One Sentence Philosophies or Attitudes Facebook Note

facebook notes for thinkersCopy the text between the dotted line as your note in Facebook, MySpace or other places. Put each of your answer on the line just below each prompt.

To make this an English as a Second / Foreign Language exercise, assign the note with some degree of explanation for each answer, whether a sentence, short paragraph or presentation.

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You may or may not have a philosophy (or attitude) towards the big things in life. Well, this is as good a time as any to find out. And if you do find it, there’s no better time than the present to start living it. This note might take a little soul-searching as well as thinking.

Someone thinks you’re a smart oyster loaded with pearls of wisdom and seeks your vision on 20 big ticket items in life. You can take that with a grain of sand, if you like. If you are to keep that status, though, you must share your wisdom like a sage, in one sentence… the sort that can easily be quoted, texted or Twittered. Don’t try to be pretentious, grandiose, deep or anything. Just be yourself!

So put your CAPS LOCKS key ON to accentuate your answers and let’s get going!

 
1. Happiness

 
2. Adversity

 
3. Success

 
4. Aging

 
5. Love

 
6. Sex

 
7. Faith

 
8. People

 
9. Health

 
10. Money

 
11. Family

 
12. Mistakes

 
13. Feelings

 
14. Work

 
15. Forgiveness

 
16. Education

 
17. Death

 
18. Life

 
19. Living

 
20. Life philosophies

 
One a scale of 1-10, how well are you living your philosophies on these matters?
(1 = hypocrite, 10 = example in action)

 

 
Parting words of wisdom?

 

Please tag some friends to encourage them to try this note, and include me because I want to benefit from your wisdom.

For more introspective Facebook notes like this, please see https://digitalcitizen.ca/facebook-notes/

 
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1. Happiness
IS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE, BUT CANNOT BE KNOWN WITHOUT SADNESS.

2. Adversity
ARE CHALLENGES THAT MAKES LIFE MORE INTERESTING.

3. Success
IS MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHOSE EYES SPARKLE WHEN YOU ARE AROUND THEM.

4. Aging
IS A STATE OF MIND MORE DEPENDENT ON EXPERIENCE AND ATTITUDES THAN TIME.

5. Love
IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE.

6. Sex
IS LIKE ICE CREAM IN THAT VANILLA ISN’T GREAT, BUT IT’S BETTER THAN NONE.

7. Faith
BELIEVE IN SOMEONE OR SOMETHING.

8. People
ARE BORN NEUTRAL, AND IT’S MORE THEIR NURTURE THAN NATURE THAT MAKES THEM WHO THEY ULTIMATELY BECOME.

9. Health
IS THE MOST PRECIOUS THING YOU HAVE ABOUT YOURSELF SO TAKE CARE OF IT LIKE IT IS.

10. Money
CAN BUY HAPPINESS, IF YOU KNOW HOW TO SPEND IT, BUT SHOULD BE THOUGHT OF AS A MEANS OF CONVENIENCE FIRST AND FOREMOST.

11. Family
IS CHOSEN BY YOU, NOT BY SOCIETY OR A DICTIONARY.

12. Mistakes
A MISTAKE IS NOT TRULY A MISTAKE IF YOU LEARN SOMETHING VALUABLE FROM IT.

13. Feelings
HAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN, AS MUCH OF EACH AS YOU CAN, WITHOUT LOSING CONTROL.

14. Work
ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, AND WORK TO LIVE, NOT LIVE TO WORK.

15. Forgiveness
FORGIVE BUT DON’T FORGET.

16. Education
LIFE IS BY FAR THE BEST SCHOOL YOU’LL EVER ATTEND SO TRY NOT TO FAIL ANYTHING AND NEVER DROP OUT.

17. Death
SHOULD BE, BOTH, A CELEBRATION OF ONE’S LIFE AND A MOURNING OF A WORLD WITHOUT THEM FROM THEN ON.

18. Life
IS THE ONLY TRUE SACRED THING.

19. Living
EMBRACE KAIZEN, THE ART OF CONSTANT SELF-IMPROVEMENT.

20. Life philosophies
IT IS GOOD TO HAVE THEM, BUT BETTER TO LIVE THEM.

One a scale of 1-10, how well are you living your philosophies on these matters?
(1 = hypocrite, 10 = example in action)
9

Parting words of wisdom?
LIVE, NOT PREACH, YOUR PHILOSOPHIES TO IMPART THEM ON OTHERS, AND DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE UNTO YOU.

I also wanted to add a philosophy on war that it is the coward’s way of resolving things because those who start them often never even come close to fighting. However, 20 philosophies was more than enough to challenge people, I think.

Do Runners Divorce More? (Part 2 – The “Research”)

Article graphic

Running & family conflicts journal article (0.2 MB PDF)

In Part 1 of this mini-series of posts, I asked readers to take a quick sampling of runners they knew, figure out their divorce rate and compare it to the US national average. Now, I will share what the research says on the matter, with a follow up on things to think about soon.

At right is a 1997  academic paper [1] that is part “research” and part literature review on the topic. It talks about leisure-family conflict, with focus on runners because of parameters defined for “serious” leisure activities. If you are not familiar with academic papers, you shouldn’t be surprised there is a paper on something so specific. What you should be surprised at, though, is the poor quality of “research”. The data is old. The sample size is small, despite the pompous self pat in the back by the paper’s author that it was unusually large at 580 people queried and 342 responding (59%). Do you think they could have trouble finding more than 580 runners, even in the 1980s when the running boom was already well under way? The paper is from the Journal of Leisure Research. Seriously, if that were the quality of papers accepted by this journal, I respectfully suggest they change their name to the Journal of Leisurely Research.

I have highlighted some key passages in blue and red within the downloadable file, pending importance, should you want to read it for yourself. I will summarize and talk about the content in more plain language that more people can understand, and add to it.

From a referenced study in 1980, one-third of American families reported stress from leisure conflicts. This is the phenomenon this post is about, ultimately. Divorce is just an outcome. Now, I know life is very different now than in 1980, but this is a phenomenon that is hardly new, and I would argue is only worse today given all our options of leisure activities compared to in 1980.

The one good thing the paper did bring to the discussion was R.A Stebbins’ definition of leisure, which was a little more specific than the definition in the dictionary. Stebbins focused on serious leisure and serious leisure participants by virtue of six criteria (in plain language below):

  1. Participants must occasionally put up with difficulty.
    .
  2. Participants have leisure “careers” with stages of development, turning points, and improvement.
    .
  3. Serious leisure requires effort and application of acquired knowledge, training, and skill.
    .
  4. Serious leisure provides durable benefits such as self-discovery, self-enrichment, enhanced self-image, and belonging.
    .
  5. Participants pursue their activity within their own social circles with beliefs, norms, events, values, and traditions distinctly associated with the activity.
    .
  6. Participants identify strongly with their activity. They speak frequently and proudly of their participation and present themselves in terms of it.

Sound any runners you know? Sounds like quite a few runners I know. That’s why runners were picked as the specific group to study among the many serious leisure participants out there. That, plus runners have numbers, a clock and/or distance by which they could measure improvement. But there’s more, as in the three types of commitment required, as defined by T. Buchanan in 1985:

  1. Consistent behaviour over time that could involve intense focus and some rejection of other behaviours that might be socially beneficial.
    .
  2. Attachment is acceptance of norms and values of a role which has become a central life interest.
    .
  3. Side bets are investments in things which maintain consistent behaviour due to the potential cost of quitting, e.g. practice time, equipment purchases, and friendships with others in the activity.

Now, I didn’t list these six criteria and three types of commitment for you to judge runners you know as being serious or not. If they train at all, they pretty much exhibit all these criteria. Rather, I wanted to show what was involved with serious leisure and its participants. Most people don’t ever sit to think about this, but the serious in serious leisure is well earned when you look at the commitment and sacrifices made, as well as the embracing of the activity into one’s identity. It is this last identity factor, to me, that is possibly the key to potential serious conflicts, like those leading to divorce. The person you know is changing, for better or for worse, because of the leisure activity, rather than just doing it like some repetitive task they don’t care a lot about. Keep this “load on lifestyle” in mind for future discussion.

The most interesting bits of the research paper to this post, albeit the most useless, was a statistic it gave regarding runners and divorce rates. Legendary New York marathon race director, Fred Lebow, had claimed New York marathon runners had a divorce rate 3.5X the national average. It has also been referenced in this most fascinating of articles by the New York Times in Jan 11 1988. The article suggested relationships improve more as women ran more, but essentially countered that point. I’ll talk more about its content in the next and final post to discuss issues more from a psychological perspective rather than a quantitative analysis.

But back to Fred Lebow’s claim. What divorce rate would Fred be talking about, exactly? Surely not the 50% of marriages end in divorce. You can’t have 150% of marriages ending in divorce. Even if it were the more correct 30.5% divorce rate I showed a few posts back, 3.5X that is still 106% and that’s not possible. Fred probably referenced the number of divorces per thousand rate that includes every living person, no matter what age. Unfortunately, he would be cheating because he would have no babies running the New York marathon. Whatever Fred did mean, though, the academic paper should have referenced it. To have left that out was ridiculous!

Equally ridiculous was this paper citing Fred Lebow, by B. Glover and P. Schruder, also citing a poll taken in the Boston area that found 40% of married runners who ran more than 70 miles a week got divorced. Have you tried running 70 miles a week any time? That’s pretty serious mileage for a week, never mind week in and week out. I’m frankly surprised that divorce rate wasn’t 100%. Besides, how many people could they have found to include in that sample to make it have any statistical significance?

Back to this journal paper, though. The paper also pointed out a few more interesting studies regarding what influence running has on relationships. These are quite believable despite lack of statistical data included, though I’m sure the original studies had data. They make for good conversation, regardless.

There is a consistent finding that husbands and wives who share leisure time in joint activities tend to be more satisfied with their marriages (D.K. Orthner & J.A. Mancini, 1990). However, high concentrations of independent leisure activities have a negative impact on marital satisfaction. These authors and others also found that commitment to leisure may result in leisure-family conflict if couples were not accepting of each others’ leisure interests. Some of these conflicts were over the use of leisure time and opportunities for companionship as specific problem areas in families. I can’t say this was surprising to me. Among my personal sampling of runners I knew, there were 4 runner couples, but two runner couples who have divorced. A common passion makes for a natural understanding and appreciation of sacrifices to be made, as well as more potential time to spend together. The runner couples I knew who divorced had two runners at significant different levels of achievement.

The authors of the journal article found that highly committed runners experienced more leisure-family conflict than less committed runners. That’s just more time and sacrifices made so it makes perfect sense to me. They also found runners with spouses less supportive of their running to have more conflicts. Both seem rather “obvious”, but I analogize it to being similar to what professional team athletes face. They just have it a more pronounced degree. I recall some hockey player saying you have to be a little bit selfish as a professional athlete because life doesn’t revolve around you, but a team schedule. Then, all those around you have to also put up with that, on top of your fatigue, practice and other related business like travels. He said without a wife supportive of that, his marriage would have ended up in divorce easily and he was very appreciative how supportive she was. It was an enlightening personal glimpse into the life of a professional athlete I admired and didn’t know or understand. However, I don’t name him here because I can’t remember which one of a handful so I don’t want to incorrectly attribute the quote.

Within the support factor came another interesting study, which was that men were less supportive of their wives running than wives were of their husbands running (K.S. Masters and M.J. Lambert, 1986). This was counterintuitive because a fit woman is a sexy woman, and may be all the more important a factor after she had put on some weight during childbirth. However, it seems a sexist point of view if one participant had what might have been a symbolic reaction, stating he perceived his wife valued running more than “saving her energy for family activities”. We’re over 20 years removed from 1986 now, but I don’t doubt some of that sexism still exist. However, I think it might be a bit of a sexist jealousy factor that they are “the man” and yet their wives were out there being the athlete. We’ll talk about that more next post.

If there were any jealousy, though, it did not come in the form of “side bets”, described above as being things like practice time, equipment purchases, and friendships with others in the activity. That did surprise me because couples show a lot of jealousy about new purchases and strong relationships, especially fun ones, their spouses have with others, whether on suspicion of unfaithfulness or just because they don’t have anything that deep and/or fun in their own lives.

Finally, the authors of the research paper above concluded a positive association between commitment to serious leisure participation and the potential for poor family relations, with runners accentuating this point from research. I’m not sure I’d risk my academic career on that based on the “evidence” they had, but I agree with the claim whole-heartedly based on intuition. You just shouldn’t be allowed to publish in academic journals based on it!

What needs to be done is to get a few race directors of medium-sized marathons, with half and 10K races at the same time, to put it on their forms a question regarding whether entrants have ever been married and divorced. It’s personal, but give people the choice to answer and tell them it’s for a study. Get enough answers to pool together from across the country so there is a small margin of error like those political polls of about 1,000 responses and call it a study. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so, and I might just give it a try!

Any thoughts? Know any multi-race, medium-sized race directors to recommend to me? 🙂

Please come back for the next post when I will bring Parts 1 and 2 together for a closing discussion.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.5

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REFERENCED JOURNAL PAPER

[1] The moderating effect of spouse support on the relation between serious leisure and spouses’ perceived leisure-family conflict

by Stephen J. Goff , Daniel S. Fick , Robert A. Oppliger

Journal of Leisure Research, Vol. 29, 1997, page 47+