Guilty by external control?
Years ago, I attended a seminar led by the brilliant Dr. William Glasser. His philosophy of “Choice Theory” affected my outlook on education dramatically and I’ve been thinking lately that it likely might help our understanding of what happened to Stacey Burns.
Basically, this is it. External control is how most people in the world operate in their relationships with other people. When people try to control others with what he calls the seven deadly habits (e.g.-complaining, nagging, threatening, etc.) the relationship is destroyed and a disconnect occurs. The suggestion is that we replace the seven deadly habits with seven caring habits (supporting, accepting, trusting, listening, etc.) which would result in strengthening a relationship.
What follows is my opinion and, as always, feel free to disagree. In fact, I encourage it. (encouragement is one of the seven caring habits)
Unless it was a random crime, which I don’t believe for one second, Stacey’s killer tried to use external control to force the direction of a relationship through any number of the seven deadly habits, ranging from criticizing to blaming to threatening. When that effort to control her failed, resulting in a disconnect, the killer resorted to another of the deadly habits; namely, punishment. In this case, obviously, the punishment was extreme.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Glasser believes that being disconnected is the cause of most human issues, including crime and violence.
Duke ps- Dr William Glasser’s book is Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom.