Marital Difficulties with Seniors

Posted on October 8, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |


I was recently asked to address the issue of elderly parents who are having marital difficulties. Often couples who are in mid-life are distressed by the struggles they witness between their parents. It may be that the problems have been there all along, or perhaps they have developed in the later years. Either way, it is painful to see parents unhappy, fighting with each other, or living in cold silence.

Sometimes a couple can have their spats, but are actually content with each other. Other times, being together has become increasingly difficult, to the point that it may be affecting the health of one or the other. No one wants to see an elderly couple go through divorce and face living alone after so many years of marriage.

It need not come to this, unless one is being abused, or would find it less painful to live alone than to go on struggling every day. It is not really healthy for the adult children to try to arbitrate either. Parents may perceive them as taking sides, and there may be hurt feelings all around.

Counselling is often the best solution. Seniors may resist this idea either because they feel awkward about the process or embarrassed to have a stranger know what goes on between them. They may also feel that it is too late for them to be helped. In reality, there can be a great sense of relief to find that many couples regardless of age share the same problems. Anxiety can be relieved when each person feels validated by the therapist, who allows neither to overpower the other. Stress is reduced when suggestions are made for dealing with differences, and strategies provided  for avoiding difficulties.

Many older people do not talk about their feelings, and end up having all kinds of pain locked up inside. In a safe atmosphere they may be guided into healthier patterns, and assisted to see the strengths in their relationship.

One of the rewards of a long marriage is to have comfort, companionship and support in the later years. It is never too late for a couple to try to recapture or develop those qualities. They just may need a little help.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

 

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stop ‘trying’!

Posted on September 27, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |


By Luc Majno:
(in this picture, yes, this moose got ‘strung up’ because when the lines were down, it got caught in them!!)
Good message today!!  WOW!  It’s like they were pointing at me! THINK:  MOOSE

Meditation for Monday september 27
It simply is not enough to be fuelled by the thought of sweet justice, of honesty, of goodness, and to think that all this will play itself out in the world.  If you don’t know how to handle yourself, you will constantly run up against others, difficulties will ensue, and you will easliy be discouraged.  So, what to do?
The key is to simply leave others alone, and keep on your task to be the best you can ever be, and to perfect yourself, so that, slowly but surely, when you present yourself before them, your Light will surprise them, and when they SEE you, they will realize that they have gotten lost and went astray and got stuck in the mud.
So as long as you try and show others that their road is perhaps not a good one to take,  you sink (with them) in the mud.
Solely work on perfection, on YOU, and work on your Light, and when you meet these people, and without you even saying a word, they will understand that you are in and have the Light, that you are Good and Honest and Truthful, and it is then that they will seek to imitate your actions and your Being.
(translated from french to the best of my abilities! ~ LMajno)

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10 Traits of Great Competitors

Posted on September 21, 2010. Filed under: Humanitarian Issues | Tags: , |


Posted on September 9th, 2010 by Todd Smith – View Comments |Print This Post

Competition is all around us. It arises whenever two or more parties strive for a goal that cannot be shared. We experience it in our personal and professional lives. It’s part of the fabric of our society.

How we compete is a reflection of our character and influences the way others perceive us in other areas of our lives.

Today’s lesson introduces ten traits of great competitors. Applicable in any competitive situation, adapting these traits will help you become a more respected rival.

Before you review the traits below, think of the last competition you were involved in. Maybe it was a heated game of family Monopoly, a high-stakes sales competition, or an intense tennis match. Whatever the circumstance, reflect on your behavior as you read through this list. What areas are most important to you? In which areas do you need to improve?

Ten Competitive Traits to Master

1. Congratulate your opponents when they win or experience success. This is the first rule of good sportsmanship and is equally applicable in the workplace.  Extending congratulations demonstrates that you are not a poor sport and lets others know that you are not harboring ill feelings that will linger after the competition has ended.

2. Be a gracious winner. Never rub a loss in your opponent’s face. No one cares to be around people who gloat over their wins.

3. Celebrate respectfully. It’s normal to feel good after a win of any kind and to want to celebrate, but be conscious of those around you who may not share in your jubilation. Excessive celebration will be a turnoff to most people.

4. Maintain a sense of decorum. Always be mindful not to say derogatory things about your competitor, their team, or their candidate. Remember (unless you are a prizefighter) when you speak poorly of your competitors it damages your credibility and reputation in the process.

5. Keep a consistent attitude whether you win or lose. Michael Jordan, one of the best basketball players of all time, was also one of the most respected competitors for the way he handled himself both on the court and off the court. Virtually all of the teams and players he competed against over the course of his basketball career speak equally about his gifted abilities and his humble demeanor.

6. Use restraint. Take care not to be overly competitive in individual or group activities. If you’re on a team, play your part or your position; don’t try to cover for anyone else. If it’s an individual contest, do your best, but also use your opponent’s level of ability as a guide for how intense your participation should be.

7. Keep a lid on your frustration. If you must rely on others to win a competition and find yourself frustrated, try not to let it show. This only discourages your teammates and makes you appear self-righteous. Instead be the voice of encouragement.

8. Play fair. You lose all credibility as a worthy competitor when you cheat. Even worse, you will lose people’s respect.

9. Give the advantage to your opponent. When a play or other measure of performance is questionable, give your opponent the benefit of the doubt.  Rarely will this cost you the competition, and it will always reflect well on your character.  After all, how do you feel about people who give you the benefit of doubt?

10. Avoid complaining.  No matter how you disguise it, when you complain about any aspect of a competition, it is perceived as whining, and nobody enjoys being around a whiner.

If you are as much a competitor as I am, some of these points will require self-control and some serious self-talk.  I must admit that most of these lessons I learned the hard way.

The next time you find yourself in the middle of a competition, remember it’s how you compete that will leave a lasting impression, not whether you win or lose.

Great competitors earn respect, both in the way they compete and in how they handle themselves after their victories and defeats.

Which of the above traits do you think most people struggle with? What are the things others do that bother you?  Please post your thoughts in the comment section below this post.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 29 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are listed #40 in America’s top 100 podcasts.)

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Racism and Tolerance:Teaching our Childen

Posted on September 7, 2010. Filed under: Humanitarian Issues | Tags: |


“Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught.  I have a two-year-old son.  You know what he hates?  Naps!  End of list. ” ~ Dennis Leary

It is troubling to hear, particularly in the U.S., of a backlash against Muslims because of the terrorist attacks. Attacks against mosques remind me of attacks against synagogues.  We should be equally appalled and equally outspoken against this kind of persecution against our fellow citizens who happen to be Muslim.

I have personally known many Muslims over the years and without exception have found them to be gentle, thoughtful, peaceful and wise. They are family-centered and compassionate. Certainly every cultural group or religion has its radicals, but we should be against terrorism, not roughly twenty-five percent of the world who are Islamic.

As parents, we may think that because our children are not exposed to racism in our home that we are doing our job. While the absence of racism is definitely a positive, it is not the same as teaching tolerance. In fact, we must move beyond tolerance (how would you feel knowing you were tolerated?) to teaching our children multi-cultural appreciation. How different it would be if our children were taught in school about different cultures and religions, their beliefs, traditions and practices.

Perhaps though, there is one small problem to overcome. If we believe that our way is better, or the only way, that we are chosen ones and that those who believe differently are somehow lesser beings, how can we possibly teach understanding and acceptance of others?

When I was about eight years old the boy next door told me I was going to burn in Hell because I was not Catholic! Of course I was terrified, and wondered “What kind of world is this that I live in?”  To my mind I cannot conceive of any God that would punish children,  or anyone, for the particular culture or belief system into which they were born.

So before we can educate our children into this multicultural world we all live in, we may have to clean house of our own prejudicial thoughts. We have to find a way to honor our own spiritual path in a way that does not dishonor others.

There may be roughly 6,866,600,000 of us on this planet, but we are all members of the same human family. Maybe it is time we started acting like one.

Gwen Randall-Young
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca


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Being Happy Is A Duty

Posted on August 3, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |


Being happy is a sort of unexpected dividend. But staying happy is an accomplishment, a triumph of soul and character. It is not selfish to strive for it. It is, indeed, a duty to ourselves and others.

If your life feels like it is lacking the power that you want and the motivation that you need, sometimes all you have to do is shift your point of view. By training your thoughts to concentrate on the bright side of things, you are more likely to have the incentive to follow
through on your goals. You are less likely to be held back by negative ideas that might limit your performance.Your life can be enhanced, and your happiness enriched, when you choose to change your perspective. Don’t leave your future to chance, or wait for things to get better mysteriously on their own. You must go in the direction of your hopes and aspirations. Begin to build your confidence, and work through problems rather than avoid them. Remember that power is not necessarily control over situations, but the ability to deal with whatever comes your way.

Always believe that good things are possible, and remember that mistakes can be lessons that lead to discoveries. Take your fear and transform it into trust; learn to rise above anxiety and doubt. Turn
your “worry hours” into “productive hours”. Take the energy that you have wasted and direct it toward every worthwhile effort that you can be involved in. You will see beautiful things happen when you allow yourself to experience the joys of life. You will find happiness when you addopt positive thinking into your daily routine and make it an important part of your world.

By Fay Huang

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If You Loved Me You Would Know

Posted on August 3, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |


“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives” ~ Anthony Robbins

Sometimes in relationships we say, “If you loved me, you would know!”  This is based on the belief that if someone really loves us, they will anticipate our every need. It is also based on the belief that it is that person’s responsibility to keep us happy.
Unfortunately, neither of those beliefs is true. There are many ways to feel love, and more ways to express it. To suggest to a partner that because he/she did not do what we expected, that proves they do not love us, is faulty logic, but extremely hurtful as well.
This may all go back to childhood. When we received a treat, or our parents did something special for us, we may have felt special and very much loved. These things made us happy. The inner child may yearn for that special feeling and look to the adult partner to provide it.
It is a parent’s job to anticipate the need of their child, as well as to nurture them, validate them, show affection to them and make them feel special. If we are constantly looking for these things in relationship, we need to do some work on our own inner child issues.
This is not to say that healthy adults do not need to nurture one another, show affection and value one another. It is just that in mature adult relationships we do not need this all the time, nor do we make the partner feel guilty if it is not there when we need it.
What we do instead is to let our partner know what we need, and how that need could be met. “I’m feeling kind of sad and could really use a hug,”  or “We’ve both been so busy lately, I’d really like to plan an evening for just the two of us.”
When you think about it, it makes so much more sense to simply ask for what we need, rather than to be angry and resentful because our partner is not a mind-reader.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

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Our Children, Our Future

Posted on August 3, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |


“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” ~Neil Postman

If you have children, or work with them, you are creating the future. These children will be not so much what we try to teach them to be, but rather what we are showing them in our own behavior.
What then, are we teaching them? Do we teach them to really listen to the point of view of others by truly listening to them, or do we teach them that only the loudest or most powerful get to talk?
Do we teach them to be respectful of people of other races or cultures, or do they hear us making derogatory comments or protesting because there is a mosque being built in our neighborhood?
Do we teach them to think for themselves by asking what they think, or do we teach them their thoughts do not matter because  “I’m telling you how it is!”
Do we teach them to be creative by allowing them to make things or invent pretend games to play, or do we allow them to spend hours in front of television or computer games and be passive consumers?
Do we teach them it is wrong to hurt or kill others, and that is why we do not want them playing computer games with these themes, or do they start early with these games and develop aggressive tendencies?
Do we get them thinking globally by letting them see that others are not so fortunate, and making contributions, however small to help others across the globe, or do we change the channel because we are tired of all the disaster relief news coverage?
Do we teach them that anger is destructive and usually makes things worse, and teach them healthy ways to express frustration, or do we rage at them or a spouse so they think if adults do it, it must be okay?
Do we teach them how to apologize by sincerely telling them we are sorry when our behavior is inappropriate, or do we never apologize because we think it will make us look weak, and demand that they apologize?
Do we teach them we all belong to the human family and must strive to find ways to live together peacefully, or do we carry on the old polarities of previous generations, so that nothing will ever change?
It is an awesome responsibility to raise a child. When young, they live and belong in our family: that is their world. One day, however, they will be the adults in the world. What messages will your children be carrying?

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca


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10 Things We Can’t Live Without

Posted on July 25, 2010. Filed under: Social Media, Technology | Tags: , , |


According to American news, these following things are part off their culture.

Some things could be different depending on culture and economy. ( example : Turkish coffee , Norway milk …)

Nearly everything had to go. A few months after losing her administrative job in the summer of 2008, 23-year-old Brianna Karp got rid of her furniture, a beloved piano, and most of her books so she could move back in with her parents. When that didn’t work out, she moved into an old trailer a relative had left her, settling into an informal homeless community in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Brea, Calif. By the summer of 2009, she was living without electricity, regular showers, home-cooked food, and most basic conveniences.

Karp held tight to one appurtenance, however: her laptop computer. She spent hours at a nearby Starbucks, using the wireless network to surf for jobs. A friend suggested she start a blog about her life on the edge, which she called the Girl’s Guide to Homelessness. It generated attention that helped land a part-time magazine internship. Then came an offer to write a book about her ordeal, which is due out in 2011–and might get turned into a movie. With some money from a book advance, Karp has upgraded to a better trailer, on a friend’s property, and she’s eyeing a Victorian fixer-upper she’d like to make her permanent home. Yet she craves few of the material things she’s given up, while cherishing the friends and opportunities she’s discovered online. “When you’re in survival mode, you slash everything,” Karp says. “That makes the online community that much more important. Online, somebody will always be there for me.”

The grueling recession that began in 2007 has upended American priorities, with frugality now considered a virtue for the first time in decades. Despite recent upticks in spending, retail sales remain lower than they were three years ago. Sales of homes, cars, and appliances have plunged. Shoppers have cut back on toilet paper and cigarettes, once thought recession-proof. Even porn sales are down. Thrift, it seems, has no boundaries.

Yet Americans have clung dearly to a few surprising necessities, reflecting changes in American society that go far beyond penny-pinching. Food, clothing and shelter have long been the most obvious staples. But data that’s finally rolling in as the recession winds down shows that we also require a bit of entertainment and a tasty beverage or two. Companionship is as important as ever–even if it’s not human. And you can’t even look for a job these days if you don’t have Internet access. As we redefine what’s really important, here are 10 new American essentials:

#1 – Portable computers. The iPad might be the latest must-have gizmo, but the power of computers transcends trendiness. Brianna Karp, for instance, discovered lots of homeless people online, many logging in through their own laptops, like her. Shipments of notebooks have skyrocketed over the last three years, with sales in 2010 likely to be double what they were in 2007, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Part of the jump comes from cheap netbooks, but portable computers of all sizes are becoming ubiquitous as we socialize, communicate, shop, get our news and increasingly live our lives online. Desktop sales, meanwhile, have been on a steady decline, as mobility trumps stability.

#2 – High-speed Internet access. Lots of people have cut back on cable TV, telephone service, and even gas and electricity usage. But once you’ve got high-speed Internet access, you don’t go back. In a Pew Research Center survey from last year, high-speed Internet was one of only three things people said was more of a necessity in 2009 than in 2006. Appliances like microwaves, clothes dryers and dishwashers, by contrast, were considered less essential in 2009 than they used to be. And data from the Telecommunications Industry Association shows that the rapid increase in broadband Internet subscribers barely slowed in 2008 or 2009.  By 2013, more than 90 percent of all Internet connections in the United States will be high-speed.

#3 – Smart phones. Overall sales of cell phones dipped for the first time ever in 2009. But sales of smart phones–which can handle email, browse the Internet and do a variety of other things–rose by 7 percent, according to TIA. And sales could surge by 25 percent this year, as people who have been putting off mobile upgrades finally nab the iPhone or Blackberry of their dreams. Like portable computers, smart phones have become a lifeline for the harried multitaskers we pretend we’re not.

#4 – Education. As Kevin and Deanna Daum were spiraling toward bankruptcy in 2009, they decided they could live without their two cars, their two residences, and most niceties. But they insisted on keeping up tuition payments for their son, then a senior at a private high school. Many Americans seems to feel likewise. While data doesn’t readily show how much families spend on schooling, many families say they’ve given up other things in order to protect their kids’ education, whether it’s private school or college, tutoring, enrichment programs or school-related activities. Private school enrollments fell by less than one percent from 2008 to 2010, and college enrollments have gone up over the last couple of years. That’s partly because jobs are scarce, but also because Americans simply value education. “This is an investment that pays off very well,” says Sandy Baum, an economist at the College Board. “People are willing to borrow for it and they know that it’s shortsighted to forego it.”

[See how to rebuild after losing your fortune.]

#5 – Movies. Ticket sales dipped in 2008 but bounced back in 2009, hitting a five-year high. One big reason was Avatar and other 3-D films, which accounted for 11 percent of the box office take in 2009, up from 2 percent the year before. Any box-office increase is a victory for movie theaters, which until last year had been losing viewers to home theater systems and an expanding lineup of movies on cable and the Internet.

#6 – TV. Amercians are spending less on entertainment–but watching more TV. A recent survey by consulting firm Deloitte found that they typical American watches nearly 18 hours’ worth of shows on a home TV each week, two hours more than a year earlier. One reason might be that more unemployed people are killing time at home. But TV might also seem like a cheap alternative to sports events, concerts and DVD purchases. And hard-core TV watchers can’t be all that strapped, since sales of high-definition TV sets have risen steadily right through the recession.

[See new ways to make your fortune on the Web.]

#7 – Music downloads. The need for mobility applies to music, too. CD sales fell by 21 percent in 2009, but downloads of singles and entire albums rose by nearly as much. The Pew Survey comparing luxuries and necessities helps explain why: More people considered an iPod a necessity in 2009 than in 2006, despite the recession.

#8 – Pets. Fido sits at the table these days. Maybe even at the head of the table. While Americans have cut spending on themselves, spending on pet food, supplies, grooming, vet care and clothing (clothing?) has been rising uninterrupted by about 5 percent per year. Industry officials attribute this to the “humanization” of pets, which in turn has led many pet owners to close the “quality of life gap” between their animals and themselves. The iWoof can’t be far behind.

#9 – Booze. Smoking less doesn’t make us entirely virtuous. Americans have backed off the high-end booze, but we’re drinking enough cheap stuff to make up for it, which is the usual trend during recessions. Beer and wine sales have inched up as well over the last few years. With bar and restaurant sales down, that suggests more people are drinking at home–while they watch TV, probably.

#10 – Coffee. Americans have actually followed that penny-pinching advice, and cut back on the $5 daily lattes. But they’re compensating by brewing more of their own coffee. About 56 percent of American adults drink coffee, a proportion that hasn’t changed over the last few years. But a recent survey by the National Coffee Association found that 86 percent of coffee drinkers make their own at home, up from 82 percent a year earlier. And those drinking coffee made someplace else (think Starbucks) fell from 31 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2010. Of course, if people are drinking more booze at home, then it makes sense that they’d be dosing themselves with more coffee, too. If the economy improves, maybe we’ll need less of each.


This newsletter has been written by moderator Sedat ESER of the group “Mind Sports”.

Visit the group here: http://www.xing.com/net/mindsports/

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Being Single

Posted on July 24, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |


“Sometimes you have to stand alone to prove that you can still stand.” ~ Anonymous

Being single is not a bad thing. Often I hear people who are newly single, or never married, express the feeling that being single is not a good place to be. “I don’t want to be alone!” they say.

Sometimes being alone is exactly what they need. Being alone can be an important time to really get to know oneself. That can be a scary thing at first, especially if one is on his/her own for the first time. But life is uncertain; there are no guarantees about anything. If part of our initiation into true adulthood is learning to be happy and functional while alone, we would be much more able to cope if, down the road, we find ourselves unexpectedly alone.

The feeling of not wanting to be alone is often based in fear, and comes from our inner child who feels abandoned if no one is there. It is based on a belief that we need to have someone there to make us feel whole, complete or okay.

This is quite different from the one who has taken the time to know the self well, is content and fulfilled in life, can manage life capably, but would prefer to share life with another. This individual is free to choose carefully and wisely, choosing on the basis of compatibility and desired qualities, rather than on need.

It takes courage to take a time out and really learn to enjoy one’s own company. There is the fear that if we do not keep looking, we will be alone forever. Well, it may actually be better to be alone forever than to get into a relationship that blocks your own growth as an individual, requires a lot of struggle, stresses you out and affects your health.

In fact, if you get to know yourself and do some growing, you may have an expanded concept of the kind of person you want to be with. Often the reason we keep repeating old patterns and attracting the wrong people is because we have not taken the time to really understand , love and honor ourselves.

Time alone may turn out to be a wonderful experience once you get used to it, and you may just decide that you are your best companion ever. Being alone does not have to mean being lonely if you get out into the world. And you might just love coming home to your own, quiet space afterward.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

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Are You an Emotional Eater?

Posted on July 24, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |



“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” ~ Robert Gary Lee

Many who struggle with weight are sabotaged by emotional eating. They eat when they are happy, they eat when they are sad, and sometimes they just eat because eating feels good. It can be terribly difficult to break this habit because it is usually quite deep rooted.

It goes back to childhood when eating “fun” food was associated with birthday parties, holidays and family get-to-gethers. In happy families, mealtimes had positive associations; mom and dad were there and the time may have included humor and affection.

These are not, however, the main things that cause emotional eating to persist. The real culprit is food that was used to comfort an upset child. If you hurt yourself, you got a treat. If someone was mean to you and you were upset, it was into the kitchen for a treat.

Why does this result in adult emotional eating?  It is because food was used to distract the child from the pain, and the pain itself was never dealt with. As a result, the child never learned how to think about or process painful events.

Where parents took the time to really explore the child’s feelings about what happened, they could help the child re-frame the event, learn not to take it personally, and know how to deal with similar events in the future. It is comforting for the child to hear these things, and over time they learn to think things through this way. They learn to self-comfort.

The adult who never learned this then distracts her/himself with food, and simply buries the pain. Over the years the well of pain becomes deeper and deeper. Every painful experience brings forth the vulnerable child who does not know what to do, so the automatic, often unconscious response is to reach for comfort food.

How does one get past this?  It is important to first recognize our pattern, and to re-visit the painful experiences of childhood. This can be difficult, which is why it is often done with a trusted therapist. The adult must learn to nurture and support the painful inner child, and then how to process the adult experiences which trigger the old pattern.

It can be a complex process, but it has taken a lifetime to develop and take hold. Healing the pain of the past is an essential step in moving forward.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

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