Monthly Archives: July 2007

When Personal Horrors Become Family Disasters

     Unfortunately, bad things happen sometimes.  Some of those bad things are forces of nature: hurricanes, mudslides, tornados, earthquakes, and disease.  While life, death, loss, and injury are horrendous experiences to deal with, psychologically we are somewhat more philosophical about these encounters with horror because they aren’t “personal.” 
     “Personal” horrors, on the other hand, include intentional harm to the body, soul, property, psychological well-being and reputation of another for political, egotistical, or financial gain – or for the simple pleasure derived from having the power to destroy.  These experiences turn out to be more difficult to cope with, because they are not seen as “the stuff that could and has happened to anyone.” Continue reading

Independence Day

231 years ago, the Declaration of Independence was signed, but it wasn’t until seven years later, in 1783, that the war was over and the United States of America was officially free of British rule.  We commemorate a lot of things on July 4th – the signing of that most important document, the birth of a new nation, and the freedom that we’ve been able to enjoy since Thomas Jefferson wrote of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  For this holiday, I’m turning my blog over to my listeners – below are excerpts from letters and emails I’ve received reminding us all about what it means to be an American, and how we should value those who defend those rights we hold so dearly. Continue reading