Category Archives: Life in General

Miscellaneous observtions on Life

I Found My Thrill in the NICU

Like most mothers with newly married daughters, it wasn’t long after the wedding ceremony that I obsessed on becoming a grandmother.   Being Italian, it was very important to join that rank of becoming a  “Nonna”.    It was two years and 6 months later that my daughter and son-in-law  dropped by and announced that they were expecting.   By July 4th, the anticipation day, I would be holding my first grandchild.  Such excitement.

The day came a little early, June 29th which was my father’s birthday.   More excitement.   We waited for the ‘good news'(a boy or a girl?)  but did not expect that  our first grand-baby — a boy — was in one of our finest hospitals – in the NICU.   I didn’t know what that was but quickly learned it meant a neonatal intensive care unit, also known as an intensive care nursery  specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants. Neonatal refers to the first 28 days of life. Neonatal care, as known as specialized nurseries or intensive care, has been around since the 1960s.    Here we were in 1995.

Our new baby, named Daniel. was a small being covered in wires, tubes and other apparatus in a small incubator.   A blood disorder was the suspected cause; only family members were allowed in the room lined up with other incubators.  Mandatory clean linens and masks were distributed to be in that room.

Daniel’s parents were there all the time; she was nursing Daniel and brought him her  colostrum, the first secretion from the mammary glands after giving birth, which is rich in antibodies and very good for infants.  She continued to do this everyday until he was discharged.   The traveling. the worry and stress from not bringing a baby home after it’s birth was tiring and disturbing to a new mother.   It is a challenge to mothers who have everything in place except the baby.

The Fourth of July arrived five days later .  Normally this holiday is a family picnic day, and there were little changes in little Daniel.   We talked the new mother into attending the picnic – a much needed change of scenery.   We all attended and it did help.   After a couple of hours I excused myself and left.  To get home,  I had to go past the hospital.   I parked and went into the NICU.  There was little traffic that holiday afternoon and less in the hospital;  since it was a holiday, the hospital was  small-staffed that day.   A baby was crying when I arrived and the nurse, who recognized me,  said that was my grandson.

I asked if I could hold him – I never had.   She said since it was so small staffed, it would be helpful and appreciated since he had come off all his attachments and had been crying off and on.   She got a hard chair for me to sit on.  She left me and then returned and placed Daniel in my lap.   He was so precious and beautiful without his wires and he drew in a big breath and sighed loudly.  Almost sounded relieved.   I pressed his papoose-type blanketed little body close to my own and hummed lullabies until he fell asleep.

He slept while I held him for the next 3 hours.    The nurse came by and asked if she could take him and put him back.   Reluctantly, I said OK.   He didn’t wake up;  he had kinda worn himself out.   When she took him, I felt the very warmth of his body still on my own.

That feeling of warmth and love has never gone away – I still feel it after 23 years.

Marie Coppola  July 2018

 

Summertime Blues

 

As we age, don’t our time spans seem to shorten?   If you are retired, you may remember thinking how much extra time you would have if you could only retire early.  Work days slipped into welcome weekends in which weekly chores, grocery shopping, social events, catch-up events and anything else not work-related took precedence.   Before you blinked twice, Monday rolled around again and back on the merry-go-round.

Somehow all those things got done until we did retire.   Retirement was going to bring meditations, exercise classes, dieting, volunteering, church work, and vacations.   Lots of visiting and long week-end vacations, home or away.    We could lounge at the pool or the beach and read all the books in the bookcase that never got read.    Have tea parties, cook-outs and grandkids visit.   Frequently.   Well, occasionally.   All right – when everyone is available at the same time.

Now that retirement came into fruition and the recent announcement that the highest new age demographic is for folks over 100 years old, is it what we dreamed about?   Nope.  There is so much going on that days slip into weekends and less is getting done than ever.   What happened to those old-time summer-time school vacations?   Do you remember?

By the meteorological calendar, spring starts on March 1. The seasons are defined as Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) and Winter (December, January, February).

Think back to middle school.   We started school every fall after Labor Day in September and had a school winter and spring vacation.  They were short.   Summer vacation (also called summer holiday or summer break) where students and instructors are off school from doing work typically last between 8 and 9 weeks; summer break is  approximately 2.5 to 3 months, with students typically getting out of school between late May and mid-June and starting the new school year between mid-August and early September.

Do you remember how eagerly we looked forward to summer break?   No more teachers, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.  Bring it on.  I remember the lightheartedness and happiness of not having to get up in the morning, rush and get to school on time and don’t forget all your books & materials.   Sounds something like the future ‘working days’.

What I remember most about my own personal summer vacations is we didn’t always go on one.  We might have gone every few years or at least visit the beach for the day.   So what did I do for almost three precious months.   I complained incessantly that there was ‘nothing to do’ and repeatedly that I was bored (which brought suggestions to do work around the house.)   I couldn’t wait to get back to school to learn new things but especially to see all the kids I knew from kindergarten who changed in looks every year when we all returned back to school.

Out of boredom mostly, I pleaded with Mom to buy me a pair of moccasins – I have no idea why I wanted them – I guess they were popular with teens to wear with dungarees.   My mother handed me the Sears catalog and I spent quite some time analyzing which ones I wanted to order and then the long wait for them to be ordered and mailed.   It took 4 weeks for them to appear.   I was happy to get them but immediately became bored with them.

I remember sitting in the backyard wishing that school started next week so I could wear my new moccasins to school.   I did little that summer but wish the time away and polish my moccasins.

Imagine having almost 3 months to do nothing — but instead get bored.    Is that why there is a saying that ‘youth is wasted on the young’.

Marie Coppola  July 2018

 

 

 

Flag Day is July 14, 2018

Flag Day is observed on June 14, 2018 .  It began on June 14, 1777, when the Second Continental Congress made a resolution about a flag for our country.

“Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation,” it said. 

How did it come about?  The flag was honored on June 14, 1877: “As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country,”

William Kerr, was involved in setting up the National American Flag Day Association in 1889.  It is said that Kerr would meet multiple U.S. presidents as part of the years he spent trying to make Flag Day be recognized.

After speaking with Kerr, President Woodrow Wilson wrote  “I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as Flag Day with special patriotic exercises.

President Harry Truman later signed Flag Day’s permanent observance into law in 1949.   Flag Day is not a federal holiday but is a state holiday in New York and Pennsylvania.  Some places in the United States hold Flag Day parades. Presidents have also issued proclamations for National Flag Week.

Since these patriotic beginnings, the Flag has been burned, spit on, misaligned and disrespected by people who will not honor it and don’t think America is good.  A US President once said the Star Spangled Banner should be changed because it incites violence with ‘bombs bursting in air’.   Had that President read the story behind the bombs bursting in air, he would have realized that countless men died from bombs bursting in air to keep the flag flying.  It denotes bravery, sacrifice and love for one’s country.     For most of us, the Flag is raised on patriotic holidays and respected.   Our military and veterans have offered their lives to keep the Flag a symbol of America’s freedom and bravery.

 

Fathers are Important

 

Children need both parents’ influence for a balanced upbringing. They usually get more nurturing and care-taking from their mothers.  And fathers  supply discipline, authority, companionship and an example as a role model.   Role models are important for both boys and girls.   Boys look to their dads as the type of father they want to be when they grow up; girls look to their dads as models of a possible future mate. Fathers’ praise, unconditional love, encouragement, support, and guidance are as important to children as the fostering acts a mother supplies.

Research has concluded that the father/child relationship is more important than once believed. With a baby, a father is usually more physical at playing games than the mother and makes a playful and joyful contribution to a baby’s life. As small infants and children, they can receive assurance and empathy from a dad when mom is not available or busy with something else. School age children benefit from the caretaking of dads who help with their care in transporting them to school and activities, helping them with homework, or teaching them responsibility. Many fathers join in sports activities with both boys and girls through softball, baseball, football, soccer and form a lasting team tie with their kids.

During adolescence and puberty, the dad can take on more of an ‘advisor’ role as the child may focus more on the mom and her guidance at this age.  But the father is in the background, offering advice and decisions about what is going on in their lives. It’s a busy, bustle time within a family especially when a child can spend some quality time with their father sharing a sporting or camping event or even on a trip to the mall.

Personally, I loved to play cards with my dad and we spent many hours together with him teaching me pinochle and all kinds of card games that I love to play today. The time together is more  an endearing, special memory.   The card playing takes second place to the camaraderie of  sharing of an enjoyed pastime.

Children who have both parents who express these characteristics are blessed, indeed.   If not, perhaps they may have grandparents, step parents, aunts, uncles or guardians who also exhibit traditional and loving nurturing.  Studies show that a father who exhibits love, kindness and faith values to his children – in turn foster those values that their children will emulate with their own children.

Although there are children, who, for various reasons, may be absent a father, a family male may be able to fill his shoes.  The father  may have died, or separated away from the family, or simply is out of the picture. There can be a family member or male friend who can pitch hit for an absent father and help fill the void a father leaves. An absent father or male influence  in a family could make his child at a higher risk of drug abuse, smoking, alcohol abuse and other risk-seeking behaviors. Other problems with absent fathers can result in unhealthy relationships with others, poor grades in school, and problems in social and school activities.

It’s hard for children to understand parents who are not good at parenting or not available for them. What they get is what they see. Teenagers can be a challenge to raise in any family and it is made even more difficult with fathers who seem to be immature, irresponsible or simply not there.

If you have such a father, remember, we are all imperfect and in time, hopefully, they might realize the strong bond of family they have with you. If for some reason, this is impossible, and you will never have a relationship with your biological father, at some point, you will have to accept this. It is not always possible to make the natural connection that would have been there. It is not your fault; but it’s time to get past it and move on. To suffer with it if there is no solution, is not beneficial to you or anyone.

At some point in our lives, all of our fathers will leave us. For those of you who mourn a lost father, for whatever reason, take heart. We still have a Heavenly Father, Who will never leave nor abandon us. There are at least five places in the Bible, the phrase ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ – Deuteronomy 31:6; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Kings 8:57; Hebrews 13:5. Our Father in Heaven wanted us to be sure to read it!  He promises always to embrace you, love you, guide you, help you and save you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Never. He is the Ultimate Parent; and He’s yours, forever.

Recently I heard a great quote by Sigmund Freud: ‘I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”  I will add: A father’s protection is needed in childhood as is our lifetime need for Our Heavenly Father’s protection. I pray for all children that they will have both.

 

Marie Coppola Revised  June 12, 2018

 

 

 

 

The Four Personality Styles

 

Have you ever wondered why it is so pleasant to work with some people and so difficult with others? Whether it is work, customer service, community or volunteer activities, we find ourselves wondering what makes that guy or gal tick and behave as they do.

Work conditions can be tedious at best, and to interface with people who work differently than you do can cause stress and inevitable non-productive conditions. That is one of the reasons why most Human Resource (HR) departments encourage team building and seminars – to neutralize these kinds of problems.   It is more an individual style or personality that causes conflict than any other reason.   The four personality styles are: Drivers * Analyticals * Amiables * Expressives.   Below is a brief characteristic description of them:

Drivers – “Get to the point”.

They like to take charge and control of a situation. They make quick decisions and are responsive to challenges. Focus is on producing results. They are efficient, hard-working, forceful and strong-willed. Direct and to-the-point when they want others to do things and are completion-oriented. No beating around the bush; they are competent and either want options or results. “Don’t waste and save time.” “What’s the bottom line?”” They like feedback.

Some adjectives for them: risk-taker, determined, demanding, action-orientated, decisive, problem solver, direct, assertive, forceful, competitive,independent.   Many top company officials,Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Directors are drivers.

Analyticals – “I can’t commit until I know all the facts”….chaos drives them crazy.

They like organization and are structured, concise, with not too many emotions. They like to work by themselves. Will use specific details, facts, evidence and measurements. Do not like to be wrong and it’s better to let them ‘save face’. They ask many questions and like to take their time on projects or anything. They are task-oriented and detailed-oriented and use facts and logic. Usually they approach people with care and caution and do not commit anything until they are comfortable. May appear too cautious, overly structured, someone who does things too much ‘by the book’.

Some adjectives for them: orderly, systematic, controlled, disciplined, logical, precise, cautious, disciplined, deliberate, introvert.   Chemists, financial analysts, technology analysts, mechanics and lawyers can be analyticals.

Amiables – “Let’s have a real team effort”….loves cooperative, team effort.

Tries to save relationships or bring harmony within groups. Thrives in team environments. Is helpful to others. Provides support and positive strokes for others’ work and accomplishments. Willingness to communicate and place value and trust in other workers. Places a high priority on getting along with people. Natural skills for coaching, counseling and aiding others. Has a sense of loyalty to work and peer groups. Smooths over conflicts within groups and organizes celebrations, brings in birthday cakes and other treats. They are dependable, loyal and easygoing. They like things friendly. They make quick decisions and are described as a warm person and sensitive to the feelings of others.

Some adjectives for them: supportive, team person, loyal, patient, considerate, empathetic, sympathetic, trusting, congenial.   Coaches, counselors, human resource workers, social workers, facilitators, and ministers can be amiables.

Expressive Personality – “Wow, that’s a great report – I know a great place for lunch”.

Very outgoing and enthusiastic, they create excitement and involvement with others. They have a high energy level and make others feel good about themselves. They know that you value them. Excitable, fun-loving, and talkative, sometimes overly dramatic, impulsive and manipulative. They love attention, and having an audience, and especially applause and recognition. They are achievement oriented but sometimes slow to reach a decision. They have good ideas, but are not always completion-oriented. Particularly fond of socializing. Risk-takers, competitive and spirited. They are also futuristic, creative and inspirational.

Some adjectives for them: communicators, charming, confident, impulsive, enthusiastic, animated, dramatic, influential, motivating, optimistic.  Teachers, nurses, musicians, comedians can be expressives.

Once the employee understands which style he or she exhibits in a group or team and their individual personality styles, the more better he or she adapts to working with that person. This approach is a very popular concept and helpful in areas where some employees feel they produce more work than others, work more efficiently, and sometimes resent their unproductive and incompetent (in their view) co-workers. The personalities are explained in a seminar and each employee rates themselves as to which type or personality style they are. Many are correct; some are off-base. Some exhibit 2 or 3 styles out of the four. With that in hand, the next meeting is a physical team-building seminar.

There are many team building exercises – and they are all very neat and well received by employees because they are fun.

Inherent work personalities emerge in performing the tasks, and are later discussed by the team. It is a soft way for same level professionals to point out what they and others could have done differently with more successful outcomes!  The manager is not present for these exercises; but is brought in a later date for interface in other exercises — sometimes it is the manager who is the problem employee! The HR person does not get involved in the exercise except to answer questions of what can or cannot be done.

Sometimes when even the simplest solution is the best way ~   the team makes it very complicated.

At these team building seminars, the employees learn how to deal with the different styles. They also learn to understand their own style and how they all relate to each in a group setting. Some of us don’t belong to one group, but can be a compilation of the others; and others may be two of them. Or three. Once you understand them, you will better understand and relate to co-workers, customers, groups, teams and even members of your family!

© Marie Coppola Revised June 2018

Overcoming Major Losses

During our lifetime, we can experience many losses. Some losses are separations, like death, serious illnesses or divorce, wherein we lose a special or primary relationship.  It is a critical time when a parent, husband or wife, child, or sibling passes.  It can be  even equally sorrowful,  if it is a divorce and there is loss of not only the person, but a way of life and perhaps the division of a family.  It is sorrowful when we lose a lover, mate, good friend or any friend ~or a beloved pet ~ who is no longer with us.  Another big loss is a miscarriage. We are numb, shell-shocked, heavy-hearted and grief-stricken. Clear thinking and decision-making becomes blurred; we are clearly not ourselves.

Similar feelings can be felt albeit, at a lesser degree, at the loss of a business, a job, a home lost in foreclosure or fire, or even relocating and losing the old neighborhood.  Loss of personal attributes, such as your youth, good health,  losses  of hair or good looks, surgeries, cars totaled in accidents, academic standing, integrity or even your good name or reputation can take their toll. They are all losses.

We all experience loss and we all express it differently. Some of us keep a ’stiff upper lip’ and others become withdrawn or they could become weepy and forlorn. There are no set rules for us to follow when we have loss issues. But there are some things that can help us heal.

Whether you have parted with a loved one or a pet or a way of life, you MUST take time to grieve. Your sadness does not go away magically when you return to work after a few days. People, in their concern for you, may tell you to ’snap out of it’ or ‘get over it’, but the truth is that it will simply take as long as it takes. It will be different for everyone. There is no ‘expiration date’ here.

As painful as it is, the grief must go somewhere, and the best place for it to go is ‘out‘. Keeping a stiff upper lift may backfire on you, leaving you crippled from the burden of unreleased grief inside you. It’s better to cry — yes, cry — one of the best gifts we’ve been given. Even Jesus cried. Tears are healing. You can cry alone or with good friends, but absolutely, do cry. You’re entitled; you’re allowed; you’re human. Tears release grief and sadness. If you can’t cry, you may want to talk to a trusted friend or spiritual person or counselor to release that grief that is pent up and not released.

As an example, a lovely neighbor of mine died unexpectedly while I was away on a business trip. I did love this woman; she was elderly, kind and caring; a sort of mother to me. It occurred at a really busy time for me and I was called and told about her while I was away. I felt the first stab of shock and sadness, but quickly extinguished it (or so I thought) and carried out my professional seminar and other things at hand to be done.  When I arrived at home several days later, it was the night of my neighbor’s viewing, and I hurriedly dressed to go, still not having fully absorbed the reality of her death.  I have attended many wakes, funerals and viewings, and I felt no feelings of forbearance as I walked in the door. Her grown grandchildren were standing around her casket and I hugged them all and gave condolences, but when I walked over to the casket and viewed her for the first time, reality struck, grief surged and I totally dissolved in sobbing tears. Her grandkids encircled to console me. I had pent up the grief and it had to come out; I wish I had done so in private so that I didn’t cause that concern from them when they were grieving themselves.  Grief has to be given expression; if not, grief can ambush us.

In your grief, be careful with your nutrition; you need your strength. You may lose sleep, be uptight a lot or feel confused, depressed or angry.  You may even be mad at God. He understands.   It’s important to eat well & drink fluids to stay hydrated if you are crying a lot which will help your muscles become more flexible during tension.  Exercise.  It’s hard to even think about exercising while your heart is so heavy, but it is important. Even walking around the block helps.  When my parents died 6 months apart, my doctor told me to continue aerobic exercises every day during their illnesses to regulate my blood pressure.  Blood pressure rises from stress and lack of sleep.  I never felt like exercising, but forced myself and even took yoga exercises which relieves tension in your body.   It helped tremendously; and will help you sleep.  Force yourself.

Lean on your spirituality and faith. God walked me through my rough times, helped me work out my aerobic exercises and was there to hug me in my tears. Let go and let God. He loves you and will help you if you only ask. He is our Refuge and our Strength. He is the Great Physician and Counselor and will never let you down. He did not cause your grief; life events happen to all of us.

If you experience multiple losses, you may feel overcome with grief that it is difficult to function  A counselor explained this:  “When you have loss issues, your body remembers how it felt when you lost them. When you have additional loss issues, although you think you recovered from the previous ones, your body and mind may remember them and ‘mingle them with the loss you currently have’.  If you have had deaths, divorce, illnesses, etc., in the past, a significant “loss remembrance” may bring these previous losses back to the surface, and you will feel all of them and wonder why you are feeling so grieved.”

The counselor showed me how to separate my loss issues individually and give each one its own expression of grief; and then put it away or put it in God’s hands, not to be taken back.  Again, let go and let God.

And I did. Once I did that, and understood why, I was readily able to function within a short period of time without that overwhelming feeling of loss.   If you are experiencing grief, talking it through at a support group can be very beneficial.  There are many GriefShare programs in our area.  To find one near you and when they are offered, go to www.griefshare.org for one closest to you.

Marie Coppola © Revised May 2018

 

Mothers are Forever

Plagiarizing the words of writer Louisa May Alcott, “What do girls do who haven’t any mothers to help them through their troubles?”    Looking back, sometimes our mothers were our troubles telling us what to do, what not to do and how come you haven’t done it already?

I’m finding as I near the ages my mother went through that  I have a maternal kinship with her that wasn’t there as we kids were growing up.    I was kinda scared of her as a child because she was the family disciplinarian – she was a stay-at-home mom – and having rules being obeyed were high on her Mother job description.   Being Italian, we learned that not behaving was begging to have the old wooden spoon brought forth.   The spoon rarely made contact, and we never tried to negotiate with it.   Along with her ‘weapon’ was the threat of our Dad coming home and taking his belt off to spank us.   Which never happened – our Dad never had to do that nor could we picture him doing it.     We listened.

I didn’t always agree with Mom – she was strict and hands on – but when I had children of my own,  I saw her with different eyes ….and still do.   I understand many of her ways now and how truly unselfish and generous she was.   She put Dad first and  she was a good role model for us.   A happy marriage brings forth happy kids.

We weren’t far behind in her attention and love.   She celebrated all holidays by decorating the house and filling it with wonderful aromas of delicious food that she provided.  Sometimes she would have something different to eat from our dinners, explaining that she felt like a hamburger instead when we finally realized when we were older that there wasn’t enough in our family of 7 for her to join us with more expensive cuts.

She made religious holidays special although Christmas presents weren’t abundant and sometimes not given at all.  But we four daughters  and one son remember the magical feeling surrounding these festivities.

She was the daughter of immigrant parents who had eleven children.  Mom  went to school up to the sixth grade as did her husband.    His asset was math & numbers and he worked hard all his life.   She was his strength at home, leaving it only to cook for the priests at church.  She also crocheted their linens & altar cloths.   Her proudest achievement  – the priests asked  her to ‘teach home economics’ at the school.   She put her heart and soul into that – one day she told me, “I was one of 11 children and the only teacher”.    Her recipes were printed in the hometown paper – she never sought the attention she got.

When I became a mother, she was my greatest asset.   She taught me so much about babies that aren’t in baby books and they thrived.   She didn’t baby her own daughters – she taught us to be strong.   When the doctor told me once that I had ‘tired mother’s syndrome’ – I called her and she said, “Eat a piece of cheese when you are tired – you aren’t eating properly and you need protein.”   It worked.  Somehow, the hardships of being a parent was offset by her humor – being silly and laughing.   Sharing laughs make a happy home.  And both parents laughed and got silly with us often.

This was my mother who watched over each one of us like special house guests, bought us occasional presents on the family credit card which was used rarely but a big deal for the receiver when she did it.   When we all eventually  left the family home, she was our biggest fan.  Up until the time she passed away,  whenever any of us visited, she placed a big brown shopping bag near the door to put things in as we visited.   When we left. it was filled to overflowing with food, gifts, clothes for us or the kids – and her touch, too,  with anything made with love for us to bring home.   I send brown bags home now, too.

Sophia Loren, the Italian actress, made the comment, “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  You are connected to your child and to all those who touch your lives.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

Our mom did a lot of thinking about and for  her 5 children.    We are forever grateful for her caring, sharing and the love she shared and never asked for anything in return.    As I reach each birthday milestone, I am reminded of that same  birthday milestone in her life and see her with an appreciation  for each one – that I hadn’t realized before.

God couldn’t be everywhere…so He created Mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Marie Coppola   May 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animals vs. Babies

Some years ago, our area had several dogs that were found dead floating in a water area. Their legs were bound with duct tape. A short time later, another one was discovered in the same way, but was fished out while still alive and brought to the shelter.

The dog was expected to make a full recovery, although she was being monitored for brain swelling as well as more damage from abuse.   When the dog was initially brought in, the body swelling led shelter officials to believe she was pregnant. Her spleen was removed during surgery and significant bruising indicated severe kicking or beating.

Eventually, leads led to an arrest ~ they were family dogs and not wanted anymore. The community was shocked and outraged; how inhumane to treat an animal this way.   The shelter experienced a high increase in adoptions soon afterwards.

Although this is a hideous and unacceptable account of ending life this way for these animals,  if  it happened every day, eventually, we would become desensitized to it.   We may even get to the point where we might remark that there were thousands and millions of these animals experiencing this kind of end of life every week all over the world.  We may even get to the point where we may consider ridding of our own pets in this way if we did not want our pets any more.

Are you shocked or surprised at that?   Hasn’t it happened with human abortions?

Aren’t we getting desensitized about how many people have abortions and why they do? Don’t we all know people who had abortions? Some have them because they ‘didn’t want a girl’ or ‘I can only handle twins, but not triplets’. Some have multiple abortions and use it as a form of birth control.   Where is our shock and outrage over that way to end life?

Although doctors have not pinpointed exactly at what month the fetus feels pain from an abortion, it was uncertain whether a fetus experiences pain during the first trimester of development, when most abortions occur.  Recent studies have shown that the fetus most certainly does feel pain by the end  of the second trimester, when late-term and partial birth abortions are performed.  Since general anesthesia is not used in most of these procedures, the fetus most likely feels pain during the procedure …..and I won’t go into the procedure; it is horrendous.

The fact that fetuses can feel pain is really quite obvious. Since newborn babies can feel pain, fetuses can feel pain. There is no pain switch which suddenly switches to “on” during the journey through the birth canal. The only question is when do fetuses feel pain? The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act places a fetus’ ability to feel pain at 20 weeks from fertilization, about half way through pregnancy. Twenty weeks is a conservative enough estimate that even some prominent abortion supporters have conceded its reliability.   By the way, at 20 weeks, the unborn in the womb recognizes its mother’s voice.

Many pro-life doctors maintain that fetuses can feel pain by just 8 weeks after fertilization (about the time most surgical abortions take place). Pro-abortion doctors tend to argue that fetuses don’t experience pain until the very end of pregnancy. Whose testimony is more reliable ~~~ those who have a financial interest in the availability of abortion or those who don’t?  Ethically speaking, who is going to be less likely to lie, those who believe dismembering living human beings is a legitimate medical practice or those who don’t?

According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

In the USA, where nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion, there are over 3,000 abortions per day. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies in the USA (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.

A national statistic: 1,600,000 babies are aborted in these United States every year.

Are we becoming desensitized to ending life in the womb?  Where is our shock and outrage that we felt for the animals?

© Marie Coppola April 2018

Ref: Newsmax.com



What Are Your Human Needs?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Recalling educational memories from school learnings, we tend to remember best the subjects that held our interests the most  and/or excelled in.  Many of those favorite courses  led to what we eventually leaned toward in selecting colleges or occupations.    One of the subjects that stands out for me was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.   This humanistic psychology subject was never mentioned in primary or secondary schools but in college studies, this subject was mentioned in almost every elective taken.  It began in Psychology 101 and  was interwoven somehow in each and every class.    One could guess where it would show up as the course studies  advanced.  The Maslow course centered on humanistic needs lowest to highest –  beginning with physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

With all the good things Americans may have accesss to every day, have you ever thought about  what motivates you  and how many factors give you the best life and make you happy?

Maslow’s Hierarchy is based on positive human motivation psychology which does  not  focus on increasing well-being solely for eliminating anxiety, but instead focuses on increasing well-being for the sake of improving people’s lives and improving society.  Abraham Maslow was driven by a similar desire to help people live the best lives they could, acknowledging their unique humanity along the way. The personal experiences that most shaped this desire for Maslow were his childhood isolation and his powerful reaction to the horrors of World War II.

Motivation theory suggests five interdependent levels of basic human needs (motivators) from the bottom upwards that must be satisfied in a strict sequence starting with the lowest levels.  This came about when Maslow,  a 33-year-old father with two children observed the horrors of mass warfare and gave him a sense of urgency.  He changed  his focus to human motivation and self-actualization (a person’s desire to use all their abilities to achieve and be everything that they possibly can).  Maslow’s research interests were driven by personal experience and shared experiences, which helps explain his contributions to humanistic psychology.

Maslow explains  his Hierarchy of Motivation theory by  suggesting  the five interdependent levels of basic human needs  that must be satisfied in this sequence:  

The first two basic (and lowest)  levels of need are considered basic needs or Physiological, which are based on the need for survival and safety. (for example – Air, Water, Food, Clothing and Shelter.)  The second stage is:  Safety & Security  – Personal and Financial Security, and Health & Safety  Net.

The third stage is the social stage:  It is also called love/belonging and  is not based on basic needs but instead on psychological or emotional needs. The primary source of behavior at this stage of development is the need for emotional connections such as friendships, family, social organizations, romantic attachments, or other interpersonal relationships,

The fourth stage:  Esteem – Maslow considered lower-level esteem need for the respect of others through status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention, while he described higher-level  esteem needs as the need for self esteem strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom.

The fifth and highest stage:  Self-actualization – is a person’s desire to use all their abilities to achieve and be everything that they possibly can.    Maslow suggested that actually achieving total self-actualization was exceedingly rare. Rather than thinking of self-actualization as a destination, it can be helpful to think of it as a journey.

While humanistic psychology is past its peak of influence, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still a major, well-known aspect of modern psychology. The hierarchy of needs has recently been adapted for use in hospice care, for use in urban planning, development, and management, and even for the study of policing.

The Pros and Cons of Cell Phones


I began to write this article with intent to point out the ways that cell phones have changed our lives.  Some believe that cell phones  have greater advantages than its disadvantages.   My first thoughts were primarily focused on the ‘addiction’ aspect that seems to have replaced the original cell phone usage as a popular communication tool. 

I had barely started to write about this when a TV Alert announced the horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.  Not only was it televised live, it had  videos of the hallways and classrooms, sounds of gunshots, screams and cries for help. We were also transported to the crime scene through the cell phone cameras of the victims. This is a new slant and terrifying.   We were there with them within the halls.

Students at the high school posted alerts on Twitter and videos on Snapchat while the attack was still underway.   During the lockdown, students also texted their loved ones.  Some begged siblings and parents to call 911 for help.  Some just wanted to tell their families that they loved them.   Although viewers were warned in advance that the content was disturbing, it didn’t warn about the emotional impact to one’s gut and heart watching these young, terrified students running with their hands up.  Their show of helplessness stirred us personally ..thinking and imagining our own children or grandchildren in their place while we watched the cell phone videos and heard the gun shots as they were happening.   And imagining the thinking of the parents who didn’t get a call.

Thank God, they had cellular phones, one of the greatest inventions in the late 20th century.  However, these same phones have  now have become the newest addiction in the world.   I was not feeling friendly about cell phones as I started this article.   Although there is need of them in many professions, and our lives,  the use of cell phones has inundated its basic need in daily life.

Mobile entertainment is a large pull to many.   So are texting messages.   We can play games,  engage social networking (e.g. twitter, facebook, skype) and compile photo & videos all on your cell phone.  Some  even call cell phones  “the newest cigarette”, as people take it out it quickly while taking a break.   It is good to be in contact with family & friends, as the article states  but if you spend 5 hours staring at the screen every day, you must be addicted to your phone.

It is believed  that cell phones  have  greater advantages than its disadvantages, and we shouldn’t stop to use cell phone as a popular communication tool.  But when cell phone addiction grows stronger and stronger, people would eventually realize how serious this could be.

To put it another way, four out of every 10 people are mobile gamers. More specifically, 2.3 million play mobile games every day, accounting for 6.2 percent of the total cell phone subscribers, including 15 percent of cell phone users in their teens and twenties.  People in 21st century are using more time to play games instead of doing regular calling, and most of them are teenagers.

Some believe that modern technology has us all talking to each other and increases our relationships in numbers and quality .  Some believe that cell phone addiction could  hurt our relationships,  even for couples.  It can harm their quality of life if one of them constantly has the phone by his/her side and/or has to play with the phone for hours.

We all know the hazards of driving while texting.   Every year, a huge number of accidents happen on the road and cause thousands of people’s lives, many of them caused  by cell phoning because people are still used to making  a call during driving.   There are more than 2,000,000 drivers caught by police that dangerously use use cells phone in the car.    The whole world is addicted to driving and making calls, which , becomes a global issue. Choosing cell phone addiction over common sense might not only hurt you, but also even take your life.  Or find oneself  in a ditch.

Multi-functional cell phones  have  given us convenient pleasure and technology.  However,  it doesn’t mean it has no negative effect.  No matter how helpful the cell phone is, we cannot ignore it’s bad impact to human-beings if they are not cautious.    There are need of them in many professions  such as doctors, police, responders, etc.,  which require them in emergency situations.   Women are more likely than men to say that getting help in an emergency situation is the thing they like most about carrying a cell phone.

Cell Poll:  The average person checks a cell phone 110 times a day.   Forty % check it on the john.  12% use it in the shower.  56% check them before sleep.  75% check after they sleep. 61% sleep with the phone turned on.  56% (of parents) check their devices while driving.  77% of parents & teens have argued about smartphone use.   50% of teens admit they are addicted to their cell phones.  26% of car accidents are caused by phone usage.  44% check job-related emails daily while on vacation.  50% of users feel uneasy when they leave their phones at home.   What do users like most?   Convenience/Convenient.   What do they like least?  Always reachable / Always connected / People bothering me.

75% of users admit they have texted at least once while driving.

The question that started my inclination to write about cell phones was this one:  “However, is it really important for students to hold a cell phone all day long?”    After Parkland, Florida,  I need to rethink  that one.

Marie Coppola  February 17, 2018