Great food for thought. Private matters should be handled in a private, compassionate, and tactful way. Agree? 🙂

The Blog of David I. Karp

The idea for this piece comes from a facebook post of a friend and colleague, Family Law Attorney and Mediator James P. Reape.

Yesterday, Jim Reape posted that one of the highest callings of an attorney is to resolve disputes while preserving dignity.

I could not agree more.

In my view, resolution by trial in a courtroom usually does not preserve dignity, at all, ever, for at least one side.

There, one side loses.

Losing at trial is mortifying.  The litigant has believed that he or she is right, and is incredulous that the judge or jury has not agreed.

There is no closure.  The anger and pain continues to rankle, often propelling the matter further along in the litigation path to the appellate court.

On the other hand, mediation gives the opportunity either for both sides to win – or otherwise to share the pain together, as it were…

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The children are watching us...

A friend of mine posted this picture to facebook and, while it is on it’s own a very powerful image, it also struck me on a personal level and at a very apt time. I always shudder when I see kids present while “the adults are fighting” and I think to myself, ‘What kind of conflict resolution skills will this child absorb? And, how will they carry those lessons on in life?’ Kids are such lil sponges and a HUGE responsibility that I take very seriously! I may not be experienced as a parent, but I do have firsthand experience being a child, and one that experienced a lot of hostility in the home growing up. And, I know that even if they can’t hear the words or understand the fight, they still feel the tension. Children are very intuitively perceptive. As adults one would hope (especially before having children) that we have learned that when arguing, we should seek to understand the other’s point of view, rather than seek to “win” the argument. There are no winners; but the children caught in the middle often lose. If kids are present (whether yours or someone else’s) under stress, be an adult and take a breather before fighting. And IF you slip up and expose them, after the heat has cooled, hold yourself accountable for your mistake– talk with the kids about it. Explain what happened (in kid appropriate terms), admit fault for “losing your cool”, explain fighting is not a good way to solve problems, and explain a better way it could’ve been handled. The future truly is in our hands, teach them well 🙂 ❤

Image  —  Posted: May 1, 2014 in Love and Fear
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It’s amazing, for how much our American society thinks about sex, how little they think about the biologically imperative nature of sex, or our compulsions to seek it. It’s like we live in a world of sexual gluttons, hooked on the sex equivalent of fast food. We can plug in and have virtual sex without ever touching another human being. We can “purchase” mates from foreign countries. Love affairs are started online without a look into each others eyes. We believe in fantasies and manipulated images. Fetishes and dirty secrets are now opened for purview in the mainstream.
How far have we strayed from nature? How did this happen? My current working hypothesis says, maybe one of the greatest contributing factors to this conundrum is a friend I hold dear; widely available access to birth control. Granted: sex may be recreational too and take on many creative forms, and “the powers that be”, did “make it feel good”. So let me clarify, the sex to which I am referring is good ‘ol fashioned vaginally penetrative climactic sex with an opposite gendered partner. To see my point, imagine for a moment our modern society without birth control. What a disaster it would be if we continued our current habits. The reality that sex makes babies would probably quickly force most to consider their choices in partners and quantity therein more sobering.
I, like most all modern American women, have been guilty at times of having a cavalier attitude towards sexual relationships myself. It’s nearly impossible not to in this world we have built. But, like any behavior– we can question “why”. I am not unlike most women, I shudder at the thought of possibly creating a child with some of my past partners. Without the haze of synthetic hormones, and the false sense of security birth control provides, our natural ability to “suss out” a good mate would probably be more intact.

Now, in terms of mate selection, what is “natural”? If we continue, with procreation in mind, the process becomes simpler. If a man can produce sperm every morning, yet a woman’s gestation period takes her off the “breeding market” for nine months at minimum, wouldn’t it make good biological sense then that the woman should be the more selective of the two in with whom she has sex? Is that then why historically men have always been in the position of “suitor” to “win” the “rights” to a woman’s bed? A human mating dance of sorts. Women now seem to see sex as disposable as their male counter parts. Women seem to be emulating men as sexual aggressors, in what I feel is a misguided attempt to take control of their sexualities. Women are now dancing, vying, competing, denigrating, and destroying themselves and each other, to “win” the “right” to his affections. Is this a good thing? Is this progress? Is this how nature intended? Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not of a prudish Victorian mindset, I enjoy sex completely. What I question is in how we regard the act today and how unnatural, superficial, and hollow it has become. It is evident in everyday life, (i.e. divorce rates, broken homes, the media, domestic violence, etc) that men and women have become disconnected and at odds with each other. Men and women struggling for dominance while neither “sides” inherent needs are being met. If we are now asked to be so acutely sensitive to the unique needs of others, then “why” is this not being translated into the uniquely different needs of men and women? Where is that respect for our gender differences? I am not and will never be a man, nor should I ask myself to emulate one. I am equal, but different. What happened to synergy and harmony? How much of our society has crumbled because of the deterioration of the familial fabric? Are women, like me, who have consciously decided to forgo having children, some sort of aberration? Is my biological clock broken, or just disillusioned by my idealism? Is this path we are embarking on, in the thick of the “sexual revolution”, sustainable? Is it simply a backlash from women’s repression, if so, then when and how do we stabilize? I want to be a woman: equal to but different than a man. Why is this so difficult and distorted? These are just a few of the questions that trouble my pretty little head 😉 Your thoughts, feedback, and nay saying, is appreciated and encouraged. Namaste ❤

One of my favorite quotes by a woman, revolutionary for her time, and gone too soon:

“I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.” – Anais Nin

 

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So, I’m reading this great book called ‘The The Millionaire Next Door’ and it is highlighting one of my self imposed mantras of what I aspire to be…”All cash and no flash”. I even bought the book at a thrift store, for 79 cents, already living some of it’s principles 🙂

A summary: “Most of the millionaire households that they profiled did not have the extravagant lifestyles that most people would assume. This finding is backed up by surveys indicating how little these millionaire households have spent on such things as cars, watches, suits, and other luxury products/services. Most importantly, the book gives a list of reasons for why these people managed to accumulate so much wealth (the top one being that “They live below their means”). The authors make a distinction between the ‘Balance Sheet Affluent’ (those with actual wealth, or high net-worth) and the ‘Income Affluent’ (those with a high income, but little actual wealth, or low net-worth).”

This great video, I think, highlights a big social misconception. A fancy car does not equal rich. I see these guys as piled in debt with an impulsive attitude towards money. I.e. not wealthy. It is, in my mind, synonymous with the holographic illusion we have come to accept: “ghetto fabulous”. The truly wealthy evidently have known this for generations. Challenge your ideals 😉

Video  —  Posted: March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
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http://www.upworthy.com/oscar-winner-lupita-nyongos-speech-on-beauty-that-left-an-entire-audience-speechless?g=4&c=reccon1http://www.upworthy.com/oscar-winner-lupita-nyongos-speech-on-beauty-that-left-an-entire-audience-speechless?g=4&c=reccon1

I happily enjoy life without television…but if you missed this speech, as I did, it bears repeating. Undeniably beautiful ❤

Excerpt: “To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.”

Video  —  Posted: March 5, 2014 in In The Words of Others
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I have been quiet from my blog for several months but a recent video has compelled me to share once again. The following video is a poignant discussion on seeing through the veil of sexual objectification, self-objectification, and how it damages our society as a whole. An absolutely jaw dropping worthy view for both men and women that has articulated every point roiling below the surface of my, and I’m sure many other women’s, minds. I do not typically identify as a feminist, however, I do believe in uplifting all of my fellow women and being the change I would like to see in this world. It has left me nearly speechless, so without further adieu:

Women: this is GOOD stuff right here! Her message is one near and dear to my heart. Good men will step it up, if you raise the bar. As my mama used to say, “you teach people how to treat you”. There is no sense in degrading yourself and your inner beauty for a few fleeting moments of attention. In the end, if you respect yourself, the right people will respect you. Do not settle for less than what you deserve. Powerful words packed into a 3 min video. Enjoy!