How Showing Compassion For Animals Can Improve Your Health

COMP 2Original article published by: ONE GREEN PLANET

The effects of compassion are far reaching and have been shown to have benefits for physical as well as psychological health. A wealth of evidence demonstrates that social support, when humans connect in a meaningful way with other people or animals, helps in the recovery from illness as well as promoting increased levels of mental and physical well-being.

Evidence from studies mentioned in the previous blog suggests that interventions can lead to reduced depressive symptoms and feelings of isolation, improvements in positive emotions, psychological well-being, hopefulness, optimism, social connection, life satisfaction, and, of specific interest to this paper –  compassion.

Such interventions have been found to also impact upon how people behave – increasing pro-social acts and decreasing anti-social behavior.

The Far-Reaching Benefits of Compassion

Furthermore, research by Sara Konrath at the University of Michigan and Stephanie Brown at Stony Brook University shows that a compassionate lifestyle might even increase our lifespan. The reverse is also true, and motivation appears to pay an important part.

It is not sufficient to simply do good deeds; one must do them for the right reason. Sara Konrath’s research also revealed that whilst people who were active in volunteering did live longer than their non-volunteering peers, the impact only happened if their reasons for volunteering were altruistic rather than self-serving.

Barbara Frederickson, Steve Cole and fellow researchers have demonstrated this on a cellular level.  They found high cellular inflammation levels in subjects whose happiness stemmed from a hedonistic lifestyle. Conversely, they found low inflammation levels in people whose lives were enriched by greater meaning and compassionate service to others, including non-human animals.

Full article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/how-showing-compassion-for-animals-can-improve-your-health/

Call Me Now Grandpa Joel Savage

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My first grandchild: Anthony Savage

As a father, I realized very early that it is not only getting the best job, house, car etc; makes one happy or successful in life, but to get married and settle. Many acknowledge marriage as a form of trap, unity without comfort or freedom. I don’t see it that way. I see marriage as a bond of life-long commitment and sharing responsibilities, which enhance the success of both partners.

I know perfectly well what my wife has done for me in times of difficulty, uncertainty and when sick. Like Florence Nightingale, she takes care of me and does what I haven’t even requested her to do. I have really enjoyed a happy successful marriage over two decades, because both respect and trust ourselves.

Thus; when my elder son said to me “Daddy I will be getting married soon, I was engulfed with joy, knowing that he has made a good decision, a decision which will keep him sincere, upright and responsible. I witnessed the day of their wedding with emotions, happiness and tears of joy. The two were joined as man and wife, as they exchanged vows and kissed each other.

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My elder son and wife.

However, my life changed dramatically six weeks ago, when my first grandchild was delivered. I am very happy indeed. I give thanks and praises to God, who makes things possible.  I wish my son and his wife a happy successful marriage. My advice to them is to respect, love and trust each other and to solve every problem they faced amicably. That’s the essence and qualities that lead to a successful marriage.

Why Many Fear The Dead When They Can’t Harm Us?

Image 2Death is inevitable. It happens to everyone, without taking race, gender, age, religion, or status into consideration. Death is an enemy which has conquered and keeps on conquering, taking away the happiness of everyone when it strikes. “For the living knows that they will die; but the dead know nothing, their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished,” says the Bible at (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

Paranormal stories reveal the existence of restless spirits or ghosts, haunting places of abode and people, but I haven’t heard of a dead body harming anyone. Why then most people fear a dead body? The only way to determine if the dead can harm someone is to sleep at a graveyard till morning or stay with a dead body in a room alone. Believe me; you will have a peaceful union with the dead body than taking the risk to pass through a violent community.

On ‘Youtube’ are hundreds of pranks involving dead bodies. Some are very hilarious that one never stops laughing after watching them. I wonder why people risk their lives fleeing across the road, because a man stops a vehicle and tries to deposit the body of someone pretending to be dead. If the dead has no power at all to hurt someone, why the need to fear the dead instead of the living?

Some people were born naturally cruel. They kill for pleasure. Your friends can hurt you and make feel miserable like a church mouse. People invade your property, steal your belongings. Injustice, corruption, discrimination, racism, terrorism, child abuse, crime and violence everywhere, are caused by the living. The dead has got nothing to do with this. In fact the dead sometimes becomes victim of crime and injustice.

Ghouls get to graveyards to steal jewels, ornaments and expensive items buried with the dead, especially those who follow traditions of the royal family. Many enjoy making fortune out of people’s misery and tragedy. Aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines MH17, which was shot down recently in eastern Ukraine, some looters were at the site to steal money and credit cards, living at the expense of the dead.

Would you continue living in fear because of the dead when they have no power to harm you? The source of all our fear comes from our own uncontrolled minds. The mind is obsessed with fear to the extent that sometimes one flees when no one is after him and mostly flees from safety to danger. Life is beautiful; while we are part of this generation we mustn’t hurt our psychological emotions with unnecessary fears.

Exploring Slave Dungeons At Cape Coast Castle

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Tourists exploring a slave dungeon at the Cape Coast castle

The mere mention of slavery brings bad memories, as it harboured unimaginable evil act, as thousands of Africans were captured under inhuman circumstances in overcrowded dungeons and transported across the Atlantic to the New World. Even though slavery is long abolished, the African still bears the psychological scars, as he fights to regain his lost identity and respect among mankind on the surface of the earth today.

The slave trade in Ghana mainly took place at coastal towns, but I wish to write about Cape Coast, my country of birth, which was the center of the British slave trade for almost 150 years. Cape Coast is located in the central region of Ghana. It was the capital of Gold Coast between 1700 until 1877 when the capital was shifted to Accra. Ghana replaced Gold Coast when the country achieved its independence in 1957.

Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit the place, where their ancestors were packed like a sardine into ships for slavery. There is a proverb in Ghana which says “Man don’t cry.” I’m beginning to question this proverb if it has any elements of truth because many Africans in the Diaspora who visit Cape Coast castle can’t hold back their tears.

The psychological effect and emotions over Cape Coast Castle, which still has the remnants of the slave trade, are unbearable. President Obama, wife, Michelle and children can’t forget the experience of touring the preserved sites. One can’t escape the cold waves which go through the spine. Even though many Africans in the Diaspora haven’t been to Ghana to trace their roots or visit Cape Coast, others had. The Pan African Historical Festival, simply called PANAFEST is a cultural event which has brought thousands of African-Americans to visit Cape Coast.

Visiting Cape Coast Castle to understand the pain and suffering endured by the millions of slaves is an important step for African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to be closer to Africa. It is sad to note that many hate to be referred to as Africans, even though history about their origin isn’t a fabricated story. It seems that’s the way to help forget this bitter experience, but there is nothing satisfying than visiting the continent of your origin to discover the reality aspects of a sad journey.

Forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786, serving as slave depots are still visible in Ghana. Apart from the Cape Coast Castle, are also Elmina and Christiansburg Castles.  Ghana invites you. Be part of other tourists to visit Cape Coast, to see the male dungeon, female dungeon, remnants and the reality of cruelty of slavery, committed by White Slave Masters.

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I Stand Accused: But I’m Innocent

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Photo credit: musedmagonline.com

I am not a professional psychologist, trained to conduct research, perform and evaluate the emotional and psychological challenges of individuals. I am writing this article due to my personal experience and what I’ve seen in families, individuals, groups, and society as a whole.

When we were young, we did many things which we never thought were bad. We were in the ages of no regret, so we feel good and great over our bad attitudes and the wrong things we were doing, thinking that make us great to stand out of the crowd. We only realized the many sins we committed during our early twenties or adulthood.

We can’t turn back the clock after knowing the bad things we did, than regret or repent to lead a better and responsible life in adulthood. Unfortunately, many live the same life from youth till the end of their lives. At school, we feel very proud to say that “I’ve a girlfriend,” even though many of us are scared to talk to girls.

One day while school on vacation, we organized a small party in one of my friend’s house. We invited the girls we like best claiming to be our girlfriends, yet we couldn’t even look into their eyes in a second. My best friend Aldo, invited his platonic girlfriend and I invited mine.

I told Aldo to come an hour after me, in order to enjoy my privacy with Emmy. In fact, that was the first time I tasted the lips of a beautiful girl I loved most during my school days. I felt I was in paradise, after the kiss I realized I’m still on earth. At nineteen, I consider myself too young to enter into bed with Emmy as students. I was therefore satisfied with the kiss she gave me, so I left with her to join the public transport home.

When I came back, I saw Aldo with Aggie, a very dark beautiful complexion girl everyone is proud of. I told Aldo, “I finished with Emmy and she has gone home.” I think Aldo misunderstood what I said. His mind went on different thing. Why I’m saying this? What ensued after was clear enough to know that Aldo misunderstood me.

People in our neighbourhood heard unusual event taking place in the room where Aldo and Aggie were. The struggle became so intense that I quickly went to the place to find out what is going on between them. As soon as I opened the door, Aggie with fury bolted out and all attempts to find out what went wrong were futile. Aggie left with anger without looking back.

I questioned Aldo over Aggie’s temperance, and he confessed that he had wanted to have sex with her but everything went wrong. I asked him, what’s the reason of forcing a girl who doesn’t want to have sex with you?  “You told me you’ve finished with Emmy, the reason; I tried to have sex with her.” I was shocked over the answer Aldo gave me.

“But Aldo, saying that I’ve finished with Emmy doesn’t mean I had sex with her.” I said with emotions, desperately trying to defend myself. Instead of Aldo acknowledging his own mistakes, to apologize to Aggie, he put the blame on me, ruining our friendship without further communication between us, until the time both completed our secondary education.

This scenario took place years ago, when we were teenagers, but it still hurts me. Why should Aldo take my answer to enhance his own selfish desire, when that wasn’t what I mean? After school, I tried to renew our friendship but it seems, Aldo still habours the feeling that I crashed his world. He decides not to have anything with me.

There is no need to cry over spilt milk. I gave up. Years after school, without any knowledge about the welfare of Aldo , I met a classmate who told me of the death of my friend. He had a fractured leg during a football match. The extent of his injury was so severe that he succumbed.

I miss him very much, but I have a clear conscience that my statement didn’t mean that I slept with Emmy, so he shouldn’t have tried to sleep with Aggie, above all, he failed to ask me the meaning of what I said, before embarking on a wrong journey. Whatever the situation, I pray for him to have a peaceful rest, knowing that we shall meet again somewhere in heaven or the universe one day, if truly there life after death.