Posts Tagged With: faith

Too Damned Stubborn To Stop

There is a lot of discussion of resiliency among people in therapy. Why? Probably because they’ve heard their therapist say something about it, and to quote Inigo Montoya (Princess Bride) “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

There are people who use this word to describe people in other classes. For some, the actions and choices of the rich define what they think resilience is.  On the other hand, there are quite a few professionals (not necessarily all involved in psychology) using the word as a goal for the poor, because if they can “just be resilient” then life will be all unicorns, rainbows and butterflies.

Guess what, people? It ain’t that way in the real world.

  1. There are resilient and not-so-resilient people in all economic classes. Neither your economic status nor your relative financial success/failure defines your ability to be resilient.
  2. To quote the American Psychological Association (APA) Psychology Help Center’s brochure on “The Road To Resilience” resilience is defined as:
    “Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.”

Let me say this loudly:

The ability to persist
IS NOT
being resilient!

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Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the Citizens of the U.S. Don’t Seem To Remember

The United States, as a nation, is fairly young. Most of our acknowledged founders came from Europe, primarily from England/Scotland/Ireland (because the 18th century included turbulent wars and rebellions between these countries), France and Spain with a few others from assorted other Western European countries. I emphasize acknowledged founders, because they were not the only ones fighting for freedom, nor were these founders involved in creating our country.  The unacknowledged founders included many women and so-called  “minorities.” I’m not just talking about the wives of the founders nor any minority that filled the roles of slave or indentured servant. Just because your history classes never covered those roles nor acknowledged their existence doesn’t mean they were not involved.

Yet, there is something to remember here. As a nation, we are only 240 years old (if you take the Declaration of Independence the start of our nation as opposed to when our Constitution was signed in 1789, which makes our nation only 227 years old). The foundations of Western Europe were laid at the devolution of the Roman Empire (approximately 500 C.E.), making the nations of Western Europe approximately 1,516 years old.

If we choose 40 years old in a human being to be their reaching middle age and equate the age of Western Europe as with it, that means that our nation is essentially a 6-year-old (for those who like math, the ratio here is 1,516/40:240/x). If we take the founding of our nation based upon Columbus’ “discovery” of America (for those who like math, the ratio here is 1,516/40:227/x) it still only makes us just 13-years-old. Personally, I think we are closer to the development of the 6-year-old given what I see in our cultural development.

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Categories: Political Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Loving Your Enemies — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Christmas 1957 Sermon (PDF, 0.192 Mb)
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Too many white people, including those who consider Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be a role model, forget that not only was he a Civil Rights leader or a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate but also a Baptist minister. They seem to only think about the one speech — “I Have a Dream.” Coming from a very religious family background, I cannot forget he was a minister.  And as such, I have been trying to read through his sermons.

Sermons are essentially lectures with a Biblical basis (usually a particular verse or set of verses). Watching my father prepare his sermons and listening to them in church, I can also tell you from personal experience that they also teach you about the character and integrity of the minister.

Particularly important to our current situation is this sermon from November, 1957.

There is a culture of hate and demonization that is splitting this country apart. Sadly, I am seeing many  parallels between our current situation and both the causes of the Civil War (1861-1865) as well as the Civil Rights movement (that most of us seem to date as only being inclusive of 1950-1970, but truly is still part of the whole issue that the Civil War brought to light and honesty – and still continues today, because it has never ended).

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Categories: Political Opinion, Religious Ruminations | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Divination, Prophecy & Fear

 

The real difference between divination and prophecy is that prophecy claims to be a communication directly from the prophet’s form of the Divine and is purported to give a more globalized view. Divination, on the other hand, is a way to assess trends in one’s personal life (either the diviner’s life or the person they are doing it for).

However, both come through the mind of the person giving the pronouncement. Many prophets claim that since the source of the prophecy is the Divine that there is no interpretation. A good example of this is Book of Revelation in the Bible. Except, even though this is considered to be the “inspired word of God” (essentially directly from God through the pen of the writer — with no interpretation) there have been centuries worth of assorted interpretation of it in different ways.

But, it doesn’t really matter what claims that are made. It doesn’t even really matter what the prophet or diviner thinks about it.

The reality of the situation is that no matter the source, communicating that information still has to come through the mind of the person making the proclamation. This means that the information received is given a subjective twist.

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Categories: General Contemplation | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is missing from ‘How did this happen?’

One of the biggest question many people have been asking themselves since the election is “how did this happen?” I’ve heard many different theories, most of them regurgitating the same old political lines. Well, they might have some truth to them. Is the Democratic Party guilty of elitist progressivism? Definitely. Did they railroad Hillary Clinton candidacy, regardless of any other option? Probably. Has the Democratic Party focused more on urban areas and academia to the detriment of rural Americans? Again, definitely.

The issue is that both urban and rural areas have some similarities, but those similarities are part of the problem. Population density has been the basis of most of the programs, initiatives and policies by our government (including those that have been bi-partisan). It should be obvious that rural areas, by definition, have lower population densities than urban areas. Unfortunately, our leadership (including many Republicans) has ignored the shrinking ability of these communities to support the needs of their people.

However, there is a portion of our nation’s citizenry that many people do not understand. Moreover, I have yet to have seen any discussion of them. These are our fellow citizens who are evangelicals. In fact, when people talk about them, it is usually quite derogatory or mocking. We also tend to give them short shrift because the urban poor are obvious to anyone who spends time in the poorer sections of our cities. The rural poor? The nicest stereotype is Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel (from the Simpsons, seen to the right) or maybe the Beverly Hillbillies.

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Categories: Political Opinion, Religious Ruminations | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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