Once You Learn These 8 Hard Truths About Life, You’ll Become Much Stronger

Life is many things. Life is beautiful and miraculous, and it’s wonderful. But there is one thing life isn’t: easy. There are times when this is more apparent than others. We don’t always make it any easier on ourselves either; we hold onto notions and habits and notions that are incorrect, ludicrous, or even harmful to us. We walk through life refusing to see simple truths because we’re worried they’ll be too hard to bare, without realizing that accepting them will actually make every day much easier and much more joyful. William Beteet’s list[1] describes perfectly some difficult truths that we need to learn to accept.

1. Everyone You Love is Going to Die

Grim as this may sound, realizing that eventually you and everyone you know won’t be around forever will enrich and deepen your relationships. So many people take their loved ones for granted and feel an unrelenting sense of regret when they’re gone. Parents, grandparents, friends — we never know when we may find out that they’re no longer with us. Have you called your parents lately? Call them now. Our relationships are the most meaningful things we have in life and should be cherished.


2. We Give Our Lives Meaning

Buddhists believe that we create our own world with our thoughts and actions. Having a meaningful life, then, is a choice. We don’t have to go out and join the peace corps or end world hunger to have a meaningful life; a bagger at the grocery store can feel just as fulfilled as the CEO of a major company. Often times, we’re too focused on what we don’t have and what we want and this makes our lives feel empty no matter how much we’ve achieved.


3. The Perfect Partner Doesn’t Exist

Many people dream of the perfect romance and a partner that will sweep us off of our feet and into the sunset of an eternally happy ever after. In fact, most of us are probably guilty of daydreaming about our “perfect match” sometimes. But how can it affect our real relationships when our partners don’t meet our picture perfect dreams? This doesn’t mean we should settle for someone we’re miserable with, but it does mean that we should always expect to put work into a relationship. Think of it as an artistic masterpiece; you and your partner are the tools and you have to work together to make the canvas beautiful. We can be happy and fulfilled in a relationship, but not if we expect the canvas to paint itself! Check out the article below. It highlights some key things and the basic line for a fulfilling relationship. After learning these, you’ll be less likely to go overboard.


4. Life Is A Game

Why should we walk on eggshells our entire lives, worried about getting something terribly wrong? This life is ours to learn from and experience. We should think of it as a game; decide what it is we want to do in life, learn the rules, and level up. We can never achieve anything or be successful if we’re too afraid to play. Have you ever heard of someone becoming a pro football player without ever setting foot on a field?

5. Everything Ends

This is a lot like the first only it may be a little harder to hear. Nothing lasts forever. We’ll only be young for a little while and then we’ll be old. We’ll fall in love, we’ll fall out of love, or lose the ones we love. We’ll live and then we’ll die. So many people before us have lived, loved, succeeded, failed, and died. We need to remember that we aren’t any different. Rather than being depressed by this, however, we can feel grateful, excited, and even empowered in this life. If things lasted forever, what would make them special? Time and endings make things valuable. We need to appreciate everything.

6. Be Romantic About The Little Things

Since we know now that everything comes to an end, we also know that we need to love everything we can in life. Things can become so mundane when placed into the mundane mind of someone viewing life as “the daily grind.”  Things are beautiful when we take a moment to let it be so, though. Take a different route to work or school, lie down in the grass and watch the clouds, and look up at the stars. Be romantic and the world will always feel magical. Take a day off from the stress and enjoy life! The article below highlights some good ways to slow down and enjoy the end of your week.


7. Be A Realist About The Big Things

Even though we shouldn’t take life too seriously, it’s important that we don’t let our right brain reign all hours of the day. There are some things in life we just need our more analytical mind for. For example, those of us wanting to become famous authors can’t just write some words and then find that, BOOM, we’re a best seller! No. We have to take the appropriate steps to edit, promote, and publish our work. Most things worth doing take time and energy. Basically, everyone has to use their head sometimes. Take a look at this  article for some tips on using your head to get things done.


8. Figure Out A Way Or Don’t Complain

Almost everyone has met someone who does nothing but complain about how his or her life isn’t turning out the way they like it. We either tune it out or feel frustrated with them. We think why don’t they just change it if they don’t like it? But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that we’re not always much better. “That teacher is too picky, her tests don’t make sense.” “I just can’t learn how to do that, I have a condition.”The truth is that complaints rarely change anything and more often than not, they hold us back. We need to be proactive and positive. We need to believe that we can figure out a way. Otherwise, we can keep our complaints to ourselves.



8 Things To Remember When Everything Is Going Wrong. Stopping #3 Changed My Life Term

Marc and Angel are two passionate writers, life-hackers, and the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their list of 8 things to remember when everything goes wrong.

If you enjoy this, be sure to check out their website for more inspirational advice and practical tips to improve your life.

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:

#1. Pain is part of growing. Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

#2. Everything in life is temporary. Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever.

So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it. (Read The Last Lecture.)

#3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back.

And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t plus

#4. Your scars are symbols of your strength. Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of “YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

#5. Every little struggle is a step forward.

In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

#6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem. Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them.

Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

#7. What’s meant to be will eventually, BE. True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.

In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be. (Read A New Earth.)

#8. The best thing you can do is to keep going. Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.

Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

Think positively. Eat healthy. Exercise today. Worry less. Work hard. Laugh often. Sleep well. Repeat…

“Everything is temporary, this too shall pass” is a phrase that always comes to my mind whenever things are not going well. All of these are excellent reminders. If you enjoyed this Marc and Angel’s tips, share them with your friends and family.


When Someone You Love Attempts Suicide

“You can love someone every second of every day, but if the person is hell-bent on killing themselves, then they will. No amount of Jesus or love or miracles or medication can stop it once someone has made up their mind. The only thing that can possibly stop someone from suicide is for that person to choose life, in all its messiness and heartache. To choose life, with its uncertainty and anxiety and depression and to embrace the ups and the downs. To ride the wave and cling to hope, when all seems lost.” – Robert Vore

When the role of caregiver gets dumped in your lap after someone tries to kill him or herself, you may feel selfish for wanting to have someone care about your own pain. When someone you care about tries to end their own life, it’s also natural to to feel betrayal. In addition, you might feel fear, concern, anger, uncertainty and guilt. It’s OK. Even if they are still alive, you have some grieving to do. It’s such a bittersweet experience to live with someone who wants (or wanted) to be dead.

You have already seen them at their worst, and you will also see their small victories after a therapy session. You’ll see their joys and their pain. You’ll sit in the circle of grief with them as they cry over their own guilt. You will both experience moments of great relief when you can laugh at a joke or a television show and it somehow feels like you’ve been transported to a time when nothing seemed wrong.

Don’t skip over them. Let them all wash over you and learn from each experience and emotion. Being able to name your pain, your struggles and frustrations and even your greatest hopes will lead you toward a path for your own healing after nearly losing the person you love.

Life is stressful, no matter what. Yet, continuing to cultivate a relationship with a person with mental illness is a different kind of stress. There’s so much pressure to always have your sh*t together because you aren’t sure what kind of day (or hour) your loved one is having. Remember, friends, you are only human. Do everything you can do, but remember you can only do what you can.

Take time for yourself. Sometimes it’s impossible to leave your responsibilities. In that case, find moments of quiet to enjoy something simple, a cup of tea or a few pages of a book, even within your routine. Give yourself space to breathe and to grieve. It matters, and it can remind you that you are doing more than simply surviving the day.

A few reminders:

  • This is not the end of a life. This is the beginning of a new story.
  • You cannot change your loved one. You have to accept the brokenness and love unconditionally.
  • Do not carry this alone. Do not walk through this alone.
  • This is not about you, your loved one is responsible for his/her actions.
  • Show grace. Forgive the person for the suicide attempt.

Another important reminder is to set clear boundaries, even if they are only internal. When something frustrates you, you may want to speak up. I understand. Nothing seems worse than an old sore that’s been left to fester. Yet, when a person is actively suicidal, they have proven that rational thinking isn’t their strongest suit at this point.

When something hurts, many of us want to say so. However, sometimes walking away and allowing the moment to pass, letting yourself cool down and remembering this is not your fault is the best thing you can do. In this scenario, you offer your loved one dignity and respect by believing they do not need you to rescue them. Your ability to be OK doesn’t depend on their OK-ness.

Offer support, encouragement and love. However, you cannot heal or change anyone. You have to love them enough to trust they are capable of walking down their own path of healing.




The Best Sex Positions For Your 30s, 40s, 50s, And 60s

Like red wine and a fine cheddar cheese, certain things just get better with age. That said, you may not be able to pretzel yourself into the same sexual positions you could at 20. Or maybe you can, but not without some element of risk.

Maybe risk is part of the appeal. But if you’re more concerned with safe sex—the kind that won’t lead to embarrassing ER visits—here are some suggested sex positions for every decade of life.

Your 30s

sex on all fours


About 25% of pregnant women experience pain around their pelvis, and roughly 8% are still dealing with it 2 years post pregnancy, U.K. researchshows. This often springs from “sacroiliac joint pain”—a discomfort around your sacrum (located at the base of your spine) and the iliac bones (the two large bones that make up your pelvis), explains Isa Herrera, a physical therapist at Renew Physical Therapy in New York. As a result, many women in their 30s experience pain when attempting certain sexual positions. To avoid this pain, Herrera recommends an oldie but goodie: sex on all fours. “Since your hands and knees are on the floor or bed, it keeps your pelvis neutral,” she explains.

sex spooning position


Even if pelvic pain isn’t an issue for you, sensitivity below the belt is common—especially if you’ve recently delivered. “Your nether regions will still be sore and tender, and your back may still hurt,” Herrera says. She recommends a “spooning position,” where you lie side by side with your partner, either facing each other or in the same direction. It’s great for new moms who are still tender because it allows a woman to control the speed and depth of penetration, points out NYC sex therapist Amy Levine.Your 40s

reverse cowgirl sex position


Cases of sciatica—pain in your lower back or hip that travels down through each of your legs—tend to first pop up in your 30s and 40s, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (Try one of these 6 stretches that relieve sciatic pain.) The two best positions for this are, you guessed it, spooning and all-fours, both of which take pressure off of the sciatic nerve, says Natalie Sidorkewicz, a doctoral researcher at Canada’s University of Waterloo who published a study on this very topic in 2014. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, Herrera recommends “reverse cowgirl.” Have your partner lie on his back, and sit on top of him with your back to his face. But “don’t lean forward, which can aggravate pain,” she notes.

flatiron sex position


You can also try the “flatiron” variation of the all-fours position: Lie facedown, knees slightly bent and hips slightly raised (so your butt is in the air), with a pillow under your chest for support. “This keeps your spine neutral, which will help ward off pain,” Herrera says. 

Your 50s

sitting sex position


Throughout menopause, the drop in estrogen may make sex more painful, thanks to dryness and thinning of vaginal tissue. You’re also more likely to develop “pelvic prolapse,” when a pelvic organ like your bladder drops from its normal place and pushes against your vagina, Herrera explains. Try a sitting position where you’re facing your partner and perched on his lap, so you can ease onto his penis very gently. Once you’re comfortable, you can control the movement to make it as rough or as gentle as you’d like. (Get your sex life back after menopause and beat weight gain with The Natural Menopause Solution.)

lying sex position


Another option is to lie on your back with a pillow underneath your hips and thighs to open up your pelvis and vagina for easier entry. (It also provides a little extra cushioning if your bones and joints are starting to get a wee bit achy.)Your 60s

standing sex position


About a third of men and women in their 60s suffer from osteoarthritis, according to the CDC. If that’s the case for you, positions that put a lot of pressure on your knees or hips—like all-fours or cowgirl—are out, says NYC physical therapist Lynn Berman. “I try to encourage my patients to stand, which eases pressure on joints and also helps strengthen their bones,” he says. Try standing with your back facing your partner as he enters you from behind. (Rest your arms on furniture for support and balance.)

missionary sex position


If you’re suffering from back pain—either from spinal osteoarthritis or a condition known as spinal stenosis—then your pain probably worsens when you arch your back or lie on your stomach. In this case, the missionary position with low-back support from a pillow is best, Sidorkewicz says. Straddling your partner works well, too, since you’re controlling the movement. “Instead of using your spine to roll your pelvis, use your knees and hips,” Sidorkewicz advises.


Intranasal Metoclopramide Evaluated for Diabetic Gastroparesis in Women

Evoke Pharma announced topline Phase 3 data demonstrating that treatment with EVK-001 for the symptomatic relief of acute and recurrent diabetic gastroparesis in adult women failed to achieve the primary endpoint at Week 4.

The Phase 3 study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy, safety, and population pharmacokinetics of EVK-001 in 205 adult women with diabetic gastroparesis. Patients either received EVK-001 or placebo four times daily for four weeks. The primary endpoint was the change in symptoms from the baseline period to Week 4 as measured using a proprietary Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) instrument, a tool used to calculate a weekly score based on the reported frequency and severity of gastroparesis signs and symptoms.

Preliminary study results showed that patients treated with EVK-001 and placebo had similar improvements in gastroparesis symptom frequency and severity at Week 4, however, results were inconsistent across study sites. Further evaluation of the data revealed that 28 of the 41 sites showed a statistically significant benefit for EVK‑001 (P=0.006) at Week 4, in contrast to the other 13 sites that showed statistically significant benefit for placebo (P=0.002). Additionally, the study showed that EVK‑001 has a favorable and tolerable safety profile which is consistent with findings from previous studies. The company will conduct additional analyses of the study once the complete datasets are available.

EVK-001 is a novel formulation of metoclopramide designed to provide systemic delivery through nasal administration.

For more information visit

The Compliment I Didn’t Expect After Giving a Speech With My Stutter

Microphone on podiumOver 70 million people in the world stutter to some degree. Yet for something that affects the daily lives of so many people, not a whole lot is known for certain about what causes stuttering, what makes it get worse, or what makes it get better. As a result, there are many misconceptions about this condition. Stuttering does not come about because of psychological problems. Nor does it make us any less intelligent or capable than those who do not stammer. I, along with millions of others lead regular lives just like anyone else would.

James Earl Jones, the accomplished stage and screen actor, is famous for his roles as the voices of Darth Vader and Mufasa. But what is not as well known is that he had a debilitating stammer. In his autobiography, there is a quote about his experience with stammering that jumps out of the page and in my opinion, defines what stuttering becomes to so many:

“I think a stutterer ends up with a greater need to express himself, or perhaps, a greater awareness of the deep human need for expression. Being a mute or stutterer leaves you painfully aware of how you would like to say something. And I would know, as an afterthought, how I could have said this or that. But at the moment, you are too busy making the choice to speak or not to speak, to use this word or that word. The pain is in the reflection. The desire to speak builds and builds until it becomes part of your energy, your life force.”

James Earl Jones is hardly the only famous person to stutter. There is a very long list of people who live in the limelight who do not let stuttering prevent them from achieving their dreams,  such as Emily Blunt, Ed Sheeran, and even Bruce Willis.

In my experience, stuttering is a speed bump. How large that speed bump is depends on the severity of the condition, but it is still a speed bump. It is something that sometimes makes us second-guess ourselves or prevents us from doing things we would like to do. But it doesn’t have to always be a speed bump. Just as much it can hurt, it can empower us to do great things as it has for countless others before us.

I have only recently begun to empower myself to achieve the heights I know are possible. The university I attend has a number of model diplomacy teams, all of which culminate in a trip to a conference, where the team represents a country in a simulation of various international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, or in my case, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As one might expect, participating in this sort of conference requires a lot of public speaking. As I described in a previous article, public speaking is hard enough without a stammer.

But through my amazing teammates I came to not hesitate when having to speak in public. One of my teammates and dear friends told me that she, along with the rest of the team, saw me as an inspiration. She said everyone was so inspired that I was able to stand up and give amazing speeches and not let my stutter limit me. Part of me wanted to believe that it was just her being nice, but I took her words to heart, and it showed when we went to Washington, D.C. for our conference.

I got up to speak to my fellow delegates many times during that conference. I was not able to be completely fluent during each of my speeches, but I did it with the understanding that most who were listening might be inspired to at least some degree by my actions. But if I needed validation for my beliefs, I received it on the final day of the conference, when one of the coordinators pulled me aside and congratulated me on my speaking skills, telling me that I was one of the best speakers there. The compliment was an unexpected but very pleasant surprise, and it renewed my belief that I could achieve my full potential despite my stutter. And for all intents and purposes, I began to reach my full potential during that conference.

Stuttering is a strange disability. It can tear people down and at the same time raise them to new heights. It can dishearten us just as easily as it can elate. But as John Stossel once said, “The happiest stutterers, I learned, are those who are willing to stutter in front of others.”

Source: themighty

Irving Gottesman, Pioneering Psychologist on Schizophrenia, Dies at 85

 Irving Gottesman, a pioneer in the field of behavioral genetics whose work on the role of heredity in schizophrenia helped transform the way people thought about the origins of serious mental illness, died on June 29 at his home in Edina, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. He was 85.

His wife, Carol, said he died while taking an afternoon nap. Although Dr. Gottesman had some health problems, she said, his death was unexpected, and several of his colleagues said they received emails from him earlier that day.

Dr. Gottesman was perhaps best known for a study of schizophrenia in British twins he conducted with another researcher, James Shields, at the Maudsley Hospital in London in the 1960s.

The study, which found that identical twins were more likely than fraternal twins to share a diagnosis of schizophrenia, provided strong evidence for a genetic component to the illness and challenged the notion that it was caused by bad mothering, the prevailing view at the time.

But the findings also underscored the contribution of a patient’s environment: If genes alone were responsible for schizophrenia, the disorder should afflict both members of every identical pair; instead, it appeared in both twins in only about half of the identical pairs in the study.

This interaction between nature and nurture, Dr. Gottesman believed, was critical to understanding human behavior, and he warned against tilting too far in one direction or the other in explaining mental illness or in accounting for differences in personality or I.Q.

“He came to terms with the fact that this was just all so complex,” William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and a former student of Dr. Gottesman’s, said in an interview. “It’s a challenge, and you can’t simplify any of it. You can’t say it’s 80 percent genetic or 80 percent environmental.”

And when other scientists chose to ignore that complexity for their own ends, Dr. Gottesman did not hesitate to point it out.

In testimony before Senator Walter F. Mondale’s Select Committee on Equal Educational Opportunity in 1972, Dr. Gottesman refuted assertions being made at the time that racial differences in I.Q. scores were entirely genetically determined, rather than influenced by inequalities in income, nutrition or other environmental factors.

“Closed minds, of whatever persuasion, are unwarranted on the nature-nurture aspects of human behavior and serve mainly to aid and abet those who must rationalize their prejudices,” he told the committee.

Irving Isadore Gottesman was born in Cleveland on Dec. 29, 1930, a son of immigrants from Hungary. His father, Bernard Gottesman, was a life insurance agent; his mother, the former Virginia Weitzner, was a homemaker.

The oldest of three children, he attended Shaker Heights High School, where he developed dual passions for science and pole-vaulting, and served in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. He served as a communications officer for three years during the Korean War, an experience colleagues said he spoke of proudly.

He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1953 with a major in psychology.

At the University of Minnesota, where he was a graduate student, Dr. Gottesman became curious about the role that genetics might play in forming personality traits or making people susceptible to mental illness. He began studying twins — at the time a novel approach to sorting nurture from nature.

Freudian theory still held sway in psychiatry and psychology departments across the country, and Dr. Gottesman’s 1966 study of schizophrenia in twins immediately caused a stir.

“Everybody today understands that genetics are important, but he was saying it when it was heresy,” said Thomas J. Bouchard Jr., a colleague at the University of Minnesota who has conducted landmark studies of twins reared apart.

Dr. Gottesman started the country’s first training program for behavioral genetics at the University of Minnesota in the mid-1960s, when the field was still controversial. Yet he also foresaw that no single gene would be found to control whether someone was predisposed to develop schizophrenia or other major mental illnesses.

“What we now find out is that the genes are all tiny and there are hundreds and hundreds of them, which is exactly what Irv was saying,” Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said in an interview.

Dr. Gottesman wrote 17 books and more than 300 papers, and held faculty positions at Harvard, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Virginia and elsewhere. An internationally known authority on schizophrenia, he also studied many other aspects of human behavior, from autism and alcoholism to violence and post-traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans. He is credited with importing the term “endophenotype,” originally used by biologists, into psychiatry, where it refers to the biological processes underlying psychiatric disorders.

In 1970 he married Carol Applen. She survives him, as do two sons, Adam and David; a sister, Judy Kossoff; and three grandchildren. A previous marriage, to Jeanette Olson, ended in divorce.

Dr. Gottesman was known for taking young scholars under his wing and advising them, but he could also be tough on critics of genetic research who did not understand the science.

“He didn’t suffer fools gladly,” Dr. Kendler said.

After retiring from the University of Virginia in 2001, Dr. Gottesman returned to the University of Minnesota. In 2012 he retired again, but he never stopped working, continuing to publish papers and emailing colleagues around the world to draw their attention to new studies.

“No matter what people tell you, he was a Minnesota psychologist,” said Matt McGue, a professor of psychology at the university. “I think his intellectual home was always here.”

Source: nytimes


Watch 7 Tips for Talking with the Child Who Stutters

Experts agree that most children who stutter benefit from taking time to speak at a rate that promotes fluency. These guidelines represent a number of ways that adults around that child can help promote the child’s fluency.

1. Reduce the pace. Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes before you begin to speak. Your own easy relaxed speech will be far more effective than any advice such as “slow down” or “try it again slowly. For some children, it is also helpful to introduce a more relaxed pace of life for awhile.

2. Full listening. Try to increase those times that you give your child your undivided attention and are really listening. This does not mean dropping everything every time she speaks.

3. Asking questions. Asking questions is a normal part of life – but try to resist asking one after the other. Sometimes it is more helpful to comment on what your child has said and wait.

4. Turn taking. Help all members of the family take turns talking and listening. Children find it much easier to talk when there are fewer interruptions.

5. Building confidence. Use descriptive praise to build confidence. An example would be “I like the way you picked up your toys. You’re so helpful,” instead of “that’s great.” Praise strengths unrelated to talking as well such as athletic skills, being organized, independent, or careful.

6. Special times. Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your undivided attention to your child. This quiet calm time – no TV, iPad or phones – can be a confidence builder for young children. As little as five minutes a day can make a difference.

7. Normal rules apply. Discipline the child who stutters just as you do your other children and just as you would if he didn’t stutter.