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There's a place in Alabama called Tuskegee. 2 very different things happened here.

I was driving through the South with my family recently, and we happened through the town of Tuskegee, Alabama. Two things popped into my mind: The Tuskegee Airmen and some experiment with syphilis. Wait, what?! Somehow, my brain was not able to sort those two very different things out, so I had to do a bit of research. What I found was bittersweet because one story is so damned horrifying and the other so inspiring.


Two Tuskegee Experiments

Two distinctly different social experiments happened in Tuskegee during the last century. One was the World War II Tuskegee Airmen program — African-American fighter and bomber pilots, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks, and other support personnel for the pilots. The first of its kind, it made heroes of them in the eyes of many, including many African-Americans who at the time were largely prevented from even voting because of Jim Crow laws.

The second? A bizarre and terrifying result of people thinking that African-Americans were somehow “other" or “less than." Stretching a span of 40 years (from 1932 to 1972), it involved 600 African-American sharecroppers.


The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The U.S Public Health Service began the study in 1932 with the help of the Tuskegee Institute, a local college. 600 poor, largely illiterate sharecroppers were enrolled in the program, and 399 of them already had syphilis. They were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance for being a part of the study. But while the people studying them knew they had syphilis, the men themselves did not; they knew it as “bad blood," which could be anything from chronic fatigue-like symptoms to anemia and syphilis. It was officially dubbed "The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male."

In 1947, medical researchers figured out that there was a simple cure for the disease: penicillin. However (and this is where things really went off the rails), those in charge of the study decided not to treat any of the patients, and prevented any of them from accessing other successful syphilis treatment programs in the area. This despite the fact that every major textbook at the time strongly advocated treating syphilis at any and all stages. If that had actually been the guidepost for the “research" team in charge of this study, it might have ended quickly. Instead, hundreds died painful deaths from the disease and infected spouses and children (through congenital syphilis).

Why did this study continue despite all of that? Very simple. At the time, there was a narrative among many in the white academic and medical communities about African-American people, and specifically men: that they were sexually promiscuous and reluctant to seek treatment.

Basically, the study assumed that black men would never seek treatment for the disease anyway, so it was much better to let it run its course and study them rather than offer offer a treatment like antibiotics that was widely available by the early 1950s and would have worked.

This continued throughout the 1950s and '60s. Ultimately, the study was terminated in 1972 when someone leaked it to the press. Since then, it's been known as “The Infamous Syphilis Study," and it led to rule changes for informing participants in scientific studies.

On the other end of the “Treating people like humans and equals" scale in Tuskegee was the Tuskegee Airmen.

The WWII Fighter and Bomber Squadrons

Before the Tuskegee Airmen, no African-American had been a U.S. military pilot. But in the two decades leading up to World War II, a number of groups and individuals, including the NAACP and labor union leader A. Philip Randolph pushed for legislation to fund training for African-American men to become pilots. It was successful. And though they had to work in segregated units, they formed the 99th Pursuit Squadron in 1941, later named the 332nd Fighter Group. A bomber squadron was added later, the 477th Bombardment Group. Some also served as support personnel for the units.

Because of enforced segregation, it was referred to as the Tuskegee Experiment. Pilots believed it was called an "experiment" because it was designed to fail. However, it did not.

(It's worth noting that the infamous syphilis experiment above is basically the entire first two pages of search results when you Google "Tuskegee Experiment," though that was officially referred to as a study, rather than an experiment.)

There were only 124 African-American pilots in the entire nation at the time this experiment began, so there was skepticism about getting enough pilots. Eventually, so many applied and met the stringent qualifications that over 996 airmen entered the service, as well as 10,000 support personnel. They were trained at Tuskegee Institute — ironically, the same school that was, at the same time, conducting the syphilis experiment.

Training had been going for just five months when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt decided to drop in on March 21, 1941, and have the chief instructor, an African-American named C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson, fly her around a bit. He had been a pilot since 1929 and had trained thousands of rookie pilots. The demo flight went very well, and it got the media talking.

As training progressed and the skills became more technical, in some cases integrating the white and black pilots was the only way to train them. Out of necessity, this began to break down the segregation that the experiment began with.

The Tuskegee Airmen's main job was to fly fighter planes to accompany bomber missions and keep enemy aircraft from shooting down the much larger, more cumbersome bombers that their white colleagues flew.

Missions and Numbers

The pilots did combat duty in Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. In the end, the squadron was very well decorated:

  • 450 pilots served
  • 66 died in combat
  • 33 became prisoners of war
  • Flew over 700 bomber escort missions, and were the only fighter group to never lose an escorted bomber to enemy fighters
  • Destroyed 251 enemy aircraft
  • Won over 850 medals including:
    • Distinguished Flying Cross (150)
    • Bronze Star (14)
    • Air medals and clusters (744)
    • Distinguished Unit Citation (3)
    • Purple Heart (8)

The experiment dispelled a U.S. Army War College study of black troops from World War I, which concluded that black soldiers were "subservient," "mentally inferior," and "barely fit for combat."

The Tuskegee Airmen proved, to those who still doubted it, that African-Americans were every bit as capable as anybody else in getting the job done. And it gave young kids who grew up with very few choices the hope that they could aspire to greatness.

Here's a quick clip on one of the battles, as relived by a pilot who was there. If you want to see the entire 45-minute version, a link to it is below.

Now my mind is much clearer on what happened in Tuskegee. The next time we go through that part of the country, I think I'll explore some history in person.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.


Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.


Here are the 11 things that Newman agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children

@teresakayenewman

11 Things I agree with boomer parents on raising children, as a #teacher and soon to be mom.

1. No iPads

“All I’m going to say is my kid has a whole world to explore and none of that has to do with being stuck in front of a tablet.”

2. No smartphone until high school

“Kids that are younger than that age do not know internet safety to a point where I feel comfortable letting them have free reign of the internet.”

3. Teaching the value of education

“What I’m going to teach them is [education] has nothing to do with how much money you’re making or how successful you’ll be professionally. But you will still value it, nonetheless. You will go with it as far as you possibly can, and then once you’re done with it, you can do whatever you want.”

4. Respect your teachers and treat them well

“This may be biased because I am a teacher, but everyone who has gone through a professional degree program and has put in the time and is there, giving you the quality education, deserves some type of attention and deserves to be treated well.”

5. Be kind to elderly folks

“If they’re on public transportation and they’re sitting down and there’s an old lady standing next to them and there are no other seats available, my child will know to stand up and give that lady his seat.”


6. Yes ma’am

Newman will teach her kid to use the terms sir and ma’am when speaking to adults. “It does not matter your age or status in society, as long as they are respecting their pronouns, that’s how we’re gonna be talking to other people.”

7. Greetings and gratitude

“Simple greetings and simple terms of gratitude are just not being taught like they used to. I think it’s really sad.”

8. Consequences for poor behavior

“If they’re neglecting their schoolwork and not doing what they’re supposed to do, they get their technology taken away. … Simple things like this are pretty common sense and I’m not sure why they’re not being done anymore.”

9. Respect adult conversations and spaces

“They don’t get to interrupt 2 adults speaking to each other. They don’t get to come and butt in at an inappropriate time when 2 people are talking to each other."

10. Clean your mess

“My child is going to put as much work in the house as we are regardless of whether he’s paying rent out of his own pocket or not. That’s because when my son becomes an adult, I want him to be a partner or a spouse or a roommate that someone is proud to have around.”

11. Bedtime

“I don’t care how old my kid is as long as he is living under my roof as a minor; he’s gonna have some sort of bedtime. But this staying up until 3 or 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning or pulling all-nighters like kids are used to … is absolutely not normal. And I’m not going to have a kid that’s staying up that late and then not waking up the next day.”


This article originally appeared on 12.20.23


Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Hospice nurses reveal people's biggest regrets before death

Death and dying isn't a pleasant subject to talk about, though there's likely not one living person who has not been touched by death in some way. But the finality of death makes people wonder if people have any regrets from their life that they wish they could do over.

Author, Matthew Kelly decided to ask hospice nurses what they've heard patients reveal regretting before they died. The list was fairly long but also heartbreakingly simple. Many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out how to make more money in order to feel financially secure enough to vacation regularly or even retire.

Of course there would be some regrets around working too much, but that regret only made the list once. There are 23 other regrets people seemed to share and we'll get into them below.


One of the first ones on the list is, "I wish I had more courage to just be my self." Oof. That stings a bit. People spend so much time trying to make sure they're well liked by others that it seems that some people forget to focus on just being themselves. People may hide their true selves for a multitude of reasons such as safety or fear of abandonment depending on what part of their identity they were hiding.

Another common regret is, "I wish I had taken more risks." Risks can be hard when you have other people depending on you for survival. It makes sense that some people might look back on their life and think of all the risks they didn't take, whether it be due to anxiety or security.

Listen to the whole list below:

So many regrets on the list are things that people can start doing now. Like wishing to love more or taking better care of themselves. It's never too late to start caring for yourself or being outwardly more loving. In fact, nothing on the list is overly complex. They're all heartbreakingly simple things that people have the ability to do before their time comes.

Maybe this list will inspire others to make a few tweaks in their life to work towards doing these things while they still can. Maybe it will cause people to realize they're already well on their way to not having any of the regrets listed. Either way, it's serves as a reminder to live life in the best way that you can while still being true to yourself.

Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.




Madalyn Parker wanted to take a couple days off work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she have plans to be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos under a palm tree.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.


Parker lives with depression. And, she says, staying on top of her mental health is absolutely crucial.

"The bottom line is that mental health is health," she says over email. "My depression stops me from being productive at my job the same way a broken hand would slow me down since I wouldn't be able to type very well."

work emails, depression, office emails, community

Madalyn Parker was honest with her colleagues about her situation.

Photo courtesy Madalyn Parker.

She sent an email to her colleagues, telling them the honest reason why she was taking the time off.

"Hopefully," she wrote to them, "I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%."

Soon after the message was sent, the CEO of Parker's company wrote back:

"Hey Madalyn,

I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health — I can't believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work."

Moved by her CEO's response, Parker posted the email exchange to Twitter.

The tweet, published on June 30, 2017, has since gone viral, amassing 45,000 likes and 16,000 retweets.

"It's nice to see some warm, fuzzy feelings pass around the internet for once," Parker says of the response to her tweet. "I've been absolutely blown away by the magnitude though. I didn't expect so much attention!"

Even more impressive than the tweet's reach, however, were the heartfelt responses it got.

"Thanks for giving me hope that I can find a job as I am," wrote one person, who opened up about living with panic attacks. "That is bloody incredible," chimed in another. "What a fantastic CEO you have."

Some users, however, questioned why there needs to be a difference between vacation time and sick days; after all, one asked, aren't vacations intended to improve our mental well-being?

That ignores an important distinction, Parker said — both in how we perceive sick days and vacation days and in how that time away from work is actually being spent.

"I took an entire month off to do partial hospitalization last summer and that was sick leave," she wrote back. "I still felt like I could use vacation time because I didn't use it and it's a separate concept."

Many users were astounded that a CEO would be that understanding of an employee's mental health needs.

They were even more surprised that the CEO thanked her for sharing her personal experience with caring for her mental health.

After all, there's still a great amount of stigma associated with mental illness in the workplace, which keeps many of us from speaking up to our colleagues when we need help or need a break to focus on ourselves. We fear being seen as "weak" or less committed to our work. We might even fear losing our job.

Ben Congleton, the CEO of Parker's company, Olark, even joined the conversation himself.

In a blog post on Medium, Congleton wrote about the need for more business leaders to prioritize paid sick leave, fight to curb the stigma surrounding mental illness in the workplace, and see their employees as people first.

"It's 2017. We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance," Congleton wrote. "When an athlete is injured, they sit on the bench and recover. Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different."


This article originally appeared on 07.11.17

Gen X invented the mix tape and we have the playlists to prove it.

Gen X is famous for being forgotten in most discussions of generations, which is hilarious because Gen X is totally awesome. Everybody says so (when they remember we exist).

Seriously, though, if you need proof that Gen X is fabulous, look no further than our playlists. The generation born between the mid-60s and the early 80s might just have the most varied and eclectic of all musical tastes. Our hippie/classic rocker parents passed down their 60s and 70s tunes, then we got the 80s in all its power ballad glory, then a brief 50s music revival during the 80s, then the rise of hip-hop, rap and grunge in the 90s.

A Gen X mom shared a video demonstrating the wide range of music she listens to ,and it's 100% familiar to those of us in our 40s and 50s.


As Word up with Jen points out, Gen X was "born in the 70s, raised in the 80s and partied in the 90s," cementing every decade's jams in our memory, from Anne Murray to Snoop Dog. Watch:

@wordup_withjen

Ya never know what you’re gonna get 🤷‍♀️ #genx #70sbaby #raisedinthe80s #partiedinthe90s #carjams

The comments confirm that Gen X really does have the bead on everyone's beats.

"I’m glad I’m not the only polyjamorous gen x out there."

"So I’m not the only one with a playlist that looks like it belongs to some with multiple personalities? This is a relief."

"Gen X is the only generation that covered so many genres of music AND decades of music. Don't give me the aux unless ur ready for a lesson in music."

"SO true!! You may get Metallica, you may get NWA, you may get Donny Osmond,you may get Duran Duran…who knows? 😂👏"

"I can relate 100%! It's not just one genre or decade. If you knew songs by NWA, Dre, Snoop, you also knew country songs by Shania, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and metal songs from Metallica to Pantera and so on. Even if you had a specific genre of music like me (90's hip hop/rap/pop) you also knew Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses by the very first riff and rocked the hell out of it lol. Love Gen X life!"

"I think Gen X hit the jackpot culturally. Signed, a Millennial."

Naturally, every individual has their own musical tastes, and people from other generations can certainly appreciate different music genres. But Gen X really has had the biggest exposure to a mix of musical styles during our formative. years. Our ingrained musical knowledge would make us excellent "Humm…ble" competitors, and we can sing along with pretty much anything pre-Y2K. (Some of us got Mom Brain in the 2000s that ruined us for memorizing lyrics to newer songs, but we can sing "Hotel California," "Sister Christian" and "Baby Got Back" in our sleep.)

The funniest thing about this is that the younger generations only know "playlists" as digital collections. Never will they know the hours of work that went into creating the "playlist" known as the mixed tape. Especially a mixed tape from the radio, where you curse the DJ for talking through the entire intro of the song. Even making mixed CDs took a lot of effort compared to few clicks it takes today to piece together a playlist.

Gen X may have its issues—all that angst didn't come out of nowhere—but when it comes to music, we are the unbeatable generation.

Former Secret Service Special agent Evy Poumpouras speaks at a Ted Talk.


In a revealing interview with Steven Bartlett on his “Dairy of a CEO” podcast, former Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shared how to get people to do what you want them to do.

The key, according to Poumpouras, is to understand what motivates them. Once you know the psychological framework behind what makes them tick, you can persuade them to behave as you like.

Poumpouras is the co-host of Bravo TV’s “Spy Games” competition series and author of “Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, Live Fearlessly.” She served in the Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and protected George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.


Poumpouras says that to get a “good read” on someone, it’s essential to listen.

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want

@steven

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras shares how to get someone to do what you want 👀 #podcast #podcastclips #stevenbartlett #diaryofaceo #specialagent #secretservice #security #evypoumpouras

The biggest mistake people make is they talk a lot,” Poumpouras said in the video clip. “Steven, if I'm doing all the talking and you're doing all the listening, you're learning everything about me. You're learning about what I care about, my values, my belief systems, getting a good read on me and I'm learning nothing about you.”

The former Secret Service Agent says that you should listen to determine the subject's motivational mindset. Are they motivated by money, sex, admiration, status, freedom, relationships, or safety?

“Everybody's motivated by something different. But I have to hear you and pay attention to you to understand what that is. Everybody's purpose is different,” she continued. “If you give people enough space, they will reveal themselves to you.”

It’s also a wonderful tactic because your subject will have no idea they are part of a manipulation because they are the ones doing the talking. It’s nearly impossible to give yourself away when you’re sitting in silence.

Understanding what motivates people is essential when protecting the safety of the nation’s most important assets and dealing with shady, dangerous people. However, it can also benefit the layperson by giving us a framework to understand people better. Knowing what motivates someone is very important, whether you’re on a date, in a business deal, or in a leadership role at work.

It’s also very important when raising children or training an animal.

Understanding your personal motivators is also essential for making the best choices in life. It helps us determine which actions will be genuinely beneficial. It’s also a great way to ensure that we are involved with people, organizations, and activities for the right reasons.

Productivity consultant Ashley Janssen says the key to understanding your motives is knowing your values.

"When you know what you value, you can identify how an activity or goal will support and foster those values," Janssen writes. "When you decide to try something, consider whether it’s what you think you should want to do or what someone else has said you should do. Those conditions are often not enough to sustain a behavior or activity. It’s hard to keep moving forward on something that you don’t really care about or are not invested in."