Dr. Rodney Daniels receives grateful farewell.


I am very proud and grateful for my son in law, Dr. Rodney Daniels. I am not shy about posting things on my blog that I am upset and angry about because I find them unjust, selfish, and cruel. I remind myself that it is also important to express my admiration and gratitude of what is just, compassionate and loving. My son-in-law is leaving his residency at Albany Medical Center for a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care in Cinncinati at the end of June. My daughter, Maureen, put a tribute to Rodney's good work at a free clinic in Schenectady on their web blog today. I am proud to share it with you.

Doing business the old fashion way when a person's word still means something

Storycorps200 I love NPR's StoryCorps series. These are real stories told by real people and it has helped restore my faith in human kind. It has reminded me that the important things that happen in life happen between every day people who are kind to each other. One such story is the story about Cronig's Market and the relationship which developed between Robbie Cronig and Stever Bernier. It would be a far different world if people operated this way every where.

Robbie Cronig took over his father and uncle's market, Cronig's Market, on Martha's Vineyard which had been started in 1917. After working at the store his whole life he sold it to Stever Bernier who had worked at the store for years. It was sold on a handshake something very rare these days. Here is part of what it says on the StoryCorps web site:

Bernier says that shortly after he met Cronig, they discussed him buying the store.

"You slapped the keys in my hand and you said, 'Someday you're going to own this place,'" Bernier recalls.

"It was wonderful because [Bernier] was exactly what I wanted to take over the business and no way in the world could I refuse," Cronig says. "I didn't ask for a nickel down. I didn't ask for any paper, anything. And he was the most honest man I've ever done business with, ever."

"One of those nights, we shook hands and closed the deal," Bernier says. "There was no negotiations, there was no bickering, there was no nonsense — we just shook hands, nodded with approval and that was it. The deal was done."

To listen to Steve and Robbie tell their story click on the link below. The story is short, maybe 4 minutes or so. It is well worth the listen.

Link: NPR : A Martha's Vineyard Institution Changes Hands.

When hope dies the people perish


Mama said that birds of a feather flock together.

Mentally healthy people daydream more than unhealthy people. I can't give you the reference at the moment, but I remember reading the study. So what happens when people have their dreams and other people rain on their parade? "Bummer!" as the kids used to say.

And why would people rain on someone else's parade? Perhaps they have no imagination themselves. Perhaps they are cynical and pessimistic about life in general. Perhaps they are competitive and jealous. Perhaps they are afraid of change. There could be a thousand and one reasons.

The point in today's bumper sticker is that perhaps they have no dreams and enthusiasm for life of their own and so find it hard to empathize with anyone else's enthusiasm.

What to do? Recruit and invite into your life people who share your hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

What is the old cliche about when hope dies the people perish? It's true, no?

So flock with birds that understand your dreams, support your dreams, will help you realize your dreams.

Dream on!

The Platinum Rule

What happy people know #1

Most of us are familiar with the Golden Rule which is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

But do you know the Platinum Rule? Happy people know the platinum rule which is “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”

That is, treat other people the way that they want to be treated, not the way that you want to be treated, because they are not you. They may have different values, opinions, beliefs and practices, and they want to be treated in accord with their preferences not with yours.

I think the Golden Rule, while well intentioned, is very misguided and leads to tremendous amount of misunderstandings. When those misunderstandings occur, the well intentioned person cannot understand where they went wrong.

Teaching children and adults the skill of empathy would decrease a lot of the misery in the world. Empathy means that you put yourself in the other person’s shoes and treat them accordingly.

Happy people have the skill of empathy and operate by the Platinum Rule. Daniel Goleman in his book, Emotional Intelligence, describes the importance of the skill of empathy for life success.

If you want to be happy learn to be empathic, and practice the Platinum Rule.

Happy people know this.

What happy people know

There is a movement that is about 15 or 20 years old called “Positive psychology” which was made credible and brought to public attention by Dr. Martin Seligman, a former President of the American Psychological Association.

Yesterday, I was browsing in the aisle of my local independent bookstore, Liftbridge Books, in downtown Brockport, NY, where I saw this book in the self help section entitled, “What Happy People Know”. It immediately made me think of Seligman’s positive psychology, but when I picked it up and browsed in it, I was kind of disappointed because it seemed to have a lot of anecdotal kind of stuff which I can find in the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. I didn’t buy the book.

But I did decide to start my own series of articles on my web log addressing the same question “What Do Happy People Know?”

If you know something that makes you happy and it would be something that might be of use to others either enter it in the comment section of each article, or email me at david@davidgmarkham.com

Thanks and as Boby McFerrin sang, "Don't worry. Be happy!"