Recognizing Predators In Our World

By Terry Carter, Editor

Even those who have been abused as children and learned how to cope in society often don’t know how to recognize the subtle signs of a sexual predator.
Today we will approach the subject and provide basic tips of what could raise your guard even among those you trust. This article is for parents and children to increase their awareness and safety. It is also the first of a series of articles on these overlooked topics.
Be aware that unlike many crimes, sexual predators are not restricted to a certain age range, socio-economic background, race, culture or profession.
Interviews and research data are overwhelming: Sexual predators look like our most trusted family and friends. They are among us whether we like it or not. It is better to be aware and cautious rather than become an eventual victim.
This is not a call for panic. It is a call for increased awareness because publicized cases are increasing, which may indicate that predatory behavior is expanding.
Learn the signs. Trust your gut. And report things to the proper authorities, including three levels of administration and the police, as well as Child Protective Services (CPS).
Predators, including pedophiles, blend into society as a concerned citizen offering help. They look good and sound good. They count on naîve, trust from those who know them well.
Life’s most fundamental relationship rule works here as you learn what to look for: Actions speak louder than words. It works in relationships, friendships, work environments and even if you have a predator living with you today.

Choose to learn and choose to not be a victim. There are millions of victims in the United States alone,

A person made this recent post to Dr. Katherine Ramsland, Phd.’s blog about the challenge safety-concerned people have in the battle to recognize and prevent predators: “‘I’m always struck by how, after some act of violence, fraud, or sexual abuse, everyone laments: ‘Someone must have known! Why didn’t they say anything?’ And yet, time after time, it seems those who are in a position to see are sidelined, discredited, or disbelieved.’”
Ramsland Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D., is a professor of forensic psychology at DeSales University and the author of 60 books.
She continues with her interpretation. “My sense of it is this: People who can spot predators are ignored for reasons similar to those that blind many people to these offenders in the first place—distortion and denial. Predators count on it, especially in those rare times when someone is savvy enough to spot them and try to alert others.
“The fact is, we’re often just not prepared to accept that evil can get so close to us. As frustrating as it can be for those whose warnings fall on deaf ears, it’s normal to interpret the behavior of those we know in the most benign and ordinary frame.”

In an online article for PsychologyToday.com, Ramsland wrote “Three Signs of an Inconspicuous Predator In Your Midst.” It is partially based off her book called, Inside the Minds of Serial Killers. She suggests that sexual predators, con artists and others are similar in their predatory methods.Predators after our children do not look like uneducated monsters. Ramsland details community involvement and high educational backgrounds of numerous serial murderers like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer.Dahmer’s father made this statement after his son’s trial: “Lionel Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, wrote a book after watching his son’s 1992 trial for the murder of 17 men and realized that the manner in which he’d interpreted Jeffrey’s behavior had been naïve, influenced by his personal fears. “I allowed myself to believe Jeff,” Lionel mused, “…to accept all his answers regardless of how implausible they might seem….More than anything, I allowed myself to believe that there was a line in Jeff, a line he wouldn’t cross…My life became an exercise in avoidance and denial.””
Don’t allow personal feelings to cloud your judgement on issues. It happens to the best when our family, best friend or long-time preacher has done something that raises the hair on your neck. We often refuse to acknowledge the facts. That is a major advantage that predators count to stay active and addicted to harming others.

• Approximately 90 percent of all childhood sexual abuse occurs with someone the child knows and has a trusted relationship with. Only 10 percent are strangers.
• According to the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children, 20 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood. 84 percent of children sexually abused are victimized between the ages of 9-12.
• Fewer than 35 percent of these case are reported to authorities. Reasons for not reporting range from guilt/shame to fear, possible judgement and more. Predators also coerce children into silence with threats, promises and false statements, such as: “This is normal at your age” or “Your parents told me to do this.”

STEPS TO HELP
SafelyEverAfter.com has posted 10 Play-It-Safe Rules for adults and children to use daily. They are designed for children of all ages. Here is a summary:
1—I am the BOSS of my body.
2—I know my name, address, phone number and my parents’ names and cell phone numbers too.
3—Safe, Smart Grownups don’t ask kids for HELP. They ask other adults.
4—I never go ANYWHERE or take ANYTHING from someone I don’t know.
5—I must check first with my Safe, Smart Grownups for PERMISSION. If I don’t check first and receive permission, the answer is NO.
6—Everyone’s bathing suit areas are private.
7—I don’t have to be polite (or quiet) if someone makes me feel uncomfortable or scared. It is OK to say NO.
8—I don’t keep SECRETS, especially if they make me feel scared or uneasy. NO PARENT should tell a child to keep a SECRET.
9—If I ever get lost in a public place, I can FREEZE or YELL or go to a mom with other children and ask for help.
10—I will always pay attention to my Special Inner Voice, especially if I get an “UH-OH” feeling.

• More on this continuing series will be posted here on the Facebook.com page below: facebook.com/terry.carter.free

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MY JOHN MAXWELL WEEKEND

By Terry Carter, Editor

Dr. John C. Maxwell has a worldwide reputation for helping millions as a personal development author and speaker.

What you don’t hear is that he is a bit of a comedian and a magician too.

I enjoyed perhaps the most personal and eye-opening moment in my 34 years of pursuing excellence when the man who prefers to be called John joined some close friends for dinner on Friday night in Los Angeles. It was a rare opportunity to meet and experience the gifts that have inspired John to write nearly 100 books — some he makes fun of now — and offer friendly observations that moved the needle for everyone I spoke with this weekend.

John connects with people almost instantly in any environment as a father or grandfather figure. At 71, he tells jokes on many in the audience, but primarily on himself. I offered him a personal question on Friday and received the most extraordinary answer that night. Then I saw John again teaching a group of leaders on Saturday, and he reinforced and elaborated on his previous answer.

As he says, he is just John, however, his gift of sharing the right wisdom at the right time in a loving, kind way melts through barriers we all carry. Everyone he speaks with feels loved and understood. John’s authenticity and integrity make him the number one, personal development speaker today. Kings, government officials and more invite John to improve their reality.

Now I have attended and even worked backstage at many conferences and seminars to gain wisdom, insight and perspective. I have always learned and am occasionally impressed with great speakers.

But my time with John was deepest personal experience I’ve had in many years. We spoke personally. He answered my most profound questions. John and I had numerous photos taken together; one or two may be on the John C. Maxwell website. He knew me from Friday’s dinner, so I assisted him twice on Saturday in a general session.

As we parted ways Saturday night, I felt uplifted and supported because we became friends. And while John may have only 2.5 million friends on Facebook or Twitter, a special bond was formed that you don’t dismiss.

I am happy to say that our meeting included an offer John made — and I accepted — to be mentored personally by the man know for being a worldwide authority on success, leadership and change. I cannot explain what that will do in the future as I am willing to share his best information with my closest associates.

End result: Here’s to knowing the future, envisioned in detail and vivid colors in my mind and now scaled beyond 10x by John C. Maxwell. I will responds promptly by altering the world around me as I know it today.

It’s called Major League Mojo. A tidal wave of momentum, if you prefer.

WHY CANCER IS KICKING YOUR BUTT

By Terry Carter

Cancer patients literally fight for a healthy life — and in nearly half of overall cases, for life itself — by turning to medical professionals. And those doctors and researchers have valid treatments for the more than 1.7 million new cancer patients expected to be diagnosed this year (2018).

According to information published on the American Cancer Society page in July 2018, about 42 percent of new cancer cases could potentially be avoided. Data suggests that of approximately 729,000 cases expected this year, 19 percent could be caused by smoking and 18 percent by a combination of excess body weight, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and poor nutrition.

What causes cancer is undetermined despite a tremendous amount of research. Mounting evidence, however, is beginning to suggest a winning method to prevent and fight cancer.

For a good number of cancer patients, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, dietary changes and/or surgery are common. Several of those options are nearly as bad as the cancer itself, according to some patients. Others I know have opted to stop radiation and chemo sessions and just let cancer run its course.

We all know people who have lost their lives to cancer or are battling their personal battle, hoping to beat the odds. And for those with severe forms attacking the pancreas, lung, esophagus, brain and stomach cancer, survival rates today are smaller than 15 percent with pancreatic cancer hardly making progress from the survival rate of the early 1970s.

Cancer patients are literally fighting for their lives, and a diagnosis means all focus has to go to this battle. It is also a costly battle that can take years or weeks. Approximately half of all cancer diagnosed patients survive, according to a variety of studies that measure survival for different lengths of time.

Survivors are a brave lot, and they often know they have escaped the grip of death. I know dozens of cancer survivors, and I applaud them for never quitting, for fighting harder than they thought possible and for pushing their medical staff for better solutions.

Many questions remain about cancer and why this wicked prognosis can hit the apparently healthy, as well as the those who invite cancer into their lives with cigars, cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, zero or low-sunscreen protection when they go outside, obesity/inactive lifestyle and other linked factors.

The question is: How do you avoid or prevent cancer from consuming your best years? Doctors, researchers and nutritionists continue to accumulate evidence that eating certain diets can make a difference in the battle against cancer. Of course not everyone agrees with this the possibility that the body can care for itself when given the proper health.

Key factors in the healthiest cancer-conscious diets benefit from the following:

• Diets rich in antioxidants, which battle free radicals in your body. Free radicals are one of cancer’s best allies, and your worst enemy. Among the many antioxidants today include vitamins A, C, E and minerals like Selenium are early members of this health-based club.

• Plant-based diets, often focused on super fooddsare popular among those battling heart disease and strokes, and those fruit and vegetable helpings are also powerful in delivering the antioxidants the body craves to help you reach optimal health. Ten servings a day of each food group is an ambitious goal for vegans and vegetarians adamant about maximizing their health.

• Supplementation is essential for even the healthiest diets today, according to many nutrition advocates and nutritionists. Because today’s soil is depleted of minerals, the benefits of one cup of spinach harvested and eaten in 1970 requires more than 10 cups of spinach today, experts say.

° A postscript to this list for carnivores and omnivores — yes, that is a large majority of Americans and the world population — beware. “A cancer-conscious consumer should be wary of processed meats, such as hot dogs, ham and bacon, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified as a carcinogen (cancer causing),” according to a 2018 quote in Newsweek’s special edition Nature’s Remedies, Heal Your Body.

Recently a local physician told me that most doctors did not receive much training in nutrition, except in medical school. An article in Newsweek’s special edition called Nature’s Remedies, Heal Your Body, entitled “Eating For Cancer” seemed to confirm that statement.

The article mentioned that 600,000 Americans lost their lives to cancer in 2016. It also included this quote from Dr. Keith Block, co-founder of the Block Center Integrative Cancer Treatment, who wrote in the newsletter Nutrition Digest: “While perhaps a third of all cancers are related to dietary factors, only a few people in contemporary American medicine realize that a well-structured, nutritional regimen may be useful in the treatment of cancer, as well as essential in cancer prevention.”

Another article, “Supplements for Treating and Preventing Cancer” in the July/August 2018 edition of Well Being Journal, stated positive research of several items from a book called Outside The Box Cancer Therapies. The article by Dr.s Mark Stengler and Paul Anderson noted a synergistic effect of supplements like Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC), Astragalus, Cannabinoids like CBB oil and Resveratrol among others with conventional therapies to reduce treatment “side effects, improving immunity, improving quality of life and improving outcomes.”

Super Foods like the proclaimed King of Fruits, the Alaskan Wild Blueberry, which is more potent and resilient than standard blueberries, lead the health parade. Science continues to identify more antioxidants and Super Foods to keep the body healthy. It is amazing what the body can accomplish with a bit more nutrition. As a Type I Diabetic, I can attest to that.

An overall supplement pack I began taking recently has delivered in ways I never imagined: Significantly more energy, better control of my blood sugars, better endurance and strength at the gym, faster and thicker hair/nail growth, reduced medicine dosages, improved immune system and improved vision.

I have read more than 1,000 testimonies about improvements on health from patients with at least 80 different illnesses, including Lupus, Fibro Myalgia, diabetes, cancer, ADD/ADHS, depression and heart health issues. These personal testimonials prompted additional research on my part for this initial article to bring to light the benefits of natural health and nutrition.

Cancer does not run in my family. However I care deeply for millions who face the disease for first time each year. Evidence is suggesting there are alternative methods to help patients who want a second opinion. Contact World Wellness Today for more details.

WINNING THE GAME OF LIFE, Part 2: Say Hello To IT

By Terry Carter, Editor

I have lived with IT for five decades. But until last night, the formal introduction had never occurred.

This disabling, limiting, evil entity has thrived in the bowels of your version of the Matrix — and mine — while avoiding the spotlight. . If my life were a TV program on Netflix, I believe CSI, Sherlock Holmes and M6 (including 007) would be hard pressed to ID this culprit. IT is a sneaking mastermind.

I would venture that I may never have met my enemy without this formal introduction. And I was lucky to have two introductions on Thursday — one formal and one to confirm the ghost I thought I saw in the mirror. Deja vu, Neo.

My life has been about understanding and helping others while trying to reason the hows and whys of life. Currently I am working on a project to improve the health, lives and futures of 50,000 people in the next five years.

This blog is no academic dissertation on hypothetical elements. Last night I met my personal saboteur, my own limiter face-to-face, and my IT is a constant foe. IT is alive and using all of your intellect to trip you and I. It is unique to each of us, and I can best describe it as the lowest, base voice that you hear every time you wish to achieve or step out of your comfort zone. Coast, lay low and worry only about yourself, and IT backs off to celebrate its victory over your free will.

IT is a Negative Nellie, a Naysayer, the Mr. evil Hyde to the kind, talented Dr. Jekyll and the supremely evil James Moriarty to the genius detective Sherlock Holmes. Yes, the Sherlock Holmes series I watched briefly last night confirmed that Moriarty represents the selfish, primal voice in all of us.

Last night I listened intently to dozens of high achievers, including close friends, define their IT, their predictable mode that drags them down, makes them less than they could be, limits their growth. IT occurs entirely inside your skull, but the effects are felt through our bodies, businesses and lives.

Then I heard this sarcastic bombshell: IT has thoughts, and you think you are thinking those thoughts.

An initial thought: Perhaps there is a common theme between self-help books, science-fiction films, and governments taking over our brains.

Now that you know we all have an IT shooting down our best efforts and biggest dreams with a pair of six-shooters with unlimited ammunition, how do you work through that?

Stay tuned as this multi-part series, much like our lives, is a hilly work in progress with valleys and mountains to traverse.

WINNING THE GAME OF LIFE, Part 1: Seeing the Unknown

By Terry Carter

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I briefly but adamantly refused to believe that I was going to be taking insulin injections at the tender age of 11 after becoming pretty good in three sports.

My emotions ran rampant because, at the time, this chronic disease tended to own people’s lives, wreaking havoc with both high and low blood sugars and eventually ending their lives prematurely. The doctors not only restricted me to a hospital bed for 30 days, but they also gave me two pieces of news I considered heartbreaking: First, at age 11, I would probably only live 50 more years if — and only if — I took excellent care of my body. Second, I was told would need to return to the hospital soon for more testing and probably surgery on a lump in my neck.

When I imagined how terrible this surgery and disease could rule my life, I responded with complete denial. Not because of the facts, but because of the story I created in my head. The more I looked at the situation and my older brother, who had become diabetic seven months before me, the less I wanted to live with this.

My mom, a registered nurse, responded quickly to my initial signs of a high blood sugar. She was well versed on caring for the ill and played a key role in teaching us to deal with our mandatory, new habits imposed by the diabetic gods.

My dad, a brilliant man in his own right, resorted to blaming the dog for somehow sending diabetes to us.

Regardless I was paralyzed at age 11 for years because of my fears after being a top athlete, an academic leader and a person who stood up for others in our school. Several of my better qualities became overshadowed for years by fears I created about my situation.

Did diabetes cause me to be isolated, shy or less academically advanced? In retrospect, that answer is obvious to me. And I slowly climbed out of my dungeon to marry my sweetheart and contribute to a quality family and a better life. Now with the help of experts, I am making strides toward impacting the world before my time is gone.

In your life, things have also happened that have altered who you truly are. How do you counter a rough childhood, a bully, an abuser, a threat or the burnout that seems so popular among our culture?

I have learned some unique information that may help.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this special series…

VOICES OF REASON AND LOVE ARE LOST

By Terry Carter, Editor

Another voice of reason and love was lost recently. This time, a good man passed away after a planned heart surgery went awry.

A week later, my aunt passed away, leaving many in shock because her life too had been an example of how to help others in good times and bad

Sweeny Jamison Doehring set an example for nearly everyone in our church. I knew him as Mr. Dependable, someone we could all count for wisdom, kindness and a Christian view on life. He was an Aggie’s Aggie, so we at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church honored him by wearing Texas A&M gear to his special event at church.

We will miss you, J. And we pray that your family stays strong, united and productive as they are also our family.

My aunt passed away in Richmond, Indiana, and I miss her dearly. She was the voice of peace and fun when I was young and our family visited during the summers. Mert was one of a kind. She was always kind, considerate and would give you the last piece of food in her home if you even looked hungry.

I recall my family of five driving from Michigan to Richmond one summer when I was perhaps nine years old. We arrived in the evening, unpacked, settled in and enjoyed a great, four-course meal prepared by my grandmother.

Early the day, my Aunt Mert called with great enthusiasm to invite the three Carter brothers on an expedition she had researched and thought we might enjoy. I specifically remember mentioning this in vague terms to my not-quite-awake, older brothers, who said something akin to “No thanks.” When I told Mert thanks, but no thanks and hung up, I turned around to find myself nose-to-nose with the most powerful person in the State of Indiana, in my opinion.

And that power force in my life, my grandmother, raised her voice just slightly for emphasis, saying that was a mistake to take Aunt Mert for granted. Then she suggested in no uncertain terms that no one should ever turn down an invitation from Mert again.

As I turned to call Mert back and apologize, the phone rang. My determined aunt had already taken days off of work in preparation for our visit to Indiana. And she called back with the second of probably 30 events she wanted us to enjoy. She never quits, which I find a valuable quality in life. This time Mert suggested a day outdoors picking strawberries — and eating as many as you want — for free.

Having learned my lesson for the day, I committed all three brothers without their permission and off we went. It became one of the strongest and best memories I have about vacationing in Indiana with my family. Thank you, Mert. I love you and everyone in this amazing family.

Mert also seemed to host card games every night, ranging from Gin Rummy to Euchre, at her home. Those were great times, innocent times and the best of times for this young man.

THE CHOICE FOR LIFE

By Terry Carter, Editor

When you were a child, what inspired and powered you each day? Why did you fly out of bed each morning?

Were you:

A) Filled with energy 24 hours a day, always chasing the next game, party or thrilling ride because of the fun? If so, you may have played sports or joined dance, band/orchestra or theater classes as soon as possible.

B) The curious one who liked to read, study, get ahead of homework and evaluate opportunities/situations? If so, you were a strong student and enjoyed learning new hobbies, skills.

C) Did you join the events already organized or started by family and friends and let others show the way? If so, you may also have been the peacemaker in your family. You were the glue for your family.

D) Or did you play leader of the pack as a child with all of your friends trying to keep up with you and the trends you established? If this was your natural strength, you made the bold choices without regret and adjusted strategy to win games, contests and really just control the room.

Nearly all of us have two of these four characteristics as a personal strength, and they work together as a team to make us the person our friends and family loved when we were young. Trouble is, not all of us find a career with our born strengths. We often have to learn new skills like organization, promptness, setting an alarm clock and being nice to co-workers to earn and keep a job.

Still some skills feel like a cage that boxes us in, so we cannot grow to our potential. If you had those characteristics as a child/student, you probably don’t feel tied down by your gifts.

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With your answers in mind, now consider: Are you using that personal strengths in your current life and career that helped you grow into a valuable adult? Odds are that nearly half of you are not using your natural strengths.

About two decades ago, I was recruited to work at a technical support call center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a significant change from my journalism career and customer service background. I entered the job with a natural strength combo that was fun-loving and ready to lead a team.

Call center work, however, focuses on analysis, deductive reasoning and troubleshooting with great customer service. I could have failed at that position because it didn’t suit my natural strengths. But I was looking for a new opportunity at the time — ALERT: fun-loving people get bored easily, and leaders leave jobs if they are not given growth opportunities — was eager to learn something new.

So I sat at a desk and took incoming calls on computer problems, but my fun-loving side got to play Nerf basketball and video games while solving major hardware/software issues. In retrospect, I can attest that my analytical skills are now among my best skills that I can draw on in any situation. It was semi built-in like my base characteristics because I have always been very good with numbers.

Conclusion: If you are working and using your childhood strengths at full force, congratulations. You probably have good self-esteem and knew your advantages in life before you picked a college and career path.

If you have switched away from your natural strengths, you have two options: Enjoy the journey and learn all you can from this new opportunity.

Or investigate the true strengths in your childhood and reconnect with those super powers. If you were a follower, you can become a leader again without departing a quality employer or partner. Keep your eyes open for a chance to plug-in one of your dormant powers. The world will thank you.

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My advice to 98 percent of adults is to remember your childhood and the happiest times. Whatever you did on those days will still bring you joy today. So do the homework and chase personal happiness over career happiness.

We all know a lot of unhappy coworkers or bosses who never seem to smile or enjoy the moment. That attitude sucks, friend. It hurts that person’s health and the attitude — if not the health — of everyone they come in contact with.

Since you are likely interest in living your best life and not a miserable waste of time, I suggest we all actively pursue happiness at home, when we look in the mirror, when we drive and at work.

Let your smile come out and play. Studies are showing that happy people are more productive, even if they spend extra time playing on the Wii or meditating. And a happy office — hey boss, this is in your hands too — not only works better together, but the employees are more loyal and they go out of their way to help coworkers.

Let the leaders lead. Let the peacemakers lead too because they are not confrontational; it is a sweet change to the Type-A hot head.

Bottom Line: We are all magnificently made with unique and wonderful talents. Don’t hide your glory. Let it shine and share your perspective, wisdom and skills with those around you. This is another way to improve our little blue planet.