|Twiggy in 1967, at the height of her modelling career, showing the look that made her famous. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Monday, May 6, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
|English: Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) – (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
- The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
- Robert Burns, To a Mouse (Poem, November, 1785)
Scottish national poet (1759 - 1796)
Monday, March 18, 2013
|Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
When he said that, I was young enough and naïve enough to expect that life should be fair, and so to be appalled at his comment. I loved Mr. Jimmy, but he broke my heart with that line.
" There are many things in life that are not fair."
In the intervening years, though, I have learned that life is, indeed, manifestly not fair and that when we persist in demanding that it should be (there's that word again), we set ourselves up for all sorts of misery.
I am not saying that we should not be willing to step up to address inequities when it is in our power to do so, only that in expecting the universe to operate along some sort of moral lines we add to the unhappiness that is already there. And sometimes we create the unhappiness.
I have come to believe that the sooner and more fully we can embrace the notion that we need to be able to accept life on life's terms in order to live happily, the better off we'll be. Harsh as it may sound, then, the real question becomes not "Why is this happening?" but "What do I intend to do about it?"
I suspect that when bad things happen, this is nobody's instant response. We all need a little time to wrap our heads around the new state of affairs, to take stock of things and begin to see where we stand now. But then we need to dust our butts off and get back up on that horse and ride it. Wise old horsemen would tell you that if you don't, the horse understands that he just got the better of you, and he'll remember that next time. In life, the message is the same except that you're the one getting it. Be sure the message you send your self is that you can cope, you can deal.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
|The Writing Life (Photo credit: Simply Bike)|
Sunday, March 3, 2013
|joy! (Photo credit: atomicity)|
I like that one, and I'm going to start prescribing it.
So hop to it. Unhappy? Get out your pen and paper!
Sunday, February 24, 2013
|Physical bullying at school, as depicted in the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
One very damaging aspect is the response of the people in charge. Bullying victims get doubly traumatized when teachers, administrators, and parents do nothing: This is experienced as a betrayal, an abandonment, or as further abuse--and sometimes, as all three. For example, a boy who was physically assaulted in front of a raft of teachers who did nothing reported it both the assault and the faculty's inaction to the principal. That worthy's response was that this would not have happened had the student not chosen to come out. In actual point of fact the boy had been outed by one of the bullies some months previously in a separate incident, and he had reported it at the time. So the victim gets the message that nobody cares, nobody's going to do anything, and it's his fault anyway. I suspect that, as studies of childhood sexual abuse have demonstrated, this kind of response on the part of adults is a risk factor for some of the more negative outcomes for the child.
Nor, as far as I can tell, are long-term effects limited to childhood experiences: I know one fellow, retired about four years now, who still has regular nightmares about workplace bullying he suffered. And I have worked with several veterans who count abuse by their superiors as among the worst experiences of their careers.
So am I surprised by the results of this study? Not hardly.