Self-Help: 9 Thoughtful Ways to Be a Better Person

One of the best ways to improve your quality of life is to be a better person. While this may not always be easy, you can take small actions towards self-improvement. For one, having a positive mindset can be very helpful in making personal progress. Here are a few things you can try to be a better person.

Be Your Authentic Self

One way to be a better person is to be your authentic self. After all, when you’re not yourself, you might make the wrong friends, take care of your health a lot less and do plenty of things you regret. On the other hand, when you are being yourself, you’re probably more positive, physically fit and friendly with people who genuinely care about you as a person. This can open many opportunities for you in your relationships, career and other areas of life.

Practice Self-Care

The only way you can really care about others is to love yourself. Doing self-care activities on a regular basis can help you gain self-respect. Some ideas for self-care include eating a healthy diet, spending time with a pet, using essential oils, exercising at least three to four times per week or playing calming music, among others. Furthermore, you can commit to self-care by asking a friend to join you or writing your thoughts and plans in a daily journal.

Try Being More Spiritual

Spirituality has the power to change lives in the most positive ways. According to Psychology Today, spiritual people can be more empathetic and less likely to commit suicide. Many people utilize spirituality to deal with alcoholism, death and other personal problems. Besides this, you may gain meaning and a sense of purpose by praying, meditating or doing yoga a few times a week. Some benefits of yoga are improved balance, flexibility, sleep quality, mood and others.

Consider How Your Actions Affect Others

One person’s actions can matter a whole lot. For example, treating people with respect can not only make them like you more, but they’ll likely always remember your kindness. Since most people can be jerks, doing a good deed can be rewarding to you and those around you. At the least, you’ll feel like a better person for doing something positive.

Be Grateful for Nature

With all of the trash littering the oceans, forests and other areas across the planet, now is always the time to be grateful for nature. Of course, you can do this by joining a neighborhood cleanup group, planting a tree, choosing reusable alternatives, eating less meat, growing your own produce, going paperless or donating gently used items, among others. Another way is to volunteer for an animal welfare organization of your choice by taking a dog for a walk, writing blog articles, fundraising or doing something else.

Try Being Selfless

If you pay attention to how you feel when you focus on yourself too much, you might not like yourself at these times. However, when you do something unselfish, you probably like who you are more. For instance, think about the times when you might have opened a door for someone or listened to a friend when no one else was there for him/her. These actions or others like them likely made you feel like a good person. In addition, you can be more selfless by volunteering or doing good deeds every day.

Protect Those Who are Vulnerable

The truth is that the world is full of bullies who don’t mind preying on the vulnerable and weak. Instead of standing back and watching someone suffer or joining in the bullying, try to protect them. You can do this by speaking up against bullies. Letting them know that this isn’t okay can save someone else a great deal of trouble. Consequently, bullies can cause someone to have serious mental health issues or commit suicide. Bullies aren’t only strangers, but they can also be family members or those who call themselves friends.

Do the Right Thing

Although doing the right thing can be a challenge, it has plenty of benefits. For one, you’ll have a more meaningful life and maybe even a purpose. Another benefit is that you can make friends with people who you have mutual respect with. You’ll learn to see people as actual human beings. Finally, you’ll like yourself for who you are.

Commit to Self-Improvement

Possibly the hardest part of being a better person is committing to it. But telling yourself you can do it no matter what happens can significantly impact your life. Keep saying you can do it and persevere through every obstacle you face. Before you know it, your life will be going the way you’ve always wanted it to.

If you have trouble with improving yourself, it’s important to be understanding of why you feel this way. For example, maybe you have unresolved issues from childhood. In this case, you might want to see a therapist you can trust. Further, giving yourself time to adjust to change can make life a bit easier on you.

Imagine This: 5 Sensational Reasons to Read a Comic Book

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, reading a comic book can be a gratifying experience. In fact, doing so can help you stop taking life so seriously and just enjoy the moment. While some may argue that comic books are too childish, the truth is that being childish in a healthy way often makes life worth living. Consider a few reasons why you might want to read a comic book.

Get Entertained

When you open up a comic book, you’re entering a world chock-full of imagination. For instance, Archie comics tell the story of the love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica. Plus, Jughead and the rest of the gang complete the scene at Riverdale High. Further, if you like classic cartoons, Casper the Friendly Ghost might be just what you need to relax and enjoy an endearing story. No one’s friendlier than Casper while The Ghostly Trio is quite the opposite. If you’d rather immerse yourself in a tale of action, you might rather explore Batman or Spiderman. Batman has to deal with the Joker’s petty schemes while Spiderman battles merciless villains like Venom, Doctor Octopus and Lizard.

Avoid Excessive Technology Use

Reading a comic can be a healthy pastime in comparison to using technology. For one, this activity can be surprisingly similar to watching cartoons. This means you can skip the T.V. (and unhealthy screen time) and pick up a fabulous comic. Indeed, excessive technology use can cause eyestrain, lack of sleep, poor posture and reduced physical activity. On the other hand, children may experience low creativity, physical inactivity, aggressive behaviors and delays in emotional, language and social development, among other things. Next time you need something to do, it’s wise to choose a healthy activity that doesn’t involve technology.

It’s Like a Cartoon

As comic book lovers know, reading one is strikingly similar to watching a cartoon. Of course, you’ll see expressive characters, colorful scenery and humorous dialogue. Although some may call this childish, one might ask what exactly is wrong with having childlike qualities? The answer is: nothing. As long as your reading material provides a healthy distraction from your problems, then there’s nothing to complain about. Additionally, there’s no law against being yourself and doing what you enjoy.

Have Less Stress and Anxiety

If you’re stuck worrying about getting your homework done or imagining what the next bully is about to do to you, reading a comic can helpful in forgetting about your problems for a while. When you stop thinking about what bothers you, you can feel less angry, afraid or depressed. After this, you’ll probably feel less anxiety or stress. This means comics have the potential to make your life easier.

Escape with Imagination

From vivid images to fascinating stories, each page brings brilliant characters to life. Focusing on something positive to read can be useful in avoiding boredom. Almost nothing is worse than staring at the wall waiting for the time to pass until something interesting happens. Instead of wasting your time on trivial matters, try picking up a comic book to read. Each one is like a journey to another world where anything can happen.

If you want to read a comic book featuring Tiny Titans, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Garfield, Superman, Batman or other spectacular characters, always remember it’s okay to do what you love. When others try to judge you, simply ignore them and focus on what you’re doing. After all, doing what you genuinely enjoy can make anyone happier and healthier.

Bibliophiles Unite: 6 Intriguing Reasons to Love Books

As bibliophiles know, the reasons to adore books are nearly endless. From the compelling front cover that captivates you to dive in to the fascinating ending that leaves you wanting more, books are truly a profound inspiration to us all. Here are a few engaging reasons to love books.

Escape Uncomfortable Situations

While some people enjoy small talk, booklovers would usually rather engage in meaningful conversations about in depth topics. In these instances, it can be a wise idea to use reading to avoid uncomfortable situations. For example, if you’re stuck waiting in line at the store, you can grab a novel, magazine or comic book from a nearby shelf so you don’t have to have random conversations with employees or other strangers. Further, when you take a pet to see the veterinarian, you’re forced into a waiting room with other people. Instead of feeling like you need to talk to them and admire their ailing pets, pick up a book. Doing so might even help you avoid catching an illness yourself. Not to mention the fact that your pet deserves to be protected. Additionally, you can avoid conflict at home by grabbing a paperback and taking it to a place in the house far, far away from troublemakers.

Live in a Different World

Escaping reality can be simple if you have the right book. For instance, just pick up a fantasy or science fiction novel to satisfy your need for imaginative exploration. Of course, spending time in Middle-Earth surely sounds infinitely more exciting than being anywhere else. Or maybe you’d rather visit The Land of Oz where you can follow the Yellow Brick Road. Be enchanted by horses of various hues, shy Munchkins, witchcraft, flying monkeys and other old-fashioned oddities. Indeed, Narnia is an extraordinary place full of fantastical creatures and magical characters. And, you never have to grow up if you dwell in a place as charming as Neverland. Here, you’ll fight pirates on a vast ship, mingle with the adorable Tinkerbell and have a heart-stopping duel with the famous Captain Hook.

Look and Feel Smarter

Since it takes brainpower to open up a paperback and actually read it through to the end, people will often admire you for this. Therefore, carrying one with you gives you the perfect opportunity to feel and look like an intellectual almost everywhere you go. Classic novels you might want to carry include The Call of the Wild, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Time Machine, War of the Worlds or something else. Along with this, you might want to try wearing stylish glasses and a fashionable outfit that makes you look as intelligent as you are. Remember to fix your hair in an endearing hairstyle to enhance your appearance and complete the intelligent look.

Gain Valuable Knowledge

You can gain another piece of knowledge or two each day by opening a book. It doesn’t have to be educational for you to learn something from it either. To illustrate, reading Aesop’s Fables can teach you the value of employing morals in everyday life. Moreover, the Harry Potter series can provide enlightenment on the importance of friendship. If you’d rather read nonfiction, you might learn a thing or two about history, travel adventures or self-help. The knowledge you gain from reading can be used for winning trivia contests, acing vocabulary tests or finishing crossword puzzles, among other things.

Buy One or More on a Budget

You can find plenty of free or affordable books if you’re on a budget. Try visiting a bookstore online or locally to purchase something of interest. Other than this, check for discounts on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for unbeatable sales. Look for free books online by heading to Project Gutenberg, Kindle Store, Smashwords, Bookbub and Robin Reads, among others.

Join a Book Club

While you may be able to use books to avoid people you’d rather not talk to at the moment, you can also use them to socialize. Online book clubs you might like are The Goodreads Choice Awards Book Club, Oprah’s Book Club, Reese’s Book Club, Lit Hub’s Virtual Book Channel, The Rumpus Book Club or Silent Book Club. Be empowered by other bookworms to chat about new releases from spectacular authors. Joining a group of like-minded people can motivate you to check books off your reading list faster and delver deeper into understanding your reading material.

If you’ve ever stayed up late to finish reading a novel, you probably have a great fondness for books. In fact, you might even bring a book with you everywhere you go so you’re never stuck wasting your time on doing anything else for too long. And some would argue that reading is the most valuable way to spend one’s time.

Inspire Someone Today: 9 Ideas for Good Deeds You Can Do

While many people dream of changing the world, this often starts with the smallest of actions. For instance, if you want to save a forest, it’s easier to begin by planting a tree. In fact, doing one good deed for someone else can inspire them to be positive. Consider doing one of these good deeds for someone today.

Help an Animal in Need

https://www.aspca.org/news/10-reasons-adopt-shelter-dogAlthough you might feel like holding every animal on earth close to you to protect them from harm, this isn’t possible. But you can still do a lot to help our furry friends. For one, consider adopting a dog or cat from a rescue shelter. Giving an innocent creature a loving home filled with unconditional love can truly be rewarding.

Give a Few Dollars to Charity

If you don’t feel like making the biggest effort, you can give a few dollars of your hard-earned money to a charity you admire. Charities you might like include WildAid, Environmental Defense Fund, Rainforest Trust, PAWS Chicago, Animal Welfare Institute, Marine Mammal Center, Water Mission, Mental Health America and others. Donating a few dollars or more can boost your spirits and someone else’s too.

Treat Someone with Genuine Respect

It’s important to remember that respecting others is a lot easier when you respect yourself first. One reason why many people disrespect others is because they’ve been disrespected countless times. The world is full of jerks who laugh at the misfortunes of others and kick people when they’re down. Therefore, you can be understanding by treating someone with genuine respect. Try opening a door for someone in a wheelchair, listening to another person’s ideas or having empathy towards those less fortunate, among other things.

Write a Meaningful Note

A simple way to show someone you care is to leave a note somewhere. You can place words of kindness inside a library book, stick a meaningful message on the refrigerator at home or put inspiring quotes in any emails you may send. Moreover, a positive note can brighten the day of a friend, family member or stranger when they need it the most.

Stand Up to a Bully

Whether you’re at the doctor’s office, visiting the library or buying groceries at the grocery store, you can bet you’ll probably meet a bully. Further, if you encounter these pests almost everywhere you go, everyone else probably notices them too. Instead of allowing them to ruin your day and torture everyone else around you, take a stand against them. You’ll likely never regret showing them who the real boss is. Plus, the people you defend against these monsters will be grateful to know that someone actually cares.

Volunteer for an Hour

If you break down your volunteering time into small segments, it can be easier than ever to finish what you start. Try volunteering for a few minutes a day or even an hour or longer per week. You can walk at an event to support your community, join a local environmental cleanup group, become a student mentor, walk dogs at an animal shelter or something else.

Give to the Homeless

If you take some time to imagine what homeless people must go through, you might feel sorry for them. Indeed, there’s a high probability you’d never want to be stuck in they’re shoes. You can begin by donating blankets, socks, shoes, toothpaste, money or other necessary items to a homeless shelter. Before you donate, make sure to check exactly what the shelter needs at the moment so your donation doesn’t go to waste.

Give Someone a Gift

You can either purchase a gift or make one yourself. Of course, a homemade gift can be a lot more meaningful and creative than a store-bought item. You can bake a batch of cookies, make a cheery greeting card, draw a picture, create a bookmark or whatever else comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be a holiday for your gift to matter.

Improve One Thing About Yourself

Improving yourself is a smart way to improve your own quality of life and those around you. People often notice when someone does the right thing or has a quality they lack. Specifically, when you treat someone else with kindness, you’re probably encouraging them to do the same thing for those around them. Most importantly, positivity can be passed on from one person to the next.

Did you know that doing a good deed for someone else can actually improve your own quality of life? You’ll feel like a better person for helping someone whether they deserve it or not. After all, everyone needs a bit of positivity from someone even if it comes when they least expect it.

Avoiding Boredom: 6 Fun Activities to Do on a Budget

If you don’t have any money to spend and you’re bored, you can still find ways to have fun in your free time. For instance, you can read a good book. Just head to your local library, or find free books online. Here are some fun things to do on a budget.

Do Art

Doing creative activities can help you be a better problem solver, use your imagination more and express yourself, among other things. For one, you can draw nature-related objects such as leaves, flowers or insects. Another idea is to use an art journal for watercolor painting or doodling. You can also entertain yourself by drawing cartoon characters of animals or people.

Read a Book

Reading can help you gain valuable knowledge and escape the real world by using your imagination. In fact, some people would much rather read a book than do anything else. If you don’t want to head to the library to check out a free book, try checking out an ebook online, or buy used books at a bookstore. Other places to download free ebooks include Project Gutenberg, Open Library, Google eBookstore and more.

Be a Writer

Writing is similar to reading because you have the opportunity to relax and forget about your problems. These days, the internet is full of ways for anyone to be a writer. For example, you can write poetry or short stories, become a blogger or create your own ebooks, among other things. Alternatively, you can do creative writing, or just write down your feelings and observations in a daily journal.

Volunteer

Not only can volunteering make your life more meaningful and give you a sense of purpose, you also have the chance to change someone else’s life for the better. You can train to become a teen counselor, write blog articles for a nonprofit you admire, write letters to people with depression, walk dogs at a rescue shelter or plant trees to contribute to environmental conservation. You can find plenty of volunteer opportunities by heading to websites such as VolunteerMatch.org.

Spend Time with Pets

If you have a dog, cat or other pet, try spending some time with him or her. You can watch your cat play with a homemade or store-bought toy, train your dog to do exciting tricks or take him for a walk. Every pet needs unconditional love and can benefit from you spending quality time with them. In addition, you can get some exercise, socialize with neighbors, and feel less lonely and depressed with a companion by your side. If you don’t have a pet, consider fostering or adopting one from a nearby shelter to give an animal a loving home.

Go Outside

Witnessing the beauty of nature can be healing and, in some cases, life-changing. You can read a book, do simple yoga poses or meditate. Some activities you can get involved in as a family are playing outdoor games like Twister or Capture the Flag, do a scavenger hunt, play frisbee or get creative with sidewalk chalk. Furthermore, you might enjoy planting a native or herb garden. Native gardens attract wildlife and insects and provide them with a home, food, shelter and nesting areas. If you choose an herb garden, you can pick fresh herbs to add to meals.

Some people say the best things in life are free and this is often completely true. All you need to do is be grateful for the world around you, and you might be happier than you ever thought you could be. Money can’t buy you happiness, but you can be happy by having a positive mindset.

Dragon: Stargazer

Shiny scales of a dark purple hue

Adorn the creature’s powerful body,

A fantastic display of folklore.

The dragon lifts his large head

And breathes an awesome fire.

Now he walks out of his lair

And into the cold night

To contemplate a clear sky

Of infinite constellations.

To him, the spectacle is in the stars.

Pansy in the Woods

Being wicked wasn’t as bad as the fairy tales suggested, Honoresta thought dangerously. After all, she treated Pansy well enough. She fed her one meal of cold porridge once a day, allowed her to spend time outside once a month and only told her how much she despised her once a week. Everyone knew the little princess was special, and Honoresta had nothing against this, except everything. In fact, the wicked queen spent every waking moment obsessing over how to get rid of her without anyone important finding out. Today, she laid out her detailed map of the Woods of Darkness. Yes, she thought with intense malice, no one would ever expect pretty Pansy to get lost in this labyrinthine place. After all, no self-respecting princess would ever venture into the woods alone. Trees, trees and more trees. Who needed them? And don’t ever forget those disgustingly cute little woodland creatures that infested the area. Yuck. Nothing could be more vile than their sickeningly sweet faces. Honoresta hastily picked up a black magic marker from the small wooden table to her left and got to work. First of all, she’d circle the location of the ambush. Then she traced the trail leading to the Cave of Beastly Things. Later on, she’d give a copy of the map to the woodcutter. He knows what to do…

“La la laaaaa! Today’s the best day ever, as every day is.” Pansy set the hand mirror on top of the old tree stump and ran her dainty fingers through her soft, curly hair. Today, a headband made of the reddest fabric roses held her short, black locks in place. Her dress was something all peasants wore, except more beautiful. The reason for this was that her favorite uncle gave it to her for her birthday. He’d spent a fortune to pay the most skilled seamstress in the land to make the golden yellow wasteline, skirt of the deepest sea blue and romantic persimmon bodice. She’d been discreetly watching Prince Percy for a few days now and felt confident he would fall in love with her. Pansy spun around three times in excitement as three bluebirds flew happily in a halo around her head. She then plopped down into the meadow grass and sighed.

Meanwhile, Honoresta was watching Pansy’s graceful, albeit revolting, dance in her bland crystal ball. She smiled darkly and laughed with absolute detestation. Princesses are a real drag through the woods. Besides being dull, they’re as beautiful as a spring rain. The best thing about them is they lack wit and cunning. Which is something I have in spades, she told herself nastily, ha ha haaaa! No one will miss my pretty Pansy when I’m done with her! She waved her long, gnarled fingers over the nondescript crystal ball and hastily made her way across the room to the door of the top of the castle tower. The cruel woman opened it then took a clumsy step towards the circular stairway, only to trip over her plum colored gown. As she fell, she laughed wickedly, and grabbed the banister railing with the strength of an olympic athlete. “Not this time,” declared the black-hearted queen as she stopped her own fall to impending doom. She stood up and dusted off her long gown. Then she slowly and deliberately walked downstairs with her head held high. But, she tripped over her pointy high heels and fell again. This time, Honoresta the wicked queen continued to fall to her doom all the way to the bottom of the tall staircase. Fortunately, no one heard her furious scream as she toppled head over feet and hit the stairs repeatedly.

There was no funeral fit for a queen since no one could stand Honoresta’s corrupt ways. So they left her where she was for a long, long time until a few years passed. This is when Friedman the castle janitor was on the night shift. He swept up the dead body in the darkness and, with all his might, threw it over a nearby cliff. This time, there were no screams. The only sound was the distant singing of Pansy the princess and her beloved Prince Percy.

Moral of the Story: Don’t hold your head too high in pride, or you might not be able to see where you’re going and fall to your death.

The Prize is Inside

I open the Cracker Jack box

Only for the dinky prize.

My eyes open wide in wonder.

It’s another cheap sticker.

Wow, it’s just what I always wanted,

I genuinely think to myself.

The prize surprises me every time.

It doesn’t have to be perfect,

And I know it won’t be.

But the little things make me the happiest.

It’s not just the prize that excites me;

It’s that I have to use my imagination to enjoy it.

The Wolf Talks Back

Sophia was a wanderer. She loved wandering through the barn at her parents’ home to spend time with the barnyard animals, strolling through the garden in the backyard to smell the honeysuckle and walking into the forest when she felt like being truly alone. This was one of those sunny springtime days when she decided to head into the forest. After rising early in the morning and eating a breakfast of oatmeal and toast with blueberry jam, she pulled on her periwinkle hoodie and a pair of jeans and started out.

Since the forest was only a short way from home, it only took Sophia a few minutes to reach the pathway leading between the trees. Once there, she was pleasantly surprised by birdsong coming from somewhere above her head and a streak of bright sunshine in her eyes. She also spotted a couple of showshoe hares near a large rock and a red fox jogging past. Walking slowly to enjoy every moment, she decided to pick bloodroot, bearberry and flowering currant, which she put in the basket she was carrying. After a couple of hours, she took a break under a tree to eat lunch. Lunch consisted of a vegan tuna salad sandwich, olive oil potato chips and an almond milkshake made with fresh bananas and strawberries.

When she finished her meal, she decided to continue on her trek through the woods. But before she could start walking, she looked up from tying her bootlaces straight into the eyes of a gray wolf. Sophia’s first instinct was to run as fast as she could all the way back home, but fear paralyzed her to the spot. She desperately hoped the wolf would just go away but it surprised her further by opening its mouth to speak. It said darkly,”Hello there. I was wondering if you could tell me where you think you’re going?” Sophia opened and closed her mouth simply because no words would come out. No animals had ever in her life spoken to her with a voice strikingly similar to that of a human. After a few seconds of terror, she breathed out,”Who are you, sir, and why are you questioning me about my whereabouts?” “Why I’m Grayfoot, the oldest wolf in these parts, and I’m also the fiercest forest creature you’ll ever set eyes upon. If you could tell me where you happen to be going, I might be kind enough to leave you alone. Otherwise, I’m afraid you won’t want to find out what happens to those who wander into my forest.” Although Sophia was utterly disgusted by his lack of civility, she tried to talk past gritted teeth,”I’m only taking what I thought was a pleasant walk. Furthermore, I was under the assumption this forest belonged to all creatures, whether human or not. After all, you didn’t create it, and you’ll be long gone before it dies off.” Grayfoot growled quietly and barked a reply,”You would be wise to escape before it’s too late. But since you’re so brave, I think I’ll allow you the privilege of staying, for a short while. Grayfoot trotted a few yards away and glanced back for a split second. He began heading upwards into the trees then further into the thick underbrush.

Feeling a bit intimidated by the appearance of a wolf in her usual hiking ground, Sophia proceeded with caution for the rest of the day. By late afternoon, she was making the long trek back home. On the way, she saw a red-tailed hawk up in the trees, a porcupine making its way into the underbrush from a distance away and a raccoon climbing upwards towards the hollow in a tall tree with a thick trunk. When evening began to arrive, Sophia was glad to be out of any forest that had mysterious talking wolves living in it. She ran inside the house and let the door shut behind her. Then she made her way swiftly but quietly upstairs to her bedroom. The room was decorated in the similar style of a fairytale forest. She hung highly imaginative drawings, paintings, puppets and other creations she made with her own two hands on the walls. Greenery and flowers she’d picked from the forest adorned the room. Books of fiction such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Hobbit and other classics filled bookshelves to the brim. Her bedroom might have been small, but she more than made up for it with a healthy dose of character.

Sophia grabbed a book off the shelf and hopped underneath the pink bedspread of her fluffy bed. A few minutes of reading Snow-White and Rose-Red passed, then she drifted off into a deep sleep. She dreamed of a clearing in the dense forest, a pack of gray wolves and one wolf that talked back.

The Glory of Being a Clown

Fascinating clowns of all sizes and shapes

Fill the green- and pink-striped circus tent

Talking and giggling amongst themselves.

Some smiling, others with eternal frowns

Painted on their cartoon-like faces.

Now it’s time for the show.

Each one runs this way and that

In comical confusion and anticipation

As they hop into their tiny cars,

Red, green, purple and yellow,

Vehicles of hilarity and joy.

Now they drive around in circles

And honk their respective horns.

Doors open, they jump out,

Tangled up in knots like fools.

One trips over his own feet

While another squeezes his big red nose.

The finale is the toppling tower,

So they climb on each other’s backs

To create a pyramid of colorful clowns.

The topmost one raises his white-gloved hands

High in the air and waves energetically.

His glorious moment has arrived.