Challenging Times

Recently I happened to pop into a coffee shop for a coffee and a sandwich and got into a conversation with a fellow male customer.  As our conversation developed he told me that he was unemployed, had high blood-pressure, high cholesterol was depressed and was experiencing insomnia.  His G.P. had prescribed medications for his blood pressure and high cholesterol and had also put him on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets.  He had previously worked for an accountancy firm, but due to the recession, had been laid off with no future prospects of being re-employed.  He told me he was really struggling financially and now did not have the cash to go to his G.P. for monitoring of his medication.  He is awaiting a medical card and has been told that it will take months for his application to be processed.  Neither is he able to afford the different medications and he had decided he would stop taking the medications for his high blood-pressure and high cholesterol; he had also stopped taking his anti-depressants, but had maintained the sleeping tablets as these gave him some relief from his overwhelming anxiety and sense of helplessness and hopelessness. 

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The Mahon Watershed!

The Mahon report has revealed corruption that challenges us as a people to reflect on how it is that so many of our leaders emerged into adulthood and secured major positions of responsibility with such a low level of personal maturity and social conscience?  What has struck me regarding the journalistic responses to the Mahon report is the lack of any psycho-social analysis of its alarming findings.

Personal maturity is where you are one with yourself and have a strong sense of your own and others’ innate goodness. In this mature state you are loving, fair, intelligent, just, expansive and creative and duly concerned for the wellbeing of others.  However, when you are not one with yourself, you can be powerfully and frighteningly defensive.  In this insecure place defences such as aggression, control, dominance and narcissism, being judgemental, critical, greedy, manipulative and arrogant, are unconsciously created and mask your true nature.  All defensive behaviours pose a threat to the wellbeing of others; nonetheless, the purpose of unconsciously formed defences is to reduce the experience of threats from other people’s defences.  It is for this reason that human behaviour is paradoxical and, thereby, confusing, particularly for those who are not at one with themselves.  Personal maturity is a responsibility for each person – clearly maturity is on a continuum from very low to very high – it is a responsibility with which we all struggle and one that requires considerable support.

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Emotional Debts

What Confucius says applies as much today as it did thousands of years ago. Currently – and, indeed, for over three years now – the news has been dominated by the doom and gloom about the collapse of capitalism and the fiscal rectitude that is required to build economic stability. The irony of it all is that many of the individuals who were responsible for the economic collapse are still in power – politically and economically – and there is no evidence to show that they ‘have put their hearts right.’ Neither is there any evidence of the owning of the huge emotional and social debts that are owed to the masses of individuals who are now saddled with major economic uncertainty for the future, due to the unprecedented level of greed, avarice, depersonalisation, secretiveness, intimidation and profit-target mentality that were the bones of economic activities.

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