Psychological Self-Help

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distract your attention away from the pushy, hostile, idiot following you too closely
and to praising your increasing self-control and patience.
Tidbits of information about anger and violence
1.
Violence may repulse and scare us but many people in our culture are also
fascinated by brutal crimes and serial killers. We want to read about them,
see movies about their life and crimes, and watch TV about serious crimes.
You can buy on eBay a lock of Charles Manson’s hair or a bag of John Wayne
Gacy’s dirt from his crawl space. Maybe this idolizing of monstrous killers
helps explain why 85% of the world’s serial killers are raised and live in
America. There is a 2005 book titled “Natural Born Celebrities” by David
Schmid, an English professor. How do we explain both this attraction to and
our repulsion by uncaring, brutal and repugnant criminals? One speculation is
that many people have a deep need to reassure themselves that they are not
at all like a horrendous, barbaric cannibalistic or sexually perverted killer.
That may be why it is popular among crime writers to describe signs of
brutality and weird thinking early in childhood that seem to foretell the
hideous events to come in adulthood. That history gives us cause to think
“Oh, I didn’t do anything like that.” That’s reassuring. It also permits us to
separate our “good” families from the “bad” families that live in another part
of town. Note: Although many writers produce a lot of popular books and
entertainment about major crimes, there is very little sound, thorough, and
unbiased research of the childhoods of horrible criminals.
2.
What are called “hate crimes” are usually violent acts expressed by an
individual against someone from a different group, perhaps a different color,
class, religion, etc. This isn’t just the violence of the dominant group against
the oppressed group. There are, of course, degradation and acts of violence
by the powerful against the weak and the disadvantaged. But, there are also
resentment, bitterness, and feelings of humiliation within the group
discriminated against and treated inhumanely. Hate crimes are perpetrated
by both the top-dog and the underdog. Most writers assume that hate is a
part of prejudice. However, some writers believe that genocide is caused
more by dehumanization (seeing a person as an inferior or a non-human)
than by hatred (Is there much of a difference?). It seems to me that a
wealthy country’s neglect of the poor worldwide is more due to being able to
believe the poor are not their responsibility or unimportant. The lack of help
from the wealthy may be a little stronger than “it isn’t my responsibility,”
something like benign neglect or disdain. Anger and hate remain poorly
understood, e.g. what is the relationship between violence and hatred? If a
country or a group attacks another country or group and claims they are
acting in self-defense, does that mean they don’t hate the people they are
killing? Does it mean that killing in self-defense is not morally bad? Brent
Dean Robbin’s review
(
Sternberg’s 2005 book, The Psychology of Hate, raises these questions. It is
important to remember that not all cruel and despicable acts are definitely
motivated by hatred. I give you only one reference: John Newton and his
song, Amazing Grace, written in Olney, England in about 1760
always know slavery was morally wrong or was he a “good person” who soon
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