January 27, 2021

When care turns to worry

From Volume 14, Issue 1:In my work over the past 20 years or so, I’ve paid a lot of attention to “employee engagement.” Not side-stepping the profession of companies and software tools that quantify that, I’ve looked more at whether or not an employee cares about his environment (the company and its goals, the people around him, those who supervise him, and who he supervises, etc.).

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The nature of anger

From Volume 11, Issue 3:What makes you angry? Politics? Bad manners? Erratic driving? Poor service?

And why, when so triggered, do you express the emotion anger?

Psychologist Gail Brenner, whom I’ve been reading lately, has dived deeply into this emotion, and it ties in with the nomenclature I’ve been using to describe reactive behaviors in this newsletter. Anger exists in the Knower/Judger. It’s learned.

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Guilt Tripped?

From Volume 10, Issue 2:I’m never exactly sure what the term guilt trip means. Does it mean I am on a journey of negative feelings? Or that my guilt made me stumble?

Let’s look at how guilt originates. We all experience it. From the days when the nuns smacked the back of our hands in St. Margaret School, to the Jewish mother’s lament: “You nevah cawl your mutha any mowah.” Every culture has ways to bestow—or, more accurately, attach—guilt.

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Would Worry Help?

From Volume 10, Issue 2:In the movie, Bridge of Spies, lawyer James Donavan (played by Tom Hanks) is astonished when his client, Rudolf Abel, an accused Soviet spy (played by Mark Rylance) remains calm while facing the death penalty in the United States.

Abel repeats: “Would it help?” three times during the movie, all while facing incredible psychological pressure. In addition to the death penalty scene, Donavon asks: “Do you never worry?” when Abel admits that he’s not an American citizen, and might not be a Soviet citizen either. Again, the same response: “Would it help?” The third time it happens is when the prisoner exchange is about to occur and Donavan asks: “Are you not worried that your own people might shoot you?” Again, he responds: “Would it help?”

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Speak Up

From Volume 9, Issue 10:As Jerry Seinfeld has pointed out, according to the roster of common phobias, most people at a funeral would rather exchange places with the guest of honor than present a eulogy. A quick Google search suggests that public speaking is in the top three fears on over a dozen lists of “top fears” we have…and all scare us more than death itself! If you’re familiar with shaking knees and a trembling voice when giving a speech, or just refuse to speak publicly altogether, you’ll want to keep reading, because there is a way to get rid of this fear permanently.

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The Violence Agenda

From Volume 9, Issue 8:Let’s face it…life in the U.S. is going to the dogs. The murder rate is the highest it’s ever been, and I risk being accosted just coming back from one of my beloved Cardinals games. It’s terrifying. And that’s exactly what those who have influence over us want us to believe. The truth is very different.

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Hands Up Don’t Shoot vs. Pants Up Don’t Loot

From Volume 7, Issue 11:By any standard, the little St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is a pretty old town. Called Ferguson Station at its beginnings in 1854, it became the fourth-class city of Ferguson in 1894 with 1,000 residents. So we’re not talking about some 1950s-era suburb here. Ferguson was an enclave of well-to-do houses with owners who commuted into St. Louis on one of the eight trains a day that stopped there.

At the risk of appearing to simplify the struggles that the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has been experiencing, I want to compare and contrast two themes

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A Special Case of Sad

From Volume 7, Issue 10:In one week, a friend lost his 22-year-old sister, another lost her nephew who was to be in a wedding in two weeks, and another became a grandfather to a non-viable baby who would live no longer than a few hours after birth. Two more friends lost their dogs (one to old age and one to the front bumper of a speeding pick-up truck) and another had their family cat run away. All these friends read this e-zine.

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