Family Violence: An Ancient Enemy
Among ancient people, intimate partner violence occurred for reasons similar to many rationalizations that modern humans provide: jealousy, anger, food, mating privileges and so forth. The most obvious reasoning that intimate partner violence occurred among ancient humans is the physiological rule: that is to say, the larger an animal, or more physically imposing partner/group member would have been more likely to use force or inflict violence upon another smaller one (essentially bullying). After all, which smaller ancient individual dare challenge the larger attacker?
Tuning in to any nature channel, such as National Geographic, we can see the physiological rule of violence play out in the animal kingdom as day-to-day business: the silverback gorilla, or the alpha wolf imposing their wills and sizes upon others. Here, too, intra-group violence occurs for many of those same reasons given by modern humans: challenge to mating privileges, territorial disputes, food, threats to immediate family, etc.
But rules are meant to be broken, often by those we least expect.
This physiological rule is also countered by nature itself, an opposing force of smaller size, such as we find in the snake – whose various venoms can easily subdue or kill a being one-hundred times its size. This is natures answer to predation (bullying). An even smaller, similar situation is provided us by the ignorant mosquito – who, in conjunction with the many viruses and diseases it carries, such as malaria – kills billions without any thought of malevolence.
In humans, we have developed two of the most potent forces against the physiological rule. The first is the brain itself – the most advanced brain we have known among creatures of the Earth. The second force being the social group itself: the norms of civilization. We primarily came to understand that it was wrong to obtain things we wanted, whether for psychological satisfaction, or biological urges, through unjustified force. We have the greatest treasure of higher intellect and greater reasoning ability over all the creatures in the animal kingdom, though like them, we have not been able to irradicate intimate partner violence (family violence) from our cultures.
Families are the cornerstone to any great society. Currently, however, there exists a sad social problem of violence within families. One fairly recent study of families shared that 74% of children younger than five were hit or slapped by their parents (n1). A 2004 study of sexual abuse of children showed a drastic decline in reported cases toward the end of last century, though the remaining 89,500 cases occurring every year, is 89,500 cases too many involving this type of violence (n2).
In 2005, the National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS) produced a number of reported instances of intimate partner violence at 690,100 cases (in America), (n3). Of those figures, 16.2% of the victims were males. Obviously, males committed the remaining 83.8% of instances – another likely example of the physiological rule of violence at play in modern humans.
Can it be anymore obvious- that no matter how we define family violence, wether as emotional, physical, sexual, or instrumental – modern humanity relies too heavily upon it. Violence is outdated software, so to speak, as it is assumed we have moved beyond instinctive reactions and drives as primary motivators in behavior. Humans can develop machines to analyze planetary bodies in deep space; we can construct telescopes to see millions of years into the prehistory of our universe; we cure disease, yet we cannot seem to irradicate the most ancient of our behaviors which is violence among families.
If there’s nothing else you do in life, if you reject voting, if you do not volunteer in your community, or do not give to any charities, or fail to pay sufficient taxes, there is one thing you should honestly do to create a better world and that is to reject violence. This can be taught by example – through the power of diplomacy, leadership, and empathy. By failing to perpetuate violence, we can finally evolve into the civilization I see we can become. Reject violence, that is our first step for a better tomorrow.
Lean more about family violence at teachyoung.org, or through researching any of the references below.
1. Gallup Organization. Disciplining Children In America: A Gallup Report. Princeton, NJ. (1995)
2. Catalano, S. Criminal Investigation, 2004. Washington, D.C. (2005)
IN LIFE, FEW THINGS DRIVE BEHAVIOR as strongly as does passion. Whether passion for creativity, for aiding the needy, a passion for music and so forth, these will vary among us, but we all should share a few passions. It would be nice if we shared the same passion for life, well-being, and education, too. However, we have so many distractions in contemporary times that a passion for learning and progress often gets stifled by frivolity and work.
One of the things I am passionate about is education, more specifically, lifelong learning. Educating oneself involves so much sacrifice, diligence, and focus though can also be enjoyable, especially when education from one’s culture or heritage is playfully passed down through the generations.
Another reason to be passionate about education is that one’s academic accomplishments represent hard work and positive steps toward one’s career, a promotion or raise in a wage, and perhaps a huge leap toward more meaningful employment altogether.
Finally, we cannot obtain anything in life without money from work. Everything costs money, from the air we breathe (we are taxed due to pollutants), the food we eat, the water we drink, to our comfortable shelters and clothes. Without a good-paying job, one likely could not attain much stability nor be able to appreciate the fruits of one’s labors through vacation, leisure, or by participating in holiday celebrations. Money demands work, work demands education, education demands you. So, before stepping into an educational institution – to work for that raise in pay or to start a new career – there are a few things that I discuss with my students before they jump in to this grand responsibility; I’m going to share those ideas with you, here. I call them the four directions on education.
1) What is it that you want to do for work for a very, very long time? In other words, you’re going to be going to school for at least 1-year and then after that, hopefully work in this position or this “career tree” for the rest of your life. It’s an important consideration.
2) Are you legally able to work in this field? Talk to someone who works in the field, research it, and determine what the minimum requirements are that would need to be met. There would be no sense in studying to work as detective if the legal environment prohibited it, right?
3) Conduct a cost-benefit analysis (list Pros and Cons) against your current life once you’ve decided upon your career path What sacrifices could be made, and can you absorb the additional loss of 10-to-25 hours per week doing homework – and probably commuting, if you’re not taking classes online.
4) Do you plan to attend a regionally accredited university or college, or nationally accredited university – in the alternative, as these groups typically permit credit transfers for work completed. You never want to attend a school for any extended amount of time or spend any money on a dead end degree or diploma from some career school to only find out later it was a waste of time and energy attaining it.(1) The U.S. Dept. of Education has a good reference list of accepted accredited academic bodies.(2)
Once you’ve covered all of these bases contact an academic advisor and open your life up to her, as she can help you into the next chapter of your life (as well as direct you to the financial aid office for options). In a few years time you will enjoy the fruits of your labors and bask in the glory of your new-found stability.
Get passionate about education, education carries your future.
3. images, public domain customizations
EDUCATION AND SUCCESS share a unique link. Although education does not guarantee success, don’t opportunities exist today provide inexpensive alternatives to advanced degrees or extensive costs of perpetual continuing education? If so, where are they? And in a market where tons of schools exist that want your money, and every employee looking for an edge, how does one make the right choice?
Most people typically have some college debt, thus, it should feel odd if the notion of debt=degree continues into grad school. Debt is unnecessary! While some careers at a minimum require advanced degrees such as lawyer, psychiatrist, professor, most all employment opportunities do not have such requirements. So, how does one stay competitive in the labor market, or advance up the corporate ladder without dropping a minimum of $25-thousand dollars in a Master’s program? The answer – believe it or not – is specialty knowledge, abilities, and unique skill sets.
Specialty knowledge acquisition takes the form of informal cross-training (learning someone else’s job in the company, and perhaps doing so over a series of months), or formal apprenticeship, in the traditional sense. The problem is that with both of these methods one doesn’t really set oneself apart from the paradigms in place (co-workers production, or teacher’s work styles) fast enough, and in an apprenticeship, one is essentially training to work as one’s predecessor, period.
Actually, there are a number of low-cost methods available to enrich one’s career, of course, depending on what one’s career objectives are. Let’s look at a short-term example, then an intermediate to long-term means by which to enrich one’s knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s for short).
Short-term methods to increase ksa’s involve utilizing a bit of your extra time, perhaps a handful of hours per-week, devoted to learning. Depending on your priorities, there are plenty of online, as well as brick-and-mortar schools (and vocational institutions) through which to take a class.
Adams State University of Colorado, is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. ASU, as with many Universities, offer certificate programs in business, legal studies, and other areas at approx. $375-500 per 3-credit certificate.
This is a more expensive route, but well worth the 8-16 week trouble. Plus, if one were to seek a degree later, the credit will transfer. Employers love nothing more than employees who care by showing interest in a collective future.
The extended education staff are really helpful, and academic advisors are invested in student success.
Now let’s look at a long-term example – though an accredited certificate should not be misconstrued as only a short-term option. Certificate programs should not be underestimated in value and actually have long-term implications also.
Aside from a certificate – used to delve deeper into one’s industry – a non-accredited certificate can do the same thing – in so much as one is not attempting to later transfer the certificate into a degree program. These types of certificates won’t be accepted by credible universities, but employers will be thankful you took the time to develop your skills and abilities – especially when it shows in your productivity.
A no-cost long-term option can involve developing a cornucopia of knowledge through a number of programs over the course of a year or so. A great place to learn in online format is http://futurelearn.com At Futurelearn you can take dozens of courses, working at your own pace in areas of mental health, business, legal, history, public policy, and many others. Additional to the work, one is exposed to articles, videos, quizzes, and interaction with a handful of mentors who interact with students as they work. It must be admitted this platform is amazing, fun, and interactive. In this way, contacts from all over the world can develop; in any given course one can interact academically with someone from Canada, Zaire, Japan, and Italy (even retired folk!) all bringing nuances of culture and society to the class. A very enriching opportunity. Courses are delivered through numerous British universities such as University of London, University of Sheffield, etc. Additionally, courses last anywhere from 3-weeks to 12, depending on the subject matter, and certificates are available for proof of completion at minimal cost of around $32 – shipped to you from the UK.
Thus, no matter the method you choose, developing your KSA’s really comes down to asking yourself: Is this knowledge meaningful and will I benefit from the information beyond a promotion? Remember, Learning is time-consuming, often expensive, and requires a level of maturity needed to focus your energy and balance your schedule to accomplish your goals without negative disturbance to other aspects of your lifestyle.
The key is documenting your learning and doing so at relatively low-cost.
See you at Futurelearn.