Logophile ?

I have a confession to make ; I am a logophile.

I suspect that you may be a logophile too. Don’t worry, though, this is nothing ‘bad’. ‘Logophile’ means a lover of words !

Writers are , by their nature, logophiles, because we love and appreciate the power of words. Jesus himself is known as ‘The Word made Flesh.’

Because we understand the great influence of words, we know how important it is to use our written and spoken words to encourage people. At the same time, it is beautiful to be encouraged by the words of others, and to train ourselves to listen carefully to people when they speak.

Being a logophile, I am also fascinated by other languages. Canada is officially bilingual in English and French. I also study Italian, Swedish, Arabic, Spanish, Tagalog, and German, which is closely related to English.

There is also another reason why I study other languages.

Numerous research studies have indicated that studying and speaking more than one language is an excellent way of preventing the development of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. This is another healthy aging tip !

Pictured is the present view from my window. The sea ice has come in. Once it retreats, the majestic icebergs will come !

Sea ice in Newfoundland is a sign of approaching Spring !

The Ducks Will Not Be Going

Do you agree that God is pleased when countries help each other ?

The plague of locusts that has devastated crops in countries of Eastern Africa also has also spread to areas of Pakistan.

The billions of locusts are voracious eaters, and are creating fears of widespread famine.

Everyone these days is aware of “protecting the environment”, and pesticides are often frowned upon.

Therefore, China graciously offered to deploy an army of 100,000 ducks to Pakistan, to treat the locust plague the natural way. Ducks are capable of eating many locusts in a day.

However, academics, studying the situation more carefully, realized that the ducks, who require water, would not do well in the dry areas of Pakistan, and thus their deployment was stopped. Pesticides were offered instead to stop the destructive insects.

Plagues, famines, and deadly viruses are reminders to personkind, formerly known as mankind, that we are all members of the human family, and we need to work together.

May God bless the ducks, who reminded us of that.

High Expectations !

Are you familiar with the term : ‘Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched ‘?

It means don’t make plans when something hasn’t happened yet.

Last year there was a frenzy of excitement in a neighbouring outport when the business operators ‘Bradley Brothers’ held a media conference in town ! They said that they were turning the former run-down shrimp processing plant into a marijuana growing operation ! Yes, marijuana growth, use and sales are legal in Canada !

In typical outport fashion, the residents made immediate plans. Dozens of high-paying jobs were anticipated to be shortly available at the plant.

People told their relatives, working in western Canada, that work would soon be available locally, and they could come home to their families.

As some outdoor work started on the old shrimp plant, the local credit union received applications from people applying for loans for trucks to drive to their new jobs.

When the huge letters ‘Bradley Brothers’ appeared on the run-down shrimp plant, it seemed like the deal was done.

Alas, the new business failed to materialize, the Bradley Brothers disappeared, and the loan applications were cancelled. No explanation was given, and rural Newfoundlanders did not ask any questions.

The long term studies of how ‘weed ‘affects the brain have not yet been completed.

The large sign : BRADLEY BROTHERS was never removed.

Pictured is a marijuana plant, artistically photographed, courtesy of Unsplash.

Time for a Change ?

Are you secretly uncomfortable with handshakes ? I am.

Handshaking started centuries ago in some cultures, as a way of two men showing each other that they were not carrying a concealed weapon.

Times have changed. Populations have grown, and germs have grown more dangerous.

I am not a germophobe, but my research into germs on the palms of hands has convinced me that perhaps it is time to eliminate handshaking. A recent study at the University of Colorado showed that, typically, 150 species of bacteria exist on human hands. Interestingly, this study also showed that usually, women’s hands contain more bacteria than mens’.

Does your physician shake your hand when you see him/her at the clinic ? Please ask your doctor not to. Have you often seen a physician wash her/his hands?

At our clinic , we are also considering getting copper door knobs, since few germs can live on copper. Many health care centres, especially in Europe, are already doing this.

A good greeting, moving forward, would be a smile, eye contact, and a word like ‘hello,’ or, popular in Newfoundland, ‘good day’ ! My favourite greeting is the one that a friend and I share.

He is of the Sikh faith, and when we meet, we bow to each other, with our hands folded, and say to each other : “God is great”. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way for people to greet each other ?

And, think of how much healthier we would be.

Sedatephobia ?

Have you heard the term sedatephobia ? This is an intense fear of SILENCE , and comes from the Greek word ‘sedate’, meaning silence.

Technological developments have created a noisy and visually stimulating world, in which an increasing number of people are developing a fear of silence. Counsellors are treating more people for this fear, which was fairly rare until the arrival of television.

Sedatephobia can have its roots in some sort of childhood trauma, especially that which involved isolation. Some individuals have become so accustomed to constant media stimulation, that they become afraid of being alone with their own thoughts.

If one has a guilty conscience, for some reason, this discomfort grows in silence. God can choose silence to reveal to us areas of our lives where we need his healing and forgiveness.

It is very quiet here, at the edge of North America.

My husband has a television, but I prefer to connect to the world through WordPress.

The beauty of living in such a quiet spot is that it is easy to listen for God’s still, quiet voice when he speaks to us. God longs to comfort and heal us.

Pictured is our window after a major storm.

No Yelling, Please

Do you know anyone who yells a lot ? I hope not ! People who yell, in anger, have not yet gained full control over their “inner toddler”. We all need to strive to keep our inner toddlers under control, as we move towards emotional, and spiritual maturity.

Yelling, as a social behavior, is ineffective, ( unless, of course, you are warning someone of danger, or you need urgent help).

Parents who yell at their children lose their children’s trust. Scars from being yelled at can affect children for a lifetime, and can result in anxiety disorders, and issues with self-esteem.

Teachers who raise their voices at students quickly demonstrate that they have lost “control” over their classes. Student misbehaviour is usually greatest in classrooms where teachers habitually yell in ineffective attempts to influence student behaviour.

And, relationship partners who yell to gain control over their loved ones often eventually find themselves single.

Anger has been called the ‘iceberg’ emotion, since underneath the anger, which symbolically is visible ‘above the water’, there are other emotions. One of the main emotions underlying anger is fear. Other common feelings underlying anger are humiliation, jealousy, and pride.

A mom, for example, yelling in ‘anger’ at her kids, may actually be afraid that her misbehaving children will grow up to be juvenile delinquents, and she will be blamed !

Yelling is also damaging to our precious vocal chords. If we are careful to avoid straining our voices in this way, we can usually keep our voices sounding youthful as we age.

Let us ask God for the grace to improve our relationship skills so that we lose the impulse to yell at others.

The Unnamed Emotion

Do you have a high EQ ( Emotional Quotient) ?

As a writer, I am sure that you answered ‘yes’, since writers are skilled at understanding and describing human emotions.

Have you ever felt an emotion that you could not name ?

It has been almost six years since I developed an ‘unnamed’ emotion which sticks in my psyche.

After two priests were removed suddenly, without explanation, by his Excellency the bishop, many local parishioners, in shock and anger, fled the parish, and did not return. No shepherd came looking for us.

The replacement priest,newly arrived from Africa, was given strict instructions not to mention anything about the priests’ disappearance.

A close family member of mine reacted to this chaos, secrecy and cover-up in the church by becoming a member of another world religion. He said that it made him feel more comfortable because it had no “priests”.

That is when my ‘unnamed ’emotion, concerning this matter, developed. It is a kind of numb feeling ; emotional numbing is common to trauma survivors. In my case it is probably best that I can’t “feel” this emotion, otherwise it could overwhelm me.

I have no comment to make, expect that I pray daily for more patience, and for my faith and trust in God to grow, even when I don’t understand what God is doing.

I do know that God works through trials and difficulties in our lives, and ultimately we grow spiritually from what he allows.

(Romans 8:28)

In the meantime, I will leave my ‘unnamed’ emotion, and the events that led to it, in God’s hands, and sometimes , I will read Matthew 18:6 ( You know, the verse mentioning millstones and the sea.)

God sees. God knows. God will act.