Think! Sunday, Jan 22 2017 

Many decades ago in a journalism class, I learned about media gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are the controllers of what and how the public thinks.Every level of the media participates in gatekeeping to some degree.From reporter to publisher, each person determines not only what information is to be promoted, but also the content and spin.The higher up on the gatekeeper ladder, the more that step controls.

Gatekeeping may be subtle or overt. Even the most unbiased reporter can’t help but be partial to a degree. Turn to any media source, and we note a more distinct angle. We recognize what side of the fence they sit on. Their view of how the world should be is injected into every story.

So much of our news coverage is speculation about what might happen. The emotional spin on possible outcomes creates public stress, anxiety, and anger rather than peace, unity, and positive action.

Know that when one story or clip is shown repeatedly, someone is manipulating our emotions. It is a form of propaganda. Think about the motive behind repeatedly projecting that piece into our minds. Why would someone want you to see that taken out of context?

It is all of our responsibility to seek the whole truth, to dig deeper. We must find more than the handful of stories we repeatedly are shown. To understand a complete story or situation we need to check multiple sources. Check out “facts” (rumors) on credible sources such as Snopes.com. At the very least, if you can’t or won’t verify your information, don’t pass it on.

(See info on my books on my website and all my posts on my author Facebook page.)

Everything Counts Saturday, Jun 25 2016 

Back in the 1980s I wrote a newspaper feature article on a cancer wellness center. One of the survivors said something that made so much sense, it stuck with me. She said that there wasn’t one reason why she developed cancer and so there wasn’t one practice needed to cure her. In addition to traditional surgery and chemotherapy, she also improved her diet, reduced stress, prayed more, and increased exercise, among other things.

After recently viewing the nine episodes of The Truth About Cancer, I was reminded of this interview. I believe the words of wisdom I was told 30 years ago still holds true and can be applied to most situations.

Whether we look at our financial state, level of crime in a city, world hunger, political unrest, obesity, or just about any health condition, most likely several issues contributed toward it, and therefore, more than one remedy is needed for a complete solution. One dollar won’t get us out of debt. But every dollar earned and saved eventually does. From the afternoon drive-through coffee to vacations beyond our budget, we can cut back and/or work an extra part-time job.

There’s always something we can do to participate in solving even the most dire situation. If we break it down, and honestly consider how we contributed toward the decline, as well as how we can bring about improvement, things do change.

(Like my author Facebook page to see more posts like this)

Dad’s Words of Wisdom Sunday, Jun 19 2016 

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My dad and I were close. He was easy to talk with, a good listener, avid reader, and my mentor. He taught me how to think for myself, make solid decisions, and stand strong in adversity. He was a powerfully faithful man and inspired me to pray meaningfully.

What I’m left with in his absence are his words of wisdom. Here are some of the sayings Dad repeated that still ring in my memory:

  • On health based on his work in the Navy medical corp: “When unhealthy, check the mouth.”
  • On faith: “Pray in the good times as well as bad.”
  • On understanding a foolish person: “When they said brains, he thought they said trains and asked for a big empty one.”
  • On the benefits of trade school: “Many-a-good bricklayer’s been ruined with a college education.”
  • On conserving energy: “Close the door! I’m not heating all of Oak Park!”
  • On being happy: “Tell yourself you’re happy, and you will be.”
  • On learning discipline and loyalty: “Everyone should serve a tour in the military.”
  • On medical intervention for his brain tumor: “No thank you. I’m not letting anyone make a zucchini out of me.”
  • On patience: “Someday that stone will come out of your shoe nice and easy.”
  • On wealth: “My brother has more money, but I am rich in the love of family.”

(Have you seen my posts on my blogs Mary K Doyle Books and Saint Theodora/Mother Theodore Guerin or my Facebook author page?

 

Your Business Your Way Sunday, Apr 3 2016 

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My husband, Marshall, was a born pitchman. He easily could entice customers to happily empty their wallets on the products he showed them. He often said that he loved the challenge of sales because it is a profession that has no limits to your income.

If you enjoy sales and are interested in building your own business, consider joining a movement to bring safe products into the hands of everyone. Become a Beautycounter consultant and your income is only limited by your earning desire. Put in a handful of hours a week for some fun money. Make it your career, and you will earn a very comfortable living on our generous compensation plan. Some of our 11,000 consultants earn as much as 6 figures.

Once customers try our products, they’re hooked. They not only return to replenish the products they use, they’re eager to try others. Beyond the assurance of being among the safest available, these products perform fabulously. Our line is continuously increasing and appropriate for babies to adults. And we have cosmetics for the look you want from everyday to runway.

Beautycounter is a thriving three-year-old company that covers the United States and Canada with a mission to offer exceptional personal care products without known toxins and dangerous chemicals. Believe it or not, this is not the industry norm.We have chosen to ban the use of more than 1,500 ingredients deemed even marginally unsafe.You can see our entire product line and list of ingredients here on our site.

Contact me if you want to have your own business, be a part of an important mission, offer amazing products, and enjoy the camaraderie of a friendly and fun team of peers and mentors. I love this company and am happy to tell you more!

©2016, Mary K Doyle

 

Every Vote Counts Saturday, Feb 27 2016 

The Illinois primary election is fast approaching, and I’m not sure how I will vote. Unfortunately, I’m not excited about anyone in the race.

In my opinion, few of the 11 presidents who served in my lifetime, including the present one, were exceptional leaders. The public vote has spoken otherwise, however. Either they found these presidents more than acceptable or that they were the best candidates on the ballot.

Regardless, I accept the decision of the democracy, and I will vote every opportunity that I have. It is my privilege and obligation to step forward and note my choice. Voting is not a God-given right. Many countries around the world limit that opportunity.

It can be difficult to sift through the media noise surrounding the elections but important to do our best to listen, read, and discern for ourselves. May you use your power wisely, the elected make us proud, and God bless America.

©2016, Mary K Doyle

Do You Like Me? Thursday, Feb 4 2016 

How much do you want to ‘Like” Me? I have 11 Facebook pages. Not only do I have a personal page and one for me as an author, I also have one for every one of my books as well as one for my Beautycounter business. Some posts are duplicated but most are targeted to specific groups.

Please “Like” as many as you find of interest. And comment and post! It’s very lonely to post alone. I need your feedback to know if I’m on track with my thoughts and words.

Here is a list of my Facebook pages and the content you’ll find there:

  • Mary K Doyle – My writing and work as an author/speaker
  • Navigating Alzheimer’s – Credible information on dementia and caregiving
  • Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message – Faith and fairytales, especially those by Andersen
  • Grieving with Mary – Grieving and Marian devotion
  • Young in the Spirit – Aging faithfully
  • Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God – Saint Theodora and children
  • Seven Principles of Sainthood – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, also known as Saint Theodora
  • The Rosary Prayer by Prayer – The rosary and Marian devotion
  • Mentoring Heroes – Mentoring
  • Beautycounter By Mary Doyle Brodien – Beauty products, beauty tips, health
  • Mary Doyle Brodien – My personal page for close friends and family

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

Reflections Friday, Feb 7 2014 

While in a department store, I asked the technician at the cosmetic counter for advice. She kindly gave me a makeover. I thanked her, took one look at myself in the mirror, and immediately went to the ladies room to wash my face. The make-up was so much more intense than I am comfortable with.

I should have known the outcome. The technician applied my make-up similar to her own. I became a reflection of her.

The people we allow to touch our lives leave their imprint. The more time we have with someone, the more we look like them, emotionally if not physically. If they are negative, petty, or jealous or generous, ambitious, and inquisitive, we can’t help but absorb some of their traits. Studies have shown this to be so even with eating habits. If our friends have poor eating habits and are overweight, we tend to be as well.

Surrounding ourselves with people who are what we strive to be will help us to become just that. We naturally know this in the workforce as we gravitate toward successful role models. It also is this way in our personal lives.

And we have to remember that we are the constant in every one of our relationships. We influence the people around us, so we need to ask ourselves if we are the type of person we want to be around.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

Truth Be Known Friday, Jan 24 2014 

In the presence of young children you hear some interesting stories. I worked in preschool classrooms for a number of years as an assistant and then as the lead teacher. It wasn’t unusual to learn from the little angels what happened at home the previous evening, some of which was best not repeated.

Most often, I informed parents of what their child told me. I felt they should be aware of what little eyes saw, how it was understood, and that I knew. I also assured them that I realized the story was taken out of context and interpreted by a preschooler.

I keep this in mind when interviewing and speaking with adults as well. We can’t help but taint the information we pass on due to our own personal viewpoints, experiences, prejudices, and knowledge. We make judgments and assumptions before we know all the facts. How often do you hear people comment on the actions of celebrities as if they know the whole story from the snippet presented on the news?

The “truth” is often buried in the midst of random comments, observations, and rumors. The saying made famous by Edgar Allen Poe, “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear,” reminds us to take lightly what is offered as fact. Even when an entire community speaks something as truth, it is not necessarily so.

Early in my journalism career a respected editor encouraged me to use credible sources and real voices in telling a story. I continue this practice when verifying facts even for these short blog postings. For example, in some of the past posts written on medical topics I searched sources such as the American Medical Association, Mayo Clinic, American Pediatrics, and Alzheimer’s Association for information. I also look for “experts” in the field, people with first-hand experience.

And whether interviewing sources for an in-depth piece or casually chatting with an individual, I consider the person’s credibility. Are they stable individuals really in a position to know what they are talking about? Are they so close to someone or something that they do not recognize potential problems or flaws? Are they jealous or envious of the person we are speaking about?

Determining the absolute truth may be impossible, but if it is important for us to know, we have to verify the facts to our best ability, assess the credibility of our sources, and make our best unbiased judgment. Anything other than that is pointless.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

New Children’s Book Friday, Dec 6 2013 

My favorite stories to read when I was a child were about the saints. The BVM sisters who taught me tried to encourage me to read other books, but if there was a book about a saint I hadn’t read, I was drawn to it. The saints were real people with real life problems who took the high road, who resolved their life issues in a loving, faithful way. I wanted to know what their challenges were and how they overcame them.

I still enjoy reading biographies and writing about dynamic, positive people. I write a blog (saint-theodora.com) on Saint Theodora, also known as Mother Theodore Guerin, and I wrote a book about how to follow her example, Seven Principles of Sainthood.

Now I also have a children’s book about her, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God. The Story of Mother Theodore Guerin. Illustrated by Phil Veikan, this new book tells the life of this saint and how she identified God’s calling for her.

I’m interested in Saint Theodora for several reasons. This woman lived and worked in the Midwest. She founded elementary schools across Illinois and Indiana in the mid-1800s. She also founded the religious order, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana and a school for the higher education of women, which is now Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the school where I received my Master’s degree. I also attended the canonization of Saint Theodora by Pope Benedict in 2006. And let me tell you, it’s pretty exciting to be in Saint Peter’s Square with hundreds of thousands of people and hear someone you admire being named a saint.

I want to tell the world about Saint Theodora because she was so – real. She experienced some tremendous challenges. When she was 15 years-old, her father was murdered, which prompted her mother to have a nervous breakdown. As a young teenager Saint Theodora was left to care for her mother and sister.

And Saint Theodora had her own health issues to endure. She had a terrible illness, probably smallpox, when she first entered the convent. The “cure” damaged her intestines and left her in fragile health and unable to eat solid food the rest of her life. She experienced long periods of time when she was bedridden.

In spite of her physical fragility, she remained spiritually strong. She leaned on God and took on some major undertakings. She journeyed from France across the Atlantic and the U.S. to the wilderness of 1800s Indiana to promote faith and education. There, she endured drastic fluctuations of weather and nature, difficult and unsupportive superiors, and prejudice. She met her challenges head on, trusting that when you follow God’s call you are well supported.

The children’s book, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God. The Story of Mother Theodore Guerin tells some of this story in a light, entertaining way. Published by the Sisters of Providence, the hardcover book is 34 pages long, and lists for $16.99 on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Theodora-Her-Promise-God/dp/0989739708/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386348419&sr=1-1&keywords=saint+theodora)

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

Mentoring Fathers Monday, Jun 17 2013 

A belated Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, step-fathers, godfathers, grandfathers and all those who provide a paternal influence to someone.

You may have noted that mentoring is an area in which I believe has significant impact. My first book was on the topic, and I write about it often because I know the difference it makes in someone’s life. Parents are especially important as mentors. As I wrote in Mentoring Heroes,

“As parents we have the first opportunity and the first responsibility to mentor our children. We are the ones on which our children count to answer questions based on our own experiences and knowledge or to link them with the resource or person that can help them. Through our words and actions we teach our children about life issues, values, unconditional and non-judgmental love, faith, and compassion. We also teach them about the mentoring relationship and the benefits of learning from people wiser and more experienced than ourselves (69-70).

Fathers offer a different type of mentoring than mothers, so are equally important in this role. Several women interviewed in Mentoring Heroes described how their fathers helped them to feel confident enough to pursue careers in industries less typical for women, such as plumbing, the sciences, and manufacturing. Many of their fathers took them to work with them in these environments, exposing them to possibilities they may not otherwise have had.

Whatever line of work or interests you may have, sharing your experiences with your children widens their scope. Even if they don’t wish to follow your interests, they gain an understanding in areas they may not have ventured. They also learn about teamwork and the value of each member, respect for others and work, and how to strive for their goals.

I applaud the men who reach out to mentor the young ones in their lives and encourage those who don’t to do so. You have the ability to impact someone in a way no one else can and invest in their future, which is the future of the world.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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