Category Archives: Warning… Philosophy/Politics

Thoughts on Modesty

PS A few days after I wrote the below post, I found a few other posts on modesty and this four part post is AWESOME! It is on Feminist Mormon Housewives blog written by Starfoxy and describes my thoughts a lot better than I did and makes lots of other good points. Click here.

This is just my (Teyanna’s) thoughts on modesty, instigated by a youtube video (click here) and then a blog post that responded to it (see here) – these were shared on Facebook quite a bit but probably only in Mormon/LDS circles.

I agree with the blog post that we should not judge other’s clothing choices and that it is not women’s job to dress so that people won’t have any bad thoughts. Their thoughts are their own responsibility and adult men and women should be able to interact with other adults regardless of what they are wearing. That is part of being an adult. If you can’t handle talking to someone in a bikini you probably shouldn’t go to the beach. defines modest as:

1.  having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one’s merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.
2.  free from ostentation or showy extravagance: a modest house.
3.  having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress.
4.  limited or moderate in amount, extent, etc.: a modest increase in salary.

Both of the links deal with the 3rd definition. However this definition is quite subjective. Being modest or decent at the pool is different than what is decent at work. What is decent today is different than 50 years ago. What is decent in the US is different than many other countries. What is modest to your religion is different from another.

I agree with the blog post that women should “wear what you want, like, and feel comfortable in, not for its effect on other people, but so that you can be happy and free as you go about doing many good things in the world.” However if for whatever reason a person feels like they should dress modestly, I think following the first two definitions would make more sense.

These definitions of the word are more timeless. When thinking “Am I dressed modestly” instead of asking things like “are my shoulders covered?” or “is my skirt at least x length?” we could instead ask “am I being humble & moderate?” “am I free from ostentation or showy extravagance?” “am I wearing this to get attention?” So by this definition of modesty wearing huge diamond jewelry would be immodest as well as wearing a super short tight skirt. However wearing shorts to go running would not necessarily be considered immodest.

Just my thoughts.

But it is someone’s choice if they want to be modest by any definition and we shouldn’t judge. However at the same time we should recognize that in certain settings (like work) some types of clothes are inappropriate.




Thoughts from a Retiree

We had a retirement party at work and I thought the following were cute & probably true :). I also finished reading the The Last Lecture  this week and decided I need to dream bigger or as # 9 & 10 say below: make a bucket list and start doing something now. (P.S. The book was decent – similar to “Tuesdays with Morrie” and maybe I’ll right a post “Thoughts from a Dying Man.”)

Top ten things I wish I had learned before I turned forty:
1.  If you are outdoors when it begins to rain, it’s a good idea to go inside.

2.  Take sick leave when you’re sick.  That’s what it’s there for.

3.  This area (DC – but I’m sure there’s kewl stuff wherever you live!) is a major center for whitewater paddling activities at all levels. Same goes for bicycling, bluegrass music, contra dancing, and lots more.  Have some fun — take advantage.

4.  Take good care of your feet and your feet will take good care of you.  (The same is true of your subordinates.)

5.  Remember the theory of comparative advantage and apply it properly.  It does NOT, for example, imply that you should do your own brakes, even if you think you could. 

6.  If you have a problem that’s bothering you, resolve to do something about it. Talk to a friend — you’d be surprised at how many have been through the same thing.  Talk to your doctor, a therapist, even your boss!

7.  Be an advocate for your own health care:  nobody else will, and that includes your own doctor. Sad but true. Ask questions.  Take notes. Information is power.

8. Develop an exercise routine that works well for you, and do it every day for the rest of your life.  I’m sorry, but that’s how it works.

9. Make a “bucket list” of things you want to do in life.  Be sure to include the Grand Canyon on this list.

10. Life is short.  Start planning to do something on your bucket list.  Do this now.  The Fed (or your boss) will survive your absence for a while, and so will you. 

Thoughts on the Role of Parenthood

So I went to a baby-shower and then was a bit bored at work and made this list. I was thinking what it means to be a good parent. Obviously, we can’t control what our kids will turn out like (and I don’t have kids so I’m rather uneducated in parenting) but I guess we should have a goal in mind. So I have a “parenting objective” and then ways to get there. Just ideas, and they may change. In the end it doesn’t really matter what the steps/sub-bullets are exactly, as long as they are things that get you closer to achieving the objective.

Parenting Objective: Put your child on the path to become their best self and become an independent responsible adult.

Teach good morals/religion
        -Have “Family Home Evenings” weekly – teach a moral lesson
        -Serve as a family & serve the members of the family
        -When you watch movies, discuss the morals
        -Attend church as a family
        -Family prayer and scripture study daily

Teach them how to be healthy
        – Establish healthy habits as a family.
        -Explain why things are healthy/unhealthy.
        -As they get older give them more responsibility for their health (ie how much Halloween candy/dessert they can eat at once etc.)

Teach them how to manage money so their money doesn’t manage them
        -Give them an allowance or pay them for chores and have them be responsible for buying certain things (ie entertainment, clothes, car insurance, etc.) Give them more responsibility as they get older.
        -Teach them how much it costs to run a household.
        -Teach them basic finances as a teenager  (ie credit cards, buying a house, insurance, retirement, etc)

Instill the love of learning
        -Read with them. Help them find interesting books
        -Do exciting science projects with them.
        -Be involved in their education. They won’t love learning if they are behind in school.
        -Limit screen time, so they will get more involved in reading and other activities. As they get older give them more control over their schedule (screen time).
        -Reward good grades – the reward could be verbal praise, money, daddy/mommy dates, etc

Help them find their passions
        -Similar as instilling the love of learning
        -Encourage activities like music, drama, art, science, math, sports, etc. Perhaps sign them up for a club/sports team/music class outside of school.

Help them develop their talents
        -Encourage and support whatever their talents may be – sports, cooking, choir, math, etc.

Teach them the value of time
Teach social & emotional skills
-How to resolve conflict, how to forgive, how to express emotions, … need more thought on this one.


Thoughts on Guns

Ben’s brother, Matt, wrote an interesting post on the “gun conversation” and I liked it so I thought I would share it along with a couple of thoughts of my own.

I don’t necessarily believe we need more government or less government in most of these controversial topics, but that we do need smarter government & smarter regulation. I consider myself a moderate/pragmatic – I am registered as a Republican but have voted for both Democrats & Republicans at times, and wish people would try harder to come up with smart solutions instead of just bashing the other side, often without really understanding the other side.

As far as guns go, I understand that “people kill people not guns”, but guns make accidents too easy and make mass killings too easy. I believe it is true that if someone really wanted to murder their ex they will find a way with or without a gun. But in countries like the UK where guns are pretty much outlawed (even many police officers there do not carry a gun), they have very very few mass shootings – unlike the US. In China, where guns are banned, on the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting, there was a knife attack at an elementary school by a mentally ill man. About 22 people were injured but no one was killed. So yes people can still find weapons but they are less likely to kill 26 people before they are stopped. Also, like Matt said for every incident of someone with a gun stopping a crime there is an accident of someone being killed with a gun.

Now, I’m not for banning guns – I understand some Americans really like to own guns and it is a constitutional right, but we should find smarter ways to keep accidents from happening and keep the wrong people from easy access to guns. I like Matt’s ideas of requiring people to keep their guns in a safe when not used, and required background checks and a wait time before someone can purchase a gun. Ben also had an idea that I really like – fingerprint locks on guns. This way only the gun owner could shoot the gun – not their child or someone who steals it. A friend told me he thought handguns (more than assault rifles) should be highly regulated – because more crimes are committed by them, probably because they are easy to hide. I’m sure there are other good ideas out there  – do you have any?

Thoughts from Matt Munyan:
“I’m going to add my two cents to the gun conversation, which is this – gun owners as a group are not responsible enough right now and they as a group are refusing to take responsibility for their collective failure to use and store their guns correctly. I know many individuals do a fine job, but according to a RAND-UCLA study (that and lots more here: 9% of homes with children and at least one gun keep a loaded gun in an unlocked place (the article has lots of other stats too and I’m not cherry-picking the worst). That is an accident waiting to happen in the most innocent sense, and in the worst case can be another Sandy Hook tragedy when those guns are accessible by people not meant to have them.

The further irresponsibility of gun-owners as a group to properly handle and store their guns accounts for about 600 accidental deaths every year ( which while decreasing is still almost 2 a day! And those are just the accidents. The overall intentional deaths from guns is much higher and on the rise. This article also talks about car accidents and I can already hear the argument there. Traffic deaths are decreasing though because of ongoing manufacturing safety innovations as well as increased regulations. Isn’t there room for a little more of both when talking about guns as well?

I firmly believe people have the right to protect themselves and that guns can be a wonderful tool in the right hands, that being said I do not believe everyone should be able to own a gun unregulated (and I’m curious if anyone actually does, since that would mean they think children and felons should be allowed to buy and own guns). To create some truly useful regulations though maybe responsible gun owners could actually propose some ideas that would help keep guns safe and in the right hands, rather than just assert that nobody can take their guns away.

I believe I could find an accidental discharge story caused by a negligent or moronic gun owner for every story about a crime being prevented by a brave and responsible gun-owner. Here is a start from a 10-second google news search where in the past month we have a young child’s death, an irresponsible owner “checking if it was loaded”, and a “responsible” concealed carrier accidentally shooting his wife while checking his pockets:

Legislating against stupidity may be impossible, but refusing to try to do anything about this is also stupid.”