Introducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts). Children do exist in the womb. At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of independent existence. In my lifetime, science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb. The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist. No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.
Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”. I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults. How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.
Here is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state. Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area. This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights. This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.
A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children. One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve. It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do. Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty. Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.
Children at different points in life need different things. Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child. How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.
One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad. Nature requires diversity and that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.
Children also learn at different rates and in different ways. Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this. Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward” and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.
Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences. For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves. Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences. Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.
Have you ever been told to change your attitude about something? For example, whether it is about “stay at home moms”, “homeschooling” or any subject up for discussion?
Have you ever thought about it this way? Which comes first in this process, changing your attitude or changing your perspective? Have you ever changed your attitude after you have changed your perspective? or vice versa?
Debate teams prepare to be able to defend both sides of a disputed issue and this prepares them to see the points of view or perspectives of both sides. Lawyers often participate in debating in order to help them to be able to take both sides of a disputed issue such as “guilty” or “innocent” in court.
We often jump to conclusions and staunchly take one side in an upcoming vote in our government. Who do we prize? People who can change their minds when necessary and alter their perspective to do this or people who stick to “their guns” no matter what?
Gaining knowledge is a process of gathering information and evaluating the appropriateness of it as well as altering theories when necessary to fit new information.
Think of how science has changed when it comes to considering what matter and energy are made of. Initially, it was atoms, neutrons, and protons. Then it was found that matter and energy were interchangeable. Now we focus upon waves of energy as the foundation of matter.
Yes, being too flexible can be inappropriate at times. For example, you go to a car show where different car dealers are offering their latest models for sale and as you go from booth to booth or exhibit after exhibit, you find yourself constantly persuaded that the latest car offered is the best.
It may be that from one perspective, i.e. cost, one vehicle is the best; but from the perspective of safety, another car is the best. Or the vehicle that might attract the younger crowd appeals to the man or woman in a mid-life crisis.
Why people can’t change:
1. They would have to admit they were wrong about something.
2. They might have to make some other changes too.
3. It would take too much time.
4. They are waiting for somebody else to change first.
5. They would have to admit that they wasted time or money doing the wrong thing.
6. They might have to admit that somebody else was right and they were wrong or too much pride and too much emphasis on winning some type of competition.
7. Having to be always right even if it kills you.
Why they should change:
1. To stop putting money down a rat hole.
2. To become an example for somebody else.
3. To stop wasting time defending why they can’t change.
4. To save more time and money after investing some current time and money making a change.
5. To stop having to hide some deficiency from others.
6. To learn something new.
In the long run there are great benefits: For example, learning to drive as an adult. Erased my dependency on others. Gave me freedom.
As you can see I am taking a sabatical this fall. I have no classes to teach this fall which means it will be a squeeze financially but I will have more time to devote to writing for this website, more time to babysit grandchildren (which is a mixed blessing), more time to meditate in several different ways, and more time to pursue my own personal growth.
While I was teaching this summer (and taking an art class myself), I was feeling stressed out and at times it made me physically ill. Do you think that as a psychologist I should have known better than that? Maybe. But I just know from past experiences that it is a sign that I should take heed of and do something about.
It took time and money out of my pocket in order to teach even though I have been enjoying it and growing a lot doing it. Yes, I was paid but as a part-time instructor and only for what classes I taught each semester. This summer I made an hour round trip trip to town four days a week for two months spending the whole day there two days a week.
I will take two road trips this fall to see the evangelist Joyce Meyer and attend the homecoming celebration of my undergraduate college in honor of my class’s 50th anniversary. I will be doing this on a shoestring; but I am not going to miss these chances to do something I want to do which only comes along once in a blue moon.
I have already gotten one surprise phone call offering me some financial help for one of my upcoming seminars after it was decided that I was not going to teach this fall. I also have recently found some books that answer questions I have been asking, but did not get the answers for that I have been gobbling up.
Yesterday, I caught up on some of my sleep and decided to do nothing that I didn’t have to do. I missed one of my regular salesmen while I slept in the afternoon and I did not check on most of the things that I am checking on today and I did not turn my computer on.
I am growing. I intend to explore new and old things that I have not gotten around to doing recently.
Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke. Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions and/or wishes of those being put down. The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.
Nagging can result from such interactions. If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument. Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.
Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope. Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.
Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is. Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer. Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are. Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.
For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types. Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences. For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”). However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.
It often boils down to a whole issue of control. If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like. In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.
Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship. The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”. This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.
Do you realize we learn to like certain skin colors, hair types, body shapes, heights, and to discriminate between them. To me, my mommy was beautiful and my grandmas were a “sight for my sore eyes,” although they were older and heavier than my mother. My BFF, who I met in first grade, was not judged by me on the basis of her physical size but on how much fun we had when we were together. I had a cousin the same age as I was and I often got hand me downs from her as she (although my age) was “bigger” than me. We have to be taught to see these differences as significant. The standards of beauty and handsomeness can vary quite strikingly from culture to culture and have you looked at wedding pictures and seen that there is a man for every woman and a woman for every man.
I was having a discussion with my daughter-in-law and discovered that an actress that I considered to be no beauty was considered very attractive by my daughter-in-law. Also men and women focus on different parts of the anatomy when they try to decide if a woman is beautiful and/or and a man is a potential “chick magnet.” Haven’t you ever heard a discussion about what physically attracts a man to a woman: her boobs, her butt, her legs, her hair color, or whatever.
Remember the saying, “Men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.” Doesn’t seem to matter now. It used to be what attracted a woman to a man was his profession or his ability to be able to support her in the style she was or would like to become accustomed to. At mid-life or latter some men look for a younger woman sometimes even young enough to be their daughter. Then there women who are “cougars” and seek younger men. Ever hear the terms, “sugar daddy”or “trophy wife”?
There is one particular cable news channel that is often on at my house and one of the recurring “experts” I became acquainted with was so ugly, I didn’t like to look at him; however he was very knowledgeable and had a very credible life history to support his road to being this “expert.” All of a sudden one day as I was listening to him, I realized he no longer was bad looking to me. His looks didn’t change but my attitude toward them had.
I came to realize that I had been selling other people short when I concentrated on their looks instead of their personality, knowledge, and abilities. I also I noticed I was selling myself short too when I dressed to impress and probably could not afford it instead of wearing something flattering and comfortable so I could be comfortable being me. I don’t mean that looks don’t count. You can go too far in this direction to the point of being offensive.
I had planned to post on the fact that the cable news channel had only impossibly beautiful women in at least distracting (if not very conservative) clothes, dangerously high heels, high maintenance hairstyles, and glamorous makeup that required that these women show up early for work in order to attain this look. Also of course, the men who had the same jobs were often not necessarily tall, athletic, and youthful and wore more comfortable, less revealing, clothes. I then realized I was judging these women on how they looked but in a negative way. They didn’t deserve that either. They invested a lot of time and money into looking the way they did and should not be judged for trying so hard.
It all depends on your point of view.
The problem is that in your garden you may have been taught to see certain plants as weeds and which should be “weeded” out and others as flowers which should be cultivated. Many people when they plant their gardens expect to get flowers but the truth is that when you plant a seed, you may get not get what you expected which is someone like you and you don’t know how to cultivate them. How do you handle this mystery seed as a disappointment or as a wonderful new discovery if you got what you were hoping for. Why take it out on the plant, because you have to learn new cultivating techniques and, for example, provide different amounts of water, different amounts of sunshine or shade, and different kinds and amounts of plant food as well as protection from different types of insect infestation. Some require more space than others or grow taller and block the sun getting to other plants and/or your view of them. You can look on this as a pleasant surprise or as a serious disappointment and/or you might learn new things about growing different “plants”.
The famous Kennedy family had their developmentally disabled daughter unsuccessfully operated on to deal with her unconventional behavior and then institutionalized her because they couldn’t cope with her unfortunate behavior changes after surgery and her perceived inability to benefit (they thought) no longer from family life with the other children. Could she who was seen as an unfortunate weed that needed to be changed been raised successfully (at least for her if not for them) in the in the Kennedy family compound? They felt that they couldn’t cope with her behavior and poor ability to comprehend and benefit from what was going on around her. It was an unfortunate decision and at the time, they didn’t know that the operation would not help her, but injury her further.
Did you get what you individually needed to grow and flourish as the flower that you actually were or were you treated unfortunately as an unwanted weed? Also what were your parents considered to be by their parents, teachers, and even peers? Flowers or weeds? and how were they raised? Taking account of the differences as well as the similarities is important in raising your own off spring or the children you have contact with, students, nieces and nephews, etc. . Consider such happenings as a pleasant surprise and as a splendid way to learn new things and see life from a different point of view and not as dealing with an unwanted pest and, at best, as at least an inconvenience to have such a child and set them the child up for the rest of his or her life to be seen as a failure or to be at the least second best when compared with a sibling or or siblings who might more meet your expectations and fit your style of dealing with life itself.
The value of human life is invaluable but many people want us to hide our light under a bushel basket so that they can let theirs shine. When are you going to come out of the closet and stop others from making us do this. Just as it is life changing for a homosexual to come out of the closet so is it life changing for any individual to come out of the closet and expose who he or she really is.
Forcing a belief system on another through coercion is not the way to spread love and knowledge. We all have something to contribute and to have another’s belief system forced upon us out of the fear that our expressing our beliefs system which is different will restrict theirs.
I believe we all have something to contribute if we believe in our selves from the most developmentally disabled individual to the most brilliant and verbal individual. When we assemble in a group, why do we almost automatically begin to judge ourselves against each other. Leaving some people out and promoting other people to positions of leadership over the rest of us. How often does someone sit quietly in a classroom because they feel that they have little to contribute. So often people criticize others and complain about others so strongly that they cause others to shut up and make no contributions for fear of being criticized.
Great people like Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross have recognized the contributions of “little” people that most people don’t notice or ignore. How about the cleaning lady who when she goes into hospital rooms her mere presence quiets and comforts dying patients? Consider the behavior of the “Father” also known as Pope Francis who has not taken on the pompt and circumstance of being the Pope and thus has discouraged those in the Vatican and Cardinals and other clergy in positions of authority from elevating themselves above other religious or common folk.
How uncertain are we about expressing ourselves when we see what other people can do to us when we express ourselves. In psychology, this is called relational aggression versus direct aggression which involves actually hurting someone physically. Rejecting someone and encouraging others to reject them too can be deadly (sometimes resulting in self-murder or suicide or mass murders of innocent people) . Have you ever feel that your own opinion was as good or better as someone else’s or that your instinct to do something in a given situation would have resulted in a better outcome than someone else got? but we stay quiet. How much does that actually help the world if all the good people keep their mouths shut.
All of us are diamonds in the rough. It just takes cutting and polishing to bring out our brilliance. Some of us are fearful of going through this process. Some of us do not have enough self-confidence. What if people like Ghandi kept their mouth shut. What if mother Teresa had been content to just be an ordinary nun? Would she have been more comfortable? When Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross came out against quarantining and rejecting children who had aids (through no fault of their own), she was virtually kicked out of the community that wouldn’t let her take them in.
How often have you been in a group where you kept your mouth shut even though you might have said what many others were also thinking? This can be true about supporting homosexuals right to lead normal lives without rejection and persecution. Have you ever kept your mouth shut in a group where someone was trying to do this? or something similar? I am not wanting to take away anyone’s right to disapprove of homosexuality while taking the right to app0rove of it or at least not to reject it. On the one hand, everyone has rights and we have to be careful not to take away someone’s rights while asserting the right to have our own. On the other hand, have you ever supported someone else’s rights while keeping quiet about your right to your own beliefs?
How well do you stand up for yourself or others when this happens? Are you easily shamed or guilted into doing something that makes you personally uncomfortable even at your own personal expense. When the rolis called up yonder and you go before the ultimate judge (yourself) how will you fare? How many things will you have missed out on? How many chances will you have passed by to do what you knew was the right thing but didn’t have enough courage to do?
What will you have sacrificed to make others happy by letting them get away with abusing your time trying to convince you that they are right when you know they are wrong. Giving up being joyful and happy so that others who will never learn anything the hard way can escape the consequences of their behavior. Do you sometimes feel life is a drag especially when you go along with other peoples’ preferences instead of your own especially if those choices will make you uncomfortable and continue to suck the joy out of your life.
Worse yet you go against your own internal moral code in order to conform to societies expectations and generalizations about “correct” behavior that could be be and might be applied to your behavior. Are you willing to be punished for doing something you know is really “right” even if it goes against the codes of others?
How independent are your standards both for yourself and others. Are you willing to spend time with someone who is boring but doesn’t know it because other people often let him or her get away with it. Would you spend time with someone who has few friends but who would appreciate getting your time or do you follow the crowd and do the same old thing that you do every time you go out instead? What does your intuition say you should do?