Sympathy is a crime and so is empathy, go figure!

Author’s Note: I got a lot of feedback on this article and apparently it’s not the words but the ‘tone’ that the statements were made that was hurtful. Condescending, judgmental, dismissive etc. these are the emotions that infuriate and offend. No one has a problem with genuine emotions, which should have huge doses of respect for the individual if not unconditional love. However, the superior attitude or the ‘know it all’ attitude that most carry around them is what irks most when going through a crisis. Then there is the bunch who when emotionally troubled hate to bump into the ever smiling, flower smelling, diddy singing optimist. They have an emotional range far wider than just happy or sad and they find obsessing only about these two extremes vexing. While I do not understand that, I get it, I really do. We all have the right to feel whatever we do and it doesn’t need to be justified to anyone. My optimism infuriates another and their morose outlook baffles me, perfectly fine, it’s all part of being human. The confusion, the hurt, the misunderstandings, the passion, the trauma and all the drama, that is what is life and such is the journey we are forced to traverse and not always with our consent. 

An 1894 painting by Walter Langley
An 1894 painting by Walter Langley

I was reading an article and I was surprised to find two comments that were listed as hurtful.

“You should pray!”

“Relax, it will be all right.”

The mention was from someone who was facing a personal problem and had listed all the comments that well-meaning friends and relatives had often touted when made aware of her plight, before a doctor was called in for proper diagnosis.

The reason these two comments stirred me is because I mouth them, quite often and it shocked me that people would find it hurtful or offensive. I agree that they are not diagnostic in nature but one comment asks that we seek help from God, the one who raises the dead kind of powerful and the other is to ease the stress and the pain, a sort of don’t be too hard on yourself.

The only way I find it hurtful is if one recommends praying to an atheist and if a doctor quips that one should relax instead of offering proper advice or medication.

I can’t image the opposite to be recommended.

“Don’t bother praying it’s hopeless!”

“Yeah, you’re right that does sound like something is terribly wrong with you!”

Makes me think that maybe when people are that sensitive perhaps they shouldn’t talk about ‘problems’ to friends and family and seek medical counsel instead. You can’t possibly expect ordinary well wishing family and friends to be updated on all the latest medical conditions and ailments. If I have a friend who calls me up saying she has a headache, my first rhetoric will be to ask if she has taken any panadol and my advice to her will be to relax and take it easy. I won’t be mouthing recommendations for an MRI, CT scan or start drumming about blood clots in the brain or tumours. Does my general assumption that things are not catastrophic make me insensitive and rude? Sorry for my optimism.

It brought to mind an incident a few years back. I had met a woman at a parenting session she remarked that her son did not start speaking until he turned two. I told her that neither did my son and we never had any reason to worry. She was offended with my comment, staying that I was ‘not helping’ by telling her that it was OK, her son apparently has an issue that needs to be dealt with. I apologised but I kept shut about letting her know that people only relate information that they experience themselves, what course of action she takes for her son cannot be based on what other people have experienced but instead on her instinct as a parent and on the recommendations of her doctors.

My point being, only you know the depth and extent of your situation. Family and friends can support you in whatever decision you take and can offer advice that they would apply on themselves, they cannot offer medical or legal counsel (unless they are qualified to do so) and it is wrong for you to expect otherwise. If you take a wrong decision because you choose to accept an advice from a friend or relative that was wrong, is it really their fault? In this day and age when the Internet abounds with information, how hard is it to Google a query and come up with all the various issues relating to your condition. To speak to a few friends and base life changing decisions on their counsel is foolish and placing the blame on them for any wrong decisions taken, even more so.

Seriously speaking when was the last time anyone actually did what parents, friends or relatives, recommended? We all know an Aunt Bertha who wanted us to become a doctor or an uncle Jim who felt being a charted accountant was the way to go. How many times have friends told us not to date so and so or to seriously stop doing something, for our own good and yet we have ignored their advice time and time again?

Regarding being hurt or offended, when one faces a sensitive issue everything gets perceived in the wrong light. Even common sense can seem rude and insensitive. If you comment you can get perceived as nosy and if you don’t you get labelled as someone who just doesn’t care. Apparently the rule is only those who have personally undergone that particular crisis has the right to comment.

To all the people who were hurt when asked to pray about a crisis in their life, are you guilty about something? Do you feel that bringing God into the equation means that you are going to be judged or that you are being punished?

Let me clarify, God is love and he does not punish, unless you are a dictator who has killed thousands and often they live long happy lives and people tend to lament, “why is God not dealing with him/her?” Asking God for help does not mean that you are going to get judged or that you have to account for all your sins. All it means is that if all fails, he is always there and he is quite merciful.

To all the people who were upset about being told that all will be well, next time seek out the pessimistic lot, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

In lieu of the new information the aforementioned article has brought to light, my new comment to all queries from friends, family, strangers and everyone in general will be, “Seek profession advice, I am not qualified to comment.”

Hypocrisy and its different shades.

The Mona Lisa.
The Mona Lisa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 
Mona Lisa detail mouth
Mona Lisa detail mouth (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Apparently it’s the smile that is hauntingly beautiful.

I was reading the local paper and chanced upon an article that upset my inner peace. It was an intelligent man’s diatribe on how dumb and annoying the common John and Jane, he prefers the term ‘mouth breathing morons’, inevitably are to the cultured. It was an eye opener, I always thought of myself as reasonably intelligent and cultured, apparently I am not for I do not share his views and he is the spokesperson for that elite group.

What is their heinous crime that offends him so? Their inability of ever being able to produce ‘an original or interesting thought’, if you were expecting something more criminal like murder then we think alike. A mental note to steer clear from him during my writer’s block days or when I haven’t had much sleep from nursing an ill child, the ‘stupid’ crimes I would commit on those days would probably have him call for the guillotine.

His ultimate peeve is when these people bypass great works of art in their single-minded focus towards celebrated classics like the Mona Lisa, which according to him isn’t the best. An act worsened by the fact that these ‘mindless idiots’ then resort to taking pictures of this work of art, why should you when you get better resolution pictures form the internet? Here I was thinking that capturing an image from my camera would somehow create a personal connection with a thing of beauty that is a joy forever, sorry John Keats I must have misinterpreted your poem.

He has great contempt for people taking hilarious (not to him) pictures where they pose as if their support is the only reason the monument doesn’t come crashing down. The lack of humour is because it has been done way too many times before; apparently it has to be an original idea to be hilarious. Have to remember to trash that ‘been there done that photo album’, I can recall a multitude of original idea violations.

I must be very simple-minded, like the Johns and Janes for thinking that if something annoys you, look away. If I were standing in the Louvre appreciating a masterpiece it would not heighten or lessen the pleasure I get from a great work of art if others did or didn’t share my sense of appreciation. In fact it makes me dangerously suspicious that this suave man might be guilty of his greatest irk, not truly experiencing all that life has to offer and instead being focused on what the rest of the ‘sheep people ‘ are doing, albeit in a different context.

I had read somewhere that if we were to make a list of all the attributes that truly irritated us, we would invariably end up with a very accurate description of ourselves, at least of how we are perceived by others. This extremely intelligent but highly irritated man is obviously guilty of being preoccupied with stupid acts, the banal are guilty of these acts while he obsesses about them, two sides of the same coin.

———-

By Antonia Rapheal
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Toning your body versus losing body weight- You decide.

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Spring is here in Adelaide and the pressure is on to look good, again! Winter fashion is very forgiving for the less than ideal body type, which is about 95% of the world. By ideal I mean what the fashion industry defines as ideal, super slim or what the fitness industry defines as ideal, super muscled. For the less than super, myself included, spring and summer can dampen that yippee ya yee jingle  you feel like doing when you see the almond blossoms and smell the sweet jasmine scent in the air.

While I am all for a healthy lifestyle I am not buying that perfect body hype. As my hubby very vocally puts it, “A woman’s gotta have curves!” Yes ladies, I am blessed. As I wolf down my quinoa and roasted chicken salad and eye my yoga mat, I strive for a well-balanced outlook on physical beauty. Sparkling eyes, shinny hair, smooth skin, gorgeous smile and an infectious personality represent beauty for me. As opposed to a gaunt frame, hollowed cheeks, spindly arms and skinny legs.

I do yoga to tone myself, as I believe that a toned body is way sexier than a skinny one. You can be a size zero and still have jiggly arms, but a size 12 with a firm body is amazing! You need food to provide you with the nutrition for strong bones, healthy organs, muscles and stamina; you can’t get all of that with just iceberg lettuce. My fitness parameter? If I can run for an hour with my kids in the park before getting tired, I consider myself fit.

A positive body image is so important and not just for physical health. Your outlook on life needs to be positive and healthy, a negative self-image can destroy not just your mojo but also your life. An energetic outlook makes you want to accomplish more, achieve more and in turn makes you feel great, the opposite can lead to depression that can ruin marriages, friendships and even careers.

I consider myself lucky as I grew up with very positive role models and a very healthy affirmation of beautiful. Strong confidant women with fulfilling lives who made an impact on society were the hallmark of an ideal woman. Marie Curie, Bertha Von Suttner, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi, Martina Navratilova, Mother Teresa and the list goes on.

marie

Today most young women when asked whom they admire fervidly exclaim, ‘Kim Kardashian.’ While I can appreciate the business ingenuity and drive of Kim Kardashian and hold no grievance against her, a role model?

Perhaps my outlook on life is different because I grew up under the wings of a very intelligent and independent woman, my mother. She was the daughter of a wealthy businessman who was also an aspiring inventor and a village beauty who hailed from a prominent religious family. The untimely death of her father led to their fortunes being stolen by malicious relatives who took advantage of her mother’s illiteracy. She thumb printed away their home, land and business to her husband’s conniving nephew. Scared for life, granny made sure all her children, nine of them would be educated.

My mother grew up with an innate distrust of people and made it her life ambition to learn all that she could, after all knowledge was power. As children she forbade us from watching cartoons or movies, it was just documentaries and books for us. We never had cable and there were no magazine subscriptions, except for the odd National geographic and readers digest.

mariec

For entertainment we would sit together in the living room and hear stories about my parent’s lives, funny anecdotes about our ancestors, family history and family legends. My father had books from his travels and I grew up in the company of Dale Carnegie, Napoleon hill, Edward De Bono, Ben Sweetland, and offcourse encyclopaedias.

Our childhood mentors determine not only our outlook on life but also our perception of self. As I hear the music from my children’s playroom I realise that soon my little girls will need more than fluffy unicorns to help them develop a sense of self. Their positive affirmations will need to come from real heroes, everyday men and women who live fulfilling lives with purpose.

mother

Christians are smashing metal songwriters? Really?

Image

I have a thing for Gregorian chants, my kids tend to roll their eyes and then flop themselves on the sofa when they see my cds come out, and you can do the same as this post is centred on that topic. Now that blog etiquettes (warnings) have been dispensed with, this is what I would like to ruminate about.

“As a metalhead I must say, The Christians are smashing metal songwriters!”

I burst out laughing as I read this comment which was in response to the translation of a 13th century Latin Catholic hymn, “Dies Irae”- Day of wrath.

The translation of this glorious hymn goes something like this…

Day of wrath and doom impending,
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending!

Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth,
When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth.

Full translation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies_Irae

Metal songs, not that I listen to any or that I even vaguely claim to posses any knowledge of the genre, are known to be powerful, intense and even demonic, hence the raucous laughter when reading a comment stating that Christians are great metal songwriters! Humour aside it drove home a very startling fact that often tends to be missed, there is fine line between right and wrong. Religion, I speak for the catholic faith but I doubt that other religions differ greatly, is about peace and love. Turning the other cheek, loving your neighbour as your self and most importantly loving your God with everything you have, mind, body and soul.

Yet, how many righteous religious wars have we fought? How many inquisitions, hangings, and witch burnings have we condoned? How many dark secrets have marred many a religious institution? A quick history lesson makes you sing the song of the black eyed peas, “where is the love?”

A religion of love and peace, where the son of God himself and many of his apostles thereafter, chose to surrender themselves to torture and death rather than speak one evil word of anger or hatred, yet we the disciples of that order have perpetrated war and murder in his holy name. Aren’t we the ones who are truly lost? Is it any wonder that today bystanders declare us ‘similar’ to a genre that is often associated with darkness?

Many Christian friends have asked me why I don’t evangelise, spread the word, and generally talk of my intimate relationship with the God. How can I? How do I explain that I ‘see’ all that is wrong and yet choose what is right? That there is so much that I do not understand, so many questions that I have no answers to, numerous mysteries that plague me night and day, and yet in the knowledge of him that matters most, my lord and my God, I am calm. How do you explain that which is too enigmatic to even define as a question?

The simple truth is you can’t find God without bumping into the devil first. Trust me when I tell you that Adam and Eve had no true realisation of God until they listened to the devil. Due to the unfortunate way the human mind, soul and brain works, we can’t truly understand or even recognise the truth until we are first convinced of that which is false. The proverbial other side always looks greener, and until we cross over and see for ourselves, like the famous doubting Thomas, we will never truly be convinced.

The Israelites when crossing the dessert were not impressed by the supernatural column of cloud by day nor the column of fire by night, the manna from heaven was too bland and the parting of the Red sea, old news. Christians, priests, nuns, deacons, preachers, like their predecessors tend to get lost in the dessert and the world only hears of their doubts and failings but not of their journey home. So to all the sceptics and watchers, rejoice when you hear of the lost for that’s when the shepherd goes out looking for his sheep and who knows you might just catch a glimpse of him.

That’s the beauty of Christianity, even when you are truly lost you are actually closer to being found, that’s the Christian paradox, only those who are truly lost can be saved, everyone else is just pretending to be found. Fear not if you are one of those who has never crossed the line or have been true to the faith since birth, God has not forgotten you. Life with a lot of help from the devil will visit you, will shake your world, will bring you to your knees and then from the depths of your darkest despair when you call out, the light will shine.

Now you know why I don’t talk of my faith but only smile and say, “Your time will come, hang in there!”

The Art of healing: Hoʻoponopono

life quote

Hotmail delivered an email by a troubled soul I no longer consider as friend, refer to my emotional rant in the article ‘A can of worms’. Technology amazes me, how you can still receive emails from a ‘blocked’ person is one of the wonders of modern society. In this instance however, gratitude is the order of the day.

Her email, as always, was a forwarded email that goes by the subject line: “I’m sorry” and “I love you”.  I must be the only dyslexic in the world who just can’t resist reading a well-written email, even if it is from someone I have officially blocked from my life. What can I say? We all have our quirks; curiosity is mine.

This particular email was so intriguing it warranted a post, for those who are familiar with my musings you know that I rather stay silent than write for the sake of writing, yes all you social media marketers, I am guilty of the number one SMM no-no. I have never been one to conform and my viewpoints are different at best but never run-of-the-mill.

Hoʻoponopono is the ancient Hawaiian belief system that offers cures for a world steeped in pain and sickness. According to Wikipedia, “Hoʻoponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as “mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.”

This particular email made references to Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients without ever seeing them, by improving himself. Total responsibility, the belief that everything in your life is your responsibility and not in a guilt tripping depressing way but in an uplifting empowering way.

I am not completely sold on the technique or the results, nor am I convinced of the authenticity of the claims, however what I am intrigued with is the underlying empowerment message. Yes, I am a sucker for inspirational, motivational and downright simple common sense. As a catholic, I can totally resonate with, ‘prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness’.

For the longest time however, I always thought that all the above were for your own mental health. As a proponent of, ‘You have the power to change your past’ I found it quite interesting that I, me and myself encompasses the universe.

The question, ‘what have you done?’ being posed to the parents when any child was ill, really struck a nerve. The fact that one out of my brood of three is perpetually ill might have something to do with it. My counsellor, as my son might have Asperger’s, is always drumming the circle of parenting principles, one of her favourite being, the solution to all behavioural issues with children is to spend more quality time with them. To rejoice in them and delight in them, kind but firm is what every parent should aim for. Screaming, yelling and generally loosing it is my modus operandi, but Libby and I are working on that.

Apart from the fact that if you are at peace with yourself, everyone around you will also absorb that calming presence (a kindy teacher who is confident and calm always has her class attentive to her), the ability to heal others by taking responsibility for them mentally, seems to make a lot of sense. In this world where everyone is harping on their freedom to curse, insult and abuse, a message of peace, harmony, forgiveness and most importantly responsibility might just be what we need in these troubled times.

To heal the world, our community, our families, by first healing ourselves, makes a lot of sense. Every troubled teenager, criminal and war monger needs to be taken responsibility for, we as a community need to step out of our shells, our private little perfect worlds and embrace the troubled, lonely and even the criminally insane with love, forgiveness and acknowledgment. Distancing ourselves form the problem doesn’t make it go away, doing something about it does.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we all make a beeline to the prisons and hospitals; that would be nice, however what we can do is stop this mental demarcation of them versus us. Total surrender and total responsibility, at least mentally for starters, who knows we might just change the world and save it while we heal and love ourselves.

family quote

Perfection is Ugly!

You knew
You knew (Photo credit: James Broad)

Hug

No, that’s not a typo, it reads exactly as it should. Beauty is imperfect, natural and spontaneous; everything else is just the opposite. Perfection comes out of an assembly line from a lifeless machine, each product exactly like it’s predecessor. A masterpiece is unique, has soul, its flaws make it even more valuable and it doesn’t get better than a human being.
Show me anyone and I can point out a million faults but what always intrigues me are the quirks. As a writer I am always seeking out the nuances that distinguish a character, my heroes are always the least brave and the dysfunctional. The only common trait they have is the willingness to learn from their mistakes.
It was probably a self-absorbed writer who remarked that creative people are like God, breathing life into ideas and colours. As lofty as the comment is you can’t deny that artists share the mindset of God. We celebrate the flawed, the broken, the lonely, the meek and the humble. There is always so much depth in the songs of the broken hearted and the mirth of a man well versed with misfortune is heart warming, not to mention inspiring.
So what’s with the fascination with perfection that has got the world all twisted? Why does beautiful only mean flawless? When did our definitions get so limited and shallow? Why should handsome only mean muscles and a defined jawline? When did acne which meant that you are now officially a teenager, become a symbol of shame? Freckles used to mean cute but now a concealer promises to hide it. People on the heavier side used to be known as jolly and large hearted, today even Santa is a size zero. When did we get so insecure that being natural meant foundation, lip-gloss and mascara?
The human mind and heart are instinctively tuned to beauty, the real kind. All the bright colours, the glossy lips, the darkened eyebrows and the bronzed cheekbones are so perfect that after a while they begin to look ugly. Have you ever had a friend who always wore glasses and then switched to contacts? Do you remember seeing them for the first time and remarking that they looked different and that you liked them better with spectacles? I have two beautiful little angels and they love to play with my makeup, they climb on chairs, reach for my lipstick, colour themselves silly and then run to me asking, pretty?
No, a compassionate heart, a genuine smile, a hearty laugh, kind words straight from the heart, soulful eyes; these are the things that are pretty and warm my soul. Masking all that with paint in a bid to be perfect is what kills the human spirit. I am not against makeup, in fact I love to experiment but I can step out with out any on and not feel uncomfortable. I apply makeup because I like it and not because I am defined by it. It saddens me that there are some women who are uncomfortable in their own skin. Who told them that they are not beautiful or that beauty only means looking perfect, all the time, and every time? Like a wise person once said, you maybe one among a million but for that special someone you are one in a million. That person will find you beautiful even when your hair goes grey and wrinkles cover you entirely, because beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder. Try to remember that when you look into the mirror next time.

Meditation, or is it just me?

meditation

This musing is a reaction to an article about another blogger’s journey with vipasana mediation. 10 days of doing nothing but sitting 12 hours straight, in an attempt to still one’s mind. As a blogger and writer the whole purpose of stilling one’s mind is beyond me. I am like the NASA probe searching for a thought wave, constantly on the prowl for some illuminating thought that I can transcribe into words. My mind is a podium for unceasing debate, in the words of René Descartes,

I think therefore I am.

Even as I sleep my mind is in constant chatter, my dreams are more tangled than Shakespeare’s web of lies. I am always on the Internet absorbing news, ideas, latest research, discoveries and constantly analysing theories. I relish religious discourses where I can logically defend my faith. I am constantly scouring anti-Catholic sites, assimilating all their objections and I try to find valid answers to all their contentions. If there is a point that I cannot clarify then I thrash it out mentally and devour religious literature until I find the answer. Offcourse, all this goes on internally, I never voice my opinions publicly, for me religion is a very personal matter and not for public debate, which brings me to my point, I love to think.

Unfortunately there are days, mostly when I am on a zero sugar and low carb diet when my mind just goes blank. These periods that I dub as writer’s block which are more like thinker’s block are the most boring and depressing episodes of my life. No thoughts, no emotions, no adrenaline, no reaction, just empty space, floating through a void; most depressing. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be in that state! It’s like dying; at least it’s for me.

Oh the joy to be alive, to feel emotions that cause your heart to pound, the blood to rush into your veins, to experience your head throb with anger or excitement. Why would anyone want to give all that away, even for a nanosecond? As a religious person I know that there are times one should be still and listen to the Lord, but for me that is usually when fear or trouble crowd my existence, which is very rarely. Usually I am in an animated discourse with the Lord about this and that, or I am usually bugging him for an answer or just in awe of him. Stillness is not a prominent feature of my religious life and the Lord hasn’t led me to doubt my journey.

As I watch my 4-½ year old, run wildly around the house chasing an imaginary animal, whilst screaming at the top of his voice, I can only smile and say, “yeah, he takes after me!”

James Bond was a class act, these guys are pathetic!

Cover art

I’m angry, really palpitating, shaking mad! The nerve of some people, serial womanisers, Casanovas, call them what you like, I call them scumbags. Facebook is crawling with idiots looking out for ‘lonely, married women’. I am a PR professional so I get a lot of friend requests on FB and I usually accept it without a thought, it’s social media you can’t exactly have privacy issues! I have a separate one for friends and family where I post pics of my kids and have extremely strict privacy settings. On my PR id, I got contacted by a jerk asking me to ‘start a friendly relationship’, assuming that he mistook me as single I wrote back saying that I was happily married and mother of three. He still wrote back, an extremely long email detailing how wonderful he is, an excerpt below:

I Don,t like to play games or people that play games , i have nice heart, clear mind, very romantic, very warm Hearted, loving and caring, loyal and well behaved, from decent family, i am into many things like traveling, computers,gardening and many other things.

I’m a straight forward person, and i want to build nice friend/relationship which will last long and never ends with someone kind and nice and honest, committed and loving I’m not a materialistic person and i am always after nice hearts.

Currently i am working on a contract ,but I can move and travel, i am sure that you will like me more when you meet me. the type of woman i would like to meet she should be,caring,honesty ,understanding,loving,truthful and have a sense of Humor……I will love to know somethings about you.

After nice hearts? He is loyal and from a decent family, really? I wonder which families train their sons to prey on vulnerable women and ‘play games’? Some people are just down right, morally depraved! For politeness sake I haven’t copied my response to him but I can assure you my language was quite colourful. Normally I’d brush it aside but what got me seething mad is the ‘evil’ intent and malicious nature of the man. Here is an excerpt form his previous email initiating the ‘looking for a wonderful woman’ to which I promptly replied that I was married.

What a nice and sparkling smile.
I Read your profile,It is my pleasure to contact you, Am searching for a sincere and trusted Woman of God that will teach me the way of God and i believe in God you
will be the one, when i stumbled on your profile.I got entangled in that wonderful smile, couldn’t stop myself from saying hello. Please always wear that smile.

I wonder which ‘God’ told him to contact a married woman, the God of Casanovas maybe? Why would a married, woman of God, start a relationship with another man? Is it just because I accepted his friend request that he assumed I was, ‘lonely and looking for a companion sent by God?’ It enrages me to think that there might be so many genuinely hurt and lonely women out there, looking for the ‘the one’ and all they get is a moronic excuse for a human being.

What about all the elderly, widowed, lonely single women, they would easily fall for this kind of crap, thinking it was genuine and straightforward. I despise people who like to prey on vulnerable and lonely people, it’s just so wrong. How can these people live with themselves? Is it all just a game to them, to play with a woman’s inner most hopes of love and a life with someone she cares about? How does someone get over a trauma like that? If you know anyone who has gone through this, I would love to hear about it.

Academia, why it’s out-dated and why we do nothing about it!

educationSuccinct, concise, to the point please!Everything I am not! I love to talk and you will often find me striking up a conversation with a stranger if they have a few minutes to spare! Chatting with people from different walks of life and different cultures is what I miss most about my old job. What annoys my colleagues is that this trait has seeped into my writing as well, in my defence, have you ever met a writer of a few words?

I walked over to my husband a few weeks back and I could hear him, “Yeah, sorry about that, my wife she just loves to write! I’ll get her to summarise the email in a few points, yeah, don’t bother wasting your time reading it, yeah I’ll get her to send it right away! Nah! No problem, I totally understand!”

Why thank you darling, your support is touching! Honestly, I get it and offcourse I now bullet point my emails and then go into detail, just in case! This incident got me thinking; no, it doesn’t take much for my grey cells to start working. It is our current academia that is to blame. I am a science student; I studied zoology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry. I can assure you that you would not pass your course if all you filled in your answer sheets were bullet points. You had to fill pages and pages with the history, the discovery, the analysis, the testing, the reasoning behind the procedure, the result, the inference that you drew form these and finally how all this distilled into your final answer of yes or No. The general consensus was the more you knew or understood, the more you wrote. Only a third rate dummy came up with bullet points!

Enter the work force where everyone is racing against time itself, every project was due yesterday, every requirement even if it’s a skinny latte for the CEO is wanted A.S.A.P. Our education system should empower students to succeed in the work force, we shouldn’t end up unlearning everything we were ever taught just to survive day one. No wonder the global economy is on the verge of a break down and the most successful entrepreneurs are homemakers with no prior experience and college/high school drops outs.
Our assembly line education system is out-dated and detrimental to our survival. Only mavericks that refuse to be magnetised and brainwashed into following the heard mentality are successful in life. Book worms or very knowledgeable people who can only tell you, by rote, what they have read, heard or learnt are not very charismatic and end up back in the very system that produced them, the educational system. Rarely is there a marriage between knowledge and personal insight; enter the pioneers of new thinking.
So why do we still rush to sign our kids to kindy, school and college? For the fundamental reason that we humans love routine. We find security and stability in routine; our DNA is engineered to adapt to a cycle, a system a method. What did you think the Stockholm syndrome was all about, hostages ending up sympathetic towards their very captors and resisting being saved? That’s human DNA working overtime and to ones own destruction. Every dictator, oppressive regime, warlord, king, authority figure, is in power not because they are any better or smarter but because of this innate human tendency to be controlled. It’s how our ancestors survived in the past, we are all sheep looking for our shepherd and lost if we don’t find one.
In light of my tendency to ramble on, this discussion will be continued in the next post where I talk about why abused women and men remain in such relationships, why abusive and powerful men and women are into dominatrix. These are my views and if you disagree, please leave a comment. I love a good intellectual repose!

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