It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Posts tagged with the category Social Activism

Photo by Emmanuel Huybrechts.
It's quite expensive to be poor in the United States. I was driving along a minor arterial in a poor part of town. I could tell it was poor because it was grimy and the buildings were old and poorly used. People used the sidewalks there, the sort of people who can't afford different outfits for work and home and are therefore dressed in...
China, 2010. I’m in a hotel room with Mark Yang in Shanghai. I’m sleeping, he’s on the phone. It the international existential humanistic conference, and I’m there as a speaker and listener prior to a few days detached to speak in Wuhan. Mark is my bunkmate to save costs. But he’s not just a speaker, but a combination...
No doubt, countless articles have already been written in the aftermath of the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. No doubt, there are polarized opinions on whether this was the “right” decision. No doubt, the people of Ferguson are reeling from the impact of this decision. And soon, if...
Photo by Leila Monaghan.
After every election, we get to see the same sort of talk from otherwise reasonable people: our side won, and therefore this is a "mandate from the people," and "our side lost, so I'm looking for another country to which to expatriate myself." This time around, we also get a stream of little ironies—like the...
Photo by Christopher Schwarzkopf.
It was said we were in a “post-racial era” after President Obama was elected … just like it was said we were reaching a “post-racial era” when Bill Clinton was “Americas first black president.” Remember that? Seems awfully embarrassing in hindsight. It is one of the most confounding aspects of Americans...
I am not an activist. No, I am not and you can't make me one. I am a pacifist of the worst order, the kind who confuses peacefulness with inaction. I prefer inaction. If humankind is going to ride the rails it is building straight into the maw of hell, I prefer to let it; we have to learn from our mistakes, and I am busy trying (and failing)...
Illustration by David Vignoni.
In Prelude to Foundation (Asimov, 1988) Hari Seldon invents the science of psychohistory that forms the basis of the Foundation series. This series presumes that human behavior is predictable by science, and that those predictions can be used to influence future history for the betterment of humankind. The Foundation series itself was started in...
Photo by Joe Ravi.
I spent this morning shampooing the carpets after the dog micturated in the hallway. He's a good dog. He didn't want to pee on the rug. It's just that Americans insist on asserting their freedoms even when the law disagrees and even when others experience negative consequences of those freedoms. The freedom in question is fireworks....
Photo by Bengt Nyman.
My last two entries for the New Existentialists have focused on the nature and influence of fear, and how American culture has shifted from a more adventure-based society to a fear-based society. As a society—whether speaking about politics, religion, militarization, communities, neighborhoods, or individuals—we operate from an...
A memorial to the children killed at Sandy Hook.
All forms of social media are lit up once again with reactions to the latest school shootings. These incidents, like so many before, have left us devoid of beautiful young lives full of promise. They have also left us with questions about gun control, male perceptions of women, and of course, mental illness. Why do these shootings evoke such...
Photo by CBS Television.
Recently, my 10-year-old grandson and I were looking at the various different science fiction films and television offerings from Netflix. As we were looking, we ran across the 60’s television series Lost in Space. I told him how I watched the program every week while it was on. He asked if we could watch a couple of episodes, and so we did...
How often do we hear that phrase—“I didn’t want to get involved”? The reasons are always excellent—“I was way too busy,” “I had problems of my own,” “I had too much on my plate,” “It wasn’t my business,” or the piece de resistance, “Someone else will take...