Earlier this month, the NY Times reported that researchers are now looking into the possible benefits of older people joining social networks. With one third of people over 75 living alone (according to a 2009 AARP study), the National Institute on Aging will be awarding $10 million in grants to explore "social neuroscience and its effect on aging". According to comScore, a media measurement
The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to be aware of charity fraud. Legitimate charities use direct mail, telemarketing and email campaigns to raise funds; unfortunately, scam artists do too. If someone asks you for money on behalf of a charity, take time to:
- Get the charity’s
By Jim Selman | Bio
For no particular reason, today I am more conscious than normal of my ‘little voice’—you know the conversation in our heads. I talk about this phenomenon a lot in my work. People laugh when I challenge the conventional view that they can control it: “Try to turn it off” or “Don’t think about what I am about to say”. Then I suggest that this conversation we are always having, what we call thinking, is in fact an endless stream of thoughts that may or may not be
By Kevin Brown | BioI was preparing my mother-in-law’s Canadian tax return this week for net-filing, a service I have provided for the past six years. For those of you who have used a software tax package, you will know that ‘net-filing’ a return is an online submission direct to the Canada Revenue Agency. Her return is very basic, really just accounting for her Old Age Security benefit and Canada Pension. Since she retired, she has never received a refund and never has had to make a payment. So this should have been relatively easy. Ah, but not so! This time, when I attempted to obtain the 4 digit access code that would allow me to file online, the online connection to the CRA would not grant me the access code.
I had to call their 1-800 number.
Their response was that I could not have access to the code because I was not identified in their system as a guardian. I mentioned that my wife was also available, but, no, she also was not identified in their system. Only my mother could request the code. OK, so I asked my mother-in-law (who is 92 years young) to take the telephone.
So the call proceeded with the CRA representative asking my mother-in-law
By Kevin Brown | BioIt seems that no matter where I turn these days, the search for happiness seems to be on many people’s mind. Perhaps during this time of economic turmoil, people are reconsidering the happiness quotient they attributed to possessions and financial security. In the Telegraph of London, Richard Gray and Alastair Jamieson report that “Psychologists have found that people who spend their money on simple experiences such as going to the theatre, dining out or taking adventure holidays tend to be happier than those who buy possessions, regardless of how much they spend.” They went on to quote Professor Ryan Howell, a psychologist at San Francisco State University, who conducted the study: “In life experiences, the only thing left afterwards is a memory of the event, but this tended to give people a greater sense of vitality and of being alive, which is satisfying to the higher psychological needs that humans have. Material items do not do that to nearly the same extent.”
Certainly, it has been my experience that my memories of times in which I was happy seem directed at events that occurred in my life, rather than focused on possessions that I collected over time. The happiest memories of my youth include going to the zoo, rides at the Calgary Stampede, and sailing off the coast of British Columbia as a Sea Cadet. As an adult, my happiest memories include my honeymoon, the arrival of my son, family vacations and our annual father-and-son trips.
By Jim Selman | Bio
I saw the movie Elegy last night
starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Penèlope Cruz. It was an exceptionally
intense love story between a man and a much younger woman. He is a
professor and she his student. What begins for him as a casual romp is
true love for her and soon he too is in love, but is tortured and
insecure because of their age difference. Patricia Clarkson is his
stable ‘partner/wife’ who has her own career, is exceptionally
By Jim Selman | Bio
Here is what I was reading in the Buenos Aires Herald this morning (paraphrased)—“Some folks like what Obama’s doing, other folks aren’t so happy”. Here’s another—“Lots of middle class people believe there is a financial crisis and others don’t seem to have been affected at all”. This is then followed by a restatement of the news for the last few months with a dash of history added in, such as comparisons between BHO and JFK or FDR. Blah, blah, blah…
By Jim Selman | BioI have said many times that I view one of the biggest threats to our way of life (and at least the medium-term future) is widespread and institutionalized =&0=&. Resignation is a mood that most of us have experienced and many are experiencing today. It is a worldview devoid of possibility. It is the perspective that ‘nothing can be done’ and ‘nothing will really make a difference’. It is giving up, but in a way that justifies and rationalizes that giving up is the rational and reasonable thing to do. The benefit of resignation is that we can stop thinking or struggling.
There is a difference between true ‘acceptance of those things I cannot change’ and resignation. Resignation is not a choice; it is a succumbing to the circumstances and buying into a ‘no possibility’ scenario. I was sitting next to a man last week from Mexico discussing the Mexican government’s campaign against drug cartels. He assured me that all the effort and all the lives that have been lost are meaningless and that corruption and organized crime are a permanent
By Shae Hadden | Bio
Usually we think of the inevitable convergence of technologies as being beneficial for the majority of people using them. Take the introduction of video to the internet, or the internet to the cell phone, for example. As soon as we discover something that works that people want, then the advertisers and marketers are on the bandwagon, looking for opportunities to sell within the new medium. What has me shaking my head today is the obvious marketing spin on ‘virtual gifts’,
I was speaking with a friend recently about age in general, how we ‘remember’ our lives and the power of memories to affect our day-to-day experience. From one perspective, I think that living in the present is the point of living—experientially at least. When we are present, our memories are just memories and don’t affect us either positively or negatively. Our memories are our ‘story’, and we can relate to our past as just that—a story. On the other hand, our moods and our memories