R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me. The master, Aretha Franklin sang it into our hearts. Today, two hard limits come to mind when I think about people living their best lives. Or, teaching others to live their best lives.



They go hand in hand. Without them, we have nothing to discuss. If we don’t show someone respect by acting respectful, we will never receive that person’s full support.  Not only to those who can expose us to the popular, pretty version of our world, but to all, then we are not fully engaged in dignity for all persons or respect for the world itself.

The field of psychology is relatively new in comparison to the study of humanity. Thousands upon thousands of years of studying the human condition came long before our forefathers.  Ancient wisdom that we simply discount as theoretical or folklore because the ideas can’t be measured quantifiably. And yet, qualitative research does a fine job of helping us to realize what matters most in the human condition.


Are we pioneers or renaissance people? There are people here who say, “yeah, well, I know so-in-so” and, “what an amazing man”, and even, “well, I knew you-know-who before anyone else” as if being up close and personal with original researchers were a competition for popularity. Celebrity researchers. Perhaps it could be a new reality show? At the core, that’s not why we’re here. Is it?

This surge of abundance and popularity  has also watered down the field. When I hear a car salesman (or a funeral plot sales billboard…, yes, I’ve seen this too), offer “happiness” with the purchase of a new … whatever, I wonder if the trickle into nothingness is doing more damage than good to the actual sound science of our field?

New Age?

I’ve made a conscious, purposeful effort to move away from any and all “fluff” in the positive psychology field. When i started in 2007, there was more hard data, research, discussion and academics who wanted to bring the balance of humanity back from the negative. 
It grew ridiculously fast to include  fluffy bunny happiology that seemed to only include the lucrative notion that we are wizards and magicians, …. that’s not how the human brain works, no matter how much we wish it to be. Though, I do own a wand. Thanks to J. K. Rowling. 
Adaption in our fast paced world is a constant rethinking beyond the glitter of the movie version of our practice. We see the ebb and flow of several fields coming together. The new age and old school are crossing lines. They are blending together through the impractical magic meme art in lieu of the hard, sound science of our original pillars.
Being researchers in the field of “Duchenne” smiles, we are all also trained in knowing a thing that my old school uneducated, street smart pops used to say.
Never try to sell manure to a buzzard on a manure pile.
Authenticity matters. Dignity and respect matter.
Treat people the way you wish to be treated if you wish to be treated with dignity and respect.
Peace and love,

About the Author: Karen Henry [Daly], MA CRM owns Henry Healing as a holistic well-being practitioner and writer. She’s a former university professor and current scholar practicing the infusion of positive, existential and community psychology. “Wednesday is my Tuesday.”



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