The Benefits of Gratitude


Androcles and the Lion

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Aesop

One of my favorite childhood stories is the Aesop's Fable of Androcles and the Lion, and it is still relevant today as the classic tale of gratitude. This is a tale of a simple kind act of a slave who removes a thorn from the paw of a lion, only to meet the same lion again later in one of the legendary arenas of ancient times in which, as punishment, humans were offered as meals to starving and ferocious lions. Both had been captured for these dark purposes. But when the lion saw Androcles he recognized him, and in a dramatic display of gratitude for removing the thorn from his paw he refused to attack. Instead, the lion greeted Androcles affectionately as an old friend.

The Wedding Series – Popping the Question

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

~ Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

There are as many different styles of proposing marriage as there are weddings, as discussed in last week's entry. Let's take a look at some of them.

The Wedding Series – Planning, Etiquette & Protocol

“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life,
love gives us a fairy tale.”
~ Author Unknown

Weddings often have a fairy tale aura about them, especially when they are held at beautiful venues, everyone is dressed up (sometimes in clothing they will never wear again!), music is playing, champagne is flowing, there are flowers everywhere and love is in the air. As well, smaller and simpler weddings can be equally charming and storybook-like. It's a time when romance takes center stage and the Bride and Groom -- starring leads in their own story -- are feted like no other time in their lives.

Chivalry – The “Benevolent Sexism”

Queen Guinevere by dashinvaine
Bing Images

"I lament that women are systematically degraded
by receiving the trivial attentions
which men think it manly to pay to the sex,
when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
~ Mary Wollstonecraft,
from her 1792 book,
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

Those are strong words from British author and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, who launched feminism in the 19th Century. Back then she and other women were bristling over the practice of on the one hand  men bowing to women, picking up their dropped handkerchiefs and opening doors for them while on the other hand denying them independence, education, careers and even the right to own their own property or control their own finances. Women did not even have legal custody of their own children and were considered property of their fathers and later their husbands. While the former treatment of women was viewed by some as "chivalry," the latter was considered by many to be a denial of rights.

College Campus “Etiquette”: Yes Means Yes, No Means No

 Bing Images - Women Against Campus Rape

"Enough is enough.
It’s time to stop sexual assaults on our college campuses."
Whoopi Goldberg

To continue my series this month on women's issues to commemorate National Women's History Month in the U.S. and International Women's Day on March 8, I am focusing on a situation that young women are facing on today's college campuses: rape and sexual assault.


Date Night – What A Woman Expects


Oh, this is the night, it's a beautiful night 
And we call it bella notte 
Look at the skies, they have stars in their eyes 
On this lovely bella notte. ~ Bella Notte
From "Lady and the Tramp"
Composed by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee

This is the first in a series of entries devoted to observing Women's National History Month during March in the U.S. 

Traditional dating still exists for most people, with the possible exception of younger Millennials -- and I encourage them to try it! Thus, it's helpful when men understand what women expect leading up to, during and after that important first date.


The Office Romance Minefield

Birds do it
Bees do it
With each other employees do it
They do it, they fall in love.

The Obamas did it. The Gateses did it. Even Michael Kors and Lance LaPere did it. They fell in love while working together. And, everything seems to have worked out well for these former workplace lovebirds. 

At the other end of the spectrum lives and careers have been left in ruins. Remember NASA astronauts Lisa Nowak and William Oefelein? Or the sensational criminal case involving former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former top aide Christine Beatty, who were involved in an extramarital workplace affair? And the equally sensational end to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy's administration due to an extra-marital affair with a subordinate.