Once again, the Mike Brown case has regained momentum in social media, the legal world, and also in the actions of thousands who are protesting the most recent decision made in the case. There’s conflicting reports on what exactly happened but the truth of the matter is that Mike Brown should not be dead. From as young as I can remember, I was taught to respect authority figures. This included policeman. However, this teaching was also followed by positive contacts and interactions with policeman. We personally met and sang to our city’s chief of police. Our landlord was a former chief of police for the city and was a great person who went against the unspoken segregation rules of the city and rented a house to a black family on the white side of the train tracks. His sons were also active police officers who my siblings and I had the chance to interact with and ask questions about their jobs. As someone who fairly frequently has to call the police on someone or for someone, I can say that there are police personnel who do well at their jobs and those who do not. I absolutely believe that race does play an issue in the Mike Brown situation and other similar shootings that have happened in the last decade where innocent black men have been killed. With all the protests happening across the country and possible solutions to racial equality being submitted by many, I think that the value of respect played a role in this very unfortunate and tragic situation. Disrespect on both sides. I wonder if Mike Brown personally knew a lot of officers. If he had any prior positive interactions with law enforcement in a neutral environment. Lastly, I wonder if these positive interactions would have changed the outcome of the day. The truth of the matter is that if you’re being robbed, car-jacked, assaulted, or stalked, most likely you want the added presence of someone in law enforcement. Maybe part of the bigger solution to this whole mess and cycle of unnecessary deadly force is to push for accountability while also advocating for stronger community relationships between citizens and the local police force. No, it’s not going to be a cure all for all racial tensions but it just might ease it a bit.
Monthly Archives: November 2014
The Tinder Experiment
My brother was the one who showed me this video and it was SO interesting. The video is pretty self explanatory so I won’t explain it in detail. However, I will say that it definitely sheds light on some of the challenges of online dating. I think that it’s very telling of the significance we place on attractiveness and appearances. I love the dry humor of the host of the video and the way that they approached the experiment. That being said, I wonder if results would be different if the experiment targeted one specific college campus.
I’m a self-described night person who has been forced to be more of a morning person due to work obligations. As a result, I’ve become more appreciative of the days where mandatory attendance in the morning is not necessary. I can understand the importance of accomplishing work early in the day, but I would also like to be fully awake. Getting up in the early morning is an example of discipline that I have had to develop despite my natural balking at someone deciding my schedule for me. Regardless, I think that this might be some form of preparation for motherhood. Taking actions despite emotions that might argue otherwise. I think that can be a good thing.
I Blame You (the song)
I don’t know why, but this song reminds me of the winter feeling. I don’t know why but I just has an “it’s cold outside and I’m sitting by the fireplace sipping hot cocoa” feel. Let me start off by saying that Ledisi is one of the most versatile and talented female artists that I’ve ever heard. Her range is amazing and her runs are very crisp. I had the opportunity to hear her live when she came and sang at my church and subsequently released this single not that much later. There are few artists I’ve heard who sound better live than their recordings and she is without a doubt one of them. This song is a happy “I’m in love” sorta song with Ledisi singing about how her perspective has changed once she has met this special person. She feels like a different person and it’s something that other people notice as well. When I first heard this song I listened to it at least five times in a row because it was just so well written. The melody is clear and catchy and the lyrics fit perfectly with the whole concept of the song. Ledisi is another one of the artists I consider to be melodically articulate because she has such great control in her voice but there’s also emotion and soul behind it that comes through when she sings.
Husbands and Fathers
This is an article I came across recently that was fairly thought provoking to me. As a therapist, I’ve learned how to roll with the choices people make even if I may not personally choose to make those exact choices myself. No judgement. However, one thing I have not personally grown mature enough to understand (and maybe I’ll never be) the decisions that some people make when choosing the person they make a baby with and not make a judgment on their mental capacity. That being said, working at a job where I interact with children who have been abused has convinced me without a doubt that there are some people who should never ever ever be parents. I am of the opinion that some men make great fathers and other men make great husbands and that sometimes these two things do not go together. Don’t get me wrong, I think that there are some characteristics that both fathers and husbands should have that overlap with each other. But I think that the roles of a husband and that of an engaged, aware, and mature parent are different. The article is a little on the humorous side but it does make you think about the difference between a spouse and a parent. While selfishness in a marriage can cause problems, a selfish parent can negatively impact the life of the next generation. Communication between adults is different than communication with children. It’s not healthy to be enmeshed with a child in the same manner you are with a spouse. Totally different ballgame. Raising a child successfully without messing them up for life requires a different set of skills than having a relationship with another mature adult. It’s nice to have a great husband and it’s wonderful if a man is a good father, but it’s even better when a guy can be both at the same time.
One thing that was drilled into my head from childhood was the importance of saying thank you. It’s a habit that has followed me through adulthood. A thank you is an acknowledgment of something or someone that made an effort in some way to positively impact you. Recently, I rented a 2014 Toyota Camry and really enjoyed it. I drove the car over 1000 miles in a period of four days and it was one of the best driving experiences I’ve had in my life. It was very apparent that the car was designed with a driver in mind and all the amenities and bells and whistles were easily accessible while driving. The sound system was excellent and the car practically drove itself–giving me the opportunity to contemplate my life in great detail. Needless to say, it was a great experience and I took the time to write a handwritten note (the best kind) to Toyota corporation thanking them for the work that they did in making the Camry a great car. I sent this letter to their headquarters in Japan. Lo and behold, a few weeks later I received a personal letter from one of the Toyota vice-presidents thanking me for my letter and saying that it was being circulated through the Toyota divisions for the employees to read. I’m always amazed at how rare it is to receive a handwritten thank you note for ANYTHING these days. As digitized as we make our lives, there’s nothing like knowing that someone appreciated what you did for them and took the time to write you personally and express their gratitude. Any and every act of kindness toward you should be responded to with a “thank you.” It’s basic good manners and common sense. And that doesn’t go out of style. Ever.
We’ve all heard the cliche sayings and adages about the the consequences of quitting. It’s pounded into our heads that giving up should never be an option. We advise people fighting life threatening illnesses to fight and seek aggressive treatment. We soothe ourselves with the thought that not giving up has rewards in and of itself. But at what point in the game does giving up become a question of survival? When do we have to just call it and tap out? At what point is fighting futile and pointless? I think that there are times in our lives when we have to recognize that going any further in our fight is a undeniable sign of insanity. That doesn’t mean that the fight is not important but it does mean that there are more important things–like regrouping and doing something else.
Earlier this year I posted about the dilemma of finding a topic for my dissertation. I can honestly say that at the beginning of this thing I had no idea the time and energy that it would entail. Any advanced degree in the social sciences typically involves a lot of writing and this particular one has been no different. Two LOOOOOONG years of classwork have recently ended with the last class being a doctoral level statistics class that I thought I was going to epically fail. However, I passed by the literal skin of my own teeth with a “B.” While I like distance learning, I also like the interactions that come along with being physically present in a traditional classroom. While I’ve been consistent with keeping up with the expectations of my program and turning in my assignments on time, I haven’t taken it seriously. It’s been a time consuming hobby. Not because I don’t take my life and professional goals seriously, but because I picked a fairly broad concentration that combines work I’ve completed in other disciplines. The next hurdle is that of starting, working on, and completing my dissertation. Thankfully I’ve finally arrived at a topic and after 3 months of emails and subsequent rejections have finally finalized a dissertation committee. So now I can categorize myself as ABD (all but dissertation) in the scholarly world. I can add “PhD. Candidate” to my email signature and even apply for jobs in higher ed. An added bonus was the fact that I could take a three month break and still be on track to graduate on time. All that being said, one of the interesting facts I learned this summer was that only 1.9% of people who start a doctorate complete it. That means that 98.1% of people who start one do not finish. That fact is motivation for me to finish what I started and to add another set of initials behind my name. The school thing isn’t finished and won’t be for a bit but with some dedication and consistency combined by my decision to take school seriously at this point in the game I’ll conquer this last mountain.
5 Things I Wish More People Knew About Mental Health
1. Every person who has mood swings or depression is not automatically “bipolar” and “schizophrenic.” These are terms that most people throw around without any idea what it truly entails. They’re usually wrong.
2. Telling someone who is severely depressed that they should snap out of it, pray more, or engage in some other activity that does not involve being evaluated by some type of professional is stupid. You may mean well but that doesn’t excuse giving horrible advice on something you aren’t qualified on. Mental illness isn’t the same for everyone.
3. Ignoring your kid’s obvious problems won’t make them go away. Playing ostrich in the sand as a parent doesn’t benefit anyone and 9 times out of 10, the problem(s) will get worse. Avoidance may work for you but sometimes you just have to man/woman up and face issues for the sake of your kid and their future.
4. There’s still a stigma surrounding getting help for mental health challenges but the truth is that we live in a different world than we did 100 years ago with different stressors. Being self-aware of your emotions and your own issues will go a long way in being a well-adjusted adult. There’s no shame in knowing that you need help and going through the necessary channels to get it.
5. Medications can work wonders. Some people genuinely need to be on medication for the rest of their lives in order to have a better quality of life. So stop telling people not to take their meds because you aren’t them and you don’t know how that could impact their day to day functioning.
I am a fan of Tori’s voice. These days there aren’t a lot of singers who sound exactly like they do in on the CD in person. I can honestly say that after hearing Tori sing live in person that this is one of my favorite covers that she’s done. Not only is this song a classic, Tori makes it her own without overpowering on the melody. She has such an amazing range and control along with the fact that she’s great with the guitar. One of the reasons why I like his cover so much is that Tori almost completely remakes the song while still remaining true to the original concept. This is something of a balance act but Tori pulls it off effortlessly.