Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted July 13th, 2017
2:36 pm

From Negative to Positive

 Better Outcomes will begin it's study of Marshal Rosenberg, PhD's work “Nonviolent Communication”. This book contains the most beautiful understanding of our potential for compassionate humanness in language, I have found. 

Here is a YouTube clip that serves as a good introduction to NVC. When we are able to put together a Meetup, we will let you know.

It’s been 20 years since Deborah Tannen, PhD, warned us, in “the Argument Culture”, That our world assumes the best way to discuss an idea is to set up a debate. Our news presents the most extreme, polarized views as “both sides”. We settle disputes by litigation and begin an essay by criticizing. War metaphors pervade our speech and shape our thinking. Everything is framed as a game, a conflict or battle. It was bad then and, it’s worse now.

Technology; the Internet, TV, Radio and cell phones has made the level of negativity in our world dangerous. We are engaged, in the biggest verbal battle for political power and influence our world has ever seen. The negative, derogatory way our leaders talk about people and groups around the world make me think how trivial human life seems and how disinterested in others we have become.

Rabbi Kagan's and Marshall Rosenberg's works can help everyone individually learn to speak more positively. Our role models, politicians, are going to need encouragement. Our Candidate Conversations, Interviews and Town Hall meetings meet this need. There are explained here. 

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted July 5th, 2017
8:16 am

This section is under reconstruction.

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted July 5th, 2017
8:10 am

Is Your Brain Buggy?

At the beginning of my present journey I wrote an essay on communication. It took me a year and a half. This morning I mistakenly clicked on TED Talks and found their series of 12 talks that prove one of the major points I was trying to make.

We are not as rational as we think we are, our brains are predictably irrationalI should have skipped the work I did back then and just waited for them to do it for me.


Who knew?

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted June 22nd, 2017
1:15 pm

Better Outcomes on Internet Radio

This afternoon at 4 o'clock Better Outcomes will debut on NewClevelandRadio with Lou Kraus, its founder and Karen Kiki Hale, the motivation for new Cleveland radio and a loving Jewish mother to all.

We actually are going to have a call in line at (440) 922 – 6431. To start, we only have one line but with your help we can expand.

In order to listen to the show. You must download the TuneIN App.

Then type into the app "http://newclevelandradio.net" at the 4:00 PM and listen to our show.

If you are able to listen to our show, please let us know what you think.

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted May 18th, 2017
7:13 am

The Truth Sometimes Hurts, BUT It’s Still the Truth

Wisdom comes from the strangest places. 

What do you think of what George Carlin says here?

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted May 1st, 2017
8:49 am

Normalizing Rape

What is Rape Culture? 6 everyday examples of normalizing sexual violence

  • April 21, 2017  By domesticshelters.org

Now we have different names for the same vicious abuse. Changing the name tries to soften the blow. But, if you ask the victim, nothing has changed.

You can find it every time you turn on the TV. Movies utilize it to create drama or illicit laughs. It’s used in advertisements to seduce you into thinking you need a product. Video games widely exploit it. And music blends it in seamlessly to its lyrics.

“Rape culture” is a term that’s as sinister sounding as its definition—it means to turn sexual assault, rape and other forms of violence against women into entertainment, or to all together ignore or trivialize these crimes. And, it’s happening all around us.

“We breathe in rape culture like air,” says Carolyn Levy, a professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. For nearly two decades, Levy has been immersed in the intense and often heartbreaking world of rape culture, educating future generations on how it permeates their daily life—many times, without them noticing.

She teaches a women’s studies class called “Living in a Rape Culture: What Are we Going to Do About It?” and, as the university’s theater director, she co-authored, “Until Someone Wakes Up,” a play centered on rape, now performed nationwide. An essay she wrote about the play can be found in the book Transforming a Rape Culture.

“Rape culture is a society that accepts sexual violence as the norm,” Levy explains. “It perpetuates models of masculinity which foster violence and normalizes these ideas that men are aggressors and females are victims.” And she adds, unabashedly, “It’s a society where men who brag about grabbing women by the pussy can become President. You see yourself above the rules and your behavior is excused.”

What Does Rape Culture Look Like?

The six examples below demonstrate how desensitized society has become to accepting rape culture as, simply, culture.

1. “The Stanford Swimmer.” Brock Turner, a Stanford University student, was convicted last June of sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster. His six-month sentence—of which he served just half—sparked national outrage for being far too lenient.

“The fact that we still refer to him as ‘The Stanford Swimmer’ and not ‘The Stanford Rapist,’ is an example of perpetuating rape culture,” says Levy. Language used by the media often perpetuates rape culture by highlighting the accolades of well-known figures accused of rape and abuse, before mentioning the crimes of which they’re suspected of.

2. Dolce & Gabbana’s “Rape Ad.”This ad, which appeared in magazines in 2007, could be interpreted as simulating a gang rape in order to sell the designer duo’s clothing. It’s almost as bad as this ad, which turns a naked woman into a piece of furniture, or any number of these violence-against-female themed ads that Buzzfeed highlighted in 2013.

3. Sexualized Halloween Costumes for Girls. If your son wants to dress up as a police officer for Halloween, he’ll be able to get a shirt and pants and look like a tiny law enforcer. But if your daughter would like to emulate the same profession, she may be offered a short dress described as “sassy.” Says Levy, “Even the way she’s posing, with the handcuffs hanging off her belt, seems sexual.”

4. The “Date Grape Koolaid” Cocktail. While it may not be the first or only bar to offer an offensively named cocktail on their menu, the Daiquiri Factory in Spokane, Wash., drew controversy two years ago by adding this shocking mixer to their drink menu. To top it off, they vehemently defended the drink to critics on social media, saying, “Just like everything in life … your [sic] either going to like it or don’t. We all can look for something to make a big deal about.”

5. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. The song has been called “rape-y,” and rightly so, singing the praises of women who are unclear that they “want it.” The video shows mostly naked women walking back and forth in front of a fully clothed Thicke and rappers T.I. and Pharrell Williams. The lyrics include such lines as, “Not many women can refuse this pimpin' … I'm a nice guy, but don't get confused, you git'n it.”

6. The Ray Rice Incident. In 2014, Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punched his then-fiancé (now, wife) Janay Palmer so hard in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel that she was knocked unconscious. A video of the incident, made public by TMZ, showed Rice dragging Palmer’s unconscious body out of the elevator. Some believed the NFL was trying to keep the video under wraps, but once it was released, or, as the NFL cites, as soon as the incident was brought to the their attention, Rice was given a two-game suspension. The Ravens sent out a blatant victim-blaming tweet saying Palmer “regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” Eventually, Rice was essentially blacklisted from the NFL—no team would sign him—but avoided jail time. Instead, he was sent to a “diversionary program” of therapy and anger management that allowed him to be clear of the charges in a year. News media continued to place the focus and blame on Palmer, with articles like “Why Does Janay Rice Keep Standing By Her Man?

Maybe one of these 50 barriers is standing in her way.

What Can We Do?

Notice it, says Levy. “Just acknowledge it exists. Be aware and talk about it, especially with your kids. When you see a movie with your kids, talk about what scenes might be problematic. If violence is celebrated, discuss why. Ask kids to be more critical when they listen to music. If the song is about hoes and b*tches, what is that saying?”

Even when reading fairytales, says Levy, discuss what they’re teaching. Should the prince have kissed Snow White without her permission?

Levy also encourages men to get involved. “Rape culture has long been seen as a women’s issue and that cannot be. Doing something to stop it has to involve men talking to other men.”

Want to do more? Watch Tony Porter’s powerful TED talk about redefining what it means to “be a man.”





Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted March 21st, 2017
8:25 am

Retaliation will not bring lasting Safety and Peace!

Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NonViolent Communication wrote this on September 27, 2001 after 911.

It seems that we the only thing we learned since then is how to make bigger bombs and to hate more. WE CAN ONLY HOPE that reprinting and sharing it again will help. Or you can determine that there is a better way and explore Nonviolent Communication and Better Outcomes.org                                                                                          

After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, millions of people throughout the world are feeling deep pain and grief. They feel outraged, scared, powerless—and very vulnerable. Many have a deep need to feel safe again. They long for a world where they can live in peace. Others have a deep desire to get even. They long for revenge and retribution.

Currently, the United States has decided that it must take action, and other countries have decided to join them.

Some people want the goal of these actions to be peace and safety; some want these actions to focus on retaliation and punishment.

Continue reading “Retaliation will not bring lasting Safety and Peace!” »

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted March 12th, 2017
7:37 am

How Trauma Lodges in the Body

Krista Tippet's interview with BESSEL VAN DER KOLK, a leader in the study and treatment of Trauma is fascinating. Anyone who has been the victim of trauma, in any of its various forms, can learn a lot from this On Being's podcast. The more we learn about ourselves, the better able we will be to understand what our world is doing to us.

Bessel van der Kolk — How Trauma Lodges in the Body

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted January 25th, 2017
10:00 am


I got this today from Rabbi Simon Jacobson's Meaningful Life Center in New York. The thought, I think, is particularly meaningful now, so I thought I'd share.


The severity of the situation doesn’t matter; when things fall apart there are three initial steps you can take to start restoring security and order to your life. Conventional wisdom says, “Pick up the pieces of your life.” That approach is reactive and negative and can compound feelings of hopelessness. Try this instead when things fall apart.

Remember Who You Are

Your strength comes from a firm foundation. Your foundation is knowing who you are at the soul level. Before you look for solutions to your problems, affirm who you are. Think about it. Journal about it. Talk to a trusted friend or mentor about it. A tree cannot withstand heavy wind and rain without strong roots. Your roots — your foundation — is your true self at the soul level.

Think Optimistically

Think good and it will be good. When things fall apart, it can be hard to see a way out from under the rubble. “Think good” isn’t just about sunshiny optimism. It means having faith in your Creator, knowing that you are never alone. “Think good” means looking at all of your internal and external resources and finding ways to use them. Your thoughts, if they’re good, will propel you to take action.

Ask for Help

Asking for help has two benefits: One is that you might get not only the help that you need, but that new doors, doors that you didn’t even know about, could open. The other is that you will not feel alone. Isolation is the most devastating part of times when things fall apart. But just knowing that you are not alone can give you hope.

Remember a time in your life when things fell apart and you put them back together. Examine the process that you used to put things back together.  Record your answer in MyMLC

Copyright © 2017 The Meaningful Life Center, All rights reserved.
788 Eastern Parkway, Suite 303, Brooklyn, NY 11213 | 718.774.6448

Lou Kraus

By Lou Kraus

Posted January 16th, 2017
8:20 am

Violent and Nonviolent Communication – Definitions

Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD's book "Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life" is the source of sweet words and the antidote for Evil Speech. We are exploring ways to integrate Nonviolent Communication into our offerings, but I want to share the CENTER FOR NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION's (NVC) definitions.

What is Violent Communication?

If “violent” means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate—judging others, bullying, having racial bias, blaming, finger pointing, discriminating, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people—could indeed be called “violent communication.”

What is Nonviolent Communication?

Nonviolent Communication is the integration of 4 things:

  • Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of empathy, care, courage, and authenticity
  • Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
  • Communication: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move toward solutions that work for all
  • Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others”

NVC serves our desire to do three things:

  1. Increase our ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection
  2. Connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships
  3. Sharing of resources so everyone is able to benefit

Center for NVC

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