Q. Can love really last a lifetime?
Absolutely-but only if you chuck the fairy tale of living happily ever after. A team of scientists recently found that romantic love involves chemical changes in the brain that last 12 to 18 months. After that, you and your partner are on our own. Relationships require maintenance. Pay a visit to a nursing home if you want to see proof of lasting love. Recently I spoke to a man whose wife of 60 years was suffering from advanced Alzheimer's disease. He came to sit with her everyday and hold her hand. " She's been my best friend since high school" he told me. "We made a promise to stick together." Now, that's a love story.
Q. Why do married folks begin to look like one another?
Watch any two people who life each other talking, and you'll see a lot of mirroring. One smiles, and so does the other. One nods or raises her eyebrows, and so does the other. Faces are like melodies with a natural urge to stay in sync. Multiply those movements by several decades of marriage, all those years of simultaneous sagging and drooping, and it's no wonder!
Q. Can a marriage survive betrayal?
Yes. It takes time and work, but experts are pretty unanimous on this one. In her book The Monogamy Myth, Peggy Vaughan estimates that 60 % of husbands and 40 % of wives will have an affair at some point in marriages. That's no advertisement for straying-but the news is good for couples hoping to recover from devastating breaches of trust. The offended partner needs to make the choice to forgive-and learn to live with a memory that can't simply be erased. Infidelity is never forgotten, but it can gradually fade into murky background of a strong, mature marriage.
Manners & Morals
Q. When should you reveal a secret you said you wouldn't?
It's a matter of damage control. Is the person who asked you to keep the secret in danger of hurting himself or others? If so, intervene. Otherwise, mum's the word.
Q. What do you do if you see a parent berating a child?
Cringe. Take a deep breath. If you truly believe you can help the situation, approach as someone showing sympathy-not as an accuser or member of the parent police. Empathize with the overstressed parent. Suggest that he take a deep breath. Tell him it worked for you.
Q. Why is it so hard to say you're wrong?
Because it often involves saying, "I'm sorry," which is even harder. Throughout history people have found it easier to stop speaking to one another, punch , slander, shoot and bomb rather than apologize. Tip: Next time say, "Whoops," and see what happens.
Money & Other Headaches
Q. Does money really buy happiness?
No, Because happiness isn't for sale. Many people get tripped up by this one, amassing wealth only to find themselves cycling into a bottomless pit of unsatisfiable yearning. Turns out, joy and misery are not that far apart when it comes to very big wads of cash. Consider the case of an American couple who won $34 million in 2000. Thrilled to be released from the demands of their fortune away on fancy cars, mansions, all the usual stuff-losing everything that mattered in the process. They divorced, he died of an alcohol-related illness, and she died alone in her new house just five years after cashing the winning ticket. When it comes to happiness, only people you love, and who love you, can bring it. If you have enough cash to buy yourself a luxurious yacht, but no real friends to sail with, you're sunk.
Q. Can spenders and savers stay married?
Sure-and they won't run out of things to talk about either. Disagreements over money are a leading cause of divorce, so experts advise lots of work around this issue if, financially speaking, you've found yourself married to your opposite. Tip: Always talk in terms of "ours" instead of "mine" or "yours," and work your strengths. The saver should be allowed to draft the budget; the spender gets to be in charge of vacations, celebrations and ordering extra toppings on the pizza.
Q. Is money the root of all evil?
No. Greed is. Elvis nailed this one when he said," Sharing money is what gives it its value."
Q. Do animals really have a sixth sense?
Or seventh or eighth! A box jellyfish has 24 eyes, an earthworm's entire body is covered with taste receptors a cockroach can detect movement 2000 times the diameter of a hydrogen atom-and your dog's sense of smell is up to 100000 times greater than yours (some dogs have been known to smell human cancers). It's safe to say that animals experience a much different world than we do.
Q. Why does the lane you're driving in always move the slowest?
Because you're late for your kid's music practice, and you curse your luck and envy those speeding by. Conversely, when you're in the fast lane, unfettered by stress, you don't even notice the poor schlubs in the slow lane. Good luck rarely commands one's attention like bad luck.
Q. By what age should you know what you want to do with your life?
Any moment now. This used to be a question the young asked. Now it's a quandary for baby boomer's. The younger boomer's have abandoned the ideal of picking a job and sticking with it . The wisdom of elders in all cultures seems to be this: There's nothing to do with a life but live it. As Gandhi pointed out," Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
Q. Where do traffic jams come from?
Scientists are hard at work on this one, studying computer models of the physics of gridlock and investing all new traffic-light algorithms. Some of them postulate that the rhythms of car traffic are influenced by the same cyclical forces that cause waves in the ocean. For the average commuter, though, it may be helpful to think of it this way: congestion. There are just too many darn people trying to do the same thing at once. (This often leads to chaos, or absolute standstill.) All of this by way of saying: Buy a newspaper, load up some favorite tunes on your MP3 player, and take the bus.
The Ultimate Test
Q. Does the toast really always fall buttered-side down?Scientists conducted a study for which they first toasted an entire loaf of bread, one slice at a time. They buttered each slice, and dropped it from a variety of heights ranging from table top to ceiling. Among their findings. A dropped piece of toast never lands on its edge; stomping your foot and yelling "Darn!" does not change a thing. Well, life's like that. Never as meat as you'd like it to be.
Blogged with Flock