When we look for villains in history, World War II provides a comfortingly easy dichotomy. But as terrible as the Axis leaders were, the individual footman in every army was just a human being—frightened, thrown into war, and doing his best to survive. For all the horror, a few men stepped across military lines and saved the lives of enemy soldiers in need.
In August 1969, Charles Manson’s Family brutally murdered nine people as part of an insane plan to bring about a race war. The fame of his victims, the horrific way they were killed, and Manson’s own unique brand of madness have left him imprinted in history as one of the most horrible killers of all time.
No monster, though, is born from nothingness. Charles Manson was a child once, and that childhood was littered with tragic moments. No one would claim that these stories are sad enough to justify what he did, but they might shed light on how monsters are formed.
Before we tried emotion coaching, my son used his feelings as a weapon. Every moment was an emotional breakdown. If he was a little bit hungry, he would erupt into tears. If he was tired, he would throw himself onto the ground. It was like living with a Shakespearean actor who never quite caught the concept of overselling it.
Everyone in the family had a theory on what we needed to do. “Just ignore him,” was the grandparents’ suggestion. “He’s just trying to get out of things. If you ignore him, he’ll stop.”
“It’s biological,” was my wife’s view. “My brother did the same thing when he was child. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
“He needs to learn that big boys don’t cry,” was mine. “Let’s just let him bottle things up. He’s not going to have aneurysm just because he didn’t let having a brown spot on his banana reduce him to tears.”
We tried everything, and everything just made it worse. The more we ignored him and the more we encouraged him to be tough, the more he cried and the worse the problem became. By trying to shut down his emotions, we weren’t letting him learn how to deal with them – and so they just become more and more explosive.
Then we tried something different. Desperate for a solution, we scoured the web for answers. We learned about emotion coaching and tried it for ourselves – and it really worked.
Emotion coaching is a way to encourage children to acknowledge their emotions and deal with them. Instead of teaching kids to hide them or to explode them everywhere, the kids learn to understand the root of their emotions and deal with them in a constructive way – and it really works. In fact, one study had 244 families try it out, and almost every one ended up with less emotional outbursts.
Here’s how it works:
For 30 years, Genghis Khan and his Mongolian horde swept through Asia, slaughtering over one-tenth of the people on Earth and conquering nearly one-quarter of the land. His was the most violent reign in all of human history.
Most people know Genghis Khan through the statistics, but the details are just as mind-boggling. Some stories from his life and his battles are outright unbelievable—and among the most brutal stories you will ever hear.
Life under Mao Zedong was strange and brutish. While he was chairman of China, he introduced some policies that didn’t work well and that eventually killed an estimated 45–75 million of his own people. Under the feverish sway of Mao’s cult of personality, people in China got a little weird—and there are some lesser-known stories from Mao’s rule that you’d never imagine.
The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most baffling mysteries in the world of books. Its 272 pages, bound together by goat skin strings, are filled with strange illustrations and sprawling messages in an indecipherable language. For years, people have tried to decipher it – but no living person has ever cracked what the words the mean, what language it is written in, or even what the book is meant to be.
And now, more than 600 years after it was written, it’s finally getting a publisher.
Novels seem to get all the attention, but short stories account for some of the greatest pieces of writing ever created. There’s something incredibly satisfying about sitting down with a work you can consume in a single sitting and devour from beginning to end.
The internet abounds with these stories, and a reader might never go hungry again if they feast their minds on the endless troves of short stories that you can read online right now, for free.