Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Actions Speak Volumes

Mark (of Mark & Susan fame) was none too pleased with the article I quoted in the post, "Someone Has to Do It." He felt the passage unfairly impugned the reputation of Jeffrey Immelt, the Chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE). He suggested that we shouldn't judge others because we can't see into their hearts.

While I certainly acknowledge that it is true that no one can see what's in another person's heart, a thinking person can get a clue as to another person's true intentions by noting their actions. If a person habitually behaves or acts in a manner that undermines what they say or imply, then one can come very close to identifying what the person's true intentions are.

To illustrate my point, I will draw on a circumstance I faced numerous times as a Child Abuse Investigator.

While my primary duty was to investigate allegations of the abuse (and neglect) of children, spousal abuse often intersected in these cases. It was not uncommon at all for the spouse batterer also to be the person who physically abused the children. Less often, the victim of the spousal abuse took out her anger on the kids because she dare not say a peep to her batterer, lest she "set him off" to abuse her again.

I remember one case, in particular. The abuse of the children was easily substantiated and, in the process of interviewing family members, it became apparent that dear old dad was an equal opportunity thug. He beat up his spouse as frequently as he terrorized his own children.

I went to the mother and laid the cards on the table. I told her that, unless she kicked her husband out OR chose to go to a women's shelter, I would be forced by the situation to place her 3 children in emergency state custody.

I knew, of course, that she wouldn't dare to ask her husband to leave HIS home. That was a surefire recipe for a major thrashing, but, by law, I had to offer that as one of the options. No, the more reasonable choice was for her to allow me to make the necessary calls and then to transport her and the children to a safe house (before her hubby arrived home from work).

As is not uncommon in these types of situations, she declined the offer. Why did she stand by her man at the expense of her children? Because her husband never intended to hurt anyone.

Each time he choked, punched, kicked, burned, bit and/or knocked her around for the flimsiest of reasons, he told her that he didn't really want to treat her this way, but it was HER fault. She hadn't prepared a good enough dinner or the hallway wasn't vacuumed or the kids got on his nerves or she smiled flirtatiously at the waiter at the restaurant. In other words, she drove him to abuse her.

Once he cooled down, he told her how remorseful he was. He would swear that he loved her and the kids more than life itself. He would cry and beg for her forgiveness. He would promise that he would never ever raise his hand against her and the children again. Each time never would last for a few minutes, hours or maybe a day or two before the whole scenario repeated itself again.

This had been going on for 8 long years.

I tried to convince her that his actions spoke louder than his words, but she kept returning again and again to this idea that he was a good man who did not have ill intentions and the reason she KNEW that he had no ill intentions is that he told her so AFTER EACH AND EVERY BEATING.

I asked one of my female coworkers to talk to this women to see if she could get through to her that the beatings weren't going to stop. My coworker had no better luck than I did. And so, I removed her children and placed them in the custody of the state. She never tried to regain custody because she steadfastly refused to separate from her abusive partner OR attend counseling.

Eventually, we went to court and the judge terminated their parental rights. The children were lated adopted.

And what happened to this wife and mother who couldn't leave her abusive husband's side?

One day he beat her so brutally that she died.

Was that his intention? Who knows and who cares!!


  1. Well I guess I should feel sort of cool that RT decided to make an essay about our recent debate. What is very interesting is that RT did not answer my last question on that posting but instead decided to throw up all this dust and smoke about a far-reaching story that has nothing to do with anything. RT would make a good politician :-)

  2. RT didn't answer the last question you posed because RT was asleep. Believe it or not, RT's schedule may not be the same as yours.

    The point of this post was about "intentions" and I'm sorry that you are unwilling to see the connection between it and your previous comment about "intentions."

    Hmm. Maybe it has something to do with YOUR intent.

  3. It's not clear to me what "habitual" behaviors and actions Mr. Immelter is guilty of, unless being a successful CEO is one of them.

    And regarding the terrible domestic tragedy described, there are other issues...the guy clearly was a beast, but we also need to consider the conditions that put women in a situation they cannot bring themselves to admit or escape.

    I can only assume that in this discussion the woman is being put forth as a symbol of helpless, masochistic people at the mercy of sadistic CEOs? Interesting analogy, but not so sure it is that simple. It also suggests that the systems we put in place to prevent or mitigate these things are impotent.

  4. Baroness,
    Now that I have gotten up this morning and I have had the chance to read/respond to comments, I suggest you go back to the previous post to read my response to Mark re Immelt.

  5. You continually miss the points that I have brought forth. You seem to hear only yourself talking and can't get the drift of any other opinions offered. Jeffrey Immelt does not think nuclear power is evil like you do. Do you understand that? He probably thinks it is a good energy alternative and is worthy of review to better enhance safety. There is about sixty nuclear plants in France that supplies about 90% its energy needs. After this unfortunate tragedy in Japan took place Prime Minister Francois Fillon asked the Nuclear Authority to carry out an open and transparent review of each of its installations. I doubt very much Jeffry Immelt would oppose any such reviews that could lead to better the safety of this technology. What is very concerning to me is that you have the same hatred-energy that tea party people have. You see everything only one way, in your case the left, and all else is the devil incarnate. Right?

  6. And you seem continually to miss my point that so-called "good intentions" that kill and sicken multitudes of people don't count for much.

    I noticed that you conveniently ignored the example I offered about believing that a bullet fired at a person would not hurt the person and, that when the person subsequently died, no one should hold any animosity at the trigger man because he had good intentions.

    What is very concerning to me is that when problems strike due to willful negligence or an unrealistic belief that everything is hunky dory, you are suggesting that no one should be held accountable. When people are not held accountable for their misdeeds, they tend to repeat them over and over again with a feeling of impunity.

  7. I will also add that I am sure Jeffry Immelt will welcome the reviews as well, but his company will try to influence unduly the outcome.

  8. I believe I did answer that example of yours related to a gun. I said, are you kidding? It was such a terrible unrelated example I was floored shocked by it.
    Do you think this matter is as simplistic as holding Jeffry Immelt accountable for this because he just so happens to be the CEO of GE for the past ten years? Shouldn't we also hold everyone accountable including all the governments of every country that asked for this technology? Shouldn't we also hold all users of this evil technology for not refusing to use it in protest? Give me a break RT. To single out Mr. Immelt and lay so much blame on him is so ridiculous. And regarding your last comment, why would Jeffry Immelt oppose any safety enhancements to existing plants? GE would probably get the work for doing this and make a profit. Just think, maybe they will decide to close plants that are too close to a fault and GE will be glad to manufacture another one for this region located somewhere else safe. Why would he oppose getting all this new work? What planet are you living on RT. And why have YOU conveniently not answered my question to you regarding your hate-energy that is similar in spirit to tea party fanatics?

  9. Hmm. I now see why you and Scott had a falling out. I think I will take his wise counsel and quit responding to you. It only eggs you on.

    You are free to leave comments and I will read each one, but don't expect any replies.

  10. Like I said, I come from a sect that questions the elephant in the room including my own elephant. We all have a way to tip toe around our hidden elephants about ourselves and guard against any voices that would suggest that something maybe off kilter. You throw a very lot of punches (only from your left) out recklessly RT but you sure can't take one. I will leave you alone RT so that you can continue on and do what you do. Realize this though;. You at best are only preaching at the choir which is obviously the way you want it to be. You do not want any real debate. You just want to hear yourself. Well enjoy yourself. Keep on ranting, raging, and hating anything that smells different than your left wing thinking. And maybe consider this; I have never once voted for a republican.


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