What Exactly is Political Correctness (PC) Anyway?

At a recent social event a woman began mocking the religious beliefs of someone she worked with.  She joked about his religious principles and ridiculed the personal, private actions that went with them.  Her behaviour cut through me like a knife. I felt a gash of pain deep in my chest as she made another human being the target of her dark humour in this way.  Her comments quickly escalated to mocking people with accents.  I could tolerate the wrenching pain it caused in me no longer and suggested she refrain from this behaviour.  I said it gently but clearly, suspecting I would be the next target of this verbal mistreatment.  “I’m not politically correct”, was her answer.  So what exactly did that mean, I wondered?

For several days afterward the idea kept popping into my head. What does it mean to be politically correct (PC) and how does this really affect us in our everyday lives?  The definition of PC taken from Webster’s is the notion that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.  It seems pretty simple yet some say it’s gone too far while others say it’s not gone far enough.  Looking at the definition again it seems to mean refraining from language or behaviour that harms others.  Taking this one step further, I ask myself why someone would want to do that? Why is it acceptable to use language in the form of humour, exclusion, or outright abuse to harm others in any way, no matter what the situation?

When we strip away all the rhetoric the reason it’s not acceptable is actually very simple; another term for PC is kindness.  Kindness is defined by Webster’s as the state of being considerate.  This is the state of being thoughtful, respectful, understanding and caring.  If it’s not kind, don’t say it. If it hurts someone (even by association) then don’t do it.  Inflicting pain on others is never the road to one’s own best self and in the end, it’s the one who is unkind that appears in a negative light by engendering damage.

So kindness is really the underlying intention of PC and if we use this term instead of “PC” it makes all our decisions much easier.  I suggest we substitute PC for kindness in both word and deed because this not only makes decisions simple and clear it also puts our words and actions in their rightful place.

Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Joyeux Noel. Happy Hanukkah. Buon Natale. Best of the Season to You.  However you celebrate, may it be joyous.


Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”.  See more of her work at www.teresadecicco.com


“The Golden Rule” in Difficult Times

hillary-and-trumpIn light of the US election results I found myself profoundly sad.  Sad because bigotry had exploded in that country over the months we watched the forerunners state their claims. Hatred and exclusion based or race, or gender, or religion, or socio-economic status seemed to rise to super-star status.  So how can we possibly thrive as a human race when this exists on our planet, let alone, from one of the most powerful countries that inhabit it?

While driving to a destination by myself, I fortuitously turned on the radio station to hear a talk by Karen Armstrong, my favourite author of books on comparative religion.  As it would happen, she was discussing “The Golden Rule” which has been reiterated by most prophets over time.  The rule as I understood it for most of my life states that we should do to others as we wish to be done to us.  In other words, treat others as you wish to be treated.

Armstrong eloquently pointed out in her discussion that the Golden Rule was stated by Confucius five centuries before Jesus, and then later by others, who taught similar words.  Confucius however, stated the rule to mean that one must not impose on others what they do not wish for themselves.  Now this turns the rule on its head for me.

Not only does the Golden Rule apply to positive behaviour, it applies equally to negative behaviour as well.  If I wish to be treated kindly, I must be kind. If I wish to be treated fairly, I must be fair.  On the other side of the coin, if I don’t like people demanding I adopt their belief system then I should let others believe as they wish.  If I don’t like people stereotyping me by culture or race then I should treat all others on their own merit and not stereotype them. Herein, the Golden Rule covers much more ground.

Armstrong went further to say that we can reflect back on those things that have hurt us and upon experiencing these we will then not do that to others.  Perhaps this is the most powerful way to use the Golden Rule because we have direct experience on what has hurt us and what we do not wish to re-experience.  It’s here that we can reflect back from the pains we have felt allowing us to reflect on what hurt us and adjust it accordingly.  If someone cheated me in the past and it hurt me deeply then I now know how it will feel in another and I must not impose that which I do not wish to re-experience myself.  Similarly, if someone has spread untruths about me and it caused emotional pain then I can adjust my behaviour to not cause similar pain in them.  We all stand in direct experience as the recipient of negative behaviour and can now react accordingly.

Reflecting on The Golden Rule as Armstrong so powerfully explained on my journey in the car has strongly transformed the rule for me.  It brought to light the wholeness of that rule and how it covers the repercussions of all behaviour; those I wish to have for myself and those I do not wish to have for myself and others.  Since I have no control over the behaviour of others in any way, I can empower myself with behaviour I wish to share with the world and that which I do not wish to ever see. I aspire for you all good things, now and in every day to come, no matter which country you live in. No matter what religion or spiritual belief system you adopt. No matter what gender, age, sexual-orientation or socio-economic bracket you are in.  I wish for you all things I wish for myself in every way possible.

Here’s going forward with The Golden Rule ever more golden.

Love Teresa

Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD, is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”  You can see more of her work at Teresa DeCicco Website


How Taxi Drivers and Parking Attendants are The Greatest Teachers

I have a flight to catch and the traffic is backed up for miles.  I’ve left 3 hours early to be sure to I get there on time and make the flight.  I have a meeting at the destination point that feels very, very important to me.  Why can I just not get there?  If this is my life’s calling and I’m to be where I’m intended to be, how can I be delayed by unbearable traffic?  The thought combined with the cars all around me pushing and inching to go nowhere are making me desperate.  I feel trapped.  I just want to make my flight.

As this day would have it, I can’t get anywhere near the airport and my mind begins to look for alternate plans.  I can park away from the airport (at the cost of a fortune) and get a cab there.  This might just work even though the traffic is mounting around me and so are tempers.  Humans, like animals, begin to instinctively react in survival mode when overcrowding closes in.

I find a parking lot and take a deep breath.  I might make this flight after all.  The parking attendant tells me I can stay there for a few nights but charges a high fee and cash only.  Darting for the nearest cash machine, I now know I might make it; only to find the machine with a piece of paper taped on it saying it was out of order.  The thought occurs to me there and then that perhaps I won’t make my flight and more importantly, I’m not supposed to.  My rational mind still wants to get where I want to go.

The parking attendant, clearly sensing my desperation, begins to help me with my parking issue.  He takes all the cash I have (about half of his fee) and suggests I put my car in a spot close to his booth.  As he’s talking, he’s calling a cab for me and I can instantly see a cab rushing toward us.  This man serenely suggests I calm down and “trust that everything will work out as it should”.  His words go through me like a knife.  I have said those very words over and over to myself and others but hearing them now made more sense than ever.

I’m met by a warm and gentle taxi driver and inform him I have 10 minutes to make a flight.  Due to all the road closings he becomes a James Bond type driver, whizzing the wrong way down one-way streets and cautiously but meticulously maneuvering the car.  I’m now at the point of tears and he sees my distress.  The taxi driver becomes my teacher; he tells me that I’m late for a reason I do not yet know.  He says everything in life is to be trusted so I never have a reason to worry.  Just try your best and then trust it all works as it should, he says.  He quickly drops me off and waives the taxi fee.  I take the time to pay him now knowing I will miss my flight.  I missed it because two of my greatest teachers were exactly where they needed to be when I needed them; one in a parking booth and the other driving a taxi.  They were there to remind me that I cannot control the external world and I can just do what I can do.  The rest is not for me know.

I patiently wait for the next flight.



Can We Actually Dream About The Future?

From the earliest dream recordings came the notion that people can dream about the future.  People have depicted this phenomena by writing them down or in dream sharing by word of mouth, for eons.  The claim has been that dream images will appear during sleep which are then accurately played out in waking day at some point in the future. For example, a woman dreams her husband is taken to hospital in an ambulance as she drives behind the ambulance wondering why he suddenly became ill.  Three days later her husbands collapses at work and she’s called to rush to hospital. He was taken in by ambulance.  Though some details differ, the most important aspect of the dream is accurately played out.

Can these precognitive events actually occur or are these occurring by co-incidence?  For many years people reported them but researchers dismissed them. In more recent years researchers have in fact designed experiments to prove precognition is occurring for many people.  One set of experiments had people dream about an unknown target with statistically significant results.  That means they had dream imagery of the target above the probability of chance.  Other studies have had people sleep in a research lab while someone tried to telepathically “send” emotional information about a waking event.  Again, the dreams had information content about the event, above chance. That is, they were dreaming about the event more than what they would have simply by chance.

People who have been through near-death experiences, traumatic life events, or other life-altering experiences are more likely to report these dream experiences.  Others report them from a very early age as a very natural part of their dreaming experience.  Some keep the dream pattern for their entire lives while others ignore them so they go away.  In any event, people have always reported them and continue to do so to date.  This dream pattern has certainly stood the test of time.

So it appears the old tales of precognitive dreaming have some validity but more scientific inquiry is needed to explain how this is so.  Most importantly, finding how this occurs is a valid path of study.  Scientific studies combined with more reports of this dream experience will open the vista for how and why some people can accurately dream about the future.



Mountain climbing

Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD, is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”  You can see more of her work at Teresa DeCicco Website

Over The Top-A Short Film That Changes Lives in 17 Minutes

I recently had the opportunity to see the Film “Over the Top” produced and directed by Cynthia Banks.  This is a short film about a man living in small town Southern Ontario, Canada who pushes the boundaries of living in every direction.  He has traveled around the world to perform antics of every kind in order to live his life to the fullest.  Whether he’s jumping a fence, flying down a mountain, or plunging into some body of water, he appears to do it with gusto.  So why would this movie change my life in such such a short time?

The main character in the film is Rick Harding, a man determined to keep living every second to the fullest.  The movie brings not only his life philosophy into perspective but allows us, the viewers, to see what our full potential might be if we followed his lead.  We glimpse what a life well-lived really looks like.

The film provides a mirror for us to see where we have lived fully and where we have wasted our days, never to get them back.  Rick Harding shows us how to get up off the couch where life is lived virtually, and to actually feel life through action and sharing. By sharing his antics with those around him, we feel exhilarated at what life could be for us too.  The need to live full-out is contagious in this film.

Through the life of this man, Cynthia Banks breathes life into us.  She gives us a glimpse of how life can be lived and maps it out for us too.  As the film moves through it’s story we begin seeing opportunities for ourselves in new and enlightening ways. The tempo of our lives accelerates with new possibilities.  The uplifting pace brings with it an energy that infuses us with new energy that lasts long after we leave the theater.  A part of Rick Harding lingers within us, urging us to live in ways we never imaged until he showed us exactly how to do it.

Thank you Rick and Cynthia.

For more information on “Over the Top” see: http://www.bravofact.com/2016/05/25/over-the-top-2016/

Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD, is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”  You can see more of her work athttp://www.teresadecicco.com


Cindy and Me




Circumstances Where I’m NOT Happy for You

Teresa TropeaI recently discovered within myself, a feeling or “pang” that came to conscious awareness.  This was a sensation I no doubt have had most of my life but only realized its presence in certain situations.  It comes as a wave, in the center of my being, deep within the self and once noticed, I wanted to fully understand it.

Firstly, all of my life I have been very excited for the successes of others. I understood from an early age (through the parenting of my mother) that the success of another has no bearing on my own life. In no way does the success of another take away anything from me. In fact, watching someone else succeed is very inspirational. It shows me the path I too could take and it acts as a role model for what can be achieved in life.  I am most grateful for those around me when I am witness to their successes, no matter what they may be.  Watching colleagues write best-selling books, watching relationships grow and blossom, watching the dreams of others come into fruition makes me feel absolutely elated.  I am delighted and filled with joy for all of these and more.  So the question came when I recently realized a pang of unhappiness at someone’s so-called success.

Upon deep examination of the emotion I realized what this was and why I was feeling it.  The emotion was a pang of sadness when someone’s success was achieved at the expense of another.  When a romantic relationship develops that does not honour previous partners but rather, was built on secrets, lies and deceit, it brings a pang of sadness inside me.  When a colleague achieves success by lying or cheating others, the success is accompanied by an empty  well of emotion for me.  Even those who succeed by hyper-competitiveness where success is marked by being ahead of another in some way, brings a feeling of being let down.

Upon reflection I came to see that the deep pang inside of me is accompanied by a knowing that these successes, in the end, cannot remain intact.  Success gained off the back of another will not be sustained. It’s merely a matter of time before the law of “what goes around comes around” will equalize all things. My sadness is embedded in the fact that those who do not yet know this law will soon come to feel its justice.  A success had on the backs of others can never truly be a success.  Just as feeling elation from the demise of another cannot feel good for very long.  The great equalizer of life will soon show its hand and justice will prevail.  Either in a day, weeks or even years, the hand of justice will equalize all things and perhaps here in lies the rub.  My pang of sadness and pain is for those who believe they have succeeded by cheating, lying, stealing or deceiving others but their difficult challenges are yet to come.  Such successes will carry as much pain in the future as they do joy in the moment.

In great happiness for all your true successes,


Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD, is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams”  You can see more of her work at http://www.teresadecicco.org


What Does Spielberg say About Living Beyond the Five Senses?

In a recent talk by Steven Spielberg he made the most insightful comment on how to know your life’s dream. While paraphrasing, he basically says the message comes in a whisper and is felt in the heart as a tug.  The call never screams or cajoles, but only whispers quietly to the inner self.  If this is so, most would ask, if it’s a quiet sensation, how exactly will we know when it’s happening to us?close encounters

Firstly, the whisper is beyond the five senses in that it comes as a quiet inner voice that is both heard and felt deep within the self.  It’s a subtle wave of emotion mixed with a knowing that this “whisper” is stirring a new sense of direction.  It’s not a frightening feeling in any way, unless the mind begins to analyze and dissect it, it’s rather soothing with a mix of excitement.  In order to sense it, we must be quiet enough in ourselves to actually hear it once it happens and once this whisper has been heard and felt, it tends to not go away so easily.

The whisper will be persistent as a felt sense until some form of action is taken.  It may be a sense that a creative outlet is urging such as painting, building, writing or making music. It may be an informative tug that an important relationship has come to it’s end and this can’t be ignored any longer.  Once the whisper has made itself known, it doesn’t fade away and it keeps uttering it’s secret; buy some paint and take a class it says, build a new tool, write a few lines, it reminds quietly.  It wants to be heard and it wants to be recognized.

The whisper will also make itself known in night-time dream imagery when the conscious mind is put to rest and the unconscious is allowed to dance freely.  The imagery will begin to present scenarios and scenes that will trigger awareness of a new life path.  The seed can be planted in the mind while sleeping to allow it time to germinate it’s way into conscious awareness.  In waking day a new thought will then appear, as clear as ever, for a new and exciting path to emerge.  A new line of work, the pull to travel to exciting places, the release of a long-standing relationship that oppresses one’s vitality; any of these will appear as a clear, sunny sky after a storm.  The whisper has revealed its secret again.

Our work is to be mindful of our inner life and to be ready to listen to the whisper when it’s ready to utter it’s words.  If our mind is cluttered with constant chatter and schemes of how we want things to be we will surely miss it.  If our emotional lives are filled with fear, anxiety, and vicissitudes of emotion we will surely mask the true calling of our lives.  We will be too busy living a life we “think” we should create rather than the one we truly “wish” to create.  It’s the whisper and the tug of the heart that we wait for and is waiting for us.

With patience and a clear mind,


Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses” and “The Giant Compass: Navigating the Life of Your Dreams” available at http://www.amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere.  See more of her work at www.teresadecicco.org