– People who discard their pets like they’re sweaters.

– Affluenza. There’s so much emphasis on making the material things available, coveting them, acquiring them. We seem to have lost our balancing point when it comes to stuff.

– People who deliberately undercut or overlay another person’s personal agenda with their own, who don’t feel the need to stand in another person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. I can probably explain this one best via example. In last Sunday’s New York Times I read an article about a 33 year old women who discovered she carried a gene that gave her a 60-90% of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Although she had not yet developed cancer, she was weighing a decision to have a preemptive double mastectomy. Her aunt made a concerted point to say she shouldn’t even consider this option as it amounted to “dismembering” her own body. Her mother worried that if she had this procedure she wouldn’t find a man willing to marry her and as a result would never know the joys of having children. It’s all fine and good that these points were important to those who offered them, but did they stop to consider the values, beliefs and priorities of the woman agonizing over this decision before they asserted theirs, what she cared about, what mattered to her?

– The growing backlash against feminists. Women in this part of the world have the range of choices (including the choices of fifty years ago) and opportunities that we do, because other women stuck their necks out and put themselves on the line to make that possible.

– Abstinence as the dominant theme in sex education and contraception initiatives. Besides being inane, it’s utterly impractical. And it can be dangerous when it prevents life-sustaining aid or information from reaching those who would most benefit from it.

Melissa, 38, Atlanta — thrilled to have been handed this opportunity for a mental shampoo!