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Dan E. Burns University of North Texas Press PDF


But even as Ben rallied, the stress on the family was taking a toll.

July of 1991, Sue and I entered family counseling, trying to save our twenty-four-year marriage. As summer blended into fall, our relationship continued to unravel.

July 23, 1991. Sue and I met with Russ Dunckley, Ph.D., a family

therapist, to discuss some issues in our relationship. Sue and I had struggled repeatedly with my sexual orientation, beginning before we were married. She knew I was gay—my affair with Joel was no secret— but marriage was supposed to keep me on the straight and narrow.

An unlikely expectation, from a twenty-first century perspective, but one that we held on to in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

By late summer of 1991, I was losing control. Beneath the fortress of our marriage, tectonic plates were shifting. I dreamed about a small city in Iowa, like Iowa City, where Sue and I had lived during our first three years together. In my dream, a building collapsed, burying hundreds. Then the top half of a glass-and-steel tower imploded.

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CHAPTER THREE. Legal “definitions” of the family, and the family life cycle

Margaret Robinson Karnac Books ePub

As I have already indicated and because divorce takes families from the private sector into the public one, in which the State exercises some control on decisionmaking and behaviour, it might be useful to set out how the decisions of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) appear to have defined the family (O’Donnell, 1995). While there is no clear legal definition of the family, a 1948 ECHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 16.3.) states: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state/’ Subsequent decisions by ECHR imply certain principles, such as

… a family relationship is apparently understood as the legally recognised tie of blood or marriage … since family life does not come to an end upon divorce, the award of custody to one parent will interfere with the family life of the other … the state’s usual concern is to protect the rights and freedoms of the child whose position is weaker. … Treating the child’s welfare as paramount does not mean that no other considerations are relevant: clearly the parents have interests which must be taken into account. Paramountcy shifts the focus of the balance away from a direct conflict between parents and child, and focuses instead on the conflict between different aspects of the child’s welfare.

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Stewart Levine Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I found that the quality of care and attention I provided as a physician was more important than any pill I prescribed.

—Richard Moss, M.D., The I That Is We

I have been very fortunate. At age 55, I have had only a few times when I needed to take care of a major healthcare concern. In my interactions with medical professionals I am consistently amazed at the lack of care for the person behind the ailment or injury. For me, the most important information provides me with a context to frame what I will be going through; this gives me a set of expectations that allows me to anticipate what will be happening and become a partner in producing desired outcomes. I am almost always disappointed, despite my best efforts to seek out the information I need.

I do understand the tremendous pressure all healthcare professionals are under within the medical insurance reimbursement system. Reimbursement rates are low, and that requires seeing many patients a day, so time is at a premium. But when I ask specific questions to take care of my expectations and anxiety about the future, healthcare professionals sometimes look at me like I’m from another planet. All I am asking is for them to help alleviate my anxiety by painting a picture of what I can expect. Please help me visualize what’s coming so I can partner with you to provide a successful result! What I get instead is a look that seems to say, “Please dumb down. Why are you bothering me, can’t you just trust me to do my job?” It seems as if they think I am not attached to my body; I should just make believe it’s my car that I’m dropping off for an oil change. 157

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Chapter Ten Puppy Love: Teaching Pet Care

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IT WAS A RAINY morning and the SeaWorld coaches and trainees were gathered in the training room. Head trainer Clint said, “I noticed some of you were working on the animals’ dental hygiene the other day. It made me think about what a far cry those procedures are from what we went through back when I first started in this job.”

“Who was president then, Clint?” Jared, a trainer coach, asked from the back of the room. “George Washington?” Good-natured kidding was part of the SeaWorld culture, and the remark brought guffaws from the audience.

“I can’t remember,” Clint replied, playing along. “I just know it was back in the horse-and-buggy days. Anyway, looking back to those times, I can’t believe how naive we were, how lacking in even a rudimentary understanding of these killer whales, compared to today. We were going strictly by trial and error.

“As you know, when we’re working with a baby whale, we spend a lot of time before getting in the water with him, establishing trust with him and the mother. Getting the mom’s trust is the main thing. She has to trust us tremendously to allow us in the water with her little baby.”

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PeopleSmart Skill 8

Mel Silberman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If you never budge, don’t expect a push.


It’s often good advice to be yourself. If you are in your fifties, you would not pass as a cool teenager in the company of adolescents. If you are a formal person, you would probably look and feel ridiculous being flamboyant. It’s hard to pretend to be the kind of person you aren’t, and it’s often counterproductive. You lose your genuineness and dampen the many strengths you’ve taken a lifetime to develop. You also confuse other people who know you for who you are and are disconcerted when you behave differently.202

Nevertheless, high PQ people know that there are times when it’s necessary to shift gears. They don’t change with the winds like most politicians but they appreciate that when things are stuck, behaving in new ways can get things moving again. The Bible provides interesting cases in point:

The Biblical Jacob represents an intriguing example of someone with many personal strengths who had difficulty shifting gears. The younger twin brother of Esau, Jacob pretended, at his mother’s urging, to be Esau so that his nearly blind father, Isaac, would bestow upon him the blessing of inheritance. If he had not done so, Esau, the firstborn but of questionable character, would have succeeded Isaac. At the same time, Jacob’s deceit created a nearly fatal estrangement from his brother Esau. To his credit, Jacob did well with his responsibility. He spiritually wrestled with the angel of God and survived. He became a vital link in the transmission of the Biblical covenant between God and the Israelites. Through his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and his concubines, he had twelve sons who became the heads of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. However, his own life was marked by anguish and pain, especially over the apparent death of his favorite son, Joseph, who, in fact, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. The tragedy occurred because Jacob did not learn from his own childhood experience of sibling rivalry and gave his favorite son a “coat of many colors” and a special place in his heart.203

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