David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
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Identity

How We Got Here (or, Who We Are)

by David King on January 23, 2017

Trump

Donald Trump now formally occupies what is arguably one of the most powerful seats in the world. On the surface, this may seem like it has very little to do with me or my politics as a Canadian. But when I take a step back, I see the bigger picture. This world is reaching a precipice of sorts, a breaking point, where literally everything is on the line and no one is left unaffected.

I have always been hesitant to oversimplify any social phenomenon, because I believe that important information is inevitably lost in the process. But all complexities aside (for a moment), here are a few considerations to be had:

1. People can essentially be divided into three groups: the haves, the have-nots, and the have-a-lots. Conventional thinking typically reduces all of us to one of … Keep Reading Here

end_of_doma_1

Yesterday, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, putting an end to a ridiculous law that prevented the federal government from recognizing state-legalized same-sex marriages. Let me preface the rest of this article by saying that this is definitely a good thing, and it is a step in the right direction. Without a doubt, supporters of equality and human rights should be pleased.

Let’s take a closer look at the reality of the situation. The Defense of Marriage Act was approved by Congress in 1996, spearheaded by Georgia Republican Bob Barr in an effort to express the collective moral disapproval of homosexuality (literally). Although it was met with some resistance, it was nonetheless pushed through Congress quickly and easily, with votes of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House of Representatives. … Keep Reading Here

To Be Cool, or To Be Great

by David King on May 11, 2013

michael jeffries

In case you missed it, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries, is a jerk. He was recently quoted as saying, “A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

Not surprisingly, this has left people outraged. And rightly so. It’s pretty shocking that we even need to have a conversation about such dated use of the phrase cool kids. Seriously, Mr. Jeffries, we live in a world that’s trying its damnedest to be accepting, and to expand its definition of cool to include such acceptance.

But all is not lost. This guy has revealed himself as … Keep Reading Here

Gender Bent and Borrowed

by David King on February 19, 2013

Photo property of Carole Moran

Gender is an issue that has long been a bother – to me and to millions of people around the world. It’s a complicated subject, and it only seems to get more complicated. It’s the F in M/F, or it’s the M, depending on perspective; it’s the T in LGBT; it’s the pink and the blue, the doll and the truck; it’s both penis and vagina, both John and Jane; it’s who we are and yet not even close, a mere product of socialization; an evolutionary relic, forged in binary minds with eyes blind to all that lay outside the box.

When I was a kid, I struggled with my lack of conformity to the male gender role and all its macho stereotypes. Most of my friends were girls and while I enjoyed my fair share of action figures (and … Keep Reading Here

Remnants Heard

by David King on January 30, 2013

In my time spent as an actual adult (which has really only been about a third of my life), my perspective on time has experienced a remarkable shift. Days are no longer only escapist opportunities for future wonderment and anticipation. While some distortion of this remains, days are also opportunities for deep reflection and reminiscence – the stuff born of more mature realities. The stuff that regrets are made of, if you have dared to digress.

I don’t know what to do with it all, really. After five big moves in five years, a lot of loss, and a few heartaches to wear on my sleeve, I feel surrounded by it. The residue is thick, and the remnants plentiful. I look around my place, and it’s right there, in everything I see. It’s in both new and old, both bought … Keep Reading Here

Self-Actualization: The Struggle Eternal

by David King on October 23, 2012

Pick up any first year psychology textbook and you’ll learn about self-actualization, a pinnacle stage of psychological development defined by the realization of one’s full potential. According to Abraham Maslow (the theory’s author), less than 1% of the human population will ever self-actualize. This is surely to the disappointment of nearly 7 billion fragile psyches…

But you see, the realization of one’s potential isn’t about bringing home the bacon. Indeed, it’s about something much deeper than that, something with much more substance – more muchness, as the Mad Hatter might put it.

Self-actualization is about YOU in the truest sense of the word. It’s about digging as deeply as you can dig. It’s about wading through all the garbage – the expectations, the pressures, the demands, the insecurities, and the hurt – and realizing the most authentic version of … Keep Reading Here

Knowing Who You Are, Myth 4

by David King on October 3, 2012

brokenMirror-300x199

In a previous post, Knowing Who You Are, Myths 1-3, I outlined 3 prevailing myths associated with modern identity formation. Very roughly, these myths ascribe the following conditions to knowing who you are: 1) this state requires consistent and predictable behaviour, as perceived by others; 2) this state is impossible without mainly logical and rational examination and exploration of life; and 3) this state is optimized by the commitment to a single life trajectory or career path, which, after all, typifies a strong sense of self.

As I previously indicated, these perspectives are bullshit, remnants of an immature and entirely uninsightful stage of human development. Things are never so black and white.

There is a fourth myth, but this one resides somewhere between identity formation and identity resolution. The fourth myth is simple, really. It is the idea … Keep Reading Here

Knowing Who You Are, Myths 1-3

by David King on April 26, 2012

surreal

There is a myth perpetuated by society that consistent and predictable behavior is a precursor to knowing who you are. Bullshit.

There also exists a popular myth that exploring the world using anything other than a map or a compass means instability, immaturity, and lack of direction – particularly when it comes to knowing who you are. More bullshit.

Further to this line of thinking, there is an even greater myth that jumping on any one particular bandwagon is the only route to success; that creativity is valuable so long as it is exercised within one’s area of expertise; that career paths are life paths because, after all, these are the paths that lead to knowing who you are. Obviously bullshit.

I know who I am. I am someone who needs not identify with a single persona … Keep Reading Here

Dear Self-Righteous Hypocrites & Hipsters

by David King on May 10, 2011

Of late, I have had an increasing number of increasingly disturbing encounters with individuals who, in supposedly seeking acceptance and respect, have become increasingly judgmental and presumptuous.

Most of us, in one way or another, have had the opportunity to partake in some sort of social minority, whether by choice or by uncontrollable forces (i.e., genetics). Some of us, of course, are members of minority groups which encounter heightened levels of scrutiny, discrimination, and/or hate (to be frank). As a fairly liberal and progressive thinker myself, I have always made a conscious effort to not assume, to not judge, and to not categorize. Of course subconscious processes may make this difficult at times, but at the end of the day, we all have control over the words we speak.

What my recent encounters have shown me, however, is that some … Keep Reading Here

Finding Voices, Sharing Ideas, and Tweeting

by David King on August 27, 2010

There was a day when good ideas were restricted to towns, cities, nations, or at the most, continents. Today, ideas belong to the world, once they’re released.

More important than ideas, I think, are voices, for indeed voices serve as foundations for all ideas, good or bad. Voices – voices that want to be heard, that thrive on being noticed, that cannot survive without someone to listen to them. We all have a voice. We all want to be heard, to be noticed, in one way or another. The challenge to this, of course, is that a pool of over six billion people leaves many individual voices unheard. It is ironic, of course, that an increase in listeners and observers, which has parallelled an increase in communication technology, has actually made it more difficult to find a voice. But the … Keep Reading Here