Dear Dr. Gottlieb:
What is wrong with me? I really and truly understand that Mr. Vick had a horrible childhood. A cruel childhood that led to unimaginable violence, dog fighting and G-d know what else. I also understand the concept of paying ones debt to society and having a second chance. But, after reading and trying to understand your column today-I still do not understand how he could kill a dog that did not win a fight in such a cruel and terrible way. Couldn't he shoot the dog? No! He had to wet the dog and electrocute him. Doesn't that say more about his heart than about his childhood? What is wrong with me that I find his behavior more than just violent? To me the man is innately evil.
Can we rid ourselves of anger, like that felt by some toward Michael Vick?
Dan will be joined by for today's chat, starting at noon, by Dr. Ervin Staub professor of psychology at UMass and founder of the Psychology of Peace and the Prevention of Violence program there.
So just when I am thinking "enough with Michael Vick already, everyone has already said everything that can be said way too many times", I receive the following e-mail: Dear Dan, I spent thirteen years working for the Federal Prison Service in various administrative positions from maximum to minimum security. I do not excuse what he did, but he did eighteen months at a maximum security prison in Leavenworth, Kansas with bank robbers, drug dealers, and people serving time for very serious federal crimes. He was probably in barracks of four hundred other inmates, told when and what to eat, where to work (yes, everyone has a job) for pennies a day, when to wake up and go to sleep. And maybe the worst part of it all is the great shame of having your loved ones having to travel to prison only to see you in these circumstances. It's all so very humbling, as it should be. Its part of the price one pays for committing such a terrible crime.
Dan, he was twenty-seven; does he pay for this for the rest of his life?
People do change; I have seen many people living under these very isolating and humbling experiences wake up and realize what they have done. And then I have watched them return to a community only to meet scorn and rejection.Why are we so vengeful? Can't we rid ourselves of this anger just for a little while to see if this works?
Peter Dear Peter
This chat will be about marriage, how to heal what's broken and when to know it's time to end. Dan's guest will be psychologist B. Janet Hibbs, author of "Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage."
When we think about the impact of trauma, we usually think about how it causes posttraumatic stress disorder or depression.
But an emerging field called “posttraumatic growth” takes a different approach. It is about changing the way we see ourselves and finding new meaning in life.
Dan will be joined by Dr. Rich Tedeschi, Prof. of Psychology at UNC Charlotte author of "Posttraumatic Growth: Positive Changes in the Aftermath of Crisis" and Carla(see post below).
This chat will be about learning disabilities in children.
Dan will begin his chat with invited guest, Richard Selznick of the Cooper University Hospital Learning Center and author of "The Shutdown Learner" before inviting all others to join.
This chat will be an open discussion about what it takes to make changes in our lives and how we can begin letting go of the assumptions we have been making for years.
With the divorce rate just under 50 percent, most who get divorced remarry, creating a stepfamily. And anyone who has ever been in a stepfamily knows that they are complicated to say the least! This chat will be about many of the issues stepfamilies face and how they can be resolved. Dan is joined today by Dr. Wednesday Martin, author of 'Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We Do.'
There is just so much to say and so many stories about this experience that I will do it in pieces. Overall, the trip was magical, difficult, fun, deeply spiritual, difficult, intimate, wonderful, difficult and worth every minute.
The first three days:
We just never know what the next moment holds for us, we assume we do and that gives us the illusion of security. But on a trip to a place like Israel, we can even pretend to know what will be happening around the corner. This was the case last week on the first day of our adventure to the holy land. I sat overlooking the beauty of the Galilei in northern Israel with my precious grandson Sam, my daughter, son-in-law and 25 soon to be dear friends from my synagogue in South Jersey. I had been to this beautiful and interesting land twice before, but this trip was about living out a personal dream. I wanted to introduce Debbie the land of our ancestors and tell her about my deepest wish to have Sam come back here for his bar mitzvah. So there we were sitting on the grounds of a kibbutz, watching the body of water that Jesus is said to have walked on, just trying to absorb the meaning of the moment. Bedtime was early that night as we had arrived that morning after a 12 hour flight. So shortly after my nurse put me into bed, she plugged in my wheelchair as we routinely do, but this time was different. The battery charger blew out all of the circuits and in turn blew out the charger. All of a sudden being in a remote part of an exotic land on the Sabbath went from a deep spiritual experience to: "holy s**t, what now?"I could add a little more drama to the story like how the wheelchair almost ran out of charge before we got a new charger, but everything was resolved in 36 hours.Just like a dead charger was unexpected, so was the group's response to seeing the new one. We had been promised that it would be in the lobby of a hotel in Haifa when we arrived the next day but all 25 of us were nervous about it. And when we saw the brown box in the lobby there was an air of anticipation but when we plugged it in and found success, there was applause. Debbie later told me that when she heard that applause, she felt like she was part of a large caring support network for the first time in her life.