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Lifestyles

Berna Bass, editor

 

Celebrities: Is modern fascination becoming an obsession?

“I’m actually not too sure what he talked about,” said HPU freshman Renee Lee, when asked about President George Bush’s State of the Union address the previous day. Lee was unable to watch the televised speech since she had to attend class. But when asked about the latest gossip on Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, she responded without hesitation, even giving details about the pregnancy and planned wedding. [More]


Celebrities in the making: Melissa Benz, l., Miss Hawai‘i Teen USA 2005, with Hannah Thomas, Miss Hawai‘i Teen USA 2006.

Photo by Rick Bernico

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If I were a rich girl:
New status symbols

The Hilton sisters aren’t the only one’s sporting Armani and Chanel labels on their designer jeans: today’s high-end fashion can be found in the closets of anyone with a credit card. [More]

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Excess is not best
by Dr. Don Kopf

If your child came to you and wanted to eat a dozen Twinkies or three pounds of chocolate, you’d hopefully tell her no because you understand that it would be too much and not good for her. You’d also probably not want to spoil her. Hopefully, you’d give the same response to a child who asked for 10 bicycles, or a new computer game system every week, or money for very expensive jewelry to impress her friends.

Yet this is the message society gives us. We as adults are told by the lifestyles led by celebrities we admire that it’s acceptable to indulge in as much excess as we want 10 cars in the garage, lobster for dinner every night, five vacation homes, 100 pairs of shoes, closets big enough to live in.... you get the picture.

It sounds silly, but why do we readily say no to a child wanting these things, but then admire adults that have them and even seek them out ourselves? It’s no wonder that so many of us are overweight, underexercised, demanding, and spoiled. We don’t discipline ourselves the same way we would our own children.

We are fortunate that as people living in a culture filled with an abundance of stuff—food, water, clothes, shelter, and entertainment. There is plenty available to meet our needs and allow us access to a huge variety and quantity of whatever we want. As long as we can afford it and want it, there is someone who will provide it. Heck, there are even people glad to sell it to us on credit if we can’t afford it!

We know that being healthy and happy is not based on excess. Once a certain level of material needs are met, more won’t make us more happy.

We also know that satiation alone is not a strong enough signal for many of us to know when to stop indulging in an activity or food. With that in mind, it’s up to us to discipline ourselves and not over indulge.
Health and happiness come from judicious, self-imposed restrictions on what we eat, drink, buy, use, and indulge in. Anything more can be like the kid asking for three pounds of chocolate to eat for lunch—not good for us!

This week, take a moment and think about what you do too much or too little of, and make a mature healthy decision to use, eat, or indulge in only what you will benefit from, nothing more.
Have a great week!

Dr. Don Kopf is a licensed psychologist in Honolulu working with individuals, families, and organizations to help them grow, learn, and change for the better. He offers a regular motivational piece every Monday. To add your name to his weekly list, call (808) 375-1177 or e-mail DrKopf@hawaii.rr.com.

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