Personality of Coronavirus

I am surprised at how compliant everyone has been with wearing a mask. It is mandatory within stores and public buildings, but it is just as common to see people wearing masks outside exercising. In Texas, even with the heat in the 100’s, people are continuing to wear masks outdoors, sweating from fear of the Coronavirus.

I think it would be interesting to do a psychological study of people based on how much they are masking themselves. As concern for the Coronavirus has continued, I’ve noticed people covering up their faces more and more. In retail environments where there have been the most people, I have seen people so covered up you cannot even see their face! How can the police even identify a thief anymore? Women are seen wearing large sunglasses and masks so that only their foreheads are left uncovered. Men wear bandanas that cover up the entire bottom half of their face below their eyes. Whereas in most cases it is difficult to implement any kind of policy, somehow wearing a mask is not even questioned. There are very few people who argue with it. How many of these are wearing a mask for prevention reasons and how many are wearing it because of psychological needs for safety, security, love, and belonging?

I have seen people who have their entire face covered. Is this a sign of care and security that the person is trying to create for themselves? Does the amount of coverage of the face signify fulfilling a need of self-love and way of conquering pain in their life, like trying to swaddle themselves in a baby blanket? Or maybe it is coverage from the fear of contracting the virus built up from all the hype and coverage of media, rather than the virus itself.

Perhaps for some, it is a way to physically look better or a means to lose weight. Sweating under a mask burns off calories on an entirely different area of the body than is typical. Similarly, with weight loss, how is it that a person can breathe who is exercising with their mouth and nose covered? I had a gym membership and it was manageable to walk on a treadmill at a slow speed with a mask on. However, any faster cardio activity was nearly impossible as the mask restrained breathing and caused my face to become really hot. Do people who workout intensely masked think it will strengthen their lungs by restraining their air? For those who are self-conscious about the bottom half of their face, it provides a chance to keep it hidden, but for most of us, we need a full supply of air. Likewise, it is a mystery to me how cyclists are able to ride their bikes completely masked. Yet many of them are cycling miles around the lake at the same speed as normal. How many of the walkers and runners with dogs on a leash do not care that the Coronavirus can be contracted to their pet? Where are the pet masks? Wouldn’t it make more sense if both pet and owner wore a mask or didn’t?

Living in a self-expressive era, people are eager to express themselves and show their personality and style. For those who care to express themselves by mask, wearing a unique mask is a way to do this. The number of styles I have seen have ranged from glitter and bling, to exaggerated mouths on the mask, patriotic versions, cartoons, and plenty of different colors and patterns. Those who love to sew, were quick to see the Coronavirus as an opportunity to show their skills. Handmade masks were made and distributed to friends and family members. Many still wear the basic disposable, blue and white mask. Bandanas also have been a quick makeshift for a mask, easily made by folding a bandana into thirds and popping hair bands on each end.

Very few people are actually practicing social distancing with 6 feet of space, but wearing a mask is followed by nearly the entire population and has become a trend. Has self-expression and the trend for fashion tied in with keywords like “social distancing” created a fad to drive compliancy?

Health and self-expression are always going to be top-sellers when it comes to the general public. Having an ailment or a special condition, makes you a commodity. We see this with parents and their children. “My child has ADHD”, or whatever other symptom, suddenly makes the child “special” and the parents have a topic to talk about. Topics revolve around the problem with their child, rather than emphasizing what the child excels in. This is a way parents can converse with one another encountering less feeling of inadequacy. Empathy can be found with a health issue, whereas bragging on talent might create adversity with another parent. The same type of approach applies to adult-to-adult conversation. Adults would rather discuss their woes rather than talk about what is uplifting. How many older people talk about their pains, medications and doctors visits when it would be more pleasant to hear about their life experiences. It creates a concern for self, which results in compassion from the other person. With the Coronavirus everyone gets a special band-aid pasted on their face.

It is understandable that vulnerable populations such as the elderly might have a greater fear of catching the Coronavirus. One would think that children would be of a higher concern as well. In retail store environments, I have heard mothers question why their children must wear a mask or if an exception can be made. Events and kids meals might make exceptions for kids, but with smaller lungs and little bodies, it would seem obvious they would fall into the high concern bracket. Psychologically is it that the parent feels neglected of care and must nurture themselves by wearing a mask while giving the child the benefit of freedom? The parent positions him or herself as the one who needs care above the child, when it should be both.

With the rich and famous, masking opens up more opportunities to be in public and not be identified. For those aspiring to be rich and famous, they too can dress differently and go around town in mask for a different experience. It is a chance for the affluent to be fashionable and show their sense of fashion by affording specialized masks to coordinate with their outfits. An article was posted about the Queen of England who wears a mask that matches her daily wardrobe of brightly colored suits. I also saw a young woman in downtown Dallas who had a mask made of the exact material of her outfit.  

While some cultures such as Islam require head coverings, covering the face is new for most Western cultures. Will this develop a greater appreciation for our mouths? An uncovered mouth is needed for sound and volume. Many hard of hearing must be affected by not being able to hear people who have mouth coverings on. It may create a new vision for how we see people, noticing the person rather than the external qualities. The mouth is also used for reading facial expressions. A person can take a vacation from smiling and no one will even know. I’ve even seen people stick their tongue out at me from behind their mask. And as for revenue from foundation makeup and lipstick, I would imagine sales are down. Personally, I prefer to be mask-free as much as possible, but follow policies where wearing a mask is required.

Wearing a mask is the perfect prelude to a reformation of etiquette in our culture. After being in timeout with the Coronavirus, with shelter in place, we were able to have a greater appreciation for our freedom and ability to interact with one another. Covering the mouth and nose, can visually signify halting gossip and nosiness, which is also indicative of rudeness. When restrictions were lifted for public shopping, it was a renewed experience of respectfulness of distance and the exclusiveness of having space while shopping. People were obedient to this and cautious of infecting others by following social distancing procedures. Now that most places have opened up, there seems to be not much difference as everyday life returns to normal. When we take our masks off, we will see other people’s faces again. What it would be like to remove the band-aids over our mouths and noses yielding a healed and healthy society of people. Furthermore, what if being mask-free meant a world culture safe from the Coronavirus, and one with a greater respectfulness for each other in our interactions and speech.  

Note: It is noted that the Coronavirus is real and has caused many deaths worldwide. This article is written from another perspective hoping to present other points such as how well marketed the Coronavirus has been with precautions followed seamlessly by the majority of the population because of the scare. A lack of respectfulness in today’s culture is equally contagious and deadly, which is a natural segue to this current worldwide concern.


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How-To Phrase It: And You Can Quote Me PODCAST

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PODCAST SCRIPT

Hi, this is Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness and today is June 6, 2020. Today’s podcast is: How-To Phrase It: And You Can Quote Me.

As you all know, it’s good to stay current with the latest news, or the “buzz”. And when it comes to knowing what is going on, you want to be the first to know. The top stories from the top sources—or if it is juicy enough, from any source. That’s right. The latest gossip, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. It’s what keeps many going, even at the expense of another person’s life and reputation.

How do you distinguish what is gossip and what isn’t? The trick is knowing the difference between what is proper to talk about and what isn’t. If it is someone’s personal business or a sensitive matter relating to another person, there really is no excuse or positive reason to share it with another. Still unclear of what is acceptable and what isn’t? Here’s an example. Julie is talking to Mary about Joannie’s wedding coming up. She mentioned she is so happy they are getting married. That statement is not gossip as long as it is not a secret that they are getting married. It is a generic statement stating happiness for the couple. If she starts talking about details of Mary’s life, what she is doing, or scorning about why they shouldn’t get married, then that crosses the lines of gossip. Gossip can be on anything. It usually revolves around taboo topics such as sexual topics with regards to another person, financial matters, relationship issues, or medical information. Don’t assume that it is ok to talk about these things with another. It can be very hurtful, especially if it forms the mind of another person or becomes public knowledge. There are several types of gossip. Here are some definitions.

Gossip is the spreading of a truth or unconfirmed fact about someone

If a story is already circulating then it is a rumor. A rumor is a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.

Slander is spreading untrue information about someone to damage their reputation.

If is published in print or online and is a false statement about someone then it is called libel.

And Propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

All of these can cause defamation. Defamation of character is damaging the reputation or name of someone which can happen through any of these civil offenses which could be taken to court in a lawsuit. Talking about someone is not a light matter. Taken to an extreme sharing information about another person can severely damage a person’s life even to the point of suicide or murder. And you can quote me on that.

One way to determine whether what someone is sharing is gossip or not, is to check a few key things. Is the person sharing it with the good-will of the person it is about? Is the information necessary? Is the person you are talking to the source? Are they reliable? Why are they sharing the information? Is it for their popularity at the expense of another? How will you benefit from hearing what they are talking about?

If what they are sharing does not meet these or you feel uncomfortable, cut the conversation off and if it continues walk away. Telling the person that the information would not be appreciated by the person it is about,  is one way to indicate that what they are sharing is inappropriate.

How do you prepare yourself for propaganda? It may not be as frequent as gossip, but it is gossip and defamation at a larger level when it targets a specific person. The person’s name doesn’t even need to be named to do damage. Propaganda is a biased opinion which is spread to promote a point of view. In worse cases it can be taken to every retail store, business, public and private venues, and organizations. Many retail stores are easily swayed to use their businesses as a means to support opinions that have absolutely nothing to do with the business. Yet, although this may seem highly illegal, the only way to find justice is by a civil lawsuit, and in many cases it would prove to be a futile effort. For an average person, this type of “gossip” spreading through propaganda can cause discrimination, shut down opportunities for work, cause homelessness, targeted hate, organized crime, hopelessness and more. One would think in huge cases like this, someone would stand up, but as with any gossip or selling of information, it can snowball like an avalanche and gain steam to become the popular voice regardless of the details or meaning behind it. There is something wrong with society when this goes against one individual without means for defense and such damage is done. Business owners and managers of any business should really take a look at what they allow in their business. Significant fines should be placed on them, besides the fact that customers should refuse to shop at stores that do this. The personal social platform should not be at the retail stores. The stores are there to sell the products they have and maintain their brand image. Several stores claim by promoting propaganda from the community it supports their business as they become a hub for the latest update—at the expense of the life of an innocent party. This is a real issue in the DFW area and probably not just in DFW but throughout our country. It is taking Freedom of Speech the wronggg way, and for all those who have participated either on the business end or as customer eagerly wanting the latest morsel of juicy news as they shop, the quote needs to go elsewhere.

Quote me on it, there’s a lot of clean up to be done with the standard in DFW. Besides the news and who’s talking, phrases need to be set aside and highlighted. What phrases do you use when you communicate? We easily can slip into derogatory remarks, discriminatory name calling, or other phrases which can be said and hurt others. Cleaning up the expressions you use can really make a difference in the people who are around you. Why cut people up? Use words of praise frequently and politically correct ways to speak. Discriminatory name calling can often be thought of as racial, but it can be sexual, belief related, intellectual, about social status, or a number of other things. People love to make fun of people for some reason, mostly for popularity and to build their ego, or as a way to control or empower another person. This verbal injury blow is a form of abuse, especially when it is repeated. It is easy for it to catch on with others and suddenly another person is isolated out as a target to be made fun of. You are in control of what you say and you have the power to make a positive impact with your words or to negatively impact someone.

Soap and scrub the dirty words and phrases which are of bathroom humor, sexual humor, racial in nature or other lower standards. Speaking well increases your social standing with those who want to be around you, as well as professionally.

Not everyone sees the damage they cause as much as they seek being cool and their seek own popularity. Instead of speaking and listening to the latest hearsay, why not get to know the target and find the good qualities to speak about instead. It’s better to win friends who may be different than you by taking time to understand them rather than slamming them down with gossip, insults or name calling. Reach for the higher standard by finding acceptability and compromise rather than mocking others to tear them down.

And if you hear any of this, don’t let the cat get your tongue! Speak up and politely correct when you hear comments such as these. Here are some suggestions of ways to stop gossip:

  • Change the subject
  • Say something positive about someone who is the target of the gossip
  • Confront the gossip by pointing it out
  • Point out missing information
  • …and you can also turn gossip into prayers

Just saying—saying it better by speaking well about people is where winners are at. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. But how you phrase it and what you say matters.

And you can quote me.

Interested in improving your relationships in how you speak? You won’t want to miss the podcast Tongue Tied on June 24 which will discuss the importance of speaking well. We also have 2 excellent books selected for our book club this month which give tips on improving your conversations and speaking well. Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness’ book club this month on June 27. The first book discussion will be held at 2pm on Facebook live as we try out the new video Meeting Group for our chat and discuss The Lost Art of Good Conversation A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life By: Sakyong Mipham. Following this at 3pm, we’ll discuss this month’s second book  30 Days to Taming Your Tongue. What you SAY (and DON’T SAY) Will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues. Be sure to RSVP to join the discussion!

Follow Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness on Facebook and WordPress and on Twitter @cultureofkind


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How-To Say I Love You PODCAST

PODCAST SCRIPT

This is Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness, today is April 17, 2020 and today’s podcast is a How-To Podcast on How-To Say I Love You. Today happens to be the wedding anniversary of my parents so I want to say a quick “I love you” to them and wish them a happy 44th wedding anniversary. This month’s theme is Kindness and Kids, & Kind and today we’re going to be sharing some reminders of the importance of saying “I Love You” and saying this frequently within your family and to your children.

First of all here are some statistics…

Did you know that of full-time working parents, 39 percent of mothers and 50 percent of fathers say they feel as if they spend too little time with their children? 59 percent of full-time working mothers say they don’t have enough leisure time, and more than half of working fathers say the same. Of parents with college degrees, 65 percent said they found it difficult to balance a job and family; 49 percent of non-graduates said the same. 

Based on these statistics, families are finding it more difficult to spend time together. However, with the quarantine mandated by the Coronavirus families must stay home and therefore have more time to spend with each other. Parents also have more time to relax and have some extra time to enjoy leisure activities at home as well as with their families making it easier than ever, with no excuses, to spend time with them and say “I love you”.

Saying “I love you” can be as simple as saying “hello” to a stranger, giving a hug to someone, saying it with meaning to someone you love, giving someone a compliment, doing something for someone, or one of the best ways is to spend time. Spending quality time in person with someone is needed to grow a relationship and to say “I love you”.  It cannot be replaced by virtual contact which has become part of many relationships.

Kids can tell your parents you love them. If they are small they can draw a picture, help around the house, give hugs and kisses, and express appreciation. Tell your parents you love them!

If you are a parent or a single person, to love someone else, you need to make time in your day to love yourself. Self-love doesn’t have to be selfish. We all need time to care for ourselves and in the end it gives you more energy and the ability to love others even better. Here are some ideas. You can take a walk, write, do something you enjoy, take a bubble bath or other self-care like a massage or pedicure, spend time with other people who bring you joy to be around, vary up your day and routine by adding variety in what you do, eat, and wear, dress up, buy yourself something, pray, think good thoughts, exercise, and find time for those hobbies and activities you enjoy.

In families spending time together in person is essential to the family bond between parents and children, as it is with marriages between spouses. As I was recently going through some books I had collected and hadn’t read yet and found this book which goes along with the theme of kindness and kids and kind. The book is called Ways To Say I Love You: To Those You Love the Most. It’s written by Stephen Arterburn, Carl Dreizler & Jan Dargatz. It is important to tell people in your life how much you love them, and this book provides simple ideas and suggestions to express your love to someone by spending time together.

Each chapter of the book shares a creative idea of how to express “I love you”. The first part of the book addresses spouses and the second part of the book is how parents can express “I love you” to their children in unique ways.

I want to share a few of these ideas out of this book. Some of them may not strike you but maybe it will inspire you to do something for another person and spend time with them in a fun, creative, and meaningful way.

 

[A few random selections read from the book: Ways To Say I Love You: To Those You Love the Most by Stephen Arterburn, Carl Dreizler & Jan Dargatz. Listen to the Full Podcast including Excerpts from the Book]

 

These creative ideas are special ways to bring love to a sometimes loveless world. They are for any two people who love one another—husbands and wives, mothers and daughters; fathers and sons; lifelong friends, parents, grandparents, family; the ideas are designed to create closeness in all kinds of loving relationships. I’m sure you can come up with many ideas on your own! Spend this time of quarantine to spend more time with your kids, your spouse, and yourself. Say “I love you” by saying it frequently and showing it by spending time together as a family and with your kids. Build a special bond, by letting them know you love them!

Follow Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness on Facebook and WordPress and on Twitter and Pinterest @cultureofkind

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Ways to Say I Love You: To Those You Love the Most
 
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The Abs of Culture: The ABC’s of Culture and Business

Here are ways to strengthen culture at its core.

A — Acceptance.

Unless you are working at home, chances are you are working with other people. People are all different and while you might get along with most, there are people who just don’t fit the mold set by others. It is easy for bullying to occur or to push these people out of “the circle” of acceptance from the majority. The reason may be diversity, creed, age, sexuality, intellect or any other difference – either they are the “new kid on the block” to the group or they have “been there for too long”. Whatever it may be, if you are committed to working together, you’ll have to find a way to make allowances and that means finding empathy in understanding differences and focusing on common ground.

B —Building Up.

What kind of work environment can survive with negativity and tearing down? Everyone likes to be told they did a good job and be appreciated. It is easy to get so focused on projects that the simplest phrases of appreciation and compliments might never be said.  Make a point to tell those you work with “Thank you!” or “I appreciate that you did that!” or “It really made a difference!” more often. Look them in the eye when you express a compliment. Be sincere. Send a word of thanks by email that is really meant. These can go a long way in building morale in the work environment.

C — Consideration of Others.

In today’s culture of “me-ism” the importance of self naturally spills over into the workplace. Instead of being considerate of others on the team, it is easy to only focus on how any task or expectation might impact you. Instead of seeing how something might inconvenience you, see how you can make someone else’s job easier. Maybe it is preparing a little more thoroughly for a meeting in advance. Perhaps it is completing your work earlier than expected for the next stage in the process. Instead of being project related, maybe it means dressing nicely for work, practicing good hygiene, smiling and having a positive spirit, or always appreciating others rather than finding what you don’t like about them.

Sitting up to improving culture in the workplace?

When you practice kindness in the workplace, the culture at work changes over time to one with a solid core group of people. Increased productivity. More pleasant interactions. Happier overall job satisfaction. Less turnover.

Spring Into Kindness—At work.

—Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness

Did you know that…“Positive culture is a vital aspect of running a business–more than 50% of executives say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value, and growth rates. These corporate culture statistics outline how important culture is in attracting, retaining, and satisfying employees.”

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The Power of Encouragement at Work

As I was at the library recently, I found a book which I started thumbing through which had several inspirational messages about encouragement and teamwork. Encouragement really is about having an optimistic outlook and perspective, whether it is for ourselves or others. Encouragement always focuses on the positive with the intent to breathe energy and bring hope to a situation. Here are three takeaways from the book, The Power of a Positive Team by Jon Gordon:

Cheer each other on. When you encourage each other, you make one another stronger and you make the team stronger.

Reframe your thoughts as you ‘get to’ rather than you ‘have to’. Whatever you think might be tedious, or a drudgery, can be endured easier when you change your thought process that you ‘get to’ do it and see it as an opportunity rather than an obligation. There are probably others who exist who do not get the chance to do whatever you might ‘have to do’.

Failures are just part of the road. Look past failures to what you are becoming. Challenges are opportunities for growth. Sometimes it may take failing many times before reaching a goal. The story isn’t finished yet.

@cultureofkind


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Imagine What a Little Encouragement Can Do

“How are you?”. As a variation of “Hello”, this greeting is heard many times a day with very little thought or meaning behind it for most people.  The reply “Fine” might not always be the complete truth but enough to move on to other conversation topics. Imagine if this greeting could be expressed with true meaning and empathy to all we encounter.

Everyone has struggles, some greater than others. Anything from being late to work because of car problems, having a sick family member, personal illness, job loss, feelings of inadequacy, seemingly unsurmountable challenges, a shattering divorce, or other tragedies— whatever the personal tragedy of the moment is, we have a responsibility to encourage one another and bring hope. Burdens can be lifted with words of hope and cheer and alleviate spirits weighed down by disappointment, discouragement, embarrassment, and hopelessness.

Being present with open ears and undivided attention is an invaluable gift you can give to someone who is struggling. By listening a person quietly steps into the realm of encouragement bringing a dose of compassion. Talking through struggles can help lighten burdens and even can be a way to work through solving problems. Even a person without any experience in counseling can provide empathy by just listening.

The basis of encouragement is reassurance and reinforcement. It is the belief that someone can be more than what is imagined possible. It is the belief that even with impossible situations alternative viable solutions can be found. It is cheering on the deflated spirit, adding light to the fading wick of will, to regenerate energy for new hope. It is providing a little relief by being there to help someone push forward out of the rut. Reaching out to others with words of encouragement spreads kindness. It looks outside of self in concern of another to re-channel the focus toward positive energy and hope.

Words of encouragement state words of beliefs such as “I know” telling someone that “it will” be because you know it can be. It is addressing failure or a challenge as not being the stopping point but a valley from which one can provide hope for another heading up again toward the next high point or goal.

Can you find someone who needs to be lifted up today and cheer them on?

@cultureofkind


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