Look, The Glass Is Half Full

December 1, 2017

 

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

Nov 28, 2017

 

The story is told of two psychologists who sought to determine whether heredity or environment decided a child’s mental outlook. So they placed a pessimistic child in a lovely room chucked-full of beautiful toys, and an optimistic child in a room filled with horse manure. Hours later the pessimistic kid was found in the corner, pouting. “Why aren’t you playing with your toys,” the psychologists inquired? “Cause soon as I do, someone will come and take them away from me!” By contrast, they discovered the optimistic child enthusiastically swimming and diving through the manure. His reason? “Man! With all this manure, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!”

Which child would you rather be around? The pessimistic child is often not easy going or fun to be around.  I would venture to say most people would go the other way to avoid the pessimistic child.

Pessimism is an attitude that one is not competent enough to control the situation at hand backed by the anticipation of failure thereby programming themselves with an excuse for failure. Pessimism prevents one from fully committing to a project or event. The refusal to fully commit could cause one to bail from something that otherwise could have been beneficial.

Pessimism could be a defense mechanism to reduce effects of traumatic or disturbing events that one experienced.

A less talented optimistic team could defeat a greater talented pessimistic team because of their optimism.

One’s outlook on life has a lot to do with whether you are an optimist  or a pessimist. One’s outlook on life could determine whether one would spiral down into depression.

Shorter days and holidays can also contribute to depression and anxiety.

Thomas Carlyle once wrote that “the block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.”

Now you can choose this day whether the block of granite is an obstacle or a stepping stone, whether the glass is half empty or half full.  Yes you can.

“Optimists, on the other hand, seem to approach life in a way that pays off. They’re more resilient in the face of disaster or tragedy and are happier with their lives in general. But it’s not all in their heads. They are generally healthier, have stronger hearts, and tend to live longer. They’re even more resistant to colds.

One reason is because optimists learn to cope well and make connections with others who help and support, says Barbara Fredrickson, head of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina. “You’re better equipped to deal with the difficulties in life because, in the good moments, you’ve accrued more skills and resources,” she explains.” (1)

 

You may be able to retrain from pessimism to optimism with the help of family, friends, counselors, life coaches, or other professional, once you first decide the block of granite is a stepping stone, the glass half full.

Enjoy your optimistic life.

Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)   www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

 

 

(1)  https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/accentuating-a-positive-attitude#1

 

 

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Can We Still Celebrate With Thanksgiving?

November 3, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 31, 2017

 

 

We are heading into the holiday season with the busiest travel day of the year, Thanksgiving. Certainly we are a long way from the original time and spirit of the first great feast enjoyed by the Pilgrims and Indians who were native to the land.

The Indians helped the Pilgrims survive and get through the tough first few years. They worked together and learned from each other. The Pilgrims would have starved if the Indians had not taught the Pilgrims how to plant, fish, and hunt in the new land.

Once the first bountiful harvest was completed a celebration of thanksgiving began. Two different cultures had worked through some tough days and were rejoicing together.

True, the Pilgrims and Indians dressed differently however they were similar in that they had family as a base unit.  They were also similar in their worship. Pilgrims worshiped our Creator God and the Indians worshiped the Great Spirit. There are several parallels with what the Pilgrims and Indians worship. It is not a great leap for Indians to become Christians.

In later years the Indians did not fare as well in the land they once dominated. Had the same spirit of cooperation that existed at the first Thanksgiving been maintained many tragedies would have been averted.  That is our history for good, bad, or indifferent.

Everybody has a history. No matter how much you fret about your history you can not change it. Those who dwell in the past risk losing sight of the future and miss its Blessings.  Living in the regrets can be awful depressing.

Part of healing from depression, anxiety and PTSD is getting past yesterday. It would be helpful to get up out of the chair, walk over to the door, turn the knob and open the door, cross the threshold, walk out of yesterday, close the door on yesterday and step into the future.  Now you can celebrate freedom from the past with thanksgiving.

There are many reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving; the birth of child, a new job, a new home or even just another day above the grass.

Perhaps taking a fresh look at your circumstances could give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

Perhaps volunteering to serve at a Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by one of many organizations could give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

Helping someone helps change your focus and can give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

One person at a time we can get back to the spirit of the first Thanksgiving and I’d be happy to meet you there…What are you waiting for?

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)

www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

 


Can We Come Together?

October 6, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 3, 2017

 

 

If you have a problem with someone don’t take it out on everybody else.  How do problems get solved, by an open an honest debate. Unfortunately it appears many have lost the art of debating.

Debating is an age-old way of discovering facts and persuading others, it is an argument with rules. Debating provides practice in developing sound and logical arguments.

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword; for the most part this is true when we look at some of history’s greatest speakers and writers using their powers of language to persuade. Words change opinions, words shape the course of history and when the swords have been put down, it is words that form countries from the ashes of the bloodshed of the old.

The man who arguably began the concept of the debate, Plato was a fine writer and philosopher and makes up a trio with Aristotle and Socrates. Many of his ‘dialogues’ are in written form and address specific issues brought up with other Greek thinkers. He is most famous for the Gorgias Dialogue in which he seeks the true definition of rhetoric one of the key principles in the debating process. He also critiques Athenian oratory in the text. (1)

You probably have heard of the Lincoln – Douglas Debates which many say Lincoln won. Lincoln did not win that election however he was later considered for the Republican nomination for president where he was elected twice because of the debates.

Modern debates have made and broken candidates. It has been said that Nixon lost the election in 1960 because Kennedy was better in the debates.

Politics was not as contentious then as it is today. Some people today have their minds made up and they don’t want to be confused with the facts.  It used to be considered an honor and a pleasure to serve in public office. Many today believe they have a right to be in a certain office and throw tantrums when their coronation is canceled by the employer, We The People.

Here is an example of a lighter moment that helped win the debate and the office:

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,” Ronald Reagan quipped during the 1984 presidential debates when asked if, at 73, he is too old to be President. The line — a classic example of Reagan’s sense of humor — even solicited a laugh from Democratic opponent Walter Mondale. (The Republican actor-turned-statesman ended up winning by a landslide).

Once upon a time high schools and college debate teams were very popular. For awhile debate teams were cut from official activities. Recently debate teams have been returning. The lack of debating skills learned and honed on debate teams or otherwise has manifested itself in many of today’s contentious business, public, and political meetings. Yelling, violent protests, and demeaning statements have become common ways today to ‘persuade’ others. These people have not learned that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

The yelling, violent protests and demeaning statement can cause or exacerbate fear, anxiety, PTSD, physical injury, and do suppress free speech. That is not the USA I grew up in and should not be accepted as a new normal.

Everyone has an opinion even if it does not agree with yours. Can you see theirs? In a debate you just might find some common thread which could begin the process of coming together on some issue or issues.

The USA I grew up in the teacher read the 100 Psalm in the classroom everyday in the beginning of each school day.

“ Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

 

Can we come together?

 

Yes, if more people learn and practice the art of debating we can. Will you do your part?

 

Come Together – John Lennon/The Beatles (Live In New York City)

 

 

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)

www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

—-

References

 

(1) http://infomory.com/famous/famous-debaters-in-history/

 

 


Doing Some House Cleaning…

September 1, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

August 29, 2017

 

Every so often there comes a time when a reevaluation is needed. Whether you are in charge of a household, a multinational corporation or public official results matter.

It is true that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It is also true that a few motivated people working together can accomplish more than a large group working as individuals. I may not be the best speller, but I am certain there is no ‘I’ in team.

In a household someone has to make sure the chores are done, the food is prepared, the laundry is done, and the yard is clean, just to name a few things that help a household member function.

Multinational corporations have many layers of management that have to be informed of and carryout the approved plan of action. Management is judged on their performance as well as how much they brought in or saved the corporation. Corporations exist to make money, if they consistently loose money or take a huge financial loss they could go bankrupt. Some corporations go bankrupt and reopen the next day in a new name with a clean slate. Employees of multinational corporations typically don’t have contracts binding them to their jobs making their tenure subject to the approval of management.

Multinational corporations have to answer to their shareholders, especially those holding large numbers of shares. Large shareholders often have influence over the direction of corporations.

Elected officials have to answer to the voters. Unfortunately those who seek public office often do not have sufficient funds to pay for the campaign process to get elected.  In reality those who seek public office either borrow money or seek donations to pay for the campaign process. There are many lobbyist who are eager to arrange for donations for the candidate with the idea that candidate, once in office, will vote the way the lobbyist wants. The candidate gets donations to pay for the campaign process and the lobbyist buys a vote for his client. The purchased votes can cause the public official to vote against those to whom he or she is supposed to be beholden…the voters.

The purchased votes often make it appear that there is only one party in Congress, some call it a UniParty, and some call it the Establishment.

The good news not all elected officials are bought and paid for. Not all elected officials are infected with the group think disease.

Some could think the elected officials infected with the group think disease have more than one personality (one for the voters and one for their donors) or they could appear to have Borderline Personality Disorder.

See if these symptoms match any current public officials or groups in the news:

“Everyone has problems with emotions or behaviors sometimes. But if you have borderline personality disorder, the problems are severe, repeat over a long time, and disrupt your life. The most common symptoms include:

  • Intense emotions and mood swings.
  • Harmful, impulsive behaviors. These may include things like substance abusebinge eating, out-of-control spending, risky sexual behavior, and reckless driving.
  • Relationship problems. You may see others as either “good” or “bad” and may shift from one view to the other suddenly, for minor reasons. This can make relationships very difficult.
  • Low self-worth.
  • A frantic fear of being left alone (abandoned). This fear may lead to frantic attempts to hold on to those around you. Or it may cause you to reject others before they can reject you.
  • Aggressive behavior.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Feeling empty inside.
  • Problems with anger, such as violent temper tantrums.
  • Hurting yourself, such as cutting or burning yourself.
  • Suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts.
  • Times when you feel paranoid or lose a sense of reality (psychosis).

It’s easy to confuse this disorder with other mental illnesses. And they may overlap. So if you think that you or someone you know may have borderline personality disorder, see a doctor. Don’t try to diagnose yourself.” (1)

Some groups or elected officials infected with the group think disease have become violent and threatening of late when someone disagrees with them making them a danger to themselves or to those around them. Behavior which makes them a danger to themselves or to those around them could be a reason to have them properly evaluated.

One of the foundations of the USA is the First Amendment which guarantees USA Citizens the Right to Disagree. Being assaulted for disagreeing with the speaker is not protected by the First Amendment.

There are elected officials who have shown very good leadership ability in bringing people together to accomplish the missions. Then there are others who feel if they harass and harangue they can bully people into carrying out their agenda. Perhaps they have not learned that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Disasters can bring a good insight into an elected official’s leadership ability. In May of 2013 Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin showed her leadership ability when she brought many people together to recover after some pretty devastating tornados within her state. Churches provided much needed places in the communities for communication,  rest, shelter and supplies.  No one was waiting for or looking for Air Force One  (2)

Today we learned at a major briefing that the Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been working and coordinating with the President and his cabinet for more than a week to assist victims of Harvey. The President brought three cabinet members and their chief assistants to Texas with him. (3)  Recovery should begin faster than with Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy as Oklahoma and Texas Governors and the President show a leadership style that is more conducive to accomplishing the mission and putting the people first. Again, churches are providing much needed places in the communities for communication, rest, shelter and supplies.

There was a TV crew shooting live when it came across a two men who needed a rescue. The National Guard helicopter had issues because of the power lines. The second man who lost everything because of Harvey and did not know the first man got in trouble in the fast moving water when he tried to rescue the first man. The TV crew asked the viewers if anyone nearby had a boat to rescue the two men. Within minutes several people with boats showed up and the two men were rescued. (3)

The spirit of Harvey’s victims reminded me of the Katrina victims in the way they look out for and help neighbors and strangers. The aerial view of Harvey’s damage looked very much like the aerial view of Katrina’s damage as I flew in as a volunteer. (4)

In times of need, such as after natural disasters be it hurricanes, tornadoes, or massive snow blizzards I have witnessed neighbors and strangers pull together and help each other out. Yes, there are those who will be antisocial and take advantage of those in need and they can be dealt with.

Groups or elected officials infected with the group think disease whether or not they have become violent and threatening or condone those who have become violent or threatening need to be dealt with. Elected officials can be removed, arrested, or voted out depending on their level of involvement.

If more people thought and acted like the Good Samaritan and not like those who passed the injured man the road we’d live in a much nicer world. Yes, one person can make a difference. What difference will you make today?

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

(1) http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/borderline-personality-disorder-topic-overview#1

(2) https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/video-tornadoes-help-available-prayers-answered-womans-dog-emerges-from-rubble-during-tv-interview/

(3) https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/video-ready-for-onslaught-45-churches-come-together-dallas-opens-6-shelters-convention-center-for-evacuees

(4) https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/where-is-your-house-built/


 


 

Military vets bring specialized skillset to Harvey response


Texas father describes mandatory evacuation with five kids


 

 


Independence Won, Can You Keep It?

July 7, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

July 3, 2017

 

It is a short work week, or a long weekend, or the most festive American holiday with cookouts, parades, parties and fireworks more than other patriotic holidays such Memorial Day or Veterans Day. Most people forget that when the 56 members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, they were in fact signing their death warrants. You see Freedom is not free, it comes at a high cost.

Great Britain was the most powerful nation on earth, and at the same time, the thirteen American colonies were poor and disunited. The British Crown deemed the issuance of a declaration of independence as an act of treason, which meant that all signatories would be punished by death. This is very much like a David v Goliath story – and David won again.

“Those who won our independence believed that liberty was the secret of happiness, and courage was the secret of liberty.” ~Louis D. Brandeis

“The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.” ~Woodrow Wilson

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it”. ~Thomas Paine

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country”. ~Benjamin Franklin

“We need an America with the wisdom of experience. But we must not let America grow old in spirit”. ~Hubert H. Humphrey

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul”. ~Moshe Dayan

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die”. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!” ~Daniel Webster

“Freedom is never free”. ~Author unknown.  Have you ever wondered why you never received a bill for your Freedom? The reason is the price of Freedom has been paid on many battle fields here and abroad.

My patriotic heart beats red, white, and blue. ~Author unknown

What does Freedom look like?

To the oppressed it is the unshackling from the oppressor.

To the prisoner it is the ability to choose when he can get up, eat, sleep and decide where he can go.

To those suffering with mental illness it is a time when he or she will no longer be subject to the heaviness and dark shadows of the illness.

To the Borrower who is a slave to the lender it is have all his debts paid in full.

To the child it is a time when he’ll be free from his parents rules….until he discovers all the responsibilities of having and maintaining his own home.

Liberty is believed to be the root cause of freedom.

Bill of Rights guarantees our God given Unalienable Rights. The government did not give us these rights and they can not take them away.  The restrictions are upon the government instituted by We the People. I realize many in government today believe that We the People are servants of theirs when in fact the opposite is true.

Unfortunately many of the Freedoms we won and are guaranteed have been usurped by a judiciary who decided it should make laws instead of applying it to the set of facts. Then there are those who for some reason have decided they must destroy this great country of our, some are elected officials who have chosen to violate their oath of office.

It is time for the no longer silent majority to speak up and stand up at every opportunity to those who pervert the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof.

Freedom is not free and must be defended to truly enjoy it.

President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on Independence Day – 7/4/86

 

https://reaganlibrary.archives.gov/archives/speeches/1986/70486c.htm

 

http://thehayride.com/2014/07/independence-day-ronald-reagans-what-july-4th-means-to-me/

 

Freedom In The 50 States

https://www.freedominthe50states.org

 

 

From every mountain side

Let Freedom ring.

~Samuel F. Smith, “America”

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA + AZ ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org


Strings On Your Finger

June 2, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

May 29, 2017

 

Ever forgotten anything? Ever tied a string on your finger to be reminded of something? If you had multiple things to remember, would you recall which string was for which?

Have you tried journaling? Yes, you say, and it went well for a while, then you got too busy and didn’t have time to write, and write, and write. Well, the great thing about journaling is that you write as you will, jotting down what seems important to you at that time.

Although facts don’t change over time, people’s recollection, perception or perspective of the facts may change.

Over the ages people wrote in words or created graphics about events which were of historic significance to them.

History is important. People who don’t know history are often bound to repeat it.

Doctors need to know about your medical history, and sometimes your family’s medical history, in order to have a better understanding and an idea of what to look for and learn of any adverse reactions to treatments or medications you might experience.   You certainly would not want to be treated for appendicitis if yours had already been removed. You also would not want to be treated for depression when indicators suggest that he should be addressing a brain tumor.

Court hearings normally have either a voice recording or a written transcript of the conversation to keep accurate records. The recordings or written transcript are often referred to when a ruling is being written. The written rulings are recorded in official court records and often times published.  There are mechanisms in place to correct errors.  People rely on the written rulings in settling disputes. There are mechanisms in place to appeal the rulings if one party is not satisfied. Sometimes outcomes change as the result of appeals.

No matter how much some people don’t like a historical event, the event will not change. People’s reaction to the historical event can change.

People are born and that historical event is recorded.

People die and that historical event is recorded.

Many events in the life of that person between their birth and death are memorialized by various records kept by the government or other entities.

We know a lot about Rev Billy Graham and Adolph Hitler because of a large volume of records and recordings which were made and preserved.  There may be a dispute about certain specific events concerning either of these public figures. I would think people would generally think that Rev Billy Graham did a lot of good things for a lot of people. Whereas, I suspect that would not be the consensus about Adolph Hitler who caused the deaths of many innocent people.

Some people seem to have the idea that historical events can be erased. Perhaps the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”, which airs around Christmas time, is reality to those who think they can erase historical events.

There are some who may not like an outcome of a historical event and try to fight the battles over again. Perhaps they would have more success by inventing a time machine which would allow them to revisit a specific moment to alter events.

Some would like to go back and remove a life changing car accident from history, they can’t. The way you deal with it can be changed.

Some would like to change the results of an election, they can’t. The way you deal with it can be changed.

Some would like to change the historical event of the American Civil War, a war between the slave owning Democrats and the anti-slavery Republicans, they can’t.

Removing the string from your finger, shredding a written record, or tearing down a monument will not change the historical events.

Monuments are reminders of good and bad times. People don’t always have the best memory, which is why we may need a string on our finger, a monument, or a trophy for an accomplishment we achieved. The string, monument, or trophy can be used to start or continue a conversation on how not to repeat the mistakes of the past, how we can do better this time….

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 


Old Fashion Still Good

April 7, 2017

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

April 3, 2017

 

Every time I think that I have heard it all, there comes another one. Now it appears that people, who are hell-bent on indoctrinating everyone that up is down, and down is up, are upset with the Vice President. Why, because he will not have dinner with a women alone who is not his wife and without his wife being present. Nor will he go to an event that serves booze, if his wife is absent. To the Vice President and every other man who thinks the same way, I say BRAVO!

Ever since God and prayer were kicked out of schools we have witnessed, at an ever increasing rapid rate, the decline of the family. With the decline of the family came a myriad of social, political, and metal health issues.

Call me old fashioned, or politically incorrect, if you’d like. I was taught men should stand up when a woman entered the room and hold the door for women and elders. Today there are those who would attach a negative connotation to these actions. To those I say “it is mind over matter”. I don’t mind, and they don’t matter.

If you choose to stand in quicksand rather than on a rock, don’t be surprised when you’re soon buried under a lot of dirt.

By refusing to have dinner with a woman without his wife being present and not going to an event that serves booze if his wife is absent, a husband communicates his dedication to his wife alone, and avoids any appearance of evil. The husband’s dedication to his wife prevents inappropriate  actions on his part that could lead to the break up of his family. This can also be said for a wife’s dedication to her husband in the same manner.  Family break ups, which lead to a divorce, are only good for making divorce lawyers rich.

Family break ups often lead to some level of short or long term emotional, mental health and trust issues.

Family break ups can be also caused by, or lead to abuse issues.  Abuse issues often lead to some level of short or long term emotional, mental health and trust issues. Abusive relationships, or encounters, affect a lot more than the abuser and the abused. People who have been abused often become abusers.

Abuse can be caused by or lead to involvement with the multi-billion dollar porn industry. Pornography objectifies and dehumanizes men and women. Pornography destroys relationships as it creates a false understanding of interpersonal relationships.

The multi billion dollar pornography industry is tied to the multi billion dollar sex trafficking industry which seeks to satisfy the unrealistic needs created and supported by the pornography industry.

A husband who refuses to dine with a women without his wife present and refuses to attend a function that serves booze without his wife present guards against allowing any temptation to break his wedding vows. The same can be said for a wife who refuses to dine with a man without her husband present or attend a function that serves booze without her husband present. Couples who guard against temptation are less likely to end up in divorce court and all the tragedies of breaking up a family.

Couples who are dedicated to each other will work through issues either by themselves or with the help of another person, as the need may arise.

I applaud those couples who show this type of dedication to each other, gentlemen who hold doors for ladies, stands when a lady enters the room, and helps her with her chair as she is seated.   Call me old fashioned. Old fashioned is still good.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ), and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org


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