Merry Christmas… or Happy Holidays?

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Roy L. Smith 1887–1963 Last week, one of my neighbors put up a yard sign saying “Christmas is all about JESUS.” I couldn’t help but think that their message presented a very narrow interpretation of the Christmas season, and one that somewhat misses the point. I agree that Christmas shouldn’t be a consumer-driven, consumption-focused holiday. But if we go too far in the other direction — defining the holiday with a Christian perspective that excludes other beliefs — then we’re still forgetting the spirit of the season. Jesus …
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You win, I lose

But I like not these great success of yours; for I know how jealous are the gods. Herodotus 484 BC – 409 BC I’ve noticed a worrying trend lately among different people and groups: the habit of viewing another person’s victory as a personal defeat. Don’t get me wrong; it’s perfectly understandable to be disappointed if you and another person are directly competing for an award, promotion, or other accolade and you don’t win. In that case, the natural reaction when learning the news is to consider how the outcome affects you. The problem arises when someone’s victory has no direct bearing on you, …
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Keeping things in perspective

There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616 In his book, Influence: Science and Practice, Robert Cialdini tells a story about a young girl away at college. She writes a letter to her parents, first apologizing for not having written sooner. She then goes on to say that the skull fracture and concussion she got when she jumped from her dorm window to escape the fire is healing nicely. Fortunately, a service station attendant witnessed her jump, rescued her and took her to the hospital. Since she had no place to stay, …
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