And oh yeah, I need the San Antonio Express-News. And most mornings I'll come across a report about some crazy violent incident. And these days, I always have the same reaction.
My summary of a typical violent incident, reported by Craig Kapitan on page 2B of the Friday (May 20, 2011) edition...
About two years ago, a young man named Terrance Fletcher got a call from the ex-husband of his girl-friend. When the guy said that he didn't like it that Fletcher physically abused his son, Fletcher got angry. He got in his truck and drove to the guy's house, shouted a few choice words and threw a brick. Unfortunately, the brick hit the guy's mother, Rosalinda Vera, in the head. When she collapsed to the ground, Fletcher laughed and drove away.
Vera, a 53-year-old home care provider, fell into a coma and later died. Fletcher was arrested and charged with murder. During the trial it came to light that he had assaulted his construction boss, David Shannon, in a similar fashion. Fletcher often failed to show up for work, so Shannon wrote him a letter of reprimand. Fletcher then heaved a large boulder at his face. When Shannon dodged it, Fletcher threw another at him. Then he threatened to get a gun and kill him.
As I said, I had the my typical reaction to stories about people who do things without regard to the grave consequences - even if there's nothing to be gained by it. My reaction was this: What kind of teen journey did Terrance Fletcher have, that he grew into adulthood with these violent ways of dealing with anger?
When a child reaches puberty, he finds it difficult to make logical decisions, because the pre-frontal cortex - the part of the brain that handles logic - is "under construction." But emotional reactions not only have bad consequences, but if logical decision-making skills aren't ingrained in adolescence, then emotional reactions can become the default pattern in adult life.
When I say that the teen journey is perilous, I'm not just using words for dramatic effect.
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use photo purchased from fotolia.net)