Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: August 2019
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Field Theory Research

Dr. Jacob Kounin {one of Kurt Lewin’s Doctoral students} provided insight into the classroom dynamics between students and their teacher to determine the effectiveness and strategies of how and why learning occurs. He went beyond clichés like: it all depends upon the child and the situation; admonitions about establish rapport; make it interesting; love of children; and understanding in his exploration. Kounin didn’t believe that these generalizations ran classrooms effectively.
Dr. Kounin hypothesized that there were concrete techniques in managing classrooms that corresponded to the amount of work involvement and misbehavior in learning situations; and that successful classrooms correlated with a high percentage of work involvement and a low percentage of pupil misbehavior.
Camps, elementary, high school, and college classrooms were studied, initially with experimenter observations. Observing classrooms didn’t work so videotaping {a more complete record of what actually took place} of 80 classrooms were used along with interviews and questionnaires.
I’m limiting Dr. Kounin’s research findings to satiation. Satiation was defined by Kurt Lewin as the change in valence of an activity due to repetition. Consult May 10, 2019 post for more on Dr. Kurt Lewin. Does the nature of classroom activity or repetition relate to work involvement and misbehavior?
Some findings: 1. Teachers that maintained a positive valence for academic activities with a verbal challenge and fun expectation expressions like “This next one is going to be fun, I know you will enjoy it,”  “You’re going to need your thinking caps for the next one, it’s tricky” increased work involvement and reduced pupil deviancy in both recitation and seatwork settings. 2. Teacher programing reduced satiation by learning- related variety {recitation plus seatwork}. 3. Pupil felt progress in learning {longer learning activity} was a more important anti- satiation factor for older children than younger children. 4. Variety {short term learning situation} may be more salient for younger children.5. Seatwork variety correlated with behavior in seatwork; with work involvement and freedom from deviancy.
In conclusion, classroom activities that require perseveration or repetition only are more quickly satiated than learning activities requiring thought and judgement. Running a classroom is a complicated endeavor. It has to do with developing a non-satiating learning program; programing for learner perceived progress; incorporating challenge and variety in learning activities.
 Additional information can be found in Kounin, Jacob S.  Discipline and Group Management in Classrooms. Holt ,Rinehart and Winston Inc.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Calling It What It Is

There are some that attribute the White Supremacist hate crime mass shootings on mental health. If that is so, then take a look at the following as contributing factors: 1. Excessive hateful tweets by the Commander-In-Chief 2. Excessive incarceration rates for people of color 3. Excessive income inequality 4. Excessive suicide rates for children and adolescents 5. Excessive lack of personal savings 6. Excessive student college debt 7. Excessive murders 8. Excessive political divide 9. Excessive increase in hate crimes 10. Excessive minimum wage 11. Low-level ranking of happiness 12. Excessive divorce, marital, and child abuse and 13. Excessive social media, TV, and radio discord. These 13  factors suggest that many individuals in power such as our economic, corporate and political leaders have mental health issues as well as they’ve contributed in managing, promoting , controlling  and making us ill in our  very sick culture. With that being said, let’s begin by examining the difficulty of parental upbringing as a main contributing variable in the development of those that commit hate crime murders and provide an intervention strategy.
One concern are the family issues within the psychological development of our young that participate in hate crime murders. The first place to start is to take a look at the so-called nuclear family that rears these despicable individuals. We believe that the foundations of personality is essentially established by five or six years of age. We know that marital relationships are difficult and that the length of a marriage does not necessarily correlate with harmony and bliss within that union. We also know that unhappy parents stay together for many reasons and they often use the kids as being one excuse. Add, limited education; limited manufacturing and other employment issues; limited financial resources; and limited personal future outlook and its effect on the development of the child. We know that the birth of a child does not contribute to strengthening a marital relationship in troubled economic and political times. Within this framework, let’s take a look at the birth of a child.
The infant begins life with the birth trauma. This internal anxiety state affects the heart and respiration rates of the newborn and sets the stage for future anxiety tension systems during rearing. How can these parents focus on the physiological and psychological needs of the newborn within the conflicting psychological stress within their life space? They likely have difficulty meeting their own psychological needs let alone the needs of the young. Within this dynamic, we believe that it can be very difficult for the newborn to develop a sense of trust with their parents and the other Homo sapiens that follow. With the formation of a sense of mistrust, one becomes fearful, anxious, suspicious and paranoid regarding others that do not fit within their cognitive schema. Therefore, the assimilation and accommodation development within their cognitive schema results with individuals that are uneasy and suspicious who dislike and hate other Homo sapiens. It’s not a surprise why these individuals are prejudiced.
The infant initially, within his development ,learns about the dangers in the external world; what is considered “good “behavior; what is considered” bad” behavior; behavior that’s likely to be physically punished; behavior that’s likely to result in dissatisfaction with the parent by their  taking away  love, praise and other positive reinforcements; behavior that is considered moral and ethical; behavior based on lies, falsehoods, prejudices and idiosyncratic beliefs; and what the youngster can get away with in the absence of the disciplining parent. Often, it’s difficult for the young child to learn consistency regarding appropriate and inappropriate behavior.  How does the child learn about appropriate and inappropriate punishments and discipline techniques? The answer of course rests on the idiosyncratic beliefs and behavior by the parents. It’s not too unusual for attitudes regarding behavior to differ between parents as males are generally more punitive, stern and rule conscious. Thus, we have a wide array of different beliefs, different consistencies and different disciplinary mechanisms imposed by parents. We also know that love oriented discipline is more effective in fostering positive conscience development than physical punishments.
Around three or four years of age, the formation of conscience and guilt begins with the child identifying with the powerful and omnipotent parental figures. The parent’s conscience, moral and ethical code becomes adopted by the child. It’s as if the child now has a code for human behavior that’s borrowed from the parent’s behavior. The phrase “do what I say not what I do” fits here.  That base, parental actions, becomes firmly established but can evolve when other important identifying figures become part of the individual’s life. Identification can be about persons, beliefs, ideas, prejudices and attitudes. By five or six years of age or so, the child has a rudimentary sense of right and wrong. Remember, right can be wrong and wrong can be right. It’s about perception, belief and reinforcement. Freud’s “the child is father of the man” fits. A child’s prejudice, contradictory beliefs and opinions can generally be traced back to parental attitudes and behavior.
 Attitudes regarding ethnic and racial prejudices as well as the beginnings of moral and ethical conduct and understandings are learned from parents. The power of their influence can be in either a positive or negative direction. Furthermore, conscience development proceeds and goes beyond notions of right or wrong and enters into a concept of justice based upon considerations of equity among and between individuals for those with cognitive maturity. With this understanding, the importance of developing a sense of trust and a “normal” sense of guilt and conscience is highly dependent on parental rearing practices. If these areas are damaged, there are serious negative consequences with the probability of sadomasochistic character development.
The child becomes an adolescent and in this stage he begins forming an identity. If all goes well that identity is based on many components including school achievement and competency; beginning independence from family; getting along appropriately with adults, authority figures; and developing satisfying interpersonal relationships with peer group. If successful, being popular, being part of various school social groups, fitting in, being part of athletic, music and art groups and doing well academically are norms and indications that things are developing well for the adolescent.
However, if unsuccessful, the adolescent is likely to be deficient in academics, not participating in the performing arts, sports, and student government coupled with impaired social relationships along with drugs and alcohol issues. With identity diffusion, the adolescent is now vulnerable and susceptible to various and opposing ideologies and/or cults. The adolescent becomes more noncompliant, oppositional and rebellious against authority figures within the norms of society. The adolescent is ripe for unconventional, hate filled rhetoric and has limited rational, analytical and in-depth reasoning faculties. This loner can be easily misled and becomes a non- rational follower. This alienated loner becomes a threat to society and requires some form of intervention as a result of the personality variables of mistrust, impaired conscience, and diffuse identity.
Within our insane society, perhaps the federal government can contribute to a solution rather than perpetuating by taking a do-nothing stance. What you call it- mental health or call it anything else doesn’t matter. What matters is identifying and treating the problem. This is a homeland security issue. That means federal funding is available within this large agency. We also know that teachers, counselors, principals, parents and even students can help identify the emotionally vulnerable that are having difficulty adjusting. Therefore, we need to develop a pipeline of communication among all the players.
 Create a mental health unit to consult with secondary schools to identify troubled youth and their families.  With identification, send an intervention team of educated and mental health individuals into the home environment of the troubled in order to develop a communication network between all the participants. That could be a start in identifying potential hateful, murderous and prejudiced individuals. The goal is to assist families and reduce potential violence from these troubled youth. Let’s start with identification and opening up dialogue.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Destructive Identification and Toxic Beliefs

This article addresses the hateful and sadistic murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The nature and tendencies of Homo sapiens have been exhibited throughout our history. Man is orally and behaviorally aggressive. These murderers identified, had trouble relating, and acted on their hateful irrational political beliefs. Thus, there is a positive correlation between alienation, identification, a hateful, political, prejudicial belief system and aggressive behavior.
Man has believed in many ideologies, circumstances, and has various and contradictory attitudes about the world in which he resides. Man has believed in many gods; man has believed in both animal and human sacrifices; man has believed in many different religions man has believed in a heaven and a hell; man has believed that Jews killed Christ; man has believed that the earth was the center of the universe; and man has believed that the world was flat. More recently, man politically has believed that communism was bad and democracy was good and vice versa ; man has believed economically that socialism was bad and capitalism was superior and vice versa ;  man has believed that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites; man has believed that vaccines were good or  bad and vice versa; man has believed in climate change and vice versa; man has believed that a single-payer health care system was good and/or bad;  man has believed in the supremacy  of the whites  ; man  has believed that an assault rifle is a 2nd Amendment right and vice versa;  and man has believed that mental health is one of the causes of  hate crime , murders and vice versa etc. This brief list of religious, political, racist, unscientific beliefs are just that-brief.
In our country, no one gets arrested for their irrational, emotionally, or hateful beliefs as in their tweets or other social media expressions. One gets arrested for amoral physical behavior. There is no mental health diagnosis for irrational hate political beliefs. As a result, there is no third-party or insurance reimbursement for such talk. However, insurance companies use the term “medically necessary” for coverage. Generally, that means that symptoms can be treated by a pill. Further, if one talks to a therapist about aggressive tendencies, by law that is confidential. But, if one had a significant plan regarding hurting self or hurting others, by law, that is not confidential and would require the therapist to report the facts to government etc. Likely, an alienated white nationalist type would not seek out a therapist if planning a murderous attack. Thus, by Diagnostic Criteria, mental health does not cause gun violence.
Beliefs can be hateful, discriminatory, irrational and emotionally based and not subjected to rational thought. With that being said, it’s no wonder why we are unable to change beliefs, opinions or attitudes. Our unique psychological makeup with our needs, drives, and character development are accompanied by our sophisticated use of unconscious defense mechanisms. As a consequence, we are stuck with limited rational thought and understanding. Yes, thoughts, beliefs can and do result and proceed before moral as well as amoral behavior. I know as I have made a number of irrational Corvette and Harley Davidson purchases.
Take an alienated, high testosterone individual attracted to supremacist ideology with its racist political belief system. If he identifies [internalizes not only their ideology, attitude and way of thinking, but also with their ethics, political values, morality or destructive amorality code of behavior] with that supremacist mob, he becomes one with the group. They have unlimited access to assault weapons. With that being said, we have a recipe for prejudice, violence, murder, and destruction. One cannot predict when such will occur, only the probability of the occurrence. This is not a mental health problem. It is a problem of young alienated individuals with a sadistic character structure that identifies with a gang which has an irrational, hateful, political belief system with easy access to kill weapons. Eliminating assault weapons will not change neither the sadistic character structure, identifying with “power” nor incorporating an irrational hateful belief system, but it will significantly reduce mass gun murder.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Man Murder and Culture

To no one’s surprise, there occurred two mass shootings last weekend.  This essay has to do with man’s aggressive nature within the context of his life space. Let’s initially take a look, at current aspects of an amoral culture in our country. We have inept, hateful and sadistic political divide; numerous white nationalist groups and associations; videogames with realistic violence; a plethora of heroic murder, lying, stealing and other amoral transgressions portrayed on TV and in the movies; superficial reporting with excessive amounts of hate, prejudice and racism expressed on radio, TV and social media; enormous greed and the easy availability and unnecessary amounts of automatic rifles. It’s no surprise that our country is number one when it comes to the number of mass murders. Let’s address man’s developmental history and his potentiality for aggressive behavior.
 There’s no argument that man is aggressive. Aggressiveness has been explained as either a result of a drive, instinct, or a need.  Man being aggressive is not surprising based on the anxiety, insecurity, helplessness and, dependency surrounding birth. I will use a baseball description of balls and strikes instead of good or bad as an analogy for potential aggressive behavior. Balls and strikes have a different connotation than good or bad.
Man essentially has two directions to express or exhibit aggression. Man can direct his aggression outward toward others. A need for aggression which has been defined by Henry Murray as: To fight. To revenge as injury. To attack, injure or kill another. Aggression can also be expressed verbally as in sadism or sadistic expression which is meant to hurt, or humiliate another’s feelings.
Men can also direct his aggression inward toward self. Aggression turned inward has been called by Murray the need for abasement which is: To accept injury, blame, criticism, punishment. To blame, belittle or mutilate the self. To seek and enjoy pain, punishment, illness, and misfortune. Depression and suicide are commonly understood as aggression toward self-turned inward.
We also know that aside from his inherited or physiological qualities, man expresses his aggression as a result and is often related to frustration when his goal behavior is thwarted. Moreover, learning and history have a lot to do with how, why, to whom and when the expression of aggressive behavior is exhibited
Within this background of aggression, let’s direct attention to the baseball analogy of balls and strikes and their ratio to depict potential conflicts with resulting potential for aggressive tendencies. Initially, we all start out life differently, not equally .Employing balls and strikes to the following: the wellness and wellbeing of the caretaker during pregnancy; the caretaker’s socioeconomic status; the caretaker’s physical and mental health; the caretaker’s ability to nurse; and with the caretaker’s marital status etc.  , we come up with a number or a ratio.  Next, let’s look at the newborn’s physiological health, at birth; and the newborns skin color which can be called either a ball or strike; the newborns ZIP Code or country of origin can be called a ball or strike; the nursing, doctor and hospital care can be called a ball or strike; the impact of the marital relationship etc. all affect this newborn. At this point, what is the ratio of balls to strikes? Hopefully, the baby can get to first base.
Within the baby’s development, he’s going to attend possibly preschool and then some K-12 educational program. Once again, zip code of the school results in either a ball or strike. Any learning disability or special needs of the student results in either a ball or strike. The quality of education and the quality of the sports, music and other school programs also results in either a ball or a strike. Additionally, the quality of his peer group relationships, experimentation with drugs, alcohol or cigarettes also can be evaluated in terms of balls or strikes. This important time of development, of acquiring an attitude toward academic skills, the beginning development of identity along with the capacity for intimacy are all affected by the number of balls and the number of strikes. Once again, the ratio of balls to strikes are important. Was this youngster able to get to second base, is he stuck on first base or is he still struggling at home plate?
Now perhaps on to college. If he’s a five-star athlete or has some extraordinary talent, colleges come running; if he is a Phi Beta Kappa with wealthy parents, then he has plenty of options. Maybe with these individuals, they have just hit a home run. However, for the rest, maybe there’s college accompanied by enormous school debt.  The college dropout rate is staggering. The non-college bound can join the military; receive minimum wage; have limited career employment opportunity; have questionable health care and social security –retirement etc. for their future. Once again, balls and strikes and the ratio are key components.
It’s clear that the history of balls and strikes affect degree of frustration regarding goal attainment. A heavy degree of frustration results in more aggression turned outward toward others and/or inward toward self. One’s history or batting average can be very low. If low, that equals lots of aggression.
A few words about the frustration in the environment created by the ruling class. The ruling class consists of the top 1% economically, with Wall Street and the large corporations. One politician said that corporations are people. Yes, but what kind of people? In our capitalistic-socioeconomic system, money is power or power is money. In any event, money and power are considered positives for those that have it and are considered negatives for those that don’t.
Based upon someone’s detailed history, they are going to have limited or unlimited opportunities. Sorry Jefferson, not everyone was created equal nor do they have equal socioeconomic and educational opportunities. Unfortunately, based on who we are, aggression is turned inward or outward. However, one word of optimism. Freud believed that we can partially limit aggression turned inward and outward through sublimation. Sublimation will not totally resolve and prohibit the release of aggression. However, with sublimation, we have numerous individuals that have excelled in all forms of the performing, literary, fine and creative arts; in scientific and philosophical achievement; in establishing foundations; and in sports. A home run is better than a ball and a ball is better than a strike both in baseball and in dealing with frustration and aggression.
The frequency and the manner in which aggression is expressed gives clues to the character and need structure of the individual. Likewise, the character and need structure of the individual gives clues to the manner in which aggression is going to be expressed. Of course, the number of balls and the number of strikes affect the development of character. Reducing the number of strikes will result in less violence than we have today.
Personally, I know about aggression turned inward and outward. I have engaged in fistfights, played high school and college football.  I ran the 100 mile one day Western States endurance run at age 62 and completed the 100 mile one day Swanton Pacific Ride and Tie at age 68. I also have participated in oral sadistic exchanges with Linda. Believe me, sublimation behavior is less stressful.
In essence, when a young male, at his peak or with higher levels of testosterone [promotes aggressiveness and sexual desire]; has an unconscious feeling of powerlessness [buying guns and affiliating with nationalistic hate clubs]; has a diffuse identity [ hateful exclusion of those different ,allegiance, pledging and proving loyalty  , stereotyping of enemies, readiness,  openness, attractiveness,  a needy desire to belong, an identification with  authoritarian  doctrines and ideas};  limited to irrational , prejudicial thinking; coupled with a doom and gloom outlook; having a   sadomasochistic character, we have, as a result , a serious prognosis. Rear this person in an environment with an amoral culture coupled with the greedy manufacturing of military weapons, and to no one’s surprise we have a preponderance of murder.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Man's Shortcomings

This essay depicts man’s shortcomings and the ineffective ways in which government and religion deal with it. With the arrival of civilization about 30,000 years ago, man’s tendencies and character were well-established. Religion’s goal was essentially to protect man from man; protect man from nature; to ease his pain in the present; promise an afterlife; be protected by a loving, powerful, forgiving, vengeful, narcissistic and demanding father figure. This father figure God has been depicted as an old bearded and long-haired entity.
Historically, religious figures like Hammurabi of Babylon and Moses had established a moral code of principles for the masses. They knew that man treated man aggressively, without trust, with power, dominance, control, inhumanely and with disrespect. And, when man behaved in his typical manner toward others, he would be punished and have to answer to God, some mediator or some other man-made configuration. In fact, commoners would even have to pay for the privilege. As religion developed, violations of the moral code resulted in a sin. Man could confess to a middleman mediator, fast for a day, say 10 Hail Mary’s, pay a  fine, perform  community work, go on probation, be incarcerated and  then be free to sin again. In essence, religious figures defined amoral behavior, called it a sin and then had the commoners pay for the privilege.
A few of Hammurabi’s laws incorporated common man-made characteristics and tendencies such as slander; fraud; slavery and slaves as property; theft; liability; divorce; adultery and perjury. A few of the 10 Commandments that Moses engraved included: not take the Lord’s name in vain; honor thy father and thy mother; thou shall not kill; and thou shall not commit adultery. Christian 10 Commandments added: neither shall you steal; neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor’s; neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife; nor you shall not desire anything that is your neighbors.  These laws or commandments defined man’s interpersonal interactions accurately. One can argue that religious laws have not done much to change man’s nature and characteristics. By the same token, one could also argue that without religious laws, man’s behavior would be even more deplorable and despicable. Who can win that argument?
We had Kings, Queens and popes, with God’s permission, attempt to make things more bearable for the common man. We have evolved with various forms of government; different democracies and dictators dealing with human frailty of life on earth. In our country, we have, according to some, the best form of democracy ever created. We have numerous laws, rules, regulations and punishments for those that have broken the rules. Of course, not all are treated equally under the law. Maybe we have the most despicable individuals in the world? How else do your account for the fact that the United States has the largest prison population in the world and the highest per capita incarceration rate or 24.7% of the world’s 9.8 million prisoners?
What about the homicide rate in our country? Per 100,000 people per year, one statistic has the total for the United States being 6.9. Of that number 10.7 are males and 3.1 are females. By comparison, another high income nation is Canada. Canada’s numbers are 1.4 for the total. 1.94 For males and less than 1.0 for females are that countries statistics.
Considering divorce in the United States, the marriage rate is currently 6.8 per 1, 000 total population .The divorce rate is 3.2 per 1000 population as of 2014 according to the CDC. Those figures suggest that if getting married, there’s a 50 percent chance of divorce. A flip of the coin might be another way to decide about getting married.  Maybe all those good years of marriage might outweigh the terrible weight of divorce.
Lying and stealing are also popular in United States as it’s a theme depicted in movies, novels and social media. In fact, our Pinocchio commander has set records with his exaggerations. Lying is supposed to be a crime if you lie to congressional investigations. Everyone lies, tells a half truth or engages with lies of omission. To say that man is trustworthy is also misleading. Additionally, my friend, an engineer, worked for one of the big three auto companies. Every six months or year, they provided him with a new vehicle to drive. The company did not pay taxes and called that benefit “he was test driving the car.” Not only was that a lie, the company was also cheating by not paying taxes.
These are troubling statistics regarding man’s moral behavior as defined by some religions of the world. Are we the most amoral group of people? Perhaps, there is not any government nor any religion that can tame, limit, suppress, or control man’s inhumane nature. It does not seem to matter if God is alive or if God is dead as depicted by statistics on dealing with man’s amoral nature. Maybe, our standard for moral behaviors are just too strict, unrealistic and unattainable. No wonder it’s easy for religions and government to peddle fear of your neighbor, group, clan, country etc. Just look at the statistics, as we have generous amounts of hate, prejudice and discrimination. Maybe government contributes to man’s difficulty in getting along with others. If so, maybe everyone should be armed with an assault rifle. Just kidding about the rifle.