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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We Are All Power Hungry

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Over the years I have taught parenting classes to an assortment of groups and in a variety of venues. But the most memorable has to be the series of classes i taught to “a captive audience” in Lompoc Federal Penitentiary.

I learned a great deal in that class. There I came to appreciate the tremendous need we all have to make choices regarding our own lives—that people who lack a sense of personal power will do ANYTHING to regain that sense ...

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In Defense of Fido

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Evidence has been piling up for years: animals can have great therapeutic effects of people of all ages.

While scanning the web for research I saw that the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine held an entire conference on “animal assisted interventions in adolescent mental health”. While I was a bit surprised it should come as no shock to any of us that animals can have a definite healing or soothing effect.

Last week we discussed the need each of us ...

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