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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why we are the way we are

Friday, October 21, 2011

When we hear about the horrible crimes that man commits against man, most people wonder why. What could possibly make people do the things they do? The answer is deceptively simple. We are what we learn.

We don't all grow up on the same level playing field. Some are much more disadvantaged than others by the way they're raised. The first seven to eight years of our lives are crucial in our development because that's when our basic personality is formed. So what our environment is, how we see people treat each other and how people treat us plays a large part in making us who we are.

Jerry West, the all-everything basketball player in West Virginia many years ago who went from there to the Los Angeles Lakers as player, coach and eventual general manager told a horrible story last week about the physical abuse he took from his dad when he was growing up. West had several brothers and sisters but for some reason his dad singled him out to be the whipping boy when he wanted to make a point. West said his dad would beat him unmercifully with a big thick belt, sometimes even crawling under the bed and pulling West out so he could beat him some more. Those who are his age remember that era as being the "spanking' era and none of us escaped having our backsides warmed from time to time. But West said his dad's attacks on him went far beyond spankings. These were out and out beatings and they happened regularly. They resulted in a life-long bout with depression and anxiety along with frequent thoughts of suicide. West said the only place he could get relief was on the basketball court because when he was playing ball, the rest of the world went away. His wife says West has a hard time expressing positive emotions towards anyone and very rarely ever tells her that he loves her.

The way West was treated by his dad continues today by other moms and dads and that's why many people are dysfunctional. When kids grow up to deviance being modeled for them every day by the people they care about the most, what else would you expect? When children are physically or sexually abused at home, when they see their moms physically and emotionally abused, when they have few if any rules, when their parents are poor role models, how could we ever expect these kids to grow up and be normal? If they're exposed to regular and habitual negative behavior at a young age and that behavior continues as they grow and mature, why are we surprised when they become just like the people modeling that kind of behavior?

And on top of that, this behavior tends to be generational. We're not born with a sense of values or norms or morals. We have to learn those things as we grow and mature and if we don't have anyone to teach us, then the chances of us getting them from somewhere else becomes highly unlikely. So we become like our mom or our dad or our sister or brother and then when we get married and have kids, we model this deviant lifestyle to them and then they model it to their kids and it goes on and on, from one generation to the next. That's why we have crime rates in some neighborhoods in our larger cities that haven't changed in a hundred years. Obviously, the people who lived there that long ago are all dead now but since there is low outward mobility in economically distressed neighborhoods, their children and grandchildren are still there, doing the same kind of behavior because that's what they learned.

So the question is, is this fixable? What can be done to turn this trend around? It can only be fixable if someone in the generational hierarchy changes their behavior. We can't be good if we don't know what good is. When a person grows up in a deviant family and that family lives in a deviant neighborhood where being bad is the norm rather than the exception, anyone would have a difficult time learning positive norms and values when you're exposed practically every minute of every day to the opposite. Some have even suggested forced sterilization for women in families that show a long history of deviant and criminal behavior. The logic behind this suggestion is just because you can have a child doesn't mean you have any idea about how to be a parent.

If we don't do anything, nothing's ever going to change because nothing's changed up to now.

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I have a friend that grew up in a horrible abusive enviroment...something that was generational.

The stories she has confided in me would shake you to the core.... and give you nightmares.


She by the greatest gift of our Great Creator... has over come this ON HER OWN and is the sweetest most sefless, kind, generous and loving person I have ever had the privilage of knowing.

So.....does not god give us trials to help us over come???

Every thing happens for a reason. Only THE OLD ONE KNOWS WHY!!!



-- Posted by kaygee on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 4:51 PM

Mike, I was told, and learned, long ago, 'it is not what a person goes through that makes them who they will be, but how the individual reacts to that treatment that makes them the person they will be.' The violence filled childhood, of course, the more difficult it is to find the right/best behavior path, and may never be as perfect as it could/should be, 'IF' all factors had been 'perfect.'

I would ask, who would be the 'acceptably qualified' parent, and who would make that decision, as to the qualification level, and who would have the responsibility of preemptive oversight (corrective action would need be very early applied, to allow minimal deviation, and damage to the child).

A man, named 'Adolph,' tried something of what you suggest (he being the worst of a number of attempts throughout history), and ended up being responsible for something like sixty-five million deaths, from his attempt to purify the world.

Another attempt at social control, much more recent, and presently in action, would be a 'way of life,' social and religious, named Islam, but that one, also, teaches hatred, as the primary cohesive factor.

The Mosaic lifestyle was very good, but only so long as the Israeli society did not stray from their God, but was based upon 'Tough Love,' and even today still works quite well.

The American, melting pot, secular, politically correct attitude, type society, is proving to be a complete boon-doggle, with the minimal, to none, type child discipline, as mandated by law, or interpretation, as considered worthy of institution, by our Psychiatric community.

In my opinion, we, the older generations are in need of the 'belt,' for not keeping the 'belt' handy, and using it with 'tough love.' The Bible says, that the parent that spares the rod, in teaching children discipline, 'hates the child.' That seems to be coming more and more obvious, as each generation comes into being. My preference of system is probably quite aparent.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 5:53 PM

I too came from an abusive background. However I decided at a young age that I could either be the victim or a survivor. I chose to use it to guide me and give me discipline. Crap happens and society spends too much time coddling people while also ignoring true violence because it doesn't affect them. America is self centered, self involved and ignorant. The last thing we are are "our brother's keepers".

Even as parents we think of ourselves first and the children second. In some cases they don't even rank that high.

This country is loved by foreigners for what we have and hated because of our arrogance and lack of appreciation for what we have.

It is unacceptable to think my Grandfather fought in a war where a country set aside personal needs for a greater good and for that reason you and I don't speak German. Yet this country disrespects that sacrifice daily. Spouting off about so called "rights". I find it odd how America will fight for a gun but will fight against the ultimate right for life (healthcare) just because they think that the only acceptable economy is Capitalism. Sounds stupid? Yep. There is no way NO WAY this country would retool Ford plants to make Tanks. Because someone would lose out on the almighty dollar.

The fact of the matter is, I remember the belt, don't remember getting hit by it but I respected it. I disciplined my son as a very young age. Many thought I was too strict. Yet today at the age of 6 he is a great kid, well mannered and filled with love. I never used a belt but my words and my tactics were effective the same. I instilled discipline in him at a very young age and now he is a great kid and my need to discipline is so low it isn't even worth mentioning. I disciplined him with love. And when the discipline was over I hugged him. We talked about the whys. It was very hard on me. But today I see the result and I am proud of who my son has become. Those days where I wonder how he is doing compared to society, I go to his school and witness complete failures all around him. When I became a father, I stopped and he began.

There is a fine line between abuse and discipline. Now I get asked by those same parents (who thought I was too strict) how come my son is so happy and well mannered. Idiots!

One of the key lessons I am teaching my son is to never become someone's victim. Take what is done to you, learn, overcome and fuel your strength. I do this because he is my life. The life I live in a society that cares only for itself. I struggle daily with the fact that I fail my son by raising him in this country. The failure that it is. The only pride I feel is the pride and emotion I felt at pearl harbor where I witnessed what true patriotism and personal sacrifice is. Now I am ashamed that we have disrespected that generation as we have. The ones who saved us from the tyranny.

This country is a ultimate failure because it fails the children.

-- Posted by dane3737 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 8:39 AM

I still believe today that one of the biggest problems with todays society is not the background a child endures, but only the lessons they learn from them. A child that is raised by a stranger, and then has morality and acceptability forced onto them by family will naturally rebel, be confused, and seek acceptance, and praise from like minded individuals.

Todays system of Mom & Dad working every day, 1-2 jobs, and brother and sister being left to the wolves (television, babysitter, public school, and society in general) is the problem. Some will attempt to say that a child at home with a parent is unhealthy, but obviously this is not the case. This is the way our society is attempting to position the public.

If you can stay at home with kids, do it. If you have the will power to avoid negative behaviors in front of your children do it, and always praise your children, and let them know how great they are.

-- Posted by cplcac on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:43 PM

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Mike Hendricks
Mike at Night