“Bucket List” The Rules…..I’m Doing Me Right Now
June 4, 2015

It was December 15, 2007 when the Hollywood blockbuster “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman hit the world by storm.  The movie cost about $45 million to produce and brought in over $175 million dollars.  The primary plot centered around two terminally ill patients who with nothing to loose deciding to toss restraint to the wind and go out with a bang by doing anything and everything they had always wanted to do but had not yet completed.

Bucket list poster.jpg

Recently an American was on a safari through a lions park where signs in large print were posted warning those driving through the park to keep the vehicle windows up at all times.  For some strange reason according to tour guides in the park people will ignore the verbal and written cautions as if they have nothing to loose and are saying to the world around them “Bucket”.

ABC News recently posted the following regarding the lion incident:

The park where the mauling occurred allows lions to roam while tourists drive through the preserve. A park official said that although visitors are ordered to keep their windows closed, the woman was taking pictures through an open window when the lioness lunged. The vehicle’s driver, believed to be a local tour operator, was also injured and was hospitalized.

South African media have reported that an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion earlier this year while driving through the park with his windows open and a teenager who tried to cut through the park on a bicycle was attacked by a cheetah.

The park official said the lioness would not be killed, but was kept away from tourists after the attack.

Most recently near Jackson, Mississippi a family attending the high school graduation ceremony of a loved one made a decision to ignore the directives of the school district to wait until the end of the awarding of diplomas before cheering and applauding in order for all students to be able to not only hear their name called but to maintain a certain dignity for the commencement ceremony.  A family came to the decision to “Bucket” the schools request and live, celebrate and call out the name of their loved one as if this would be the final commencement they would every attend.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/mississippi-family-members-charged-cheering-225635150.html

Boundaries, regulations, expectations and rules are often in place to protect not only an individual but also the specific institution or environment as well.  The Old Testament nation of Israel continually found themselves in danger and were constantly faced with grief and death because of their decision to “Bucket” many of Gods boundaries, regulations and expectations that were in place to keep them safe.

Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

At some point our country, our communities, our families and our churches must accept the reality that putting laws on a “Bucket List” will destroy the very fabric of this world as God intended.

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Domestic Violence – It’s Clearly A Crime – Just Not Clearly Defined In Legal Circles
September 8, 2014

Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report presents trends in intimate partner violence by sex, and examines intimate partner violence against women by the victim’s age, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, and household composition. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Take a look at this video and decide what type of crime is being committed?  Is it simple assault, attempted murder, a felony, or a misunderstanding?  Depending upon the officer, the prosecutor, who the person committing the action is or who the individual on the receiving end of the action is, determines how the incident is handled.

http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_ekaflcqq

Females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children and 6 times higher than households with one female only.

Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.

From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.

According to The U.S. Department of Justice in a July 1996 National Institute of Justice report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act:

Within the criminal justice system, data collection is complicated by the division of
responsibilities across many independent entities—law enforcement agencies,
prosecutors, courts, and corrections. Although some local jurisdictions have
established integrated criminal justice information systems, most criminal justice data
are fragmented along operational boundaries. The continued difficulties in obtaining
complete and accurate criminal history records were cited as one indicator of the
inability to track individuals as they move through the criminal justice system or
recidivate for subsequent crimes.

The U.S. Department of Justice 1996 report revealed another eyeopener:

Multi-jurisdictional—multiple State and local agencies
Because of victim and offender mobility, agencies increasingly must be able to share
information across State and local boundaries. There are several Federal and regional
efforts under way to either provide mechanisms to do this or to encourage the
development of these systems. Achieving this goal will take time, however, and many
technical and organizational obstacles will have to be overcome.
One situation where this has been identified as a serious problem is with court
protection orders because officials outside of the originating jurisdictions generally do
not have ready access to the information required for enforcement. In addition,
policies and standards for issuing court protection orders can vary from area to area, making enforcement across jurisdictional boundaries a complex issue for local authorities.

The absence of a national definition of domestic violence causes irregularities in the
inclusion/exclusion of more informal relationships such as current or ex-boyfriends/
girlfriends, roommates, and cohabitants.  For example, Michigan and Kansas
have added a box on their crime incident report forms that officers must mark to
indicate whether an incident was domestic violence related. Other States (e.g.,
Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin) have separate forms for reporting domestic
violence. The special domestic violence report form enables States to collect offense specific
information that may be more difficult to include in a general crime incident
report form. Use of a separate form, however, does carry the physical and
psychological burden of additional paperwork, which increases the likelihood that
officers will fail to complete or submit a report.

Because domestic and sexual violence victims can face possible reprisals by the
offenders, a heavy burden of embarrassment, and other repercussions, obtaining their
cooperation can be extremely difficult for law enforcement and other agencies. The
act of reporting domestic violence and some sexual violence incidents may be
considered by victims as a last resort or as a way to make an irreparable break in a
relationship. Consequently, the victims may perceive reporting as an admission of
personal failure that they cannot face or believe is avoidable.
Additionally, the problem of adequate training of personnel in handling these cases
often was cited in the project panel discussions and survey responses. As many
jurisdictions are recognizing the seriousness of these offenses, new laws and policies
are being adopted, which in turn may require time to train all relevant staff in new
procedures and to fully implement them.

For all the above reasons, under reporting of domestic and sexual violence can be
more of a problem than for other types of offenses. Although efforts can be made to
overcome some of the factors hindering accurate reporting, some barriers may never
be completely surmounted given the nature of these crimes and the social and
behavioral issues involved.

Because identifying domestic violence crimes may involve consideration of a criminal
act, the relationship between the victim and offender, and the offender’s motive for
committing the act, properly classifying cases can be more difficult than for other
types of offenses. For example, a crime incident that would normally be considered a
property crime (e.g., a burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny, or vandalism) could be
classified as a domestic violence incident if the perpetrator’s intent is to harass or
intimidate the victim. This may require the investigating officers to go beyond the
facts initially presented for a complaint to its possible underlying circumstances.
An additional complication for data reporting is that some States have not mandated a
specific domestic violence offense with which to charge an offender. In these
instances, the offender is charged with another offense, but his case may be flagged as
a domestic violence case for reporting purposes. Other States have broader family
violence statutes that include domestic violence.

As early as 1930 the Uniform Crime Reporting System has been in existence and all states contribute data into it in one form or another.  The UCRS was not mandatory however.  In 1980 the FBI replaced the old 1930 UCRS with the National Incident Based Reporting System NIBRS.  The new NIBRS is not mandatory for states to enter data.  Whether it’s the old UCRS reporting or the newer NIBRS reporting system, neither system has a clearly defined category for Domestic Violence under Category A or Category B Crimes. 

Time has come for our communities, schools, churches, businesses and families to demand that individuals who commit domestic violence be held accountable for their behaviors.  Men are to honor women as vessels of high value.  Women are to esteem men as one who is her point man or one who is willing to go before her.  Behaviorally, whenever domestic violence presents itself, it is certain that someone is functioning below God’s expectations.  There is never a time when domestic violence should be accepted or explained away in a civilized society.

The Psychology of Infidelity and It’s Impact In Marriages
August 27, 2011

According to an article in 2003 Men’s Health 1 in 22 women compared to 1 in 20 men admitted to having an affair.  One survey asked if couples would cheat if their spouse would not find out and only 8% said yes.  Although about 60 to 65% of couples having affairs survive, almost 80% of those who survive are not as happy as they once were before the affair happened.  At the end of the day or should I say at the end of infidelity and all it’s secret keeping by those involved both men and women, over 80% of those who have infidelity in their lives regardless of why always get caught.

If a man steal because he is hungry although it is wrong the one stole from is more likely to forgive the thief.  In the Old Testament if a man and woman were unfaithful (infidelity) the remedy was to stone them.  What is Infidelity and why are the results of infidelity so destructive?

Infidelity is a strong sexual attraction to another person other than one’s spouse.  Typically infidelity involves a level of secrecy and plenty of lies regarding one’s whereabout, time and the expenditure of funds.  It is not unusual for the individual to have a greater sense of emotional bonding to the person(s) involved in the affair rather than his or her spouse.  The very foundation of a healthy relationship is the emotional attachment between husband and wife.  Whenever a third party becomes the focus of a married person’s emotions the natural tendency is to also removes ones time, energy and focus toward the infidelity relationship.

Most affairs are not planned and contrary to what one may think, infidelity does not occur because of “bad marriages”.  Boundaries and one’s commitment to abide within the vows of marriage regardless of opportunity to enjoy sexual and emotional intercourse with another regulates to a larger degree one’s choice to avoid or engage in infidelity.  Years ago a teaser to a well know movie starring Robin Williams said, “I did not have sex with that woman, but I wanted to”.  It was Robin Williams boundaries that kept him from being unfaithful.  William’s  response from Hollywood sound like a line taken directly from Jacob’s son Joseph in the Old Testament when Potipher’s wife invited him to enjoy sexual intercourse with her.  Joseph’s simple response was, “how can I commit so great a sin against your husband and against God’.  Joseph understood what it was like to be lonely, to be in the presence of a lovely woman, to enjoy good conversation with a married woman and to work in an environment with a daily opportunity to have an ongoing secret affair.  From all indicators Joseph would have been assured that Potipher’s wife would not have told on him as long as her emotional and sexual needs were being satisfied by him.

The Psychology of Family
August 18, 2011

A family may have multiple members with their own personal ideas, methods and resources.  Contrary to popular opinion however a family is not nor has it ever been a democracy.  Dating back to the first recorded family consisting of a husband and wife although each person had the freedom to think, within the family constellation neither the male or female invoked their “democratic” when confronted about the choices they had made.  In a completely democratic setting each person has no true accountability to others for their actions.  Within any family system disagreements will arise and unless dealt with properly a major disruption to family cohesion will occur.  Accordingly each person within the family unit must possess a clear understanding that one person within the family must be recognized as the go to person as the voice of reason and the one to whom other families will defer as long as safety and compromise of morals or violation of law are not an issue.

In the world of work employees accept the principle of work settings not being a democratic environment.  In regards to public safety areas such as police, fire houses, or our military, those who work within such areas understand the rank of others and without necessarily agreeing with the person or determinations for the most part honor is given not to the person but rather the position or rank.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, over 50% of American households today do not meet the criteria of what is considered a nuclear family.  This in some ways has contributed to the blurred understanding of who is “leading” families.  Some children be they male or female resist accepting the role of a single mother, or grandparent, or other kinsman as being the authority within the home.  Some children are raised by older siblings or stepparents who may have even a more difficult time being accepted as the authority figure within the home.

Finally even in some marriages a power struggle can occur between the husband and wife if for instance the male comes from a history of women are not to be respected nor their opinion worth knowing or if the wife comes from a history of dismissing or ignoring directions from men simply because of insecurity and or mistrust.

The Psychology of When People Marry
August 17, 2011

 

Although the number of individuals marrying today compared to 50 years ago is lower per 1,000, by no means is marriage becoming a thing of the past.  Don’t believe the hype that there are no men out there for women to marry.  The reality of studies conducted by The Center for Disease Control as of 2002 are in part presented below.

  • Number of marriages: 2,077,000
  • Marriage rate: 6.8 per 1,000 total population
  • Divorce rate: 3.4 per 1,000 population (44 reporting States and D.C.)
The marriage rate as of 2002 of 6.8% per 1,000 exceeds the divorce rate of 3.4% per 1,000 as of 2002.

71% of men and 79% of females between the ages of 25 and 44 have never been married.  An exciting finding shows that by age 40 about 81% of men and 86% of women will get married and surprisingly a larger percentage of females than men who are age 35 to 44 will marry by age 35.

The probability of first marriage by age 18 is low for both men and women: 6% for women and 2% for men.

There is a 50% probability that women will have married for the first time by the age of 25. Not until age 27 is there a 50% probability that men will have married for the first time.

The probability of first marriage by age 30 is 74% for women and 61% for men.

The probability of first marriage by age 40 is 86% for women and 81% for men.

Women have higher probabilities than men of experiencing a first marriage by each age shown, except at age 40 (where the difference is not statistically significant).

Now that you have more factual information please refrain from panic simply because you are not married by the age of 30 or 35.  Notice how high the probability jumps by age 40 for men and women.

What are some of the “old maid” stories you have heard or told regarding the cutoff age for getting married?

Narcissistic People And You
August 16, 2011


Narcissistic People….More Common Than You Think

Have you encountered people who for unknown reasons must be the center of attention and demand in sometimes not so subtle ways the adoration of everyone?  Have you encountered people who are charming, entertaining, witty, and almost seductive only to find out later they have manipulated you into a relationship be it business, social and even sexual that you regret?  Have you encountered people who once you disagree with them and refuse to follow their lead they do demeaning acts toward you that are shameful and hurtful and even destructive to your character?  You have just been in the spell of a narcissistic person.

According to the staff of Mayo Clinic narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Mayo Clinic research has also found evidence that links the cause of narcissistic behaviors to a dysfunctional childhood, such as excessive pampering, extremely high expectations, abuse or neglect especially by parents as the most prevalent triggers. Other evidence points to genetics or psychobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking.

Narcissistic individuals will mostly only engage in environments where they are in control, superior to all others or receive false praise from others.

Risk factors for narcissistic personality disorder may include:

  • Parental disdain for fears and needs expressed during childhood
  • Lack of affection and praise during childhood
  • Neglect and emotional abuse in childhood
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
  • Learning manipulative behaviors from parents

Children who learn from their parents that vulnerability is unacceptable may lose their ability to empathize with others’ needs. They may also mask their emotional needs with grandiose, egotistical behavior that’s calculated to make them seem emotionally “bulletproof.”

Finally, psychotherapy is recommended as a treatment modality but the “bulletproof” thinking of a narcissistic person will most likely stop the individual from seeking counseling.  The only fear of confronting a narcissistic sociopathic person is how they will attempt to destroy you.  Never worry about hurting their feelings because they are totally insulated from feeling for others or being impacted by what other say about them.

How do you interact with narcissistic people in your interactions?

The Psychology of Serious Mental Illness
August 15, 2011

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health defines sustained mental illness SMI as a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that has been diagnosed within the prior year or currently.  This condition must also be void of developmental or substance use disorders.  SMI must also impede or impair routine functioning of ones routine daily events.  The SMI must also meet the criteria found in at least the earlier 4th edition of the DSM IV.

The graph below comes from National Institute of Health (NIH) and it’s division of The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 

Serious Mental Illness is found in about 5% of the United States population.  Although the graph indicates a somewhat higher presence among whites and females which is accepted as factual for that population.

On the other hand are African Americans and males less likely to seek clinical help than other reported populations? Does this account for the lower percentages in the findings presented by NIH.

The Psychology of Traveling
August 13, 2011

We just returned earlier today from a lovely 7 day cruise on RCCL’s Oasis of The Sea.  Without a doubt the ship is the largest vessel I have ever been aboard.  Although a large ship by any measure, the onboard staff provided services that were almost flawless.  The Customer Service Desk has some of the most professional and poised people assisting individuals through very difficult moments such as losing eye glasses as my wife did or offering a complimentary meal to us because of incorrect information given by their home office that was corrected once we were at sea.

The psychology behind a great vacation is found in the screening of employees to maximum their skills and abilities in the proper environment.  Imagine having people working RCCL’s Customer Service Desk who have very little people skills or expert knowledge about a very diverse listing of critical needs of potentially 6,000 passengers.  There was also something interesting I observed even in riding in taxis over the past week.  It was very clear to me when a taxi driver was not a people oriented person.  One driver would probably have driven us who knows where unless we had said “take us to such and such place”.   Not one word was spoken when the taxi picked us up and it was honestly almost as if we ruined his day by having a fare that was not what he had in mind or it was too short of a distance for him to make a lot of money.  Not once were we asked where we were from or what brought us to his city or if this was our first time being there or how did we like the weather or what did we think of his city.  Honestly I felt like we were the ones trying to make our taxi driver feel welcome in his own car.  Have you ever experienced anything similar to this?  What suggestions would you give to taxi companies about the psychology of customer service?  What is the screening procedure used by your work group to insure that people are indeed being used where they are not only knowledgeable but also equipped to compliment their work environment?

Relations Require Interaction – Are You Fearful?
August 5, 2011

Relationships Require Interaction Be They Dating, Work, School or Marriage.

Have you ever dreamed of meeting a famous person or speaking with a job CEO only to meet them in a hallway, bathroom or elevator and suddenly you become speechless?  Below is an excellent article from National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland that gives a broad overview of what Social Anxiety is and some general signs with ideas of treatment.

Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

What is Social Phobia?

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation — such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others — or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.

Signs & Symptoms

People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.

Treatment

Effective treatments for social phobia are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with social phobia and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.

Counseling
August 3, 2011

Counseling people is one of the most rewarding crafts in the world.  Prior to the Enlightenment Era, individuals depended upon interactions with people who were skilled in the usage of rhetoric or words to ease the cognitive allusions that presented themselves due to day to day life stressors.  The soul healers were know as philosopher’s which included individuals such as Socrates, Plato, Euripides, Aristotle and the like.  All of these were men strong in the art of reason and logic that was capable of challenging the very source of a persons conclusions about how they felt about life, relationships, and even God.  In the Christian world one of the most renowned yet unnoticed “Counselors” was the Apostle Paul.  It the New Testament book of Acts 17, Paul goes to what was the very seat of Greek Counselors and begin reasoning with them with such conviction and logic that some wanted to schedule additional sessions while others concluded he had nothing more to offer.

Counseling today requires preparation, conviction and a desire to help others live the most fulfilled life possible.  Counseling also demands that the counselor is able to accept the foregoing conclusion that not everyone will embrace the opportunity for change.

Have you resisted good counsel lately?