Low Self-Esteem; The Worthless Me Syndrome
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
Angel is 16 years old and she gravitates to the beat of a different drummer. She likes Roy Harper comics, reading the Hobbit, and choreographing dance moves to Korean music. She lives in the world of panda bear tattoos and rainbow colored hair. She is truly unique but more than that, she's family, my niece's daughter, and all she is is what we love about her. Her life at this stage should be a never ending song of happiness yet she has had to overcome bouts of low self-esteem due to being bullied just for being who she is. Low self-esteem is just one of the by-products of being bullied and if there’s two things that’s known about self-esteem is that there’s nothing innate or God-given about it and that it's something that must be dealt with along life’s way. Those who are unique like Angel are often a target of others who's own lives are dismal so they are opposed to change in the status quo. Sometimes the changes that they see are a direct result of a bullied person who decided that their self image needed improvement in order to belong in a society that’s forever unforgiving. How ironic. When a person is bullied, their lives and their happiness becomes restricted and it often leads to fundamental feelings of inadequacy which in turn leads to other problems such as overeating, alcoholism, and depression. In women, low self-esteem is viewed as an epidemic that causes them to make unwise life choices such as marrying unworthy men, making bad career decisions, and going from substance abuse to tolerating being abused. Some believe that women are more vulnerable to the symptoms of low self-esteem because the world as a whole is seen as a male dominated society.
It’s hard to have self-esteem when society as a group, is constantly defining you, and in your eyes, you see yourself as not good enough. You acquire all the symptoms of the dreaded “if only” syndrome. You begin to think, "if only I was prettier or smarter or had a better body". We all have been programmed to believe that we must meet a certain criteria as far as our appearance. goes. The desire to be thin has women starving themselves. That sends out the wrong message and starts some women on a never-ending perpetual journey trying to “fix” themselves to gain societies approval. You weren’t born with low self-esteem, it either came from parents who told you that you were worthless, or the sad fact that you never got picked to join the “in” crowd because you chose to color your hair red. How does one change those “worthless me” messages? Sometimes it requires counseling and or a support group. It will also require the best weapons of all, family and friends. Angel has her good days and her bad days, and when she feels overwhelmed, she reaches out to family and friends and we are all there to keep her spirits up. You must take the time to identify the good points you have and don’t put so much emphasis on the bad points. The greatest victory in life is the ability to live with yourself and to accept your shortcomings. You may be a long way from where you want to be, but if you really take a good look at yourself, you may realize that you’re not so bad after all.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
When a person commits a crime he or she goes to prison. We all know that. If you commit a crime that takes another person's life, you stand a pretty good chance of getting the death penalty, although some states are now re-evaluating their stance on capital punishment in lieu of some dramatic and tragic events recently. For those who are on “death row”, there’s not much of a future to look forward to, and the years of appeals is a slow death sentence in itself. But for the criminal who stands a pretty good chance of one day getting out of prison, what is there for them to come home to? Across the United States, when a prisoner is released and they can’t find a legal way to support themselves or their families, they usually wind up back in prison. That’s because when they try to integrate back into society he or she has the label “ex-con” stamped on their forehead, and it’s like a plague with no known cure that will never go away. Once an employer finds out they have a criminal record, their employment chances go from zero to nothing pretty fast.
More than 40% of all inmates who are released eventually go back to prison and to the taxpayer, that’s an expensive revolving door. It cost taxpayers anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000 a year to house an inmate, and that’s why there’s talk of privatizing prisons. While you might think this would be a good idea, let me clue you in on some facts. Those who want to turn the prisons into a corporation have lobbyists who will prod state houses across the country to make stiffer laws. If a corporation buys a company, in this case a prison, then they must have product, prisoners, in which to make money. The "Death Race" movies was the privatization of prisons on steroids, and though just a movie, it's not hard to imagine the same thing happening in real life in the near future. The rich investors in such a "business" will lobby for stricter laws because stricter laws means more people breaking them, and then they go to prisons and that means more product hence, more money. For instance, as an example, a Texas man stole a candy bar (that's right, a candy bar) was convicted, and got a 16 year prison sentence and was sent to a privately run prison. This comes from a reliable news source and I for one believe the story to be true.
That is why there must be a way for ex-offenders to obtain meaningful employment so they don’t go back into a penal institution. When an inmate is released and they are successful in finding work, they pay taxes and contributes to society and they have no desire to go back and be institutionalized.. That’s why back in January 2012, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took steps to reduce some of the barriers that stood in the way of ex-inmates who were trying to make the transition back into society. They established guidelines that prohibit employers from denying people jobs based solely on their criminal records. Now while these guidelines do not eliminate background checks, they do urge employers to consider how long ago the crime was committed, the nature of the crime, and whether or not it has a bearing on the type of job the ex-inmate will be doing.
The American Civil Liberties Union has said that people with criminal records must have access to jobs to ensure that they can succeed in living a normal life because when they are able to do that, it will be a burden lifted off the taxpayer and a blessing for all of us and in my opinion, it’s the right thing to do. Don’t you think?
Photo courtesy of Associated Press
School Drug Testing Gaining Ground
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
There is something new coming to the high schools that’s bound to become a topic of many a discussions among many arm chair lawyers. I speak of drug testing students. With the increase in violence and high rates of truancy, officials are trying to determine if high drug use is responsible for some of the problems.
Some students are already yelling "foul" and claiming that their rights are being violated, but some students welcome the testing saying someone on drugs has the tendency to disrupt classroom learning. Some say that it depends on what kind of drugs the student is taking and while some see marijuana as not a bad thing, most view heroin and cocaine as unacceptable. It seems unlikely that any drug, including marijuana, will ever be tolerated in any learning institution, and I for one totally agree.
Athletes should always be given a drug test as part of a physical before being allowed to play because of the number of recent on field deaths due to cardiac arrest. A lot of attention has been given to head traumas, but cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student deaths on the playing field. With the combination of physical stress and possible hidden medical problems, taking any kind of illegal drug could be a death sentence. Finding hidden health problems is a major concern in high school athletics because the problem can most of the time be successfully treated.
For the non-athlete, taking drugs could still kill you because you are not getting a physical exam and therefore any health problem you have may go undetected, and just because you are young is no guarantee that you are invincible. The whole reason that drug testing in schools is going to become the norm is that it makes the schools safe from a variety of things including the person being bullied and winds up addicted to PCP and one day goes home and gets a shotgun or an automatic rifle and returns to the school bent on revenge.
Schools should always be a safe place where one goes to obtain a good education and not have to put up with an addict who cares nothing for the opportunity to learn.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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