The Compliment Too Many Men Miss

Originally published July 31, 2013.

Republished November 27, 2015 after a web host transfer.

People are raised to believe all kinds of stereotypes. For men, one of those stereotypes is that friendly women are interested in sex. In the May 25, 2013 Dear Abby column, one young woman wrote that she was “naturally friendly and sometimes guys I’m not interested in think I’m flirting with them.” I am also a friendly woman. I encounter this stereotype frequently.

I have been widowed for decades and single by choice since 1998. The last man I dated wanted to marry me. I said no because I do not want to be married again. If my husband were still alive, I hope we would still be married. But I have reached a stage in my life where I am happily single. I intend to remain happily single for the rest of my life.

However, I do enjoy having conversations with men. I start conversations with men in public. I also start conversations with repairmen who come to my house to work on my telephone, furnace, electricity, and plumbing. Some of the repairmen are interesting to talk to, so I look forward to new conversations when those repairmen come back to my house.

One of those repairmen keeps mentioning his wife, which means he has missed my compliment — that I enjoy our conversations.

When I was in my 20s, I worked in a small neighborhood store in Chicago. A man with a high paying job who lived across the street from the store would come in to talk to the owner. One day when the owner wasn’t there, the man came over and talked to me. We had such a good conversation that he invited me out to dinner. Our interesting conversation continued through dinner. I went home knowing that the man had paid me the compliment of considering me an interesting person to talk to. He was free for that evening and invited me out so he could enjoy further conversation. I never expected anything more.

Compliments can smooth the irritations of the day. Compliments can increase confidence. Compliments can show people the positive things others see in them.

My conversations with men are compliments. I wish more of the men would recognize the compliment, because I intend to keep the compliments coming.

Below are some resources that reveal men’s mistaken assumptions about friendly women. Ironically, a study of college students found that men can misread women’s sexual come-ons as friendly gestures. The Dear Abby advice seeker also wrote that, “…when I try to flirt with a guy, it never works.” See this happen for yourself. Watch Leonard mistake Alex’s sexual come on as friendliness, “The 43 Peculiarity” episode of The Big Bang Theory.

It seems that too many men are missing more than compliments.

Men can also misread sexual desire in other men. Below are three quotes from three articles about the television show Death In Paradise. The characters mentioned are Detective Inspector (DI) Humphrey Goodman and Detective Sergeant (DS) Florence Cassell.

“He (Goodman) was probably trying to impress DS Florence, who he’s clearly in love with (as he was with DS Camille) though he doesn’t even realise it himself.”
Sam Wollaston, reviewer

“I don’t think they’re like that together – I think they’re just mates. I think that it would be a little disingenuous and a little cheating to the show.”
Kris Marshall, the actor who plays DI Humphrey Goodman

“You’ll see their friendship and how Florence wants to help him find a new girlfriend,” reveals Josephine. “But it is just friendship and nothing else. Humphrey had a kind of love story with Camille, so it’d be too silly to have another love story with another French policewoman.”
Josephine Jobert, the actor who plays DS Florence Cassel

I watch this show. I read Wollaston’s review before I watched the episode where Wollaston saw Goodman “clearly” in love with Cassell. I saw no evidence of love. Wollaston is just one man out of many who make the same mistakes. Makes me wonder what Wollaston has missed.

“Actor Kris Marshall on Death In Paradise: We have some real cracking murders coming up”
John Marrs
Sunday Express
December 20, 2015

“Alcohol’s Role in Sexual Violence Perpetration: Theoretical Explanations, Existing Evidence, and Future Directions”
Antonia Abbey
Drug and Alcohol Review
September 2011, Volume 30, Issue 5, pages 481-489

“Clueless Guys Can’t Read Women”
Jeanne Bryner
Live Science
March 19, 2008

“Death in Paradise review: the TV equivalent of a boring holiday timeshare”
Sam Wollaston
The Guardian
February 27, 2015 02.00 EST

“Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall reveals all about series five of the BBC drama”
Frances Taylor
tv.bt.com
January 7, 2016

“Science Confirms The Obvious: Men Mistake Female Friendliness For Sexual Interest”
Laura Allen
Popular Science
April 4, 2009

“Trying to flirt can backfire”
Dear Abby
March 24, 2013

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated August 18, 2017

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

To Maintain Gender Stereotypes, Find A Study Of Monkeys & Stick With It!

Originally publish September 11, 2013.

Revised and republished November 25, 2015 after a web host transfer.

In an opinion piece titled, “Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls…so far”, Jim Wolff expressed concern about attempts to offer “boy” toys to girls and “girl” toys to boys. His concern showed up in these phrases:

“gender neutral”

“genderless society”

“politically-correct bulldada”

To justify his distress, Wolff wrote that “stereotyping is not created by society.”

Wolff cited three studies to prove that stereotypes are “naturally” created. His favorite study must have been the study of vervet monkeys because he mentioned it twice. In the study, boy monkeys chose “boy” toys and girl monkeys chose “girl” toys. In response to Sweden’s attempts to break down gender stereotypes Wolff wrote, “Apparently nobody in Sweden paid any attention to the study”, referring to the study of vervet monkeys.

Both of my grandsons did play with trucks. Both of my grandsons also asked to wear nail polish and went out in public with their painted nails. My youngest grandson marched in a parade with me. We wore vintage hats. He chose a hat with a red rose on top. People both admired his hat and applauded us as we walked by.

My granddaughter did briefly play with dolls. She later announced that she no longer wanted to wear pink clothes and was planning which tattoos she will get first when she is old enough. She’ll probably start with tattoos on her arms.

Were my grandchildren just not exposed to the right monkeys? Or is human behavior far more intricate than Wolff wants us to believe?

Wolff also stated we shouldn’t “bet the farm” on boys becoming “seamsters” because parents give them sewing machines. Wolff must consider it a crying shame that Jason Wu’s “cool parents” actually let him play with the toys he chose to play with — dolls! His favorites included a Bob Mackie Barbie, a Dior doll, and other Barbies! Jason even read fashion magazines! Then, his cool mother made the terrible mistake of buying Jason a sewing machine when he was only 9 years old! Jason’s parents even stood by and let Jason sew clothes for his dolls! How could Jason Wu possibly become successful with a sewing machine instead of a truck? It’s a tragedy that Jason Wu ended up designing two inaugural dresses for First Lady Michelle Obama. Now he’ll make the mistake of thinking he can be a successful seamster!

Stereotypes are like clay molds. Most of the clay has to be cut away to fit just the right amount into the mold. Most of what people feel and think and do has to be ignored to fit just the “right” feelings  and the “right” thoughts and the “right” actions into the stereotype mold. Jim Wolff cut out the evidence of what real children feel and think and do to push one study of monkeys as the guide for raising children the “natural” way.

“Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls…for far”
Jim Wolff
The Berlin Journal
December 6, 2012, page 2
theberlinjournal.com

“Jason Wu: The American Dream”
Suzy Menkes
The New York Times
September 6, 2013

“Jason Wu Woos at Saks Chevy Chase”
Alexandra Geisler
Capitol File
August 29, 2013

This post will be listed as additional reading in the following book:

Gossip Power: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

No publication date is set.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: A Businesswoman Makes An Opportunity Disappear

Originally published Wednesday, July 17, 2013.

Revised and republished November 22, 2015 after a web host transfer.

The description for the first episode of TLC network’s Sin City Rules included the phrase “high-powered women”. When I think of high-powered women, I think of women like Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Marissa Mayer, Jody Foster, and Oprah Winfrey. I don’t agree with everything those powerful women do, but I recognize that they are powerful. Because of the phrase about powerful women, I watched the first episode of Sin City Rules. One episode was enough.

None of the women I consider high-powered do any of the following:

Hire six little men to lead them into a big party.

Invite other women to unfamiliar events so they can publicly laugh at them.

Engage in bad and ugly gossip so they can feel superior.

Announce that, “I am God.”

Lana Fuchs, owner of Billionaire Mafia, did all of the above. Instead of speaking and acting with girl goodwill towards other women, Lana purposefully growled at one woman in particular.

Lana’s girl growls backfired not just with television viewers, but with TLC executives. TLC cancelled Sin City Rules before the end of its first season. It did not even broadcast the final three episodes.

The blog Carbon Poker commented on the cancellation because one of the women on the show was professional poker player Jennifer Harman. The blog reported that Lana “constantly harassed” independent entertainment business reporter Alicia Jacobs.

Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on a tweet from Gigolos co-producer Marklen Kennedy to Alicia Jacobs: “Cruella de Vil Fuchs is still mad that house fell on her sister back in Oz.”

Clarke also reported on a tweet from Karina in Toronto: “the only likable women were @REALJenHarman & @AliciaJacobs. Otherwise it was girls gone wild – Cougar edition!”

For a complete understanding of the lengths Lana Fuchs went to growl at other women on Sin City Rules, read the episode summaries yourself.

Clarke reported that the person with the most to lose from cancellation of the show was Lana Fuchs. Apparently, Lana saw the show as an opportunity to “energize” her Billionaire Mafia fashion company. Her girl growls backfired and made that opportunity disappear.

Remember, Lana Fuchs announced that, “I am God.” She made these statements about Billionaire Mafia:

Lana Fuchs is also the President and CEO of Billionaire Mafia, a Lifestyle Clothing Brand, which has become a top contender in the apparel industry in only a few years.  Lana continues to be involved in all aspects of the company, from design and manufacturing, to sales and marketing.  Since the creation of Billionaire Mafia in 2008, Lana has succeeded in turning her brainchild from a small tee shirt business into a global lifestyle clothing brand consisting of a full line of knits, wovens, denim, leather, tees, jewelry and much more.  Currently in 400+ select specialty retailers in the United States, Billionaire Mafia is currently in the process of establishing its flagship stores nationwide and distribution overseas.

Click on the link below to see how Billionaire Mafia is doing now:

www.BillionaireMafia.com

Not only did businesswoman Lana Fuchs make an opportunity disappear, she apparently made her company disappear.

“Sin City Rules cancelled, Jennifer Harman off TV”
PokerPop
Carbon Poker
January 18, 2013

“‘Sin City Rules’ gets poor reviews”
Norm Clarke
Las Vegas Review-Journal
December 12, 2012

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: A Petition Volunteer Drops Her Coworker’s Jaw

Originally published July 11, 2013.

Revised and republished November 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Through a number of friends, I met a woman I’ll call T.

I ran into T at stores, social events, and county events, but never got to know her. I did hear comments from people who knew T well that suggested T had an unpleasant characteristic. I discovered her unpleasant characteristic during a political petition campaign.

This campaign took place during the term of a politician whose manner of leadership left families and friends hesitant to talk to each other about politics. When campaign workers set up sites for a petition opposing this politician, there were reports of the politician’s supporters harassing petition volunteers. Some of the politician’s opponents were guilty of harassing the politician’s supporters. That was the political climate.

When I stopped at a petition site, I saw T standing right behind the table with another volunteer next to her. I asked if they had been harassed, then looked down at the petition. T asked, “Are you going to harass us?” I looked up to see T turning away with a self-congratulatory smirk on her face while her coworker dropped her jaw and stared at T.

T’s coworker did not look at me in fear of harassment. She looked at T in astonishment that she would rudely insult a petition signer. T’s girl growl insult backfired on her. Instead of making me look bad, she made herself look bad. Judging by the comments I’ve heard about T over more than a decade, making herself look bad is a habit.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: An Editor Gives Herself An Unprofessional Image

Originally published April 24, 2013.

Revised and republished November 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Girls grow up learning to judge each other according to four cultural themes of betrayal. Bad and ugly gossip are one method of betrayal. When girls and women respond to each other according to these cultural themes, they respond as if there are growling at each other. Think about all the times you’ve heard the term “cat fight” applied to women. I am tired of women starting cat fights that hurt and insult and betray instead of gab fests that heal and encourage and support.

I had hoped  to start a gab fest with a woman who edits a print publication. I sent her the following email (with identifying details removed):

“I am currently collecting examples of amateurs with passion. The founding members of the MREA were amateurs at hosting an energy fair, but they were amateurs with passion. Their passion created the longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world.

It seems to me that you were an amateur with passion when you started this publication.

Am I right?

I especially want to collect examples of amateurs with passion in Wisconsin. If you know of any others, please share them with me.”

This was her response:

“Thanks for the email. Passion is a requirement for any member of the Fourth Estate.

I have looked up your website, and I didn’t see any affiliation with MREA. I would be willing to share my experiences, but I would be be remiss in my duties, and in violation of our code of ethics, if I were to pass along non-public information regarding our sources to a third party without expressed written consent.”

You can see that the editor’s response was a growl. In order to respond with a growl, she had to stereotype me negatively. In order to stereotype me negatively, she gave herself an unprofessional image of incompetence and ineffectiveness. Her girl growl backfired.

The editor’s first image of incompetence was her supposed inability to recognize the word “examples”. The fifth word in my email is “examples” and I used “examples” a second time near the end of my email. The editor can read. She knows the word “examples” when she sees it.

The editor’s second image of incompetence was her failure to recognize the example in my first paragraph.The editor is an intelligent woman. She knows an example when she sees one. She also knows that examples are situations people can see from the outside. No sources required.

The editor ignored my double use of the word “examples” and pretended I had asked her for sources. My supposed request for sources required an extremely negative response because she wanted me to feel I had committed a sin.

As far as ineffectiveness, either the editor really was ineffective or she intentionally ignored one whole page of my website. That page describes my affiliations to the MREA. I made a documentary about the MREA.  The MREA used quotes from my documentary in their book about the first 20 years of their fair. I would never consider asking anyone for their sources within the MREA because I have my own sources. I’ve known some of my MREA sources for 30 years.

When I wrote the my email to the editor, the title of the page about the MREA was “Documentary.” That does not excuse the editor’s failure to find my affiliation with the MREA. This editor now writes investigative articles for her newspaper. Every time I see one, I wonder what she missed in her “investigation”.

Intelligent people can do foolish things, and the editor’s response to my email is an example of foolish failure.* She turned down an offer of free and admiring publicity. I wanted to put her in the same “amateurs with passion” category as the founding members of the MREA. From what I see, she looks like an amateur with passion who became a professional with passion. Why would the editor object to being in the same category as the founding members of the longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world?

I am tired of women responding to my goodwill offers with growls that stereotype me negatively. The editor’s growl was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Because of her, I came up with the term “girl growl”. I also decided to add the “Girl Growl Backfire” category to this blog. I had already created the Girl Goodwill page on my website. But the above growl from an intelligent woman proves that girl growls need to be addressed. Below are my definitions of both girl goodwill and girl growls.

Girl goodwill is any intentional effort to create success for other females.

Girl growls are any intentional efforts to sabotage success for other females.

My goal in adding the Girl Growl Backfire category is to convince women that both goodwill and growls are invitations. Send out goodwill and you invite other women to respond with goodwill. Send out growls and you invite other women to respond with growls. Instead of responding to this editor with a growl, I chose to expose how her growl at me backfired on her.

I also think it is time for women to hold each other accountable for betraying other women. The four cultural themes of betrayal create inequality between women. We can hardly expect men to create equality for women when women create inequality for each other. Equality between men and women will follow equality between women.

If the editor uses her intelligence and starts responding to other women with goodwill, I would be happy to write something positive about her. I still think she could be in my “amateur with passion“ category. I name the people I write about as examples of success. Free and positive publicity for a woman who did so well that she went from being an amateur with passion to being  a professional with passion. Do you see anything wrong with that?

Since the editor growled at me, it is likely that she has growled at other women. That means the editor has repeatedly sent out invitations for other women to respond to her with growls.

Update

The editor wrote an article about a local issue involving a resident. A number of the resident’s neighbors wrote comments to the article supporting the resident. Several online comments from the publication day of the newspaper disappeared. I know this because I read comments from a number of people wondering where their previous comments had gone. I went back to that article a few days later. All of the comments wondering about the disappearance of the earlier comments had also disappeared. Few comments remained. Apparently, the editor believes in freedom of speech only for herself.

Please join Paula Kramer’s Girl Goodwill Facebook campaign to create more success for all women. Unfortunately, Facebook moved my Girl Goodwill email to a different page, created a new password for my Girl Goodwill page, and has ignored all of my requests to give my administrative access back to me.

* Foolish failure
Failing to see opportunities for serendipitous success in people who are different from you because you do not understand that your success is connected to their success

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated July 31, 2016

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: 8 Words End A Friendship Of Years

Originally published August 14, 2013.

Revised and republished November 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

I was a single mother because my husband died when our daughter was 8 months old. I was a disabled single mother because a childhood spinal injury had been repeatedly misdiagnosed. My disability was invisible, so a lot of people did not believe I had disabling pain in my spine. My daughter and I lived on Social Security Survivors Benefits, food stamps, housing assistance, and medical assistance. My husband died very young, so the benefits from his account were small.

A good number of people, groups, and organizations let me know that accepting any assistance meant taking money out of their pockets. For years I wrote letters to newspapers about poverty. One woman responded with an accusation of “…hiding behind your daughter and looking for free handouts.”

In this atmosphere, I failed another single mother. A tragedy happened in her family. I will give no details to protect her now the way I did not protect her then.

This single mother’s name came up while I was visiting two people I had been good friends with for a number of years. Feeling that the tragedy in this single mother’s life would only make my life as a single mother more difficult, I spoke eight hateful words about her.

The end of the friendship began immediately.

My girl growl backfired on me twice. The first backfire was the end of a friendship that was important to me. The second backfire is a continuing feeling of guilt for the way I failed another woman who was probably treated as badly as I was treated for being a single mother.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

How Did Business Tycoon Donald Trump Miss The Opportunity To Turn Undocumented Mexicans Into Customers & Tourists?

Originally published May 7, 2014.

Updated and republished September 25, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Updated March 10, 2016 with a new example of encouraging startups in areas not considered fertile ground for startups.

The U.S. has spent billions to keep illegal Mexican immigrants out of the country. In his attempt to become the 2016 Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump promised, “I will build the wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it and they will be happy to for it.” How did business tycoon Donald Trump miss the business opportunities in this situation?

Mexicans come to this country to earn money for themselves and to send money home so their families can buy the basic necessities of life. They do not come to take jobs away from Americans. How do I know that? If American citizens wanted careers picking fruits and vegetables, gutting fish, or cleaning hotel rooms, no openings would be available for migrant workers.

Instead of spending money on a wall meant to keep migrant workers out, what if we spent money to invite Mexicans to become customers and legal tourists? Brazil provides an example for how to approach this.

The Brazilian domestic economy improved after the government instituted Bolsa Familia, a conditional cash transfer program. Poor families receive small amounts of cash every month on the conditions that children get vaccinations and stay in school and pregnant women get prenatal care. A university in Brazil calculated that these conditional cash transfers are responsible for about one-sixth of the reduction in poverty. The cash transfers also contribute to municipal growth. After spending these small amounts of money on food, shoes, clothes, and schoolbooks, parents bought household appliances. They created jobs for other Brazilians.

We could invite Mexicans to become customers and legal tourists by making conditional investments in small businesses and even schools in Mexico. Mexicans would be able to find jobs at home, the small businesses would benefit their municipalities, we would get a return on our investments, and people who make a living in Mexico would have income to buy U.S. products and visit the U.S. as legal tourists.

A border wall is too expensive and ineffective. U.S. citizens lost their property so the wall could be built. Conditional investments would not be perfect, but the money would be better spent than any border wall money money. People who are experienced in business investment could determine what the conditions should be.

To make sure the conditional investments are effective, we should follow the example of the USS Benfold, a guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy. Captain D. Michael Abrashoff became commander of Benfold when Benfold was the worst performing ship in the Pacific Fleet. Captain Abrashoff helped the crew become make Benfold the highest performing ship in the Pacific Fleet during his two years as commander. He began the process by asking each member of his 310 crew the following four questions:

Is there a better way to do what you do?

What do you like most about the Benfold?

What do you like least about the Benfold?

What would you change?

People who work with and are trusted by undocumented Mexicans could ask adapted versions of those four questions:

Is there a better way to create a life in Mexico?

What do you like about Mexico?

What don’t you like about Mexico?

What would you change?

The compiled answers would provide the who, what, where, when, how, and why of turning undocumented Mexicans into customers and legal tourists. Even Donald Trump might finally recognize the opportunities.

We could also learn from the success of Cofound Harlem, an incubator of new startups in Harlem. Cofound Harlem recognizes the importance of connections, role models, and desire. It decided to “bet on teams, not ideas.” The startups Cofound Harlem helps must agree to stay in Harlem for at least four years. Cofound Harlem’s efforts “attracted mentors, corporate partners, and board members from the ranks of big players like Google, the NYC mayor’s office, Amazon Web Services, and NBC Universal.” After 90 days, Cofound Harlem reported,

“The companies are doing well. Really well. Collectively, we have
1 seed round closed, 3 new products launched, and a ton of mistakes
to show for it. “

Cofound Harlem is committed to making a “deep, long-lasting impact in the village of Harlem.”

These approaches leave other problems unsolved. If Mexicans stay home to earn money, who will pick fruits and vegetables, gut fish, and clean hotel rooms for U.S. consumers? That question requires consideration. I do not have all the answers, but the migrants who do the jobs American citizens don’t want probably have at least some of the answers. Let’s ask them these questions, adapted from the questions Commander D. Michael Abrashoff asked all 310 members of his USS Benfold crew:

Is there a better way to do your low level job?

What do you like about working in the U.S.?

What don’t you like about working in the U.S.?

What would you change?

It’s obvious that ignoring the basic needs of undocumented Mexican immigrants has not given us what we want for ourselves. We need to recognize the basic needs of Mexicans here and in Mexico if we want to satisfy our own needs in the United States.

“Bolsa Familia: Changing the Lives of Millions in Brazil”
The World Bank

“Bolsa Familia (Family Grant) Programme: an analysis of Brazilian income transfer programme”
Luciana Mourao and Anderson Macedo de Jesus
Field Actions Science Reports
Special Issue 4, 2012: Fighting Poverty, between market and gift

“A costly U.S.-Mexico border wall, in both dollars and deaths”
Robin Emmott
Reuters
October 2, 2009

“Donald Trump promises Mexico will pay for wall”
Tom LoBianco
CNN

“How to get children out of jobs and into school”
The Economist

“Meet the 23-Year-Old Turning Harlem Into A Startup Hub Without All The Whiteness”
Jessica Leber
Fast Company Magazine, Co.Exist
March 2, 2016

“Standout Success For “The Best Damn Ship In The Navy”
Paula M. Kramer
blog.smilessparksuccess.com

“The US-Mexico Border” A Desert Monument to Failure”
Marc Pitzke
Speigel Online International

“Why Americans Won’t Do Dirty Jobs”
Elizabeth Dwoskin
Bloomberg Business
November 9, 2011

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Ignoring People/Opportunities

Opportunities, Not Fairy Tales

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Dreary, Gloomy, Or Fun?

Originally published July 26, 2011.

Revised and republished October 28, 2015 after a web host transfer.

When the weather is cloudy or rainy, what kind of day do you choose for yourself?

Dreary day

Gloomy day

Fun day

I choose a fun day.

My mother tried to kill me twice when I was very little. Terror filled my childhood because I never knew when my mother might try to kill me again. I felt safe only on Christmas Day because I knew she could not kill me that day. Terror marked every other day of the year.

When my mother’s attempts to kill me physically failed, She spent the rest of my childhood trying to kill me mentally and emotionally. She would tell me I could have or do something I wanted, then take it away from me at the last minute. On Christmas Day, of course, my mother had to let me keep what she had given me in front of other people. Every other day of the year held the possibility of tears from once again losing what I wanted. I couldn’t even feel safe on my birthday.

I am finally free of my mother. Now every day of my life is a day my mother cannot kill me. A cloudy day is an opportunity to have fun. A rainy day is an opportunity to have fun. Sunny days, snowy days, and stormy days are all opportunities to give myself whatever fun I can for that day.

What do you choose for yourself?

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Was I A Loser?

Originally published May 25, 2013.

Updated and republished September 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Online comments, tweets, interviews, and overheard conversations reveal misconceptions about people, success, and failure. One misconception stems from the tendency of some people to label other people “losers” using only limited information.

Is someone who turns down a chance to attend college a loser?

Is someone who can’t keep a full time job a loser?

Is someone who drifts from one low paying job to another a loser?

At age 18 I turned down the chance to attend college even though my parents would have paid for it. For years I couldn’t keep a full time job for more than six months. During one year I worked at 10 or more low paying jobs. Was I a loser?

The information other people didn’t have was that my mother tried to kill me twice when I was very young. I spent my entire childhood in terror of my mother killing me. I felt safe only on Christmas Day. Every other day of the year I woke up fearing my mother would kill me that day. No one else knew because my mother was accomplished at hiding cruel words and actions behind her image of a “good mother”. My father loved me but became an alcoholic to dull the cruel words my mother used to batter him emotionally.

I never consciously said to myself, “Mom might kill me today.” That kind of conscious awareness would have made me insane. I buried my murder memories. At age 14 I began overeating compulsively to bury my feelings. I turned down the chance to attend college because I did not want my mother controlling my life any longer. I couldn’t keep a full time job for more than six months because I was suicidally depressed. I drifted from one low paying job to another because the buried memories of my mother murdering me hindered my ability to function.

My turbulent subconscious kept reminding me of the murder attempts with several recurring clues. After 3 years of heart-shredding therapy I finally said to myself at age 42, “Mom did try to kill me.” Today I have two college degrees, am writing several books, have done professional talks, have made a documentary, and have helped other people.

My parents had six children. Daughter, daughter (me), son, daughter, son, daughter. When I was 34, the brother who was born third told me that the reason I had problems with our mother was that I was female instead of male. He said that our mother expected him to be her “knight in shining armor”. My mother needed a son to prove her worth as a woman. In the words of my psychologist brother-in-law, my mother treated my brother like “a god”. Because she needed a knight in shining armor, my mother saw me as a threat. The crime that sentenced me to death was being female.

To protect herself from anything I might eventually say about her, my mother taught relatives and neighbors to ignore what I said and discount what I did. It worked. My siblings and relatives (including my psychologist brother-in-law) think I exaggerate everything and am irresponsible. My siblings treated me like a trespasser in their lives because they considered me a loser.

When I had increasing problems earning money because of a childhood injury to my spine, they decided I couldn’t be feeling physical pain. My older sister asked, “Are you sure it isn’t emotional?’ I told her that when I wore a belt too tightly, my spine hurt. When I loosened the belt, my spine stopped hurting. My sister didn’t believe me. The physical injury to my spine meant nothing in the face of  my siblings’ need to stereotype me as a loser.

If I had allowed myself to remember enough to say something as a child, no one would have believed me. My father taught at Northwestern University. My mother had attended a year of college herself. Who would have believed that a college educated married woman would try to kill her own child?

A series of nightmares put the pieces of my murder memories together at age 42. My father was the only family member who had loved me for who I was, and he died when I was 30. I knew that if I talked about my mother trying to kill me, no one in my family or circle of friends and relatives would believe me. Knowing the outcome, I finally wrote letters stating that my mother had tried to kill me. No one believed me. It was much easier for everyone else to see me as a loser.

I have met five other women who remember one or both of their parents trying to kill them. One of them remembers her police detective father pointing a loaded gun at her head. Some of them escaped the loser label, some of them did not. Were any of us losers? No. We were survivors forced to cope with trauma by ourselves because other people labeled us losers.

My family is what I call a “murder secret family” When parents kill or attempt to kill their children and hide the crimes successfully, the entire family learns to keep the crimes a secret. Many family members keep the secret without knowing they are keeping that kind of secret. My mother manipulated everyone else to participate in keeping the secret, but only she and I knew what the secret was. Sometimes other children will know there is a secret, even if parents successfully kill one or more of their children. A child disappears, never spoken of again. But the siblings remember there used to be more of them.

Sometimes other siblings blame all sibling relationship problems on the sibling who survived attempted murder. My siblings absolved themselves of treating me like a member of their family by deciding I had caused all my own problems with my emotional, irresponsible behavior. Everyone else considered themselves innocent of everything. My surviving siblings probably still see me as a loser. To see me as I really am, they would have to see themselves as they really are. Murder secret family members keep secrets from themselves about their own loser behaviors. I left all of my relatives behind because they were all losers to me.

My mother hasn’t been able to completely hide her secret from herself. She has repeatedly told people what a “good mother” she is. I’ve never heard any other mother repeatedly describe herself as a “good mother”. I don’t. My mother keeps describing herself as a “good mother” to other people to convince herself that she couldn’t have possibly tried to kill her own baby twice.

The next time you see someone society labels a loser, remember my story.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated October 9, 2016

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

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Think You Got Away With Something? Think Again. 6 Examples Reveal How God Arranges Paybacks, Sometimes With Human Help.

Originally published February 5, 2014.

Updated and republished September 18, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Since the time before humans, God has been arranging paybacks. The examples below include paybacks overturning size, wealth, and political power as well as repaying nastiness with nastiness and greed with loss. The examples are in chronological order. They show that the time between an action and its payback can be millions of years, thousands of years, thirty years, one year, several months, three months, or instant.

I include one example of my own unpleasant karma. Another form of karma is regret, as my poem at the end of this post reveals.

1
Before Humans
Millions of years

Brontoscorpio anglicus — thunder scorpion in English — was an aquatic scorpion. It was one of the largest animals on Earth during the Silurian period (443.7 to 416.0 million years ago) and was a dangerous predator with fish as its prey. Over time, Brontoscorpios anglicus moved onto land where it found less oxygen than in the sea. The primitive lungs of Brontoscorpios anglicus could not take in enough oxygen to maintain its body’s huge size. The huge body had to shrink to survive. During the Devonian period (416-359.2 million years ago), this once huge and dangerous arthropod became smaller prey for giant killer fish. Time had changed circumstances, reversing the sizes and roles of Brontoscorpio anglicus and fish. According to the documentary Walking with Monsters: Life Before Dinosaurs, “Paybacks are as ancient as time itself.”

2
Humans Behaving as Gods on Earth
Thousands of years

King Tutankhamen (King Tut) was an Egyptian Pharaoh in the 18th dynasty. He became pharaoh at age 9 and died at age 18.

Unlike other pharaohs, King Tut’s funeral was rushed. His mummy was burnt because his body was not given the 40 days of desiccation (drying) plus 30 days of oil application and wrapping. His embalming incision was “odd” and “brutal”. His arms were placed in an “unusual” position. His mummification was “peculiar”.

The paintings on the wall in his tomb were still wet when the tomb was sealed, allowing brown spots to develop. Unlike other pharaoh tombs, large sections of the walls in King Tut’s tomb were left blank. Tomb painters put very few hieroglyphics on the walls.

The tomb itself was the size of an official’s tomb, not a pharaoh’s tomb. The grave goods were taken from other tombs, including King Tut’s famous burial mask. It was two pieces rather than one piece. The original face had been removed and a new face was welded to the rest of the mask. The ears on the new face had holes for earrings. Adult men in Tut’s time did not wear earrings. The face on the mask more closely matches Nefertiti’s face rather than Tut’s face. Nefertiti was either Tut’s mother or stepmother. DNA experts have interpreted testing results both ways.

Why the rush, shortchanging, and second hand burial goods? King Tut’s Vizier (advisor) Ay wanted the throne for himself. Ay made himself pharaoh even though Tut had chosen Horemheb to succeed him if he died before he had children. Horemheb was commander in chief of the army and in Asia when Tut died. He did become Pharaoh after Ay died.

Ay had himself buried in a far larger tomb than King Tut. Historians believe that Ay used his own tomb for Tut’s burial and Tut’s tomb for his burial.

Ay wasn’t the only Pharaoh to shortchange King Tut. Pharaoh Horemheb dated his own reign back to Amenhotep III, erasing Ay, King Tut, and Akhenaten, Tut‘s father. Seti I and Ramesses II of the 19th dynasty erased King Tut (as well as Akhenaten and Ay) from a king list of “legitimate” pharaohs at the religious center in Abydos. Looking only at the inscriptions, you would not know that Tut was ever pharaoh. Seti I and Ramesses II thought they had denied Tut immortality.

Four pharaohs with all the wealth and power of gods on earth tried to shortchange King Tut or erase him completely from history. God arranged for some payback.

King Tut’s tomb is located in the deepest part of the Valley of the Kings. After Tut’s death, flash flooding washed water into the valley from three different directions. The water collided in the deepest part of the valley, right above Tut’s tomb. The collision of rushing water slowed the flooding and dropped 1 to 2 meters of rock-filled sediment on top of Tut’s tomb. The sun baked “the flood layer as hard as concrete” making the flood sediment look like “the natural floor of the valley”, according to geologist Stephen Cross. Cross considers the sediment “almost the perfect camouflage for the tomb”.

King Tut was buried with spring flowers. Cross believes the flooding took place the following fall. Tut’s tomb was vulnerable to robbers for less than a year before what Egyptologist Chris Naunton calls “a natural act of God” made it disappear for more than 3000 years. Because Seti I and Ramesses II left Tut’s name off of their king list, grave robbers did not know they should look for his tomb.

When Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922, King Tut became the “best known figure” in Egyptian history. Tut’s “name lives on more than any other ruler”. According to Egyptologist Dr. Peter J. Brand, University of Memphis, the discovery of King Tut’s tomb was “the most important moment in archaeological history.”

Note that Ay, Horemheb, Seti I, and Ramesses II all thought that wealth and power gave them the right to create a world order that suited their desires. Their world order was not God’s world order, so God arranged a payback.

3
Political Beliefs Over Human Rights
Thirty years

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela held several leadership positions in the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC fought to end the apartheid system of segregation and discrimination imposed by the white government. It also fought to end the killings of blacks, including women and children.

In 1964, the apartheid government of South Africa sent Nelson Mandela to prison for life, having convicted him of treason. When Mandela and other ANC members arrived at Robben Island a warder told them, “This is the Island. This is where you will die.” History proves that God had other plans.

In the 1980s, calls to free Nelson Mandela kept getting louder and more widespread. The two most prominent world leaders in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, refused to see Mandela as anything other than a communist. The Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, saw Mandela as a man trying to gain freedom for all black South Africans in a country that created harsh segregation. Whenever Reagan and Thatcher and Mulroney discussed Nelson Mandela, Reagan and Thatcher would always state their belief that anti-apartheid leaders were communists. In his autobiography, Memoirs, Mulroney recalled his response:

“How can you or anyone else know that? He’s been in prison
for 20 years and nobody knows that, for the simple reason
no one has talked to him — including you. Besides, if I and
my people were being oppressed by a racist state whose actions
were killing my brethren, I’d take help from anyone if the west
wouldn’t give it to me. And that includes communists.”

In 1986, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. President Reagan vetoed it. Before passage of the act, Reagan had gone on television to warn Americans that the act was “immoral” and “utterly repugnant”. The Senate (78 to 21) and House (313 to 83) overrode Reagan’s veto. Even after the Republican majority congress overrode Reagan’s veto, Reagan did not fully implement the sanctions.

Reagan refused to recognize that God had already begun working through other people to bring an end to South Africa’s apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment. Sports associations boycotted South Africa at least as far back as the 1950s. The United Nations passed a nonbinding resolution calling for sanctions against South Africa in 1962. As time passed, artists and musicians boycotted South Africa as well.

God also influenced ordinary people to become payback agents. One example comes from a woman who found she had a connection to South Africa’s pass laws. Regulations to control the movement of South African blacks to the benefit of powerful whites began in the 18th and 19th centuries when the Dutch and British ran a slave economy. In 1952, the South African government passed a law requiring all black African males over the age 16 to carry a passbook with their photographs. Between 1800 when the first regulations were passed until the pass laws were repealed in 1986, whites arrested between 15 and 20 million blacks for violating the laws that denied them human rights.

Through a “fluke”, Polaroid worker Caroline Hunter discovered that her employer provided the camera system the South African government used to produce photographs for passbooks. Hunter launched a boycott of Polaroid with the man who would become her husband, Ken Williams. The campaign grew to include boycotts and divestment campaigns against other corporations. Hunter and Williams testified before Congress in 1971. Around the world, other ordinary people launched and took part in anti-apartheid boycotts.

President FW de Klerk released Mandela from prison in 1990. The South African Parliament repealed apartheid laws in 1990. When Nelson Mandela visited New York that same year, broadcast journalist Ted Koppel asked him the question President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher never bothered to ask.

Ted Koppel: “Well, now, the Communists…”
Mandela: “They were the only ones who helped us. Next question.’”

In 1994, South Africans elected Nelson Mandela to be their first black president. When Nelson Mandela died in 2013, his funeral became a world event as people around the world joined South Africans in mourning the man who chose reconciliation over revenge.

The apartheid government sent Nelson Mandela to prison for the rest of his life in 1964. In 1994, Mandela took office as President of South Africa. He will be remembered for the rest of human history as the man who chose to forgive the people who imprisoned him instead of taking revenge on them.

Once again, humans with temporary power (human power is always temporary) thought they could create a world order to suit their desires. Their world order was not God’s world order, and God arranged a payback. God created widespread and continuing attention plus honor for a man assigned to obscurity by humans with temporary power.

4
Nastiness To A Former Friend
1 year

When I was in my early 20s, I needed to share the rent and asked a friend to move in with me. We were better friends than roommates, and our time as roommates killed our friendship.

Instead of recognizing our differences, instead of acknowledging my own mistakes, instead of taking responsibility for my own actions, I chose to blame my former friend for everything that had gone wrong. To make sure my friend knew I blamed her for everything, I wrote her a nasty letter. I only remember one word from my letter – “nauseous”. I don’t remember anything else I wrote except that I thought up the nastiest things I could say pertaining to her personality and her life. I underlined a number of words and sentences, including the word nauseous. When I mailed that letter full of nastiness, I felt a wonderful self-satisfaction.

Less than a year later, I met a man through a coworker and started dating him. At the time I was coping with one of the worst experiences of my life and this man did what he could to help me. Then he started talking marriage. I started planning a wedding. Suddenly, this man told my coworker that I had misunderstood everything he had said. I knew what the word “married” meant. I told my coworker that he hadn’t heard what this man said to me. But my would-be fiancé refused to admit to anything and blamed me for everything. To make sure I knew he blamed me for everything, my would-be fiancé wrote me a letter. I’m certain he felt a wonderful self-satisfaction when he mailed it.

Can you guess what that letter said?

That letter said everything I had written to my former friend, word for word — including the word “nauseous”. My would-be fiancé had even underlined the same sentences and words I had underlined, including the word nauseous. I don’t have that letter anymore, but I wish I did. I wish I had a copy of the letter I sent to my former friend. Together they would be concrete evidence that God arranges paybacks, so we better think before we speak or act.

Being on both sides of the nastiness made me realize that every nasty statement I made to my former friend was what I felt about myself. God gave me a payback that made me recognize who I was.

5
Disregard Of Privacy
Several Months

A 70 year old woman was in the locker room of a gym, expecting privacy. Dani Mathers decided the woman did not deserve privacy and took a sneaky photograph of her. She added a body shaming comment and posted it to social media. Someone reported this to the police, who arrested Mathers for misdemeanor invasion of property.  The court sentence included community service, three years probation, and an order to not snap photos of other people or post them online without their permission. Payback was perfect.

“It’s taught me a lot about privacy. I’ve lost a lot of that myself as
well. We’ve had a lot of paparazzi involved in my family life. I had
my privacy taken away after I took someone else’s.”

6
Greed At Tax Time
3 Months

My friend J. had a high paying job at a Chicago television station. He asked me one evening if I had watched the big sports game the previous Sunday. I said no. He laughed and told me he had accidentally made the game “go away” in the middle of a play.

J. had enough money to own a fancy motorcycle, a fancy sports car, and an everyday car for Chicago’s cold weather. During the winter, J. kept his sports car in a garage and his motorcycle in his apartment where he would take it apart piece by piece and warn any visitors not to disturb the carefully laid out trails of parts.

For some reason, J. decided to cheat on his tax return to the tune of $300. Within three months, his $300 camera disappeared. J. told me about his cheating and his camera. He said, “I knew when I cheated on my taxes that something like this would happen.”

J. stole money from other taxpayers and God paid him back by taking away something of equal value.

7
Failure To Consider Others
Instant

“22 People Who Discovered Karma The Hard Way”
Nicole.LB
Diply
No Date

“A Chinese boy got instant karma after urinating on the buttons of an elevator”
Sujin Thomas
Business Insider Singapore
February 27, 2018

“Vigilante Biker Gets Revenge on Drivers Who Litter”
IB Times UK
September 17, 2014

Your Choice
Present & Future

The powers of size, wealth, and political status are temporary powers, no match for God’s permanent power. The self-satisfaction of nastiness is no match for God’s power. The trickery of greed is no match for God’s power.

My former friend and roommate died before I had the emotional courage to apologize to her. I have apologized to her soul. She is one of the women I was thinking about when I wrote the poem, “I Mourn You”. Regret is a particularly effective form of payback.

Think about the paybacks, apologies, and regrets you would like to avoid, then take the appropriate actions to avoid them in the present and future.

I Mourn You

I mourn you,

the girls and women of my life —

mother

sisters

cousins

aunts

friends

neighbors

colleagues

I mourn what we could have been, done, celebrated if

you had not decided I was

unworthy

of your love, attention, status.

I mourn you,

the girls and women of my life —

grandmother

cousins

friends

neighbors

colleagues

I mourn what we could have been, done, celebrated if

I had not decided you were

unworthy

of my love, attention, status.

I mourn us.

Paula M. Kramer

 

“Former Playboy model Dani Mathers apologizes after body-shaming 70-year-old on Snapchat”
Kelly McCarthy
Good Morning America
May 31, 2017

“In Ronald Reagan era, Mandela was branded a terrorist”
Jonathan S. Landay
McClatchyDC

“How Margaret Thatcher helped end apartheid – despite herself”
Richard Dowden
The Guardian
April 10, 2013

“Mandela death: How he survived 27 years in prison”
Mike Wooldridge
BBC News
December 11, 2013

“Mandela funeral to bring together world’s most powerful people”
The Guardian
Julian Borger and Daniel Howden
December 6, 2013

“Our uneven history with South Africa”
Allan Levine
Winnipeg Free Press
December 14, 2013

“Pass laws in South Africa 1800-1994”
South African History Online

“Polaroid & Apartheid: Inside the Beginnings of the Boycott, Divestment Movement Against South Africa”
Democracy Now! (radio news program)
December 13, 2013

“Reagan’s embrace of apartheid South Africa”
Justin Elliott
Salon
February 5, 2011

“Selfish Litterbug Throws Trash Out The Window, Then A Biker Teaches Her A Lesson”
Barbara Diamond
Little Things
No Date

“Sports Diplomacy and Apartheid South Africa”
Alex Laverty
The African File
December 13, 2010

Sun City (protest song)
Artists United Against Apartheid
1985
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=217

“The Day a Newly Freed Mandela Came to New York”
James Barron
The New York Times
December 6, 2013

“The Mandela Funeral”
Frank McCaffrey
MyMCMedia
December 8, 2013

“The Surprising Republican Civil War That Erupted Over Nelson Mandela and Apartheid”
Sagar Jethani
Policy.Mic
December 5, 2013

“U.N. condemns apartheid in South Africa”
Gary Satanovsky
Famous Daily
November 6, 1962

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated February 27, 2018

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Positive Peer Pressure Poster

Truth Or Propaganda?

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

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