Our Moral Compass is all Fucked-Up!

I saw something that disturbed me enough the other day that I felt the need to journal about it. My journal and what I write about in my journal is often the fodder for many of my posts.

As part of my job, I am required to be on-call for Crisis Services for one week approximately every other month. Late last night I was called to the home of a 16 y.o. who is home on a home visit with her family. The child, I call her that because that’s what she is. She’s not a “young adult.” She is a child, who had been allowed, based on my brief observation to do whatever it is she wants to do. This observation is based on the fact, that’s right, the fact that the therapeutic residence in which she has been placed for the previous 12-months had been unable to reach the child’s mother via the mother’s cell phone over the past 24-hours. The residence had been monitoring the child’s Facebook account. That’s right, the residence had been monitoring the child’s Facebook account. The child had made several statements on social media indicating her desire to engage in self-harm. Simply put, she had posted several statements indicating she had a desire to kill herself. I arrived with the police to find the parents totally oblivious…as it appeared to just about anything. I asked if there was a problem with the phone, the mother responded, “Oh, I didn’t know they were calling.” Perplexed, because I have and still use common sense, I asked where her phone was and she explained it was in her daughter’s possession. The same daughter using the same phone on which she was making posts on Facebook about self-harm. This is a head shaker for me. To many of you reading this, my head shaking is obvious, for those of you who it is not, why the Hell was this child allowed to have her mother’s phone, unchecked for the period of time which it was in her possession and why was her mother, knowing this behavior has been problematic for the past several years, at least not looking at the phone and its content? This is the parent’s responsibility not that of the treatment program.

There is/was no reason why when this child returned home for a home visit from her inpatient treatment provider, that she be allowed to keep in her possession the cell phone belonging to her mother. There is no reason why a large marijuana leaf should be allowed to be painted on the wall in her bedroom. By the way, it’s not “her room.” Neither of my kids had a room. I had two extra bedrooms in which they were allowed to live their lives when they lived in my house. They could decorate their rooms as long as they did not violate the simple norms of safety, respect, responsibility and being goal-directed. Call me old-fashioned or call me a parent who cares. The parent explained she “wanted to give her daughter her space.” Well, the parents of one of the Columbine shooters felt the same way. They chose to not go into their son’s room. Perhaps if they had, the ugliness that was Columbine would not have taken place.

I don’t understand this gender thing either. You are either male or female. Recently during a therapy session, I was told by an 18 y.o. she was a “Binary Unicorn.” What the Hell is that?! That doesn’t exist! This is what I mean by the lens of our moral compass being broken. We have developed into a society who feels people deserve the right to do exactly what they want to do regardless of the possible consequences. We are afraid to say anything to anybody because we might be violating their “safe space.” Recently I was in a coffee shop having lunch with a friend. It was Saturday so school was not in session. There was a table of four children who appeared to be no more than 12 or 13 who had become loud. Two of the children were making spitballs and spitting them through a straw at the ceiling. As their behavior grew louder and more aggravating, at least to me became more irritated by this behavior. No one, not even the management of the restaurant said anything. Finally, the manager of the restaurant did approach  their table and told them to “stop.” They laughed and the behavior continued. It took me calling the police to get these punks to stop.

I see every day the lack of respect for almost any type of authority. Especially with kids who feel they “deserve to be respected.” I was brought up understanding respect was earned and there were people in m,y life who received respect because they deserved it.

We need to fix this moral compass we have in this country!


I am tired and frustrated…

It is with hands clasped in prayer and with much gratitude which I  greet you.
I had one of those days today and yesterday and the day before. It is what it is. I expect to have some of “those” days from tinme to time.
My frustration is not with “those” days. My frustration is with “those” people with whom  I am forced to interact and those with whom I choose to interact. It is with their rudeness, self-importance, disrespect and failure to acknowledge another or their own indiscretion.
I see others smile infrequently. When I smile, I am often asked, “Why are you in such a good mood?” or “Why are you smiling?” I smile often and frequently because it helps pick up my mood when I am feeling down. I smile because it helps others to pick up their mood when they are feeling down.
I read this quote from the Dalai Lama. He said, “When you help others, do so out of respect. Don’t look down on them. Serve other human beings with a compassionate intent.” I do this frequently. I would say “all of the time” and more than likely be accurate but I am not perfect. I do have a pretty intact value system which does not allow me to treat others poorly and disrespectfully regardless of what is going in their life without feeling intense pangs of guilt. It’s my moral compass, my true north.
I have but one question…”Why can’t others do the same?” I would even find it acceptable if the guy who sits in the hall who I walk by and say “Hi” would return this simple acknowledgement. It really is the “little things.” I don’t need a million dollars to be happy. A smile, a tip of the hat, a “good day to you” from time-to-time would be nice.
I have a hope for all of my readers…HAVE AN AMAZING DAY! Help others to have an amazing day. It really doesn’t take much. You don’t need to pay it forward in the coffee line, although that would be nice. Let’s just try to each be a little bit nice to each other throughout the day.

A day in the life…

I borrowed this outline from a friend and thought it would be interesting to place my thoughts into this outline and share them with others.
1 year is 1/90th of your lifetime if you live to be 90.
1 month is 1/12th of a year.
1 day is 1/365th of a year or 24 hours.
What I have experienced in 24 hours:
I watched the sunrise as I ran along the shore of the Niagara River.
This morning during my run, I witnessed the wonder of the full moon and the way the clouds seem to have highlighted and painted the sky.
I smiled as I watched a patient grasp the understanding that they can persevere through the difficulties in their life and can experience success.
I watched and smiled as my youngest child, Stephen, turned 21.
I struggled to find my balance at several points throughout the day. I experienced sadness and happiness.
I arrived home to see my wife smiling…for no apparent reason.
I went out with my son and had his first “legal” drink with him as he celebrated his 21st birthday. 
I was reminded that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
I felt gratitude as I witnessed an amazing sunset.
I discovered that even though I truly enjoy what I do for a living, it is possible to do to much.
I felt blessed after having witnessed a couple in their 80’s, walking hand in hand their love for each other still important to each.
I have witnessed the day growing short of daylight but still full of happiness and solitude.
I have learned what we think is wrong with others is typically something we want to change about ourselves.  The sun only rises once each day so appreciate it.  Our breaths are limited notice them. Our heart has no limit to the amount of love we have so love with all your heart.  When the seasons pass and days grow short it is all the moments we noticed that warm our hearts.