Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Title: Substance and Alcohol Abuse Disorders

“No matter how good your intentions are, they amount to nothing if you fail to take the necessary steps to make them happen. Wishing for recovery isn’t enough. Take the first step by accepting help from an addiction treatment program.” unknown. 

Two of the most troublesome problems that support people who are addicted are:

1. Denial or the refusal to face the fact that they have a life-threatening issue and

2. some well-meaning family members who support the addiction.

These are among the reasons why addiction often begins in the family. It is also why family members unwittingly support the addiction.

Addiction is characterized by compulsive substance-seeking behavior, despite harmful consequences. Addiction includes substance and alcohol abuse disorders. There are severe public health issues affecting countless individuals worldwide.

Drug and alcohol abuse involves the excessive use of substances, such as leading to a profound alteration in mood, perception, and brain functionality. 

Neurobiologically, addiction is a brain disorder triggered by recurrent drug exposure, which induces changes in the brain’s structure and function, specifically within the reward circuitry. Unable to stop, no control, strong desires, unrecognized problems, and dysfunctional emotions.

Factors Influencing Addiction

Multiple factors contribute to the development and maintenance of addiction disorders. These include genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and individual psychological traits. People with a family history of addiction are more susceptible because of genetic predispositions. Environmentally, exposure to drugs and alcohol at a young age, peer pressure, trauma, and stress all play a substantial role. Psychological traits such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety are also contributing factors.

Impact and Consequences of Addiction

Addiction disorders have devastating consequences on individuals, families, and society. Prolonged substance and alcohol abuse results in severe health complications. These complications include liver disease, respiratory problems, heart disease, stroke, and death.

Psychologically, addiction can result in cognitive impairment, emotional instability, and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

The societal consequences of addiction disorders are vast. Economically, they impose a significant burden due to healthcare costs, lost productivity, and crime. On a more personal level, they often result in broken relationships, child neglect or abuse, unemployment, and homelessness.

Substance and alcohol abuse disorders represent a profound challenge in our society, with significant individual and societal implications. In the face of such a complex issue, it requires a collective effort from policymakers, healthcare professionals, families, and individuals to foster a society free from addiction. We can design better strategies by understanding addiction.

Drug addiction can start with the experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins when they take prescribed medicines or receive them from others who have prescriptions.

The risk of addiction and how fast one becomes addicted varies by drug. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.

As drug use increases, a person will find it increasingly difficult to go without it. As time passes, one may need larger drug doses to get high. Soon they may need the drug to feel good. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill. These are called withdrawal symptoms.





Multiple Miscarriages and Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People

Miscarriages, when bad things happen to good people.

Multiple Miscarriages, When Tragic Things Happen to Good People

  • Sometimes the bad things in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” anonymous.
  • My child has left this world before making their grand entrance and stealing the show. Now the stage is empty, curtains drawn, and house lights are on. The show was over before it even had the chance to begin. I’m sitting in the audience. No control over the production. Not directing, but just a mere spectator of my own life. Of my unborn baby’s life, that never will be. Like me, the stage is empty. The seats are empty. The show is over, and I’m not ready for it to be. As I’m ushered out of the theatre, disappointed and in disbelief at the performance or lack thereof, I have so many questions. How could this be? How could it be over before it even really had the chance to begin? Will I ever have the chance to see the performance again? Will I ever even want to enter the theatre again? Then I see. I see another spectator equally torn up about what had just occurred. It is my husband. He also bought a ticket to the show. I remember I am not truly alone. I am not empty. As I look around, I realize the lights on me. I am on my stage and performing my own life. I see my family and friends in the audience smiling up at me. I first turn away, ashamed, but then remember I am the star of this show and can act it out in any way I please. I take a breath, take my husband’s hand, take my first steps and tell myself: the show must go on.”*From miscarriagehurts.com/stories
  • Grief, It is watching your friends and cousins announce births and pregnancies, wanting to celebrate with them but instead burying your face in the pillow and sobbing all night. It is losing your friends. They don’t know what to say around you, so they stop calling. You sit in the cold stairwell of a building during your first week back at work, and you wrap your arms around your knees and drop your head and sob, wailing for the loss that keeps growing.” Carrie Goldman *From Psychology Today.

Emotional Reactions to Multiple Miscarriages

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I am keenly aware of the bitter irony that some people seek abortions. Others cannot get pregnant or hold the pregnancies fail. Did anyone say that life is fair?

The journey to parenthood is a dream for many individuals and couples worldwide. This dream sometimes encounters heart-wrenching obstacles. Miscarriages often lead to a cascade of profound emotional effects. Grief, uncertainty, guilt, fear, and sometimes hope accompany multiple miscarriages. Where miscarriages occur repeatedly, the emotional trauma can be intense and challenging.

At the core of the emotional aftermath of multiple miscarriages is the profound sense of grief. This grief is multifaceted, enveloping the loss of a potential child and the envisioned future of parenthood. Each miscarriage intensifies the grief, making it a complex, accumulating emotional burden.

One of the immediate emotional reactions to multiple miscarriages is a feeling of uncertainty and fear. This uncertainty can affect mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. The repeated losses can leave couples in constant anxiety about future attempts at the possibility of a successful pregnancy.

It is common for individuals to have feelings of self-blame. Along with grief and fear is guilt, which can come from an overpowering feeling of failure and inadequacy.

The Road to Resilience and Hope

Despite the overwhelming emotions associated with multiple miscarriages, it is important to hope. 

There are countless stories of successful pregnancies after multiple miscarriages. There is the possibility of eventual success. Stories serve as beacons of hope for those navigating the stormy seas of recurrent loss. They can provoke terrible feelings of jealousy and hopelessness.

Psychotherapy and support groups play a crucial role in this journey. Professional help can provide tools to manage emotional turmoil. In contrast, shared experiences within support groups can provide comfort and a sense of belonging. They remind those going through this ordeal that they are not alone.

Alternative Ways to Have a Baby From Yale Fertility Center*

Gestational surrogacy may be best if a woman cannot carry a pregnancy. Also called a surrogate, a gestational carrier is a woman who carries and delivers a child to a couple or an individual.

Surrogate mothers are impregnated through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this process, doctors create an embryo by fertilizing eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor with sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. Because the gestational carrier doesn’t provide the egg, she is not genetically related to the child.

Yale Fertility Center has achieved successful results for couples for over 20 years.


An adoption is an option for those with children who wish to adopt another child or those who do not want a pregnancy but choose to adopt.



Procastination increases stress

“Don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” My school motto:

Quote from Charles Schulz, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” A song about homework: “I work best under pressure, and if I wait until tomorrow, there’ll be lots of pressure.” Ah, I remember it well.

“Rule your mind, or it will rule you,” Horace said. 

Why do people procrastinate?

From the New York Times, Smarter Living Section Charlotte Lieberman

March 25, 2019

“Over time, chronic procrastination has not only productivity costs but measurably destructive effects on our mental and physical health, including chronic stress, general psychological distress, low life satisfaction, symptoms of depression and anxiety, poor health behaviors, chronic illness and even hypertension and cardiovascular disease.”

But we procrastinate to feel better?

Procrastination is a perfect example of present bias, our hard-wired tendency to prioritize short-term needs ahead of long-term ones. If it seems ironic that we procrastinate to avoid negative feelings but end up feeling even worse, that’s because it is. And once again, we have evolution to thank.

Long ago, when I was a High School and College student, I was in the habit of frequently procrastinating. However, I did not put off every school assignment. I procrastinated completing assignments and Subjects I found unpleasant for me. In addition, as a young man, I coped with depression and anxiety. Avoiding or delaying school work were failed ways to reduce those symptoms. The result was that I experienced increased anxiety and depression.

So why do we procrastinate? There are many reasons, but some of the most common include:

  • Fear of failure: We may procrastinate because we fear failing at a task. This fear can be especially strong if we have a history of failing at similar tasks.
  • Perfectionism: We may also procrastinate because we want to do a task perfectly, which can lead to spending so much time trying to make the task perfect we need to do it.
  • Boredom: Sometimes, we procrastinate because we find the task at hand to be boring. Boredom can be especially true if the task is challenging.
  • Lack of motivation: We may also procrastinate if we are not motivated to do the task. The lack of motivation can happen for various reasons, such as being tired, feeling overwhelmed, or simply not caring about the task.

Whatever the reason, procrastination can harm our lives. It can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. It can also hurt our relationships, careers, and academic performance.

Procrastination is a serious problem for college students. It is easy to put something off until later, thinking you have plenty of time to get to it. However, waiting too long will compromise quality. 

It is reported that some college students spend up to one-third of their time on procrastination-related activities. Many of these students know that their procrastination habit is a serious problem; they don’t know how to overcome it. 

How did I overcome my procrastination? Psychotherapy was enormously helpful.


Elder Abuse, It’s Causes and Prevention

Elder Abuse: Causes and Prevention

Elder abuse is a distressing social issue affecting older individuals’ well-being and dignity. It encompasses various forms of harm, including physical, emotional, financial, and neglectful treatment of older adults. 

Elder Abuse icon in vector. Logotype

Causes of Elder Abuse:

  1. Loneliness and social isolation are common factors contributing to elder abuse. Older adults without social connections are more likely to be mistreated.
  2. Caring for aging individuals can be physically and emotionally demanding. Stress, burnout, or lack of support can lead to abuse by caregivers.
  3. Substance abuse by caregivers, such as alcohol or drugs, can impair judgment and lead to the mistreatment of older adults.
  4. Family conflicts between older adults and their adult children can escalate into abusive behaviors. Financial disputes, inheritance issues, or strained relationships may contribute to elder abuse.
  5. Mental health problems among caregivers can increase the risk of elder abuse. Unmanaged mental health conditions can lead to abusive behavior.

Types of Elder Abuse

1. Physical and Sexual Abuse often appears in older adults. Too often, these are dismissed as accidents resulting from falling or bruising easily. Besides suspicious bruises appearing, one symptom of abuse is when the older adult withdraws and becomes silent and depressed. Concerns of abuse without access to authorities.

2. Emotional and psychological abuse is also prevalent among older people. It occurs when family members insult, threaten, and socially isolate the individual. This type of abuse also results in withdrawal into depression and hopelessness.

Several studies show neglect and desertion as the most frequent elder abuse. 3. Neglect or desertion is defined as the refusal of caregivers to provide adequate food, water, and medical attention. The result is that the patient becomes dehydrated, loses dangerous amounts of weight, and becomes filthy because of unmet needs. Older adults are often left behind in their old neighborhoods and apartment buildings long after their family has moved away. The apartment buildings occupied by these long-time older tenants rarely have adequate heat and running water.

4. Financial exploitation is the fourth type of abuse. It can occur at the hands of family or strangers who learn how to prey upon what they view as easy victims to be exploited. Ruthless and greedy family members also prey upon their older parents and grandparents by convincing them to turn over their money, ostensibly to them, so that they can oversee and protect the funds. Too often, this becomes an excuse to steal the funds for their selfish purposes.

Prevention of Elder Abuse:

Raising awareness about elder abuse is crucial to prevent its occurrence. Educational campaigns can help promote understanding of abuse among older adults and the public.

  1. Providing support services can lessen caregiver stress and the possibility of abuse.
  2. Governments must enforce laws protecting older adults’ rights. Too often, cases of abuse are not reported, and laws are unenforced.
  3. Caregiver training can improve understanding of elder abuse and equip caregivers with the skills.
  4. Encouraging social engagement and reducing isolation among older adults is vital for reducing abuse. Community centers, senior clubs, and volunteer programs can facilitate social connections and provide a support network for older individuals.

Elder abuse is a distressing phenomenon that requires urgent attention. Understanding the causes of elder abuse and implementing effective prevention strategies can create a safer and more supportive environment for older adults. Public awareness, supportive services, legal protection, caregiver training, and social engagement programs all play vital roles in preventing elder abuse and preserving the dignity and well-being of our older population. While many of these measures are in effect, they are often not enforced. Our collective responsibility is to ensure that older adults are treated with respect, kindness, and compassion, free from mistreatment. 


Moral and Ethical Obligations

Have we Americans Forgotten our Moral and Ethical Obligations?

According to American Historian and Ethicist Steven Mintz:

There Are No Consequences for Destructive Behavior

Unsurprisingly, a record-high 50% of Americans rate the overall state of moral values in the U.S. as “poor,” and another 37% say it is “only fair.” Just 1% think the state of moral values is “excellent,” and 12% are “good.” These results are from a Gallup Poll released on June 15, 2022.

The nation’s moral values have an all-time low rating.

Causes of the Moral Decline

Why do Americans rate the moral values of their citizens so low? We only need to consider the mass killings in the last two months. From Buffalo to Uvalde to Highland Park, crazed killers go on a shooting-sprees and kill or wound dozens of innocent people. But it goes much deeper than that.

We are halfway through the year, and the country has experienced at least 309 mass shootings. At least 309 in just over 26 weeks. 11 per week on average.

Do We Have a Moral Obligation to Help Others? An Ethical Exploration

The American Bar Association: “A moral obligation is a requirement to pursue what we believe is right and act accordingly.”

1. The biblical parable in the Book of Genesis warns us why it may be imperative to help our fellow humans.

When Cain kills his brother, Abel, God asks him, “Where is Abel, your brother?”

Cain answers, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” God curses Cain to live as a fugitive and a wanderer for his crime.

2. The ideal society in the Torah (the first books of the Hebrew Bible) and Deuteronomy is organized around taking care of other people.” 

In ancient Judaism and Christianity, you must love and care for your neighbor.

3. The teachings of the Torah prompted Jesus to preach that we should “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Moral obligations are deeply ingrained principles that guide our behavior and actions in society. These principles are derived from various sources, including cultural norms, societal rules, religious beliefs, and personal values. A core tenet across many ethical systems is the concept of helping others.


Helping others is crucial to ethical conduct. Helping others is a near-universal feature of ethical thought.

In contemporary society, we often face opportunities to help others, from aiding a neighbor in need or giving to humanitarian efforts globally. Recognizing the value of helping others is a moral obligation.

In our complex and interconnected world, whether we have a moral obligation to help others is profoundly important. This essay explores the ethical dimensions of human altruism, arguing that we possess a moral duty to assist those in need. By examining the foundations of morality, the principle of reciprocity, and the recognition of human dignity, it becomes evident that helping others is essential to our shared humanity.

  1. The Nature of Morality: Morality encompasses a set of principles and values that guide our behavior and shape our interactions with fellow human beings. It reflects our inherent understanding of right and wrong and is rooted in our capacity for empathy and compassion. The moral obligation to help others arises from recognizing their suffering and our ability to ease it. It is a fundamental aspect of our social contract, which binds us to the well-being of our fellow beings.
  2. The Principle of Reciprocity: The principle of reciprocity, commonly known as the Golden Rule, is a cornerstone of many ethical systems. It states that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. By applying this principle, if we were in a position of need, we would hope for help from others. We are connected, so helping others is our moral duty.
  3. Human Dignity and Equality: Everyone possesses inherent dignity and worth, irrespective of their circumstances, social status, or geographic location. This principle forms the basis of human rights and emphasizes the equal value of all human lives. Acknowledging this inherent worth places a moral obligation on us to safeguard and uplift the dignity of others. It compels us to address poverty, injustice, and suffering, striving to create a more fair and compassionate society.
  4. Overcoming the Tyranny of Distance: Advancements in technology and globalization have brought the world closer together, allowing us to witness the suffering of others in real time. We can no longer claim ignorance or distance as valid reasons to ignore the plight of those in need. Our moral responsibility extends beyond our immediate surroundings and encompasses the broader human family. As global citizens, we possess the means and resources to assist others, so we must act upon this obligation.
  5. Fostering Personal Growth and Well-being: Helping others is an ethical obligation and a pathway to personal growth and fulfillment. When we help others, we improve their lives and enrich our own. By extending a helping hand, we cultivate compassion, empathy, and gratitude. Engaging in acts of kindness and altruism promotes a sense of purpose and satisfaction, contributing to our overall well-being.

We have a moral obligation to help others. Our shared humanity, the principle of reciprocity, and the recognition of human dignity all underscore this imperative. Embracing our moral responsibility to help those in need is a testament to our collective progress and the values we hold dear. By extending compassion and aid to others, we create a more just, empathetic, and interconnected world, fulfilling our moral duty. Let us, therefore, strive to make the welfare of others an essential part of our lives and contribute to a brighter future for all.


Mothers and Healthy Child Development

Maya Angelou said, “A mother did not indulge but loved unconditionally in the deepest possible of ways.”

The Crucial Role of Mothers in Healthy Child Development and Adult Mental Health

Mothers play a central role in the development and well-being of their children. The mother’s influence goes far beyond the bounds of early childhood, shaping individuals’ mental health into adulthood. This essay will discuss the significance of mothers in child development and adult mental health.

Mothers and Healthy Child Development:
The mother-child relationship affects the child’s development from the moment the child is born. This connection influences cognitive growth, emotional resilience, and social competence.

Research shows that a child’s ability to form a secure bond with their mother is crucial for their emotional and social development. Mothers are the major source of nurturing, care, and support for children, vital components in developing a secure attachment. Securely attached children are likelier to develop healthy relationships. They often show greater empathy and exhibit higher self-esteem.

Through responsive and sensitive parenting, mothers can stimulate cognitive development. The language input from mothers contributes to the child’s language acquisition and cognitive abilities. Mothers also often serve as a child’s first teacher, introducing them to numbers, letters, colors, and basic social norms.

The mother’s role in child development includes teaching healthy habits, from regular sleep patterns to balanced diets. That allows for overall well-being and cognitive development. Habits can create a lasting effect on physical and mental health.

Mothers and Adult Mental Health:
The influence of a mother on a child’s mental health extends well into adulthood. Early interactions with mothers can build an individual’s capacity to handle stress and form relationships.

Children with secure attachments with their mothers develop better emotional regulation skills, which are crucial for mental health. These individuals can better handle stress, manage emotions, and remain resilient in difficult times.

A tumultuous or distant mother-child relationship can cause an insecure attachment style, potentially leading to mental health issues in adulthood. These issues may manifest as anxiety, depression, or difficulty forming healthy relationships.

Mothers’ mental health is vital for their well-being. A mother’s mental health can directly affect a child’s health. Children of mothers with mental health issues are at a higher risk of experiencing similar challenges.
The significance of mothers in child development and adult mental health is undeniable. Mothers’ nurturing, teaching, and emotional support lay the foundation for a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development, with far-reaching implications for adulthood.

Recognizing the importance of the mother’s role can help society appreciate and support mothers’ contributions to their children’s lives and overall mental health. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that each family and individual’s circumstances can vary. Other caregivers, including fathers, grandparents, or other figures, can also profoundly affect a child’s development and mental health.

Last, this conversation should also include supporting mothers’ mental health as an integral part of fostering healthy child development and stable adult mental health. We can contribute to physically and mentally healthier generations by promoting and prioritizing maternal mental health.

I miss you, Mom, and I miss you, Pat, the mother of our children and my loving wife for fifty years.


Sluggish Cognitive Tempo

Sluggish Cognitive Tempo refers to a pattern of behavior characterized by lethargy, daydreaming, and slow information processing.

The symptoms of SCT differ from Attention Deficit Disorder. Individuals with SCT must pay attention to their environment. Detailed explanations are necessary, and answering them takes a while. They need help to get started on tasks, complete them, and follow through on commitments. They may also be socially withdrawn and appear to be unmotivated and disinterested in the activities that they engage in.

One challenge of diagnosing and treating SCT is that it’s difficult to differentiate it from other conditions. For example, some symptoms of SCT are depression and anxiety. It is possible to have both mood disorders. These conditions are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, mental health professionals must thoroughly understand the patient’s history and symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis.

Medication may be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of SCT. In terms of treatment, several approaches are effective in managing SCT. One of the most commonly used treatments is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which involves helping patients to identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and to replace them with more productive ones. However, this approach is typically reserved for more severe cases.

There is still much to be learned about SCT, and researchers continue exploring its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. However, the growing awareness of this condition is an important step in helping individuals who are struggling with it to receive the help and support they need to thrive.

Here is a short list of a few symptoms of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo:

The individual

  1. is lost in a fog
  2. stares blankly into space instead of paying attention
  3. sleepy
  4. is lost daydreams
  5. is easily confused

Individuals with SCT may also have difficulty with social interactions, as they may appear distant or disengaged. People with these symptoms often feel embarrassed because they sense something is wrong and worry about what others may think. The embarrassment often leads to social phobia or avoidance of being in social situations.

I urge anyone with these symptoms to consult a mental health professional.



Aging, Loss and Grief

Title: Aging, Loss, and Grief, A Human Journey

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.”

I am eighty years old. Yesterday, I learned that an old friend I had not seen in decades had died. While news of her passing away was not surprising, it was unsettling. Her passing was another in an increasingly long list of friends who died. It also reminded me of my age and that I have fewer days ahead than when I was younger.

Aging, loss, and grief are integral parts of the human experience. As we travel the terrain of life, these happenings are inevitable and formative. They shape our perspectives, resilience, and understanding of life’s temporary nature. They are often intertwined, with aging being the harbinger of loss and grief and loss and grief providing a deeper understanding of aging.

Aging, The Inescapable Reality

Aging is a universal, inescapable process affecting all living creatures. It signifies the passage of time, represented by physiological changes, cognitive transformations, and adjustments in roles and responsibilities. As we age, we confront a series of losses. There is the loss of youth, strength, health, and sometimes independence. Yet, aging can also bring positive changes, including increased wisdom, the freedom of retirement, and the joy of grandchildren. Paradoxically, while aging can be a source of dread and anxiety, it can also be a source of fulfillment and contentment. But that depends on one’s perspective and experiences.

Loss, The Unavoidable Companion of Aging

As we age, the experience of loss becomes more frequent. This loss can manifest in several ways. These include losing loved ones to health, independence, and professional identity post-retirement. The loss of a friend is a stark reminder of the impermanence of life. It forces us to grapple with vulnerability and fragility, often leading to profound sadness and longing. Through confronting and accepting loss, we learn to value the impermanence of life’s moments, cherishing them for their fleeting existence.

Grief, The Response to Loss

Grief is the emotional response to loss. And it is part of the human condition. It expresses love and attachment, signifying the importance of what has been lost. While often associated with death, grief can stem from any significant loss, such as losing health or independence. It is a deeply personal process, varying in intensity and duration from person to person. Grief can be overwhelming, characterized by sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion. Yet, it also holds the capacity for transformation and growth, guiding us toward acceptance and resilience.

The Interplay of Aging, Loss, and Grief

Aging, loss, and grief are interconnected aspects of life that shape and define our human experience. As we age, we inevitably encounter loss. Loss evokes grief. However, through these challenging experiences, we find strength, resilience, and a deeper appreciation for life.

Our societal views on aging, loss, and grief are often negative. They focus on the pain and sorrow they induce. Yet, these experiences also hold the potential for growth and transformation. Aging can bring wisdom and perspective; loss can cultivate gratitude and appreciation; grief can lead to resilience and a renewed sense of purpose.

Aging, loss, and grief are not merely stages of decline and sorrow. They are integral to our human existence. This provides opportunities for personal growth and transformation. The universal experience of these phenomena underscores the importance of compassion, understanding, and support in our relationships and communities. We can foster a more holistic and empathetic view of the human experience. We can acknowledge the entirety of our journey. Joy, pain, beginnings, endings, love, and loss.

Your comments are welcome. Please use this email address:




The Roots of Violence in the U.S.A.

The Roots of Violence in the United States

I assume my readers are as upset as I am about the constant reports of many murders in the United States today. People are becoming increasingly anxious about shopping in malls because they fear deadly violence. Some of the following blogs are my opinion; the largest portion is facts discussed and reported by many experts.

Thou shall not murder (Hebrew: לֹא תִּרְצָח; lo tirṣaḥ), or You shall not kill (KJV), is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments.

From New York Magazine, April 24, 2023:

“America has never been more godless than it is today. In 2021, for the first time in U.S. history, most Americans did not belong to any religious congregation. At the turn of this century, only 8 percent of Americans did not identify with any religion; today, about a quarter of the U.S. public believes in “nothing in particular.”

From Bryan Goodman, American Psychological Association, 2020:

Faith in a time of crisis

Research shows why some people can find peace in their religion or spirituality.

The recent incidents of shooting and death in the United States have reached an all-time and shocking high. Mass shootings occur once time per week. Mass shootings include four or more people being wounded or killed. That does not include the incidence of individuals being shot or killed.

The United States is no stranger to violence, whether it manifests as street crime, mass shootings, or hate crimes. Although the country has witnessed a decline in violent crime rates over the past few decades, it remains a pertinent issue that demands attention. This essay aims to explore the reasons behind the prevalence of violence in the United States and offer a holistic understanding of this multifaceted problem.

    1. Socioeconomic Factors: Socioeconomic disparities play a significant role in perpetuating violence in the United States. Poverty and a lack of access to education and employment opportunities can contribute to an environment where individuals resort to crime to survive. Social marginalization and systemic discrimination can exacerbate resentment and frustration, leading to violent behavior. Addressing the root causes of economic inequality is crucial in curbing the cycle of violence.
    2. Gun Culture and Accessibility: The United States has a deeply ingrained gun culture, which has been historically tied to the nation’s values of individualism and self-reliance. Coupled with relatively lax gun control legislation, this has resulted in a high gun ownership rate. The ease of access to firearms can contribute to the prevalence of gun-related violence. A firearm in a conflict can escalate the situation and lead to fatal outcomes. Implementing stricter gun control measures could help reduce the number of firearms in circulation and decrease gun violence incidents.
    3. The Influence of Media: The role of media in propagating violence cannot be overlooked. Constant exposure to violent content through movies, television shows, video games, and social media can desensitize individuals, particularly the youth. These may contribute to normalizing violent behavior and increase the likelihood of individuals resorting to violence in their own lives. Encouraging responsible media consumption and promoting alternative conflict resolution methods can help mitigate media’s impact on violence.
    4. Mental Health Issues: Mental health issues are often an underlying factor in violence, with individuals suffering from untreated mental illnesses sometimes engaging in violent behavior. The stigmatization of mental health and the inadequacy of mental health care in the United States contribute to this problem. By improving access to mental health care and fostering a culture of understanding and support, the United States can address one of the root causes of violence.
    5. The Cycle of Violence: Violence often begets more violence, creating a vicious cycle difficult to break. Individuals exposed to violence as victims or witnesses are at an increased risk of perpetrating violence themselves. Early intervention programs, counseling, and support systems for individuals affected by violence can help to break this cycle and prevent the escalation of violent behavior
    6. Addictions: Alcohol and drug addiction cause people to be impulsive when they are more likely to exercise self-control when not under the influence.
    7. Addictions and guns: Being under the influence and having access to guns is deadly.
    8. Faith: Faith in a time of crisis

By addressing these root causes through policy changes, education, and community support, the United States can work towards a future with less violence and a greater sense of security for its citizens.

Please send in their opinions and comments on the chat links connected to this blog.






Some Ancient Wisdom for Today

Many years ago, I started my career as a High School history teacher. Some of my students protested that teaching history, whether American or European, had no relevance to life in modern times. The following discussion centers on teaching profoundly relevant to our lives today. However, this discussion is rooted in ancient wisdom.

There are always people who put the needs and well-being of other people before their own needs. They do this regardless of the cost to themselves. Ultimately, this behavior can lead to catastrophic illness and death. Following is a quote that asks people to examine themselves:

Rabbi Hillel lived during the last century Before the Common Era (BCE).

He said:

If I am not for myself, who is for me?

When I am for myself, what am I?

If not now, when?

The teaching presents a hierarchy of responsibility in which our commitment to ourselves needs to be primary, although not singular.

  1. If I am not for myself, who is for me?

Self-care is vitally important, but we must recognize the need for compassion and action care for others. We can only be effective if we are caring for ourselves. No one else will do it for us if we do not care for ourselves. That is why we must be for ourselves, or who will do so?

Caring for oneself includes physically, emotionally, and spiritually and taking action to achieve personal goals and aspirations.

2. When I am for myself, what am I?

The teaching just quoted is coming to deal with the tensions between self and non-self. Every person struggles daily with balancing what one does for oneself and what one expects from others.

What value does the person have if one focuses only on oneself to the exclusion of others? To be completely selfish is to lose touch with the rest of the world and life.

3. If not, now when?

Do not worry about tomorrow’s trouble, for you do not know what the day may bring. Tomorrow may come, and you will be no more, so you will have worried about a world that is not yours!

Each moment in our lives is unique. Even though the opportunity to do something may seem to return the next day, the context is always different.

We don’t know what each hour and day will bring. We must respond to each moment as if it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as in, ‘If not now,’ when will you have another chance?

All of us are members of a community. That community includes our family, neighbors, city, county, state, and nation. All of us are responsible for ourselves as well as others.





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