My Effort to Be a Positive Influence

My work has been focused on how I could help the world be better for everyone and everything – I was trying to promote selfish (good for me), selfless (good for others) synergy (better together). In 2012 I started making blog posts, only 3 that year. I posted about my attempts to generate comprehensive improvements and how others were doing the same. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Over time I started using it as a scratch board for my ideas to let others know about what seemed to be interesting information I was learning and working through. Academic work takes years to get published, has been published in not readily accessed journals, and often it is dated by the time others see it. I therefore used this blog to let readers know about what I thought were interesting developments and issues.

My repeated theme is about how to generate comprehensive benefits. COVID-19 has made abundantly clear that we are interconnected and interdependent. Now, more than ever, we must work together to generate what we all want: comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions – Everyone and Everything can benefit.

It would be great to get more interaction, and more benefits. Please contact me, share posts, and let me know your thoughts.

To help initiate some interaction, I have provided this list as an easy way access past posts/information. Please share how you generate comprehensive improvements. Also if you want me to address anything special or have questions, please contact me at BeWellr@gmail.com. Thank you.

Use this list to access ALL posts.

Most recent Posts are listed first:

 

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

 

 

Tom Hanks Agrees: Masks Generate Comprehensive Improvements

Wearing masks is a way to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Tom Hanks explains this perspective:

Wearing masks, in other words is a way to Practice Paneugenesis to create all good.

… it generate comprehensive improvements.

Pervasive = it sends out a positive example that may encourage more to do the same

Reciprocal = others are more likely to do the same, we mirror others

Selfish = the protected wearer can live a more varied and active life that does not endanger others or self. It is an example of how to create more good, not Just less bad during this difficult times.

Selfless = enables wearer to do enjoyable, health promoting activities with others while alsolimiting risk to self and others. More good, not just less bad.

Synergistic = engaging in society while also not risking self and others can benefit our economy enabling others to work. In this way the whole is more than the sum of the parts

FastCompany article supported this with their article, “Masks don’t just save lives. They boost the economy: Researchers find that wearing masks can help avoid devastating economic shutdowns.”

Very prophetically W. Edwards Deming declared:

Defend your rights, you lose…

By this he was saying that if one just fights to make their part of the system better without understanding how it negatively effects the whole system, we all lose.

As John Muir, the first elected president of the Sierra Club, explained:

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

Wearing a mask acknowledges that you are part of an interconnected and interdependent system and that you want to make a contribution toward improving the system upon which we all depend.

People have a right to not wear a mask, however that right takes away from everyone else. As Paul Collier noted in the The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties, reciprocal obligations are what builds a better society. Obligations help improve because they yield more revenue and more positive feelings for generating contributions.

And: Fast Company’s Article: The 21 best arguments for wearing a mask

If you are interested, I discuss these ideas from a different perspective  in A Way Forward Provided in “The Future of Capitalism”. I also discussed it in MLK Day FOR Everyone’s Benefit and in Gender Equality is about Making Things Better.

I encourage you to wear a mask so you can Practice Paneugenesis and generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish selfless interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Make it a Great Day & Week!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

 

Make 2020 Your Best Decade Yet…

This post provides my wishes for a Happy New Year and ideas to make this a great Decade for everyone and everything!  Like most of humanity, I desire a better tomorrow. While our specific visions may differ, at core we want a world with more Love, Well-Being, Capacity and Potential. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that this type of future is not only possible, it is already on-going. Most things have gotten better in many ways.

We often miss the improvement because progress erases its tracks. Instead of complimenting our progress, society looks forward toward where we want to go next and forgets to take pride in the progress that has been made. Knowing our tendency to look past achievements, it is helpful to remember to Plot Progress so we can feel good about what has been accomplished.

On December 28, 2019, Nicholas Kristof‘s NYT’s column proclaimed, “This Has Been the Best Year Ever For humanity over all, life just keeps getting better” and “…In the long arc of human history, 2019 has been the best year ever.” Another good summary of our improvements was made by Steven Pinker in Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. I described this at Things are Great – And They are Getting Better… and also explained the importance of noticing and documenting our progress at Record Progress To Feel Good or Evidence Disappears. See more in Steven Pinkers Washington Post Interview: “A Harvard professor explains why the world is actually becoming a much better place“. Overall Steve Pinker describes how and why we have,

More Abundance, less poverty; More Peace, less wars; 

More Health, less sickness; More Sustenance, less hunger; 

More Productivity, less barrenness; More Freedom, less tyranny;

More equal rights, less bigotry & discrimination; 

More intelligence, less dull wittedness;More literacy, less illiteracy

More knowledge , less ignorance; More happiness, less misery, meaning…

Overall: We have More opportunities to enjoy family, friends and nature,

less drudgery and monotony

Of course bad things are also happening. Unfortunately, only stopping the bad things cannot make it better, science has provided a preponderance of evidence and examples that documents we must Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad.

Creating Habits

As we all know, if we want to make this a great new year and our best decade ever, we will need to take action. Our actions often turn into habits. This can be good because it frees our brain to do more, however it can also cause unthinking actions and we just do what always did. Understanding this suggests we should remember what Charles Kettering said,

We continually form habits, often without trying. To create the future we want, we should consciously create habits to our liking. Norman Doidge uses an analogy about sledding on a hill with soft snow to describe behaviors and habits.

As we have all experienced, after taking a few trips down a hill with soft snow, the repeated route becomes cleared and easiest to use. In time the path becomes somewhat hardened. Because it is a formed path, it becomes the path that is most likely used again. That path, like things we do in life can become a habit. The other areas of soft snow, like other options available to us in life, are still available. Taking those unused or lightly used paths will force us to develop new behaviors and learn new things.

Choosing to take a new path will likely take more effort because it is a different, unknown route. Although it takes more effort, if we are thinking as we take the new route and believe it is the best course of action, it can be worth the effort. Not only will we be engaged in an exciting and novel activity, we will be learning because we will have to expand our capacity and skills to design this new path. As noted by Robert Frost in “The Road Not Taken”, …taking the road less traveled has made all the difference.

Brain Plasticity

Norman Doidge‘s analogy about habits was in his book “The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science“. A short synopsis of this good book is provided in the video below.

Doidge’s powerful book made clear, through multiple examples, that we are able to continually improve our capacity and abilities because of our innate Brain Plasticity or Neuroplasticity. Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections. It is the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual’s life in response to thoughts and actions.

Doidge drives home the message, outlined by others, such as Gladwell in Outliers, Clear in Atomic Habits and many others that mass, dedicated practice can help us become and be who we want to be. The book also drove home the point that everything is connected. Over and over it was emphasized that as one thing changes in the brain, the whole brain reorganizes. Thus as anything changes, everything changes. As Deming also explained, everything becomes reorganized because if it did not, the parts could not work together. It is a great book that I recommend. Enjoy.

Now back to the brain. Along with Doidge’s book, “Soft-Wired: How the Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life” by Dr. Michael Merzenich was very powerful. It probably impacted me more because my dad recently passed away and had suffered from dementia and Alzheimers. Dementia is brain plasticity in the wrong direction. It is a horrible disease.

Soft-Wired was consistent with Doidge. That is, although plastic brain changes happen automatically when we are young when our brain is developing and forming, the brain still changes throughout our life. From cradle to grave. The less rapid adult changes that happen in adulthood, unlike what happens in childhood, is that to a greater extent we can direct how our brain changes and thus create the brain we want. Multiple examples and my own recovery from a car accident where I suffered a severe brain contusion, makes clear, despite difficulties, the brain can reorganize and improve with directed effort.

Make 2020 a Great Start

Understanding this means we should use the “fresh snow” in 2020 to design our actions into habits we want. We should do this because evidence suggests doing so can help us generate the outcomes we desire. To start the decade right we should dream and focus on what we want to happen. Not just for ourselves but for society so we can live in a place that nurtures, encourages, supports and promotes chronic wellness. We defined chronic wellness as a persistent positive conditions enabled through engagement in health-causing actions.

The long term dream should be exciting, motivating and inspiring, so the desired outcome is more than just not bad. Of course we also need multiple short aims to document progress. For all these desires, they must be something that requires the development new abilities, connections and skills to make it so.

It also must be understood, actions should be about more than simply turning a negative into a positive. It needs to be more because it is impossible to practice paneugenesis if you start from a negative. Like salutogenesis, a health creating method or the study of the origins of health and a method to practice paneugenesis in health, you must start with the positive to create, not a negative to eliminate. To understand more, this idea is explained in the video that provides a comparison of Salutogenesis & Pathogenesis.

Eliminating a negative is like putting out a fire.

We cannot turn a negative into a positive. The best we can do is learn from a bad event and make things better in the future. For example, my Dad passed away last year and he had Alzheimers. It is a terrible disease because it turned him into a person we could not even recognize and everyone suffered. After seeing the terrible event, I have learned a lot more about brain disease and brain potential (see links and video’s by Merzenich and Doidge below). This does not make his death a positive, it will always be sad. I am however using that event to inspire me to learn more so I can design a better future for everyone and everything. This future will also make Alzheimers less likely as a by-product.

Being More Effective

Related to this and what has been frustrating to me is what seems to be a perception that there needs to be a problem before action is started. This is the same as attempting to turn a negative into a positive.  Fixing a problem is not necessary for improvement. Actually, if improvement is desired Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! because Fixing Problems is Inefficient, Ineffective & Insufficient. Each link explains more about these ideas.

From that perspective, to illustrate this point, we all know the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

We learned from this fable that he was ignored because he said there was a wolf when one was not there killing his sheep. He did this because he was bored. Then when a wolf did show up and he called for help, nobody came to help. The moral of the story, “Nobody believes a liar” or “the habit of lying is dangerous”.

The story can relate to prevention because if prevention works, nothing happens. Yea! Thus the benefit is less bad, not more good.  If however we focus on creating more good, we can experience benefits which make it more likely we will take action and as a by-product, of generating more good, we will also be better able to avoid and prevent problems. Additionally, if problems happen, which they will, more good will enable a faster or more capable recovery.

For these reasons and many more, to make 2020 our best decade yet, a focus on creating more good, not just less bad is our best option. To understand more about this you can see this presentation I made to a sustainability committee, “Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad“.

Our Shared Desire for Improvement

Our shared desire is for improvement. Besides, attempting to turn a negative into a positive requires us to look back at how to fix something rather than how to create something better. No matter what we do in the future the negative still happened. In other words, as noted, putting out a fire keeps us at 0, or our status quo. If we want better, we must create better, or what I call +3.

Our shared goal should be to create a better future for everyone and everything that also makes it less likely for the negative event to happen – as a by-product. For this to happen, we need to take action so we can build on the wonderful progress we have made.  To continue progress we must go on offense to make it happen. I described how it can work for health promotion at Article: Going on Offense to Enable Health Gains Published.

A way to generate a desired future can be accomplished by using the first step of practicing paneugenesis. The first step is to dream about the future you want and create an Idealized Outcome. The Idealized Outcome must be something that could not happen otherwise, it has to be something we must cause to happen and it must be better than what would happen even if everything went well, the status quo. In other words, practicing paneugenesis can help you contribute to making 2020 the best decade for you and everyone and everything.

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step to Process

  1. Operationalize Desired Idealized Outcome
    • Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
    • Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
  2. Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
    • Research to discover what must come before idealized outcome, what must be true for desired outcome to occur
    • Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
    • These Precursors are goals that must be achieve before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, its designing a process to help grass grow)
    • Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
    • Update unneeded, outdated or inappropriate actions to ones that created idealized vision,
    • Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
    • Measure and document progress forward toward idealized outcome
    • Plan and develop next steps to enable continual improvement

This video explains the concept of Paneugenesis.

 

Please share your progress and what you do to help make 2020 our Best Decade Yet.

If you are interested, below are some good presentations about Brain Plasticity.

This video is an interview with Norman Doidge about brain plasticity.

 

In this presentation Dr. Merzenich outlines some of his findings to help us generate the brain we want.

These are more videos that evolved from Norman Doidge’s book, “The Brain that Changes Itself”.

I look forward to working with all of you to make 2020 the best decade yet for everyone and everything by generating comprehensive improvements through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below.                                                                                                                                If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Make 2019 Great! For Everyone & Everything!

We are all in this together.  As you begin 2019, I encourage you to take Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic actions that result in pervasive, reciprocal interactions from which everyone and everything benefits.  As Frank Borman quoted when he saw our blue planet:

To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold — brothers who know now that they are truly brothers. – Archibald MacLeish

Keep in mind, when you are helping others you are helping yourself and this ripples out for and to everyone and everything.  As Charles Schulz showed us in Peanuts:

 

 

 

 

 

Make it a beneficial ripple. Choose to be the hero:

   A way to make 2019 better, will be to join “Team Human” as media theorist Douglas Rushkoff discusses in his TED Talk, ” How to be ‘Team Human’ in the Digital Future.  Enjoy.

 

Please share your thoughts on how you will take action to help create a better tomorrow. Lets make  2019 Great, I will do what I can!  Let me know if how I can help you…

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Great Holiday Present for Self

Happy Holidays!  I hope all are making it a great holiday season.  If you are interested in getting yourself a holiday present, I recommend the book I just finished, Recovery Break Through!: Using muscle testing for accelerated recovery and increased performance. I see the Kindle Edition is only $2.99. Either way, I look forward to all of us working together to make 2019 a Great Year.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Here is the review I posted on GoodReads:

Great book. Not sure I would have believed most of what was written had I not experienced this helpful and valuable therapy. Myself, my wife and kids all have had therapy and it is as good as advertised. To me this is a much more appropriate way of care, being proactive to be better, or well’R as I promote. Approaches, as originally termed by Amory Lovins in 1975 can take a “soft path” or a “hard path”. Lovins explained the “soft path” would be with the natural rhythms of the world, like with renewable energy, and this would not have many detrimental side effects because of its compatibility with nature and our socio-political values. The “hard path”, on the other hand, for energy requires digging ancient sunshine from fossil fuels and burning it with factories and excavation, which we all know has multiple negative impacts on society. His words are prescient and this idea of a soft or hard path can be applied to most issues. In health the “soft path” is called salutogenesis or a health creation and or a health origins approach and the “hard path” is the pathogenesis approach or disease origins, fix the problem approach. The KORE “soft path” approach is important and valuable because despite doing all everything we can to be well, things still happen or as explained by this book, imbalances, and using KORE helps without causing other damaging problems or side-effects. It would be helpful to get this approach more common in America. I encourage all to learn about Dr. Brazier’s KORE Therapy.

For me this is another way to go on offense to create health promotion gains as I discussed in this interviewAdvancing Wellness Interview about Causing Health, and in this articleArticle: Going on Offense to Enable Health Gains Published.

Please share your thoughts on how you will take action to help create a better tomorrow. Lets make it a Great Holiday Season and Make 2019 Great!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Comprehensive Benefits from a Community Based Lifestyle Program

Dr. Michael Greger shared some wonderful 5 minute “Nutrition Facts” videos about the “CHIP Program”. I enourage you to review the CHIP Health site to learn more.

CHIP started out as the Coronary Health Improvement Program and is now named, the Complete Health Improvement Program because of its comprehensive benefits.

The three videos below include  “The Weight Loss Program that Got Better with Time“,  “CHIP: The Complete Health Improvement Program” and “a Workplace Wellness Program that Works“.  This inexpensive community based education program is getting great results and helping many feel better as they learn about the power of plant based foods.  I encourage you to watch these interesting presentations to learn more!

The possible confounding association of CHIP with Seventh Day Adventists was raised, however, as shown in the third video tests with rural participants indicates the program helps.

It is great learning about programs that work while they also help generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

I look forward to hearing how you help make it a Great Week for everyone and everything!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Thank You Mr. Obvious

My work seems obvious so I am confused by traditional practice. I work with health. Most in health work from a disease elimination perspective to create health, despite the fact health is the PRESENCE of physical, mental and social well being and NOT MERELY THE ABSENCE of disease and infirmity. To accomplish this goal I use a salutogenic or health origins/causing framework while others use a pathogenic or disease origins/causing framework.

To me this is obvious, if we want to cause health, shouldn’t we study health’s precursors or causes? How is it possible to cause health through a better understanding of disease? Of course we must know how to cure and treat disease but causing better health has to lessen disease.

Am I missing something?

capt-_obvious

Other obvious things seem to happen. For instance a Mr. Obvious comment is, “And I found it in the last place I looked.” This is confusing, should someone keep looking for the item after they find it?

Another Mr. Obvious is reports of Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions. I hear reports of percent decreases in emissions and think great, less heat trapping emissions are being dumped into our atmosphere. This however is creative accounting, and not accurate. Generally what they mean is less emissions per square foot. For example, although less emissions are being released, the area using fossil fuels to heat, a/c and more has grown, therefore the emissions needed for that space also grew.

Despite dumping more GhG into our biosphere, a recent report documented “reductions”?

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It is like when we required the catalytic converters for cars. Although less emissions were released per car, we had more cars so there was no decrease in emissions. To me this is obvious, if we want to improve we must actually reduce the emissions in total, not just per square foot. We must find a way to do good, not just less bad (see here for more about this).

In another Mr. Obvious moment, a former student I had in 2006, 10 years ago, saw me recently and was impressed by something that should be obvious. Now she is getting a graduate degree. She said she remembered me because of one thing I said in class. She explained that her group was telling me that they did their best work under a time crunch so there was no reason to get started early. My Mr. Obvious, and obviously memorable comments was:

“Of course you do your best work when you are in a time crunch, it is the only option you have left. If however you do your work early, you have an opportunity to do even better work.”

While she doesn’t remember much else from class, so she claims, she said she always remembered that and now gets to work on her projects early so she can do better work.

To me my work is a Mr. Obvious. We should be doing what causes health because it builds physical, mental and social well-being and enables higher capacities and potential. Higher health is good because when something difficult or tragic happens, which most likely will happen, the person than has the capacity and ability to not just overcome, they can be better. If we only take preventive action, we are less likely to create the potential needed to achieve and reach a higher state of well-being. Increased capacity, skills, and potential is always useful to achieve what is desired and is especially useful if something difficult happens.

To me this seems obvious, yet to others it does not. For me it proved beneficial because at 17 I was in great shape, physically, mentally and socially and also had a great family. I did what I did to have a better life, not in case something happened and would more likely recover, but simply because I wanted a better life to enjoy.

Unfortunately something did happen, on September 21, 1984 I was the passenger of a car that collided head on with another. The driver and the other 2 passengers of the car died and I suffered a severe head contusion. I lapsed into a coma for a week. When I awoke, I was paralyzed and the brain damage caused me to lose all I had known. At the time, it was not expected  to be able to go to college and had a marginal chance of completing high school.

I did recover and am now able to thrive. (To see more of my story and recovery click here) My recovery was only possible because I was in good physical, mental and social well-being at the time. My parents and family were amazing and they were there for me and pushed me to be better.

Therefore, not only did being engaged in physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental health promoting activities at that time in my life make my things better then, it also helped me have a better life today. My parents consider my wonderful children, Amanda & Annika a miracle, as do I.

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Engage in health promoting actions to make your life better now. Not only will it make your life better, if something does happen, as things usually do,  it will help you avoid, overcome or recover faster. Make it a great day, week, year, and life!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Wear a Costume and Become Your Desired Self

happyhalloween1

All hallows day or Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Not for the  poor food consumption it encourages or even scary stories but because of the imagination it encourages. Creativity and imagination are important and valuable to humans.  A new and better future can’t just happen, we must creatively imagine what could and or should be then work to create it.

Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you’d like to act. ― Bob Dylan

Nothing desirable just happened, people took an effort and caused it to happen. Halloween encourages us to use our imagination and creativity to be anything we want to be. For this Halloween I encourage you to us it as your inspiration and motivation to imagine and become your desirable self.

To make it real, after Halloween, dress and act as the person you want to be. Dress and act like who you know you can be and become that person. All of of us want to make a positive impact, do this by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits as the person you know you can be.

To clarify this idea, I encourage you to watch Amy Cuddy’s fantastic TED presentation, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”. In great detail  she explains more about how our actions tell us and others who we are and who we can become. Halloween is a great opportunity to instigate this change so dress up and act like who you want to be.

Amazingly, dressing up as to who you want to be actually changes us. Our bodies can change our minds. It is not “Fake it until you make it” it is “Fake it until you become it!”

I look forward to hearing about and experiencing the great contributions you make as the person you become.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Regret Inspires Us to Do Better

Choosing not to do something to avoid regret is a mistake. As Karen Schulz tell us, “Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better.” As you watch this presentation, I encourage you to think about all you have learned from your actions. To develop into who we want to be we must take action. Enjoy…

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”– Pablo Picasso

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” – Dale Carnegie

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”          – Bill Gates

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei Ueshib

From FastCompany:

 EMBRACE FAILURE

University of California, Davis professor Dean Keith Simonton explains that creative geniuses, from Mozart to Darwin, are prolific when it comes to failure–they just don’t let their fear stop them. Failure is part of the process for these types. Creative people simply do more experiments, so they have more chances to be successful.

Practice Paneugenesis by Creating Interactions so everyone and everything benefits!

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

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