It’s Entirely About What We Do Have.

rockwell-thanksgiving

How do you feel when you’re bombarded by perfection, every day, 24-7? How do you feel when you see perfect people – 60-year-old women with flawless skin, size zero bodies, and faces that would make Helen of Troy look like an old hag? Or what about when you hear of people making seven-figure incomes and stocking up on gold and silver or buying an island in the South Pacific just for something to do with all of their spare change? How about when you see “perfect” families – 2.5 exceptionally well-behaved children with IQ’s of 150 and 4.0 GPA’s – and two parents who still hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes after 35 years? How do you feel when you see people celebrating the holidays, joyfully singing carols with dozens of family and friends while sitting in front of a perfectly-browned turkey in a custom-built log cabin decorated entirely in Martha Stewart Thanksgiving.

Maybe not so good – or grateful.

Our society is saturated with “perfect” and, for the most part, completely unrealistic situations involving ideal people, families, careers, finances – you name it and it’s out there. By “out there,” I mean on television, in magazines, on the internet, on billboards – everywhere you look.  And unless we turn off all media and never go anywhere, we can’t escape it. And who does that?

The fact is that when we’ve spent our whole lives being inundated with the Big Lie – “you can and should be perfect” – it’s hard to look at our own faulty lives and be grateful. 

What if we don’t look like a rock star? What if we’re overweight or have wrinkles or thinning hair?  What’s the message? “Fix it!”  What if we don’t make six figures and have money to spend on gold, silver, cruises, winter homes in Florida or a brand new Lexus? What if we’re just barely making ends meet – or not even? What if we don’t even have a job? What if we don’t have the perfect family, all gathered together for the holidays – families who get along and laugh and care about each other?  What if our families are split up and live in different places or our family members won’t even speak to one another? What if our “perfect” children or parents or relatives – aren’t?

What then?

Sometimes around the holidays, it’s easy to get the impression that we got the short end of the stick or that something has gone very wrong because we don’t have all of the above. Somehow, during the holidays, everything that we don’t have or weren’t born with or haven’t achieved can suddenly seem so much more obvious – and excruciating. It’s no wonder that this time of year mental health pros are so much busier. People are depressed because the culture paints us a picture of how things “should” be. But they’re not. So maybe we don’t have the big house in the wealthy neighborhood.  That’s okay.

I remember one particular day many years ago when I was crying up a storm at not having a home of my own (like everyone else I knew). I was sobbing, the mascara was running and suddenly, in the midst of the pity party I was hosting, the Lord spoke to me.

“Look around your living room,” He said. “How big would you say it is?”

This can’t be good, I thought. It’s not like He doesn’t know.

“I don’t know. Maybe 18’ x 20’.”

“Do you know how many people in the world would give their right arms for a place that big? Do you know how many entire families in the world live in a total space not even that big?”

No.

After that little chat, I wasn’t crying anymore. Instead, I’d learned a huge lesson: it’s not about what we don’t have; it’s about what we do have.

Compared to 90% of people in the rest of the world, Americans have it pretty good. Besides food, shelter and clothing, we have clean water at the touch of a tap, heat and hot water, and – although many kids complain about it – free K-12 education. Plus, in addition to the many material things that people in other countries don’t have access to, we also have freedoms – to speak, to worship, to assemble, and to make choices in our lives that the citizens of many other countries don’t have the privilege of making for themselves or for their children.

We take so much for granted.

But today, I’m grateful for so much: for God, my country and my family (imperfect as we all are), my home, the food we have every day, my job, my friends – I am so blessed. So this Thanksgiving, my prayer is that the Lord will bless you and your family, many times over.

More importantly, on this day of thanks, may we be truly grateful and may we bless the Lord for all that He has given us.

 

 

 

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Do Not Eat the Rubber Cookies . . .

festival-of-trees-display  Last Thursday, I missed my regular mid-week post and many of you were sweet enough to wonder why. Good news – nothing is wrong. (There is no bad news.) The thing is that at one point in time, I agreed to be our district’s faculty association community relations’ person, which means I get to do all of the event planning for our teacher union. What was I thinking?? Some years, three of those events happen to fall in the same week. This was one of those years. So – it’s just been a really crazy week. And I have the pics to prove it. Here’s a sample.

Monday: Tagged and delivered 155 SPA gifts all around thehfa-mug school district. Since Tuesday was Support Professionals’ Appreciation Day, our teachers’ union (HFA) gives gifts to the district’s employees’ union. This year, I decided it might be a nice idea to order mugs so that (the idea being) every time our staff members use theirs, they remember (hopefully) how much we teachers appreciate everything they do for us. The fact is that those are the people who really run things and keep us all sane – no easy task. They actually all deserve Metals of Honor and combat pay. I wish I could make that happen. I will make sure they all end up on Santa’s “nice” list.

Tuesday: Finished shopping for the HFA gift basket and HFA Christmas tree that we donate to various fundraising events. Every year, our school district organizes a Christmas Bureau carnival where dozens of donated baskets are raffled off to raise money for a huge giveaway of food and Christmas presents to help families in our district. The carnival happens the weekend before Thanksgiving and that money is then used to buy the food and presents which we give away the week before Christmas. Last year, we gave food and gifts to over 170 families. In addition, the HFA Christmas tree is donated to the Festival of Trees which is a community Christmas fundraiser; at the festival, donated trees are auctioned off to raise money as well.hfa-basket-i

Wednesday: Packed and wrapped the (above-mentioned) basket. Of course, I couldn’t find a basket bag big enough so it was back to the stores I went.

Everything always takes longer than I think it will. (Must be a time-warp law or something.)

This year, I did a “Country Christmas” theme, imagining that I could find tickets to some December country music concert somewhere. Know what I found out? There aren’t any. That’s how Blake Shelton and a bunch of his CD buddies ended up in the basket.

Thursday: Got home from parent-teacher conferences at 7pm (somewhat dazed) and then finished decorating the Christmas tree. Every year the organization sponsoring the Festival of Trees designates a theme for the trees and this year the theme was gingerbread men (and women). I decided it might be fun, along with the gingerbread people, to decorate the tree in all kinds of candy. At least, it sounded fun. Things I learned: gingerbread marshmallow peeps don’t really look good with a hook through them. And since I refused to bake gingerbread cookies (I don’t have the cookie-baking gene), I found out that you can buy fake rubber gingerbread cookie ornaments at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. Where else, right? (Although I probably should’ve posted a “Do Not Eat” warning on them.) The other thing I found out is how long it takes to hook candy onto a tree. “How long could it take?” I asked myself, planning to be done in time for a little Thursday night NFL action. I found out it takes over three hours. Turns out the ornament hooks like to tear the delicate little candy wrappers.hfa-tree

Did I mention the parent-teacher conferences till 6pm? These are the conferences where generally the parents who show up aren’t the ones you really need to see. Except for a couple of them. Two moms arrived with their sons who had, it turns out, a totally different version of how they behave in my class than I have. And the moms had never heard my version. That was fun.

Friday: Delivered the basket to the Carnival and the tree to the Festival of Trees. Since I have a 45-minute commute to school, I gave up trying to keep the tree vertical after five minutes. Luckily, I had it wrapped in plastic. Fast-forward to later that evening – I was happily on my way to a friend’s birthday party when I learned something else: never, never try to drive anywhere in Syracuse a half hour before a Syracuse University basketball game at the Dome. Unless you have a tank full of gas and three books on tape. You’re going to need them.

hfa-gingerbread-manSaturday: After a fun event at church, and then running up to school to visit the Christmas Carnival and the Festival of Trees, I decided to stop at the store and pick up a few things….

Now by this time, rumors were swirling like snowflakes around Central New York of a major Lake Effect event to hit most of upstate New York on Sunday afternoon and lasting through Monday evening. (For those of you south of the Mason-Dixon, that means lots of snow, lots of wind, lots of white-out conditions.) Now, I’m for anything causing a snow day (short of nuclear winter) but usually such rumors don’t pan out. Anything less than a foot of snow usually gets us nothing – unless accompanied by lots of wind and whiteouts. So – given that the temp had been 65 degrees when I left in the morning (wearing flip-flops) and had dropped twenty-five degrees between 2 and 4pm, we began to think that perhaps the Forecasters had gotten it right this time. This meant that, between turkey shopping and the impending Snowpocalyse, the stores were jammed with crazy people. Just what I needed. However, noting the rapid, minute-by-minute decline in frozen Butterballs, I decided I’d better grab one while there was still one to be had. Who knew when they’d shoot more?

Eventually, I made it home and the week ended. Mugs, baskets, trees, and birthday presents had all been delivered, and the after-school tutoring had gotten done. (Did I mention that that goes on for two hours every night?) And I am happy to report that no one was injured, maimed or (accidently) killed in the process. Even the gingerbread men survived. This morning was church (where I might have repented for anything I may or may not have said or done this week), and now here I sit, watching the radar and calculating the odds of a snow day. 

Just a break in the action before the real fun begins….

Offense: The Magic Bullet

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We can’t take ground standing still. That’s principle number one. And it’s the difference between playing offense and defense. However, if we’re not playing some version of ball – basket, foot, base – what does it mean to play offense in everyday life?

I won’t lie – I’ve been a huge Steelers’ fan since I was old enough to sit up in front of the TV. Since my father was from western PA, I was raised on the “Terrible Towel”. (Steelers’ thing.) Right this minute, I just finished watching the Steelers lose to Dallas. Pittsburg beat themselves, but more on that later. Right now, I’m going with the football analogy. There’s a lesson in it somewhere.

The Pittsburg Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys are ancient rivals dating back, I’ve heard, to the Civil War. At any rate, I’ve never heard of anyone who’s ever listed both of them on their favorites’ roster. I don’t think it’s allowed.

Nevertheless, both the Steelers and the Cowboys are phenomenal teams with stellar records and a total of eleven Super Bowl championships between them. I won’t mention that Pittsburg has six of those – the most in the NFL . . . But either way, both teams are offensive titans. So – how does that happen?

Preparation. Probably three quarters of offensive prep happens behind the scenes, before the big game – or the big presentation or election or military campaign or agent pitch or, closer to home, the big showdown with the teenage drama queen or even the big marriage proposal. (Do not approach the teenager without a battle plan.)

Discovering what we need for those goals takes research. You can bet NFL teams know exactly what they need to win. Every year during draft season, teams go shopping for specific positions: a good back-up QB, a quick receiver or a couple of crushing defensive linemen. The key is knowing. What do you need? Education? A business plan? Capital? Equipment? Personnel? A mentor? Whatever your dream might be, it takes pre-prep – practical, mental, emotional and intellectual. Which, frankly, is a lot. Some people get derailed just looking at the prep: market research for the job, grad school for the career, two-a-day practices for the team, rehearsals for the audition, fund-raising for the election, and/or my personal favorite – endless edits and rewrites for the books. The prep is as varied as the dream.

Strategy.  Having a plan is the practical step toward your offense. You can bet Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (aka “Big Ben”) has an offensive strategy. He and his team design plays and memorize them. They run them to see which work and which don’t. If necessary, they go back to the drawing board and redesign plays. We need the same – a strategy.

As they say, “Plan your work and work your plan.” It all starts with that; we can’t simply just “work the plan”.

Imagine the Steelers hitting the field and “winging it.” That would be entertaining . . . for the Cowboys. Not for me.

Work. Speaking of work, that’s the next step. And it’s the step where many people get sidetracked – although not at first. People realize that their dreams will take work; we often just don’t really grasp the length and breadth of it. Whether we pay in terms of time, energy, money or other resources, there is a cost. Part of our strategic plan should be examining what that cost might be and then counting it: “Can I do this?”

Football players work – and not just when they hit the NFL. At the very latest, NFL hopefuls begin playing in high school and most earlier than that. (My boys started in second grade.) Then those players work to get into college and then to make that team. Then they have to perform for the NFL scouts who shop the college teams, hoping those scouts will make them an offer during the draft. And once they’ve gotten that elusive NFL contract, then the work begins: the excruciating practices, the studying which, for them, includes plays and films and even reports on the strengths and weaknesses of opponents. The work never ends for football players. And it often never quite ends for us either.

Going on offense means being proactive, taking the lead before opponents even know the competition has begun. But this is the important thing: going on offense doesn’t mean we have to enter the world as the biggest, fastest, smartest, prettiest, or any “-est” thing; it’s not about the resources we’re born with or given or even about lucky breaks. What it does mean is that we do have to design the best strategy, do the most complete prep, and work harder than anyone else. It’s about how badly we want that dream and about the offense we put together to make it happen – which qualifies everyone.

I know Big Ben would agree with that.

The Naughty “E” Word: Earn

entitled

Once there were two young men who had two job interviews, each interviewing for similar positions – store managers at a reputable retail store selling sports, fitness and camping/hunting equipment. Each young man had similar skills and experience: a college degree in business and two years’ experience as assistant managers in retail. For each, the interview was going well and had reached the stage where the employer and the job candidate were about to discuss compensation.

“So,” the employer said to Bill, the first candidate, “what do you need in terms of salary?”

“Well,” Bill said, “I’ve done a little research in terms of what other managers with my background and experience generally start at in this region and it averages around $30,ooo a year with medical.” Bill paused. “Does that sound reasonable?”

“It does,” the employer answered. He and Bill shook hands. “Welcome aboard.”

The second candidate, Tyler, was asked the same question by the prospective employer.

“Well,” Tyler said, “I believe that I have the skills and experience to do this job better than most other people.”

The employer raised an eyebrow.

“So,” Tyler handed the employer a slip of paper, “I’m thinking about this.”

“Hmmm,” said the employer, reading the paper. “65 – 70 thousand dollars and medical.” He stuck out his hand. “Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be in touch.” (He won’t.)

What’s the difference between these two men?

About thirty years.

It’s not that Bill is thirty years older than Tyler but rather that Bill’s interview happened about thirty years before Tyler’s. Now granted, $30k was worth far more in 1986 than it is today, but it would probably not have been worth more than about $45k today.

Now, I wish I could say that Tyler is simply a somewhat egotistical young man who has a rather over-blown sense of his worth and that his behavior is rare but – I can’t. What many employers are finding these days is that our society seems to be pushing the idea that we deserve compensations we haven’t actually earned. I see this viewpoint all too often emanating from students who believe that they deserve a high grade or a promotion simply because they’ve done some work – regardless of the quality of it. And, having seen this entitlement attitude morph over the years in society at large, I have to believe it’s the byproduct of social promotion in schools, scoreless sports’ games (so that no one feels badly), and even “automatic” grades in universities.

If you’ve never heard of “auto grades,” it’s a trend sweeping colleges and universities where professors don’t dare to give any student less than an above-average grade, again, regardless of work done – or not. This trend has been forced on higher education by students’ parents who feel that because they’re paying “big bucks” for tuition, their children are entitled to receive good grades; these parents have brought tremendous and angry pressure on universities, colleges and their instructors to give grades no lower than B’s. The sad effect has been a whole culture of people feeling entitled to all kinds of things: high grades, high salaries, promotions, automatic selection onto sports’ teams, government handouts, etc.

And let me be clear: this entitlement attitude is not limited to any particular racial or economic demographics; it’s unfortunately rampant in much of society.

Because I’m seeing a second generation of “socially promoted” students, this means that parents who were thus promoted are now teaching their own children what they learned from their own experiences: their children are “owed” spots on sports’ teams just because they tried out, kids shouldn’t have to study because it’s not “fun”, and educators and law enforcement alike should give passes on bad behavior just – well, because. After twelve years of this philosophy, kids take these expectations into the workforce. As a former employer in a small business, my husband and I would see employees who didn’t feel compelled to show up for work when hired or even to call and say that they weren’t coming in at all. And it was our job to “understand”. Unfortunately, we’re not the only business owners enjoying this problem; I hear about it from other employers all the time.

Nevertheless, will employers become softer on these entitlement attitudes among employees as older business owners retire and younger people are doing the hiring? If so, does this mean that job seekers feeling entitled to higher wages while doing less work will get them?

Probably not.

Statistics show that business owners tend to be more conservative in their thinking about expectations of employees and their work ethics than non-business owners. This means that even if it’s a 30-something doing the hiring, they’re probably still looking for someone who is reasonable in terms of starting wage, attendance at work, and effort once hired. In other words, even younger employers are not sympathetic to entitlement attitudes.

What does this mean to us if our goals include snagging that “dream job”? Maybe the best advice is to put ourselves in the prospective employer’s shoes when asking for anything. How? Consider two questions: What would an employer feel is reasonable and fair? What does research show about what is reasonable and fair? If an employer is only offering compensation that research shows is not what the market reflects to be the norm, then maybe we don’t want to work for that person after all. But, if we do decide to take the position for less pay, then we need to keep in mind that no one forced us to take the job when thereafter tempted to complain about the pay or workload. On the other hand, if research shows that we’re being unreasonable in terms of our expectations of pay and/or job requirements, then we have two choices: adjust our entitlement attitudes or keep looking for a position which can accommodate them.

If choosing the latter, good luck with that.

Will This Post Matter?

 

berlin-wallWhen I was growing up, our Air Force family was stationed in Germany. During those years, my mother and father took us on trips all over Germany and so we were able to visit many breathtaking places: the Rhine River Valley, the Salzburg salt mines, Mad King Ludwig’s castle, the beautiful Black Forest region, and even the Austrian Alps. However, the two places I’ll never forget were the German concentration camp at Dachau and communist-ruled East Berlin. The sights, sounds and smells of those places are burned forever into my memory.

Dachau. My family and I walked along a dirt path bordered by an uneven line of white-painted rocks corralling patches of red posies and brownish-green grass. “Keep Off the Grass” warnings were posted in German and English. The path led to a large, white, one-story building with a black hole for an entrance. Tentatively, we stepped inside the iron doorway into a large room, perhaps 25’ by 40’, lit by a single light bulb. A horrible odor like rotten meat assaulted my nose and I gagged. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I saw – nothing. The room was completely empty except for a row of drains set into the cement floor and dozens of spigots pointed downward from the ceiling. Wondering what this place was, I noticed a sign on the wall. Thirty seconds later, I knew that I was standing in a Nazi gas chamber where, during WWII, Jewish people had been herded and locked into this room and then stripped naked while gas poured out of the ceiling, choking, suffocating, and ultimately, poisoning them to death.

East Berlin. My family took a tour bus to the communist side of Berlin. The Berlin Wall separated East Berlin from West Berlin so to pass from one side of the city to the other, we had to stop at the guard stations known as “Check Point Charlie”. This guard station was manned by East German soldiers armed with very large machine guns and snarling guard dogs.

Once outside the bus, we were struck by the contrast between communist-controlled East Berlin and democratic West Berlin; it was like walking from a color picture into a colorless photograph. Literally, everywhere, everything was black and brown and gray. Buildings destroyed during WWII still sat in great, bombed-out heaps of dark brick and black ash. Few people– all clad in gray or black – walked the streets and those who had ventured out kept their mouths closed and their heads down.

No one dared to smile.

My father, in Air Force uniform (because he was off base), approached an old woman to ask a question. I remember her ancient her coat on that cold, gray day – shabby and brown, with frayed sleeves. My father asked her, in German, if the building across the street had been destroyed during the war. The woman refused to look at my father. Mumbling something about not knowing what war he was talking about, she hurried away.

As our bus prepared to leave East Berlin, we again had to stop at Check Point Charlie. This time, the armed German guards boarded the bus and checked behind each seat, looking for anyone trying to escape East Berlin. They also rolled a large mirror under the bus to check for anyone desperate enough to try to hitch a ride out underneath it.

Big government Socialism gone very wrong.

I tell these stories to make a point. I am passionate about this country. Of course there are those who would tell you that that’s an understatement. I am deeply grateful for so much about our nation, particularly our freedoms: the right to say whatever we want without fear of government reprisal; the right to travel anywhere, anytime; the right to assemble together, to arms ourselves, to worship whomever and however we please; the right to “due process” if arrested and arraigned: a jury trial, the “presumption of innocence” in court, and the prohibition to be tried twice for the same crime.

So many other countries just don’t have these rights!

I teach teenagers and it breaks my heart to see that so many of them have no idea what our rights are and therefore no conception of their rarity in this world or their value. In fact, many students and even adults don’t know even basics facts – the VP’s name, for example. Therefore – and this is the point of this entire post – many, many, people in this country do not have any idea what’s at stake in this election. And these folks are going to vote.

Because of my father’s service and the lack of freedom I’ve witnessed in other countries, I understand that these freedoms must be defended and protected. And the best way to do that is to vote for those who will defend our Constitution.

So what are the candidates for?

Constitution and Supreme Court: Trump is for appointing justices to the Court who will uphold the Constitution which he sees as defining our law. Clinton will appoint justices who see the Constitution as a “living, breathing document” which can be changed. If the Constitution can be changed, then so can the rights listed in it. (See above.)

Economic Growth: Trump is for lowering taxes for businesses which has, in the past, caused businesses to grow and create more jobs; Clinton will raise taxes on businesses which is what has happened under Obama. That has not worked.

Military Readiness: Trump will expand the military; Clinton will maintain or decrease the military. This readiness speaks to our ability to defend ourselves against terrorism – or not.

Healthcare: Trump will replace Obama’s one-payer (insurance company) health care plan with one with lower premiums, lower deductibles, and more insurance plans to choose from; Clinton will keep Obamacare or institute a similar plan.

Illegal Immigration: Trump will build a wall and can make Mexico pay for it simply by cutting aid to Mexico equal to the cost of the wall. Clinton will not build a wall; she says she will increase border patrols. (That has not worked to date.) Trump is for deportation of criminal illegals and a “path to citizenship” (vs. amnesty) for other illegals; Clinton is for amnesty for all illegals, meaning they receive automatic and immediate citizenship and voting rights.

If Hillary Clinton is for the same policies as Obama – which she is (proven by the fact that he’s campaigning for her), and if those policies are not working now – which they’re not, how can we believe that doing the same thing for the next four years will improve anything in our country?

More importantly, if our Constitution and the Supreme Court are lost with this election, we will not get another chance to save them. We must vote to uphold the Constitution of the greatest country in the world – the United States of America.

I’ve seen the results of more government control in other countries. The only people who really think that’s a good idea are the people running those countries. People escape to this country to get away from countries controlled by governments.

There’s a reason for that. Think about it before you vote.

 

The Drama Games

no-drama-ii

Have you ever noticed that “drama” rhymes with “trauma”? Well it does. And is it possible to indulge in a little drama without creating trauma – for someone? Probably not. But there are people who simply can’t seem to function without a little drama fix somewhere, sometime, somehow during their day. And it just wouldn’t be half as much fun for them if they weren’t able to pull you into it. So – you have to ask yourself: “Am I being shipwrecked by someone else’s antics or – just as importantly – are my goals and visions?”

The truth is that in order to be harmed by someone else’s drama, trauma, crisis-du-jour, atomic meltdown, and/or apocalypse, you have to be sucked into some type of emotional manipulation – and that doesn’t happen by accident. Most continuous drama exhibitions are by design, at the very least to get attention and to the extreme, to exhort some sort of payment from the victim of the drama. As in, “If I don’t get ‘my way’ (whatever that might mean), I’m going to die!”

The unspoken message: “And it’ll be your fault!”

Listen – we’re all victims of giving in to drama once in a while and if the truth be told, we might even be the perpetrators of a little action of our own now and then (mostly “then”). Drama can range from a pouting lower lip or a few tears on the sly to a full-blown emotional or physical assault. But if the “drama” that we’re being subjected to is too regular, abusive or both, then there’s a much bigger problem afoot. That much trauma could actually mean one of two things is happening: either the drama entity has zeroed in on an “enabler” or, if their distress is real, then that entity is in much more need of mental help then we can possibly give. There are several reasons for drama:

Attention-needy people. Sometimes, due to insecurities of their own, people simply need to be the center of attention. Depending on what kind of attention they need, this might be your problem or not. If the demand is simply an annoyance, give them their cookie and move on. If the demand for attention hinders or threatens your own ability to function, it obviously has to be dealt with. Parents, pastors, teachers, employers all have to deal with folks in various degrees of the “I-need-attention-and-I-need-it-now” syndrome. Funny thing about attention-needy folks, though – their drama tends to vaporize when their audience vanishes.

Incompetent people. Much drama can ensue when people discover their lack of ability in some area or another – and especially when others discover it for them. This drama generally manifests in terms of error cover-ups which might include excuse-making, lying, defensive outbursts of anger, and/or meltdowns involving lots of tears and sobbing. If people are blessing you with these types of behaviors, it’s probably because they have to answer to you as their employer or coach or teacher or in some other capacity in which you’re in authority over them. What happens to them in these circumstances depends on them. If they’re at all interested in improving their skills so that the drama stops, then invest. If not, a little tough love might be in order. Or a pink slip.

Desperate people. People exhibiting “desperate drama” behaviors might actually pose a threat to themselves and/or others. It might not even be too dramatic to say that “threatening” might be too innocuous a word; perhaps “dangerous” might be a better description. People who are desperate are generally feeling as though they have no control over a relationship or situation and are therefore desperate to get that control. And while “drama” might describe this person’s behavior, the actual danger they pose could well be more serious: they could endanger themselves – in order to control you. On the other hand, you could be the target of rage, possessiveness, or some type of payback for not caving to desperate-drama manipulation: financial ruin, damage to one’s reputation, even stalking could be extreme examples of someone seeking control of a situation. These folks need a reality check and chances are, if you’re the target, you should not probably be the one to provide it. At this point, your local law enforcement officer might be a really wise option. So would an Order of Protection.

Drama is never fun and can be a bit of a detriment to one’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Moreover, someone else’s drama exhibitions can damage or even completely shipwreck your own goals, dreams and visions if you get caught up in their nonsense. That’s not to say, of course, that you should not try to help others who need it but – you know the difference between drama and the real thing. The main difference is that real trauma almost always has a resolution. Drama-trauma never does.

 Know a drama queen or other royal entity? It’s time to banish them from Court.