In the light of the debated disclosure of the CIA interrogations, the racial tension ignited by the Ferguson shooting case of Michael Brown, the NFL’s handling of Domestic Violence and the continued evidence of Campus Rape, it is worth asking why we justify regrettable actions.
The Holiday Season has always been about giving. It is reflected both in terms of gifts given to family and friends and increasingly in terms of generosity of action and spirit to those we love and to those in need.
What about the other side of giving–What about receiving?
Do you give in a way that makes receiving a welcomed experience?
Do you receive in a generous way?
Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in this country across cultures, religions, ethnicity, geography and socio-economic levels, is an emotional mile marker. It brings to the table and to the mind and heart, those we love, those we will call to exchange loving sentiments, and those we love but who we have lost this year or many years ago.
Saturday November 22, 2014 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.
In the United States, the latest evidence reports that 40,600 people died of suicide in 2012 and the number has been increasing. More Americans die from suicide than from car accidents. It is the second leading cause of death in college students, and the third leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults.
In the military the rate is even higher. In 2012 more soldiers died from suicide than in combat and as of 2014, the numbers were again on the rise.
“Suicide is a Personal and Interpersonal Disaster”
What people do not see and may not understand is that the homecoming of a veteran is both a treasured event and a complex process.
In a recent article by Eric Asimov, wine reviewer for the New York Times, he discusses how wine is used as a character prop on TV shows and may reflect a changing cultural perception of wine. In this article, Asimov points out that “ On TV Powerful Women Gulp Red” and references what many have observed about their favorite fictional characters.
Whether we consider that fiction reflects our behavior, influences what we do or both, the reality is that women are drinking more than they ever and their drink of choice seems to be wine. In her book, Her Best Kept Secret: Why Women Drink and How They Can Regain Control, Gabrielle Glaser notes that women love wine and the wine industry loves their biggest consumers. Given its branding as a “ healthy choice,” it is consumed in public or private, while making dinner, with dinner and after dinner.
On one hand, wine is a healthy choice. Experts report that that a glass of wine a day is heart healthy and a study in The New England Journal of medicine evaluating 12,000 women aged 70-81 found the moderate drinkers had 23% reduced mental decline compared with nondrinkers.
The Problem …
An important article by psychologist and author, Gabriele Oettingen appeared in the New York Times with a misleading title,“ The Problem with Positive Thinking.”
Actually what Dr. Oettingen offers is an important fine-tuning of positive thinking. What she suggests based on her research is not that positive thinking is problematic, but that positive thinking about a goal without a plan—be it about losing weight, passing the test, or finding a job- leaves you likely to fail. She suggests that positive thinking alone may “fool our minds into perceiving” that we have attained the goal.
When a natural disaster hits, there is anxiety, and traumatic loss but such events have a clear beginning and end. Natural disasters are devastating but there are few unknowns. With the collective loss, there is often collective care and support. In the aftermath of a hurricane that destroys and our neighbor’s home, we run to help him rebuild.
In the face of epidemics we lock our doors. Threatened by contagion, terrified by unknown risks, we move into fear-based survival mode. We isolate. We ruminate. We become saturated with media warnings and shaken by shards of frightening information and even conspiracy theories.
The recent media attention to domestic Violence in the NFL epitomized by the September 8th video of Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée in an elevator and Commissioner Goddell’s delayed reaction, bring to the forefront the reality of domestic violence and the factors that fuel it.
Football players are not the only men who succumb to domestic violence and they are not the only ones whose behavior is covered and condoned by silence.
Well beyond the financial benefits accrued by video games producers, manufactures and event planners which have outstripped the music industry and are closing in behind the movie industry, video games and applications of game thinking offer unexpected benefits for people of every age.