Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Managing Mortality Concerns

The significant variable is not what you believe, but how truly and genuinely you believe. People who have believed in reincarnation, or people from Eastern cultures and religions have often accepted death with unbelievable peace and equanimity even at a young age; Only the few true genuine religious people have accepted death with great peace and equanimity; I would say that about 95 percent of our patients that we have studied have been a little bit religious, but not genuine and authentic. They then have the additional concern about punishment after death, regrets and guilt about missed opportunities. In your experience, how do you see a deep, abiding relationship with God as making death meaningful and easier--excuse the word--to bear? Truly religious people with a deep abiding relationship with God have found it much easier to face death with equanimity. We do not often see them because they aren't troubled, so they don't need our help. Will a person with a firm belief in his religion (for example, a Catholic belief in a better life in heaven) go through these same stages of dying? Yes, religious people also go through the same stages of dying, but quicker and with less turmoil. Although explaining why requires further research, the Israeli study shows that a larger share of female students led to more satisfied students, less exhausted teachers, less classroom disruption and violence, as well as better relationships between teachers and students and between students. How groups are composed matters. Too much data has been collected for anyone to form them thoughtlessly. How you design work teams, classrooms, and corporate boards should at a minimum be accomplished with an awareness of potential gender dynamics. And gender is present always, whether the group consists of a single sex or all one sex but for a lone member, or a neat (and rare) equally split group. Knowing about group dynamics, you can also create groups strategically to meet a particular objective. Consider the work on peer effects that supports the notion that exposure to the out-group can improve cross-group relations. A group of researchers looked at what happened when students with different racial backgrounds were randomly assigned to live together at the beginning of their college year. White students who were randomly assigned to live with African-American students were more likely to support affirmative action and endorse diversity on campus. They also reported that they were more comfortable interacting with people of color and were more likely to do so.

A thumbs-up signal means approval, while the thumbs down mean disapproval. The V sign, where your middle and index finger are lifted and separated, means victory or peace. If you're in Australia or the UK, it's offensive. The OK gesture, where your thumb and index finger touch to form a circle while the other three fingers are extended, means alright or okay. There are parts of Europe where it means, you are nothing. If you use it in South American countries, then it carries a vulgar meaning. Legs and arms matter. Crossed arms mean they're feeling defensive. Crossed legs away from you mean they don't like you, or they're not comfortable with you. Spread arms that take up more room is confident, as they're unconsciously making themselves seem larger, and by extension, more commanding. In what way do you feel that prayers assist patients and their families to face death? I believe in the help of prayer, if a patient or a family asks for it. If you are not sure don't simply go in and visit the dying patient and pray with him. Ask him first if he wants a prayer. If he says yes, then go ahead and pray but don't use a prayer article. Listen to your own heart and soul and talk spontaneously rather than reading out of a prepared text. Such spontaneous, honest prayer offered by a caring human being can often help more than many tranquilizers. Personal Questions Many students of mine have asked how any one person can spend so much time in caring for hopeless patients, what gives us the strength or conviction to do this kind of sad work over a long period of time. A few answers to some of these questions may help you to understand where our resources come from and how we cope with the problem of overinvolvement to the detriment of our own well-being.

Group composition matters. Looking beyond the dorm room, where incentives for getting along are great, experiments suggest that size also matters. Based on datasets about friendships and social interactions at the classroom and the school level, researchers conclude that adolescents in small schools have a more diverse set of friends. In bigger schools, students have a larger range of potential friends to choose from and opt to cluster by sex, race, age, and socioeconomic status, leading to segregation and cliques. In short, we like being surrounded by similar others. But if people do not have much choice, social category-based differences lose their relevance. And contact across groups matters. A meta-analysis of more than 500 studies and over 700 independent samples shows that contact typically reduces intergroup prejudice, supporting what in psychology is known as the intergroup contact theory. While we are not inclined to seek diversity unless we have to, there would be lots of advantages if we did. A large number of laboratory studies suggest that diversity can increase productivity. On the flip side, arms tucked close to their body is a way to keep attention off themselves or an indication they feel small or threatened. Standing with both hands on the hips could be a sign they feel aggressive, or that they're in control. Hands clasped behind the back could mean anger, boredom, or anxiety. Fidgeting or fingers that tap rapidly could mean frustration, boredom, or impatience. Crossed legs could mean they would like some privacy, or they are closed off from you. Sitting up straight means they are paying attention. If they're hunched forwards, then they're either indifferent or bored. A closed posture where they hide their trunk, cross arms and legs, could mean they're not feeling friendly, or they're hostile, or anxious. When they have an open posture, they keep the body's trunk exposed, showing they are open, eager, willing, and friendly. Just like your body talks, so does your handwriting.

It has to be emphasized that I also care for non-terminally ill patients, that I have a house, a family, a garden to take care of. I do not believe that anyone should work exclusively with dying patients five days a week, or nine hours a day. This work is extremely exhausting and emotionally draining. Each of us has to find his own way of recharging the battery before we are too drained and unable to give of ourselves. How do you keep your own emotional balance and not feel overwhelmed or depressed working so totally in this field of dying? I find this a real question for me and would appreciate your speaking on this point, ie, how to feel with, but not overidentify or get overwhelmed. I find working with dying patients very gratifying. Although it is sad many times, I don't find it depressing. It is important to state that I am not doing this work full time. I also see other, non-terminal patients, some psychiatric, and some not. A particularly comprehensive study assigned about 700 people to groups of two to five and had them participate in a variety of tasks, including brainstorming, solving visual puzzles, making moral judgments, conducting negotiations, and playing a collective game of checkers against a computer that took up to five hours. The researchers, Anita Williams Woolley of Carnegie Mellon and collaborators, used a team's performance on these tasks to calculate its collective intelligence factor, which by assessing how well a group does on a set of tasks can help predict the group's future performance on different tasks. It turns out that individual team members' average or maximum intelligence is a bad predictor of a group's collective intelligence. Instead, the higher a group scored on social sensitivity, the more opportunities to speak were equally distributed among members, and the larger the share of women in the group, the higher its social intelligence. Or, as Woolley and her colleagues put it, collective intelligence of the group as a whole has predictive power above and beyond what can be explained by knowing the abilities of the individual group members. The importance of including women in a group so that it could reach its potential came as a surprise to the authors of the study. It appears as if it was partly due to female team members scoring higher on the social sensitivity measure than male team members, thus providing the necessary glue to connect all members' contributions and create a whole that exceeded the sum of its parts. Such results are tantalizing, suggesting that further research might be able to turn collective intelligence into a diagnostic tool, allowing us to predict which teams will perform well and which will struggle. In addition, tools might be developed to help teams manage themselves--ensuring a more equitable share of speaking times, for example--producing the social sensitivity to allow a group to benefit from everyone's contributions. Groups can also rely on decision rules that make sure every opinion counts.

Big whoop, right? It's just words on paper. No, it's a lot more than the words you write down. Your handwriting can be a dead giveaway of how you felt in the moment you were writing it, or how you are in general. It can offer a baseline for figuring out your personality, feelings, character, and intentions. The science of analyzing handwriting is known as graphology. Things to Keep in Mind about Graphology Take it with a pinch of salt. Don't assume someone is a crook just because they've got crooked writing. Graphologists say they can find your personality in your handwriting. I see patients who are getting well again and patients who have a chance to live. When you work with the families of leukemic children you find that many of these children go into remission, they are able to start nursery school, they are able to start first grade. You experience the happiness of children who are able to graduate from high school when they never expected to reach this goal, and you see young girls who are able to fall in love and live every day at its fullest. You share not only the sad low points with the families of these dying children, but you are also able to share the highlights with the families. When you work with dying patients, you develop a meaningful relationship with the families of these patients. Many of the widows and widowers will contact me months and years after the death of a patient, and tell me about a planned wedding or a confirmation of a child. In this way I take part in every aspect of their living, and not only in the deaths in their families. The emotional balance naturally also comes from my own happy family, from having an understanding husband and two healthy children, from having a home and a garden where I can work, from vacations which I take regularly, and from climbing in the mountains of Switzerland and Alaska, where I can forget about my work and my patients for a couple of weeks every year. Are your views motivated by religion or a unique philosophy? I don't think I started this work motivated by religion.

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