Friday, October 9, 2015

Betrayal and Refusal to Love

by M. J. Joachim

The act of betrayal almost always begins as a refusal to love, in the interest of self indulgence. Withholding one’s love from another is tantamount to telling them they aren’t worthy of you, and therefore need to improve themselves to deserve something you refuse to give. It is a judgment call that classifies others as less than ourselves.

Betrayal grows as it works its ill-fated magic. What begins as a withholding of love often turns into acts of self righteousness and arrogance, leading to gossip and other forms of betrayal. A spouse refuses to love his partner, ultimately leading to an affair. A mother refuses to love her child, causing the child to feel rejected and unworthy throughout his life. A father refuses to provide basic care for his child, causing his ex-wife and child to feel abandoned. A teacher breaks physical boundaries with his student, a priest ignores the need of a soul, a boss acts like a tyrant etc. All of these types of betrayal begin with a refusal to love, and end with an act much more than that initial refusal, an act that causes chaos in our society, because so many people need to be healed in its wake.

Societal betrayal begins with turning a blind eye to those in need. Its ultimate curse is bigotry, hatred, denial and refusal to treat others with compassion and respect. The mentally ill need assistance, not reprimand. Victims need understanding, assurance and justice. Sick people need patience, care and empathy.

Then there are those practicing reverse societal betrayal. These are the people on food stamps when they are perfectly capable of being employed. They are the people associated with supreme race groups, religious fanatics and prophets of doom. Tax evaders and anyone who is capable and refuses to participate in society, while reaping rewards for doing nothing is in fact practicing reverse betrayal on the rest of society, because he feels so entitled that he sponges of the rest of those working to meet his needs and wants.

Betrayal happens all the time. The government betrays citizens. Citizens break the rules. Employers cut corners. Employees play all sorts of games to get a few extra pennies for their hard work. Family members betray each other in numerous ways, though each is different according to individual family dynamics.

Yet it all starts with the same thing, a refusal to love from a hardening heart. Christ taught us differently. He taught us to have faith and trust God. He taught us to love no matter what, and pray without ceasing. It’s a tall order, but in a world filled with betrayal, it’s often the only thing capable of keeping us sane.

God bless you,

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: CC0 Public Domain

Man’s Rejection is God’s Protection

by M. J. Joachim

The quiz I took on Facebook last night couldn’t have been any clearer. My biggest fear based on image perception is being rejected. Here’s what it said:

Based on the images that scared and horrified you in this quiz, you're subconsciously terrified of rejection! You're a warm hearted, sensitive and loving person that can't imagine anything worse than being rejected! You have so much love to give and having someone just cruelly turn it down, is the scariest thing you can even imagine! Don't fret, being rejected once or twice doesn't mean a thing. You deserve nothing but the best, and only people who can see that are worth your time!

I thought about it all night long. It seemed reasonable enough, but something wasn’t quite right. I was up bright and early this morning, early enough to see the sunrise - one of my favorite things to do. As I looked at the sweeping clouds in the sky, my prayers went to the essence of every human being completely accepted by God. Rejection wasn’t the issue, betrayal was, and betrayal is a human trait, something God would never do to humanity.

There are so many biblical verses and poetic sayings warning of man’s ability to betray one another. Society provides many picturesque images of homeless and starving people, criminals and victims, abuse and broken promises. People in glass houses throwing stones at people they can barely see, or worse offering from their surplus to ease their own guilt.

Treating people with compassion and dignity should not be an afterthought. If it is, then it’s either lacking in compassion or completely devoid of dignifying their existence. Betrayal is an intentional act, where one person makes less of another, denying their right, deceiving their loyalty and selling out their good fortune. It is looking down on others, because of presumed status, pride and abundance. It is in fact stealing from them, taking what is theirs in the name of having more through self indulgence, based on nothing more than lies and duplicity.

It happens all the time, survival of the fittest, or meanest, as the case may be. Christ wasn’t weak, and by human standards, He didn’t survive. The measure of human success is not accumulation of wealth, status or health, but rather the dignity we willingly share with others, because we respect and love them as much as we love ourselves, thus defining the true character of each man.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Wishing you a very wonderful weekend,

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: CC0 Public Domain

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Children’s Program Review: Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse

by M. J. Joachim

Materialism and supreme self-indulgence were among the first words that came to mind when I watched Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse. I’ve never been a huge fan of Barbie anyway - negative self image messages aside, she never fit the bill for what I believe woman should aspire to be.

Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse is a major disappointment, and for many more reasons than one might think. Let me share the short list, which you can expand upon simply by adding anything and everything related to the same categories.

  • Male and female stereotypes (extremely dated, outdated and everything in between)
  • Dumb characters (literally acting beyond stupid in their roles)
  • Vanity (promoted, expected and influenced as a positive attribute for anyone watching)
  • Greed (strongly encouraged)
  • Immediate satisfaction (everything is easy, no one has to work, life is about getting what you want NOW)
  • Sexuality exploitation (girls getting way too girlie to please and keep the boys; boys being way too macho for their own good to get attention from the girls - Mattel makes money on this message)
  • Infighting (Who knew there were so many sides in the Barbie Wars?!)
  • False self image (girls don’t and never will really look like that; neither will boys)
I could go on…

Instead I’ll simply say that if there were a list of shows trying to dumb down our kids, this one would definitely be near or at the top of the list.

I know there are a lot of Barbie fans out there; I also know there’s a whole lot of money to be made on collectible Barbies and I’m pretty sure Barbie is one of Mattel’s most successful toy lines. Well, I guess we can surmise why this show made the airwaves. Follow the money trail. Such a sad state of affairs when money is so much more important than providing our kids with positive and meaningful messages in their program choices.

Here’s to raising healthy, happy and educated kids, regardless of any message the toy market sends their way.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Barbie Dreamhouse, Barry Haynes, CCA-Share Alike 3.0 License

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Children’s Program Review: Life (BBC TV Series)

by M. J. Joachim

Life is an amazing show featuring detailed documentaries about all types of animals and their behavior. Narrated by David Attenborough, this series provides intriguing videos that can easily capture the attention of kids of all ages, allowing everyone to get up close and personal with living animals in their native habitats, watch their mating traditions, see their survival skills at work and learn about them while enjoying their contribution to our world.

This series seemed to spare no expense in providing unique close-ups of the animals being discussed, which is undoubtedly why it became an international success story, after it was sold for world wide distribution. Episodes have been re-scripted, edited and tailored to their respective audiences around the globe. Oprah Winfrey narrates Discovery Channel’s American version of the series. Though I haven’t seen this one, I’m sure I will enjoy it, if given the chance. The original BBC version I watched was on Kids Netflix channel.

If you love animals or are just curious about their behavior when no one else is looking, you will most likely enjoy BBC’s Life series, or any of its series made available in your country.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this review today. Here’s to learning more about animals than we ever thought possible, and seeing them in their natural habitats too.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: US Fair Use Copyright

Children’s Program Review: Maya the Bee

Maya the Bee is loosely based on a German tale written in 1912. Maya is a free-spirit learning to work as a team member. Ultimately, she ends up being true to herself, leaving the hive and making many friends along the way. She’s one of those difficult little personalities who likes to think for herself. Yet she earns the respect of many in her former hive, and she proves herself to be a true friend.

The animation of this children’s program is vibrant and delightful. The stories are interesting and thoughtful. There are several science lessons taught, everything from how bees live in hives to different types of flowers and how they are pollinated. There are other characters that come into play teaching how grasshoppers make noise, worm dig underground and all critters depend on each other for various reasons.

I suppose the best endorsement I can give for Maya and the Bee is that it makes me happy. It’s a fun show that teaches teamwork, while praising individuals for their unique gifts and talents. It also teaches young children a lot about the great outdoors, which I believe is so important. If you have little ones, I'm sure you can rest easy when you let them watch Maya and the Bee.

You can find Maya the Bee on Youtube, Netflix, television and in several places on the web. 2014 even released a movie based on Maya the Bee, and you can also find traditional and ebooks through various free and paid sites on the web.

As a mother and grandma, this Children's Program Review series is very enlightening for me to work on. I hope it helps you in your quest to make positive viewing choices for your children too.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Pixabay, Nick Rivers, CC0-Public Domain License

Health & Wellness: Digestive Issues and Elimination

by M. J. Joachim

I was watching Shark Tank a few weeks ago when the owners of Squatty Potty made their pitch. Shark Tank is an American reality show where entrepreneurs can ask successful venture capitalists to help them financially jumpstart their businesses. Squatty Potty is a specially designed footstool with the goal of helping people feel better by eliminating waste from their bodies more efficiently and proficiently.

While I didn’t run out and purchase the product at record speed, the concept of it was not lost on me. If you’ve ever had chronic digestive issues, you know elimination is an element of them that could always use improvement. As someone with Celiac disease, this is something I state unequivocally. However, I’m also a bit of a sceptic, and decided to test the theory first.

Ever the one to think outside the box, but not one to take credit that isn’t mine, my daughter suggested propping our feet up on the bathroom trashcan to see if squatting is a viable option for eliminating waste more effectively. It is, and we didn’t need to purchase a squatty potty to prove it. That said, I’m planning to pick one up sometime in the not too distant future, as the rim of the trashcan is rather uncomfortable on the bottom of my feet.

Cavemen and all of our “uncivilized” ancestors squatted. From what I understand, so do a lot of avid campers and hikers, who spend days at a time in rugged nature settings where toilets are simply not available. Our spines, and therefore, our digestive tracks, line up in a straight line when we squat, making it easier to eliminate waste without kinking our intestines, thereby blocking the flow of elimination and possibly leaving unnecessary remnants in our bodies, which can and sometimes do make us feel a little (or a lot) under the weather.

It makes perfect sense to me, and having tested the theory, I’m convinced it’s a rather good idea. Obviously, we’re still required to eat right, exercise regularly, get quality sleep and avoid unnecessary anxiety in our lives, but as for the goal of improving digestive issues and eliminating waste more efficiently and effectively, the idea of squatting when you potty seems to be a very good idea.

Here’s to feeling good!

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Toilet with flush tank, GNU Free Documentation License

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Children’s Program Review: Uncle Grandpa

by M. J. Joachim

Uncle Grandpa is undoubtedly one of the strangest and most unacceptable programs I’ve watched so far! The subliminal sexual connotations are beyond disturbing, and it’s lack of respect for authority figures definitely gives children the wrong message!

Watching this show made my stomach turn. The illustrated phallic symbols and dialog are completely inappropriate, so much so that I’m not sure how it got disguised as a kids show meant to help children with their problems. And some of these problems - well, they are nothing more than an excuse to draw more phallic pictures, create more phallic dialog and animate some really gross scripting.

History revealed that Uncle Grandpa is a spin off of Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, which didn’t do well with its ratings and was put on hiatus. I guess this show won a few awards despite being rejected by the majority of viewers, so producers and the Cartoon Network gave Uncle Grandpa a try.

Regardless, this is not a good show, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for pre-pubescent teens or anything. In fact, I’d block it from youtube, netflix and anything else if I could, especially if I had teens in the house again. It’s weird, gross and not worthy of a viewership at all! Even the name is creepy!

How do you feel about sexual subliminal messages being in your face and too difficult to ignore? Do you think it’s appropriate for kids to be exposed to extremely sexual messages in a cartoon show? What do you think about the name of this show? And are you concerned that too much of the programming geared toward kids has a lack of respect for authority?

Thanks so much for visiting Effectively Human today. Please take a moment to comment and let me know you’ve stopped by. I really appreciate your visits and would love to visit your blog too.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Uncle Grandpa main characters, US Copyright Fair Use Law