available material aids need to be put int0 the hands of the teachers. This is our world, not a study of a foreign language or an arcane niche of science.

We want to put humans on Mars, find cures for diseases and find Osama bin Laden, but we don't put much emphasis on finding out about the parts of our planet outside of cities. These are the parts that provide the components that allow us to survive in cities.

Only when enough people care, and get together to express their concern publicly, will politicians prompt education leaders to change their curriculum. That's why the TIA (TurningItAround) group was formed, to give a forum for bringing people of like minds together so they can share their strategies and their plans.

If you care, why not join the group at
You can set your email preferences at Special Notices so that you will not receive messages other than those that pertain to a gathering of like minds.

Let's make a difference together.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help so many good people to find each other so they can act together.
Learn more at

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Take a few days to think about it

"My new philosophy is: 'the day after tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.' That way you always have a couple of days on hand."
- Bill Bailey, British actor

It's a joke, but.... Maybe not so much.

The "first day of the rest of your life" doesn't mean just turning over a new leaf, quitting a bad habit or beginning a new good one. It means a major change in lifestyle, in thinking, in doing, in how you inhale an environment you see entirely differently from the way you did previously.

Very few people want to make such a change. The ones who do tend to be those who are too frightened to make such a leap (of faith). They are afraid to leave the horror they are familiar with to find themselves in something they think may be worse.

Sometimes we must make those changes. A marriage breaks up. The kids move out of the house. You lose your job or the major source of income for the family. One of the kids moves back into the house, and brings their own kids. You retire. You get a severe illness or injury.

Or you realize that life is not really about what you have been living. Call it a midlife crisis, a life-altering paradigm shift or just throwing off the shackles you have lived with for years.

Almost everyone has a major life-altering experience like that at least once. It's not something that you do without giving it a great deal of thought. Or without planning carefully. At least you should plan carefully. Many people don't, which is why we have so many people living lonely and desperate lives.

When making a major life shift, the last thing you want to do is to run away from something. That often means that you don't plan enough to prepare for the consequences of a new life. And those consequences are often severe, such as having to make a whole new set of friends.

That takes some time to prepare. That's those "couple of days on hand." Though it's often more like months, sometimes even years.

If you are going to run, run toward something, not away from something. Run toward something positive rather than away from something negative.

Major life changes require starting over, often from scratch. It's tough, very tough. But a few years later it often seems to be the best thing that could ever have happened to you.

So, take a few days to think about it.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make major life changes less frightening.
Learn more at

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The successful people never rest

"Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment."
- H Ross Perot

We look in amazement at people whose names are in the news or on our lips for decades at a time. How do they do it when so many others hit big and disappear so quickly?

They "reinvent" themselves, as the term for musicians and actors is used in the popular media. Some follow trends. The ones with real staying power set trends, or at least foresee what is coming and get involved with it before the big rush from the masses.

The ones who last never reach their "moment of greatest accomplishment" because they move from one success to forge the next. Moments of accomplishment are stepping stones to something more, something better, something newer.

Evenf ailure they treat as learning experiences to prepare them for their next objective.

Some people don't want the kind of life that constant success requires. They choose something less physically and mentally demanding.

Some decide to enjoy the fruits of their success. For a short while.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show you the next level of accomplishment.
Learn more at

Monday, June 12, 2006

You may be losing your hearing and don't know it

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.
- Jean Arp, artist and poet (1887-1948)

Leave aside the "bolster his ego" part because I believe there is no support for this arbitrarily reached opinion.

However, the rest of the quotation has merit, even in countries less developed than most in the western world. It has to do with the overlapping of the personal space of so many people. Any time one person is doing something active in his or her personal space and this overlaps with the personal space of one or more other people, the others will consider the sounds produced by the first to be noise--acceptable or not.

In a sense, it is noise. Cumulatively, the sounds produced by so many people in so limited a space as a big city create a constant din. The more people there are in a given area, the greater the din. It's so bad in the downtowns of cities such as New York, for example, that most of the people who work there have already had some hearing damage.

Has humankind "turned its back on silence?" Not quite. This implies a conscious choice of noise over silence. The choice that most people make, those who live in big cities, is to do the jobs that make them the most money. These tend to be jobs that cause sounds, and getting to and from them also require sounds to be produced.

It's not the sound that one person makes that matters, but the cumulative effect of so many people each making a limited amount of sound in a limited space.

The ethos of business in most parts of the world dictates that doing things that generate money is good and doing things that do not generate money is a waste of time (if not actually bad). That's not to say that most people believe this is true. It's to say that business and industry create working environments where so many people are so close together that a din of sound is inevitable.

We each have a choice. But some say "No, I have no choice. I must work for the man who will pay me money." The alternatives are to create work situations where constant unrelenting sound is not a factor.

That requires creativity and innovation, two natural characteristics of children that tend to be drilled out of most of them by the time they reach adolescence. As a former classroom teacher and sociologist, I can testify that the education system works this way. Business and industry traditionally have not wanted creative and innovative employees. They wanted followers.

Now they have followers, but few that are creative or innovative.

As the purpose of this is to present an argument, not to offer evidence in a dissertation, I will leave the argument at that.

There are ways to change the influence that business and industry--through schools--have on children. They require enough people to want something to change.

So far, a majority of people seem to have convinced themselves that the noise of the city is a necessary way to earn a living and to have a life. If you want evidence, compare the number of listings in your telephone book for businesses that sell hearing aids to the number even ten years ago.

Hearing damage seems to have become an accepted loss associated with age. It isn't either due to age (in most cases) or necessary. Lots of people just think it is.

And that's what matters until enough people want it to change.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help you hear as well as you can listen.
Learn more at

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Are principles or privileges more important?

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, (1890–1969) 34th President of the United States (1953–1961)

Eisenhower stands as a worthy authority on this subject as he was both the military leader of a major participant in the Second World War and head of state of his country in peacetime not many years after the war ended.

We must make the distinction between privileges and principles. Privileges benefit the individual, whereas principles benefit the whole society.

A nation that drives itself and prides itself based on the privileges it enjoys may tend to place progressively less emphasis on the principles on which it was founded.

This applies to any country, any time.

It pays the people of any country to tether itself to its founding principles and check them on a regular basis to ensure that their emphasis is not drifting from principles to privileges.

Growing and developing nations use their principles as their primary guides. Declining nations use their privileges as their markers. Nations in chaos have no concept of what founding pinciples are as they have no cohesion.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show the difference and their consequences.
Learn more at

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Take that monkey off your back!

"I've had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge.
You know why? While you're carrying a grudge, they're out dancing."
- Buddy Hackett

The message to avoid carrying around guilt or grudges can't be repeated too often. People in western societies hold onto grudges and guilt so tightly that you would think they hold these as dearly beloved values. But why?

Western societies, at their core, were founded on Christian values. One of the basic tenets of Christianity is original sin. Since Eve tempted Adam with her comely wiles, and the easily duped Adam succumbed to the lady's wish to munch on that apple, Christian leaders have held to the belief that everyone who followed bears the guilt of that sin. And a few others our forebears have committed along the way.

Almost no one except fundamentalist Christians believes in the Adam and Eve tale. It was intended as a myth, which is a fictional story that could easily be remembered and repeated orally, intended to convey a truth about life. (If you think a myth is anything different, I invite you to read Current Commentary on my web site at But do it soon as I plan to change the page tomorrow.)

The life lesson of Adam and Eve was that stealing (with the corollary of covetting) is wrong, against the fundamental rules of God. It's so important that one philosophy claims that all crimes, misdemeanors and immoral acts may be interpreted as forms of stealing. Murder, for example, steals the benefit of a family member away from others in the family. Speeding in a car steals the right of others to safe roads.

While Jewish law (Christianity and Islam claim Jewish history as their own prior to the teaching days of their respective founders) makes theft important, it makes the guilt associated with the breaking of any law even more important in a moral sense. That is, guilt for your sins will follow you for the rest of your life. You can be forgiven for other sins, but you will not forgive your own guilt.

We in western countries were taught, as very young children, to feel guilt for doing wrong. In turn, we believe that others who do wrong should also feel guilty. When they apparently do not suffer overtly with their guilt, we harbour grudges because they are not suffering. They're guilty, they should suffer! Preferably in the fires of hell.

Each time I write about this topic, I receive replies saying that it would be best to drop our grudges and guilt, but it's not that easy. And I prove my point.

By the age of five years, we have absorbed the basic pinciples that will guide us for the rest of our lives. That is, they will unless we take measures to change them because it becomes important to us to change them.

Grudges and guilt are self imposed burdens that may be abandoned as quickly as you can make a decision. The others who are objects of our obsessions rarely feel any guilt. We do it to ourselves.

Is this not masochism of a sort, taking pleasure from our own self-harm? I don't think so. People who feel guilt or grudges don't really want to suffer. They just do because that is how they were taught. If they take pleasure in it, it's be cause it has become comfortable to them.

In turn, they teach the same lessons to their children. It's nurturing, but it's as effective as genetic wiring.

How do you want this article to end? Do you feel that you would like to change this situation? If so, then take yourself to my web site and see how to do it.

Are you helpless, only one individual against the whole world, so you might as well give up and accept the way things are? If you say so. I disagree. I know there are a huge number of people who want lots of things to change, but don't know how to do it.

So I wrote a book about it. You don't have to read the book if you like things the way they are. The book is for people who want to make major changes, easily and cheaply, without a revolution. Think it can't be done? Then don't check my web site and by all means don't read the book. If you read the book, you will know that you are not helpless. You won't have that as an excuse any more.

Some people want better lives for themselves, for their children and grandchildren, for their neighbours, for their countrymen and for the whole world. Only those people shold take the trouble to read further.

For the rest of you, you're excused now.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put solutions before you in easy to implement and cheap plans. Easy to read too.
Learn more at

Friday, June 09, 2006

Longest word and worst ongoing tragedy

Not a quotation today, but a word. In this case, the longest word in
the English language. And some shocking information to boot.

pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, noun
sis, nyoo-)
A lung disease caused by inhaling fine particles of silica.

The disease is also known as silicosis or black lung disease.
This entry comes from Anu Garg's "A Word A Day" which is available
daily (the word changes each day) on the Links page of my web site at

This message was not to impress you with the English language's
longest word, but to make a note about a problem associated with this
Any dust or powder finer than half the diameter of a human hair
(there is enough of it around most homes, such as baby powder) enters
the lungs when we inhale, then remains there.
That's it! It can't come out. You can't sneeze or cough it out. It
remains lodged in your lungs until they decay after you die.
People who work in dusty environments such as auto body repair shops
continually inhale dust and often must stop working for the rest of
their lives by the age of 40. They avoid wearing masks because they
are hot and uncomfortable.
What about particles from smoking cigarettes, the ones that form the
smoke? When a smoker inhales, then exhales, smoke comes out. But not
all of it comes out. Some gets stuck in there, grabbed by the
moisture in the airway or the lungs. The part in the lungs stays
there forever.
When my father died of lung cancer, after smoking for 60 years or so,
one of his lungs was approximately one-quarter filled with dust
litter, mostly the particles of cigarette smoke. The other lung had
slightly less.
My mother died--before my father, by six years--of cancer (including
lung cancer) brought on by inhaling second hand smoke.
My sister, following the role model of our father, died of lung
cancer last year.
These deaths were not caused by smoke particles, of course, but by
other chemicals in smoke. These chemicals include toluene (an
industrial solvent), hydrogen cyanide (poison used in gas chanbers),
formaldehyde (used as a preservative for dead tissue), DDT (a
pesticide banned because it caused cancer), cadmium (used in car
batteries), acetone (paint stripper), mercury, lead, benzene, vinyl
chorlide (used for making plastic PVC pipe), and more. Heck, I didn't
even mention nicotine or tar in that list. Tar, you know, like they
pave roads with.
I may have missed arsenic too (used as a poison for ants, and at one
time for killing people). There are others, but the names are
chemical names you would not likely have heard of.
Those chemicals are aside from the fact that with every breath, a
smoker accumulates solid particles in their lungs, particles which
make their lung capacity less with each breath. And the fact that
tobacco has been directly linked to literally dozens of diseases.
Maybe I should tell you this too. This stuff doesn't grow in the
tobacco. Almost all of it is added by the cigarette manufacturers.
That's right, cigarette manufacturers add poison to products that may
be legally sold to innocent smokers.
The fastest growing market for cigarettes in the world is children.
In many countries, men give cigarettes to children outside of
schools. No charge. After a month of giving away free cigarettes, the
kids are hooked. Hooked? Oh, yes, the manufacturers add a known
addictive agent to get the kids hooked.
The tobacco industry is so profitable that the pension fund which
will supply my pension from my years as a teacher, the Ontario
Teachers' Pension Fund, has about 25 percent of its huge portfolio
invested in tobacco companies.
And I can't do anything about it.
But maybe you can share some of this information with people you know
who are smokers. Or with parents with children who may soon be
introduced to cigarettes. They naively believe that no one will try
to harm their kids.
Teach the children.

(Source of contents of cigarette smoke: Canadian Cancer Society)

Bill Allin
To help me change this tragedy, please pass along this message to
others and encourage them to join the TIA (TurningItAround) group at
Eventually we will get enough people behind us that we can influence
governments to legislate changes.
It's a peaceful revolution. Are you up to it? Or are your lungs too
Learn more about this process of change at

Thursday, June 08, 2006

When is your own writing good?

Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease.
- Charles Caleb Colton, author and clergyman (1780-1832)

They make it look so easy, don't they? Whether the experts be craftsmen, athletes or writers, the best make it look easy.

However, unlike the other endeavours, writing seems relatively easy to those who try it out for the first time. People who have something to say are often able to string out their sentences and commit it to a file in short order.

Some, especially those with limited writing experience, think of what they have written as their babies. They don't want to change anything. "It's perfect! My little darling is perfect!"

Then they submit to editors, only to learn that they are lucky if they get refusals in reply, instead of nothing.

Writing, like any other area of work where expertise is attainable, requires a minimum of ten years of hard work before a few become overnight successes.

Can't a first time novel sell a million copies? Sure, but 200,000 new books are launched in the US (alone) each year and how many sell more than a few dozen copies? A pitiful few of the works of new writers.

The more experienced a writer becomes, the more he or she writes for a particular audience, rather than for themselves. Writing for yourself is salve for the soul, but it doesn't work for the souls of anyone else. Writing for someone other than yourself is the first lesson to learn, even though you must write on a subject you know well.

You know your writing is improving when you write something, read it over, and decide that it's crap and delete it. Only the writer who has been to the destination will return to fill up the potholes in the road for others.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems.' I have absolutely no reason why this article relates to the book. But check out the web site anyway.
Especially look at the Current Commentary section, which discusses how we may have been defrauded when we studies Greek Mythology in school.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Prizefighters do our fighting for us

"There is so much hate among people, so much contempt inside people who'd like you to think they're moral, that they have to hire prizefighters to do their hating for them. And we do. We get into a ring and act out other people's hates."
- Floyd Patterson, former world heavyweight boxing champion (1935-2006)

Such wisdom from someone whose job was to accept the beating of others while trying to beat them into unconsciousness.

I can only add that we are fortunate to have sports through which some of the hateful people of our countries can work off their malice. Floyd died last month.

If you look around the world at the number of sports and level of participation in sports in all countries, generally speaking those with the least participation in sports have the greatest problems with unchecked violence.

While it's true that the US has a high level of violence within the country, it is also true that the US has a greater percentage of its citizens in prison than any other country. There is violence, but it's not unchecked.

We could wish that much for the countries in which suicide bombing has become so popular.

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

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Do you have a right to an opinion?

"I love mankind. It's the people I can't stand."
- Charles Schulz

It sounds like a joke. But it's not.

To love mankind means to have respect for our species as a whole and to hold concern for its weaknesses and failures as well as for its successes.

Everyone knows people they can't stand or at least can't respect. Anyone who doesn't is not in touch with a broad spectrum of people, no matter where they live.

The difference is in the object about which one is making comment. One is the whole, of which we are each a part, whereas the other refers to individuals.

The trouble that each of us has at some time or other is that the number of people who have characteristics we disapprove of may seem to outweigh our feelings for the whole of our species. In those instances, numbers count. That focus changes with time.

What matters more is not our individual opinions about people or humankind as a whole, but what we are prepared to do about it, or to avoid doing. Anyone who is not prepared to do anything to help humankind should not have any right to express opinions about it.

We don't need destructive criticism that does nothing but make life worse.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put other people into focus so that we don't see too much of what we don't like.
Learn more at

Monday, June 05, 2006

All the lonely people

And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
- W.H. Auden, poet (1907-1973)

Never mind forgotten, few can bear to think themselves alone.

We are social beings, cleft to each other by nature. Unlike some mammals that can live alone comfortably until mating time, we humans need the company of each other. We need to hear the voices of each other.

We need the touch of each other. Touch is our most unrecognized basic need. We need to feel the touch of someone else against our bodies.

Without these symbols and signs of closeness, we do not function well. Our immune systems suffer depression (clinically called compromise). Our minds tend to depreciate toward senility remarkably quickly. We eat in ways suggesting that we want to punish our bodies.

Being alone, for most people, means that the rest of "our people" have rejected them. That fact that the lonely ones among us may not have the social skills to make friends and build relationships occurs to almost no one. Loners, we think, choose to be alone.

We call some eccentric. Some weird. Some witches or hermits.

Some withdraw to practise their art, their craft or their music. Some find safety in overuse of drugs to keep them perpetually stunned, unaware of their failure.

Some commit crimes, for profit or excitement. In prison, they find the social milieu they fit best, one comprised almost entirely of socially inept loners.

Some commit suicide. A few of those try to show others how desperate they were in life by taking others down with them.

Some join religious cults, especially of the extreme or fundamentalist variety. They may become suicide bombers. For those, recognition among their people for their act of martyrdom may be the most significant thing they do in their lives.

The rest of us who are comfortable and safe just Tsk! And Tsk!

They were, after all, loners and strange people by choice, weren't they?

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show the loners for the desperately helpless and needy people they are.
Learn more at

Sunday, June 04, 2006

You should find out too

"The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race."
- Don Marquis, American humorist best known for his stories about Archy (a cockroach who left him poems on his typewriter) and Mehitabel (a cat) (1878-1937)

The pivotal word of this quotation is "progress."

First of all, the primary objective of all known life forms is reproduction, to pass on their genetic code in as many ways as possible, as often as possible. Humans have done that well, especially over the past two centuries.

A successful species is one that can adapt to as many changes as present themselves through nature. Humans live in all parts of the world. Only bacteria are known to have a wider diaspora.

Judging by the primary objective of life, increasing numbers, and our adaptability, humans have made enormous progress as members of the animal kingdom.

Although we have distinct characteristics that make us different from other life forms on the planet, we have yet to prove that we can surpass the greatest barrier of all to our success as a species: overcoming our natural tendency to be brutal with each other. That involves setting aside our drives for personal gain and satisfaction in favour of the progress and health of our species as a social group.

Like other vertebrate social animals, we work and play together in groups when it suits our purposes, but we become extremely selfish when the opportunity or the need presents itself. Unlike the fictional Vulcans of Star Trek fame, the good of the many does not yet supercede the good of the few (or the one) for us.

Yet now it must. Global business interests force us to take responsibility for the social and psychological welfare of people around the globe. Not likely? In fact, it will happen.

Not long ago it was inconceivable that we could use a device to speak with a person or exchange written messages with a person internationally in real time. Most of us had no need to do so. Now we buy products and use services provided by people from anywhere, and we can order these or provide our own order services to others almost instantaneously.

Our business leaders know what they must to expand their business globally. What they don't know and our political leaders don't know is how to manage the social implications of these invasions. We see China expanding its industry at an unsustainable rate to make products to sell to the world, but we don't see what will happen when the Chinese who make these products insist on the same standard of living as the people who buy the products they make, for example.

The world has existed in relative ignorance of those in other parts of the planet since before history was recorded. It cannot happen any longer. Ignorance won't work. It has never worked successfully over long periods of time in any society in history. Now that we are in the process of becoming one global society, albeit while embracing many different cultures, we must begin the social process of educating ourselves about something more than work.

Can that happen before we kill each other off? Very likely. We already have global interests of a social nature due to diseases such as AIDS and bird flu. And members of the United Nations send peacekeepers, agricultural experts, health experts and community building experts to war torn, nature-ravaged and socially wrecked parts of the globe.

Social development begins with caring for others. A large majority of people do care for others, both in their own and in less fortunate parts of the world. However, generally speaking, we don't know what to do, how to help ourselves develop socially in the directions we want to go.

That's where Turning It Around comes in. The book has a plan to find out what people want to happen, then to implement these in the form of laws and teaching curriculum so that the objectives that everyone wants can be reached within the shortest possible time.

We can make it happen. Now we know how. You should find out too.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to push us toward positive progress on a global scale.
Learn more at

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Help ignorant politicians help you

Freedom does not consist of granting the government more control, but
in educating citizens how to control themselves. An ignorant public
is ripe for government manipulation and control. Ignorant government representatives are ripe to be controlled by a dominant self-interested leader.
- Bill Allin, author of 'Turning It Around,'

Oh, that's cool! I quoted myself.

Continuing the theme of ignorance being the cancer of any society, we see today that ignorance exists in plentiful quantity within our elected representatives as well.

The key to power in government is not to pass popular legislation, but to control the reins of those who have been elected to represent thousands of voters.

Those who manage to get themselves elected excel at the skills of getting elected. They often have little or no expertise beyond that, which is why they don't find themselves in senior cabinet positions. They know little about the background of issues involved with legislation they are asked to vote on. They know little about the operation of the machinery of politics.

Thus most elected representatives find themselves in need of leadership. Party leaders and whips provide that. They provide that service not in the sense of wise counselors, but more like police after hours in a curfew zone.

Lacking the knowledge, the skill and the power to stand alone on a given issue, elected representatives almost always follow the party line, which is what they are told and how they should vote. They are, in many cases, like children in the early months of kindergarten.

From this you should conclude that your elected representatives know very little more about the various sides of issues on which they make decisions (vote) than you do.

When these elected represenatives go home to their constituencies, they move into their own power bases. They still don't know much about major issues, despite the fact that they speak confidently as if they do. Then they depend on input from the loudest and most persistent of their constituents, as well as from local party organisers. Not necessarily from you, unless you are loud and persistent.

Meanwhile, most of the voters carry on with their lives as if everything is in order and their best interests are being looked after. But they aren't.

Only by educating the public about matters that should interest them can informed opinions be offered to elected representatives in such a way that they would be able to confidently vote in the way the majority of their constitutents would have them vote.

Most voters have little interest in issues of government. That's not because they aren't interesting (as many would have you believe ) but because they don't know anything about these issues. Only exceedingly arrogant people have the hubris to express strong feelings about matters about which they know very little. Most people just shut up.

'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' has a plan that would cost nothing to implement and would educate voters and others in every community about matters under consideration by their governments.

Please understand that: it would cost nothing. All personnel and information are freely available now, though they are not in positions that could benefit voters. The infrastructure of the plan has not been voted on.

Changes recommended in "TIA" are not revolutionary. In fact, they would be embraced by a huge majority of people, including those who hold political power. There is almost nothing about which anyone could take offence.

The problem is that very few people (in relative terms) know about the book and the proposals it offers. That's where you come in. Once you have read about this plan, you will want to tell others. There is nothing more needed than that.

Here's something to tempt you. The plans (including those for implementation) offered in this book are the only way to global peace. And they are the only way to bring peace and good health to every individual. There's much more, but that's a start.

Sound impossible? You've heard all kinds of crap and promises before, haven't you? I can only recommend that you read the book and judge for yourself. Find out why people on six continents are already behind this project and are offering to translate the book into their respective mother languages so that their people can learn about TIA.

You can read some of the book on my web site to get you started.

It's only a book. You will find out about it sooner or later. I'm simply urging you to learn about it before everyone on your block is talking about it and you are the last to know.

It's too important for you to dismiss because you are too busy. Especially since the book will be a great help to you in your personal life.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help you be the first in your community to know about this real plan for personal and global peace.
Learn more at

Friday, June 02, 2006

Who wakes the sleeping giant?

We now have a whole culture based on the assumption that people know nothing and so anything can be said to them.
- Stephen Vizinczey

While the truth of this quotation is unimpeachable, this has always been true of humans. It's not just a characteristic of today. History is replete with examples of people who did things they didn't want to do because their leaders told them to do it.

When a factory closes in a town that had only one primary employer, its leaders warn that the town will never recover and its people will be poor. Sure enough, the town never recovers because no one can figure out anything for the people to do to earn a living. Somehow they believe that jobs will materialize elsewhere, but never in their own town.

When people are told that some foreign country is their enemy, they eagerly support their leader who pushes them into one war after another, with "enemies" that seem to pop up on demand.

When people see their marriage falling apart, rather than trying to fix it they complain to others about how impossible their mate is to live with. They don't know how to repair what they had no knowledge of how to build in the first place. "Love is all we need" didn't work.

When people lose their jobs, most have no idea how to begin the search for another, or how to present themselves, their skills and experience to prospective employers to make themselves attractive prospects. Even when they know ahead of time that their job will end, few make preparations, other than to worry, to blame others and to complain bitterly that someone screwed them over.

When farmers experience a glut in the market for the primary crop(s) or animals they have been growing, they seem unable to switch to some more lucrative use for their land. Blaming their government is easier than changing the strategy of their agricultural business.

People who are genuinely creative, innovative or inventive are treated as oddities by most in their communities. Yet these are the very people who could drag the rest (albeit kicking and screaming) out of their problems and into new and productive lives.

Each community should hire one or more full time staff members who sole job it is to figure out new kinds of work that need to be done in their community, then advise employment services and educational institutions who could adapt to the needs. In every community there are many jobs that need to be filled, many needs unfulfilled, many people who need to hire someone to do a job, while people who are unemployed or underemployed never hear about them. There is no connection.

Each community should hire or or more people whose job it is to direct people with problems to others who could likely provide answers. Every community has an abundance of people with problems they have no idea what to do about. They have no idea who to turn to. They have no idea what resources are available.

These people were not taught to be resourceful. They were taught to be dependent on others to provide opportunites to find mates, jobs, hobbies, work to be done, industrial leaders who would tell them everything they need to know.

If we have communities filled with people who don't know enough to get by, we need to preempt the possibility that they will be led astray by those with unsavoury personal interests by providing resourceful people who will give them guidance, who will give them answers, who will give them direction when they need it.

No culture survives for long in a healthy state when its people remain stuck in ignorance, with no way and no hope of a way out.

Ignorant people are a sleeping giant. What matters is who wakes the giant.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make you aware of the possibilities in the world around you.
Learn more at

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's never too late

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
- George Eliot, the masculine pen name of the writer Mary Ann Evans, one of Victorian England's leading novelists (1819-1880)

The irony of this statement coming from a woman who wrote under a man's penname because she knew she would never be published as a woman writer is enormous.

Nonetheless, the statement deserves great respect.

No one should ever say "I wish I had done such-and-such" or "I wish I had done something else with my life" and believe that the possibility could not be considered even for their own future.

Major changes in our lives can be very difficult. The biggest obstacle is making up our minds to change. The greatest impediment to making up our minds is the acceptance that what we want cannot happen quickly. It must and can only happen over a relatively long period of time.

To live our lives as if everything of importance must happen quickly is to toss away the potential that we were granted at birth.

A lifetime that is made up of moments of immediacy leaves little to remember it once it's gone.

If you want to really be the person you could have been, if you want to fulfill the potential you were born with, if you want to make your dream come true, make a long term plan for your life. Seek assistance from those who can help you. That includes those who might be able to express an opinion that might show you a way around the next detour on your road of life toward your destination. You never know who that might be.

Nothing truly worthwhile in life happens quickly. These things require a great investment of time and effort, a commitment that goes beyond what most people in the quick-fix pill-popper group would find acceptable.

But then, they will not be remembered after they are gone. They don't care, they had their day. Their day was short and not memorable to others except by what they missed.

Dare to dream. Then be prepared to commit yourself to a course of life that will take you to the destination of your dreams.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to shine a light on your future.
Learn more at