Articles & Videos

Why are Men so Violent?

Posted by | Articles & Videos, Demonizing & Dignity, Gender Expectations | No Comments

As I write this, another shooter in the U.S. is being cast as someone who was “descending into madness”. This man is older than other shooters we’ve seen recently—and he had plenty of money too. So we wonder, what was his motive?

We naturally want to understand what causes a person to create a plan and then carry out that plan to open fire on a public crowd of strangers with an automatic weapon. If we can understand, perhaps these events can be prevented.

Hearing the term “mental illness” (to explain the cause of the event) will satisfy some Americans. Others will say it’s a problem of too many guns. And many will go no further to understand the root of the issue. However, if we don’t understand the root cause of such violence, we’ll be putting band-aids on a wound that requires much more. Read More

A Seat at the Table

Posted by | Articles & Videos, Demonizing & Dignity, my articles | No Comments

In a world where demonizing and scapegoating are all too common, what role might an emerging process for criminal justice play? In this essay, I explore the overlap of my personal experience with something called Restorative Justice.

Earlier in my career, in an unfortunate series of events, I experienced going from being respected as a high-performing employee to being isolated like a criminal.

A key client of the company I worked for had become upset about our inadequate level of service and threatened to cut our contract with them. This meant that my employer would have been facing the decision of who to lay-off in order to balance lower income with staff wages. The client didn’t leave, but my company’s leaders were concerned, and understandably so. Read More

How Humans Become Monsters

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As our culture becomes more polarized, it becomes more tempting to label those who disagree with us as “monsters.” But what do we really mean when we say someone is being monstrous? And how willing are we to see our own monstrous tendencies?

To explore this, I’m going to go where monsters originally came from: the land of storytelling.

In the book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, Christopher Booker lays out his theory that the core purpose of stories is to help humans learn to release the grip of an overactive ego.

Let’s look at how this is so in stories that adhere to this original purpose… Read More