Aug. 5, 2019 Some Thoughts About The Shootings We Have Seen
And Mental Health
Shootings – Freud Would Say The Ability To Love, The Ability To Work = Mental Health.
Some Democrats are saying Congress should be called back into session to pass legislation that would address prevention of more shootings. No, our best decisions are not made when emotions are at their height.
The idea of a Commission to come up with recommendations to deal with the flood of mass shootings seems a much more thoughtful approach.
Some explanations advanced about the cause of these shootings have been the breakdown of society, our institutions. That seems to make sense. Many more people today don’t have the stability being a member of a Church brings. The breakdown of the two parent family is cited. Our schools no longer meet the needs of our times. Authority figures are frequently no longer looked up to.
One commentator mentioned the importance of meaning which is elusive today.
If these shootings are, in part, caused by the breakdown of our institutions: their inability to promote stability, if a lack of meaning is another cause of what we are seeing – what do we do?
If our institutions are all breaking down, what that means is we are living in a time of transition. One set of norms no longer work and new norms, new institutions, are yet to begin. There is more chaos at such times, more anxiety, but this is also a time of great opportunity.
It could be a time for experimentation, to see what works. It’s a time for model programs. It’s a time to listen to a variety of ideas. It’s a time to study what is being successful. It’s a time to follow our feelings of tendency and to try to formulate our ideas, to write them down and flesh them out, to talk them out with others. It’s a time to listen, too. It’s a time to suspend judgment. It’s a time to let all voices be heard. If the birth of a baby takes 9 months of gestation, how much longer would the gestation period be to refresh, to rebirth our institutions – our families, our religious institutions/spirituality, our schools, our media, our political institutions?
And what about a lack of meaning? Freud said mental health consisted of the ability to love and the ability to work. I think the member of Congress who suggested emotional and social learning in our schools is on the right track. As we are seeing a lack of emotional intelligence, emotional regulation is at the source of some serious problems.
Better emotional regulation, better social skills, better communication skills can help us have better relationships and better mental health as a society.
Yet, Freud went on and said the ability to work also was part of the definition of being mentally healthy. Many of our youth seem to lack direction and that vacuum leads to joining all sorts of movements for a sense of belonging, a sense of community, a sense of purpose and meaning.
We need to assist our youth in finding direction in life. That direction can come from identifying their talents/gifts, interests and assisting them in choosing as their goal work environments that will help them to use talents/gifts/interests once fully developed.
We need to give our children choices in education, so there are options available to cater to the vast array of individual differences people present. In these different school environments children will be more apt to find the role models they need for the different directions their work life will take.
If Freud is right – helping people have the skills to have better relationships, to find fulfilling work – may help give their life more meaning – something some realize is missing in the lives of too many of our youth today.
I-It relating is totally subjective. The I looks at everything in relation to their self. Their desires and concerns are a barrier to real meeting. There is contrivance and hypocrisy. Imposition characterizes I-It Relating as the I tries to impose their views, their wants on the other.