Opinion

Uncommon Sense with Glenn Mollette

A  growing career industry across the country is life coaching. People are actually going into private practice opening offices and spending hours every week giving customers direction and a listening ear. We have had psychiatrists and other mental-health workers for years but now people are training to help others who have just the most basic problems and questions.
We live in an age in which people are more desperate than ever for somebody to talk to. People have problems from spiritual and financial matters to daily decisions. They wonder about what to do with their lives. They don’t know how to find a job or what opportunities might exist for them. Millions of American kids pass through 12 grades of school and then graduate clueless about what to do next.
More than ever, people need to know that their lives are not in vain. They do not exist just to create social-media postings in hopes that a few people will “like” them. They need to know that, if they do not make a television reality show, they are still OK because every day they exist in their own reality show.
The reality is that each of us in America has an opportunity to forge a real life. Naturally, life is never free from hurdles, work, challenges and, usually, grit and grind. However, there are ways of navigating the maze of living life.
Bad things happen to people. People are brought up in broken homes, by single parents, in poverty and surrounded by domestic violence. The scenarios are endless. This is why, more than ever, we need everyday life coaches who can help people with the simplest of life’s quests.
From their late teens until they are seniors, all adults need guidance. You can find a lot of answers on Google but often people don’t know the right questions to ask.
The questions are almost endless. For example, how do I write a resumé? What do I put on a resumé? How do I dress for a certain job interview? Where do I start to find a job?
What are my career choices? How do I choose a career? How do I know what I am good at doing? How do I save money? How can I make my life better? How can I avoid trouble?
How do I start a business? How do I obtain financial aid for college? What do I have to do to be a schoolteacher, a lawyer, a doctor an engineer or other professional?
My life is bad, so how can I change it? I am unhappy with my physical condition, so what can I do to be a healthier person? And so on.
I understand that not every counselor has an immediate answer to every question. However, answers are available and often a steady mind with a listening ear can help someone find an appropriate answer.
Some people need help from a medical professional, some from licensed clinical counselors. Many today just need some basic common-sense direction.
Churches today are utilizing life coaches. Sometimes it’s a trained minister but on occasions it’s a trained life coach connected to the church whose job is to help its congregants find direction and guidance.
Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Memphis and every other city in America struggling with violence would be well served to plant guidance coaches, mentors or life coaches throughout their troubled communities.
In reality, it’s the job that every parent should do. Unfortunately, though, parents have either dropped the ball, flown the coup or just cannot pull their own lives together.
Sadly, we have so many dysfunctional families in America that life coaches are needed to help mom and dad as much as the young teens struggling to understand life.
More law-enforcement officers, more police dogs and more curfews are not going to solve the hurt felt by so many lost young adults. More than ever, these young men and women need community leaders, mentors and coaches with a listening ear and commonsense advice for living and achieving a better life.
Glenn Mollette is an American author whose syndicated column is read in all 50 states.

              Dale Schlundt

By guest writer Dale Schlundt

Debates, heated arguments and social tension defined the era. People were scared of what they had thought was going to be a thing of the past, too much power in the hands of just a limited few.
We had all witnessed inequality, power exerted
by people who seemed so far removed from us, perhaps distanced by both proximity and, ultimately, ideology. By the time we were finished, we had come to a consensus but it was one that left certain factions feeling dissatisfied.
This description could fit numerous contexts in American history, specifically the revolutionary era, illustrating the point that social and political tension is nothing unique or new.
Essentially, it gives us some solace during times of conflict, as the framers of the US constitution gave us tools to address these circumstances.
The founders were not remotely close to being a united body, yet they all had one thing in common – two fears. They feared mass movements by what they perceived as an uneducated public negatively influencing policy and thus they gave us the electoral college as one of the checks and balances they believed would keep our system in order.
Contrasting that, our nation’s founders feared that an excessively limited democratic structure within the new republic would turn into an authoritarian entity. That was perceived through their lens as being similar to Great Britain in relation to its colonies. So they framed a government structure that distributed power. Recently, that system has been put to use in regard to president Donald Trump’s executive order limiting travel and immigration from certain regions of the Middle East. It featured one independent branch of government interpreting the constitutional validity of another’s policies.
The study of history is based in seeking out change. An aspect of that focus, depending on the area of study, is to conclude whether we are progressing or regressing as a society.
The discussion of concentrated power was nothing new at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Conflicting ideas among the framers about the role of the judicial branch in the new republic has led us to interpreting the results. Consequently, today they alter society to a large degree.
Despite our governmental system’s shortcomings throughout history, we are indeed progressing. For instance, who would have thought the US supreme court would have cited the 14th amendment, a constitutional revision focused on African-American liberties from the latter part of the 19th century, to uphold gay rights in the 21st?
Still, executive orders are typically controversial simply because they can bypass one of those checks, the legislative branch. Let us remember president Abraham Lincoln’s criticized executive orders during the Civil War, orders that he utilized in an effort to silence his political critics in the press.
Executive orders are within the legal powers of the president and are, at times, both necessary and appropriate.
At other times, they are called into question. Thus, the judicial process picks up the slack, if you will.
Most observers argue that the current debate about travel and immigration has the potential to arrive at the supreme court. However, individuals on both sides of the issue should keep in mind the fact that this is part of the American experience. While political tensions rise, it is the debate that promotes growth.
Perhaps more significant is that these experiences are nothing new. Let us allow the framers’ system
to interpret our constitution and applicable legislation, while respecting our fellow Americans regardless of their political affiliation.
Dale Schlundt is an adjunct professor for Palo Alto community college in San Antonio and an occasional contributor to The Post.

Trishna’s tidbits
Modern musings by Trishna Buch

How many times have you spent the entire weekend just sitting in front of your television before realizing that there was a lot of work you could have taken care of? How often have you made a promise to complete a task over the weekend, only to find yourself facing Sunday evening with no sign of the task being complete?
I ask these questions because I have often been a culprit in such circumstances. I used to be the self-proclaimed queen of procrastination. My attitude was always: “Why do today what can I put off until tomorrow?”
Of course, this usually resulted in unneeded stress, so I soon found ways to work in advance to prevent it. These methods have come in extremely handy since I started my job and my graduate classes because, without them, I would be spending eight to nine hours every weekend on homework.
First, I write down every assignment due within a certain time. For example, I already know that I will not have any free time on one particular weekend in March so, I have already written out every assignment I have to complete before then, as well as the assignments I have due in the following week. Once I am able to see the amount of work I have, I can then dive into the next step, the schedule.
Making a weekly schedule goes a long way. This I have learnt from experience. Every Sunday evening, I take out my planner, look at my list of assignments and write down which ones I will do on a certain day.
This week, I have 30 pages of reading, a five-page paper and a 15-minute video on which to work for my coursework, so I will spend some time on the reading on three days, devote time to the paper on four or five days and watch the video on a quiet evening.
I find that making a schedule helps me stay calm and also motivates me to get started on the work. For instance, if I know I only have to read 10 pages and write one page of my paper, I always do it at the beginning of the day, so I can enjoy the rest of the day.
However, I have to keep in mind that overwhelming myself can have a negative effect. So I make sure that I do not fill up one day with assignments while leaving another completely empty. It’s better to plan my schedule enough in advance that I can allow for two to three assignments a day and not find myself lost for time.
Finally, I have taught myself to remember to take breaks. I once made the mistake of planning five assignments in one day, including a set of reading response questions and writing a paper. I then compounded the mistake by doing all the work without taking a break because I wanted to finish quickly and then enjoy the rest of the day.
The plan backfired because the work took me four hours to complete and, when I had finished, I had such a terrible headache that I had to lie down. No more enjoyment of the rest of the day!
And so I always take breaks now and never regret it. I realize from this bitter experience that attempting an assignment when not fully focused will have detrimental effects, including the risk of having to redo the assignment.
Having followed this system for a while, I have discovered that now I never complain about boredom, a lack of time or an avalanche of work. If any of these problems assails you, why don’t you try it!

Texas goes big on the retired life

If you are a retired Texan, stay right where you are! Don’t move out because you are living in one of the United States’ most retirement-friendly states. So says a study conducted for finance-advice website WalletHub.
To determine the best place to live after retirement, the WalletHub researchers collected information from all 50 states and the district of Columbia on their
affordability, quality of life and healthcare.
The result? We Texans can proudly boast that we live in the nation’s 18th best state for retirees!
Affordability was measured for such things as the local cost of living, for which Texas was ranked 11th, and the annual cost of in-home services, in which we were rated 14th best.
Quality of life factors included the number of museums, in which Texas was ranked sixth, and theaters, for which we claimed14th spot.
The last dimension, healthcare, was measured by such factors as the number of health-care facilities, the quality of public hospitals and life expectancy, the last of which saw Texas ranked 28th.
The lone star state fell immediately below Utah and immediately above Virginia in WalletHub’s retirement league. Florida was named the number-one spot for retired folks, while retired Rhode Islanders would be better off moving to any other state.

This ’n’ That by Nicky De Lange

During a recent attempt to clean off my computer desk, thereby finding my laptop, I ran across a catalog I’d forgotten I had.


It’s called Signals and describes itself as selling “gifts that inform, enlighten and entertain”. Seriously? Does it really say that? It not only says so on the cover. It proves it with some of the items it sells.
Here’s a good example: the company sells a T-shirt that says: “Engineer – Solving problems you didn’t know you had in ways you can’t understand”. I barely understood the T-shirt!
Now consider this shirt. It proclaims: “Chocolate comes from cocoa, which comes from a tree. A tree is a plant. Therefore, cocoa counts as a vegetable.” That certainly makes sense to me –maybe I’m more intellectual that I thought?
This next T-shirt is slightly weird but it does have a snappy ending. It reads: “Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup”. It’s definitely weird – but still interesting, right?
For all you dog lovers, consider buying another item, a doormat that proclaims: “Ring the doorbell and let me sing you the song of my people”.
It’s kind of out in left field until you think about it or visualize it – I warned you that Signals is an intellectual catalog, remember?
I don’t want to leave cat lovers out so, if you’re a friend of felines, this one’s for you. The picture on another T-shirt is of a totally blissed-out, relaxed cat curled up across an open book above the caption: “To a cat, all things belong to cats”.
Briefly coming back down to what I laughingly think of as the real world, here’s a shirt that gets right to the point. The older you are, the funnier it gets. It reads: “I’m old. I’m tired. Get off my lawn.” That says it all and sure does sum it up nicely.
If you’re a fan of those beef-jerky commercials featuring Bigfoot, you’ll probably relate to this T-shirt message: “Bigfoot saw me – but nobody believes him”.
There’s one shirt that really appealed to my sense of humor because it points out the peculiarity of the English language. It proclaims: “Hyphenated. Non-hyphenated. That’s irony!”  Here’s the perfect shirt for people who overrate themselves: “If I were wrong, don’t you think I’d know?!” Truthfully, no, they wouldn’t. It would never occur to them.
For the rest of us, who know when we’ve reached our absolute limit – a limit that varies daily depending on our stress levels – this last shirt is the one to order. It announces pathetically: “I can’t adult today. Please don’t make me adult.”
Amen to that.

           Jennifer Newton

By guest writer Jennifer Newton

About a third of high-school seniors across the country report using an illegal drug at some time in the past year and more than 10 per cent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller, according to NIDA, the national institute on drug abuse.
Here in Texas, marijuana
is the most commonly used illegal drug, with 9.1 per cent of students reporting past-month use, according to the Texas schools survey of 2014.
Drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy but many teens are not aware of the risks. Today’s popular culture is filled with inaccurate information about drugs.
During National Drug And Alcohol Facts Week last month, Bay Area Council On Drugs And Alcohol was part of a national campaign titled Shatter The Myths, joining with schools, community leaders and scientists across the country to spread science-based facts about drugs through our county community coalition.
For example, one myth that has persisted for years is that marijuana is safe because it is “natural”. This myth has been disproven time and again by scientists. According to NIDA, marijuana use as a teen can impair brain development, reducing IQ and keeping the brain from reaching its full potential.
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is addictive. People who begin using the drug before age 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana-use disorder than those who begin later.
Events such as National Drug And Alcohol Facts Week arm teenagers with science-based information on drugs and their impact on the body, helping them make well-informed decisions before engaging in risky behavior.
But keeping our children aware of such facts is not just a one-week-a-year exercise. BACODA never stops delivering the message throughout our community. For more information on how you can involve yourself in helping us promote drug and alcohol facts, contact our community liaison, Jennifer Hart, at Galveston.CCP@bacoda.org or go online to bacoda.org.
Jennifer Newton is communications coordinator for Bay Area Council On Drugs And Alcohol, a nonprofit founded in 1974 to fight the effects of drug and alcohol abuse in the Galveston Bay area.