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Fatalistic Forecasts Aren’t Helping Ebola Efforts – Greater Positivity is Needed

first_imgDuring a recent telephone conversation with my aunt, who lives in Liberia, I could hear trepidation in her voice for the first time. At the same time, though, she remained typically stoic, her faith in God unshakable after surviving two armed insurgencies. “They are saying on the radio that before January [2015] thousands of us will die,” said Auntie Arinah. “This thing is getting very scary. We rebuke those numbers!”I couldn’t help feeling moved by my aunt’s tenacity in the midst of her anxiety. Ebola fatality projections seem to have created an atmosphere of psychological distress in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, nations still recovering from the trauma of conflict.The language of alarm has been conspicuous. Estimated casualty numbers are punctuated with conditional verbs such as “could” and “may”. In August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that Ebola-related deaths could exceed 20,000 if there were no efforts to contain the disease. The projection seemed so far-fetched at the time that Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, publicly rejected them.Estimates have steadily increased. At a news conference in Geneva last week, the WHO estimated that there could be 10,000 new cases over the next two months. The scariest projection of all, referenced by my aunt, came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month: between 550,000 and 1.4 million people may be infected by January.I suspect that these forecasts are partly intended to speed up action, so that aid, medical supplies and health practitioners are deployed to the affected countries as quickly as possible. But there are unintended consequences. As a Liberian who has family, friends and colleagues in the country, fatality forecasts aren’t troubling only because they may come to pass. Announcements of probable deaths are affecting people right now.Isolated incidences of Ebola in Europe and the US have already caused hysteria. Africans across the world have been on the receiving end of xenophobia laced with racist venom more than ever before. Alarmist projections only add fuel to the fire.I’m not denying the threat Ebola poses if it is not contained. Yet I remain convinced that the grim statistics and apocalyptic framing of the outbreak are doing more harm than good.I fear the projections may be causing undue stress to people who need hope – healthcare workers battling the disease in hazmat suits; pregnant women on the verge of giving life; patients in Ebola treatment units who refuse to go gentle into that good night; and policymakers looking for solutions.For the countless individuals whose stories have been anonymised by the threat of Ebola, we must change the narrative around fuzzy, conditional statistics. Flip the script. Focus on the number of people who could survive if the response were faster. If we follow with precision the 70-70-60 formula developed by the WHO – treating 70% of infected patients while burying 70% of those who have died within 60 days – we should be able to predict how many lives will be spared. These numbers must replace the bleak headlines and become a new call to action.In an outbreak of this scale, speed and magnitude, accurate and reliable data is perhaps second only in importance to life-saving medical care. Probable, suspected and confirmed cases must be swiftly disaggregated to minimise over- or under-reporting. The underlying assumption that anyone exhibiting symptoms of Ebola has the virus is faulty and harmful, given the stigma attached to the disease. The recent establishment of mobile laboratories at two clinics in Liberia will enable diagnosis within hours, as opposed to days, so that people can seek appropriate medical attention for Ebola and non-Ebola ailments.The mantra so far – “it may get worse before it gets better” – seems rather defeatist. Instead of heeding fatalistic pronouncements, we need to shift our attention to the 400 people who had Ebola and came through, thanks to quality care in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The 11-year-old boy in Liberia of YouTube fame, Mamadee, comes to mind.I’d like to see alarming forecasts of death and doom give way to a more measured and positive approach to the Ebola outbreak. My aunt in Liberia wouldn’t have it any other way.This article was originally published on Theguardian.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

No favours in selection, says new Stars boss

first_img“For the future, nobody is sure to be in the selection with me. But, you have some reality in football that if you play for Tottenham sure, you are not far to be in selection and that is true. But, for both local and foreign players, you have to show me on the pitch,” the tactician said.He has also breathed some life to local based players who often feel overlooked in favor of their foreign based colleagues and says he will highly consider them for future assignments.He has at the same time said he will organize a training camp with a group of local players under the help of the local coaches to understand their abilities and open up his exposure to local football.“It is one of the things that Claude (Le Roy) taught me that sometimes you have to believe in the local talent.  In Congo when we reached the quarter final of the Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, we had three of the four defenders being local based. Here, we have a good blend of both foreign and local players so we will get a good team,” the coach further explained.The 45-year old Frenchman was the immediate former head coach of the Congo national team and resigned in March when the interest from Kenya arose.He has worked with his fellow Frenchman Le Roy and also had a stint with the DR Congo Under-20 team.New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne addresses the press alongside Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa before being unveiled on May 3, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“I am happy to be here because it is a new country with a new challenge. The main reason I agreed to come here is because I saw the potential of the team. I remember because I was the assistant when Kenya drew 1-1 with Congo with Olunga scoring and I saw the behavior of the team was interesting,” the coach revealed.“I have been following the team also and I thought to myself Kenya has real potential,” added the tactician.Migne comes in on a three-year contract which will culminate with the 2021 African Cup of Nations and he has been given a target to get to at least one of those two.His assignment starts with the qualifiers for 2019 with Ghana lying in wait in September.He says there is a possibility of qualifying for the 2019 showpiece in Cameroon and also affirms he is 100 percent confident the team will qualify for the 2021 event.“I am sure we can try and qualify for the next AFCON but for sure, 2021 we have to be there,” Migne said.New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne gets a signed ball from Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa after being unveiled on May 3, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“It is a shame that you started by losing to Sierra Leone. It is a real problem, but now we have to try and win the remaining games. Ethiopia especially is very important because if we get six points and then get something against Sierra Leone, it can be good,” the coach noted.“I don’t wait to wait for long until 2021 so we will try qualify for this one. We start with Ghana and I know them because we played against them in World Cup qualifiers. It will be a tough match but we will try to get a result especially at home,” he further noted.Having followed the team for a while, he has picked up the team’s defense as an area of concern, noting he isn’t happy with the concession rate.“I need to have these friendly games to meet the players and look at what we need to work on,” the coach further said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne after being unveiled on May 3, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, May 3- New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has warned players, both local and foreign based, that they have to earn their place in the team and there will be no favors in selection regardless of name or stature. Migne speaking to Capital Sport on the sidelines of his unveiling by the Football Kenya Federation on Thursday morning, said that the door of the national team is open for exit and entrance, but all that will be determined by the performance on the pitch.last_img read more

Slump in the U.S. housing market hurting Realtors

first_imgBy Dan Caterinicchia THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – Plummeting stock prices. Mortgage lenders filing for bankruptcy or shutting down. Layoffs at homebuilders and banks. Soaring foreclosures and loan defaults. Damage from the nation’s slumping housing market is evident throughout the economy and permeates financial markets. Add real estate agents to the growing list of victims, although they know few tears will be shed for them. The National Association of Realtors expects membership rolls to decline this year for the first time in a decade. The group ended 2006 with nearly 1.4 million members – almost double the roughly 716,000 it had in 1997 – but expects 2007 to close with 1.3 million, a drop of more than 4 percent. Agents’ ranks rose even after the market began to cool about two years ago because of the 18-month lag between the downturn in sales and membership, NAR spokesman Walter Molony said. Trade groups in two of the hardest hit states – California and Florida – also forecast membership drops. The California Association of Realtors is expecting its first decline since 1997, forecasting a year-end tally of 185,000 members compared with more than 199,000 last year. The Florida Association of Realtors has about 154,000 members compared with more than 161,000 last year at this time, but expects flat membership by year-end. Colleen Badagliacco, president of the California group and in the business since 1980, said many agents joining the last three years wanted to cash in on a hot market but weren’t prepared to endure what she calls the “ugly perfect storm” that attracted more agents than a sagging market can support. In California, applicants can get a conditional real estate license after taking one class, a loophole that will close after Sept. 30 when three classes will be required. “You had very inexperienced people doing very expensive transactions,” Badagliacco said. “There is the opportunity to make a lot of money, but the downside is there are a lot of fixed expenses whether you’re earning money or not.” A report from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice in May confirmed that while the Internet has become an important tool in residential real estate, consumers have not saved as much as they expected. Outdated state laws and business practices stand in the way. That’s where real estate agents come in. The median agent’s commission increased 25.5 percent to $11,549 between 1998 and 2005, according to the report. Badagliacco said she knows people like to “poke fun at the Realtor in the nice car,” but she expects there to be fewer objects for pokes and jokes in coming years. In California, where home sales continue to decline, between 110,000 and 140,000 agents are sustainable long-term so she expects bigger drops in membership in the next two years. Her firm’s budget has been readjusted twice this year, and cash reserves are below 2005 levels. Projections called for 100 transactions per month, but now the total is closer to 80, and her salaried staff has dropped to 12 from 15. The number of agents is about 105 compared with 120 when the year began. She has no plans to replace anyone who leaves or has left. Nancy Riley, president of the Florida Association of Realtors, said membership more than doubled since 2001 and stood at 169,434 last year. The group had budgeted for a 25 percent drop but expects about the same total by year’s end. “Most people getting out got in just to make a quick buck,” Riley said, blaming tax issues, insurance costs and the media for the perception that Florida’s real estate market continues to falter. “It’s not doom and gloom,” Riley says, insisting the state is gearing up for another population boom. Beth Richardson, an agent in St. Paul, Minn., since 1991 said the problem is that real estate is one of few businesses “where the sales force is not the most highly trained part of the operation.” Richardson endorses a one-year, mandatory apprenticeship before someone can become an agent. Now, the public is subjected to inexperienced people, partly because few buyers or sellers ask prospective agents the right questions. “No one asks me how many transactions I did in the last year,” Richardson said, adding that she had a high of 104 deals in 2003, which fell to 65 last year and is what she hopes to match this year. Stacey Ingerson worked for 15 years in social services but in 2003 decided to change careers to boost retirement savings. She got a real estate license and worked for Long & Foster in Baltimore. “I realized I was not Realtor material,” Ingerson said, adding that agents need the right combination of patience and aggressiveness. She left less than a year later, but remains involved in the industry, having opened her own home staging and rehabilitation businesses. Ingerson said her former colleagues are hanging in, but she expects many will reevaluate in the next year as the market continues to struggle.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

DONEGAL IS TO BE THE STAGE FOR STUDENTS OF COLAISTE AILIGH

first_imgMonths of hard work, late nights and dedication will be paid back when the students of Colaiste Ailigh in Letterkenny stage their annual school concert.The concert, which takes place at An Grianan Theatre tomorrow night, Friday, November 25th, features a variety of performances from many famous shows.These include Glee, Lord of the Dance, Oliver, Les Miserables, the Dynamic Waves dancers, Irish and English dramas and Colaiste Ailigh Grupa Ceoil. Coláiste Ailigh is renowned for its high standard of productions and under the direction of Trudy Ní Dhómhnaill, this year’s show will definitely live up to everyone’s high expectations.According to Trudy “The students have worked harder than ever before, showing unbelievable maturity and dedication. The determination and enthusiasm of our little stars has been astounding.“Students have been singing and dancing in every spare moment, in every spare classroom, since mid-September. They have shown that when they work together and put their minds to it, nothing is impossible. They refuse to accept limits and it’s safe to say, they are the greatest team we’ve ever seen.”Tickets for the show are €10 and €5 for Under 12s. We guarantee it’ll be much more entertaining than a night in watching the X Factor!DONEGAL IS TO BE THE STAGE FOR STUDENTS OF COLAISTE AILIGH was last modified: November 24th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Colaiste Ailighletterkennyschool concertlast_img read more

Evansville Edges Men’s Soccer, 1-0

first_img The Valley on ESPN3 The two teams will turn around and play again in Evansville, Ind. on Oct. 28. First kick is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the match will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3. Print Friendly Version Photo Gallery Story Links Preview Live Stats Ian McGrath scored his league-leading ninth goal in the 64th minute for Evansville (7-7-1, 1-3-1 MVC) as Drake (4-10-1, 1-4-1 MVC) had several chances for the equalizer, but couldn’t find the net on an afternoon that featured wind gusts up to 30 mph. Watch Livecenter_img at Evansville 10/28/2017 – 5 PM DES MOINES, Iowa – The Evansville Purple Aces edged the Drake men’s soccer team, 1-0, in Missouri Valley Conference play on Saturday afternoon at the Cownie Soccer Complex. On the goal, Eric McDougal sent a deep cross into the box that McGrath jumped for and headed by Bulldogs goalkeeper Caden McCullough (Evansville, Ind.). Next Game: Freshman Leroy Enzugusi (Marion, Iowa) had the two best scoring opportunities for the Bulldogs with one shot attempt just wide in the opening half and in the second half he took a shot that the Purple Aces keeper Matthew Keller made a great save on. Drake, which outshot Evansville, 10-8, had four shot attempts in the final 10 minutes. Full Schedule Roster last_img read more

Archaeopteryx May Have Devolved from a Flying Bird

first_img(Visited 62 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 In all the debates about the status of Archaeopteryx between reptiles and birds, no one till now expected this wild idea: it lost its ability to fly.Michael Habib (Univ. of Southern California) raised eyebrows in Los Angeles last week when he told a packed house at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting that he believes Archaeopteryx was secondarily flightless.  Nature News reported,The idea that it was instead evolving to lose its flight and becoming flightless again, or ‘secondarily flightless’, occurred to Habib while he was calculating limb ratios and degrees of feather symmetry in Archaeopteryx, and comparing the values to those of living birds, to better understand its flying ability. In doing so, he found that the creature’s traits were surprisingly similar to those of modern flightless birds such as rails and grebes that frequently dwell on islands.Nature said that if this suggestion had been made over a century ago when the famous fossil was discovered, it “might have been considered madness.”  That’s because for many years it was Exhibit A for Darwinism – a transitional form.  Discovered just two years after The Origin, it appeared to be evolving from reptile to flying bird, just as Darwin had predicted.The reaction of  paleontologists at the meeting was varied.  Some were skeptical.  This one saw some logic in Habib’s argument:“Just because Archaeopteryx was the first feathered dinosaur found, doesn’t mean it has to play a central role in the actual history of the origins of birds,” says palaeontologist Thomas Holtz of the University of Maryland in College Park. “We have to remember it appears 10 million years or so after the oldest known bird-like dinosaurs and so our famous ‘first bird’ may really be a secondarily flightless one.”Others noted that birds use their wings for many functions beside flying.  Ken Dial was there (see 12/03/12, #2), pointing out that some living bird species fly as juveniles but lose their flying ability as adults.  Another paleontologist remarked, “We really need an improved understanding of how anatomy relates to these diverse behaviours, so we can better interpret the fossil record.”No one called Archaeopteryx a “feathered dinosaur” back then, because the phrase only came into vogue with the Chinese fossil discoveries.  From Darwin’s day till recently, it was argued to be a transitional form between reptiles and birds.  Evolutionists emphasized the reptilian traits (teeth, claws on the wings), and creationists emphasized the flight feathers and anatomy that seemed to show it capable of powered flight. They also pointed out that some living birds, like the hoatzin, have claws on their wings as juveniles.  People saw what their biases wanted to see.  Astronomer Fred Hoyle tried to prove it was a forgery.  Today’s evolutionists use the “feathered dinosaur” label, but there is no guarantee that today’s consensus will not shift again.  The new proposal it was secondarily flightless implies a win for creationists – it devolved from a fully-functional flying bird, just like some living birds with stunted wings have on the Galapagos Islands.  Loss of function is not what Darwin needs!Let’s think about Nature‘s comment that the suggestion Archaeopteryx was losing the ability to fly “might have been considered madness” back in 1861 (actually, all the way from 1861 to just a few years ago).  This tells us that if evolutionists consider something madness now, it might be considered sanity later.  It further means that the sane ones could be the skeptics of the consensus, and the mad ones in the majority.  Don’t be deterred, therefore, if you feel you have good evidence and arguments for your position when it runs counter to the consensus.  It’s entirely possible for the intellectual majority to be suffering from delusions.  “We really need an improved understanding … so we can better interpret the fossil record” – good advice, but it implies that understanding is lacking and interpretation is flawed.  If they haven’t gotten it down after 152 years, don’t expect major improvements any time soon.  They might just be secondarily clueless.last_img read more

Green Paint Sets the Scene

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members As the plane descends into the Las Vegas airport, every arriving visitor notices the stark contrast between the desert environment of southern Nevada and the modern city of swimming pools and irrigated shrubbery. After arriving today, I took the shuttle bus to the Bally Hotel, across the street from the Bellagio. The Bellagio overlooks an 8-acre artificial lake — in essence, the largest swimming pool in town, in a town known for its large pools — where a few lonely ducks swim in the chlorinated water.One of the pine trees bordering the concrete-bottomed lake is dessicated and ill, but the entire top of the tree had recently been spray-painted green, to fool tourists who don’t get too close. When I touched the spray-painted needles, they detached themselves in great falling clumps.Vegas is a strange town indeed for anyone interested in green building, but here I am at the International Builders’ Show, an annual convention on a gargantuan scale.On my first afternoon, I had time for only a quick tour of a small portion of the trade show floor, but I still spotted some interesting products. The first booth to catch my eye belonged to Strata International Group of Glendale, AZ (www.strataus.com). Strata has developed a building system using expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam for walls and roofs. Custom-cut foam panels are assembled into the shape of a building, and then both sides of the foam are sprayed with a fiberglass-reinforced cementitious coating. Once the thin concrete layers are cured, the walls and roof become a monolithic mass, resembling a SIP structure in cross-section, but without the OSB, and without the seams. It looks like an excellent way to build a well insulated airtight home without thermal breaks.Tomorrow I’ll be reporting more news from the IBS trade… center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Field Talk: A Q&A with Providers Supporting Military Families

first_imgField Talk is a monthly blog post sharing the voices of early childhood providers who serve or have served military families of young children with disabilities (birth to 5 years old).  We hope you find it to be educational, personable, and encouraging.This month we welcome Ellen Argo, PT.  Ellen works at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN .  This interview was edited for length and clarity.Describe your current role.I am a Physical Therapist, and currently work as an Assistant Manager in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Department at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Fifty percent of my job duties are administrative and 50% are in patient care, mainly in the Acute Care and NICU setting.What’s your favorite part of your current job?Interacting with patients and their families is by far my favorite part of my job.Tell us about experiences you have had working with military families.Although my current position is in an acute care setting, I have worked with military families in the outpatient setting as well. During the past 15 years, I worked with military families who have had children in the NICU, children who have had acute illnesses or injuries and are in the hospital, and children who need outpatient physical therapy due to congenital, chronic, or acute conditions or injuries. I have worked with children from birth to 21 years of age.How did you find yourself working with military families?I moved to Clarksville, TN, a “military town” due to its proximity to Ft. Campbell, and began working in a pediatric outpatient clinic in 2002. I transitioned to a job at Vanderbilt in 2003 and because of its nature as a major children’s hospital, I continued to work with military families and their children there. Since then I have worked in another outpatient pediatric setting in Clarksville, TN, and continued at Vanderbilt as well.Describe a rewarding experience working with military families.There are SO many that it’s hard to choose only one! I once worked in the NICU with a family whose baby was born prematurely and had several significant health issues. The father was deployed but when the baby was born and the health issues were apparent, the father was allowed to come home for a period of time. On the day before he was supposed to return overseas, he and the mother were visiting the baby in the hospital and they arrived as I was beginning the baby’s PT session for the day. I had the honor of getting to teach the father how to perform infant massage on his tiny daughter—and it was the first time he was able to hold her.Describe a challenging experience working with military families.Early in my career working with military families I found it challenging when I needed to help a family order equipment or orthotics. Negotiating the Tricare system was a little different than working with commercial insurance.From your experience, how are military families similar and different from other types of families? How do you change your practice between families?All families want the best for their children and will go to any length to get it. It seems to me that military families rely more on friends and other non-family relationships for assistance with “life.” With deployments and trainings, frequently families often have only one parent or neither parent present and able to participate in therapy sessions. The internet and other technological advances have made it possible for the parent who is not present physically to participate in other ways such as videos of activities for caregivers to do at home with a child or “Skyping” to discuss a child’s progress.As providers, how can we support military parents who are deployed or away frequently due to trainings/school? It is important to remember that as providers it is not our job to tell families what to do, but rather, to help educate families so that they can make the best decisions for their children and families. The work of PT does not happen in the clinic or during the PT session-it happens at home, when the family is playing with, caring for, or otherwise interacting with their child. As providers it is imperative that we avoid judging families who are not able to follow through with our recommendations and work with the families to identify barriers and create recommendations that work within the family structure.Describe a specific stressor that military families with whom you have worked have shared or experienced.One stressor of deployments is the knowledge that the family members at home may or may not have regarding the deployed family member’s safety and when contact is infrequent and/or limited. I remember one occasion when a pre-teen patient arrived at the clinic for physical therapy with her mom, who was visibly distressed. As we began the session, the mother discreetly explained to me that earlier in the day she had received a call from the father, who was deployed. She explained that he had been with his unit earlier in the day when it was attacked. There had been one fatality and several injuries, although the father was not physically injured. The father had called to alert the family that he was ok, but he couldn’t talk on the phone for long or give more information. The mother chose to bring her child to PT to maintain a sense of “normalcy” for her and the child, but the stress of the situation clearly had an impact on the child’s performance that day.What “insider” tips or advice do you have for service providers working with military families who have young children with disabilities?Become educated about the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) and develop rapport with someone at the EFMP program. That was invaluable for me.If you could change or improve one thing for military families with young children with disabilities, what would it be?At Vanderbilt I work with numerous providers, many who do not understand the challenges faced by military families. I would love if non-military providers had more information so they could understand the challenges and rewards of military life. The MFLN blog is a great opportunity!What types of resources have you sought out to feel more confident and competent at meeting the specific needs of military families? (e.g., trainings, blog posts, organizations, etc.)I have worked to develop rapport with people who are on staff with Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) and EFMP.This post was written by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

2018 Virtual Conference Session Recap: Sexual Orientation & Gender Expression Within Families

first_imgBy: Jason M. Jowers, MFTOn September 18-20, 2018, MFLN held their 2018 Virtual Conference entitled, “Cultural Competency: Awareness, Action, and Advocacy. The conference included six interactive webinar sessions that addressed topics such as privilege and power, race, equity, dis/ability, intersectionality, authentic dialog, sexual orientation, gender expression, and health disparities.On the second day of the conference, September 19, MFLN Family Development hosted a session entitled, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression within Families.” Dr. Jenifer McGuire from the University of Minnesota was the presenter for this event and shared the research that she and her collaborators have been working on. Dr. McGuire’s engaging session began with an overview of sexual orientation, sexual expression, gender fluidity, and gender roles. The conversation then highlighted working with and advocating for families with diverse family structures, sexualities, and genders. She also explored diverse families and family members within the context of the military experience, including current and historical policy norms. She introduced the Family Gender Environment tool, a measure that has provided insight into the viewpoints of parents and adolescents in diverse families and how they navigate within the topics of sexual orientation and gender expression.Several of the insights of this VC session include:Ways to increase the level of comfort that professionals can have when talking with clients about gender expression and sexual orientation.That the power of family can be a social institution that models societal norms of a larger culture. Families teach children how to socialize but can lead to policing of norms, including those surrounding gender roles and gender expression.That parental reactions to gender variance in their children include acceptance, ambiguity, and rejection. These reactions can co-occur or fluctuate.These parental reactions have huge impacts on family relationships and psychological issues.In a military context, deployments, transfers, and family moving can impact children who are gender nonconforming when they have move to a new base or have to change schools.To be aware of the impact these issues can have on families, but also the importance of family as a safe and affirming place.This session also included ways that professionals can work with diverse families, both military and civilian, and be inclusive of sexual orientation and gender expression issues in their practice.If you are interested in the Family Gender Environment tool and other measures provided by the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota click here.If you happened to miss this Virtual Conference Session, you can view the archived version of the presentation here. CEUs are still available for credentialed social workers, family therapists, and professional counselors up until September 19, 2019.last_img read more

How to Avoid Having Your Beliefs Become Dogma

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Dogma is a belief so strongly held that it becomes the truth. It’s an ideology so stubbornly held that it doesn’t allow for any new evidence or ideas to change it. It especially resists conflicting ideas from the outside world.Your dogmatic beliefs might be around your sales process. Or maybe you have a dogmatic attachment to some sales methodology. Maybe you are dogmatic in your belief that you shouldn’t have to prospect in this age of inbound marketing and social media. Or perhaps your dogma is something else.What makes dogma so dangerous is that it doesn’t allow for new and conflicting information. And in a world that is changing ever faster, holding onto to old beliefs—beliefs that may no longer serve you—is a dangerous business.Here’s a quick example. I have a deeply held belief that cold calling is the most effective method for prospecting. But if that belief were so strong that I believed that no other method of prospecting could be effective, that would be unhealthy. It would eliminate other effective methods of prospecting, maybe even my dream client’s preferred method of being approached.Here’s how you avoid dogma.Allow Your Beliefs to Be QuestionedAnything that fails to grow dies. Anything that refuses to take in things from the outside world dies too. If you refuse to allow what you now believe to be questioned, you are refusing to take in information from the outside. Are your beliefs so strong that you bristle when you hear ideas that conflict with them? Does that ever happen to you?The first step in avoiding having your beliefs become dogma is not to judge all ideas by your existing beliefs. Instead, you remain open to new ideas, especially ideas that conflict with your existing beliefs. You hear people out without making any judgments about right or wrong, truth or lie.It’s not easy, but there is power to be found in taking in new ideas, especially ideas that conflict with your existing beliefs.Purposely Seek Conflicting IdeasAn even more powerful way to avoid having your beliefs become dogma is to purposely seek out conflicting ideas. Ideas that are in direct conflict with what you believe can be powerful in improving your results.Instead of reflexively rejecting ideas that conflict with your beliefs, try to find out why others value those ideas. Try to find the truth in the ideas that conflict with what you believe. Try to discover when those ideas could be valuable.Become AgnosticThe more tools you have in your toolkit, the more prepared you are to deal with different circumstances. Being agnostic means being open to using whatever works and whatever the circumstances demand. In a rapidly changing world, you need ideas.Being agnostic doesn’t mean you don’t believe anything. It means you don’t have a religious devotion to something that you adhere to even when something else might work better. You use what works when it’s useful, and you discard what doesn’t work when it isn’t useful.If you are agnostic, you can remain open to new ideas. You judge them by their useful under some set of circumstances.QuestionsWhat beliefs do you hold so deeply that they’ve become dogma?How long has it been since you questioned those beliefs? Have you ever?How do you ensure that you are continually taking in new ideas?How do you react to ideas that conflict with your dogmatic beliefs?How much better would your results be if you were willing to shed some of your dogmas and open up to some new beliefs?last_img read more