De escalate an angry customer

Here are 7 tips to help:

  1. Prepare in advance. Avoid “winging it” when you run into an angry customer. …
  2. Keep emotions out of it. …
  3. Listen, listen, and listen some more. …
  4. Identify and understand their anger. …
  5. Sympathize with them. …
  6. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. …
  7. Avoid the hold or transfer button.

De escalate an angry customer

Soothing angry customers: It’s not something that elicits a warm, fuzzy feeling – but it is inevitable. With any upset caller, the goal is to turn the encounter into a win for your business. You can’t control what people say or do, but you can control how you react. These negative experiences can be turned into opportunities to show the customer they were right to choose your company. Remember that by quickly resolving your angry customers’ concerns, you stand a chance of retaining up to 70 percent of them.

Still, it’s important to recognize that not all customers express their frustrations the same way. Everyone reacts differently to stress, and these differences in anger can influence what steps you take to manage irate customers. Here are a few personalities you may encounter.

  • The Talker. These customers aren’t sure what they want. They don’t know what a resolution to their problem looks like. They just want to be heard, so don’t zone them out. Practice your active listening skills. Once they’ve had their say, make sure you restate their concerns. This can help guide them to what they want from you.
  • The Executive. These customers don’t care what it takes, they just want results! They expect you to know who they are, what their problem is, and how you can fix it for them. Getting information out of them may feel like pulling teeth, and they may resent questions. Be patient, explain what you’re doing and why you need the information you’re requesting.
  • The Venter. These customers are similar to The Talker, but they’re here to tell you how they really feel. They’re the screamers, the shouters, and the foot-stompers. Brace yourself for a potential tantrum on the phone. With The Venter, all you can do is ride it out. If you have to, mute your phone; but whatever you do, don’t interrupt! Once they’re finished, empathize and begin to steer them towards a solution.
  • The Intimidator. These customers love the phrase “…or else!” It gets old, and can even sound silly, but try not to take it personally. Like The Venter, let them have their say. Repeat their concern back to them and allow them correct you if you misunderstood something. Proceed to drive the conversation towards a resolution.
  • The Sufferer. No matter what you offer to do, it likely won’t be good enough for this customer. In their eyes, things will never be the same again, and it’s all your fault! In this case, there may be no easy resolution the customer will accept. You’ll simply have to tell him or her, “I’m sorry, but that’s the best I can do. Thank you for understanding.”

We make a little fun of these customers here, but realize that their problems aren’t at all funny – especially not to them. They deserve attention, sympathy, and redress.

How to Deal with Difficult Customers

There is no one-size-fits all solution to difficult or angry customers. You can’t control whether or not a customer leaves the encounter satisfied, but there are subtle ways to influence how they respond to your efforts. Here are 7 tips to help:

  • Prepare in advance. Avoid “winging it” when you run into an angry customer. Practice responding to different concerns; it might even help to have a script prepared, but realize that the customer will hear it in your voice if you’re giving a “scripted” response. A script should only act as guidelines to help direct your exchange.
  • Keep emotions out of it. What’s worse than an exchange with one emotionally-charged caller? An exchange with two emotionally-charged callers. It’s important you stay calm throughout the conversation. Don’t let the customer bait you into retaliating, and always watch your tone. Speak slowly and softly. Remember that the customer isn’t attacking you personally. Any anger or abuse is caused by a core problem, which you’ll need to uncover before you can start on a solution.
  • Listen, listen, and listen some more. The best way to uncover the core problem is let your customers have their say, without interrupting or asking for clarification. Most importantly, don’t tune them out – take notes if you need to. If they feel like you’re dismissive or not paying attention, that’s all it takes to lose them as a customer.
  • Identify and understand their anger. It isn’t always clear what made your customers so angry. What the customer complains about isn’t always the actual problem. This is where you have the chance to play detective. In many cases, the customer started out with certain expectations for your product or service, and that expectation wasn’t met.
  • Sympathize with them. Besides a fix to their problem, most customers are also looking for someone to tell them, “You’re right. This shouldn’t have happened. Your reaction is entirely reasonable.” What they don’t want is someone asking them why they’re upset. Be sincere and don’t use empty phrases like, “I know how you feel.” Instead, try something along the lines of, “That sounds like a terrible experience. Let’s find a way to make this right.”
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Never lie to the customer. You may be tempted to tell them what they want to hear to get them off the phone. Don’t do it! You’ll get found out eventually. You can tell a customer you’re trying to work out a solution, but help them understand it isn’t entirely up to you.
  • Avoid the hold or transfer button. Everyone hates waiting on hold, but maybe not as much as being transferred and having to explain your problem all over again. Only put them on hold if you’re certain the problem is beyond your ability to solve. If you can, perform a warm transfer by first speaking to the person you’re transferring the customer to and telling them the issue. That way, your customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.

They’re not angry customers, they’re opportunities.

Angry customers aren’t necessarily a sign of failure. They represent an opportunity for you to communicate how much you value them. A solid strategy outlining how to navigate these conversations improves your chances of retaining those customers.

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10 ways to start taking control

10 ways to start taking control

“Who’s the Boss?” 10 ways to start taking control (time management, goal setting, record tracking)

At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have nothing to do with one another. But many of us with ADD develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even harder for us to manage those challenges and move forward. 10 ways to start taking control

10 ways to start taking controlPracticing positive thinking allows people with ADD to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:

  1. Take Good Care of Yourself
    It’s much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.
  2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
    Stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference.
  3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions
    A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member’s bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don’t waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
  4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
    Have you ever told a partner “You’re ALWAYS late!” or complained to a friend “You NEVER call me!”? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.
  5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
    Your thoughts can’t hold any power over you if you don’t judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it.
  6. Squash the “ANTs”
    In his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” – Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like “Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me,” or “The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!” When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!
  7. Practice Lovin’, Touchin’ & Squeezin’ (Your Friends and Family)
    You don’t have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn’t touch!
  8. Increase Your Social Activity
    By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way!
  9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person
    Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.
  10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination
    If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It’s never productive, because it’s not rational or solution-oriented, it’s just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment – go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.

When it comes to the corporate world, protocol is pretty much the religion. To know the things needed to do are the basics of productivity, but interaction and having a steady mind makes up the entire thing to true productivity. There are those who seem to work well even under pressure, but they’re uncommon ones and we are human and imperfect. To get these little things like stress under our skins won’t solve our problems. Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to admit that we’re turning to be workaholics than tell ourselves that we’re not doing our best.

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Four Reasons Why You Should Read Before Bed

Four Reasons Why You Should Read Before Bed

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by Paul Nowak

What makes for a good night sleep? Is it a relaxing cup of tea? Or perhaps listening to music is something that helps you drift into your dream world? Actually, based on a study from the University of Sussex, they found that reading before bed worked the best. A solid seven to nine hours of sleep can prevent burnout, improving on-the-job performance, and advancing your career.

If that’s not enough incentive to turn off the TV and pick up a good book, then perhaps one of these points will convince you otherwise.

Reading before bed reduces stress and is relaxing

It is hard to stop thinking about your day, and for some, that can be what makes it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Reading a book takes you to a whole other world. No longer do you have to think about what happened during the day or what the rest of your week looks like. A book before bed distracts the mind, and now your focus shifts to how Harry Potter is going to defeat Lord Voldemort!

Reading before bed improves mental health

Stress in the workplace becomes a vicious circle and can start to affect other aspects of a person’s life. Mood, judgment, and overall health become at risk if you don’t get enough rest. Stress affects the brain’s gray matter, the neuronal cell bodies that are found in the regions of the brain that control memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control. Reading before you fall asleep is a way to detox your mind giving your brain time to build up the gray matter it needs to tackle on each day. 

Reading before bed improves concentration and memory

Reading before sleep can improve how much information you can recall at a later date. In a study by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, researches explained that there are three functions to memory; acquisition, consolidation, and recall. Researchers explain, “Each of these steps is necessary for proper memory function. Acquisition and recall occur only during wakefulness, but research suggests that memory consolidation takes place during sleep through the strengthening of the neural connections that form our memories.” So when you’re preparing for tomorrow’s presentation, do so in the evening before you hit the hay. 

A better night sleep makes for a productive day

People trying to keep up with everything that is going on in the world, backfires and ends up hurting their concentration abilities. When you read before bedtime, you are training your brain to force yourself to concentrate on the words, characters, and storyline without the help of visual aids. Over time, your concentration abilities strengthen helping you to stay focused throughout your day.

Relax in bed with a good book knowing that you have time tomorrow to be productive. When you know how to speed read, you get things done quicker and more efficiently. Don’t know where to begin? Our Speed Reading Foundation Course is ideal for those who have too much to read and not enough time. Find out more today.

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Hard Work Makes Friends and Enemies

Hard Work Makes Friends and Enemies

If idiots in positions of authority annoy you, it could be your I-Boss
is holding you back from hard work. To my credit, I have always been
a dedicated, hard worker. Ever since my first job as the pro shop boy
at the Newton, Iowa Country Club (I’ve been paying income taxes
every year since the age of 11), I’ve felt, if I must work, I should get
into it so intensely that when I come up for air, it will be quitting time.
It’s hard for me to take a breather and then dive back into something
with the same intensity I had before I took the break. Like a helpful
and positive attitude, I’ve found that working hard benefits me as well
as my employees. Hard Work Makes Friends and Enemies

 

Hard Work Makes Friends and Enemies

I moved to California in 1977 and went to work as a union audio
and lighting technician at Disneyland. It wasn’t long before my work
habits attracted some attention. One day I was on a crew of three or
four, unloading sound equipment from a truck. Big Mike, the union
boss, joked with several of the other fellows I was working like a human
forklift. He suggested a couple of times that I should slow down
before I blew a gasket. I chuckled with them and worked on until I
felt a sharp tug on my arm. I had a microphone stand in each hand.
“Put those down,” Big Mike grumbled. I could see by the veins bulging
from his neck that he wasn’t joking anymore. I must have looked
at him funny because he said it again, louder.

I set the microphone stands down and reached for some more
gear on the truck. He grabbed my arm harder and swung me around.
I was about to apologize for not working hard enough when he said,
“Stand over there against the wall.” I began to suspect my befuddled
expression didn’t please him as he shoved me against the wall. “You
watch from right there,” he growled. “Don’t let me see you touch
another thing.”
It was one of the most excruciating experiences I’ve ever endured.
Every synapse in my nervous system was firing, trying to get back into
the unloading process. But I stayed put. The other stagehands kept
doing their thing and I watched them helplessly as Big Mike watched
me. When the truck was finally unloaded, he gave me permission to
move. “Next time I tell you to slow down,” he snarled menacingly,
“slow down.”

With that, he stomped off toward the commissary. The other guys
turned and walked away, too. I remembered Big Mike hinting I should
slow down a couple of times before, but I thought he was making a
joke. After all, there was no reason for him to be concerned about my
health. In the locker room later that day, one of the other guys expressed
his displeasure that I had made them look bad by working so
fast and left them unloading the truck shorthanded while Big Mike
had me pinned to the wall. I was nicknamed the human forklift, which
was not a term of endearment at the union hall.

Not long thereafter, Bob, the management guy came backstage
between shows and took me by the arm. “Come with me, John,” he
said. “I want to talk to you.” I was sure he going to fire me for slowing
down on the job, even though I only did it when Big Mike was around.
“I’ve been watching you and asking around,” he went on.

 

“Here it comes,” I thought to myself.
“We want you to head up a new department that will bring the
union technicians under the jurisdiction of the Entertainment Division.”
“What the…?” I thought. The International Alliance of Theatrical
Stage Employees personnel had been part of the Maintenance
Division since Walt opened Disneyland in 1955. Here it was 1978 and
they wanted me to team up with another person and effect one of the
biggest organizational changes in the park’s history. I was to be in
charge of audio, and an engineer from WED (the Disney design firm
in Glendale named after Walter Elias Disney), was to be in charge of
theatrical lighting. I thought this was all good and couldn’t understand
why the union guys weren’t happy. After all, I couldn’t pick up
equipment anymore.

 

From: 30 How to Work For an Idiot

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A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

Every young person needs a hobby. An interesting kid hobby will help children learn as well as keep them entertained for hours. It might even help them stay away from a bad peer group and stay out of trouble. Some kids might think of video games or TV as an appropriate kid hobby, but most parents would like to see their kids doing something more challenging or educational. A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas
A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

A good kid hobby is playing a musical instrument. The guitar can often be self-taught from a book if a child has the interest, but for piano playing or other instruments, you will probably have to invest in lessons. Practice is, of course, an essential part of mastering any musical instrument.

Hobby Ideas

Another type of kid hobby is pursuing an art or a craft. Kids can learn to draw, paint, or make scrapbook pages. They can learn needle arts, such as embroidery, sewing, knitting or crocheting. Beginning carpentry is a very useful kid hobby that may turn into a career, or at least skills that will be used for a lifetime.
Tinkering around on gas engines or electronics is another kid hobby that can lead to useful skills.

There are all sorts of things that kids might like to collect for a hobby. Some of the more common collections are of stamps, coins, and rocks. Stamps are interesting because they can be from many different countries, becoming a geography lesson. Coins and stamps both are of historical significance, and encourage reading to learn more about different eras in history. Rock collecting as a kid hobby requires looking into science books.

Other collectibles include bean bag toys or figurines of a certain thing, such as owls, frogs, or unicorns.

Construction sets also make a good pastime for kids. Many people may think of these only as toys, but children who have grown up with these sets and added components to them down through the years can create some pretty impressive models. They are also gaining skills in reasoning and perception as they build.

Making model, such as cars, boats, and airplanes, has always been a popular kid hobby. If your child is interested in making models, be very encouraging in the beginning. Model car kits can be very complicated and require a great deal of precision. If your child’s first few creations leave a little bit to be desired, don’t laugh or scold, or he is likely to never want to try to make anything again! Get the easiest kit he is willing to make and then patiently help him as much as needed.

Many kids enjoy sports, making any athletic activity a great kid hobby. Soccer, basketball, and little league baseball all come to mind, but don’t forget about track and field events. Maybe your child would enjoy distance running or gymnastics. An active kid hobby will help your child stay in shape as well as make an interesting pastime.

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Tips for Peace and Harmony

Tips for Peace and Harmony

What do you like to do on family holidays? Go to the beach or spend a week in the country? Maybe you like camping or visiting relatives. Whatever you enjoy, family holidays are a chance for everyone in the family to get reacquainted and spend quality time together. It’s a chance for parents to really talk with their teens and find out what’s going on in their lives. It’s important to keep the communication lines open, and a family holiday is a good time to do that. Having a good relationship with their parents is one of the most important factors in keeping teens out of trouble. Tips for Peace and Harmony

Tips for Peace and Harmony
Tips for Peace and Harmony

Studies have shown that when families take holidays together, they are more likely to eat together and are less likely to argue. They do not watch as much television because they are involved in doing things together. Kids even report that their parents seem to act differently while on holiday.

While family holidays are a good time to connect with your kids, communication problems that are already there will not automatically disappear. Especially with teenagers it is important to listen and be flexible. Find out what the kids would like to do and eat and plan accordingly. While even teenagers need boundaries, it is important for parents to try to avoid needless confrontation. Explain why you make the decisions you do and show them positive attention.

Kids will appreciate being included in travel plans. There’s a good chance they will choose a theme park or the beach if those are among the options. Sometimes it works well for a teenager to take a special friend along on family holidays. While this might increase the parents’ load, the teen is likely to really appreciate it. Also, sometimes it works well for kids to go on holidays with their grandparents instead of their parents. Sometimes there is a special relationship here that can help kids open up and communicate about their concerns.

While on family holidays, if teens are uncooperative or behave improperly, try to deal with the problem in private. Teens are very aware of embarrassmant and it is needlessly mean to exploit this sensitivity. In fact, you might explain to the kids how their behavior embarrasses you, and they in turn might work harder at getting along and acting appropriately.

Kids will be happier on family vacations if they have snacks, drinks, and entertainment. Few kids enjoy a long ride in the car! Try to provide individual CD players or hand-held video games, and don’t forget to take plenty of bathroom stops. Sometimes kids enjoy the ride more if they can help you follow the map. This is an educational activity for them as well. By following these suggestions, your family holidays can make a happy memory.

 

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ADULT GIFT BASKET

ADULT GIFT BASKET

 

Fill a basket with:

  • Scented candles
  • ~ massage oil
  • ~ lingerie
  • ~ wine
  • ~ wine glasses
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The Importance Of Celebration

The Importance Of Celebration

There are many important things in life. Learning, growing, loving, and exploring are all things that each person should take time for. Celebration is another thing that everyone should take time for. Celebration adds an excitement and a lot of fun to life. The Importance Of Celebration.

Celebration can happen for a variety of formal or informal reasons. Probably most people have gone to a celebration in honor of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the birth of a new baby. There is something deep inside hu…

There are many important things in life. Learning, growing, loving, and exploring are all things that each person should take time for. Celebration is another thing that everyone should take time for. Celebration adds an excitement and a lot of fun to life.

Celebration can happen for a variety of formal or informal reasons. Probably most people have gone to a celebration in honor of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the birth of a new baby. There is something deep inside humanity that loves to celebrate the best things in life. We love a good Christmas or Fourth of July celebration or other celebrations that mark special holidays or family traditions.
Celebration doesn’t have to be reserved for the biggest events or holidays of the year though. Because the majority of our days are spent doing trivial tasks like working or cleaning our homes, we all need things to look forward to. Celebrations of all kinds give us the excitement to keep making it through days that seem purposeless. Have you ever felt like life was a little too routine? I’m confident that by the time the next holiday or birthday celebration rolled around you were grateful for the change of pace.

Celebration allows us to relax and unwind in the midst of busy and crazy lives. We use celebrations as an excuse to gather with the friends and family that mean that most to us. We also enjoy celebrations because they allow us to remember the things in life that truly matter. As we celebrate, we allow the stresses of life to fall behind and we spend our time doing things we love with the people we love. There is something about a great celebration that reminds us of the purpose of our life and of the power of our closest relationships.

Think of ways to incorporate celebrations of all kinds into your life. Make a big deal out of birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries. Throw huge celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holidays that are important to your religious beliefs. One of the biggest keys to getting the most out of life is to have celebrations for no real reason at all. Just invite your friends over, cook great food and spend a few hours playing games that cause laughter and build friendship.

Perhaps the best thing about celebration of any kind is that it makes our lives richer and more full.

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A Miracle Story about Adversity Fate and Joy

A Miracle Story about Adversity Fate and Joy

by Colleen Kettenhofen

Miracles happen! Discover how this must-read miracle story can help you with overcoming adversity, following your fate and finding joy. The grief of loss and the healing power of a puppy. The secret: sometimes we get what we need not necessarily what we “think” we want. A Miracle Story about Adversity, Fate and Joy

Miracles happen. This is a miracle story about what happens when we look for the lesson in every situation. After all, business and personal success is about attitude, overcoming adversity, and successfully managing change as well.

A Miracle Story about Adversity, Fate and Joy
A Miracle Story about Adversity, Fate and Joy

It was Easter, March 31, 2002 and I was on a hiking vacation with my husband in a California desert near where we lived. Our baby daughter, Caroline, was supposed to have been born on this date, but there were complications with the pregnancy and we lost her five months earlier on October 30. Three weeks later in November, we had put my 18 ½-year-old cat, “Baby,” to sleep. Needless to say, with all this adversity we needed a vacation.

It was now late October, 2002, and we were living in Atlanta, Georgia. We’d been contemplating adopting a dog, yet it didn’t seem right with our travel schedules. My husband was an airline pilot, and I was an international speaker. Still, I walked into an animal shelter having convinced myself I would “just look.” In the shelter was a calm, sweet-faced puppy, eight or nine weeks old, who caught my attention. Sensing our chemistry and trust, I did what you’re never supposed to do. I put my hand into her cage. While looking up at me with her big brown eyes, she licked my hand over and over. This innocent puppy was also highly intelligent and obviously knew how to sell herself. After many minutes, I pulled away and forced myself to walk towards the door. Already in love with her, I turned around, and there she was…still looking at me with those eyes.

A new puppy sounded wonderful, except that it didn’t seem to fit into the lifestyle of an airline pilot and international speaker who traveled. And my husband kept telling me how much attention puppies require. Still, my gut feeling was that it was fate. We were supposed to have her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was going back to the Peachtree City animal shelter later the next morning to visit.

The next day at a garage sale, two smiling women walked up to me holding a puppy. As I looked more closely, I realized this was the puppy. The same one I’d been thinking of adopting. They placed her in my arms and said, “Would you like to adopt her? She’s from the Peachtree City animal shelter. We can’t have anymore pets, but she had only two hours to live. And we’ve named her Joy because she’s already brought such joy to our lives.”

Joy fit perfectly in my arms as she gazed up at me with those puppy-dog eyes. There was an inexplicable connection and incredible bond. I wanted to talk to my husband first, even though I had a feeling he’d say yes about her this time. They even offered to pet sit her for free.

Later that day, lunching with a friend, she said, “My gosh, Colleen, it’s fate. You’re supposed to have that puppy! Let’s go see Joy tonight.” We drove to their home and as we pulled in the driveway, my friend shrieked, “Oh Colleen, it’s fate, it’s fate!” I had no idea what she was talking about. She pointed to the car in front of us in the driveway, and in huge letters was a bumper sticker that simply read, “FATE.” How many more “signs” did I need?! The family explained to us that night that their son had died unexpectedly a year earlier, that this was his car, his bumper sticker, and that he’d always believed in fate. They believed it was fate that I was supposed to have Joy. This was a miracle story about overcoming adversity, following fate and literally finding joy.

After playing with this happy puppy named Joy, I went home empty-handed that night. I needed to read some inspirational literature, and really think this over. After all, I wanted to make certain this puppy would be with us forever. As I pulled out this little book with its daily word message, I gasped. In big letters, the word of the day was JOY. It was fate! The next day my husband and I brought our bundle of “Joy” home. On Caroline’s anniversary, October 30, 2002, there I was with Joy sitting in my lap riding in the car. And it was the only place she would sit. She refused to be anywhere but my lap.

My ex-husband and I are no longer together. Joy is a healthy 47 lbs, happily living in Portland, Oregon with me and her big cat brother. Pacific Northwest scenery is gorgeous. There’s lots of family history here and many large fenced dog parks. My mother’s cousins love to pet sit Joy since I still travel as a motivational speaker and author. They have a spacious backyard and a wonderful dog of their own.

Miracles happen. The lesson of this miracle story is that eventually, even through adversity, everything has a way of working out. Especially if we will roll with the punches, trust our gut, and follow our fate. Often, we get what we need, not necessarily what we think we want. Joy has literally given me pure joy. She is a miracle of love. A miracle story.

 

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The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush

Terrorism. The U.S rightly attacked Afghanistan when they refused to give up Bin Laden. For this, I have to trust that the Americans knew what they were doing, since they were involved with setting up Bin Laden and Afghanistan in the first place. That does not, however, give them the right to bite the hand that feeds them. The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush
The Burning Bush

It is what happens hereafter that should give us all pause for concern. Many times, causes or wars are pure in their infancy, but grow into new animals. This did not take long, as America turned towards Saddam and started accusing him of aiding and harboring terrorists. The U.S had not even put a serious effort into destroying the Al-Quaida before turning to face a new enemy. Once they created, twice. Saddam was put into pwer by the United States, and backed for decades by the US. They were always aware (and some believe partially responsible) of the crimes they now have charged him with. In essence, King George outright fabricated a reason to go into Iraq and finish the job his father started. Why? Simple. America did not see God after the Gulf War. Oil companies cried foul when they could not broker deals with Iraq and profit from their huge oil reserves. Since the U.S would already be in the middle east, why not kill two birds with one stone? In searching for weapons of mass destruction, the Americans used weapons of mass destruction to slaughter any Iraqis who got in their way.
How could the people let this happen? People are influenced by the media, who in turn are influenced by profit. The Americans provided first-hand coverage of the war as long as the media respected certain conditions about the reports they aired. Among those conditions were that no negative press towards the events can be presented by those reporters. Both the American and British governments worked together to create a climate of fierce propaganda. To oppose the war against Iraq was to spit on the faces of all those who died in 9/11.
To turn against the soldiers today, would be to repeat that same evil against the veterans of Vietnam. The media imposed a subtle form of censorship towards any anti-war stories in order to keep good standing in the eyes for the American and British governments. Most people rely on mainstream coverage to get all their information. The many mainstream are owed by the few of the upper class. Businessmen that stand to lose since Bush would refuse any contracts to be given to any country (and companies) that did not participate in the war.
While most of the Iraqi people seemed happy to be rid of a dictator, their joy quickly changed to apprehension, then anger as the American’s continue to stay and occupy their land. They no longer saw the difference between Saddam’s tactics to stay in power, and the Americans that stormed their city daily, and their temples, rounding up and killing Iraqi’s. The irony here is that in attacking Iraq under the pretense of curbing terror, the Americans have added to the threat. The Al-Quaida have openly contacted rebel groups, as they help them mobilize against the U.S and their new puppet regime. Saddam was a dictator. People like Saddam could never allow an organisation like Al-Quaida to survive in Iraq, as it could pose a threat to his power. With Saddam now removed, the Al-Quaida has more opportunity to plant operatives in Iraq. With more and more Iraqi’s being killed either directly or indirectly as a result of the American intervention, Al-Quaida will also be able to add more members than they could of beforehand.
King George will now have to make his next moves very carefully. If he continues to pursue his middle east agenda, he will easily plunge us all into the next World War. We do not have to sit idly by. The first act would be to get informed. Learn about what is going on. The internet offers a wealth of instant information. Never just trust one source. People cannot help but to taint facts with opinion. Here is a great site that can get you started on other aspects of King George’s own reign of terror.

 

by Gary Whittaker.

 

 

 

 

 

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