Bobbing Around Volume 20 Number 9

I like your Jesus — but his followers are so unlike him.
Gandhi


Fear cannot exist in the presence of Love.
To heal fear, simply focus on Love.
Love is reality, it is the essence of who you are.
Pragito Dove

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty, Number Nine,
March, 2021

Bob Rich’s rave

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bobswriting.com    anxietyanddepression-help.com/    mudsmith.net/    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
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Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

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Do note that anyone buying any of my titles anywhere, in any format, qualifies for a second electronic book for free. Emailing me a review qualifies as proof of purchase (unless I sent you a free review copy of course).


I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.


Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person.


* From me to you
Introducing a new friend
Flora Fielding is here to entertain you again
I have a new grandson
Sandra Warren has asked me a few questions
Forgiveness in a new anthology

 

* New stuff
Responses
Sandra Warren
Issac Robledo
Good news
Solar benefits your neighbours
Psychology
I am a paedophile and want to kill myself
That was then, now is now
A Thai little girl who kills ants
A loss of grip on reality
Look over a writer’s shoulder
Free check of readability
I approve of these announcements
Meet Cindy Davis
Reviews
Hit and Run, reviewed by Sandra Warren
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by…
Daralyse Lyons
Jake Irving
Court of the Grandchildren, by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson
Poetry
Brigid Day, by Laurie Corzett
FunA few insights
* Blog posts during February
ENVIRONMENT
Plastics: a reminder
Goodbye, glaciers
Gas is gasping but follow the money
A blueprint for survival

GOOD NEWS
Renewables have won in the USA

Housework is worth money at last!

DEEPER ISSUES
Two beautiful meditations, via TA Sullivan

One of Calhoun’s rats

LOOK OVER A WRITER’S SHOULDER
A muse: February Rhobin’s round about where my ideas come from

ANNOUNCEMENTS I APPROVE OF
A worthwhile cause: Help fund a youth centre to honour the memory of a man murdered in jail.


From me to you

Introducing a new friend
Flora Fielding is here to entertain you again
I have a new grandson
Sandra Warren has asked me a few questions
Forgiveness in a new anthology

 

Introducing a new friend


Mike Muntisov and I reviewed the same book. When I saw the name of his blog, I just had to look it up: “The Court of the Grandchildren.” This actually the title of a book he and his friend Greg Findlayson have written. So, I contacted Mike. He reviewed my From Depression to Contentment and I provided an advance review of their book, which is on the verge of being published.

Mike then thoroughly explored Bobbing Around, and at least one of my websites, then interviewed me over Zoom. You can read the result of this research in his essay, “How to cope with climate anxiety.”

If I had the money, I’d hire Mike as my publicity manager.

I’ve noticed, he has many other excellent posts worth reading. Do have a look.


Flora Fielding is here to entertain you again


She was the most beautiful film star of her time, then became the 15th wealthiest person on earth. Then, to escape cancer, she had herself frozen — and awoke 1433 years later.

Twenty years ago, her story won me an international award. Now, she is back, with a new cover.

You can read a brief summary in my booklist.

To spread the word, I am offering every follower of Bobbing Around, and every newsletter subscriber, a FREE COPY. This is because reviews sell books, and I would love you to review this one.

If you have my email address, please whip off an email to me. Otherwise, you can use my contact form. Either way, ask and thou shalt receive.

Instead, you may choose to buy a copy. My publisher, Victor Volkman, will like that. In that case, send me proof of purchase, and you have earned a free copy of one of my other books.

Either way, PLEASE review it.


I have a new grandson

Once again, a suicidal young man contacted me. The reason: debilitating guilt about a past action. The details don’t matter.

We exchanged two or three emails a day for about a week. Now the contact has eased off, and he is definitely on the path to a good life. English is not his first language, so excuse the non-standard expressions, but this is what he wrote:

    Bob, I really can’t thank you enough for the work you are doing. I really appreciate that you took time to help me.

    Also I was able to forgive myself by telling myself that I was only a child at the time and many children do things like that like you say. And also since I was not mature back then I really hope God will forgive me.

    Until now I was not a good Christian, I was a really bad person. I think God has given me a wonderful opportunity to relook my life and become a good Christian.

    I am really going to lead a good life and help as many people as possible. I think by any chance if I ever came to Australia, I would have a wonderful friend to talk or hangout with.

    If you want any help regarding computers , I am always here for you.

    I would really appreciate it if you could give me permission to talk to or mail to you whenever I feel bad.
    I completely understand if you don’t want to.

    Thank you so much to you!

    Thank you so much for changing people’s lives.

You can see why being a Professional Grandfather can fog up my glasses.


Sandra Warren has asked me a few questions


And guess what, I have provided a few answers.

This happened because she reviewed Hit and Run, and wanted to find out where that story came from.

She seems to have approved of my answers, but needs checking on. Please do a quality control, and give her your opinion.


Forgiveness in a new anthology


City Limits Publishing has launched Stories of Inspiration, and I am delighted to let you know that my short story, Forgiveness, is part of it.


Responses

Sandra Warren
Issac Robledo

 

Sandra Warren

The REVISED and much better OBSESSED BY A PROMISE has been uploaded to Kindle Print.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU so much for not only your great review but especially for the line edits. I really appreciate the corrections as well as the kind comments sprinkled within. Your work reminded me of some very obvious grammatical rules that had slipped my mind. Your line editing job taught me a great deal.

Sandra

Sandra had asked me to review her new book. Like I always do when reading, I line edited, and commented on the content along the way (Obsessives of the world, unite!).

Sometimes, writers react to such suggestions for improvement as if to a personal attack, but Sandra took them the way they were intended. Now, I can give the book the 5 stars it deserves.

I asked her for a few words about herself:


Sandra Warren is an award winning author of books in multiple genres including children’s, educational, military biography, nonfiction and historical fiction. Her latest nonfiction, We Bought A WWII Bomber: The Untold Story Of A Michigan High School, a B-17 Bomber & The Blue Ridge Parkway, resulted in the placement of two historical markers, one in Michigan and one in Virginia. Her latest historical fiction, Obsessed By A Promise, was awarded First Place in the Historical Fiction category in the 2021 Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Awards.


Issac Robledo

Hi Bob,

Thanks so much for featuring my promotion for “7 Thoughts to Live Your Life By.”

You cover so many great topics that deserve our deep attention. I admire your great work, and I look forward to checking out your interview — I have bookmarked it for now.

You mentioned having injured a calf in your twenties through negligence, and then growing spiritually from that experience.

This hits home because as a child my brother became very interested in a bird’s nest in our yard. One day, I don’t remember any malicious intent on my part, but perhaps through my own negligence or curiosity, I took a twig and moved around some of the eggs, and a couple of them fell to the ground and met their end.

My brother found out what happened and realized that I had done it, and he seemed very disappointed in me. I felt terrible about it all.

Given that I sometimes still think back on it, and ask God for forgiveness for what I did, I suppose I also learned my lesson, to avoid cruelty or needless harm to any living creatures.

I suppose this is what spiritual growth is about. Thanks for explaining this.

Issac is a young man I greatly admire for his wisdom, and his motivation to be of benefit to others. He blogs his Thoughts at https://www.robledothoughts.com/, where he aims to help his audience “Unlock Higher States of Consciousness, Understanding, and Being.”


Good news

Solar benefits your neighbours

There is a general belief that having solar panels on your roof disadvantages the community at large by driving up electricity prices for everyone else. (I wonder who funded the dissemination of such “facts”?)

Sami Grover, writing for Treehugger has reported on a study and assembled other information to demonstrate that it ain’t so. In fact, solar input comes at a time of maximum demand from industry, so saves costs. Distributed supply reduces the costs of transmission. So, everyone benefits.


Psychology

I am a paedophile and want to kill myself
That was then, now is now
A Thai little girl who kills ants
A loss of grip on reality

 

I am a paedophile and want to kill myself

This month, I received messages of desperation from three different young men, all with this problem. Here is my answer to the latest one.

Manuel, thank you for contacting me. Leading people like you to a better life is one of my joys. Welcome to my global family of grandchildren.

As a first step, please read my webpage written for people like you who consider themselves to be paedophiles.

As I say there, if you now feel guilt, you are NOT a paedophile, whatever may or may not have been true for you in the past. You became a good person when you saw that 13 year old girl and realised that what you had done as a new teenager was wrong. This is spiritual growth.

Congratulations.

So, you do not need to kill yourself. Instead, devote the rest of your life to making this planet a better place for everybody, particularly young girls. There are many ways of doing this. A younger psychologist I once supervised had a client who had constant urges for sexual contact with children. He chose to become a policeman, and became a specialist in arresting (real) paedophiles. You could copy him, or become a lawyer aiming for a similar specialty, or a youth worker, or any number of professions.

But it doesn’t have to be through work. A lady once emailed me with a similar problem. She started doing volunteer work, visiting other women in jail, because “there but for the grace of God am I.”

Today is the rest of your life. Make it a good one. And you are welcome to email me, anytime, about anything.

Your new grandfather,
Bob


That was then, now is now

I’ve had repeated long email exchanges with yet another young man, who did some rather awful things as a teenager. Now, those past actions horrify him, and yes, he is suicidal. Here is my latest response:

Thanks for writing back again, Clive.

Suppose for a moment that in your past you had tortured babies to death, set fire to a house with people in it, done who knows what unimaginable horrors. But now, you realise that those actions were evil, and are feeling about having done those things in the way you feel about the real actions in your past (which are far, far less bad).

My reaction would be to congratulate you for your spiritual growth. Nothing can possibly excuse torturing babies or burning people, but we are not what we do. Evil action does not mean evil person, but one on the wrong path. Once we feel guilty, once we are repentant, we are off that wrong path, and onto the one we are supposed to walk.

This is the message of all the great religions, but you don’t need to believe in a religion to benefit from this realisation.

As I have written to you before, you can now forgive yourself, because you are no longer the person who had walked on the wrong path. You have learned, and grown, and because of your feelings of guilt, will never do things that risk hurting other people again. (And as far as I am concerned, animals and even plants are people.)

The rule I try to live by is: “Above all, do no harm. If you can, do good. If you cannot do good, change the circumstances until you can.” Join me. Adopt this rule for yourself, and insofar as you can, live by it.

Only, we are allowed to be human. We don’t need to be perfect, and if we slip, then we go back to learning from the mistake, and doing better next time. There is no such thing as a mistake, fault or defect. There are only learning opportunities.


A Thai little girl who kills ants

So a while ago I found out that my niece have this little box where she would caught ants and put them in this box just to see who would be the last to survive so I told her that this is wrong and she can’t do that and told her mom about it. She seems to has stopped it for a while but recently I found a new box and there is tons of ant corpses and when I ask her did she do it she denied everything. How should I deal with this? Is this a sign of something?

PS. My niece is in elementary school now

Should I be worry about my niece or is it just a phase? If I need to be worry what should I do for my niece?

I think your worry is justified. I don’t know the girl’s family’s financial circumstances, but if they can afford it, a few sessions with a psychologist experienced with working with children would be good.

If this is not practical, a wise Buddhist monk or nun will probably be highly effective in teaching your niece that all living beings are precious.

Another useful activity will be to engage in fun activities that teach her about animals of various kinds, including ants, to show her that they are live beings who need to be respected. Perhaps her mother can discuss the issue with her teacher, who may be able to find suitable books to read.

At the same time, children often do grow out of odd behaviours like this. I have a friend who is now about 30 years old. As a small girl, she did all sorts of bizarre things, and I worried about her at the time. By the time she was in high school, she stopped them. One of the most useful activities for her was getting involved in school theatre.

And thank you for caring.
Bob


A loss of grip on reality

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression about 6 years ago and took medication for 2 years, after which I lost weight to a healthy weight, fixed my eating, and started exercising. I got off the meds and had overall positive changes. But even then there’s always this high level of anxiety I feel in the background. I made the changes and by outside measures I’m healthier but mentally I feel very off all the time. In my head I’m an analyzer and I can’t shut if off.

Since the pandemic began I’ve been feeling an especially strange sensation — a feeling of loss of grip of reality. It happens every day but in episodes. I’ll be sitting doing work or something else and out of nowhere it feels like everything is a dream and that nothing is real. It can be very uncomfortable. Sometimes I’ll eat a lot when in this state to help ‘bring me down to Earth’ and keep me grounded because it feels like maybe the food would snap me back to the real world.

I’m here to ask for insights, maybe resources I can check out, books, videos, and maybe practical tips for when this happens. Would doing things like cold showers (an example I saw suggested on forums) help with this? Anything else?

Robert, the strongest way to deal with anything like this is to stop fighting it. The first time it happened, it gave you a scare, so then you wanted it to stop, and were on the lookout for it to come back.

Attention is both a searchlight and fertiliser. Whatever it shines on both stands out and grows.

Here is an example: Do NOT think of what you had for breakfast. What happened?

So, by not fighting this state that distresses you, you deprive it of energy. “Yeah, here is that loss of grip of reality, so what.” Then, gradually, it loses frequency.

I suggest you get a copy of my book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide, which describes this, and several other methods you’ll find useful.

I am willing to email you a free review copy (in exchange for a review). If you choose to buy it, you qualify for a free copy of any of my other books. We can make it Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias, which is currently out of print, but I can email you a copy.


Look over a writer’s shoulder

Free check of readability

I’ve found a marvellous resource. You paste a sample of your writing into a text box online, and within seconds its difficulty or ease of reading is assessed.

You will find the Readability Formulas website here.


I approve of these announcements

Meet Cindy Davis

You can meet her and her partner (in life and writing) Rick both personally and online.

They will be physically signing books at The Purple Lotus, 106 St. George Street,
St. Augustine, March 20, from 1-4.

And you can listen to them on a podcast with Meet the Authors. You will find the link here.

Oh, who is Cindy? She is a professional editor of many years’ experience, and the author of a long list of books. Three years ago, she and Rick met on a dating site and soon realized they were meant to spread the word on spirituality and living a positive life. This prompted a change in her writing life too, from novels of mystery and mayhem to that of visionary and metaphysical.


Reviews

Hit and Run, reviewed by Sandra Warren
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by…
Daralyse Lyons
Jake Irving
Court of the Grandchildren, by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson

 

Hit and Run, reviewed by Sandra Warren

And The Greatest Of These Is Love!

In Hit and Run, the underlying themes of compassion, forgiveness and especially love propel the characters forward following a tragic murder where multiple children lose their lives. Led by 84-year old Sylvia Kryz, a near victim herself, parents of the children who perished are challenged to set aside their grief and anger toward the young perpetrator and help him become a reformed member of society.

The emotional side of this story will stay with you and force you to contemplate how you would react given the same set of circumstances.

Dr. Bob Rich has masterfully woven believable characters into a tale that models for us all the power of love.

You can find out about Sandra here.

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by…

Daralyse Lyons

I just finished reading From Depression to Contentment by Bob Rich, PhD. “Reading” is probably a misnomer. From Depression to Contentment is a practical guidebook to revamping our behaviors as a means of changing our inner life. It is not only engaging; it is meant to be engaged with.

I received the book roughly a week ago after a string of back-and-forth emails with the author inspired me to want to experience his work. I loved the book! It’s not perfect. One thing I find problematic about it is that I do believe that, in a small number of cases, depression requires medical intervention and the book seems to present all depression as a repetitive loop of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. But, that said, this strikes me as incredibly helpful for anyone who wants to feel better about their experience of life. It takes complex concepts and synthesizes them down to actionable items, bolstered by memorable anecdotes. I’d have devoured it in less than a week except that, as mentioned, there are to-do exercises that I want to say “slowed me down” but that actually speed up the path of my emotional uplift.

The practices in Bob Rich, PhD’s short but substantial book are something that I hope to integrate into my life on an ongoing basis and I highly recommend this book as a resource for anyone struggling with depression. Or not! This book can help even those of us who feel pretty good about life. Some of its practices are intuitive and others aren’t, but intentionally incorporating more joy into our lives seems to me to be something that can and will benefit anyone!

You can find out about Daralyse right here at Bobbing Around, because after I read her inspiring book, I interviewed her.


Jake Irving

Before starting this book, I had very little knowledge of depression and the root causes. I was even intimidated to start learning about the subject due to all the theories and science behind it. After reading the first few chapters I knew this was a book I could understand and use actionable steps to help loved ones in my life who have been affected.

Dr. Bob Rich explains everything needed to know on the topic in this straightforward and powerful book.

It is a must-read!


Court of the Grandchildren, by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson

Court of the Grandchildren is set in 2059, but is a powerful critique of our times. The youngsters of today are the old people, suffering prejudice as “burners:” those responsible for widespread death and destruction. While this is actually an accurate judgment — we are indeed responsible for inevitable future death and destruction — that doesn’t justify the hateful acts of discrimination that mirror what we see today directed at anyone slightly different from us.

The story starts with old David saying to his only surviving relative, Lily, “I want to die.” He legally needs her agreement. From this dramatic beginning, we go through a series of plot twists that lead to David being tried in the Climate Court to examine if he, as a prominent public administrator, was guilty of actions that led to the climate catastrophe. We follow the court hearing, interspersed with other gripping events, to a thoroughly satisfying ending.

Highly recommended.


Poetry

Brigid Day, by Laurie Corzett

            Lyric on the singing wind
            Celebration Chorus
            honors this shining Goddess’s
            return.
            Magic of music circulates
            divine mutuality,
            creates
            Community.
            We burn our common sorrows,
            offering blaze to sky in service
            of fair tomorrow. Brave
            call and merciful response
            from above.
            Wild dance, shared light
            overwhelm ebbing Night.
            Hands, hearts, minds bind
            to spell protection,
            Peace of balming Love.


Fun

A few insights

I wouldn’t keep dropping things if Isaac Newton hadn’t invented gravity.

As an old man, I can tell when I’ve stood up: I need to go for a wee.

Now where did I put my reminder list again?

Aches and pains are the price of wisdom, so shouldn’t acting stupid be an analgesic?

That girl would look beautiful if she didn’t have all that muck on her face and bits of metal stuck into it.

Dog is man’s best friend — unless he attacks me when I am riding my bike.

The price of freedom is vigilance.
The price of vigilance is paranoia.
The price of paranoia is war.
The price of war is loss of freedom.

Wealth can cost more than it is worth.

That young fellow drives like he owned the road. Oh well, his father owns the car.


About Bobbing Around

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Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
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Submission Guidelines

It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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