‘Careful, Your Prejudice is Showing

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There is much discussion in this country right now on the topic of racial prejudice. Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have pushed it to the forefront of national media and local minds alike.

But what is prejudice? “Prejudice is prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people or a person because of gender, political opinion, social class, age, disability, religion, ...

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The Paradox of Protection

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Working closely with young gang members in Southern California helped me to better understand the drive many feel to “get even”. Revenge seems to offer protection from being hurt, something we all desire.

A young lady recently told me, “Nice people get walked on. If I come off as mean and insincere people won’t take advantage of me.” How sad that many kind-hearted people harden their hearts as a means of protecting themselves from potential pain, only to find that this ...

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You Can Never Really Get Even

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In 1990 I sat in my office with five or six young men, aged 16 to 18. We had been talking about the gang activity that led to their being sentenced to the residential treatment program where I worked, and where they lived. A little more open than most of the residents in the program, this small group was willing to talk privately on a sensitive subject.

Street vengeance had played a bit role in how each of these guys ended ...

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Warning: Your Kids Are Likely to Turn Out A Lot Like You

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It can be very discouraging to watch your children veer away from the values you hold dear and embrace those of their peers. Most parents are surprised to see just how temporary those meanderings are. Informed parents can take hope and not get distracted by those short-term detours.

Several years ago a group of researchers were interested in measuring just how much teens were influenced by the respective values of parents and of friends. They found a fairly large group of ...

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It Takes Courage to Be a Kid

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I was fourteen years old when I saw Robert eat the baby mouse.

He and his friends found five nearly-naked rodents under a hay bale outside of Midway Junior High and dared each other to eat one. I watched from a distance as Robert excitedly took the dare and collected five dollars for his “courageous” behavior. Even then, I was more repulsed and engrossed by his thought process than by the actual deed. The only thing clear was that he was ...

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