I have been in the field of mental health for over 16 years. Nine of those years I spent managing young men with an abundance of behavioral issues, ranging from post-traumatic flashbacks to violent outbursts that escalated to situations in which their safety and the safety of others was involved . I quickly came to realize that deescalation and the development of trust with these young men were essential skills to have to be able to help them. Many of them I wouldn’t have trusted with weapons of any sort, not even a water gun.
More and more in the news we hear of angry, lost and violent young men who identify with extreme views and ultimate solutions. Working with these young men and becoming acquainted with their families I learned of parental drug abuse, sexual and physical abuse and its perennial companion, neglect. The economic pressure on the family for both parents to work and the exhaustion that it causes on the adults often can lead to aberrant behavior. What worked with the young men was creating a trusting relationship, therapy, a solid and positive structure in their schedule and people who took their time to teach them service by example. As they acquired social skills, developed their education and found receptive ears to their fears and emotional turmoil, they flourished. Eventually after restitution and learning to take responsibility for their actions they found a sense of meaning in sacrifice. Since the sixties the field of psychology have been telling people to just accept themselves and their emotions. This advise is a good port of navigation, yet, to truly arrive to your destination, I believe much more is needed it.
To quote Jordan Petersen:
“The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it”.
The young men that succeeded in recreating themselves learned to take responsibility for themselves and then they managed to find something to sacrifice for. This made them happy and gave meaning to their lives. I have come to understand that in personal life these lessons provide meaning also. I wonder how many people out there struggle with anxiety, stress and lack of meaning, male or female? Do these ideas resonate with others or do you think that I am just preaching to the choir?
In my life I know my path now. The responsible care for my family and what can I do to contribute to the society at large. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this theme.