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Brian Klein

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Brian Klein last won the day on August 16 2017

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About Brian Klein

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  • Birthday 04/15/1977

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  1. Turning The Cheek

    My dad was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness. He was the head of the house – what he said, went. My sister was a goody-goody, because even though she was ten years older than me, she was afraid of him. But I never was: if he told me to make him a cup of tea, I’d say, ‘haven’t you got legs?’ And I’d get a beating. Because of that, I never listened to him. My older brother was psychotic and I never got on with him, but my little brother was my support. He was always trying to look after me. I left home at 17 and begged my mum to do the same. She used to say, ‘I’ll leave when you are 18’, and then she’d look at my little brother and say, ‘I’ll leave when he’s 18’. But one day she rang up and said she was ready. She’d suddenly seen how my dad was dictating her life, and she wanted her freedom. We found her a little place near to where she was born and I moved in with her and my brother. Dad came home one day and his wife and son were gone. Mum and I started having the relationship we’d never had before. She was so happy and relaxed, and we’d go for coffees and just talk. She got in touch with my dad via my sister, just to let him know she was safe. She told me that she still loved him, but for who he was; not for what he had done to her. One day he called to say he had a load of post for her to collect. She had been thinking about going back for a visit anyway, so that my brother could see his old friends. But it was as if she knew something would happen, because she told me the night before that she thought he was going to kill her. Yet somehow she talked herself into it. I made her promise to wake me up in the morning so I could go with her. But she didn’t. I woke up the next morning to the police at my door and I knew instantly what had happened. My first reaction was that I had to see my dad. I had to know if he had killed her deliberately, or if it was some kind of accident. I wrote him a note saying, ‘I know what you’ve done. It’s OK. I love you and want to see you’. I signed it, ‘your daughter’, hoping he would think it was my sister and agree to see me. When he saw that it was me he burst into tears. I made up my mind there and then, that as long as he told me the truth, without a word of a lie, I would stand by him. I know that if I had been a mass murderer, my mum would still have visited me every day in prison. I tried my best to do what she would have done. He was the only link I still had with her. Throughout the trial he kept his word and never lied about what he had done, and eventually he was sentenced for manslaughter with diminished responsibility and sent to a psychiatric hospital. While he was in there we started having a proper father-daughter relationship. I’d come to him for advice on all my problems. I called him ‘Papa’, and he would tell me he loved me. He was the dad I always wanted. But he knew that if he ever started up the old behavior, he’d never see me again. My sister just couldn’t understand what I had done. She took my little brother and brought him up, but she pretended to everyone that our parents had died naturally. I never pretend. For me, it is much easier to forgive because then you can be free. She’ll have to live with her anger everyday for the rest of her life. Or worse, it might turn into regret. I’d already lived most of my life with hatred for my dad. I didn’t want it anymore. Forgiving him was such a big release. I’ll never forget what he did – but forgiving has brought me peace inside. When my dad got really ill with cancer and we knew he was going to die, my little brother asked to see him – just once, so that he could get some closure. The weak, bed-ridden figure he saw was nothing like the military man who used to bully us all. My dad told my brother he could die in peace now, knowing that his youngest child had forgiven him too. We can all make mistakes – that was the best thing my mother taught me. I now automatically look for the good in people I meet. I still miss my mum everyday; but I think she would be proud of me. - Natalia Aggiano
  2. Unexpected Changes

    May 7th 1990 seemed like any other day but my state of mind wasn’t good. I was smoking weed, drinking and not wanting to attend school. I had this evil streak in me. I was so angry, and because I was hurting I wanted to hurt others. That evening some friends called for me and told me not to bring my gun which I assumed was because they didn’t want me to get arrested. I thought they cared for me but in fact they had a plan to have me killed. They were trying to teach me a lesson for being too confident. One bullet hit me in the spine and paralyzed me instantly. I remember yelling, ‘I got shot…I got hit’. I knew something was terribly wrong. With that one bullet the cycle of harm came back to haunt me because six months prior to this shooting I had shot a kid over drugs and now it was happening to me. I could hear the Police and I could hear neighbours gathering and saying ‘he’s dying’. All I wanted was my mother. I wanted to be held and not die with my entire community staring at me. It was so strange because at the same time as feeling all this fear I could also literally feel evil leaving my body. I had been this angry person who wanted to hurt people but as soon as I hit the ground there was no anger left. That tough kid just vanished. I spent six months in hospital and that was where the real paradigm shift happened. I had plenty of time to look at my life and I realised that I had hated everyone - my mom’s boyfriend for being a violent alcoholic, my mother for not walking away from him, and my dad for not saving me. And of course I hated myself too. I’d been a kid with a loving family and a good environment but had chosen to embrace anger and hate. It was my mom who told me that my spine would never repair. I was sitting in my wheelchair and as she told me she handed me a Bible. “I think this may help” she said. I thought she was mad but I read it anyway and learnt about forgiveness. When I left hospital I was home schooled, I went to physical therapy three times a week, and was with my mom constantly. We really connected during that time. She lived in this world of denial, always believing I could go to college and live a great life. That’s one reason why I am where I am today. She got me to never believe that I was disabled. I wanted to be an investment banker but in college I lost my way because of the temptation of weed, alcohol and women. I skipped class and eventually was put on academic probation. I knew I was screwing my life up and my mother told me to ask God what I was supposed to do. The very next day I got a call asking me for the first time to tell my story to kids teaching violence prevention. I realised then that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Helping others became my healing. Forgiveness began in the hospital. As my friends were seeking blood in revenge, I’d tell them to let it go because I knew that violence wasn’t the answer. Later, I was asked by Breaking the Cycle to talk in schools about forgiveness. At first the words sounded so strange in front of inner city kids but I knew Ghandi and Martin Luther King had both talked about forgiveness and so they became my mentors. The more I understood what they had said about the power of forgiveness the more I knew it was my path. Nowadays when I talk about drugs and gun control to young people I always talk about forgiveness too. I always tell them that forgiveness is extremely difficult. It takes more courage to be non-violent and forgiving than to be violent. I also tell them that what happened when I was 15 taught me that hating turns you into a hateful person. I hated violent, abusive people and so I became violent and abusive. I hated bullies and so I became a bully. Hate holds on to you whereas forgiveness frees you, and if you want to forgive others, then first you need to learn to forgive yourself. Our family was destroyed by the murders of three people in one night – my sister-in-law Connie and my two nephews Allen and Bobby, 16 and 14 – cut down by the hatchet of a madman. It was obscene, painful, heart shattering. At the time I could never have known this tragedy would be a call to love. - Hashim Garrett
  3. The Other Foot

    When we were told that our daughter had been murdered, it was just such an unbelievable thing. I stood there in shock, watching the color drain from my husband’s face. We had shared so many happy times together, and our son-in-law was not the violent type. We flew to Florida and brought our two young granddaughters back to Augusta for the funeral. We never asked the children anything but one of them said, “daddy hit mommy.” The prosecutor described it as a crime of passion, and assured us he’d call the minute Eugene went before the judge, but we heard nothing. Six months later we discovered that Eugene had been sentenced to just one year probation and was back home looking after the children. His mother had money and had used her influence to help him. I don’t resent her – if I had money I would have done the same for my son. I tried to stay in contact with my granddaughters, but my letters and presents were never acknowledged. Finally, after 18 years, I went to Florida to visit them. I must say, Eugene had done a good job in raising them and it was an extremely happy occasion, but sadly I never heard from them again after that. Joyce’s death broke us as a family. My husband, like my older son Roy, never talked about it, while I became totally wrapped up in my own little woven nest. My younger son Jerry was the most hurt. “Mother,” he said, “if you’d taken me to Florida I would have killed Eugene, because he killed a part of me”. Jerry had been happily married for 17 years when he decided he’d fallen in love with a 22-year-old girl. His wife was heartbroken, and I was upset and angry, but he wouldn’t listen to us. He got a divorce and married the girl, but things didn’t work out and when they ran into financial difficulties his new wife walked out on him. Alone and with no money, he moved in with a boy who took drugs and had a record as long as your arm. One day Jerry came to my work. We said hello but I was still angry and didn’t ask if he wanted to talk. I thought, “If you’re going through a hard time, then good, because now you’re being punished for what you did.” To this day I’ll never forgive myself for not reaching out to him. A few days later Jerry took a gun and went with his friend to a convenience store where he shot a man dead. I’ll never know why he did it, but I’m certain he was thinking of his brother-in-law when he pulled the trigger. The following day, the two of them went to visit their roof contractor boss and Jerry’s friend shot and killed the poor man. After that Jerry alerted the police. He told me later, “I was very much afraid the killing would have continued”. My son strongly regretted what he’d done and felt he deserved to die, but when he called from prison to say he’d been served his execution date, I just about lost it. I was glad my husband was now no longer alive: he couldn’t have borne the pain. Jerry didn’t want me to witness the execution but I fought tooth and nail to be there. I couldn’t let him die in front of a room full of strangers. There were just two of us watching – myself and a relative of the roof contractor. The wife of Jerry’s victim wasn’t there, and I would say she’s the most sympathetic person I’ve ever known. She never publicly denounced what my son did, nor did she ever call for his execution. Just before the lethal injection, Jerry turned to take a good long look at me and then blew me a kiss. After that he closed his eyes and I watched the blood drain from his face. I don’t know what could be harder than watching your son die like that. A mother does not see a 30, 40, 50-year-old man strapped to that cross-like gurney. She sees the child she gave birth to, the child that in her eyes never grew up. I deeply resent a government that kills its own citizens – its own children. It still feels so raw and so painful, and yet I feel no hatred or blame – neither for Eugene nor for those who killed my son. My anger is entirely directed towards myself for turning my back on my son when he needed me most. - Celia McWee (Laid to Rest; February 14th, 2011)
  4. Killer Forgiven

    The impetus to learn about my mother’s killer came from a virtual stranger. My husband and I were attending a meeting at a church when the head of a prison ministry stood up and spoke about his work at a local men’s prison. I couldn’t help but secretly characterize him as a holy roller as he paced back and forth, carrying his small worn Bible and speaking of the positive impact forgiveness could have on prisoners’ lives. While I believed that forgiveness was generally a good thing, I had never considered forgiving the man who killed my mother. That brand of forgiveness was for extremists who went on Oprah. In fact, I strongly supported the death penalty, silently bitter that my mother’s killer had only received a life sentence. After all, he had put her through hell. He’d held her at gunpoint while she gave him all of the money from the register and then, backing out of the store, fired a shot that hit her in the chest. She died within minutes in the arms of a co-worker. Two days later, her killer was apprehended, driving a stolen car. He was sentenced to life without parole at Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana. I was a freshman at College in Georgia, brought home for the funeral, half out of my mind and deep in shock. Now, years later, the prison minister had tapped a deep vein. I began to wonder, could I ever forgive the man who had irrevocably changed the course of my life? Having been spared the horror of the trial, I now wanted to know about this person who had killed my mother, so I researched the crime like it was a job assignment. I placed all my notes into a special folder, slowly developing a detailed mental profile of my mother’s killer, Nathan Wolfe. All the while, I continued to be confused about this question of forgiveness, until one afternoon when I was casually leafing through my folder and a piece of paper fell out. It was the telephone number of the chaplain’s office at Angola State Penitentiary. I decided to dial the number. The phone was answered by Father Damereaux who asked me how he could help. I told him that I was trying very hard to find a way to forgive the man who killed my mother. “I also want to find out what happened that night and whether he feels any remorse,” I said. “Does it make a difference if he feels remorse?”, asked Father Damereaux. I really didn’t know the answer to this. It would obviously be so much easier to forgive someone who showed remorse, but somehow I felt that shouldn’t drive my decision. Father Damereaux offered to serve as a mediator and suggested he could personally deliver a message from me. He asked me to tell him exactly what to say. I thought for a second and then with a sudden burst of unexpected clarity, I said, “Please tell him the daughter of the woman he killed in 1980 wishes to forgive him and would like to know if he has anything to say in return?” Father Damereaux said he’d need a week to get the message to Nathan and asked me to call him the following Friday. When I hung up the phone I felt desperate, totally unsure of what I’d done. What if he was released and came after my family? What if I wasn’t really ready to forgive? The following Friday I called Father Damereaux. He described how, after locating Nathan in Camp A, a minimum-security area, he’d gone to see him to deliver my message. “As you might imagine, after twenty years he was very taken aback…in fact he was speechless,” said Father Damereaux. “After a few moments, he said he needed time to think about it, so I told him I’d be back in a few days.” Father Damereaux then explained how the following Wednesday he’d gone to Camp A to give his usual service when he saw Nathan sitting at the back of the room. “After I finished, we spoke,” he said. “But before I tell you what he said, I need to tell you that Nathan is dying. I believe he has cancer.” Of all the scenarios I’d imagined, it never crossed my mind that I’d be forgiving a dying man. Trembling, the tears streamed down my cheeks and I realized for the first time since 1980, I felt at peace. I had nothing left to fear. “Nathan wishes me to convey how grateful he is for your forgiveness,” continued Father Damereaux. “He said he’s turning his life over to God and preparing for the end. He also asked me to tell you how deeply sorry he is for what he did. He said that he could never make an excuse for it, but that it was a very bad time in his life, that he never intended to kill anyone, that he was out of his mind on drugs. He asked you to convey his deepest regrets to the rest of your family.” I thanked Father Damereaux and hung up. Sitting at my desk, tears of relief, sadness, gratitude and closure began to flow. Then, as if a window had been opened, a cold air blew in and I felt my mother sitting next to me for the first time since she died. She was right next to me, with her arms wrapped around me. Two days after Christmas, a thin white envelope with blue lettering arrived from Angola State Penitentiary. It read, Notice of Release Pursuant of Department regulation, this office is required to notify you of Nathan Wolfe’s release. He expired on December 23, 2000. I stood, holding the letter to my chest, thinking about the word “release”. We both had been set free. So many years of grieving my mother. How strange now to grieve her killer, for the life he never had, the bad choices he made and the love he probably never felt. - Stephanie Cassatly
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  6. Forgiveness Begins

    As children, David and I were friends as well as brothers – a friendship that carried on into adulthood. So, when David got involved with humanitarian work in 2000 we sat down and discussed what could happen if he got kidnapped. We knew it was dangerous but this was his calling and we agreed (as did our parents) with the British Government’s position that ransoms just put money back into terrorists’ hands. From the moment ISIS kidnapped David, our Government’s support was superb and together we came to a decision to keep quiet about it. This went on for 18 long months – a time filled with prayer, hope, despair and endless worry. It was very, very difficult on my parents as well as on David’s eldest daughter and his second wife but in many ways, it brought the family closer together. The family motto was, ‘prepare for the worst, hope for the best’. However, we had very little hope left after the American journalist, James Foley, was murdered. And then when David appeared in the background to the execution video of another American hostage, Steven Sotloff, we knew it was a matter of time. The look on David’s face was one of complete horror, not horror for himself but horror at witnessing what was happening to Steven. It was at this point that David’s kidnap became a massive media story. Knowing that David would not want a single person injured or killed in his name I immediately went on national TV to call for no reprisals, saying that if anyone took the matter into their own hands they would be doing so against our family’s wishes and beliefs. Then came the news we were dreading. Ten days after Steven Sotloff’s murder, late on the night of the 12th September 2014, we received a phone call from the Foreign Office to say a video had been released of David’s beheading. We had expected it but still nothing prepares you for that, nothing prepares you for having to tell your own parents that their son is dead. Then I got on the phone to tell his wife, and his daughter. That was hell too. If I felt any sense of relief it was only that at least now David couldn’t be hurt anymore. Near where I live in Dundee we have ten different ethnicities living and an old Muslim man I chatted to shortly after David was killed said to me: ‘Why are you speaking to me?’ He assumed that I must hate him. I told him that people were using his religion as an excuse and that I was appalled to see what the terrorists were doing to encourage hate crime from all sides. Initially I thought there were only a few voices in a desert calling for unity, tolerance and understanding but then I realized there was a whole forest out there – all of us working for exactly the same thing but not getting any publicity for it. Good news doesn’t sell. I now spend my time going to schools, mosques and churches talking about fighting the forces of hate, whether from Islamic fundamentalists or right-wing extremists. I’m not talking about fighting with weapons. This has got to be an ethical and moral fight. I’m angry at how the terrorists seek to isolate and polarize our communities and I’m also angry at the way the media perpetuate the characterization of every Muslim as a terrorist. But my anger is positive – it gives me the drive to continue what I’m doing. I have chosen not to hate because for me hate is a guttural knee-jerk reaction out of which nothing positive ever came. It just screws you up inside. On the other hand, I do absolutely detest the actions of those people doing the grooming for ISIS and would like to see them locked away. People who plan and do barbaric acts have lost all sense of compassion, so how can there be compassion for them? I could only find compassion for them if at some stage these same people were to renounce violence and recognize that what they’d done was wrong. As for forgiveness, that’s a very difficult question for me because it’s not so much the death of my brother that I should be asked to forgive but rather what these terrorists are doing wholesale, the way they are treating humanity. And for that, at this point, I can’t forgive. However, the young people who have been persuaded to go out to Syria, I forgive them without reservation because I see they have been targeted, and are victims who have been handed a twisted a reality. - Michael Haines
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  10. Blox The Amazing

    My best friend, Dan, had adopted a shelter dog, Blox. Blox was a wackjob, boundless energy, very hard to housebreak, a challenging dog altogether. Nevertheless, Dan wasn't the kind of guy to give up on a dog, so he kept trying to get Blox to listen. Her name (Blox was a she) was coined because she was dumb as blocks... or so we thought. Blox would consistently break out of the fenced-in yard by either jumping over a six-foot fence or digging holes underneath it. We filled the holes, added boards pointed in at the top of the fence to keep her in the yard, nothing helped. Blox was not going to be kept in a yard. Dan eventually gave up on training her without a leash (in the yard) and put a stake in the ground for when he'd let Blox outside. Blox hated the leash, dug the stake up and would drag it around the yard, destroying Dan's grass. Dan still didn't give up, because he's a resilient guy who loves animals more than people. And it's a good thing he didn't give up, or he'd be dead. One night, Dan's little brother was at Dan's house with a bunch of other people, myself included, for a party. Blox was chilling, as long as people were around she was fine, she only really got anxious when she was alone. We partied well into the wee hours of the morning, I left around 3am to go home. Dan's brother stayed and crashed out in the basement. Dan's brother is a nice guy, but he's a moron in the truest sense of the word. This moron lit a candle next to a bottle of shower cleaner (propellant) and a shower curtain (wick) and fell asleep with it lit. You see where this is going? Yeah. As his house was beginning to be swallowed in the roaring flames of the fire, Blox ran into Dan's room, jumped on the bed, and started barking in his face, over and over and over and over until Dan woke up from his booze-soaked slumber. Dan actually pushed Blox off the bed twice from his recollection, but Blox was undeterred. She kept jumping back up on the bed and barking in Dan's face. Finally, Dan got up and couldn't see his hand in front of his face. "Holy crap" thought Dan "my house in on fire" and he ran outside, with Blox chasing him. But Blox wasn't done. Dan's moron brother was trapped in the basement, and remember how I said Blox was only calm if people were around? Well, Blox had some kind of doggie-sixth-sense, and she knew he was in trouble. She stood at the top of those stairs, flames singeing her fur, smoke filling her lungs, barking nonstop so Dan's brother knew where the exit was. Every single person made it out alive. When the Fire Dept. came, one of the firemen took a liking to Blox. Since Dan was now effectively homeless, he agreed to let the guy look after Blox. Once Dan got back on his feet, he found the fireman to see about getting Blox back. So we headed over to the fireman's house and there was Blox, happy, wagging, and sitting in a yard, unrestrained. Blox was now Bella, and she had three human kids who adored her. The fireman told Dan he could have his dog back, but Dan really is the kind of guy who loves animals more than people, even himself. He was crying when he got back in my truck that day. "Optical Delusions, for the first time ever I can say one of my rescues is in a better place, and actually mean it." - Keith Jones
  11. RAY AND PAT BROWN

    [ This Show Has Ended ] However, you can still post your thoughts to the individual that has been interviewed here. Show goes live: December 16th, 2017 8PM PST Be sure to check our schedule for details on airtimes located here. Featuring: Frank Lill Purpose of Interview: Learn about Pat and Ray and Their loss, turned into an amazing Journey of self reflection. Post your questions to them below. Listen Live and be a part of the show simply click here. Download the Interview: Here. "Patricia and Ray Brown are probably the nicest people on earth and arguably the most surreal people you will ever meet. Having somehow escaped losing their minds after their tragic event and yet, somehow rising above the anger they felt has taught us; life really is to short to hold in the anger you might think is the only thing you want to feel. These people are simply amazing." Editorial Note: These individuals who have shared their story with us today, did so of their own volition, I personally couldn't imagine what pain a parent losing not only one child but every one of them would even think or go through mentally; we wish them well and hope they find peace in this life and the next.
  12. Testing Twitter Status -

  13. The Promise

    The summer of 2011 will always be defined as the best and worst of my life. Two months after saying “I do” to my husband in a quiet lakeside ceremony, my honeymoon-fueled joy would be turned to indescribable sorrow following my dad’s suicide. I still find it impossible to believe that our father-daughter dance on that warm June night would turn out to be the one of the last times I would ever hear his laugh or joke about our uncanny similarities. I remember sitting around a campfire after our beautiful reception thinking to myself that life could not possibly get any better. Then, on one sunny August morning, my world collapsed when, upon returning to my desk following a work meeting, I was met with a sea of shocking and confusing messages from friends in my inbox– each bearing the same simple sentiment, “I’m sorry for your loss.” With no further details, I began wonder – “is this some sick new virus?” “Is someone playing a cruel joke?” I frantically called family members to try and dispel my concern. When no one answered, I turned to my small hometown newspaper’s website in a desperate search for answers about what all of these people could possibly know that I didn’t. My worst fears were realized with a slow-loading headline that read my father had been found dead in a local park with the revelation “officials say suicide.” His official workplace photograph appeared beneath it. We had just talked days prior and exchanged e-mails about dividing up his package of baseball tickets so we could each attend our coveted games. In trying to reach my mom again, I learned that she was actually on her way to share the news with me in person, 90 miles away. Despite pleas from her and the local sheriff’s department, our newspaper decided to publish the story before my brother and I were notified. Suicide is not something I would have ever fathomed for our family. We grew up in a lovely Midwestern city in a red brick house with a white picket fence, a boy, a girl and a dog. My parents were happily married more than 30 years and were still together at the time of my dad’s passing. He was there for every one of our sports games, recitals and concerts and helped proofread our homework. Even in my adult years, my dad would always think to call me before and after each airline flight to make sure I arrived at my destination safely and was the trusted coordinator of family dinners. In a few words, I could characterize my dad as being my biggest cheerleader, but also a chronic worry wart. If he wasn’t worrying about the chaos of his day in the field of law, he shared concern about the problems of those he dealt with. He worried about the health of his parents as they aged. He worried about our grades and our safety on the roads. If he didn’t have his own problems to worry about, he would take on those of others or even come up with irrational things to worry about. For the better part of my life, I brushed this trait off as just plain silly. But, in his older years, the burden of all of these worries seemed to become too much for him to bear. In the weeks after my wedding, this became more and more apparent as he withdrew from activities he once loved and the laughs became less and less frequent. I thought he was just in a slump – something he was always so great at coaching me out of – and figured with a little time and the approaching winter holidays he would be back to himself. He never even uttered the word suicide, let alone led on it was a remote possibility for him. The worry just seemed to overtake him. “How could you go on after something so terrible?” people will ask me. The will to do so was faint in those first few days, weeks and months. I lost my trust in humanity and society. We cancelled our subscription to that newspaper, but I don’t think I could ever forgive them for their lack of sensitivity or empathy for a grieving family. But, in understanding how painful my dad eventually found life to be, I made a promise to myself that I would fully embrace everything I could in mine and carry on being the best person I could be for him and for others who cannot. Over time, I was amazed that positive things could arise from this unspeakable tragedy – the outpouring of support from those around me, the reminder to take the time to watch a beautiful sunset, the friendship I would find in fellow survivors… I chose to open up about my story because I want anyone who has experienced a loss like this to know they are not alone. While I wish no one would ever be in a position to relate to my reflections, I hope that you find comfort in what I share. The sting of losing a loved one to suicide will never go away, but while you’re here with us, I do hope that you can begin to find beauty in life again. - Becky Clarkston
  14. Two Simple Words

    I am also NOT looking for any accolades, just pass it on if you get the chance. I despise Wall-mart. I don't hide that fact. I unfortunately had to go there to pick up prescriptions on my lunch break from work (and hoping for a quick in and out). When it was my turn at the counter, the busy cashier was the only one of twelve people in the pharmacy helping people in line and was doing a great job at multitasking. Since I was paying cash for my stuff, I had a few extra steps to do at the checkout counter; while doing my thing, the girl behind the counter was doing various tasks that I didn't really pay attention to. While I was paying, an older gentleman walked up with an armload of groceries and plopped them on the counter next to me and left to go stand in line. Now, I did not notice that the girl was ringing his things up along with my pills, But I did notice when an extra $18 and change suddenly showed up on my bill, like any confused patron, I mentioned that there must have been a mistake made on the bill, while speaking to the busy girl behind the counter. She then realized what happened, and she knew the gem of a man who now stood in line behind me, she knew the situation was going to be trouble. The ensuing argument between the two left the girl angry at the man who was using the pharmacy counter as, his catch-all, while he waited in line (I guess it was just too hard for the man to go get a stinking cart). The man was mad at the girl for ringing his stuff up with mine and said a few nasty, yet colorful, words before telling her to fix it and then left for his place back in line, behind me. Ironically, both of them were mad at me for not saying anything, as if their misfortune was my issue. While I had to wait for a Wall-mart manager to fix the problem (and I guess the pharmacy manager just could not help the situation), I started to realize there was only one way for me to fix the situation and get back to work on time. I waved the girl over to the counter and told her one simple statement: She just looked at me as if I was talking another language. I will not lie here, I had a shit-eating grin on my face when I walked away. Sometimes it is best to learn to let it go. - Scott D. Para
  15. Positivity By Thought

    We are constantly trying to find ways to better enrich our lives at Humanastory. One of those key ingredients, in our opinion, is how to be a happy person in a world where most people act and speak so negatively. Most of this information might be common sense to you; but, how often to you assert happiness into your daily lives to try and enrich not only who you are, but how you live. It is not always easy being a positive person, to look at the light off in the distance and call it what it is, a light that is seemingly to far adrift. But does it really hurt you to try? We completely understand it, negativity sells, which is why it is so much more popular, and we've always lived by the rule, if it is popular, go the other way. Besides do you honestly think your life is fulfilled with this, your current way of thinking before you even attempting to be positive? Happiness While the issue of happiness is a complicated one, too many people report being unhappy with their lives. A study of American adults, for example, showed that their Happiness Index number is a mere 31 out of 100. Of course, several stressors come into play: money worries, work problems, health concerns, political anxiety, among many other issues that might keep us from being happy. The truth is, none of that is what’s holding us back from our happiest lives. According to psychologist Shawn Achor, even when we are successful and things are going well, we aren’t happy. Instead, we believe we always need more to be happy. As he puts it, And the end result? If we continue with this way of thinking, nothing we do will ever be enough to make us happy. Don’t worry, though—happiness is within your reach. You don’t have to be stuck in this pattern of thinking, although creating change and a new way of being does require some effort. One key component is the power of positive thinking. Positive Thinking It’s not what you’re thinking about—it’s how you’re thinking about it. Or, in Achor’s words, The way you think about things matters, and it can change how you feel about your life. Take your stressful job, for example. You might think that your circumstances make it difficult, but Anchor found that 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat. Those are all things within your power to modify. Thinking about your job with optimism and initiative can change how happy you are. Positive thinking can do more than help you hate your job less. Research shows that positive thinking helps you see more possibilities in your life. That means you can see your potential, you can build new skillsets, and you can create the life you want to live. If you adopt a mindset of positive thinking, you’ll be able to apply this to all areas of your life. Even if your job isn’t ideal or if money is tight, positive thinking will help you identify the parts of your life that are indeed good and working for you. It might appear that this is easier said than done. It’s one thing to say you want to think positively, but it’s another thing entirely to put it into practice when you get a flat tire, your heel snaps off in the street, and you get splashed by a car driving by. So how do you cultivate positive thinking? Gratitude It turns out that simply expressing gratitude daily can make a big difference in the way you perceive the world. Achor goes so far as to say you can in as little as 21 - 27 days, if you’re training it correctly. His method is simple: each day, record three things you’re grateful for. Do this for 27 days. It might not sound like much, but Achor reports that the results are impressive: participants do this for 27 days, and They train themselves to think positively—in other words, they train their way to happiness. It shouldn’t be surprising that gratitude can have that kind of effect. Research has shown incredible benefits from expressing thanks, including better sleep, improved physical health, and stronger self-esteem. When you’re thinking positively, happiness is bound to follow. There are plenty of other ways to express gratitude. What matters is that you’re doing it consistently and daily. Try setting a reminder on your phone if you need to. In fact, try incorporating gratitude into your morning routine, before you ever get out of bed. Do whatever it takes to express gratitude—you might be surprised at how different you feel in three weeks. Rewire Your Brain Happiness won’t just happen to you, and no one can give it to you—that power lies within you alone. If you’re ready to love your life, then start today! Express gratitude, change the way you think, and live happily. Sources and Discussion Topics: Want to Contribute (We are 100% Viewer Funded) | https://www.paypal.me/humanastory Success | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/658-success/ My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ Episode 63 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/648-e063-friendship/ Thanksgiving 2017 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/712-e075-thanksgiving-2017/ Episode 72 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/689-e072-anxiety-today/ For A Smile | Gallery | https://community.humanastory.com/gallery/category/13-for-a-smile/ Inspired Change | HS Official Inspiration | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/78-inspired-changes/ Two Simple Words | Story Submissions | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/714-two-simple-words/
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