Friday, July 31, 2015

The Accessibility of Outrage Instead of Relating; Animal Rights Over Civil Rights?

I think it is easier for people to feel outrage about harm to 'defenseless'-without-obvious-'voice'-without-actual-rights animals then it is to relate to that also being true about violence to fellow human beings, as evidenced by the outpouring of outrage over the killing of a lion by some no name Minnesota doctor recently.

One, we make stuffed animals to engender positivity and compassion toward animals. Second, our human society has learned to objectify and see each other as alien and different from one another. This increases the divide and lack of empathy we feel for our shared common humanity.

Outrage can be compounded by social media and the 24/7 cable news wash cycle. Pictures of dead animals, bellicose language about the Middle East, wars against Christmas and other religions flood the screens whenever possible. The endless parade of celebrity gossip, political scandal and relentless spitting of opinion and conjecture clouds all sense of objective judgment. 

In reality, animals actually have no rights unless we choose to grant those benefits to those animals. It's only the animals that are deemed personable enough that outrage ensues when a human commits a violent act upon those animals. Another reality is that we need to eat, and animals are a source of food. Many vegetarians forget that vegetables and fruits are living things, too. Books are byproducts of trees. Nothing that we utilize is brought to us from space. I know I'm not a herbivore; I love to read books; I cherish and enjoy eating. 

Atrocities and violence against human beings are acts people often don't witness firsthand. And, when a person does witness or directly experience these acts, it's traumatizing and difficult to express to others in a way that actually relates that trauma effectively to those who have no relatable experience. 

People who have never experienced a negative encounter with the police rarely can relate to that reality, especially if you have relatives or friends who have served as an officer.

People who have never accessed social services or welfare can relate to the chaos and the difficulty involved with government bureaucracy, nor in maintaing those services or transitioning off of those services.

People who have never been in a fight or fought in a war have no understanding how it is to be surrounded by others who have never been in either, or seem unable to stand up for themselves or anyone else.

People who aren't chronically ill or aren't disabled have little concept of how it is to live a day to day life making the most of every day and every joy that life can bring.

People who work hard and pay their bills find it difficult to relate to those who don't work and to those who do work and can't pay their bills.

People who have worked for years and years and have never had a raise cannot understand why anyone would want to raise the minimum wage to higher than they have been making for years and years. 

That's what makes all of these intense social issues so difficult. Everyone is screaming at each other instead of relating to one another. Maybe, it's not even possible anymore.

I haven't given up on relating to others. That's why I continue to reach out, even when it seems there's  no one reaching back. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Responding to Minimum Wage Critics

Someone I've known for twenty years was railing against the minimum wage based on their experience when their wage was $5.35 an hour. He complained about people thinking it was important to have a phone, a TV or Internet access. Unfortunately, they weren't interested in my opinion nor our long time friendship.

I'd rather have a discussion about the minimum wage.

This was my response.


Do you understand what you're saying though? When you grew up there was no internet and people got their news from newspapers and from antennas on top of their houses, not from phones connected to the Internet. 

All of those supplies you mentioned are much more expensive now than they were then and the wages comparatively have risen minimally during the same time frame. Rent has increased, property taxes in most states and local jurisdictions is rising to fill the gap that federal and state budget cuts have forced upon them. 

The people that work those jobs aren't living lavish lives. They're barely making it. Probably, they aren't receiving healthcare from working either. Yet, you're upset about their phone, which may or may not have come free with their plan? 

Now, I'm not sure when you made $5.35 an hour in Dallas, but I very much doubt that was anytime this century. I would probably wager it wasn't even in the 90s. But, answer this question. If you made more money while you worked that job in Dallas would you have been able to better pay your bills, save money, purchase items, and enjoy your life? 

So, because you made $5.35 an hour whenever you did, you will always be against increasing the minimum wage? 


I then added this photo that depicts the top wage earners at some of our nation's top employers that do not want the minimum wage increased.

What are your thoughts on the minimum wage, increasing it, and the potential effects on the economy (locally, nationally and globally) if that were to take place?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Focus on Daily Living with PTSD Therapy

Focusing on past trauma, repeatedly and often, is the wrong focus in PTSD therapy for too many. And, the evidence is building.

Habituation may yield some benefits, but as a primary focus in therapy seems both short-sighted and counterproductive. 

I've found much more success and progress in an approach that focuses on daily living and the present as opposed to continuously reliving the past.

At times, past traumas do present themselves as active in the here and now, and when these inevitably do, each should be focused on appropriately as obstacles and obstructions to daily living.

It is very difficult to break the cycle of PTSD as it becomes hard-wired in the brain. With continued work and guidance, both internally and externally, it is possible to rewire and reforge connections in the brain.

Never give up the fight with PTSD. This is the battle that continues long after the actual trauma is long over. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Minimum Wage: Why is Something Good For Them, Bad for You?

+Amazing World
I think people think about this minimum wage issue in so many unfortunate ways.

Why are less people inclined to think hard work pays off? 

Because it doesn’t.

Why does increasing the minimum wage have to be bad for you? 

This is like thinking something good for someone else is something bad for you and just stewing over it and getting angry over it. 

How does that help you? 
How does that help anyone?  

Maybe, you should consider thinking differently about good things happening for others. 

There’s a reason why service has gone down at low wage jobs . . . because these jobs don’t pay the bills and rarely have benefits. Until recently, they would promote you to management in order to avoid paying you for overtime work. Thankfully, Obama changed that rule recently. 

Are you being paid enough for the work at your job? Odds are you probably are not. Does that mean that other people aren’t being paid adequately for their work? Odds are probably not. 

Productivity in America has increased steadily since the 1970s while wages have remained relatively stagnant. All the wealth has gone into the hands of the already wealthy. How does blaming the workers at McDonald’s make any sense? How does complaining about them possibly getting a raise in the minimum wage make any sense? 

If the minimum wage increases, anyone who makes that wage is going to likely spend all of that extra money directly into their local communities and local businesses. That helps your neighbors, your schools, your local governments. Why is that bad? 

Why do you have to make something good for someone else something bad for you?