Who’s More Mature: Men or Women?

Since, supposedly, men handle stress better than women it was only befitting to do research on which gender is more mature. I remember in school when my teacher said that girls develop faster than boys due to the physical changes which occur because of menstruation. It can start as early as 8 years of age.

Girls‘ brains can begin maturing from the age of 10 while some men have to wait until 20 before the same organisational structures take place, Newcastle University scientists have found. It is a well known truism that girls mature faster than boys. Dec 20, 2013 Girls really do mature quicker than boys, scientists find …
https://www.telegraph.co.uk › news › science › science-news › Girls-really-d…

Christopher Bergland
The Athlete’s Way

Scientists Identify Why Girls Often Mature Faster Than Boys

Brain connections generally become streamlined earlier in girls than in boys.

Scientists at Newcastle University in the U.K. have discovered that girls tend to optimize brain connections earlier than boys. The researchers conclude that this may explain why females generally mature faster in certain cognitive and emotional areas than males during childhood and adolescence. The new study was published on December 19, 2013 in Cerebral Cortex.

Of course, anyone who has read Middlesex knows that gender identification can be on a spectrum. Making generalizations about differences of brain structure based upon being a “boy” or a “girl” can be a slippery slope. That said, scientists are trying to solve the puzzle of why across larger data points there appear to be general differences between brain development among male and female cohorts.

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Whether you are male, female, or intersex, the brain undergoes a major restructuring during childhood. The connections in the brain that are not used regularly tend to shrink, and evaporate due to lack of use—while the neural networks that are regularly engaged are nourished and survive. This is called “fire and wire” and it’s the ultimate “use it or lose it” example of “neural Darwinism” and survival of the fittest among neural networks.

Optimizing brain connectivity is designed to give each human the best tools for survival in their environment. Unfortunately, in a modern world many of these highly fine-tuned connections are short-circuiting due to a neurobiological disorientation. The human brain cannot evolve fast enough to keep pace with the future shock of being born in the 21st century.

Many young people—especially boys—are vulnerable to the changes of growing up in a digital age. They become isolated and are thrown into a constant state of cortisol fueled fight-or-flight. This wreaks havoc on a young and vulnerable brain which needs to be in a parasympathetic state of “tend-and-befriend” to feel safe.

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Men and women; talk about these two species on Earth, and any discussion falls short of time and arguments. Right from superiority, looks, morals, to rights and social obligations, we (I mean the social world here) have always been on our toes to decode them in the simplest possible manner.

By decoding we mean all that makes a man and all that makes a woman. While the whole melodrama about how women were not treated as equals in the past has taken a considerable drop, there still is an age-old, dragged, (hyped?) and courageously carved statement – women mature faster than men. Believe me, I have known this fact, being the center of research and discussion, when it came to maturity and growing up.

So do women really mature faster than men? Or is this just another thought embedded by society, that is going to route feminism to another degree in the social world? Well, the answer is quite subjective, and it may irk a few readers, but from a neutral perspective, and after a good survey (which includes inputs from both men and women) we could say, YES. Most women mature faster than men. We take you through an interesting thought curve that supports this answer.

Let us begin with the scientific side of how and why women have a more matured behavior than most men their age.✧ Girls hit puberty earlier than boys, by at least 2 – 3 years. Since that moment, a girl becomes a woman, and is capable of producing babies! Strong enough fact? Now add to this the surge of hormones, making women go in all emotional directions at all times.✧ With puberty, just like the body goes through various changes, there also are many emotional and psychological changes that a woman experiences. It is also during this time that the gray matter develops in a woman’s brain. Social maturity gradually makes way during this whole process.✧ This is the point where we can define maturity, as the minds of both men and women diverge; which is puberty. It is the point where society starts implying the perspective that may define them as mature or not.

✧ Have we heard of comparisons of maturity of a 4 year old girl with a boy of the same age? No. Mainly, because maturity as a trait, has for long been envisioned, only after a girl or a boy reach a certain age; that is 12 or 13, which is also the age when they hit puberty. So, get the point why we say, early puberty in girls than boys is an important factor reasoning why women mature faster than men.

✧ Women were often given meager rights in the past. The fact that they had to prove themselves in all segments of society, made them more socially, physically, and spiritually aware than most men their age.

A scientific finding by Dr. Daniel Amen, highlights some physical aspects of the brain structure of men and women. This perhaps may prove why women ‘tend’ to mature faster.✧ The structure of the brain for men and women is different. A woman’s brain has more neural connectors from the limbic brain to the prefrontal cortex (also known as our thinking brain). So, here, in the thinking brain, we analyze, control our impulses, experience, learn, and create emotions. Hence, it can be said that women are more sensitive and expressive.✧ Expression gives freedom to be oneself and value for emotions. Girls can talk out issues, they can handle certain things that men are too practical to face. They have the warmth, the understanding, and a different perspective, that perhaps lifts them above men in terms of maturity.

✧ Being emotionally more connected, graceful, and sexually active, a woman gradually develops a deeper sense of attachment, a better understanding of all that is going on in her life, and all that is surrounding her.

✧ We could say that most young girls develop finer skills like self control, moral, and social values, while boys during the same age are getting good at sports and endurance. In society, being good at social presentation, wise and thoughtful, is considered as maturity, which obviously is portrayed by the fairer sex, considering the above said.

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It’s only right to end this with an anecdote.

Another morning at the gym with my homey dude Dad and we were talking about that gentlemen I’ve been having problems with. He wound up asking me, I will NEVER FORGET: do you think men are mature? I said, yes for the most part. (Dad) “So, you really think your Mom thinks I’m mature?!” (Me) “Yes, Dad, I do.” {laughter} (Dad) “You should ask your mother (lol). She would disagree (lol). You’ve heard her complain on how I get water all over the bathroom mirror and won’t wipe up after I’m finished. Or how I can just put my clean the residue buildup on the soap after I shower. Or the times I drop my shoe on the floor when she’s trying to sleep to put them on. Kat, you have to ask her!” {laughter until my side is hurting and tears fill my eyes}. (Me) “Okay Dad! I’m shocked because I never thought I’d hear a MAN tell me that men are immature. That is one for the books that every woman needs to know!” (LMBO)

Okay! Okay! What are you thinking?

KATch-UP Mondays: Men Handle Stress BETTER Than Women? Hmmm …

It is obvious that male and female roles are different. No doubt about that. It’s safer to say that both genders handle stress equally than to say one or the other, but researchers have a different opinion.

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Gender differences in stress response: Role of developmental and biological determinants

Rohit VermaYatan Pal Singh Balhara,1 and Chandra Shekhar Gupta2Author informationCopyright and License informationDisclaimer This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.Go to:

Abstract

Stress response is associated with manifestations of various psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. Hence, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms that influence this association. Moreover, men and women tend to react differently with stress–both psychologically and biologically. These differences also need to be studied in order to have a better understanding in the gender difference observed for many disorders, which are likely to be contributed by the gender difference in stress reactivity and responses. Such an understanding would have a significant impact on our understanding about how adult health is set during early life and how adult disease could be prevented in men and women. Keywords: Gender, psychiatric disorders, stress response

Stress can be defined as a real or interpreted threat to the physiological or psychological integrity of an individual that results in physiological and behavioral responses. In Eastern cultures, stress has been viewed as an absence of inner peace. On the other hand, the Western culture has viewed stress as a loss of control.

Gender is an important determinant of human health, and there is a clear pattern for the sex-specific prevalence rates of various mental and physical disorders. Susceptibility to infectious diseases, hypertension, aggressive behavior, and drug abuse is generally observed to be higher in men. Conditions such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety disorders are relatively more prevalent among women.[14] The observed gender-specific disease pattern may be partly attributed to effects of sex hormones as some of these gender differences emerge during reproductive years and gradually diminish after menopause.[5] Individual differences in stress reactivity have been proposed as a potentially important risk factor for gender-specific health problems in men and women.[2,6]Go to:

HYPOTHALAMIC-PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS AND AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

Assessment of gender differences in stress reactivity relies primarily on measuring physiological responses to acute stressors in laboratory settings. This includes activities of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis (eg, cortisol) and sympathetic nervous system (eg, heart rate and blood pressure). Greater acute HPA and autonomic responses have been found in adult men as compared to adult women, with the help of standard performance-related psychosocial stressors such as public speaking.[2,3] Pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, aggression, and immune suppression in men are likely to be influenced by this greater sympathoadrenal responsiveness.[4,7]

HPA response patterns differ markedly between males and females. This has been demonstrated in both animal and human studies. The biochemical profile of human beings varied from that of rodents with regard to stress-related neurochemicals such as basal Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone levels.[8] While the basal level as well as variance in response to stress is uniformly higher in females of rodents, the picture is more complex in humans. A relatively higher secretion of ACTH with comparable total cortisol levels under basal conditions has been observed in men. This finding reflects an increased sensitivity of the adrenal cortex in women as compared to men.[9] However, no gender differences are observed at the pituitary level on challenging with synthetic Human Corticotropin-Releasing Factor (h-CRF) with or without pretreatment with dexamethasone.[10,11] The response is different to ovine CRF[12] or a combination of h-CRF and vasopressin with respect to ACTH secretion, with women being more responsive.[11]Go to:

GONADAL STEROIDS AND MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Female sex hormones attenuate the sympathoadrenal and HPA responsiveness. This leads to sluggish cortisol feedback on the brain and less or delayed containment of the stress response. Tendency of women to develop depression is related to the compromised cortisol feedback effects on HPA arousal.[2,6] Ovariectomy leads to attenuated HPA responses, whereas estradiol substitution induces HPA stimulation in animal studies.[13] An increased HPA-axis response to stress in females is observed in gonadectomized or neonatally estrogenized rats. This effect is independent of differences in circulating gonadal steroid levels.[14] This suggests an innate or organized difference in the HPA-axis response to stress. Genomic differences, organizationally or developmentally programmed effects (caused by earlier differential gonadal steroid exposure), and/or acute, activational effects of recent gonadal steroid exposure are some of the possible underlying mechanisms reflected in the observed sex differences in the central nervous system function. The sex differences in HPA axis responses would be expected to disappear if gonadal steroids were removed. On the contrary, sexual dimorphism would persist if the responses were not dependent on the concurrent gonadal steroids. Low levels of estradiol are observed in the early follicular phase, which peak shortly before or during ovulation and slowly decrease throughout the luteal phase. Basal as well as stimulated ACTH and corticosterone levels are the highest around the time of ovulation in rats.[15] Human studies have produced inconsistent results with respect to possible changes in the HPA activity during the menstrual cycle.[16]Go to:

PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGICAL MARKERS

There is a difference in susceptibility of women and men to specific immunological disorders. This suggests gender dimorphism of the immune system. Gender may exert differential effects on the immune system by modulating Glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity of proinflammatory cytokine production.[17] The HPA axis can be activated by a wide variety of psychosocial and physiological stressors. This results in the secretion of GCs and modulation of specific immune responses. Psychosocial stress, such as academic examinations, leads to decreased cellular immune function.[18] This is mediated by profound changes in cytokine secretion. GCs suppress major type 1 cytokines, interferon-alpha, and Interleukin (IL)-2, produced by TH1 helper cells. However, type 2 cytokines, IL-4, and IL-10 remain unchanged. Humoral immune responses are favoured, while cell-mediated immunity is suppressed by this shift toward a type 2 cytokine pattern.[19] GCs specifically inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1, and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-alpha) in monocytes and macrophages. The anti-inflammatory cytokines remain unaffected or are even stimulated.[20]

HPG axis exerts direct and indirect effects on the immune system. HPA axis acts as a regulatory feedback loop that shuts off inflammatory responses to invading antigens after the initial response or in a state of stress. Cellular immunity is inhibited by estrogen, as it induces a shift in cytokine balance toward a type 2 cytokine response.[21] Monocytes and macrophages are affected in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of proinflammatory cytokine production occurs at higher concentrations and stimulation at lower concentrations.[22] Proinflammatory cytokine production is inhibited by progesterone as well. This action of progesterone is mediated by its competitive binding to the GC receptor.[23] Testosterone inhibits immune functions to some extent.[21,24]Go to:

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NEUROIMAGING CORRELATES AND TASK STRATEGY

The understanding of neuroanatomical substrates underlying human emotional processes tightly related to stress has been facilitated by functional neuroimaging studies.[25,26] However, these studies suffer from a major limitation. The majority of emotional stimuli employed in existing Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies (eg, fearful faces) lack critical features of a standard psychosocial stress paradigm. Such a paradigm comprises motivated performance tasks along with social-evaluative threat and/or subjective feelings of uncontrollability.[27] A gender-specific neural activation model underlying the central stress response has been observed in these studies. This includes asymmetric prefrontal activity in males and, primarily, limbic activation in females.[28]

Negative affective style and suppressed immune function have been associated with high levels of right-sided prefrontal activation.[29] The Right Parieto-Frontal Cortex (RPFC) plays a major role in regulating negative emotions. This effect is most evident in moderating and inhibiting Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex (DACC) and amygdala hyperactivities associated with negative affect.[30,31]

Persistent DACC activation following stress observed in female subjects might predispose women to mood disorders and depression if there is no modulating effect of RPFC. RPFC may be a critical neural substrate mediating adaptation and coping under stress.[32] Activation of RPFC and right parietal regions has been associated with various cognitive control tasks, including working memory, response selection, and task switching, as well as inhibitory functions.[33] The role of ventral striatum along with several limbic regions has been implicated in learning, reward, motivation, and emotion.[34] The observed gender differences in central stress responses might be a result of computational roles subserved by these brain regions.

The general trend of greater acute HPA and autonomic responses in males as compared to females by using performance stress paradigms is supported by the neuroimaging findings.[2] A greater degree of emotional “rewinding” (melancholy thinking) or reflection of own emotional traits observed in females as compared to males after completion of stress tasks is a likely consequence of persistent cingulate activation.[35] However, such observations are not consistent across studies. Some studies have found that adoption of social rejection task as the stressor instead of achievement tasks resulted in either no gender difference in stress reactivity or greater cortisol elevation in females.[27] It has been proposed that women are more likely to be negatively affected by interpersonal events than men.[36]

The complex nature of gender-specific stress response is reflected in the differences in experimental findings and alternative theoretical models. The findings are likely to be influenced by type of stressor/challenge, experimental procedure, outcome measured, subject status, and modulation by other stress mediators.[27]Go to:

GENETIC MODULATION AND ENDOPHENOTYPE/ PERSONALITY PREDISPOSITION

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The tendency to display negative effect in response to minor stressors in daily life is a part reflection of genetic liability to depression. It has been postulated as a true depression endophenotype.[37,38] However, depressive disorder develops in only a small fraction of individuals exposed to stressful life events (SLEs).[39] This could be result from greater sensitivity to depression-inducing effects of SLEs among some individuals as compared to others.[40,41] Personality trait,[4244] childhood adversity,[45] and indirect measures of genetic risk for depression and anxiety, derived from twin or family studies[46,47] are some of the factors shown to increase sensitivity to SLEs. A length polymorphism in the gene encoding the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) could be responsible for the moderating effect of genetic risk on the relationship between life events and depression.[48] However, this effect was observed only for the mild stressors rather than the severe life events.[49] An interaction between a genetic polymorphism and a stable psychological trait to experience the environment as stressful may be the manifested sign of an underlying interaction between a genetic polymorphism and SLEs.[39] Additionally, the 5-HTTLPR genotype may moderate the association between depressive disorder and the tendency to experience the environment as stressful.

Patients with depression or anxiety tend to score higher on neuroticism, extraversion, and facets of agreeableness and conscientiousness than individuals without these conditions.[50] Neuroticism has been associated with social phobia, agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and major depression. Introversion has been associated with social phobia and agoraphobia. Neuroticism not only predicts the onset of depressive symptoms and depressive disorder,[51] but also increases the risk of exposure to SLEs.[52,53]Go to:

COGNITIVE STRUCTURE

As characterized by Beck, sociotropy reflects a high need for interpersonal relationships with a focus on ‘pleasing others to avoid disapproval’ in order to secure attachments. However, an increased need for independence with an elaborated focus on “control” and personal freedom to reduce possibility of failure is reflected in autonomy.[54] Beck postulates that elevated levels of sociotropy and autonomy increase one’s sensitivity to the depressogenic effects of certain types of stressful life events.

Cognitive styles reflective of ‘concern about disapproval’ and ‘need for control’ pose significant risk for depression independent of the effects of stressful life events.[55] Individuals rating higher on these two cognitive styles are likely to be at greater risk for depression in the presence of stressful life events.[56] Kendler et al. reported that women are more sensitive to depressogenic effects of interpersonal problems with individuals within their proximal network.[57] Ruminative thinking is also more common in women and is associated with an increased risk of depression.[58]Go to:

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FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT V/S TEND-AND-BEFRIEND MODEL

There is a difference in the stress response exhibited by men and women. It is characterized by ‘fight-or-flight’ in men and ‘tend-and-befriend’ in women.[59] This hypothesis is supported by neuroendocrine and behavioral evidence. The physiological stress response typically involves activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the HPA axis in both genders. However, the stress response specifically builds on attachment care-giving processes in females. This tends to buffer the sympathetic and HPA arousal.

It was observed that the RPFC is activated and Left Orbitofrontal Cortex (LOrF) is suppressed by stress. RPFC is an important part of both the negative emotion and vigilance systems and LOrF is associated with positive emotion and hedonic goals.[60] The hypothesis that stress responses in men may be primarily characterized as “fight-or-flight” is supported by the observation that RPFC activation and LOrF deactivation with stress is predominately observed in the male brain. Involvement of the limbic system including ventral striatum, putamen, insula, and cingulate cortex underlies the stress response in females.[61] The observed limbic activation to stress in female subjects is more consistent with a ‘tend-and-befriend’ rather than a ‘fight-or-flight’ model.

However, it is noteworthy that ventral striatum activation is not a unique marker for the involvement of the reward system and has been implicated in numerous processes.[62] Also, the isolated fMRI environment is hostile to the formation of social attachment under stress. Some authors have suggested that the gender difference in emotionalism per se may be an ill-posed question.[63,64]

Okay, before I end, I do apologize that the blog got this long. The information just kept getting to me so I decided to share. But I’m excited because I already have another idea for tomorrow’s blog!

Until next time …. don’t stress!

Blog Fridays: “Sleepless in The City”

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Tired? Fatigued? Perhaps feeling lackadaisical?! There are times when our days are just … off. No sugarcoating, remember?! It’s an absolute that each and everyone of us have felt that grog, at least, once. We have different remedies to put us back at the top of our game. Or … do we? For those of you who don’t really know what to do, and it’s no alarming condition where you need to go see your doctor [IF IT IS GO RIGHT NOW! STOP READING AND MAKE THAT APPOINTMENT NOW!] here are some tips …

Tips and tricks

  1. Avoid chemicals that disrupt sleep, such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.
  2. Eat lighter meals at night and at least two hours before bed.
  3. Stay active, but exercise earlier in the day.
  4. Take a hot shower or bath at the end of your day.
  5. Avoid screens one to two hours before bed.

More items…•Feb 16, 2017 8 Insomnia Home Remedies: Exercises, Oils, and More
https://www.healthline.com › health › healthy-sleep › insomnia-home-remed…

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What is the most effective natural sleep aid? 9 Natural Sleep Aids That Are Backed by Science

  1. Melatonin. Share on Pinterest. …
  2. Valerian Root. Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. …
  3. Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of processes in the human body, and is important for brain function and heart health. …
  4. Lavender. …
  5. Passion Flower. …
  6. Glycine.

Aug 20, 2017 9 Natural Sleep Aids That Are Backed by Science – Healthline
https://www.healthline.com › nutrition › sleep-aids

How do you fall asleep in 5 minutes? This breathing exercise will help lull you to sleep for free:

  1. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds.
  2. Hold your breath for seven seconds.
  3. Slowly breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds.
  4. Repeat this process until you fall asleep.

Mar 15, 2019 Five super-easy hacks to help you fall asleep in five minutes flat
https://www.theloop.ca › five-super-easy-hacks-to-help-you-fall-asleep-in-fi…

How can I force myself to sleep? Here are 20 simple ways to fall asleep as fast as possible.

  1. Lower the Room Temperature. Share on Pinterest. …
  2. Use the “4-7-8” Breathing Method. …
  3. Get on a Schedule. …
  4. Experience Both Daylight and Darkness. …
  5. Practice Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness. …
  6. Do Not Look at Your Clock. …
  7. Avoid Naps During the Day. …
  8. Watch What and When You Eat.

More items…•Oct 30, 2017 20 Simple Ways to Fall Asleep as Fast as Possible – Healthline
https://www.healthline.com › nutrition › ways-to-fall-asleep

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Happy sleeping!!

Are You Hypocritical Like Me? Hmm, But, Am I?

Seaworld Amusement Park was really fun a few years ago! I really enjoyed myself. I, recently, decided to look into it to see if I should visit again but discovered this tragedy instead. How is it that I didn’t catch this when I Googled it before?! I hate being blindsided by something that was so obvious! Naivety is not a factor. And send (though it’s over 9 years later) my deepest and greatest sympathy to Dawn Brancheau’s Family!

SeaWorld Trainer Killed by Whale Had Fractured Jaw and Dislocated Joints by Mark Mooney. March 31, 2010

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SeaWorld’s killer whale Tilikum broke its trainer’s jaw, fractured part of her vertebra and dislocated one of her elbows and a knee while thrashing her around its pool, according to an autopsy released today. The autopsy determined that Dawn Brancheau died of blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso, and drowning when the giant orca yanked her into SeaWorld’s pool Feb. 24.

The orca’s was so violent with Brancheau that part of her scalp was “forcibly torn from the head,” the autopsy said.

The 40-year-old trainer was at ease with the killer whale and had just petted him on the nose. However, in a scene that horrified SeaWorld visitors, Tilikum grabbed her long ponytail when she turned her back, pulled her into the pool and began swinging her around in its mouth.

SeaWorld patrons quickly were ushered out of the area and workers tried to corral Tilikum, but by the time they retrieved Brancheau’s body she was dead.

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The whale’s violent motions fractured Brancheau’s lower jaw, part of her vertebra and several ribs, the autopsy determined. She also dislocated her left elbow and left ear. In addition, she had scrapes on her right ear.

The autopsy was released as SeaWorld and Brancheau’s family await a court ruling on their request to keep private a video of the fatal attack. The whale’s attack was recorded by SeaWorld’s surveillance cameras.

An attorney for Brancheau’s family, Jon Mills, argued that the family’s right to privacy outweighed the public’s right to view the video.

“There is no constitutional right to voyeurism and there is a constitutional right to privacy,” Mills said.

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Unless a judge intervenes, the material will become public under Florida law once the Orange County Sheriff’s Office concludes its investigation.

Tilikum, a male or bull whale, has lived at the park since 1992, and is the largest of SeaWorld’s eight killer whales.

Since Brancheau’s death, Tilikum has been removed from SeaWorld’s show and new protocols keep trainers away from the whale.

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Sadly, this story continues, insomuch, that Tilikum killed before. This incident was the last time. He died in January of 2017 of a bacterial infection.

I find myself torn in certain ways. I’m definitely not the type to see animals, and certainly not people for that matter, get killed in any way shape or form. Again, as the story continued, they didn’t put Tilikum to death. Should he had been since there were two other incidents one of which a man, Daniel P. Dukes, hid until the park’s closing, stripping to just his underpants, got into the tank with the orca.

Seems rather hypocritical! I’ll step on a cockroach; get a shoe to kill a spider; pay the exterminator to spray the house for ants and to ensure no mice allowed on premises! Is killing the small insect different from the large monkeys? Monkeys are large in comparison to a lady bug. But, regardless, is it merited? I’m at a loss on this one.

What’s your take?

The Blank Page — Pictures Like Thousands of Words

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019. It’s the latter part of dawn a mind scattered in the loneliness of dread. A writer’s worst fear has gripped — speechlessness has succumb. What should be done? Is there a way out? Are you even a writer when the block lasts more than a day; two … three?!

The inconsistent stroke of the keys reverberating — “type .. type … come up with something.” Words, phrases, sentences … formulate! Create the paragraph that will fill the page; tell a story. Writers have something to say but if they don’t? ….

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“Maybe I shouldn’t be here. Maybe the real truth is that I don’t belong. How can I claim the title when the words don’t want to flow? The ideas escape like the break of a dam running into the ocean. So, why am I here? I mustered up the courage to try to place myself in the arena with people who have mastered the idea to ideas. This is, yet, another avenue of disqualification! Perhaps, taking the hint is best!”

Not just one of those days. It’s one of those weeks. But an entire week?! It’s only Wednesday; two days left before there’s a “break.” I’m kidding myself. I was able to overcome the guilt of not writing on weekends. I was able to conquer the fear of joining the band of writers. I look for you but no one is looking for me! It’s failure reminding me that everything I touch turns to dust!

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Maybe today’s view is: can the string of disappointments stop you from trying again? It can, but it shouldn’t. When you discover your lane you blossom as never before. Oh, you will hit some pitfalls! It’s a part of how it goes no matter how great you are at something. I, and you (well, those who even run into the writer’s block [creativity’s] wall) must get back up and try again. Failure is the completion of an individual who has walked away and never returns!

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And, yet, here I am!!

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions — It’s Worth Repeating

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I’ve addressed this before but I believe it needs another reflection. Can you take away a person’s right to choose? There’s a notion that someone can take away such a thing. If there is a rule it will, somehow, make the decision for us; however, this isn’t entirely true. How can you remove a person’s thought, regardless, of good or bad? You’d have to be God and, last time I checked, neither one of us are! He doesn’t take it away! He gave us this right because He wanted a relationship, but that’s another blog for another time.

While at the gym this morning, I was speaking with my Dad of how most people don’t realize a non-choice is a choice. Case in point to the above, when the judge renders a verdict (or jury) the accused can still decide to accept it or not. Seems rather strange to say considering if the verdict was life in prison, but the truth is the accused could break away from the guard(s), kill him or herself, bust out; just too many to count. They’ve made many movies where a person plotted some type of escape (choice).

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The enlightenment of today’s blog is our choices are the root to everyday! God told me some years back that I made the decision for the life I have. I was stunned! It didn’t dawn on me that I kept choosing the life I’m living. Why? I have no clue. How could I not see that I kept making choices that kept placing me in certain predicaments? LOL. Kinda funny when you think about it. See yourself, you’re making choices that are leading you where you are. Those ups and downs are joined together formulating what our todays and tomorrows will be.

Take courage that no one can ever silence you! But take greater pride to try to better your choices through wisdom principles! — important notation … checking with God will help (smile)!!

KATch-UP Mondays: I See You

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Good morning! What better way to start the week than to remind each other and probably, MOST IMPORTANT, ourselves that you are seen?! You are heard. You are recognized. Someone is reading your posts. Someone knows and someone is always there. Today, like everyday, we need to take out time to appreciate the existence of our fellow brother and sister. Some may take that in a literal sense; I concur especially since I’m very close to my brothers. I’ve just come to realize my family extended beyond blood. We have band together as bloggers. Readers! I appreciate you! Thank you for your craft. Thank you for being a participant!

This blog, in a way, seems strange. We write and we know (or hope {smile}) someone will read what we post. To put some type of “encourage” seems odd for a blog. It’s done all the time, I know, but somehow it’s seem strange in the moment. I guess because it’s a blog. In a sense, I’m thinking this is something you’d put on FaceBook or Twitter; other social media outlets. Is blogging like social media? Hmmm! For the first time in social media status … I have consistency lol!

I see you! Now, do me a favor and pay it forward!