Friday, December 8, 2017

Quick Tips to Simplify the Divorce Process

Today I present a posting by a guest writer, Jenny Wise, who tenders some sage advice about getting through a divorce. Included are some points that I tend to minimalize in favour of custody matters but may yet have lasting ramifications if neglected. So, here is . . .

Quick Tips to Simplify the Divorce Process

While the words ‘divorce’ and ‘easy’ aren’t often synonymous, it is possible to make it easier, if just a little. Whether you are currently in the midst of a divorce or getting things together to get the ball rolling, take a look at these tips to simplify the process and put this time in your life behind you as soon as possible.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Even if the divorce is amicable, there is likely still a little bit of sadness, anger, or resentment. Something led to the divorce and it wasn’t the fun times you had staying up late to watch a movie and eat pizza on the couch. The end of a marriage can lead to a variety of complex emotions such as anger, grief, fear, and anxiety. It may catch you off guard, so be kind to yourself during this time. Any sort of big life change can take a toll on you, both mentally and physically, so take your time and take it easy. You may experience stress, difficulty sleeping, depression, or even a weakened immune system. Practice self-care by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and building a social support system. Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that you just can’t get a handle on.

Prepare to Move

While it would be nice if the two of you could remain in the home you share together, it would be a tad awkward. To simplify things, add the word ‘quitclaim deed’ to your vocabulary. A quitclaim deed is the most common way of transferring property during a divorce. The spouse whose name is being removed from the house title signs the deed, giving up all claims, rights, and ownership of the home. The spouse who keeps the home pays “valuable considerations” to the spouse who files the quitclaim. Keep in mind that the deed does not transfer financial obligations such as a mortgage, so this will need to be handled separately.

If you end up being the one who has to move, whether by choice or via the court, don’t fret. Making new living arrangements might seem like a daunting task, but with a little prep, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by taking a look at the space you’ll be moving into. What is the crime rate in the area? Is it in a good school district for the kids? Is there plenty of storage? Are you close to family and friends? Does it meet your needs and those of your family? Don’t forget to plan the ‘how’ as well. Will you hire a mover or enlist the help of family and friends? It is a good idea to bring at least one person with you to retrieve your things to avoid an awkward or heated encounter with your ex-spouse, as well as have someone to lend social support.

Small, but Large Changes

If only a divorce were as simple as signing a piece of paper and going your separate ways. Unfortunately, it is a little more involved than that, so make sure you don’t forget to take care of the little things that might just slip your mind. Cancel or suspend joint accounts to avoid being responsible for your ex-spouse’s poor financial choices such as running up the credit card bill or having a bank overdraft, and open new ones in your name. Speaking of new, create a new estate plan post-divorce to prevent a situation in which your ex-spouse inherits your assets. Revoke your will and create a new one, appointing a new beneficiary. The beneficiary may be your children, a family member, or anyone of your choosing. Don’t forget other minor, but important changes such as updating your Social Security card, emptying your safe deposit box, and removing any valuable information from shared devices such as a computer or tablet.

Nothing can take away the emotions you are sure to feel during a divorce, but there are steps you can take to ease the process. Arm yourself with information and take it one day at a time. While it might not seem like it now, you can and will get through this.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.


Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn



Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2016 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

StuartShowalter.com

Friday, November 10, 2017

Respecting those who have died for our freedoms

Freedom has various axioms associated to it such as “Freedom isn’t free.” There are costs both financially and in lives which have gone unnoticed.

Often it seems that we take our freedoms for granted. Just asking a citizen to recite the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution can elicit a befuddled response. A survey, conducted in August by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and released on 12 September 2017 showed that 37 percent of Americans could not name any of the five rights protected by First Amendment, and only 48 percent named freedom of speech. Shoot for the other four yourself before looking down.

Well here are the explicit ones, succinctly;
Religion
Speech
Press
Petition Government
Assembly

The first freedom is enjoyed by everyone at all times. It could be through gassing up the vehicle and heading to a place of worship, viewing a religious representative presenting an oratory through television broadcast, or it could be doing an online search and finding material about a religious text. Additionally, and the crux of the right, is that it includes not being compelled to participate in religion through government intervention such as displays on government property or compulsory indoctrination in schools.

At this moment you are likely online engaging in that second freedom. You are reading my thoughts on a subject which I have expressed over this electronic medium which you may share with someone. Likewise, you are free to respond or post your thoughts without limitation imposed by government. You are free to express your thoughts, supposedly, without government retaliation or prohibition. If you care to engage in a little condemnation of government officials you can test whether the right actually extends to that activity.

The third freedom is one which you are exercising at this moment. Whether it be an online blog posting, a television news broadcast, a printed newspaper or printed magazine the government may not restrict the thought content transmitted through these mediums. That is not to say that the White House won’t withdraw press credentials from anyone who doesn’t tow the line.

The fourth freedom is becoming less embraced as cynicism about the governing process and citizen input waxes. Through our constitution, government emanates from the people and is instituted to protect the rights of the people. Those still inclined to express their concerns and seek redress of their grievances may send emails, sign petitions online, call their representatives, or actually attend and speak at a public forum. They may do so individually or en mass.

This brings me to the fifth right. The freedom to peacefully assemble. The progenesis of this right was the actions of government troops in disrupting meetings of people engaged in discussing thoughts of opposition to government action. Thus, under this right, the government is prevented from disrupting assemblages of people not posing a threat to public order. Interestingly, some people rioting after a sporting event have proposed that police violated this right by dispersing these crowds or arresting instigators as though they were in parity to a group of people meeting in a library conference room to discuss a proposed local ordinance. Of importance here is the specific provision of “peacefully” assembling.

As I read the text of the First Amendment I didn’t see the sixth freedom I had listed in my outline. It is the freedom to associate. This is a right that has been ferreted from the amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court which found an implicit right of private membership in organizations or gathering with others to pursue protected interest. This is the right that would prohibit any government agent from questioning, harassing, or dispersing citizens gathered based upon a mutual association such as an affinity for Communism. Thus, any elected official or government employee who violates this right is clearly an anti-American fascist who opposes constitutional liberties for individuals.

The Bill of Rights contains other rights which are generally subordinate to those in the First Amendment or are procedural. The right to bear arms and the prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure are among them.

Our rights are continually subject to challenge and it is the vigilance and dedication of individuals and organizations, both private and governmental, that seek to maintain the security of these rights.

Imagine if you will that the continental United States was impacted by an electromagnetic pulse [EMP]. An EMP can effectively shut down our electrical grid which traverses the US and Canada. The Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat of Electromagnetic Pulse to the United States of America was investigating means to protect the grid from an EMP but was shut down on 30 September of this year.

Thinking back to our First Amendment rights, consider which of these you engage in without the use of electricity. Have you travelled by vehicle to a place of worship or a protest? The pump dispensing fuel into your vehicle used electricity. Did you engage in speech over the internet or a wireless phone? Both use electricity in their respective grids. Did you read something on a lit screen or on printed paper produced using an electrically powered printer?

EMPs aside, a more common assault to the electrical grid comes from natural disasters such as storms, landslides/earthquakes, trees, and high demand. Some of the threats to the delivery of electricity on a more localized level are, again, high demand, vehicles colliding with line poles, excavation, and normal decay.

Whether your electrical supply was interrupted by a local storm or a hurricane taking out power generation stations far away there is an army of line workers who respond immediately to restore the integrity of the grid and power to you. Like other emergency responders, these workers are deployed within minutes of awakening from sleep and they will work extended hours until the job is complete.

In a typical year 30-50 per 100,000 of these workers will die while trying to supply electricity to you which affords you the convenience and opportunity to enjoy your First Amendment rights. This is more than twice the rate for police and fire workers. They do so without calls to be labeled heroes, they don’t ask for special recognition such as a holiday, and they don’t elevate themselves to a worshipped class. Bagpipes don’t play at their funerals, media representatives typically don’t cover them, flags aren’t lowered, and public officials don’t deliver prepared speeches.

These are dedicated workers who are being productive, are not sponging off the taxpayer for doing so. They deliver to us the ability to engage in our rights without raping women, killing children, or destroying the infrastructure on which other people rely upon for their basic needs. The provide the means by which hospitals keep life supporting equipment operating, food from spoiling, and heat to homes. In short, they not only protect liberty but protect life.

Today should be a day in which you contemplate how electricity facilitates your freedoms. Likewise you should consider and appreciate the work performed by electrical line workers, especially those who have given their lives in service to you and protected your freedoms.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.


Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn



Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2016 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

StuartShowalter.com

Friday, October 6, 2017

Examining your automatic thoughts: The barricade to rational thinking and wellness

I can still vividly recall my mother’s frustrated query, “If everybody else jumped off a bridge would you?” Sure, most likely, after all peer pressure was a bitch. As we pass through adolescence, reach adulthood, and continue through those early adulthood years our prefrontal cortex continues developing until it reaches maturity. This is generally in the upper part of the mid-twenties for us fellas and the lower part for the ladies. At this point bridge jumping should only occur after careful deliberation and consideration of all potential consequences. Yet, in an abstract way so-called rational adults jump off bridges everyday.

I try to function as a rational, logical being. In doing so I give attention to my thoughts and actions to ensure that they comport with that goal. In this process I confront presumptions or practices which are culturally ingrained but may no longer be rational or logical but nonetheless are still commonly practiced.

One such incident a few days ago piqued my interest in this topic again. It serves as a paradigm for the thinking process which is habitualized in harmful practices. A friend asked me to help him move a recently purchased refrigerator, which we did.

We placed it in the corner of a garage where it was to be stored until the kitchen renovation was completed. He wanted to tie the door shut. As my eyes rolled I asked, “Why!?” The response was the same irrational mantra I have heard for over 40 years - so a child can’t get trapped in it.

He was operating perfunctory rather than making a logical assertion based on the circumstances. What he did was commonplace. He acted based upon the past acts of others. The attention paid to securing the refrigerator door was not based upon a rational examination of the circumstances but rather the lemming approach of stepping in line with the rest of the group.

When the group’s behaviour is not consistent with the promotion of positive health and relationships then this can adversely affect your wellbeing and enjoyment of life.

I am not advising to confront and challenge the group. I still helped tie the refrigerator door shut. It did no harm to me and I knew it was an absurdity. But I was aware of this.

This week I attended an event where coffee [caffeine] and doughnuts were available. I didn’t protest but I certainly didn’t partake. I am acutely aware of the harm these substances can do to my body and cognitive processes.

The point is to be aware. Act with purposeful intent. Stop drifting through life allowing the winds of others to steer your course. If you can utter the phrase “at-fault accident” without the feeling of unease or laughter then you are not fully aware. If you don’t understand the silliness of tying a door shut on a modern refrigerator go clean yours out, crawl inside it, then try to imagine a way in which you could become trapped.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.


Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn



Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2016 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

StuartShowalter.com

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Domestic Violence, the efficacy of Protective Orders and obtaining justice for victims

Domestic Violence [DV] isn’t bound by social or economic classes, race, education level, population density, or even gender. Rather, it appears to be a construct of a society that encourages and promotes the concept that “might is right” which then tolerates violence between parents.

Yet, we do have a framework of laws intended to punish those who perpetuate violence against a household family member or intimate partner and is intended to protect the targets of their violence. Targets of DV may obtain a Domestic Violence Protective Order [DVPO] which is intended to bring about a cessation of or the threat of violence. But as violence and intimidation continue this method of addressing DV must be questioned.

I question today whether DVPO’s protect or, worse, magnify the violence or threat of violence, and if those laws and court involvement are all just efforts, resources, and time wasted. I use a recent case in Lebanon, Indiana as an example.

A perpetrator follows the other parent to a location at the opposite side of town and initiates a physical attack. The target returns home. Subsequently a unit from the Lebanon Police Department arrives there and the target is again threatened but the perpetrator is restrained by the officer. The perpetrator is arrested and charged with numerous counts including domestic battery.

Contingent upon release from custody is the issuance of a No Contact Order on behalf of the attacked parent and the infant who was also battered by the perpetrator. The parental target also obtained a DVPO. Child Protective Services sought to establish and facilitate parenting time between the perpetrator and the attacked infant. The prosecutor objected but eventually supervised visitation was established. Upon returning the infant from the first visitation session - which was in August - the perpetrator left two handwritten notes directed to the other parent tucked in the diaper bag of the infant. The No Contact Order was still in effect at that time.

The perpetrator has since been observed following the targeted parent and screaming an obscenity at him. Also at one point was videotaped burglarizing the home of the targeted parent. Additionally, for the past month the perpetrator has repeatedly sent text messages to the phone of the targeted parent including at one point when the phone was physically in the hands of a law enforcement officer.

Complaints were made to the Lebanon Police Department and the Office of the Boone County Prosecutor. Yet the perpetrator remains free to further harass and torment the other parent and get to see the child.

Part of the stipulation of being released on the perpetrator’s own recognizance is the requirement to refrain from illicit drug use and to submit to drug tests. Yet the perpetrator has subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine and refused to submit to further screenings.

Finally, at one hearing in the Boone Circuit Court, which issued the DVPO, Magistrate Sally Berrish ordered the targeted parent to sit next to the perpetrator.

So the question becomes should one even bother obtaining a DVPO or is it just a waste of time? To do or not to do; that is the question.

The outcome in a situation like this is easy to predict. It is basic psychology that we should not want to be our practice but others have incorporated with their children. The child breaks a rule and is threatened with punishment but the punishment never comes even as the rule is repeatedly observed being broken. From the child’s viewpoint there is no consequence to his unruly behaviour. Thus, it is likely to continue and increase in severity.

So what if a DVPO wasn’t issued? Again, we go back to children. The child who hasn’t been caught violating a rule may still do so but will likely do so cautiously. There may be trepidation from the feeling of “next time I may get caught”. Or the unruly behaviour may cease as a result of “I best quit while I’m ahead”. There is clearly a different dynamic at play in the mind of one who has been repeatedly caught but not faced any consequence and one who has repeatedly not been caught.

As the actions of the perpetrator become more hostile and brazen the targeted parent has expressed a fear of remaining in this town.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.


Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn



Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2016 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

StuartShowalter.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fat reduction products and how to lose fat in specific areas

I was recently speaking with a client about cognitional, false assumptions, priming, and various techniques used to swindle people out of their money. The discussion turned to the marketing and advertising scams, usually perpetuated through late night television, which relate to fat reduction and body sculpting. Specifically, it was the products that supposedly “target” body fat in a specific area and allow any overweight person to attain a finely sculpted body. I expressed my bewilderment as to how any rational person could be suckered by these scams. But my client was not as overwhelmed by that feeling as I was and queried me on the issue.

Sometimes you can be so close or knowledgeable about an issue that what may seem obvious to you isn’t to others. Apparently this is one such instance. So here I will briefly explain.

Body fat is stored in fat cells comprising adipose tissue that is subcutaneous throughout the body, traverses muscle tissue, surrounds organs, and may also coat the inside of the circulatory system in the form of plaques rather than adipose tissue. Look at a cut of pork or beef meat to see the fat surrounding and traversing the meat. There is generally a fat layer surrounding the muscle [meat portion] but also some veins of fat within the muscle.

Fat is a store of energy at about 3500 calories per pound. Depending upon your evolutionary ancestry the predisposition to fat retention and placement has largely been decided upon by the survival of the most adaptive theory. Peoples from northern arctic areas will be more likely to have a metabolic setting that encourages fat retention as their ancestors likely had a higher appetite and lower metabolic rate and thus were more likely to engorge themselves in times of feast which allowed them to survive during the times of famine.

In our modern society there is evolutionary pressure to reduce fat retention as food supplies are ample as is heating in cold climates. Thus, there is no longer a survival benefit to sacrificing longevity for the benefit of immediate survival and reproduction.

Unspent processed calories are sent to the adipose tissue by the blood stream and stored as fat. The calorie calculation is very simple: calories processed less calories expended equals the net gain or loss. Here is the important part as it relates to those products that supposedly target specific fats. The blood does not select where to store the fat.

Here are two ways to think of it. For adding fat, imagine dumping a bucket of water on dry ground. The water will flow across the surface filling in cracks, depressions, and other porous areas until it has been reduced to the point that procession ceases. It proportionally filled areas of deficit. The bucket doesn’t decide to fill one depression completely while only filling a crack half way before having the water flow past to some other selected crack. For reducing fat try a straw in a glass of water. Suck differing amounts of water from the bottom, a side, the middle, and near the top. You will notice that there are no pockets of air where water used to be in the glass. This is because the water is uniformly removed regardless of from where in the glass it is taken. These scenarios do not apply to adding or removing fat from the circulatory system.

So think of using a specific muscle to the point that it’s energy requirement exceeds what is in the blood stream. Let’s use legs as an example - hiking. Now think of this in evolutionary terms. There were two hikers traversing a path through a blizzard for days upon end without food. One had a metabolism that only took fat from the muscle in use and the surrounding tissue to convert to energy. The other had a metabolism that took fat uniformly from any adipose tissue the bloodstream encountered which most efficiently delivered it to the cells needing energy. Who do you think survived and reproduced?

Thus, fat reduction becomes very simple. If you want to lose 50% of your belly fat then lose 50% of the fat in your body. You won’t ever need to do a sit-up to accomplish it. Just observe that simple equation: calories processed less calories expended. In an upcoming post I will explain more about the calories processed less calories expended equation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.


Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn



Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2016 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

StuartShowalter.com

Monday, September 18, 2017

Most disease may be communicable and affecting your well-being

When proceeding through a divorce or child custody battle it is well established that your health may be compromised. The stress of these events can dampen the immune system making the body more susceptible to communicable diseases. Likewise, there may be a psychological impact that can adversely affect health. Finally, this period of transition may result in initiation, resumption, or increase in poor health habits as well as associations with people who model poor behaviours.

In health classes and throughout medical literature you may have encountered diseases being classified in one of two categories; communicable and noncommunicable. Under an absolutists' view disease is readily classified into one of the two categories. I contend and endeavor to demonstrate here that such a dichotomy does not adequately represent the factors relevant to the proliferation of disease and that the spread of disease once considered to be noncommunicable is actually communicable.

I recently wrote about societal scripts and perceptions in Turning Negatives Into Positives Through Cognitive Modification where I made the point that the scripts that have molded our lens of consciousness can be modified. In this article I am again going to dispute some societal scripts. It is my premise that what are labeled as non-communicable disease are actually communicable.

Typically it has been ailments passed through infected fluids secreted by mucus membranes that are held to be communicable diseases. Communicable diseases may be subdivided into viral, bacterial, fungal, sexually transmitted, or contagions of insect or parasite origin. They are spread via various modes of transmission. Mononucleosis through saliva. AIDS through blood. Influenza through sneezes and coughs.

Ailments such as cancers, coronary artery disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or Alzheimer's Disease are said to be non-communicable. They are dysfunction within the body due to environmental or lifestyle influences.

So let's examine what it means to be communicable. Communication is the transmission and receipt of information. Information can be transmitted through a diverse array of modes. Typically we think of speaking and writing -- we hear it or read it. Think of the blind who feel it. Think of how you determine if a food contains an alkali metal [salty], sugar [sweet], hydrogen [sour], toxin [bitter], or meaty/fermented [umami]. Think of encountering a stranger and determining his or her mood or level of friendliness. You can see from these brief examples that we are involved in communication continually without being conscious of it.

A virus, bacteria, protein or DNA strand are all information. Thus, when passed to you as an infective agent the information the agent contains is communicated to your body. It isn’t really the material passed to you that ails you but the information about contagion replication and your body’s defenses which allows the agent to divert your body’s resources to its benefit which it does. But what about the material passed to you that may ail you but doesn’t contain self-replication information?

What I am referring to here is the materials you deliberately put into body. This is the food and beverages, the drugs, the topical applications [soaps, lotions, cosmetics, deodorants], and the airborne particulate matter [air fresheners, esters, non-methane hydrocarbons].

For purposes here I will limit the array of these materials to commercially available products. So it’s the food and beverage products, the pharmaceuticals, the toiletries, and indoor air additives to which I will refer. All of these are advertised which influences our decisions on whether to use these products. The influences on our decisions whether to use products are most likely resulting from cultural exposure. Commercial advertising is usually limited to influencing immediacy of action or brand preference.

Our families, friends, cults, community, and even national identity can affect our decisions. Take cigarette smoking for example. Rates of smoking differ widely by country, family, community, and specific demographic. It has also changed dramatically over time. I see this in movies spanning nearly 100 years. What was once treated as part of the typical accoutrements of a social gathering is now rarely offered or accommodated in some areas.

A “no smoking” sign sends a message. A parent smoking in the home as a toddler looks on sends a message. When friends at a party pass a bottle and everyone takes a pill or drink a message is being transmitted and received. When an event host offers doughnuts or hotdogs that sends a message. When people give praises about the scent of perfume imbued homes that sends a message. Likewise when admiration is shown for someone covered with cosmetics that sends a message. When someone refuses to engage in an unhealthy activity and another gives a disapproving or puzzling look that sends a message. These actions all communicate thoughts about whether one approves or disapproves of a cultural norm which affects health.

Now I take you back to cancers, coronary artery disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or Alzheimer's Disease which are generally thought to be non-communicable. These conditions and many others like them are nearly wholly environmentally triggered. That is, it takes the act of breathing, eating, or absorbing something for these conditions to develop. Now think about what triggers them.

What I have broadly referred to here as “food” actually includes garbage made to appear as food. Eating from this niche of consumables along with the manner and amount of consumption, and the modes of delivery, are largely responsible for those ailments. Other significant contributors are drugs -- especially if delivered via smoking -- and chemicals in topical applications.

The decision whether to inflict harm upon our bodies by using these items is influenced significantly by information communicated to us about them. It my be the facial expressions of our social group, highway signage, or what was inculcated through the daily practices of our parents. Also consider the influence of popular culture such as movies. In one I recently watched a character offered fruit juice to another who rebuffed the offer and requested soda instead. This was met with a scolding about soda being loaded with sugar. This demonstrates a clear cultural perception that fruit juices and sodas are on different ends of the healthful spectrum. But, fruit juices, other than citrus, are nothing more than sucrose extract of fruit - table sugar. So, I contend that ultimately these ailments are also communicable diseases.

Looking back to the viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens we find preventative measures in protective wear, hygienic practices, and vaccines. These cannot protect us from this new class of communicable diseases though. There are analogous options though.

Protection from receiving the harmful information can first come from blocking it. As I previously said this information is advertised. For numerous reasons television broadcasts should not be viewed. Likewise advertisements encountered during internet usage should be ignored.

Next one should clean out his or her immediate environment. This means removing the harmful influences or staying away from them. This includes people as well as products. Places such as bars should be avoided. Paying for gas at the pump rather than being exposed to all the harmful products in the convenience mart can reduce the perception that those items are acceptable.

Psychologically, exposure tends to breed acceptance. This is when one is said to be conditioned. It’s the practice that cults use through the adoption of rituals, ornaments, symbolism, media and socialization. When cult images adorn the home, texts related to the cult are present and read, music or television programs are cult related, and the social network is limited to cult members then the message becomes inculcated.

If cult ideology, which is typically absurd and is delivered in a purposeful and blatant manner, can be inculcated through exposure then just imagine how easy it is to come to accept the cultural norms that are discretely applied. Fruit juice is an example of that. There is a cultural assumption that fruit juice is healthier than table sugar but the body treats them the same. Of course there are much broader cultural norms when it comes to consumables.

It is generally considered polite to accept and eat food products when offered. Likewise, the same was applied ubiquitously to alcohol, cigarettes and arsenic. People accepted these when offered purely as custom even though all were harmful and promoted disease. Well, I guess people refused arsenic because it would kill them. Over time society would come to reject smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol as a perfunctory element of polite socializing because it was apparent that they promote death also. The same is slowly and sporadically coming to fruition in regards to garbage manufactured to appear as food. Thus, the disease effect of the message communicated that these deadly practices were part of good and polite living has diminished as that message has been rebuffed.

A final consideration is the type of people with whom you may associate. Steer clear of people who are depressed, angry, hostile, negative, or despondent. They tend to overtly and covertly send messages about the world that can have a negative psychological impact and consequently have an adverse effect on your immune system. If you are in a child custody battle and participate in online forums related to this topic you may well notice a general victimhood attitude and worse. Just like association with a cult can adversely affect health so can the exposure to self-pity and outwardly directed action often espoused among these groups which behave quite similarly to cults.

Disease is almost purely a result of deliberate action -- the effect of choosing. So, to avoid “catching” one of the diseases primarily thought of as non-communicable you should choose wisely about the information to which you allow yourself to be exposed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.


Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn



Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2014 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

StuartShowalter.com