Enabling Problems

Issues this post seeks to address:

  • What does ‘enabling’ mean?
  • How can efforts we make to cause change maintain the status quo?

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Enabling Dissention

A few days ago, the New York Times published an anonymous opinion piece, written by an unnamed “senior official” in U.S. president Donald Trump’s administration. The title of the piece is, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The author describes a growing contingent of dissatisfied officials within Trump’s own administration, who are ostensibly working from the inside to thwart elements of the president’s agenda. The identity of the author has been kept secret, though theories abound about who the most likely culprits.

The opinion article describes these administrators who are seeking to undermine President Trump’s influence as “unsung heroes.” The author seems to count themselves among these heroes, whose moderating influence on the president’s decisions has purportedly spared the nation from some of his more ill-conceived ideas. Continue reading “Enabling Problems”

The Plight of the Black Athlete in America

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The past year has seen its share of racial tension in the United States. A year ago this month, a group of white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, in response to a city decision to remove a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee. This protest ultimately became violent and resulted in one death and numerous hospitalizations. The event was heavily-politicized, with US President Donald Trump weighing in by stating that there was “blame on both sides” of the rally. Months of protests and counter-protests ensued.

Then, in early 2018, the media focused its attention on the police shooting deaths of unarmed, young black men. The nation learned of Stephon Clark, Diante Yarber, and even 14-year-old Brennan Walker, who was shot at on his way to high school. People took notice, but eventually lost interest. Now, as we near the end of the summer, there’s hardly a mention of racial violence in the news. Continue reading “The Plight of the Black Athlete in America”

Process and Outcome

Questions this post seeks to answer:

  • What is the difference between process and outcome?
  • How can focusing on outcome make change difficult?

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Earlier this week, a 25 year old man intentionally drove a van onto the sidewalk in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring another 15. As investigators have delved into the perpetrator’s past, they found that he was active in an online movement, comprised of people who call themselves “Incels” – “involuntarily celibate.” Continue reading “Process and Outcome”

The Privilege Problem

A strange and disturbing headline came up this week in the Washington Post – “A teen missed the bus to school. When he knocked on a door for directions, a man shot at him.” The article tells the story of 14 year old Brennan Walker, a freshman from Rochester Hills, Michigan, who, after missing the bus to go to school, knocked on a neighbor’s door for directions to the high school. The person who answered the door became worried that the young man was attempting to break into their home. Her spouse responded by grabbing his shotgun and firing at the fleeing teen. Luckily, Brennan escaped unharmed.

Continue reading “The Privilege Problem”

Doing No Harm

I’ve decided to edit this post, following a series of misinterpretations and evidently poor communication on my part that led my someone to contact my supervisor at work to complain. I’m saddened that some people seem to presume that my intent is to break down and diminish faith or instill doubt in church leaders. My intent was only ever to suggest that policy change can help protect our most vulnerable members. I feel passionately about this because I work on a daily basis with those who were mistreated or abused when they were in that vulnerable position. Since the time my post was published, the LDS Church released a statement revising the policies for children being interviewed by church leaders. I’m glad this has happened and am hopeful that continued efforts will lead to greater safety for everyone. If you would like a copy of my original post, you can request one using the contact form on my website.

The Problem with the Mental Health Solution

– This post is adapted from a post I made on social media earlier this week –

Eleven days ago, a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, brought a semi-automatic rifle to his old school and killed 17 people. 14 more were injured. It feels callous to mention these numbers; I imagine that to those who were close to the victims, the numbers can feel depersonalizing. And yet, to read the stories told by those who survive their loved ones, to think about the loss and innocence of those whose time was cut short, is a very bitter undertaking. I feel like I’ve become jaded – hardened to the reality of these events, perhaps because they’ve become so relatively commonplace.

Continue reading “The Problem with the Mental Health Solution”

The Status Quo of Donald J. Trump, on the 1st Anniversary of his Presidency

Today marks one year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. It’s difficult to imagine anyone being more polarizing to the populace of our country than Mr. Trump over the past year. Even hearkening back to the Republican primaries during the 2016 campaign, it seems that just about everyone has had a strong opinion of Mr. Trump, perhaps more than for any other candidate throughout the campaign season. Continue reading “The Status Quo of Donald J. Trump, on the 1st Anniversary of his Presidency”

Racism and Shame

The first psychologist joke I ever heard: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Just one, but the light bulb has to want to change!

Maybe you’ve heard this one before. It’s ridiculously corny, but the principle at its center is actually pretty important when it comes to personal change. In order for someone to change, they first have to “be ready” to make change. If you know any mental health therapists, ask them what it’s like to work with someone who isn’t ready to change. Fair warning: be prepared for a rant. Continue reading “Racism and Shame”