Close

William James’s Personal Bout with a “Mental Disorder”

William James, psychologist and philosopher, passed away over a century ago.  Nevertheless, his remarkable body of work remains as fresh as fruit plucked from its tree but moments ago. His views about his personal bout with a challenging experience developed over many years.  Today I think it will be instructive if we spent a little time reviewing what he learned. A Glimpse at James’s Early…

Read More

Einstein and Stupidity

“Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.”–Albert Einstein In the spring of 1914, Albert Einstein left his home in Switzerland to take a job at the University of Berlin in Germany’s capital.  He was then, 35. He took the job with much misgivings.  When he was a young boy living in Germany, Einstein…

Read More

The Desire for Happiness

Dealing with the frustration that goes along with challenging conflicts has some similarities to sailors dealing with stormy seas—it is best to utilize a well-rehearsed plan. For dealing with conflicts, one such plan begins with thinking of the word “DIG.”  With a little practice, we can use this word to remind us of a simple way to summarize the conflict even in the midst of…

Read More

ADHD and the Wisdom of William James

Last week’s post, titled ADHD and Psychiatric Name Calling, criticized the prevalent practice of converting concerns about a person’s ability to pay attention into psychiatric lingo.  There was a great deal of interest in the post so I decided to present another for your consideration. As I began to craft this, my thoughts went back to my most popular post, Teaching Children How to Deal with…

Read More

Psychiatric Name Calling: Is Science to Blame?

A couple of weeks ago I raised the question, “Name Calling by Psychiatrists: Is it Time to Put a Stop to it?”  In response, some blamed the insurance companies and other third party payers for the name calling. Because it is true that these payers do require the pathologizing of people seeking mental health services, in last week’s article, I took a close look at that issue….

Read More

Conflict Resolution and The Wisdom of Abraham

Sometimes we observe people doing things that seem terribly wrong. We may then find, welling up from within, an urgent desire to provide negative criticism. In earlier posts, in an effort to provide some guidance on how to avoid expressing our concerns in a form that can potentially make a bad situation far worse, I provided a description of 5 levels of maturity for providing…

Read More

Dealing with Criticism: A Calvin and Hobbes Lesson

For most of us, improving our skills at dealing with criticism takes some practice.  If we do this in a safe situation in which we will not expose ourselves to potential embarrassment, we can think more clearly about what is going on.  Once we become very clear about how we would like to handle various situations involving criticism, it becomes easier to apply these skills…

Read More

Fear, Cowardliness, and the Military

Last week my blog post asked, “Does Your Fearfulness Make You a Coward?”  While attempting to answer this question, I pointed out that viewing yourself as a coward when you experience fear consumes time and energy. Moreover, it is way too simplistic. Fear is actually a highly valuable emotion. It motivates us to take some wise precautions. And the fact that some people can fearlessly perform…

Read More

Does Your Fearfulness Make You a Coward?

As far back as I can remember, the first time I called myself a coward was when I was in fourth grade. The teacher gave the class an assignment requiring each student to get up in front of the class and give a speech about a book we had read. We were allowed to use some cue cards but were not permitted to read the…

Read More

On Responding to the N-word

Leonard Pitts, Jr. is a columnist, author of three novels and winner of numerous awards including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.  When I heard a couple of weeks ago that he was speaking at Flagler College, having enjoyed reading his insightful column for many years, I eagerly went to see him.  Mr. Pitts’s formal presentation was well received.  Then, he began to take questions…

Read More