Racial tension between people of different background, heritage, religion, social status etc. is not a new thing to civilization.Racism probably dates back to the origins of Western civilization, if not even earlier.
“Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity.
The ideology underlying racist practices often includes the idea that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups that are different due to their social behavior and their innate capacities as well as the idea that they can be ranked as inferior or superior.” (wikipedia)
To really understand the underlying logic that propels one person to treat another as less than, we must first understand how we have all come to possess some level of perceived inferiority, which took root early on in our childhood.  As we compared ourselves or more likely were being compared to others, in certain traits, skills, achieveme…


One of my favorite movie lines is from Spider Man, when the grandfather, as he is dying on the sidewalk from an attack during a break in, tells young Spider Man: “With great power comes great responsibility!”  The entire scene is an antitheses, pointing out how young Spiderman was greatly wronged and would have any number of reasons for revenge and destruction.The difference is, Spider Man was not seeking great power, he was sort of bitten by it. He ends up choosing to use his power for the greater good.
In most cases, however, power is intentionally sought by individuals who believe that they are only worthwhile when they have power; preferably unlimited power over others.At some point, these individuals felt overpowered and concluded that being in the position of power is the preferred place to be.  To some degree, we all openly or secretly admire those who have achieved great wealth and are in a position of power.Our society calls these individuals successful.Most would not use that…


Back in the day, when I was involved in running the Adlerian elementary and middle school, I would produce several performances throughout the year.During the rehearsals leading up to the show, we would always have a few kids who felt discouraged about one thing or another and it would manifest itself in the way they behaved.All discouragement is, in part, due to feelings of inadequacy, which arise from our belief that we have to earn our worth and our place in this world.Those same kids would start to act out, not their assigned part, but rather by creating a disturbance back stage, undermining other's efforts and putting their own agenda above the interest of the group.The way I approached the problem was to avoid getting into it with them and also by not giving them the airtime or an audience.I asked them to leave the stage, until such time as they were able to participate in a helpful manner. When they returned, (and they always did) we all welcomed them back.Over time, we wou…


Inthe lead up to the United States of America’s Independence Day, I am reflecting on where this country once was and where it is now.The journey so many have taken to come here, for opportunity, religious freedom, safety etc.Seeing the Statue of Liberty and what they believed it represented.Each time I see a sign, shirt or bumper sticker saying “Make America Great Again” I find myself wondering how did we come to be so fearful.
As Adler points out in histheory of Individual Psychology,“all psychological compensation states that the stronger the feeling of inferiority, the higher the goal for personal power. “Our fear of not being enough, not having enough (in a land of plenty) not trusting, not feeling safe, whatever our fear, we seem to be operating from that very fear.We can only find our courage if we face whatever fear has a hold on us and often it comes down to the one core fear of not being worthy.When we act in ways that are degrading, damaging, destructive, towards our fellow m…


How is it that when we think we're doing everything we’re supposed to do and follow every good parenting guideline, our kids end up acting irresponsible and at times flat out defiant?

Here is something Alfred Adler talked about: “Perceived Inadequacy”.What it means is that we are all born dependent on the adults in our lives.We are limited in our ability to do things for ourselves.  They have all the power.So right away we kids see the world as not very fair.We want to feel capable and self reliant but that is an ongoing process. We have to learn many skills, practice, make numerous mistakes and try again.  All of which also requires us to have courage and patience.We also need a few good mentors to help us pave the way into adulthood.
When you think back to when you were a kid, was there a time you remember being irresponsible or even outright defiant? How did you feel?  Did you also feel powerless?  

We are steeped in "perceived inadequacy"; (inaccurately) feeling "…


How do you talk to your kids about their "bad" day in a respectful manner?I have had several parents ask me, what they can say to their kids when they find out that their kid got in trouble at school or that they are not doing well academically, or when they share that they had a conflict with either another student or a teacher.
To any of these questions one thing to keep in mind is that the relationship always comes first.If you don’t have the relationship you are not in a position to help your child.He/she will not hear you.Furthermore if you are in a fight (open or hidden) you will have very little success in getting their cooperation.Finding yourself standing in the ring with your boxing gloves on, scowling at each other, ready to draw blood, start taking a step back, breathe and retreat.If you do not do this, you will lose on all counts.Believe it or not, you know it’s true.We’ve all been there and done that.Even if you ground them, take all their privileges away, what…


Mother’s Day has always been a bit of challenging, rocky terrain for me.  Each year as I approach the precipice, I wonder anew, what will be waiting for me on the other side.  It might be because in the past I would look to my family to provide evidence, as to how good, no wait,  how great of a mother I am.I didn’t grow up having the best relationship with my own mother and I have often felt angry and hurt about the times she wasn’t there when I needed her.As a mother, I made every attempt to do just the opposite.  Admittedly, the hovering and protecting my child from every possible, invisible doom might have been overdoing it a bit. But I’ve also come to realize that none of us are perfect.Still when Mother’s Day rolls around, it once again reminds me of all my possible mess ups and how vulnerable I feel, when I envision them being entered into some esoteric algorithm of measuring up as a mother.
Then something happened, that was kind of like a good exorcism. (A good exorcism is one …