Insight News

Sep 01st


The pitfalls of loving narcissists

There is a difference between being selfish, self-less and self-caring.  People involved in unhealthy relationships often have imbalances in the degree to which they get what they want.  You’ve heard about it in movies like Tyler Perry’s “Why did I get married?” when the characters referred to that fact that at times you give eighty-percent and your partner gives twenty, but later the situation may be reversed so that you give twenty percent and your partner gives eighty.  This concept is called  reciprocity (give and take).  Many of us have been taught that in order to be in relationships we have to expect nothing (or very little) from others and that in order to be in relationships we must give them everything.  The problem is that many of us do not know how to give; we only know how to take.  Some of us do not know how to take, we only know how to give, and among this group are those who only know how to give to others and never to ourselves.  While future articles will address the differences between being self-less and self-caring, this article addresses those who are perceived as “selfish” or “takers” in relationships and how their personality traits affect others. 


McDonald’s unveils plans for healthier menu

The fast food chain McDonald’s last month announced nutritional changes to its menu intended to provide healthier options.

“Right now, America is having important conversations about childhood obesity, well-being and healthy choices and I’m proud that McDonald’s is engaged in those conversations,” Jan Field, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a statement.

The Green Cafe Network

The Green Cafe Network Dear EarthTalk: I heard about something called the Green Café Network. What is it and what are they trying to accomplish for the environment?   -- Jane Stevenson, Los Angeles, CA

The Green Café Network (GCN), a project of the non-profit Earth Island Institute, seeks to reduce Americans’ environmental impacts by greening the coffeehouse industry and harnessing cafe culture for community environmental awareness. By educating and working with cafe owners and staff, GCN helps network members reduce waste, save energy, conserve water and increase community stewardship. GCN’s 30-plus cafes scattered across Northern California (as well as one in New York City and another in Keshena, Wisconsin) are committed to reducing their carbon footprints, promoting environmental responsibility and generally operating in as sustainable a manner as possible.

Get a back-to-school checkup and receive free school supplies

Open Cities Health Center (OCHC) is partnering with Goodwill-Easter Seals to offer free back-to-school checkups.  Each child who receives a back-to-school checkup, known as a well child check, will receive free school supplies while the supply lasts. The event is open to the public and will be held on August 18 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Goodwill-Easter Seals, 553 Fairview Avenue N., in St. Paul. Light refreshments will be served.

Hot stuff and the psychology of stealing

A few days ago, I went to Sam’s Club to pick up some things.  As I approached the building, I noticed two police squad cars parked in the fire lane.  I thought it was a bit strange because both cars had their lights off, yet they were illegally parked.  As soon as I got my cart, I turned around and saw the police escorting a disheveled Caucasian sister (who was hand-cuffed) out of the door.  I heard one customer say “The guy who was with her is still with another police officer.”  I heard another customer say to a store clerk “I guess crime doesn’t pay!” To which the clerk replied: “Well, it sure paid yesterday because that same couple came into the store with a bad check using someone else’s identity and bought over $1000 worth of stuff.”  Finally, I heard a little African American girl (who was around four years of age) look up at her mother and say:  “Those people were stealing and that’s bad to steal….are they going to go to jail?”  Her mother emphatically replied “Yes, baby, yes they are!”

Sorting through plastics

Sorting through plasticsDear EarthTalk: Why can’t plastics of all types, instead of being initially sorted, simply be melted together to be separated later? It must be a monumental and error-prone task to separate truckloads of plastics. -- L. Schand, via e-mail

The reason plastics aren’t typically melted together and then separated later is a matter of both physics and economics. When any of the seven common types of plastic resins are melted together, they tend to separate and then set in layers. The resulting blended plastic is structurally weak and difficult to manipulate. While the layered plastic could in theory be melted again and separated into its constituent resins, the energy inputs required to do so would make such a process cost prohibitive.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes

When I was in the first grade in Texas (before they integrated schools), there was this boy named Robert (a 3rd grader), who pushed me down and took my lunch. He said if I told anyone, he’d do it again.  That day, I tearfully walked home two blocks to find something to eat.  When I got home, my dad was there and asked why I had unexpectedly come home for lunch.  I told him about Robert.  He quickly helped me make a sandwich and told me that ‘nobody had a right to hurt me-ever!”  My dad, who was a relatively big man and stood around 6’4”, grabbed my hand and walked me back to school.  Kids were still outside during recess.  He quietly asked me,  “Which one is he?”  Then, he slowly approached the teacher on the playground (still holding my hand), and told her what had happened.  She called Robert over and my dad told him in his firm booming voice. “My daughter told me what you did and you’d better never let me hear about you hitting her or any other person again…I’ll be talking to your mother tonight!”  Robert never approached me again.
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