Merton (1959) reminds us
that we have to distinguish between “the official creed, individual’s beliefs
and attitudes concerning the creed, and their actual behavior” (p. 179). The creed referring to the American
creed. To say that a poor or debilitating
situation will result in crime or violence is an unfair assumption to all of
the people in society that cannot seem to catch a break. This is basically stereotyping
which according to Harvey and Allard is defined as, “an overgeneralized belief
that a category of people are alike.” People are raised with a personalized
creed that has a greater impact in most cases that any societal creed could
ever. Starting with morals, faith, and
family values alone. A negative situation
will not necessarily mean that someone will go out and commit a crime or act of
violence. I believe that everyone, at
some point in life has experience negativity.
I do not know a single person, including myself, that has floated
through life untouched by circumstance.
It is your initial mindset and attitude that determines your behavior
and therefore action.
The best advice that I would
give someone that did fall victim to life unfortunate circumstances is that it
is important to try and keep a positive outlook. Sometimes what we want is not necessarily for
us. By that, I would pull from my own
faith-based beliefs that things happen in an order that sometimes we do not
understand until we reach the destination or make the target. For instance, I
had applied for a position once and being turned down for that position pushed
me to go back to school and finish up and become a nurse. I say this to say, there
are many circumstances in life that we go through that lead us to a better
place; therefore, working towards the goal and overcoming obstacles can be
challenging but at the end of it all will be rewarding.