LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam Andrea Brown
Hunting for Fairness Lessons From My Least Favorite Birthday
would take the place of our Easter baskets. In short, my mom placed far too much faith in my egg-hunting abilities. Remember, I was a chubby kid, and this Easter egg hunt took place on a Montana ranch. I knew the territory better than any of the other kids, but with so much ground to cover, speed was the name of the game. No matter how hard I pleaded with her ahead of time, my mom wouldn’t give up where she hid the good stuff. I had to watch in horror as kids from my brother’s class found handfuls of peanut butter cups and marshmallow peeps, while I was left clutching an empty basket. I cringe to remember it, but there’s a distinct moment in my mind when I snapped. I was chugging along, desperate to find at least one egg — one sweet merciful plastic container of candy — when I saw her. A girl from Kirby’s class had sprinted ahead of me and found the crown jewel: a cream-filled chocolate egg. “Put that down!” I demanded. “You’re on our property, and that’s my egg!” The funny thing is that I don’t remember if she gave it to me or not. I remember my bellowing demand, and the tongue-lashing my mother gave me for it afterward, but I couldn’t tell you if I actually got the dang egg! Looking back, I’m not proud of that moment for a lot of reasons, but I am grateful for the lessons it has taught me since.
open up our home and give away our candy. “There’s no we about it,” my mom shot back, quick as a whip. She had bought the candy, she had planned the hunt, and she wanted our guests to have a good time. It wasn’t fair if she gave me special treatment, and I certainly wasn’t going to get away with demanding candy from others.
I was too young to see it at first, but my mother was teaching me a valuable lesson about justice. Just because I was the brother of the birthday boy didn’t mean I got to sidestep the rules. To this day, when I think of fairness, I think back to my brother Kirby’s birthday party, and the herculean efforts of my mom to make sure everyone got a chance to succeed. “I had to watch in horror as kids from my brother’s class found handfuls of peanut butter cups and marshmallow peeps, while I was left clutching an empty basket.”
Left to right: Clint Berlin, Lee Berlin, Kirby Berlin
My brother Kirby’s birthday is this month, and I wish him all the best! I’m not proud to admit it, but when we were kids, this day was often a great source of consternation for me. Being born on April 6, Kirby frequently shared his birthday with my favorite migratory holiday, Easter. You’d think having the Easter Bunny visit on the same day you get to eat birthday cake would be a dream come true for us kids. The truth is that it was anything but. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my mom loves to go all out when it comes to holidays. Whenever Kirby’s special day overlapped with Jesus’ resurrection, she’d invite all our friends over to the ranch for an elaborate Easter egg hunt. Reasoning that there were plenty of candy-filled plastic eggs to go around, our mother ruled that this event
See, I’d argued with my mother after that exchange. I wanted to know why we had to
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From Our Associate, Kyle Killam
Have you ever thrown a stone into a still pond? I recently did, and from one small stone, the entire surface of that pond changed. That moment made me reflect upon how minor events in my life have shaped me and brought me to where I am today.
A pebble in the pond is an often repeated metaphor to illustrate how small things can have a greater impact and larger consequences. Much like anything in life, it can be a positive metaphor to show how small things can blossom into greater rewards, not only for ourselves but also for other people. It can also be a negative metaphor, showing how one small matter can have a much broader effect on everything and everyone around us. Domestic violence is no different than the small pebble thrown into the pond. Even the smallest acts of domestic violence ripple through people’s lives, their families, and even the generations to come. Just a simple act of violence between a husband and wife, observed by a small child, stays with and permeates that child’s life. Statistics show that children who grow up in homes where domestic violence occurs are 10 times more likely to perpetrate domestic violence or be victims. Putting statistics aside, I can speak from personal experience. In my life, from childhood to adulthood, I have been a victim of, a witness to, a first responder to, and an attorney for both victims and defendants of domestic violence. I have seen firsthand how domestic violence impacts individuals, families, and society. Upon reflection, I see how it has shaped my life and even my professional career. I grew up in a normal suburban home, and all was well until my parents divorced. Little did I know that my parents’ relationship wasn’t the only thing that was going to change; my life would change too. My mother’s subsequent marriage was to an individual who brought violence and abuse into our home. What followed was a few years of hard lessons that taught me there are not always good people in this world. I can see where a child, not knowing any different, would assume that all families were like this, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence. I, on the other hand, knew there was a difference. I didn’t realize how much these experiences would shape my future. I have every reason to believe that I went into the military, specifically into the military police, because of my childhood experiences. Then, from those experiences, I pursued a legal career. And now, with the opportunity afforded to me by the Berlin Law Firm, I am able to help those who are caught within the web of domestic violence, both in defending and pursuing treatment. From a small stone cast into the water, ripples of good can be spread.
HOW THE PLACEBO EFFECT WORKS
The placebo effect works. Study after study has confirmed it. The question is how. Numerous studies have shown placebos are most effective for aches and pains, as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression. The placebo effect even works if you’re aware you’re taking a placebo. With that in mind, a person can’t just start taking placebos (or sugar pills) and expect a placebo effect. There is a strong psychological component. This may mean seeing a doctor or participating in a drug study to get the ball rolling. First, you need to be conditioned to accept the placebo as the real deal. For example, the placebo has to look like the medication it is meant to emulate. You might start treatment with the real medication and eventually transition to the look-alike. Then, you must expect it to work. There must be an indication that the placebo is “real.” This might be a doctor telling you it’s real and effective, or it might be previous experience taking a certain medication. In your mind, if the real drug worked, so will the look-alike. Lastly, you need to believe that when you take the placebo pill, it will do what you think it’s supposed to do. Belief is a powerful tool, and when you believe it’s going to help, the placebo will be most effective. In pain studies, for example, some people experienced the same reduction in pain as they would have experienced had they taken typical, over-the-counter pain medication. Keep in mind, however, that the placebo effect affects each person differently. There are three challenges a person needs to overcome for a placebo to be most effective: conditioning , expectation , and belief .
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GREEN COUNTRY ADULT & TEEN CHALLENGE
programs, one women with children program, an adolescent boys and girls program, and a program inside the prison in Lawton, Oklahoma. At Green Country, they continually see men and women set free from addiction, depression, eating disorders, and anxiety through a connection with Jesus Christ. Students in the program participate in Bible-based studies that target the root issues that began their destructive behaviors. In addition to their studies, pastoral counseling, and mentorship, students develop work ethics and social skills though the various forms of vocational training and outreach projects that Green County offers. These include serving at their thrift store, participating in drug awareness teams, car washes, and soap and jewelry making. Teen Challenge has an 86 percent success rate, and 92 percent of our graduates report good to excellent health. Green County is here to tell you that for every ADDICT, there is HOPE, and at Green County Adult & Teen Challenge, they continue to put hope within reach.
Did you know that the state of Oklahoma is ranked No. 1 in the nation for opioid addiction? We are also No. 1 in the nation for incarcerated women, No. 10 for deaths by suicide, No. 3 for mental illnesses, and No. 2 for substance abuse. This list of devastating statistics goes on and on. Everyone in Oklahoma is affected by this epidemic in some way. With these facts in mind, it seems like there is little to no hope. However, at Green Country Adult & Teen Challenge, they offer the hope and healing that this state needs. Green Country Adult & Teen Challenge is a 13-month, residential, faith-based recovery program located in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, for men and women ages 18-plus who struggle with addictions and other life-controlling issues. Green Country is two of the nine Adult & Teen Challenge programs in Oklahoma and two of over 1,400 global centers. Oklahoma has three men’s programs, two women’s
For more information, contact them at 918-512-8110 or visit their website at OKTeenChallenge.com/greencountry.
Still looking for that lost shaker of salt? Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band return to BOK Center on June 4, 2019, for one night only! Enter to win 2 tickets to Jimmy Buffett’s Son of a Son of a Sailor Tour! Local Parrotheads won’t want to miss their chance to soak in the full Margaritaville experience. Entering is easy! 1. LIKE THE BERLIN LAW FIRM FACEBOOK PAGE. 2. SHARE THE CONTEST AND POST IT TO YOUR PAGE. 3. TAG A FRIEND IN THE COMMENTS. JIMMY BUFFETT GIVEAWAY Be sure to like our Facebook page and watch for the announcement on May 29 at 10 a.m. We will post the winner on our Facebook page, and they will have two hours to respond before we choose again.
Pasta Primavera Ingredients
Inspired by Food Network
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
12 ounces pasta, ideally fusilli
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound broccoli florets
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1. In a large pot, liberally salt water and bring to a boil. Add fusilli and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli, carrots, and bell pepper during the last 2 minutes of cook time. 2. Drain the pasta and veggies, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta and veggies to pot. 3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium heat. Add garlic and cook until translucent and golden, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until tomatoes are wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta water.
4. Add tomato mixture to pasta pot, stirring to coat evenly. 5. Divide into bowls, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve.
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Inside This Issue
Lessons From My Least-Favorite Birthday Page 1 Have You Ever Wondered About the Placebo Effect? From Our Associate, Kyle Killam Page 2 Green Country Adult & Teen Challenge Pasta Primavera Page 3
It’s National Library Workers Day!
Whether you have a card or not, libraries are an important part of our community. They serve as meeting places, research stations, employment centers, and local historical archives. They help kids and adults alike explore vast literary worlds
documentarians, archivists, and educators — equipping them to help anyone from elementary students to doctoral researchers. These professionals can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to delve into a particular topic, even if they don’t know where to begin. Just tell your local library worker what subject you’re interested in, and they can help you track down books, databases, magazine articles, and more. How should you celebrate National Library Workers Day? Some groups, such as the students at the University of Arizona, go above and beyond by delivering balloons and signs to library branches across Tucson. More commonly, however, library branches ask their community members to vote for a “star” staffer. If a library worker has made a difference in your life, you can submit their name to the American Library Association by visiting Ala-Apa.org and clicking “Submit A Star!” Lastly, you can show your appreciation by visiting your local library and thanking these professionals. These important community centers only work because they do!
and immense databases of knowledge — all for free! Behind every library is a dedicated staff of librarians, catalogers, assistants, and administrators who keep the system running smoothly. While it may not be the most well-known holiday, April 9 is National Library Workers Day (NLWD). As part of National Library Week, NLWD recognizes and celebrates the vital work performed by library staff. Librarians and their team do far more than simply place books on the shelf and shush noisy teenagers, after all.
Library science is a multidisciplinary field that takes years of study to master. Today’s librarians have the skills of managers, IT specialists,
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