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Positive Behavior Intervention


soma
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Most Christian are friendly and welcoming, but I am sure many have encountered Christians and non- Christians who badger,turn hateful,vile and angry when their values are threatened. I was wondering what people do to avoid escalating negative behavior and power struggles?

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Here are a few suggestions that i sometimes implement when i am present enough to recognize what is happening....

 

Just listen without judgement.

 

Avoid those people in as much as it is possible.

 

Don't react to there words.

 

Introduce humor.

 

Note that it is not the real person speaking, but merely a conditioned identity the other is attached to.

 

Joseph

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That is very wise. I like the intro when I am present. I think I will try to be present when those situations arise.

 

"Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong." ~ Lao Zi (Lao-Tzu)

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I understand "love mercy", but "do justice" seems be the sticky point.

[/quote

 

I agree. Justice is what the prophets demanded. As a result, their history was fairly bleek. They were usually killed for thier efforts to point out the injustices of their kings, priests, and people. In the words of Caiaphas, as he condemned Jesus before the Sanhedrin: "You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." [John 11:50].

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Negative behavior in people is negative behavior as exhibited by the human person, not the Spiritual person. When dealing with difficult people, I try to speak to the Spiritual person within. When speaking to someone with respect, recognizing their Spirit Within, reasoning with that person becomes easier because it is not what they expect out of anyone and the outcome can be very positive. If not, I simply don't continue because it would only create more resentment and let the encounter fade.

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Quaker way thank you for your wisdom. It reminds me of this Sufi story.

 

Traditional Sufi Story

A young man named Nashruddin planted a flower garden, but when the flowers came up so did a great crop of dandelions among them. Wishing to eliminate the unwanted guests, Nashruddin consulted with gardeners near and far, but none of their solutions worked.

 

Finally, Nashruddin traveled to the palace of the sheik to seek the wisdom of the royal gardener himself. But alas, Nashruddin had already tried all the methods the kind old man recommended to him for eradicating such troublesome weeds.

 

Silently they sat together for a good long time. At last, the royal gardener looked at Nashruddin and said, "Well, then, the only thing I can suggest is that you learn to love them."

Edited by soma
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The answers and advice given are very deep so I will summarize what I have learned.

I have learned that Progressive, loving Christians live in a loving world and their gentle accepting consciousness mirrors or is the mirror to what they see. The same way angry people live in an angry world. I feel unhappy people can experience temporary happiness when they encounter happy people so words are not really necessary. The loving Christian accepts everything in a relaxed and conscious way as growth into a higher consciousness. I feel the angry Christian might be acting from an externalized expression to rules and traditions not understood and not from love which is an internal enlightenment. I feel Jesus was pointing to this in the following statement.

 

Mark 7:6-8 (New International Version)

6He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

" 'These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

7They worship me in vain;

their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[a] 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

Proverbs 15:1 (KJV) sums it all up

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

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The answers and advice given are very deep so I will summarize what I have learned.

I have learned that Progressive, loving Christians live in a loving world and their gentle accepting consciousness mirrors or is the mirror to what they see. The same way angry people live in an angry world. I feel unhappy people can experience temporary happiness when they encounter happy people so words are not really necessary. The loving Christian accepts everything in a relaxed and conscious way as growth into a higher consciousness. I feel the angry Christian might be acting from an externalized expression to rules and traditions not understood and not from love which is an internal enlightenment. I feel Jesus was pointing to this in the following statement.

 

Mark 7:6-8 (New International Version)

6He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

" 'These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

7They worship me in vain;

their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[a] 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

Proverbs 15:1 (KJV) sums it all up

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

 

Soma,

 

I want to be sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying that there is no place in spiritualiy or the kingdom of God for anger? Do you know of anything that Jesus taught, that says anger is by nature wrong or evil? Does it seem better, in your mind, to repress anger, than to find a responsible way to express it?

 

Bob the facilitator

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“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Ralph Emerson

 

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Buddha

 

I feel anger is a natural reaction and anyone can be angry, but I feel it is the wise man that controls his angry. Anger is a force that can be used to teach, but in that case the teacher is not really angry and the anger is channeled in a positive direction for the right purpose, in the proper way and directed for good.

 

In my writing I was thinking about those Christians who are angry without anything or anybody to really be angry at. I feel anger displaces awareness because if I turn inside when offended by others, mistakes, faults or what I perceive to be injustice then I forget about my anger.

 

I feel we are seeking the Truth and it is what will set us free, it seems the Truth also makes some angry. In his time Jesus made some radical demands. I feel Jesus preached in a dramatic manner that can be perceived to be harsh and angry to the religiously and socially arrogant, but I don’t think he was angry. Jesus preaching was perceived as comfort those who understood him, the meek and brokenhearted. I feel people at that time were angry with Jesus because his radical devotion meant his followers would have to be meek, turn the other cheek, and not judge other peoples’ hearts. Spiritual measurement and retaliation was left up to God.

 

Mathew collected the saying of Jesus in the Beatitudes:

Matthew 5

The Beatitudes

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called sons of God.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

I don’t see where Jesus said blessed are the angry, for they make their own poison and suffer their own consequences.

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“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Ralph Emerson

 

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Buddha

 

I feel anger is a natural reaction and anyone can be angry, but I feel it is the wise man that controls his angry. Anger is a force that can be used to teach, but in that case the teacher is not really angry and the anger is channeled in a positive direction for the right purpose, in the proper way and directed for good.

 

In my writing I was thinking about those Christians who are angry without anything or anybody to really be angry at. I feel anger displaces awareness because if I turn inside when offended by others, mistakes, faults or what I perceive to be injustice then I forget about my anger.

 

I feel we are seeking the Truth and it is what will set us free, it seems the Truth also makes some angry. In his time Jesus made some radical demands. I feel Jesus preached in a dramatic manner that can be perceived to be harsh and angry to the religiously and socially arrogant, but I don’t think he was angry. Jesus preaching was perceived as comfort those who understood him, the meek and brokenhearted. I feel people at that time were angry with Jesus because his radical devotion meant his followers would have to be meek, turn the other cheek, and not judge other peoples’ hearts. Spiritual measurement and retaliation was left up to God.

 

Mathew collected the saying of Jesus in the Beatitudes:

Matthew 5

The Beatitudes

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called sons of God.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

I don’t see where Jesus said blessed are the angry, for they make their own poison and suffer their own consequences.

 

What!?

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I would share that in my personal experience when i am consciously "in the kingdom of God" that is available here in the present that it is not possible for me to get angry. In fact, joy is so great that only forgiveness is possible even in the midst of some form of persecution. It is not something i can prove but only offer my testimony concerning this.

 

It also seems to me that there are more choices in the flesh than repressing anger or expressing it in some other way. Personally i find that if i am consciously aware of what is happening within this body before emotion sweeps me away it can be fully experienced without judgement or identification in which case it seems to pass or dissolve without 'me' being caught up in it as an emotion.

 

Just one progressive Christian perspective from my experience,

Joseph

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Robert, I don't feel anger is a right or wrong issue, but a choice. I think we can learn from our anger and transform the non-loving energy of anger into a loving energy. It seems anger is an expression of some kind of distortion or pain. I think anger is a lesson we need to learn. We could start with the source of our anger because the answer might be the act of forgiveness that acts as a poultice, drawing the negative energy that acts like a poison out of our body. It might be in the spiritual act of offering it up to God, letting it go so that it no longer poisons our mind. I feel we can even change anger into a peaceful mindset through social service. Channeling that negative energy into helping another person, doing a household chore for the family or even exercise to get in shape can transmute anger back into a loving energy and spiritual peace. Anger can be a path to self-understanding and clarity or because it is a choice we can choose anger and fuel the rage.

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In many cases, the repression or suppression of any emotion can become harmful. I do not advocate doing harm and have been trained not to practice psychology on any individual without their awareness and consent.

 

I get the first part of your comment, about suppressing emotions. Do you feel it's good to condemn the feeling of anger in others, or deny it when it is an apparent expression of someone's affect? Does it seem right to attribute "arrogance" to the attitudes of those who believe that Jesus was genuinely angry at times, or that God has been angry at times? I am sincerely concerned about how much interpretation can be imposed on feelings simply because it's not part of one's beliefs. Regarding your comments about doing "psychology" without someone's consent, I couldn't agree more. But does one's questions about anger, or questions about someone else's attitudes about anger contitute doing unethical therapy? If any attempt to question feelings, NOT DENY THEM, contitutes some kind of unethical practice of psychology, then what about any other issue of the psyche (in N.T. Greek, psyche is translated soul). Must we avoid questions about attitudes, faith, fear, control, intent, bias, inadaquacy, self-esteem, etc., etc.. If so, then couldn't we conveniently avoid taking any responsibility for our views, and simply accuse the one who is asking the questions of being guilty of " . . . practic[ing] psychology on an individal without their awareness and consent." When is a question nothing more than a desire to understand, and when is it an arrogant attempt to blindside others? And what about disagreement with someone's view on anger, is that also unethical?

 

I may be wrong, but I'm getting the feeling that some of you simply don't understand what I'm saying, or that I've unknowingly touched a nerve. Is there someone who can help me better understand my questions about whether is appropriate to question someone about their views on the subject of anger?

 

 

Bob the facilitator

 

PS. Soma, I did see the wealth of scripture you posted about Jesus' teachings about the kingdom and anger. But keep in mind, anger is one of a whole range of human feelings. No one feeling is predominant at any one time. Jesus was absolutly a man of peace and also a man who experienced anger. I am trying to be as up front and appropriate as I can here.

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I get the first part of your comment, about suppressing emotions. Do you feel it's good to condemn the feeling of anger in others, or deny it when it is an apparent expression of someone's affect? Does it seem right to attribute "arrogance" to the attitudes of those who believe that Jesus was genuinely angry at times, or that God has been angry at times? I am sincerely concerned about how much interpretation can be imposed on feelings simply because it's not part of one's beliefs. Regarding your comments about doing "psychology" without someone's consent, I couldn't agree more. But does one's questions about anger, or questions about someone else's attitudes about anger contitute doing unethical therapy? If any attempt to question feelings, NOT DENY THEM, contitutes some kind of unethical practice of psychology, then what about any other issue of the psyche (in N.T. Greek, psyche is translated soul). Must we avoid questions about attitudes, faith, fear, control, intent, bias, inadaquacy, self-esteem, etc., etc.. If so, then couldn't we conveniently avoid taking any responsibility for our views, and simply accuse the one who is asking the questions of being guilty of " . . . practic[ing] psychology on an individal without their awareness and consent." When is a question nothing more than a desire to understand, and when is it an arrogant attempt to blindside others? And what about disagreement with someone's view on anger, is that also unethical?

 

I may be wrong, but I'm getting the feeling that some of you simply don't understand what I'm saying, or that I've unknowingly touched a nerve. Is there someone who can help me better understand my questions about whether is appropriate to question someone about their views on the subject of anger?

 

 

Bob the facilitator

 

PS. Soma, I did see the wealth of scripture you posted about Jesus' teachings about the kingdom and anger. But keep in mind, anger is one of a whole range of human feelings. No one feeling is predominant at any one time. Jesus was absolutly a man of peace and also a man who experienced anger. I am trying to be as up front and appropriate as I can here.

 

The later part comes from the basic training of psychologists and the ethical gudelines they agree to follow.

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Robert,

 

I think you are asking good questions. If they are for everyone to answer, some of the answers i give may differ but that fine as there is never a requirement to agree or disagree.

 

My answers would be....

Do you feel it's good to condemn the feeling of anger in others, or deny it when it is an apparent expression of someone's affect?

 

No, i do not think it is healthy as a progressive Christian to condemn the feeling of anger in others. No, i do not feel a need to deny that which is expressed by someone as anger.

 

Does it seem right to attribute "arrogance" to the attitudes of those who believe that Jesus was genuinely angry at times, or that God has been angry at times?

 

I do not think it is either right or wrong to attribute "arrogance" to the attitudes of those who believe that Jesus was genuinely angry at times, or that God has been angry at times. It seems to me that God does not exhibit anger or the other emotional characteristics of mankind but i personally feel no need to attribute "arrogance to those who believe differently than me.

 

But does one's questions about anger, or questions about someone else's attitudes about anger contitute doing unethical therapy?

 

Personally, I don't believe so.

 

When is a question nothing more than a desire to understand, and when is it an arrogant attempt to blindside others? And what about disagreement with someone's view on anger, is that also unethical?

 

I guess that is a question for the the person asking the questions to examine as to their own motive. I feel no need to make any such judgement. It is acceptable to me for others to disagree with anothers view on anger. It is not unethical here, however in this safe area for PC's the guidelines limit us to expressing our own view without calling another wrong or entering into debate.

 

I may be wrong, but I'm getting the feeling that some of you simply don't understand what I'm saying, or that I've unknowingly touched a nerve. Is there someone who can help me better understand my questions about whether is appropriate to question someone about their views on the subject of anger?

 

Personally i didn't get the feeling that you were saying anything other than asking questions to others and that they were expressing their own view.

 

Hope i provided at least one persons direct answers to your questions

 

Joseph

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Robert,

 

I think you are asking good questions. If they are for everyone to answer, some of the answers i give may differ but that fine as there is never a requirement to agree or disagree.

 

My answers would be....

 

 

No, i do not think it is healthy as a progressive Christian to condemn the feeling of anger in others. No, i do not feel a need to deny that which is expressed by someone as anger.

 

 

 

I do not think it is either right or wrong to attribute "arrogance" to the attitudes of those who believe that Jesus was genuinely angry at times, or that God has been angry at times. It seems to me that God does not exhibit anger or the other emotional characteristics of mankind but i personally feel no need to attribute "arrogance to those who believe differently than me.

 

 

 

Personally, I don't believe so.

 

 

 

I guess that is a question for the the person asking the questions to examine as to their own motive. I feel no need to make any such judgement. It is acceptable to me for others to disagree with anothers view on anger. It is not unethical here, however in this safe area for PC's the guidelines limit us to expressing our own view without calling another wrong or entering into debate.

 

 

 

Personally i didn't get the feeling that you were saying anything other than asking questions to others and that they were expressing their own view.

 

Hope i provided at least one persons direct answers to your questions

 

Joseph

 

Thanks Joseph,

 

I appreciate your direct response to some of the points that I raised. I not sure about your position on the "arrogance," or not, of someone who simply states a reasonable interpretation of Jesus' or God's anger. I would think it would be very judgemental to accuse someone of arrogance because he/she honestly and reasonalbly observed anger in Jesus' driving the moneychangers out of the temple, or in God for destroying men, women, and children off the face of the earth, especially when words like "the wrath of God" are used in a multitude of ways on many occasions throughout the Bible. Is it right to judge me one way or another because when I read about a man entering into a temple courtyard and using a whip to drive people out of the area, while overturning their tables ,I interpret it as an act of anger? If what I described is not an act of anger, what is? And, how am I being arrogant for making such a judgement

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Hi Robert,

Is it right to
judge me one way or another
because when I read about a man entering into a temple courtyard and using a whip to drive people out of the area, while overturning their tables ,I interpret it as an act of anger? If what I described is not an act of anger, what is? And, how am I being arrogant for making such a judgement

 

Who is doing this judging?

 

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

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I just watched a disturbing movie called “Unthinkable” It covers what we are talking about with anger and a constant flux of morality. The anger and fear portrayed in the movie leads to torture, terrorism, and murder. Religion and nationalism are also tied into the mix. It seems the anger escalates with no end in a vicious circle of angry people hurting one another. Their arrogance fans the flames of anger to no end.

 

I am thankful for a friendship with Christ. In my view he takes our anger, frustration, pain, and sorrow and responds with compassion. I feel he is teaching from the inside what love means, an all- embracing love that opens our hearts to encompass the dimensions of the universe. He cleans our hearts from where they are at this moment, we only need to do is humble ourselves and offer our anger at his feet and stop justifying it. Jesus always seems to respond with love and peace.

 

Anger is a normal human emotion so it seems rational to relate anger to God or Jesus. It seems to be a reaction to pain, injury, fear and danger. Anger and danger our separated only by one letter a d. I feel each of us will see what our mind radiates in Our Lord so we begin to approach the Almighty in a kind of friendship with Christ. We need something to have a direct exchange with God and from that exchange he can lead us into an intimate union, a personal encounter with a living God. Yes, starting with anger involves a unique adventure and exploration, but I feel it will not stop our vision. I feel Christ consciousness will direct us to a higher and nobler mental plane.

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I have a type B personality, so I don't suffer from the anger that comes from competitive experiences. For example, I don't like getting cut off on the freeway, but I can't get worked up about it. Perhaps I'm just too lazy. But I do get plenty mad about what I see as injustice in the world, and I'm a little distressed at the possibility that some folks do not. Maybe, though, I don't understand what this discussion is about.

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The later part comes from the basic training of psychologists and the ethical gudelines they agree to follow.

 

I guess what I don't understand is the reason you mentioned doing psychology on someone without their conent. How does that apply to the things being discussed. Do you think I have been doing psychology on someone without their permission? I am a member of ATSA, and follow a strick set of ethical guidelines. If you feel I have violated any ethics, I would like to know.

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Hi Robert,

Is it right to
judge me one way or another
because when I read about a man entering into a temple courtyard and using a whip to drive people out of the area, while overturning their tables ,I interpret it as an act of anger? If what I described is not an act of anger, what is? And, how am I being arrogant for making such a judgement

 

Who is doing this judging?

 

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

 

Hi Dutch, the issue is not about who is doing the judging, but whether it is right for anyone to pejoratively judge someone of being "arrogant" for interpteting some of Jeus' of God's actions as angry.

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Thanks Joseph,

 

I appreciate your direct response to some of the points that I raised. I not sure about your position on the "arrogance," or not, of someone who simply states a reasonable interpretation of Jesus' or God's anger. I would think it would be very judgemental to accuse someone of arrogance because he/she honestly and reasonalbly observed anger in Jesus' driving the moneychangers out of the temple, or in God for destroying men, women, and children off the face of the earth, especially when words like "the wrath of God" are used in a multitude of ways on many occasions throughout the Bible. Is it right to judge me one way or another because when I read about a man entering into a temple courtyard and using a whip to drive people out of the area, while overturning their tables ,I interpret it as an act of anger? If what I described is not an act of anger, what is? And, how am I being arrogant for making such a judgement

 

Thanks Robert,

 

I guess to answer your question, i have no position on "arrogance" (whether it is right or wrong for anyone to pejoratively judge one so) . I certainly do not attribute "arrogance" to any one who honestly and reasonably observes anger in the biblical accounts of Jesus or "the wrath of God" spoken of in the Bible. While i certainly admit those attributes are observed in the Bible i admittedly do not "know" nor have i ever personally subjectively experienced that particular description of God nor does it seem to me to agree with the God i am acquainted with. And i again certainly do not judge you for having a different view that would seem to contradict any that i might be holding at this present time.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

 

edited first sentence with () comment JosephM on July 2 2010 9:03 AM

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Robert

the issue is not about who is doing the judging, but whether it is right for anyone to pejoratively judge someone of being "arrogant" for interpreting some of Jesus' of God's actions as angry.

 

So many questions - I don't understand problem.

 

1. Whether or not it is OK to read a Bible story and have an interpretation?

2. Is it OK to be judgmental about another person's ideas?

3. Is it OK to say that another is arrogant?

4. Does it matter if someone calls me arrogant?

5. Do you or I have a right to judge?

 

and of course

 

6. Is it OK for God or Jesus to be angry?

 

1. Yes

2. People are judgmental - even proud or arrogant when we do

3. Depends on how well I know her. Otherwise it is not polite.

4. My counselor asks me that every time I see him.

5. We judge - but it is not in the constitution.

6. Of course - fully human fully divine explains it for Jesus. "A wrathful God" what else?

 

I am sorry. Maybe I haven't paid enough attention but I don't see the problem.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

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