23 November 2009

Learning to say I am sorry

As seen in the Battleford's Regional Optimist

In the wake of public affairs, such as John and Kate, USA Governors, and David Letterman it is vital to learn to say sorry.

Saying sorry is not just saying, “I’m sorry.” It is not the time to blame either. An apology is taking responsibility for any hurt that you may have caused. It also does not matter if the hurt caused was intentional or not.

For example, let’s compare intentionally pushing someone off of a cliff to accidently nudging him or her off. The outcome for the individual is the same in both situations; they have fallen off the cliff. Of course, when it is an accident, we like to make excuses that it wasn’t our intention, it was an accident, it wasn’t our fault.

However, this doesn’t make the person who fell off the cliff feel any better. You need to say sorry, and apologize for what you are sorry about. “I am sorry that I pushed off of the cliff.” That’s it. Even if it was an accident, you need to own your actions.

Many of us will say the simple apology, but add: “If you weren’t standing so close to the edge, it wouldn’t have happened.” Saying that transfers the responsibility to the person you are apologizing to. When really, it was your actions, or careless actions that caused harm to the individual, which you need to be responsible for.

Now, to the person who is accepting the apology. Does this mean that you can now trust the individual? No. No! You do not have to trust this person. They need to now, through their actions, earn your trust. Continuing with our example, this means you do not need to be around edges with this person, even if invited.

An apology does not reinstate things to how they were in the past. What it is, is an admittance to falling off of the path of trust, and an commitment to bushwhacking your way back onto the path.

As people see that you are owning your actions via apology, and by your efforts to earn back trust, people will begin to trust you again.

One other thing. Never ask why. That is, never ask why they did what they did. Such as, “Why did you have an affair?” There is no answer to it that will make you feel better. They were being stupid, silly, or arrogant. It was a lapse in judgment.

Of course, apologies could be avoided. The only way for that to happen is to be accountable for your choices. Think before acting. Know the consequences for your actions. It is better to prepare and prevent than it is to apologize and repair.

If you do need to apologize, remember to be accountable for your actions when you apologize.

Stress Inventory

An interesting test to take to check your stress levels.

13 November 2009

Meet the challenge to change for the better

As seen in the Battleford's Regional Optimist

Imagine a room full of screaming adults with 80’s and early 90’s music blasting, and even the occasional new hit. They are dancing and cheering.

Now imagine being a 14 year-old walking into that room. The words “crazy” and “silly” may cross your mind. You may even feel embarrassed because this is an awkward situation.

Welcome to Challenge Day at John Paul II High School. Three days full of chaotic adults acting as teenagers while teens are staring in amazement.

I was privileged to attend all three days. Let me tell you that I had no voice by the end of it.

What does all this singing and dancing do? Well, oddly, it creates a safe environment. Think about it. By my dancing as crazy as I want and can, it shows that I am comfortable, real, and not trying to play a stiff role. Also, by my encouraging other youths to do the same, it creates an environment where you can be yourself.

By creating such a safe environment, not only do youth act themselves, they also say things they’ve never said before.

Is your house a safe environment? Can your spouse talk to you about anything? I mean really talk to you about anything? Or do they have set roles that must be maintained.

How about your children? Can they talk to you about anything? Or are there certain topics that are taboo, and everyone has to wear a forced smile?

Well, is there room for improvement? Of course, there always is. In every family there is room for improvement.

First, you need to notice what needs to be changed in your family. Acknowledge it. Write it down, and let others in your family know what is going to change. This is so you can be held accountable.

Second is the choice. That is, you have identified what can be done better, so what are you going to make it better. Think of an action that you can do to substitute the current behaviour, routine, or function.

Lastly, after acknowledging what needs to be changed, choosing something to do about it, you must act! Again, tell your family. A goal is usually not met if it is just one made up in your head. The more you tell, and who are willing to hold you responsible, the more likely you will be to follow through with this act of change.

By doing this, noticing, choosing, and acting, you can be an advocate for change.

The City of North Battleford has such a group that creating change in the community. We meet at JPII. Come check it out and be part of the change in the Battlefords.

Article Recommendation: Couple married for 61 years dies 48 hours apart.

Thought this was cute, and reminded me of the movie Notebook.

YouTube: Father's Song

In response to the Mother's Song, she did a song for fathers.

YouTube: Mother's Song

Too cute.

Article Recommendation: Childhood Obesity

I think it is interesting that we have such an obesity/overweight problem. You would think that the population would be proportionately distributed throughout the weight categories. When really, what we are seeing is an over representation in the top 15%. Read the entire article here.
Weight Status Category
Percentile Range
Less than the 5th percentile
Healthy Weight
5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile
85th to less than the 95th percentile
Equal to or greater than the 95th percentile

Article Recommendation: Women and Autoimmune Diseases

An interesting article. I thought it was intriguing that women were getting diagnosed with depression, when really they had an autoimmune disease. How quick we are to jump to the conclusion of depression.