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Archive for August 23rd, 2008

        Well, the Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has finally picked his running mate…it is Sen. Joe Biden.  As soon as it became apparent that the secret service was on it’s way to Sen. Biden’s home last night…the cat was out of the bag.  Alot of comments that i read regarding the potential of Sen. Biden being the running mate were controversial to say the least.  Many were saying that the choice pretty much guaranteed John McCain’s victory in November.  Others were talking about Sen. Biden’s tendency to put his foot in his mouth in the recent past.

          That is a pretty valid point considering that during the Democratic primary debate last August, Sen. Joe Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that, “I think he can be ready, but right now, I don’t think he is” regarding Sen. Barack Obama.  Well now, a scant few months down the road he is the running mate of choice…however, dont think for a minute that the Republicans are not going to capitalize on the fact that even Senator Barack Obama’s own running mate didn’t think he was ready to be president.  And, if the Obama Presidency depends on Sen. Biden’s experience and foreign relations for credibility it is on shaky ground because of Sen. Biden’s outspoken ways.  Diplomacy requires tact and skill in communication…something that is called into question from comments that Sen. Biden has made in the past during his years in politics.

           This morning, it was officially announced that Obama/Biden was the Democratic ticket for sure.   On Good Morning America today, Senator Obama’s senior advisor, Robert Gibbs said “Look we are pretty good at keeping secrets and we pride our campaign on that”.   I think that is what alot of Americans are afraid of.

          Since most of Obama’s campaign has been about the subject of change…if i were them…i would not advertise how good you are at keeping secrets…that has been a problem with previous administrations in the United States.   It is not a selling point to tell the American public that you are skilled at keeping secrets when the American public is fed up with secrets!!!

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          Suicide is not a pleasant subject.  It is a word that makes most people cringe.  People who have lost a loved one to suicide cringe too; they have more of a reason to be disturbed by the word.  Most of us don’t stop to think about suicide death on a daily basis…but maybe we should.  For those directly affected by a suicide…it is an especially difficult thing, to grieve…because there are so many added things to work through. 

          Loss is one thing; that is bad enough…but, add to that… justifiable feelings of abandonment, anger, denial, financial distress, shame, isolation, shock and even rage for being rejected by the loved one; for something as unknown and final as death, many times without any warning that suicide was being considered. 

           It is a hard subject to talk about because studies often have shown a correlation to discussions about suicide and the rates of suicides that have increased after say a media interview or article that is published in a large viewership.  So how do you address such a terrible thing as suicide without taking the risk of an outbreak of suicides?  I am not sure…but i do know…that listing some of the signs or risk factors is important…because it is possible to at least become aware of some signals that may alert friends or family to a person who is contemplating taking their own life. 

            Some of the obvious signs are:  sudden changes in personality or behaviors, drug or alcohol use, life changes such as loss of job or marriage, verbal comments such as life isn’t worth living…, depression, neglecting personal well-being or appearance, loss of interest in things the person previously enjoyed, extreme mood swings, sleeping excessively, giving away precious things, avoiding close friends or family, isolating themselves, gaining or loosing noticeable weight without trying, lack of effort at school or job, listless, a feeling of hopelessness or failure, lots of negative or sad comments, focussing on negative circumstances and obsessing about them.

             There are times when people are more at risk than others, for some it is during their teenaged years if they struggle with acceptance and sometimes depression, for others it is in middle age when possible sudden life changes are perceived as failures or loss such as divorce or forclosure, the elderly are often at risk of suicide because of health issues, isolation from friends and family and many times because of financial issues.   It is important to remember that some medications carry the risk of increased thoughts of suicide…so talk to your doctor about these issues if there is any concern at all.

            All ages and sexes are at risk of a potential suicide.  People must get better at listening to each other; and, they need to stay connected by communication on a regular basis.  No one wants to think of friends or family doing the unthinkable; but, it can happen to anyone. 

            Many people try to respect people’s privacy and back off when in fact, it is at these times that they are needed more than ever.  Fear of not knowing what to say or do is common.  When in doubt…it is always best to contact a professional.    Here is a national hotline to contact if you or someone you know is dealing with the idea or fear of suicide:   1-800-273-TALK.
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

                The impact of suicide is long lasting on those survivors who are left behind.  Every life that can be saved is a gift…every person has value.  We must begin to find ways to open the opportunities to share with one another the hurts and disappointments in life and find ways of overcoming the effects of those things in our lives and in the lives of people that we care about.  Do you know someone who was able to turn the corner and avoid the tempation of suicide?  How did they do it?  Do they share with others about their experience?  Many people in schools, nursing homes, and professionals in your local communities could benefit from that knowledge so that they can help others.  How can those experiences benefit others?

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