I see and read and observe a lot and I heard about such people a long time ago: The bored, disoriented or even stricken with a heavy midlife crisis… Baz Lurhmann is not only an award-winning director of striking and unusual movies. He also at some point made this speech into a ‘sprechgesang’ (recitative), summarizing a lifetime’s experience regarding the really important things in life – for a young audience; which explains the point of view. And he’s got some points here….
I see people looking around for some kind of happiness, wondering if they missed out on something while pursuing a career; in the meantime perhaps looking for passion that is supposed to fulfill that void… or falling in love all the time because that seems to promise a sort of relieve from frustration or just plain boredom…
I am lucky in many respects: I was raised to the idea that there are morals and ethics and rules in the shape of laws we need for a large(r) community to work. But that regarding my own life it’s about taking responsibility – and know yourself and true needs better day by day. One adage being: “If you are bored it’s your own fault.”
Feeling fulfilled and happy is not a constant state of mind – or a life. But being content is.
Politics make me extremely mad sometimes, and this is my way to express my thoughts:
Men are at the bottom of power being considered a desirable asset, so it seems, more precisely: Patriarchy is. The idea of man being the “crown of creation”, the reigning principle, as it were.
Why? Why would it be a bad thing – feeling powerful?
Because people confuse it with self-confidence!
Self-confidence in turn can have a number of reasons, shortly summarized: it comes from being confident that we exist and behave according to the standards we were taught as children and adolescents.
That’s why people in such societies feel self-confident, when they are powerful (men) or beautiful (women). But it’s neither power nor beauty that makes us attractive and desirable – it’s self-confidence. First and last.
If we base our self-confidence on new and more stable values than power or beauty we may find this earth turning into a finer place – every day.
Because too many people, and the majority of them men, are led to believe that being ‘successful’ makes you attractive – and being attractive leads (at least in most male fantasies) to more sexual encounters with willing women.
At the bottom the idea of simpletons that a ‘real man’ is defined by his ability to entice women.
There are rather disgusting examples, which I wouldn’t want to mention if I hadn’t to to be quite clear, such as the late Italian politician Berlusconi, the hopefully soon to be sentenced Trump in the US or the dictator of Russia, Putin.
Even the Russian politician Alexei Navalny – may he rest in peace and his possible if not for-sure murderers be brought to justice – or the Ukrainian president Zelenskyy are no exception alas, apparently if not obviously driven by their adoration for their wives, who both are counted by modern standards among the ‘attractive desirable ones’…
I beg the pardon of all who know them better than I could using official reliable sources, should this appear blunt and unkind, in view of their achievements, too… But I also think that their connections and some actions due to their drive for political success at least deserve looking into.
On the side: No, of course, not every man on this earth is like that, thank heaven – and their smart parents. But too many of those that are in power – or want it badly – are like that, more or less.
All this seems perhaps blunt, but to me it’s to the point at issue, namely war and destruction and suffering and hunger created too often for no real reason – and there’s a lot of evidence in the documentations, reliable newspapers and scientific research in anthropology as well as history and social sciences to make this a very likely point of view.
(The video-clip is a very short extract. Please be aware that I chose it carefully for the abovementioned statement that is contained here. Otherwise you would want to watch the full documentary here.)
“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” The three wise monkeys are a concept, an idea, that stems from the Japanese culture. They are a proverbial idea of how to deal with bad or evil matters in human life. When you are raised on the idea that one should be truthful, that denial can be bad for you, you may be apt to wonder.
How is such an idea a good thing?
To my mind it’s two very important points to be considered here:
Words are powerful, they create images in our minds.
It’s not about denial – it’s about focus.
Images in our minds are powerful, as has been since established in scientific research too: They help us keep focus, they can drive our actions that way – and make us feel weak and insecure – or confident and strong.
One technique that also has been advocated for business negotiations and even marketing – is to ‘visualize‘:
Start using what you have learned in terms of ideas and words to actively make up the image of what you are aiming at.
Your next project, a higher level of health – or understanding, in short, some measure of self-awareness or efficacy different from before.
That’s why the idea of the three wise monkeys can help not only focus – they help us focus on all the things that make us strong, confident and positive about reaching the goal. Which does not necessarily mean wealth or power.
The community at large will benefit from such views:
From the idea that you will not listen to rumours which may be even false.
From the idea that you will not direct your gaze onto the bad or worse matters, not focus on the bad things.
From the idea that you yourself will not help either creating rumours or bad ideas – or spread those images.
Words are powerful, in all ways. That’s why focusing on the good is important.
Not because one would deny problems or difficulties or the downright evil – but because they can help to make it better, again.
To think that after all that has happened the US-American Republicans seriously consider nominating a person like the one before the current president of that country is practically embarrassing! One would laugh with wholehearted mirth if it wasn’t too serious. I am trying hard to avoid naming its name. Yes, “its”: This is a sorry excuse for a man. To make him the president the second time is like advocating Adolf Hitler as head of state. Period.
But the party and its leaders seem not to think so themselves: A person who lacks any kind of scruples, is devoid of feeling any responsibility except towards the ‘Golden Calf’ of the bible, namely worshipping money – who is responsible during his term of government for cancelling the contracts for disarmament with Russia – and that way may be indirectly responsible for the current situation in Ukraine, a person who threatened North Korea into near war, until it became clear that money rather would do the trick with a nation that already has ‘the bomb’.
A person, particularly, who actually threatens the democracy of that nation itself they are so proud of stating to be the first real one…??!!! He was close and will get closer to instate another dictatorship in the US – and he will closely collaborate with Putin in Russia – they are the best of friends as anybody knows who follows the news.
And the news are only publicly acknowledged information, there is probably more, if we look into similar situations in history.
It’s a pity to think what the Republicans in America actually stand for: But the constitution or its principles are certainly not part of it, when all is said and done. Whatever they will tell you during election campaign(s).
Let’s hope that Italy’s sad example is not one they will follow.
…But then: Such leaders are really only about being ‘the man’, right? Silly women all around, as long as they are nice to look at, lots of booze and a large enough stretch limousine ready to take those said silly ‘chicks’ in – and with… and that in front of cameras too, is really all they care about.
And such people ‘we’ should vote for? Seriously?
I hope and actually pray that murder, money and power is not the only thing Republicans go for over there. Although: Looking at history that too may be too much to hope. Because: Murdering others in the name of the power and so-called US-American overseas ‘interests’ usually doesn’t make them turn a hair.
Or will it this time?
I can only hope that some kind of reason and responsibility will prevail over there and a Democrat such as Joe Biden be president – a second running in this case.
Whatever else happens: I will ‘bother’ all of those that are in power – and in stretch limousines – using my kind of weapon: the writing quill!
If we want to understand our peers better, it is vital to be able to relate to others: The basics of human existence, the basic needs and sorrows and joys. Knowing about them in yourself makes your ‘heart’ ‘clairvoyant’: You start to see the other’s pain, their need, you understand – and you can relate to them in new ways and find new solutions to old problems.
People are like icebergs, rarely is everything visible at once. It’s a fact that we all know to be true, at least more or less: Especially in business it’s a common idea that one should be always competent, never make mistakes…, always be fit and never lack enthusiasm. Perhaps even smile, if you can, to show that you are happy.
That means many people, even if half-consciously, behave that way; because we learn early in life from our surroundings, namely parents, family, friends and later kindergarten and school, and so on.
But sometimes people start realizing at some point that there is “more to it than meets the eye”.
Human beings have fine sensors especially as children about what is accepted behaviour and what is not. Therefore starting with early childhood they adapt to what is expected. The culture and personal background therefore are decisive aspects of what makes for the personality you meet one day around your workplace. And the personality you are.
The hidden emotions and less accepted tendencies and urges and wishes and the yearning sometimes to fulfill an inner need for something else – love perhaps, passion, adventure, or just true self-confidence because sadness and fear and childlike joy have a place again – can be strong. The self-control usually is too.
If we take into account that any culture in this world has these limitations imposed on people’s behaviour and even their thoughts and ideas that are basics for that self-control preventing them from speaking up – we will start to be able to look beyond the image. Relate to the true human being behind the business personality.
Daniel Goleman in his bestselling book called it “EQ”: Emotional Intelligence, the ability to realize the emotional side to any human thought and reaction. He states it clearly that science did eventually prove what has been part of literature, music and stories for as long as mankind exists: Emotions are the basics and central. Without them we become incapable to decide – anything.
That’s how heart and brain are connected – in a nutshell.
Statistics show too that 1 among a 100 people will speak up or contact someone when they have a problem or an issue. Therefore, looking at the small numbers in this respect can be crucial.
That’s why I use this blog to post about perhaps unusual subjects – to some of my readers. In the hopes that one or the other of them finds realization and perhaps even consolation in the fact that they are not alone with those thoughts, ideas or puzzles of human existence.
Understanding our emotions and relate to others better that way, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry put this way in “The Little Prince”:
“Here is my secret. It is very simple: you only truly see with your heart.
What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”
Can I say anything definitive about it – when so many others seem to have failed? There’s romance to be considered – and jealousy, there’s loneliness that sometimes makes people rush into things; there’s fear of rejection, and heartbreak. The stories and plays, poems and songs that have been made are legion; I wonder if not the whole of mankind is seeped through and through with the eternal quest for love and passion and safety – and often in vain.
I always wondered why people are and behave the way they do. Why? Pain, especially. Why would people cause others pain on purpose? Revenge is also a subject in that sphere…when emotions or just pride are hurt and people start out on a hunt, as it were, to avenge themselves.
There are the archetypes that C.G. Jung, a successor of Sigmund Freud, defined: Symbols as figures, ideas of human types of behaviour, such as the bridesmaid, the bride, the damsel in distress and so on.
Many ideas we come in contact with are involved with the idea of love. The very basic longing for harmony and closeness with another human being that Erich Fromm called the need for overcoming the feeling of separateness (quoted from memory).
As most of us I have gone through some pain in that respect myself – as well as some joy.
There are patterns of human behaviour, male and female that you often find mirrored in (usually) cheap movies and stories: They ‘feed’ on those stereotypes and can be rather distracting, if you do not look beyond the images. For your own truth as well as of that of the other person.
Patterns of power relationships are involved, deeply sometimes and most of it not consciously: In patriarchy the man is to be supposed to be always cool, calm, collected and ‘on top’ of the situation. That means that he may tend to look for a life partner slightly his inferior in education, upbringing, or income, in order to feel like a ‘real’ man.
Women in turn may easily tend to look for a ‘strong, superior’ man in order to fulfill those roles.
Sometimes these roles are a safe bet.
Sometimes they are not.
The basics I learned to be true too, by reading, observation and my own experience are these:
We tend to look for a partner who understands – us.
Passion may perhaps be easy to come by – if you are not too particular; some apparently get ‘sozzled’ with intake of substances to make that part easy. Some buy it.
Some wait for a long time to combine the ‘nature and nurture’, the experience and personal liking with a ‘soulmate’, in love and passion. My special regards to all of you people of like minds!
Whatever you do, remember these two ideas, to me they make the most sense of all:
In passion: All is fair as long as it is not done with children – and not by force. Consenting adults.
In love: “Whatever works.”
Erich Fromm: The Art of Loving (Die Kunst des Liebens, German)
Alexander Lowen: Love, Sex and Your Heart (Liebe, Sex und Dein Herz, German)
Steve Biddulph: The Making of Love (Wie die Liebe bleibt, German)
Paul Watzlawick: The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness (Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein, German)
Gerti Senger: Alles Liebe (German)
“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
The image makes it as clear as daylight: What we see is what we think it to be. In many cases. But it’s not always clear right at first what it is we see, exactly.
So, one thing are the facts of the matter.
How we interpret them is the next step. Not only in regard to the actual being: Is it a snake in the grass – or just a bubbling brook?
In general: Appearances can be deceptive.
It is a wise man – or woman – who takes time for judgement. And checks their (assumed) facts before acting.
Of course, in simple cases – let’s say, asking yourself if that egg is really fresh – nothing much is needed to make sure. Yet, better to do so. Or the whole dish will go to waste.
But in terms of situations and people? How easy is it to be mistaken? And to be taken for something you aren’t?
The most tragic occurrences of such grave mistakes are miscarriages of justice. People sentenced to years of prison, yet proven innocent years or even decades later. Or sentenced to death and executed. The newspaper reports and movies on the subject run to hundreds if not thousands.
In everyday life just as well things can easily become tragic, if we are not careful with either our facts – or their interpretation.
So, next time around, check your perspective, your facts – and your sources.
Bungee jumping: Jump down extreme heights and be just kept back by an elastic, suspended in mid-air: Most people just do it to feel they are capable of going through extremes.
Perhaps the ‘going through hardship’ is at the ‘end of such a line’: Prove to yourself, especially, that you are capable of doing it – and perhaps find out about life…?
Growing up in protected surroundings can make you feel restless – at some point – to some it can happen sooner, to some, later in life:
What is life really all about? Why and how to live? Even with a lot of rules to your education, especially when imposed more or less authoritatively by parents and family – it’s like:
Grow up – and start breaking the rules in order to have fun…? Because grown-ups have fun they deny their kids…?
And still later, it turns out that you perhaps acquired wealth and fame and broke quite a number of rules – but sublime happiness is still denied you?
For all the promises and stories and rumours about the most exciting things you can do – and that could be all manner of things – what in some contexts is called ‘naughty’ – still something is missing?
How do I know?
Well, I know about these things partly from experience, but even more so from observation, talks and probably ten thousands of stories I read and watched.
But also from reading other kinds of literature, books, history too, but also psychology, philosophy and politics. Sociology. I also know because my parents weren’t of the authoritative kind: They reflected on rules, traditions, behaviour and language – and they explained why we would follow rules – or not.
They made us aware of what is at the bottom of human existence.
The classical free thinking: Know about ethics and why they are there and decide when you are of age, at the latest – responsibly. Responsible for mind and body – and the community, ‘neighbourly love’ -> ‘love your neighbour as you love thyself’. Sounds easy, but isn’t really, when you think about it.
Since then I did all those things, think of the consequences before I act…and decide, responsibly:
Although, I didn’t break rules just for the sake of it. Does not mean I did not make mistakes, or never hurt a soul.
But the questions of – ‘what is a human being, why is human existence what it is and what can we do to make it bearable?’
I can answer.
The main thing to me is that many people who have gone through hard times know too, what it is that keeps you going, when all is said and done:
It’s human kindness, understanding, love in all it’s manifestations, such as friendship.
To know that there are a few people who care makes all the difference.
I think, in some ways I am lucky that I’ve seen hard times, because I know for myself, for sure.
The basics in life that make us feel fulfilled and happy are also those that come with self-esteem and neighbourly love. Maslow’s pyramid of needs after that.