What Makes Us - Us?
July 11, 2016
Hosted by Kathy J. Ellis
What makes us human? And what makes us individuals? Can we maintain our individuality when we’re hard wired to belong to a group? We used to think our ability to use tools separated us from the animal kingdom. Now we know many animals are very clever and use tools. We thought it was language that made us ‘more’ special than animals (like that’s even possible) but we’re discovering incredible things about animals’ use of language. Sure we walk upright and have more dexterity in our hands, and through hundreds of thousands of years of evolution we can vocalize sounds that enable the development of words. Oh, and we can control fire (except in California). But I’m not sure these are the things that give us that human spark. Ultimately it is our brains that make us the smartest, and the dumbest, animals on the planet. And it’s that brain that allows us to blindly follow the madding crowd or be self-aware independent thinkers.
Make Life Work
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel
Hello and welcome to Make Life Work where I’ll be talking about people, culture and everything "humanity" (animals, too as they're part of humanity). It might sound like a mix between psychology and cultural anthropology classes but much more entertaining. I’ll talk about how we shape culture and how it traps us, and look at how the expectations of social groups and families impact how we think, feel and behave. It’s impossible to separate the nature of people and the influence of society. We all have a little something we have to deal with and we often get in the way of our success and happiness. The great news is just a little change goes a very long way. Society can't change if people don't grow as humans and people won't change if society fails to evolve. We need to attend to both, the health of society and the health of people.
Kathy J. Ellis
After 35 years as a Marriage, Family and Child therapist (LMFT) I’m starting my “retirement career” as a radio host, life coach (and food blogger and photographer). In my career I’ve worked with many different people from all walks of life and all ages. I’ve opened businesses; work in many different settings, and provided training and education. I’ve studied communication skills, physiological psychology (it’s all about the brain!), social and educational psychology. I’m also a keen observer of how the culture and society shapes individual beliefs, attitudes and behavior. If I had to pick an approach to therapy it would be Cognitive Behavioral, but the truth is that people are not theories, they are not books, nor are they a clinical diagnosis. The first thing I say to new interns is “Now, throw away the books.” What I want to know is what people think more then they feel. It doesn’t take a therapist to see what someone is feeling, but we can’t see what a person is thinking. Of course, feelings have their place and are so important, when they’re not screwing around with someone’s ability to make a safe and sound decision, muster up confidence, tolerate mistreatment or grow up.
Now I just want to share what I know about people and culture, and if anyone learns something, laughs a little and feels a bit better about themselves then that would be an added bonus!
For the whole story, my credentials and experience please go to http://makelifeworktoday.com.